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Category: Chamber Updates

Our members are shaking things up. The entrepreneurial spirit in our community means our members are always looking for ways to grow and improve their businesses. Keep up with the movers and shakers to see what they’ve been up to lately.

Photo by Richard Hurd

Wisconsin Union to Hold Independence Day Celebration

June 26, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Information:
Shauna Breneman, Communication Director
Office: (608) 262-8862
Email: sbreneman@wisc.edu

WISCONSIN UNION TO HOLD INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION

MADISON – The Wisconsin Union will host an Independence Day Celebration June 30 at the Memorial Union Terrace, which will include a lineup of free entertainment and fireworks over Lake Mendota.

The Union’s music lineup will begin at 4:30 p.m. with bands chosen and presented by the student-run Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Music Committee, which books, promotes and runs music programming at Memorial Union and Union South.

Singer-songwriter Gabe Burdulis will kick off the lineup. Burdulis’s music will feature bluesy roots and pop melodies in a folk and Americana-based style. He will perform on the UW Credit Union Terrace Stage until 6:30 p.m.

From 5-8 p.m., the Wisconsin Union team will take their celebration to new heights with the Wild Rumpus Stilt Walkers at the Memorial Union Terrace.

In addition, from 7-9 p.m., Madison-based DJ Nick Nice will lead a family-friendly dance party at the Memorial Union Terrace. His performance, presented by WUD Music, will feature disco, ‘80s tunes and club classics as well as glow sticks.

It wouldn’t be an Independence Day celebration without fireworks – at 9 p.m., the Union will light up the sky over Lake Mendota.

Following the fireworks, DJ Nick Nice will make his way back to the UW Credit Union Terrace Stage from 9:30-11:30 p.m. and perform party jams. His performance will include special guest appearances by other DJs.

This year, the Wisconsin Alumni Association will also hold family-friendly activities from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. next door to the Memorial Union Terrace at Alumni Park. Activities will include park tours, free lemonade, science-themed activities, a scavenger hunt, map-making and more.

Purchases made at the Memorial Union during the Independence Day Celebration and all year long help support the thousands of student leadership opportunities provided by the Wisconsin Union each year. These purchases also help the Union provide the community with more than 2,300 events annually.

For the full lakefront celebration event schedule, please click here.

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About the Wisconsin Union

The Wisconsin Union enhances the lives of members and visitors through recreational, cultural, educational and social opportunities. Formed in 1907, the Wisconsin Union is a membership organization that blends study and leisure to create unique out-of-classroom opportunities. Learn more about the Union and its tradition of providing experiences for a lifetime: union.wisc.edu.

[Note to the editor: Click here to download a photo of patrons gathering to listen to music on the Memorial Union Terrace during the 2017 4th of July Celebration on July 1, 2017. Photo provided by the Wisconsin Union.]

Photo by Richard Hurd

Chamber Accepting Applications for Fifth Annual Pressure Chamber Competition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 13, 2018)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced today it is accepting applications for this year’s Pressure Chamber startup program, which returns Aug. 16 to kick off Forward Festival, an eight-day celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Madison. The popular initiative includes participation and support from active regional investment firms, as well as the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

“Since its beginning four years ago, Pressure Chamber has provided an impactful platform for dozens of growing companies to tell their story and connect with new opportunities,” said Chamber Vice President Kevin Little. “We look forward to another year showcasing the very best of Greater Madison’s startup scene.”

Applicants for Pressure Chamber go through a screening process that may include presentations with prominent Wisconsin investors. From there, a select number of companies will be chosen to pitch in front of a panel of out-of-state investors, business executives and a live audience during Forward Fest. The winning company is decided based on a combination of judges scoring and audience votes. In addition to receiving the coveted “golden suitcase,” the winning company will also receive an all-expenses paid spot on the Chamber’s exclusive Madison-area startup delegation to San Francisco this October for meetings with top Silicon Valley investment firms.

Little noted the recent launch of new, daily non-stop service connecting Dane County Regional Airport and San Francisco International Airport as an additional proof point of Greater Madison’s economic momentum.

“In our first few community trips west, our primary objective was getting Silicon Valley’s attention to the talent and innovation here. We are excited to return this year and let them know it’s more convenient and quicker than ever to see it in person,” he added.

Past Pressure Chamber winners have credited the initiative for helping their company close successful funding rounds. Additionally, Pressure Chamber has been recognized by both the International Economic Development Council and Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest Summit as an entrepreneurship and economic development best practice. Participating companies have included EatStreet, Propeller Health, Redox, Datica, Fetch Rewards, HealthMyne, Cardigan, AkitaBox, Moxe, DotCom Therapy, Fishidy, bluDiagnostics, POLCO and more.

Pressure Chamber is open to any industry, as long as the company meets the following requirements:

  • Must be a member of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce or support entrepreneurial partner organizations Capital Entrepreneurs and/or Doyenne Group
  • Must be located in Dane County or plan to locate to Dane County by Aug. 16, 2018
  • Must have raised at least $25,000, excluding personal investment by company founders
  • Application must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, July 9, 2018

The full application can be accessed at bit.ly/Pressure2018

Pressure Chamber is presented by Michael Best & Friedrich, with support from the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, American Family Ventures, Baird Capital, 4490 Ventures, HealthX Ventures, Lindsay Stone & Briggs and Rock River Capital Partners.

For more information about Forward Fest, please visit http://www.forwardfest.org/

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at greatermadisonchamber.com.

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Photo by Richard Hurd

Statement from Chamber President on AmFam Merger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (May 4, 2018)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce President Zach Brandon released the following statement today in response to the announced merger between American Family Insurance and Florida-based The Main Street America Group:

“This is terrific news for American Family Insurance and their ability to reach new markets while supporting current policyholders. This is just the latest in a recent string of strategic investments and innovative acquisitions that have positioned the company for continued growth and success. We are excited about the deal, its expanded choices for small business owners and the significant potential it represents for the future of one of this region’s true community leaders.”

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at greatermadisonchamber.com.

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Photo by Richard Hurd

Madison’s Truax Field Chosen to Receive State-of-the-Art F-35A Aircraft

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Dec. 21, 2017)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – Today the United States Air Force announced it has selected Madison’s Truax Field, home of the 115th Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, as one of two sites that will receive state-of-the-art, next-generation F-35A aircraft. Madison had been one of five finalist sites previously announced by the Air Force in December 2016. In response to today’s announcement, Chamber President Zach Brandon released the following statement:

“We are extremely proud and excited about today’s announcement for the 1,200 airmen of the 115th Fighter Wing, as well as for Greater Madison’s economy. The selection of the 115th to receive the F-35A ensures the benefits of the base – including $100 million in annual economic impact, emergency services for Dane County Regional Airport and tuition support for area students who serve in the Guard – will remain in Greater Madison for decades to come.

“This selection would not have been possible without years of commitment from the Wisconsin Air National Guard, the leadership of the 115th, the advocacy of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, state leaders and local elected officials from Dane County, the Chamber’s partnership with the Badger Air Community Council and everyone who has shown their support through the Together Truax initiative. We are incredibly thankful to all of them for their hard work and dedication to making this day a reality.

“We look forward to welcoming the F-35A to Madison and continuing to stand with the men and women of the 115th.”

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at greatermadisonchamber.com.

About Together Truax:
Launched in June 2016 by the Chamber, in partnership with the Badger Air Community Council, Together Truax is a program dedicated to assisting the effort to base the F-35A aircraft at Madison’s Truax Field. The initiative has included advocacy, marketing and lobbying, generating more than $100,000 in private investment and enlisting more than 2,100 supporters. More information can be found at togethertruax.com.

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Photo by Richard Hurd

Restaurateur Susan Bulgrin to Receive Chamber’s 2017 “Ground Floor Award” for Small Business Leadership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Nov. 1, 2017)

Contact: Erik Greenfield, Communications Manager, 608-443-1952 (office), 608-669-7884 (cell)

MADISON – The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce announced today that Susan Bulgrin, owner of three area Culver’s restaurants and the Echo Tap & Grill, will receive the Chamber’s second annual Ground Floor Award for small business leadership. The award, which recognizes true champions for small business both within their business and in the community, will be presented during a special nex7 Stage event Nov. 13 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA).

“Susan’s passionate advocacy for small business and dedication to community service make her the perfect recipient for this year’s Ground Floor Award,” said Chamber President Zach Brandon. “We greatly appreciate Susan’s commitment to making the Chamber and Greater Madison’s business community stronger, and we look forward to honoring her on the nex7 Stage.”

Following a successful career in nursing, Susan Bulgrin opened her first restaurant – Culver’s on Todd Drive – in 1996. In addition to the Todd Drive location, she now co-owns Culver’s locations on Cottage Grove Road and in McFarland, two Chicago-area Culver’s restaurants and Madison’s Echo Tap & Grill with Paul Kneubuehl and her daughter, Katie Bulgrin.

Bulgrin is the current chair of the Chamber’s Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC) – an advisory committee to the Chamber’s leadership and the Mayor of the City of Madison – and a member of the Chamber’s Membership Committee. She serves on the city’s Economic Development Committee and Safe Food Advisory Committee, the board of Starion Financial Bank and the media board of Bethel Lutheran Church. She is also actively involved in Madison Metropolitan School District’s Culinary Advisory Committee and the Wisconsin-based Asset Builders of America, a non-profit that teaches financial capability and economic empowerment to low- and moderate-income youth and families.

“I am very grateful to receive this award, and I share this honor with my fellow SBAC members whose hard work and input are so critical to the long-term health and success of this region,” said Bulgrin. “Small businesses are the cornerstone of America; they create jobs, grow our economy and provide vital support to our community institutions, and we must continue to support them in return.”

In addition to the presentation of the Ground Floor Award, nex7 will also feature compelling pitches from the seven finalists for the Chamber’s second annual Most Innovative Company (MIC) award. The MIC finalists represent a diverse cross-section of industries, missions and locations across Greater Madison. The winner will be determined by audience vote.

To register for this free event, visit: www.greatermadisonchamber.com.

About the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce:
The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business with nearly 1,300 organizations – ranging from one-person shops to corporations with more than 10,000 employees – working to bring the Greater Madison area to its full potential. The Greater Madison region is a leader in innovation. From cutting-edge technologies to distinctive retail shops to inventive services and products, our members vary greatly but are united by the region’s entrepreneurial spirit. More information can be found at greatermadisonchamber.com.

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