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Category: Accolades

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Lean Focus CEO Damon Baker Named In Business 2021 Executive of the Year

MADISON, Wisc., Jan. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Milwaukee native Damon Baker has just been named an In Business 2021 Executive of the Year. The awards program recognizes exemplary business executives based on leadership, innovation, and company success. And, in a year rife with economic challenges, it was Damon’s innovative leadership and challenger thinking that enabled his company, Lean Focus®—a Madison-based consulting, training, and talent solutions firm—to not only meet their growth projections for 2020, but exceed them.

“Like many companies, the pandemic has had a significant impact on our ability to execute our plans,” said Damon. “But that didn’t stop us from helping our clients transform their businesses—in fact, it inspired us to reimagine the way we deliver our services to the markets we serve. Our team worked diligently to develop virtual offerings such as remote consulting and learning, as well as expand into new service areas that reduced our reliance on the traditional in-person consulting model. This pivot enabled us to return to a double-digit level of growth, without sacrificing value in the eyes of our clients.”

Lean Focus’s clientele represents a “who’s who” of global leaders in every industry, including some of the world’s most respected brands and several members of the Fortune 1000. And sacrifice value they did not—under Damon’s leadership, Lean Focus’s clients were able to adapt to this new economic landscape without missing a beat.

But while this past year was unique in the challenges it presented, Damon says their tried-and-true methodology remained the same: the Lean Focus Business System™. Applied by Lean Focus’s team of senior-level practitioners, the system utilizes 5 Key Elements to build the lasting organizational and cultural infrastructure it takes to overcome their client’s biggest challenges, and transform their business for good.

To learn more about the services and solutions Lean Focus offers, visit

About Lean Focus:

Lean Focus helps businesses overcome their biggest challenges by transforming them for the better, and for the long-term. Applied with our proven, hands-on approach, the Lean Focus Business System™ utilizes 5 Key Elements—Growth, Lean, Leadership, Foundation, and Guiding Principles—to build the lasting organizational and cultural infrastructure it takes to achieve real results.

Lean Focus® | Transforming Businesses for Good

April Lee
Managing Director
Phone: 630.800.8519

About In Business:

In Business is the premier business-to-business publication in the Greater Madison region, celebrating more than 43 years of editorial excellence. Our nationally acclaimed editorial department covers the companies and people shaping the business community through readership news, analysis, and in-depth profiles – both online and in print for the Greater Madison region.  We provide interview-style reporting on best industry business practices. We also profile new businesses in the marketplace and honor the stakeholders who built the business community with awards programs and special events.

To contact In Business magazine, click here.

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Kraus-Anderson’s Scheels store wins two awards for outstanding projects in retail real estate and development

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (December 2020) – Scheels retail sporting goods store has been recognized with two STARR Awards for outstanding projects in retail real estate and development from the Minnesota Shopping Center Association (MSCA).

The 250,000-square-foot located at the Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie, Minn. was honored in two categories: New Retail Construction over 20,000 square feet; and Retail Redevelopment over 10,000 square feet.

Built by the Madison office of Kraus-Anderson and designed by R.L. Engebretson Architecture, the $58 million store consists of two main stories of retail space with a 16,000-gallon saltwater aquarium, 45-foot-tall Ferris Wheel, wildlife taxidermy mountain, as well as a restaurant, candy shop and offices.

The new store also features a world-class golf shop, bike shop, ski shop, canoe and kayak shop, fishing shop, and gun and hunting shops. Ginna’s Café and Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory will serve gourmet soups and sandwiches, coffee and specialty drinks, and 24 flavors of homemade fudge.

About Kraus-Anderson

Established in 1897, Kraus-Anderson® Construction Company ( is one of the nation’s premier commercial general contractors and construction managers. Kraus-Anderson, an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. and has regional offices in Madison, Wis., Bismarck, N.D., and Duluth, Bemidji and Rochester Minn.

Photo by Richard Hurd

Savant Named One of the Top Financial Advisors in Wisconsin

Firm recognized for third consecutive year

MADISON, Wis. (Dec. 17, 2020)Savant Wealth Management (formerly Savant Capital Management), a nationally recognized, fee-only wealth management firm located in Madison and Park Falls, has been named one of the 10 Best Financial Advisors & Wealth Management Firms in Wisconsin by AdvisoryHQ. This is the third straight year Savant has received the recognition.

AdvisoryHQ, one of the fastest-growing review and ranking media for the financial advisory, investment, mortgage, banking, wealth management, and accounting industries, developed the rankings based on a wide range of filters, including fiduciary duty, independence, transparency, level of customized service, history of innovation, fee structure, quality of services provided, team excellence, and wealth of experience. The rankings are 100% independently researched and written – firms do not pay to be ranked nor are they made aware of the ranking until after the reviews have been completed and publicly published.

Savant earned a 5-star rating as a top financial advisor in Wisconsin because of its assessment-based approach, which utilizes its proprietary Ideal Futures Financial Health Assessment, a process that gives people a snapshot of their financial health; its client-focused mission and fee-only structure that assures all advice is given completely free of any conflicts of interest; and its focused clientele of serving the needs of high-net-worth individuals. To see the full review, click here.

For more information about Savant Wealth Management, visit

About Savant Wealth Management

Savant Wealth Management, formerly known as Savant Capital Management, is a leading independent, fee-only firm serving clients for 30 years with more than $9.3 billion in assets under management. Savant Wealth Management offers investment management, financial planning, retirement plan, and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. Savant also offers corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through its affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.

Savant is headquartered in Rockford, IL, with locations in Bloomington, Chicago, Downers Grove, Freeport, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Peoria, St. Charles, Sterling, and Wilmette, IL; Phoenix, AZ; Santa Fe, NM; Madison and Park Falls, WI; and McLean, VA. Please see Important Disclosures at

Neither rankings and/or recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, publications, media, or other organizations, nor the achievement of any professional designation, certification, degree, or license, or any amount of prior experience or success, should be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if Savant is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services.

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Oak Bank Selected as In Business Executive Choice Award Finalist

For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Virnoche

Oak Bank Selected as In Business Executive Choice Award Finalist

Fitchburg, WI – Oak Bank is honored to announce it has once again been named as an In Business magazine Executive Choice Award finalist in the banking for business category.

Area business leaders identify organizations they feel excel in their industry in 37 business-related categories, which means companies have achieved top-of-mind awareness in the business community to be named as Executive Choice Award recipients.

“We are honored to be recognized as an industry leader by the business community that we serve,” said Terry Taylor, Oak Bank President. “Our people make this recognition possible. Our associates work tirelessly with enthusiasm and integrity to create a great experience with each client interaction. Supporting our community is also a top priority and is accomplished through generous donations of time, talent and monetary contributions.”  

This recognition is particularly special this year. Oak Bank started 2020 off with a celebration of 20 years in business. The focus of the year pivoted quickly as COVID-19 took aim at partner businesses.

“2020 has been equal parts challenge and reward,” said Jim McNulty, Oak Bank, SVP Business Banking. “Everything we do is centered around helping businesses grow year over year. COVID-19 put that in jeopardy. All of us here were proud to find the path to PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans to provide our partner businesses the much-needed support.”

About Oak Bank

Oak Bank has been deeply rooted in the Fitchburg community and Madison area for 20 years, meeting the financial needs of homeowners and businesses by offering top-notch service, quick answers and unique solutions, all while supporting over 125 local nonprofits each year. Visit to learn more.


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Strang Madison Office Awarded 1st WELL Gold Certified Space in WI

Strang Press Release
811 E. Washington Ave. Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703

Strang Madison Office Awarded WELL Gold Certification
First WELL Certified Space in Wisconsin!

The architectural, engineering, and interior design firm Strang announced today that their Madison office has been awarded the first WELL Gold Certified project in the state of Wisconsin.

This prestigious distinction was awarded through the International WELL Building Institute’s WELL Building Standard™ (WELL), a performance-based certification system for measuring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing. Strang’s office earned this recognition based on seven categories of building performance— Air, Water, Light, Nourishment, Fitness, Comfort, and Mind.

This 8,730 SF office space, which also recently achieved LEED® Gold certification, implemented some of the following practices to achieve a WELL Certified™ Gold rating including: installing specialized HVAC systems to improve indoor air quality, offering quality filtration on drinking water, providing employees with healthy food options, acoustic planning, and designing spaces that promote mindfulness, physical activity, and employee comfort.

Katie Lowery, Director of Integrated Controls Systems, championed this project to ensure this space met all WELL Gold performance requirements.

“I’m so proud of our firm and design team to have achieved the first WELL Certified project in the State of Wisconsin! As a culture, we spend 90% of our time indoors and so it’s truly meaningful that our place of work contributes positively to our health.  The WELL Building Design Standard has raised the bar on what it means to have a healthy workplace, both physically and mentally.  Today’s climate has raised many concerns about maintaining health and our staff has the assurance that we are placing occupant health and well-being as a top priority through our design standards and operations.  We’re happy to have done what’s right for our own workplace and are even more excited to share our knowledge with clients who wish to do the same for theirs.”

– Katie Lowery, LEED AP, BD-C, WELL AP

Strang has been a leading practitioner of WELL™ designed facilities, continually seeking out ways in which we can transform our buildings and communities to empower us to live healthier, safer, and more productive lives. It is a great honor to be recognized for our efforts within our own Madison offices and demonstrate how Strang provides thoughtful design centered around health and wellness in the built environment.

About Strang

Established in 1935, Strang is an award-winning architecture, engineering, and interior design firm with offices in Madison and Waukesha. Our inclusive project approach allows us to provide exceptional design for the most unique and challenging projects within the science and technology, commercial, higher education and civic + cultural sectors.

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