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Success Stories

Nathan Drager started Quantum PC Services in 2012 from his home office in Door County, Wisconsin, working first as a consultant to identify his customers' and the area’s IT needs.  Tourism and small businesses drive the county’s economy which features hotels with picturesque views of Lake Michigan, rental cabins, quaint small towns with appealing shops, cherry orchards, beaches, and stretches of woodland for hiking and camping.  As the business became better known, demand kept it growing as it transitioned to ever-larger locations to accommodate new employees and a growing equipment supply. The company prides itself on having computers, routers, and other hardware on hand for when customers need something quickly. By 2018, Quantum PC Services had become a full-spectrum IT service provider and Nathan’s wife Erin was working in the business. The company had taken over all the space in its building and had a core group of eight productive and motivated employees.  In early 2020, the... Read More

Situation

Kelly Reynolds started Reynolds Packaging after many years in the soft packaging industry, where he developed his mechanical skills as a machine designer and builder. As Kelly noted, “Almost everything gets packaged in a plastic bag.” For many years he worked from his garage, later moving to a bay in Green Bay’s industrial park. By constantly improving his machines, Reynolds added value for customers with more speed on his production line and competitive pricing. He also began working with the packaging itself, developing a compostable packaging line. By the time Kelly’s wife Lisa left her corporate job and joined the company in 2014, they had two additional staff, both machine operators. After 15 years, they were primed for more growth but needed some direction.
 

Solution

Reynolds Packaging began consulting with the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 2014. Mentors Chuck Brys and Dave Stauffacher helped... Read More

Situation

Heather Varney’s Marine Corps career took an unexpected turn from munitions to aviation supply when she sustained a hand injury.  She later left the service as a disabled vet.  She met  Nick Weissenborn while working for an aircraft parts distribution company, and they soon connected as a team. “I respected how he always chose to do the right thing for the customer. It wasn’t about the money to him,” said Heather.  With Heather focused on the supply side, and Nick excelling in sales, they became, as she notes, “a force to be reckoned with.” They decided to start their own firm over coffee at a local Starbucks in January 2016. Their first stop after that fateful coffee was the SBA office in Milwaukee, where then-Lead EDS Mary Trimmier and Lead BOS Shane Mahaffy talked with them and then referred them to SCORE.

Solution

SCORE volunteers helped Heather and Nick develop a solid multi-year business plan and financial projections. They kept their day jobs... Read More

Situation
Thaime and Jesus Nañez came to Milwaukee as young immigrants. Thaime left Venezuela at the age of 20, got her bachelor’s degree, and worked in sales, marketing, and banking. Jesus came from Mexico (via Florida) at age 13 and, after graduating high school in Whitefish Bay, gained entrepreneurial experience in real estate, restaurants, and marketing. Both found ways to be of service in Milwaukee’s vibrant Latino community. The couple saw a business opportunity in a derelict farm building on a main road in Milwaukee’s south side Garden District. The question was how to accomplish their goal of bringing a venue for creative entertainment to the area. In April 2015, they bought the blighted property in a restaurant and hotel district and spent months restoring it. The building eventually became a charming red and white-painted farmhouse complete with a white picket fence along the road.
 

Solution
With the help of an SBA-backed Community Advantage loan... Read More

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