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Hudson Brewing, Bosch, NDTS honored as St. Croix's top businesses

A business from Hudson and two from New Richmond will be honored for their achievements by members of the St. Croix County Economic Development Corp.

The Hudson Brewing Company LLC of Hudson and NDT Solutions, Inc. and Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc. of New Richmond have been named emerging business, small business and business-of-the-year for 2012, respectively, by members of the St. Croix Economic Development Corp.

Current EDC president Roger Humphrey announced the winners Thursday afternoon.

Larry Knegendorf, former manager at Baldwin Telecom and a community volunteer, is the recipient of the 2012 Director's Award.

All the companies will be honored at a banquet on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the R&D Banquet Hall in rural New Richmond

"In many ways, the 2012 winners reflect the diverse business base found in St. Croix County," said Humphrey. "Hudson Brewing follows a growing trend of micro breweries that have sprung up in major metropolitan areas and smaller communities like Hudson.

"NDT Solutions is perhaps better known outside of St. Croix County, and represents a rising star in providing technical services to aviation companies on a global scale. Products from Bosch Packaging are designed and built in New Richmond, but are shipped to worldwide customers," he said.

"Through Larry Knegendorf's vision and leadership, a rural telecommunications company based in Baldwin provides fiber optic technology carrying data, voice, and video signals to home and businesses," said Humphrey. "Broadband is the super-highway of modern times and Larry is commended for extending it to many communities in St. Croix County. Larry also has a long, successful history of assisting local industry, creating community vision, and expanding senior living opportunities."

About the 2012 Winners

Hudson Brewing Company is the 2012 Emerging Business of the Year (based in St. Croix County and in business for five or fewer years).

The company was launched in mid-2012 by the husband and wife team of Greg and Molly Harris and operates in 6,000 square feet of leased space at 1510 Swasey Street in Hudson. Products are brewed under the name American Sky Beer, proclaimed as 'The Next Great American Beer'. Flagship beers include Amber Salute, Tailgunner Golden, and USA IPA.

The beers have an aviation theme which is inspired by American heroism and U.S. aviators of World War II. The production facility features a taproom called The Hangar that is open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

The three flagship beers are available on-tap or in 6-packs. The Hangar also features limited run, specialty beers. A distribution network is being established in the St. Croix Valley and across Wisconsin, making American Sky Beers available in liquor stores, restaurants, and bars.

NDT Solutions is the 2012 Small Business of the Year (29 or fewer employees).

The company was founded in 1999 by its owner-president Jesse Skramstad.

The NDTS lists the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Boeing, Northrop Grumman Corp., Honda Aircraft, Cirrus Design, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as past and current clients.

NDT Solutions specializes in ultrasonic, eddy current, and thermographic inspection technologies for these aviation-related companies.

In 2012, the company outgrew its leased space in New Richmond and acquired a hangar at the New Richmond Airport and converted it into office and laboratory space to meet the growing demands for its products and services.

Bosch Packaging Technology is the 2012 Business of the Year (30 or more employees).

The company is a worldwide leader in designing and manufacturing packaging machinery.

From the New Richmond facility, Bosch supplies packaging machines to companies in North and Central America involved in the packaging of food, confectionery, pharmacy/medical, and other products.

Just over 200 associates are employed in New Richmond plus another 35-40 at the Shell Lake facility. The Bosch division of Packaging Technology is based in Waiblingen, Germany.

Last year, Bosch achieved the Green Tier status from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for its commitment to maintain and improve environmentally proactive practices. Pres Lawhon is the president of Bosch Packaging Technology, Inc.

Larry Knegendorfled Baldwin Telecom for several decades.

The rural telco initially provided phone service to customers in the Baldwin-Woodville area of St. Croix County.

In 1982 its board of directors added cable television services. Under Knegendorf's direction, high speed internet and cable television extended Baldwin Telecom's services to Hammond, Knapp, Roberts, and the Town of Hudson.

In 2002, Baldwin Telecom was recognized as the first independent telco in Wisconsin to deploy fiber-to-the-home technology in all new subdivisions. A major deployment of fiber-to-the-home was completed throughout the Town of Troy in 2011.

Knegendorf found time to serve as Woodville's president and currently serves as trustee on the village board. He remains active in retirement and serves on the board of directors of Park View Community Campus, a nursing home and assisted living complex in Woodville.

Knegendorf is vacationing at the time of the banquet and will be honored at a later date.

This is the 19th annual business recognition program for St. Croix EDC.

The EDC was established in 1994 as a countywide organization that operates as the independent economic development arm of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Reflective activities include marketing and communications, business retention, expansion, recruitment, new incorporations, and legislative advocacy.

The Feb. 21st awards banquet is sponsored by Bremer Bank, Eckberg Lammers Law Firm, First Bank of Baldwin, First National Community Bank, WESTconsin Credit Union, Wipfli CPAs and Consultants, Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation, and Xcel Energy.