Two local firms garner state honors…againThe Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network announced March 24 the winners of the second annual listing of Companies to Watch in the state.
The Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network announced March 24 the winners of the second annual listing of Companies to Watch in the state.
For the second year in a row, two companies based in River Falls made the list of 33 exemplary businesses: Air Motion Systems, 674 Highland Drive and NCCM, 715 St. Croix St. Last time the honorees were Interfacial Solutions and FiberStar.
The Edward Lowe Foundation developed the Companies to Watch award program to honor second-stage companies “…that demonstrate high performance in the marketplace; exhibit innovative products, services or processes; or otherwise make their company worth watching.”
As part of the award, AMS and NCCM receive the prestige of being recognized, an invitation to a May 5 awards program in Madison and reserved seats at a complimentary leadership retreat.
State Department of Commerce Secretary Paul Jadin said he was pleased to recognize the businesses making the CTW list saying, “These companies are poised for future growth and will help drive investment and job creation in Wisconsin.”
WEN Director Gayle Kugler said about the list, “CTW acknowledges companies at the critical stage of growth where financial potential, concept and management have been established, and attracting talented workers, solid vendor relationships and access to peer learning are key components of future growth.”
AMS perfects printing
AMS leads as North America’s manufacturer of high-performance ultra-violet (UV) systems for the printing industry.
From conventional UV to LED UV systems, AMS focuses on technology innovation and customer satisfaction to fuel its success.
That has included such breakthroughs as perfecting the LED UV printing process to dry ink instantly and to produce with high speed and low cost but without heat or wasted energy.
The company moved its operations from Colorado to River Falls in 2008, built a LEED-certified green building in the Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park, and earned technology-zone tax credits from the state Department of Commerce.
The Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation awarded AMS its 2009 Innovation Award, which honors businesses that distinguish themselves through creative products, job creation, and local economic improvement.
AMS President and CEO Steve Metcalf said, “We were thrilled to be notified of the award,” adding that due to spring break, he didn’t learn of the honor until a week after he’d been contacted.
And, he said AMS had to share the news for another week, until after WEN announced what companies made the CTW list. Metcalf said WBD nominated the company late in 2010, and he completed an “extensive application” that went to the UW Extension, the WBD, The Edward Lowe Foundation and the WEN.
Asked what characteristics make AMS successful, Metcalf said, “I believe the factors that set AMS apart most for this award have been our ability and demonstrated commitment to innovation and growth from new products, and the strength and talents of our entire team here in River Falls and around the country.”
NCCM masters manufacturing
NCCM CEO Brent Niccum, along with wife Julie as company president, and a small team of associates, started their company in 2008.
They leased space in the River Falls Industrial Center and established their manufacturing headquarters.
The business provides technological solutions for the mill-roll business, custom sizing and fitting the rolls to the specific needs of their customers.
NCCM purchased from 3M in 2009, the company’s leading technological solution for mill rolls, which are typically used for industrial operations such as continuous-coil or sheet-processing lines involving wringer, oiler, tension/bridle, or support-roll applications.
NCCM sells its mill rolls to 30 value-added resellers around the world.
The St. Croix EDC honored NCCM as its 2009 Emerging Business of the Year. The Niccums say the director of WEN nominated their company for the CTW list.
Asked about their secret to success, Julie replied, “NCCM has taken a strong position and commitment to a being a leader in industry to our employees, in benefits, culture and opportunities.”
She said the company provides excellent benefits, training and education to empower employees to grow. NCCM promotes from within and encourages everyone to be both a leader and team player.
“We believe this dedication and investment to our employees has been one of the main reasons for our success,” she said. “We have high standards in customer service in quality, service and commitment and with happy employees, this is easily achieved.”
Julie said NCCM is also committed to keeping its manufacturing operation based in the United States.
She explains that new-product development will be something to watch in the future since NCCM is a technology company, “We are already at work developing potential new products.”