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GCDC recognizes Empire Media, Faith Engineering
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MONTICELLO - The Green County Development Corporation recognized community and business leaders at its annual dinner meeting Tuesday at Barnaby's Monticello House in Monticello.

Empire Media Group and Faith Engineering Inc. were recognized this year with Business of the Year awards.

Business of the Year is awarded to existing businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to the county's economic growth through innovation, job creation, new investment or extraordinary, longtime interest in supporting others in business.

The Small Business of the Year award recipient, Empire Media Group, Monroe, specializes in media and has been growing its business since 2012. Empire Media Group is both an advertising agency and a media production facility - a combination that allows the company to retain control of a campaign from concept to deployment.

In 2013, EMG doubled its number of full-time jobs from two to four; remodeled its downtown Monroe office next to Minhas Micro Distillery; launched the MovieTime Trivia advertising program at Goetz Theatres and Sky-Vu Drive In; and doubled its sales from 2012.

The Outstanding Large Business of the Year award was presented to Faith Engineering, Inc. Faith Engineering has specialized in engineering, consulting, machining and controls for more than 25 years. Faith provides solutions from individual machine components to turn-key equipment fully designed, built, tested, installed and supported in-house.

Faith Engineering utilizes the latest technologies, such as computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing and computer numerical control software to produce highly precisioned parts. Manual machining centers produce irregular or one-off components. Various welding and fabricating workstations, as well as a large assembly area, provide the capacity to manufacture, assemble and validate machinery.

In 2013, Faith Engineering expanded to its new headquarters facility on Wisconsin 69 between Monticello and Monroe. The new facility consists of three buildings that provide approximately 27,000 square feet at ground level. The machine shop contains an arsenal of machining equipment, including manual- and CNC-controlled mills and lathes. The new space allows additions to the machining equipment, such as the ML26 Lathe and RH33 Mill. A lean, manufacturing layout of equipment gives Faith the ability to streamline the manufacturing process and reduce production costs.

The fab/assembly shop contains a welding area, the waterjet, shear and press brake operations, and a downdraft polishing and grinding table used primarily for stainless steel. The larger assembly area also lends itself to the leaner manufacturing workflow and to a higher capacity for assembling more projects concurrently.

The repair shop is used mostly for agriculture and commercial equipment repair and other custom operations.

The final award of the evening, the 2014 Richard B. Schmied Leadership Award, was presented to Ron Spielman, Monroe.

The award commemorates Richard B. Schmied for exemplifying the character of a "true leader."

Spielman is known for his role as special projects advisor at Monroe Clinic, but GCDC also wanted to recognize him for the other roles he plays in the county, and for the impact his involvement has had on the people of Green County.

"Ron has been an incredible mentor to me in my new role with GCDC, and as a new resident of the county," Mike Johnson, GCDC executive director, said. "His involvement and leadership in Green County communities and his passion for seeing this area succeed is unparalleled."

Following the awards, the evening's keynote speaker, Walter Jankowski, a market research consultant with Chicago-based reInvention LLC, gave a presentation about the generation of millennials in the workforce and a look at how the community of today can attract and retain the workforce of tomorrow.

Green County Development Corporation is a multi-jurisdictional, economic development corporation, formed to bring professional, economic development expertise to its member communities and to create a competitive advantage to spur job creation and new investments. The organization is building the economic future of Green County communities and businesses through public-private partnerships. More information is available on the GCDC website at