Port’s fast-growing Franklin Energy named Large Business of the Year
Some awards recognize individual efforts and achievements, but the Business of the Year awards presented by Ozaukee Economic Development are a nod to firms that stand out for their corporate presence.
The award program, which was started in 2013, focuses on businesses that have seen significant economic and job growth over the past five years. Attention is also given to their community leadership.
Topping the list of award-winning companies for 2016 is Franklin Energy, headquartered in Port Washington, which was named Large Business of the Year.
The company is a national leader in the administration and implementation of energy-efficiency programs.
According to OED Executive Director Kathleen Schilling, Franklin Energy has seen substantial growth over the past five years.
During that time, the company has expanded its “footprint” from nine states, 17 corporate clients and 210 employees to 120 clients in 33 states, and a workforce of more than 500.
Beyond its corporate base on Franklin Street in Port, the firm has opened four new offices this year alone, and is in the process of opening four more.
Schilling noted the company “gives back to a variety of community interests,” including the Port Washington Land Regatta Run/Walk, the Port Washington-Saukville School District, the Port Washington Economic Development Committee and Be3, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering women.
Founded in 1994, Franklin Energy received the Energy Star Sustained Excellence award for five consecutive years and was awarded Outstanding Energy Efficient Technology Deployment of the Year in 2013 by the Association of Energy Services Professionals.
Newman Chevrolet in the Town of Cedarburg was named Mid-Size Business of the Year.
Although founded in 1979, the auto dealership has seen steady growth in recent years.
In 2011, the company expanded its current facilities on Wauwatosa Road. Newman now has more than 40 employees.
The company is a full-service Chevrolet dealership, selling and servicing new and used vehicles throughout the region.
Newman is also a major supporter of recreational activities in the Cedarburg area, with a special focus on the Little League program.
The dealership has a long record of supporting the Cedarburg Junior Women’s Club, the Grafton Little League, the Cedar Creek Bandshell, North Shore Soccer and a host of area festivals.
Commerce State Bank, based in Cedarburg but also served by an office in Saukville, was named Small Business of the Year.
The bank was established in 2006.
In 2014, it settled into expanded facilities on Lincoln Boulevard in Cedarburg.
Schilling said Commerce State Bank has continued to see growth in recent years, including a significant boost in profits in 2014 and 2015.
She said the bank remains a strong community partner, with key staff members involved with the Greater Cedarburg Foundation, Ozaukee County Chambers of Commerce and area Rotary Clubs.
The bank is also a financial supporter of a host of community causes, including the Cedarburg Chamber of Commerce and Cedarburg Firemen’s Park.
All three businesses will be honored when OED hosts its annual Economic Forecast Breakfast from 7:30 to 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Ozaukee Pavilion on the Ozaukee County Fairgrounds in Cedarburg.
Tickets are $25 or $185 for a table of eight.
For more information or to order tickets, contact Schilling at 238-7730 or
OED traces its roots to 1989, created at the urging of leaders from the public and private sector who thought economic growth in the county would benefit from more collaborative efforts.
Image Information: OZAUKEE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT has named its businesses of the year of 2016. The winners include (top photo) Newman Chevrolet in the Town of Cedarburg, Franklin Energy in downtown Port Washington and Commerce State Bank in Cedarburg. Photos by Mark Jaeger