Harry S. Dennis III passed away on April 27, 2014.
Harry S. Dennis III passed away on April 27, 2014.

"Be bold, be brave, be strong and move forward!"

When Harry S. Dennis III walked into the room, more times than not, he was the smartest guy in that room.

So it is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that I inform OnMilwaukee.com readers that Harry passed away on Sunday, April 27, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis.

One of Harry’s greatest loves and the legacy he leaves behind is TEC –The Executive Committee. Harry was hired as a TEC chairman in 1974 by TEC’s founder, Bob Nourse. It was then that Harry formed his first TEC Group - TEC IV - which remains in existence 40 years later.

"Harry was best known for his intellectual brilliance and superb business savvy. All of us, TEC staff and chairmen, loved Harry for his unwavering adherence to TEC’s values, his absolute fairness and his huge heart. He always treated us like family," said Priscilla Kemp, who has succeeded Harry as president and CEO of TEC.

Harry began writing business insight columns for BizTimes and its predecessor, Small Business Times, long before I joined the company in 2002. Harry was a significant element of our company's brand. I cannot count the times over the years that readers remarked to me about how much they learned from and respected Harry.

Once a year, Harry booked a prominent guest author or consultant to come to Milwaukee to share their wisdom and knowledge about business or leadership. However, I always learned more during the dinner with Harry on the night before than from any of the so-called hot-shot experts he brought to town.

Soft-spoken and humble, Harry always tended to let others hold the spotlight. Over the years, he declined many offers to be THE keynote speaker at various events.

When Harry wasn't building TEC or sharing his wisdom with other CEOs, he could often be found flying his twin-engine Beechcraft Duke. Harry served in the Vietnam War, where he often flew bodies out of battlefields.

"He was a scrapper who backed down to no one. He affected so many - so much more than he ever realized…

Lovell's departure from UWM to Marquette leaves some serious shoes to fill.
Lovell's departure from UWM to Marquette leaves some serious shoes to fill.

Lovell leaves strong legacy at UWM

After a national search, Marquette University decided that the best candidate to be its next president was sitting in an office five miles across town.

Sources said it was Marquette that pursued Michael Lovell, rather than the other way around. After all, Lovell will leave behind a strong legacy of achievement at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lovell did not let the land-locked and lake-locked UWM campus stop him from expanding the school’s mission or its impact on the community.

Among his most significant accomplishments:

  • Development and construction of the UWM Innovation Campus, including the Innovation Accelerator and ABB Inc., in Wauwatosa.
  • Development of the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences and construction of the Global Water Center.
  • Creation of the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health at the former Pabst Brewery.
  • Creation of the UWM Mobile Innovation Lab, also known as the "App Brewery."
  • The launch of creative industry partnerships with businesses, including Johnson Controls Inc., G.E. Healthcare and Rockwell Automation Inc.

However, according to Vice Chancellor of University Relations and Communications Tom Luljak, the next UWM chancellor also will face some significant challenges. Among them:

1. Decreased state government funding. "As the proportion of money from the state goes down, tuition has gone up at all of our state universities, including UWM," Luljak said.

2. The need to fund UWM as a research university. "Currently, state GPR (general purpose revenue) is so low that our funding is comparable to the comprehensive universities in the system, not on the level Madison is funded," Luljak said.

3. The lack of pay raises for faculty and staff. "Some of the best faculty talent is being courted by universities outside of Wisconsin because their pay packages are so attractive," Luljak said. "Our faculty have had a 1 percent raise in the past five years while at the same time seeing their salary decrease because of the addition…

Sheboygan and Johnsonville Sausage are amused by Germany's attempt to trademark bratwurst.
Sheboygan and Johnsonville Sausage are amused by Germany's attempt to trademark bratwurst. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Sheboygan, Johnsonville Sausage say 'nein' to Germany

Sheboygan-based Johnsonville Sausage LLC says it is "as much amused as it is surprised" that the European Union, in negotiating the terms of a new trade deal with the United States, is pushing to trademark several different foods – including bratwurst – that have originated in an EU country.

"As we understand it, because the bratwurst was born in Germany, any American-made brat would have to be referred to as a 'bratwurst-like sausage' under these proposed restrictions," said Johnsonville owner Ralph Stayer. "Where do we draw the line? Do we think that the EU should instead use terms such as 'spaghetti-like' and 'beer-style' if those items truly originated in China? No, we don't think so."

Imagine Wisconsin cheesemakers having to market "Swiss-like cheese." Or Wisconsin restaurants having to serve "Brit-style fish and chips" on Good Friday.

Stayer notes that his hometown of Sheboygan has long been known as the "Bratwurst Capital of the World." In fact, the title was legally given to the town by Sheboygan County Judge John Bolgert back in 1970.

Stayer's parents started their butcher shop in 1945. Since then, the family has produced more bratwurst than any other American brand.

"We believe that no brat, regardless of its nationality, should be used to divide us," Stayer said. "Brats, by their very nature, bring people together – in backyard cookouts and many special occasions."

Germans, including some of my ancestors, have been fleeing their homeland to come to America since 1670. Sorry, Germany. Your brats, your beers, your sauerkraut and more have all melted into our American pot. And we’re not giving them back.

Steve Jagler is executive editor of BizTimes.

Milwaukee's civic leaders hailed the announcement of $200 million of private funds being committed to a new arena, but work still has to be done. (Photo: David Bernacchi)

Heavy lifting still ahead for Bucks

There was a whole lot of celebrating going on during the press conference at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, where Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced today he plans to sell the team to an investment group led by private equity investors Marc Lasry and Wes Edens for $550 million.

The new owners committed to contributing another $100 million toward construction of a new arena. Kohl also committed to giving a "gift" of $100 million toward the new arena cause. The announcements left civic leaders beaming.

However, that leaves at least another $200 million to be raised for a new arena. And that is where a series of unanswered questions lies:

How much public tax support will be needed to build a new arena?

Will that public support come from the city? From the county? From the region? From the state? (Hint: I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance for regional or state tax support for a downtown Milwaukee arena.)

Who will own the new arena? Although the new Bucks owners and Kohl are contributing a combined $200 million, will they cede ownership to a public entity, as the Bradley Center is owned?

Will the public funding for the new arena be linked to funding for other cultural assets, such as the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Milwaukee County Zoo and the Wisconsin Center?

Will the powers that be seek to sell the naming rights for a new arena? If so, what would be the asking price, and who might be willing to pay it?

Where would the new arena be built?

Will there be a public advisory referendum on public support for a new arena or community cultural asset investment?

Will the new owners keep the Bucks’ current management team intact?

In the public relations and political campaigns that will need to be waged to gain public support, what will be the counter to the kinds of statements we’re already seeing in the Twittersphere: "Why should my tax dollars be paid to help billionaires hire millionaires to play basketball?"

Will the Bucks win the NBA lot…