Door County Business Owners Mentor International Students

The international group of students poses at the Coast Guard Station.

• Entrepreneurs from Israel and Jordan are visiting Wisconsin for a month through a program funded in part by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Professional Exchanges Program, and UW – Green Bay’s College of Professional Programs and Graduate Studies. The program is directed by Jay Harris.

John Hippensteel of Sturgeon Bay, a professional engineer and owner of Lake Michigan Wind & Sun, is serving as a mentor for Aiyiman Matter of Israel and Rami Al Qadi of Jordan. These men are building solar and wind energy businesses in their countries and look to Hippensteel for technical expertise and knowledge of this industry.

“It is a pleasure to work with these young people and do what I can to help them pursue their dreams,” said Hippensteel. “Furthermore, can you imagine a better way to bring understanding of our different cultures to each other, to help break down the myths built up my all the misinformation we receive from the media?”

The group of visiting men and women are working on business plans ranging from environmental and cultural immersion programs to automobile repair services to dental, medical and therapeutic services to reuse, recycling and sustainability practices to theatrical and artistic entertainment services to solar and wind energy. Business leaders from Northeast Wisconsin are volunteering their time as mentors to assist these entrepreneurs who are taking classes at UWGB.

For more information contact John Harris at 920.309.0784 or John Hippensteel at 920.559.3337.

• Door County businesses are partnering with the Door County YMCA in their efforts to raise money for the 2011 Strong Kids Campaign with special offers throughout the month of April.

A portion of the proceeds, as designated by each business, will go towards the Door County YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. For example, Cornucopia Kitchen Corner will be donating 10 percent of their sales each Monday in April to the campaign, while Fatzo’s will donate $1 for every pizza sold and Van’s Bar and Grill will donate $1 for every fish fry sold. Specific details on the specials available at all the participating business will be available soon.

The Strong Kids Campaign is the annual campaign to provide funds for scholarships and affordable programs “for all” in Door County regardless of age or financial need. In 2010, the community helped the Door County YMCA raise $410,000 to support this program. The goal for the 2011 campaign is $425,000.

For more information about the Business Campaign or to participate, contact Nancy Felhofer at the Door County YMCA at 920.743.4949 or e-mail [email protected].

• The Door County Economic Development Corporation and the UW – Green Bay Small Business Development Center will be offering free, one-on-one business counseling sessions on Thursday, April 7 from 9 am to 5 pm for new or existing business owners in Door County.

Chuck Brys, business counselor for the Small Business Development Center, will be providing advice on business planning, financing and other issues. Brys is a CPA and former chief financial officer for several Wisconsin companies, with over 30 years of business experience and knowledge to share with local entrepreneurs.

Individual, confidential sessions will be held at the Door County Business Development Center at 185 East Walnut Street in Sturgeon Bay. An appointment is required and can be made by contacting Cindy Wick at 920.743.3113 ext. 200 or e-mail cindy@