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Past Tours

2014

January 14th           NOAA Weather

We had a presentation at the National Weather Service Office presented by Jeff last. Jeff is the Severe Weather Coordinating Meteorologist for the weather service. Jeff showed us how data is collected by automated weather stations, hydrogen balloons that reach an altitude of 95,000 feet, weather satellites and weather spotters.  We saw the staff tracking the weather system that was in the area that day and learned how the severe weather data is disseminated to the public and various agencies.

 

February 11th          Green Bay Packaging     === Tour Cancelled ===

Next on the schedule is the Green Bay Packaging production facility at 831 Radisson St. in Green Bay. The firm is a manufacturer of corrugated packaging materials.

Because of the factory environment we will be equipped with headphones for the tour. Tour participation is limited to twenty men.

 

March 11th               ACE Marine

On March 11th 38 of us toured the production facilities of ACE manufacturing. ACE stands for Aluminum Center of Excellence. The are currently about one half through an order to manufacture aluminum medium response boats for the US Coast Guard. Jeff Frank the Production Manager for ACE gave a presentation on the facility on their operation. Since they started production of the boats they have reduced the time to complete one boat from 10,ooo hours to about 4,000 hours. They have partnered with their workforce and sought continuous improvement. After the presentation we toured the facility and saw the boats set up in different stages of assembly.   We saw the propulsion systems, engines, the welding  and finish work.

 

March 25th              Green Bay Curling Club

Harry Maier one of our members led us on a tour of the Green bay Curling Club. Harry and his assistants told us about the history of curling, their facility and invited us to throw a few innings of curling. We heard about their history, the technology behind building and maintaining an excellent ice sheet. They showed us sweeping and helped the men aim and throw the stone. All the guys had a great time at this informative and fun outing.

 

April 8th                   N.E.W. Plastics

The Club took a trip to Luxemberg to visit NEW Plastics. We had a presentation on the company, saw how NEW Plastic recycles their industrial waste and witnessed the production of the bottles that NEW makes for the food industry. We also observed their recycle plastic operation in the manufacture of structural plastic elements for decking, furniture and other applications. After the tour some of the members took advantage of the generosity of some of the local businesses in Luxemberg. We were treated to free samples of some of Salmon Meat products. Ron’s Cheese also provided members 10% off purchases at the cheese store.

 

May 7th                   Spring 2014 Tour

In spite of blustery weather our intrepid tour members headed to Door and Kewaunee Counties for a day of fun and enlightenment. Our first stop was the Door County maritime Museum. We took docent guided tours of the museum and the floating exhibit, the Tug John Purvis. We all agreed that there is far too much to see to do this in the two hours allotted. I know I’ll schedule a repeat visit to see everything.

Next on our list was a tour of the Peninsular Ag Research Station and the Potato seed bank. We had presentations on what the research station is working on to assist the fruit and vegetable growers in the area. The potato seed bank has the largest bank of potato seed in the country. They store seed and not cuttings so the seed is genetically identical to what is growing in the wild. They supply researchers throughout the world with seed stock to assist in the development of new strains.

Then it was off to a great meal at Bistro 42 and a tour of the Door Peninsula Winery and Distillery. We were treated to samples of their wines, their gin and chocolates.

Next we headed to Pagels Ponderosa to see how they handled 4300 milking cows daily. We saw their feed storage system, calving barns, rotary milking parlor, waste handling and energy generation. They are almost completely a self sustaining organization. We viewed the entire operation right from the comfort and convenience of our motor coach. The dairy was designed so that tours could drive threw the farm in their buses.

We returned to Green Bay just in time to see the sun come out. A good time was had by all.

 

May 20th                 Gas Plant – Kaukauna WI

We had an hour presentation on the technology of this natural gas fired generating station near Kaukauna Wis.. We  learned how the plant generates power with a gas turbine and then uses the heat from the turbine to make steam to power a steam turbine. We saw how the Company uses the waste water from the Kaukauna Sewage Treatment System in the cooling towers to condense the steam to return it to the system.  We walked around the plant and saw all the parts of the system. This was a great tour.

 

June 17th                 Symbolic Creations  

July 16, 2014         Jones Sign Company

Thirty-one members of the Brown County Retired Men’s club toured the Jones Sign Company on July 16, 2014.   The following employees of Jones Sign led the four tour groups: Todd Patrickus – Executive Vice President, Scott Bertrand -Local Sales Manager, Dave Heideman-National Sales, and Jim Merriman- Major Project Sales.   In addition, Matt Czyl worked with us to coordinate the tour and arrange parking for our members.

The tour included observing the four project lines at work with welding and fabrication in progress.    The tour leaders pointed out various innovative methods to improve the flow of the work for specific projects.   The size of the “Chicago Project” was very impressive.  Other work areas that were toured included an aluminum sheet sanding machine, cutting and sheet metal bending equipment, a computerized water jet cutting machine, painting booths, and small sign construction areas.   A sign for the Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee, in the final stage of completion, was available for viewing.   Several members said they were impressed with the innovation and six sigma techniques and tools in use that made the fabrication of the signs efficient.

 

Tuesday August 19,2014   11:00 am – 12:00 noon

KI Inc.   1330 Bellevue St., Green Bay, WI 54302

Information about the Tour:

KI  Inc manufactures movable walls, desk and chairs for classrooms and conference rooms, cafeteria tables, office furniture, patient chairs, medical recliners, chairs of all types, stools, lounge seating, lobby benches, multiple seating, school library furniture, task lighting, auditorium seating, fixed seating, lecture hall seating, seminar tables, lecterns, dormitory furniture, filing cabinets, lateral files, panel systems and more.

Forty-two members of the Brown County Retired Men’s club toured the KI Inc. Bellevue Street plant on August 19, 2014.   The following KI employees led three tour groups: Wade Sicklinger, Jamie Williams and Debbie Hartwell.  In addition, John Kersten, the Operations Manager, coordinated the tour.

The tour included observing many products being prepared for assembly and being assembled.   Like our last tour, KI is using innovative methods to increase production, lower costs and improve safety for their workers.   The tour guides brought out important concepts that they were using to achieve those goals such as: Lean Manufacturing, Point of Use inventory methods, and outsourcing of various small components.   We watched the operation of the plastic injection molding machines and the plating operation.  One member asked if there were any environmental issues associated with the plating processes.  Our guide explained that the company takes great efforts to eliminate any environmental impact from their processes.   We also viewed the robotic wire frame and metal tube bending machines.   We ended the tour observing the automated welding and powder coating areas, and the fabrication of a cushioned chair seat.

Many members said they enjoyed the tour and were impressed with the type of manufacturing companies we have in the Green Bay area.

 

Date: Tuesday  September 23, 2014

Location: Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery

Information about the Tour:

Parallel 44 Vineyard & Winery: From vine to glass, at our Wisconsin winery we strive to make the finest quality Wisconsin wine. Our wines are made from Northern Varietal Grapes, some grown right here, in our vineyards, on the Frozen Tundra of Wisconsin. We are located just 15 miles east of Green Bay in the glacial etched valley of beautiful Northeast Wisconsin, just off the western shore of Lake Michigan (Which we, as Packer Fans, proudly refer to as “The Frozen Tundra.”). With a beautiful Wisconsin landscape as our backdrop, we invite you to try our award winning Wisconsin wines and explore your tastes. We refer to ourselves as pioneers in Wisconsin winemaking, and as such we are committed to bringing you balanced, fruit forward wines that will delight your palate and celebrate our little slice of the world of wines. Come stroll our vineyard, tour our winery and sip our wines! Parallel 44 Winery – Explore Your Taste!

Address:  N2185 Sleepy Hollow Rd. Kewaunee, WI 54216

Driving Directions:  From Downtown Green Bay – Take Main Street 7 miles south east to Highway 29.  Continue east  on Hwy 29 for approximately 13 miles to the intersection of Hwy 29 and Sleepy Hollow Road, then travel three miles south on Sleepy Hollow Road to Parallel 44. (approximately 35 minutes total drive time)

Special Notes:  The cost for participating in the wine tasting at this event is $2.00 per person for five samples.   The tour alone is free.

 

Summary of the Winery Tour at Parallel 44

September 23, 2014       Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery

Forty members of the Brown County Retired Men’s club, along with eighteen spouses and guests, enjoyed the first day of fall under clear blue skies and temperatures at a balmy 70 degrees at the Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery near Kewaunee. Forty-eight of the fifty-eight guests sampled five different kinds of Parallel 44 wines as they made their way from the patio, to the vineyard, and then to the grape processing area.

Steve Johnson, owner of Parallel 44, led the one hour tour of the vineyard and winery explaining the varieties of grapes used in producing their wines. In the vineyard, many questions were asked about the planting, pruning and watering of the grape vines. Steve explained how our climate is similar to the wine growing areas in France and Italy, with the exception of our colder winter temperatures.  The tour continued to the winery where the pressing and fermenting processes were described.

Several members mentioned it was great to have so many spouses join in the tour to meet other members and their wives. A great time was had by all and everyone agreed that the wine was very tasty and declared the tour a total success.

 

Summary of the Winery Tour at Milo C. Huempfner Outpatient VA Clinic

October 14, 2014       Milo C. Huempfner Outpatient VA Clinic Tour

At least 50 members of the Brown County Retired Men’s club, along with several spouses and guests, toured the Milo C. Huempfner Outpatient VA Clinic on October 14, 2014.

Veterans John Good and Anne Rye led two groups on the tour of the facilities. The tour included an explanation of the services provided to veterans at the new clinic.  It was noted that the clinic was not a hospital, but served the outpatient needs of veterans.   Medical staff are gradually being added and services are slowly being phased in by using the “crawl, walk, run” philosophy, so that the start-up of each new service is done correctly. Over the next six months the clinic will provide the following services: behavioral health, laboratory work, pharmacy services, rehab prosthetics and physical therapy, podiatry, eye care, hearing aids and dental care.   The tour guides also informed each group that other services such as cardiology, dermatology, urology, and other specialty care will be phased in over the next year. The VA Clinic hopes to treat 7,000 veterans in the next year, eventually serving up to 20,000 veterans in Northeast Wisconsin.

The new clinic is an inviting, open and bright facility, poised to perform a great job providing our veterans with the health care they need and deserve.

 

Green Bay Area Retired Men’s Club

Tour Summary 2012-13

                                                                                                             Attendance

1. Adv. Bus. & Mfg Ctr. – Ch. of Com. @ NWTC

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon                                                           31

2.  the Granite co. – A Vision in Stone

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00                                                             41

3.  Beerntsen’s Candies, Inc.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon                                                    52

4.  Medalcraft Mint, Inc.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 from 11:00 – 12:00 noon                                                                  42

5.  Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 from 11:00 – 12:00 noon                                                              32

6.  La Force – Your Door Opening Specialist

Tuesday, December 4, 2012 from 11:00 – 12:00 noon                                                                 41

7.   Family Shooting Academy

Monday,  January 21, 2013, 10.00 a.m. – 11:00                                                                           34

8.  National Railroad Museum

Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00                                                                           26

9.  Greenwood Energy

Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon                                                                32

10.  Wisconsin Log Homes

Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 11:00 A.M. – 12:00 noon                                                                    36

11.  Vandervest Harley – Davidson of Green Bay                                                               

Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon                                                                         51

12.  All Day Tour – Kohler/Milwaukee Areas   

Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 7:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m                                                                       36

13.  Green Bay Decking                              

Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon                                                                       43

14 .  St. Mary’s Hospital Green Roof (Rooftop Garden)                                                        

Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon                                                                      40

15.  Green Bay Botanical Garden                                                                                                 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon                                                                         41

.                                                                                                                                              _______

 

                                                                                                                        Total                   577

                                                                                                                         Average/trip        41

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2013

Date                              Tour Site

August 13th            House of Speed

We started the season on August 13th at Don Beebe’s House of Speed/Synergy Field. Scotty Smith the owner of the House of Speed gave a fascinating description of the Synergy Field artificial grass indoor field. The field is designed to simulate grass to the extent that ‘rug’ burns and joint injuries are eliminated. The field is available for team practices or to coaches for individual training. We also saw athletes training with House of Speed staff to develop skills necessary for them to improve and get to the next level in their competitive sports.

Scott demonstrated a dedication to providing the best of equipment, methods and staff to help athletes get the competitive edge.

 

September 24th      Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation

September 24th we traveled to the Department satellite office to hear a presentation from Chad Degrave, the Department’s Design Supervisor on the USH 41 upgrades.

We learned about some of the challenges in the construction of the areas largest public works project in history.

Chad told us about schedules, upcoming activities and other interesting facets of the project. We were also informed about the upcoming conversion of USH 41 to interstate status and the USH 10/USH 41 and 441 renovations.

Members also had an opportunity to view the scale model of the STH 29/USH 41 interchange to get a clearer view of the construction.

 

October 29th           Seura Manufacturing

Update: Oct .29th we visited Seura Manufacturing to learn about this 10 year old firms success in the electronics and mirror industries. We had a presentation from CEO and owner Tim Gilbertson on their line of products. He talked about the many things Seura does to stay competitive in a very competitive field.

Tim and his production manager provided a tour of the manufacturing facility for their varied product lines. Products included etched and lighted mirrors for commercial customers, televisions within mirrors for commercial and residential customers and the Seura line of televisions they manufacture for outside applications including wet and cold environments.

 

November 5th         C.A. Lawton Co.

Tuesday Nov.5th we headed to the CA Lawton Co. to view the manufacturing facility of this 134 year old family owned company. Lawton competes under the Calco Brand in many different industrial segments producing large cast iron and machined components for varied machinery.  We had a presentation from Alex Lawton who is the 5th CEO of the family owned business. He discussed the steps CA Lawton is staying competitive in a business that has shrunk considerably in the post WW II period.   We saw the entire work flow from incoming scrap metal processing to the final product finishing.  We also toured the pattern making operations and the machine shops where Lawton can do final machining of the castings.

 

December 3rd         City of Green Bay

Ten of us toured the City of Green Bay Department of Public Works Municipal Garage at  519 S. Oneida St. on Dec. 3rd. We saw how the City uses the latest technology to maintain over 450 miles of city streets  during the winter.

We saw their winter operations tracking system, brine mixing and storing and the state of the art  equipment they employ to deliver services efficiently and safety