Laura, while taking a short break from helping make another IEA employee event a success.

Laura, while taking a short break from helping make another IEA employee event a success.

Laura Barcalow – 25 Years of Service...and Counting

Engendren recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of one of its highly valued employees: Laura Barcalow, our reigning queen of longevity. Nobody has been here longer.

Laura is one of those every company wishes they had more of. She handles hundreds of different tasks every week in support of dozens of people in the company --- and she always does it with a smile.

During her tenure with Engendren and its predecessor, IEA, Inc., Laura has worked at three different company addresses.  And while her job description says she reports to the CEO, she feels she really serves every employee. Whether it’s travel arrangements or supplies or cell phones or even advice, Laura has always been there when needed.

Currently, she is serving as both the “face of Engendren” at our reception desk and the “voice of Engendren” handling incoming calls.  People she has never met often comment on her pleasant and professional demeanor once they come into her world.

In this era of an increasingly mobile work force that changes jobs frequently, Laura’s loyalty and flawless attitude are more and more unique and therefore recognized and appreciated by everyone who works with her.

Laura is not one seek the limelight.  In fact, it is very difficult to snap a picture of her because she actively deflects attention onto anyone but herself.  But since she is also the lead coordinator of our best company events, including the recent Christmas with Santa and Open House, we were able to sneak a shot when she wasn’t prepared.

Best wishes to Laura and to her continuing career at Engendren. Thank you, Laura --- for everything from everybody.

A Merry Christmas Indeed

Engendren employees and their families celebrated our 9th annual “Christmas with Santa and Open House” on December 5.  Once again, it proved to be one of our most enjoyable employee events of the year.

Over 200 individuals attended. Some families were represented by three generations. Some arrived with babies born since last year. Even better, since the Engendren Santa has arrived at headquarters every December for nine years in a row, kids as old as 9 got to have yet another talk with the only Santa they’ve ever known.

Every child received a tailored gift from Santa and the chance to talk with him for as long as they liked.  As in the past, hundreds of photos were taken and distributed to employees whose families were captured in the shot.  Some were professional portraits of kids, even entire families, with Santa.  Others were candids taken as employees and their guests enjoyed snacks and drinks or took open house tours through the Kenosha manufacturing operations.  A few of those many pictures are shown here. 

We look forward to many more generations of the Engendren family joining Santa here and getting to see where mommy or daddy and/or grandma or grandpa work each day.


Todd Sorensen explains the many benefits of the new IEA Polar Pod to an interested visitor at this year's Power Gen Trade Show.

Todd Sorensen explains the many benefits of the new IEA Polar Pod to an interested visitor at this year’s Power Gen Trade Show.

New Polar Pod™ “Modular Cooling Machine” Debuts at Power Gen

As a logical extension of our expertise in the remote cooling of large engines, IEA has created what is hoped to be a new product line; the modular cooling enclosure, or Polar Pod.  The first of these innovative units was put on display at the 2012 Power Gen Trade Show in Orlando in December.

A Polar Pod unit contains 184 sq. feet of cooling area, contained in the equivalent of two HCQ radiators, one dedicated to the engine’s water jacket circuit and the other to the aftercooler.  In addition, a full complement of controls and monitoring equipment is housed within the unit.  The two 75 hp motors can be slid out from under the fans and radiators through louvered panels, providing for quick and easy maintenance or replacement.

“Maybe the most important sales factor is that a Polar Pod can be shipped anywhere is the world using standard transportation methods,” said Todd Sorensen, who is generally considered to be the guiding force behind the Pod’s development.  “I’ve already had inquiries from as far away as Lithuania”, he said.

EIR Kettinger Shares Strategies for Success

Executive-in-Residence James Kettinger, center, speaks with SBT board members following his presentations to students.  He is flanked by UW-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford and Dean Fred Ebeid.

By Kelsey Hoff

When James Kettinger, President and CEO of Kenosha-based IEA, Inc, and a 1980 University of Wisconsin-Parkside graduate, returned to campus Tuesday, April 3, as the spring 2012 Executive-in-Residence he had a major announcement to make.  After being introduced by School of Business and Technology Dean Dr. Fred Ebeid, Kettinger told students he had reached an agreement to purchase IEA from its long-standing owners and expected to complete the acquisition in the next few weeks.

Kettinger’s journey from UW-Parkside business student to ownership of a company that generates millions of dollars in revenue and employs nearly 300 people was the basis of his presentation: “Applied Leadership Lessons: Career and Business Success Essentials”.  His mantra for the day: “Begin with the end in mind.”  He stressed the importance of setting goals and following through with them, and the value of making decisions that pave the way to career success.

He personalized the program for UW-Parkside students, challenging them to set their goals very high.

“When you ask yourself: ‘What can I do with a UW-Parkside degree?’, the answer should be: ‘Anything you want’”, Kettinger stated.

Starting with a quote from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”, in which Alice asks the Cheshire Cat: “Which way should I go?”, Kettinger said that is the most essential question in career planning.  The steps he took – and recommends for job-seekers – are actions clearly targeted to reaching stated career goals.  These steps include association memberships, networking, continuing education, strategic job changes and even relocating as long as every action is aligned with career goals.

Kettinger said he personally took those steps in order to embrace his community and engage with other people.  He explained that individual success is actually a community effort, and community support can be gained by using empathy: seeing from other people’s point of view to create an image and make career decisions; striving to create win-win situations with others to make a good impression and expand your network

Under the heading “You, Inc”, Kettinger encouraged students to view themselves as individual business entities – even when working for a company, with services to differentiate, market and sell to customers.

“Never be fooled into believing that you are working for anyone but yourself,” Kettinger emphasized.  “You should think like a winning service provider and a business executive at all times.

Using IEA as an example, Kettinger said he treats his own employees as business executives first and employees with operational tasks second.

IEA provides cooling systems for large-scale internal combustion engines used mainly for power generation.  The company’s other major product is Silver Linings™, which is a line of thermally-managed enclosures used as modular data centers.  Kettinger said the demand for cloud computing and data usage has necessitated more flexible and efficient data centers, making them industrial products rather than architectural structures.

The company employs 270 people in Kenosha and Menomonee Falls.  He added the company has made great strides in the past five years going far beyond its previously narrow customer list and product base by diversifying its product lines.

Kettinger point out that IEA is a completely green operation with a careful concern for the environment.

“IEA has grown from a small, entrepreneurial manufacturer to a rapidly growing supplier of world-class products to a global market,” he said

Held once each semester, the UW-Parkside Executive-in-Residence Program gives students and faculty an opportunity to learn directly from area business leaders.  Each program provides students with expert guidance for entering and succeeding in the world of commerce while enhancing UW-Parkside’s partnership with businesses in the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor.