Profile: Central Wisconsin logo with Portage County Business Council and Mid-State logos

Mid-State Technical College and Portage County Business Council profile local businesses through new podcast

January 8, 2021

A new podcast from Mid-State Technical College and the Portage County Business Council shares profiles of the entrepreneurs who make central Wisconsin such a great place to live and do business. 

Hosted by Mid-State Stevens Point Campus Dean Ben Nusz and Portage County Business Council Executive Director Todd Kuckkahn, “Profile: Central Wisconsin” takes a deep dive into the origin stories of central Wisconsin’s local innovators and explores what the future holds for the community. 

“The pandemic has forced us to rethink how we can interact with and learn from our local business leaders,” Nusz said. “Through this podcast, we can explore these organizations, peak into their windows and turn back the clock to when they started.”

The debut episode of “Profile: Central Wisconsin” features Rusty Mitch, president of Portesi Italian Foods. In it, Mitch shares the story of how the first Portesi pizzas had to be made with American cheese because they didn’t have access to fresh mozzarella and how a softball team’s encouragement led his grandfather to start selling frozen pizzas in local bars. 

Other upcoming episodes will detail how Doug Munsey and his partner started their global wheelchair manufacturing business, Ki Mobility, out of a barn in Canada as well as how Jared Linzmeier, co-owner and CEO of Ruby Coffee Roasters, stumbled into the world of craft coffee roasting after happening upon a logo he liked on the streets of Los Angeles.

“This is a great way to showcase some of the businesses in our community that have started here, grown here and become cornerstones of what makes it so great to live in central Wisconsin,” Kuckkahn said. “We learn not just how the business grew but also how the individual grew right alongside.”

New episodes are planned for release every two weeks, including guests such as Joe Martino from the Stevens Point Brewery, Josh Stolzenburg from North Wind Solar and Scott Groholski from Point of Beginning.

“At Mid-State, we know that the trajectory of most businesses is non-linear. We want to learn about all the bumps in the road that lead to such robust organizations,” Nusz said. “All of our guests are exceptional but started from humble beginnings. Highlighting these stories, provides our students with clear examples of success and hopefully allows them to see their own potential.”

Learn more, listen and subscribe at mstc.edu/podcast. Listeners will also find “Profile: Central Wisconsin” wherever audio media is consumed.