Wisconsin Procurement Institute Adds Business Leaders to Board

The Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI) is pleased to announce the addition of three new business leaders to its Board of Directors.

Jean Marie Thiel, President, Belonger Corporation. Ms. Thiel started Belonger Corporation in her basement with one employee,  It is now Wisconsin’s only woman-owned and American-Indian owned mechanical contracting company with over 30 employees.  Ms. Thiel has experience in the construction and services industry going on 26 years, specializing in federal and DOD relations, joint venturing, and mentoring. Recognized as the “first” formally sanctioned 8a Mentor-Protégé for the federal government in the state of Wisconsin.
Jeff Van Straten, President, Bentley World Packaging.  Mr. Van Straten, has been with Bentley World Packaging since 2014.  He has experience in executive, financial or consultant capacity and over 16 years in the transportation and airlines industries.  Mr. Van Straten previously served as President of Dutchland Plastics in Oostburg.

Rod Copes, President, Applied Fab and Machining/Heale Manufacturing.  Mr. Copes is also President of Royal Enfield Motors North American Division. He has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing and global sales. Mr. Copes also held a variety of executive positions across several different functions while working at Harley Davidson including: Customer Service, International Sales, Marketing, Business Development Continuous Improvement, Powertrain Operations and Tomahawk Operations.

“We are pleased to have Ms. Thiel, Mr. Van Straten and Mr. Copes joining the  Board of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute.  All three bring unique knowledge and expertise to the table which will support WPI’s work in developing strong and successful federal contractors in addition to bringing federal dollars to Wisconsin,” said Bill Hughes, Partner , Husch Blackwell LLP, and WPI’s Board Chair.

Ms. Thiel, Mr. Van Straten and Mr. Copes join WPI  Board Chair Bill Hughes and Board members, John Dickert, Mayor of Racine; Richard Deschauer, DRS Power & Control Technologies; Baly Ambegaoker, CENTERPOINT Inc.; Herb Miller, Michels Corporation; Travis Schmuhl, Oshkosh Corporation; Jane Glass, Spacesaver Corporation; Andrew Bergholz, TAPCO; Dr. Robert M. Meyer, UW-Stout; Barb LaMue, WEDC and Aina Vilumsons, WPI.

WPI is a non-profit organization established in 1987 to help Wisconsin businesses win federal contracts, especially defense contracts.  WPI staff and extensive network of partners provided technical and professional expertise to Wisconsin businesses.  WPI’s mission is to assist Wisconsin business in growing their federal, state and local government sales, profits and jobs.  WPI is headquartered at the Technology Innovation Center in Milwaukee with offices in Madison, Camp Douglas, Wausau and Appleton.