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St. Croix EDC Names Top Businesses and Individual for 2017

Rob O’Keefe, president of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC), announced the EDC’s selection of Ciro, LLC (City of Hudson), SKYCOAT LLC (Village of Baldwin), and Aladtec, Inc. (City of River Falls) as recipients of the 2017 Business of the Year awards in St. Croix County, Wisconsin.

The EDC board of directors also named Dennis (Denny) Darnold as the recipient of the 2017 EDC Directors Award.

The companies and Mr. Darnold will be honored at a banquet on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at Kilkarney Hills in River Falls.

“The 2017 winners demonstrate unique attributes of St. Croix County businesses,” said EDC President Rob O’Keefe. “Ciro burst onto the motorcycle accessory scene at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2014 and hasn’t looked back. SKYCOAT made a big leap to permanent bricks and mortar in 2017, allowing the industrial coating business to grow. Aladtec is a go-to software scheduling company for public safety agencies throughout North America. Denny Darnold left his fingerprints on many, many projects in Hudson during his thirty plus years in community development, planning, and economic development.”

About the 2017 Winners
Ciro, LLC is the 2017 Emerging Business of the Year (based in St. Croix County and in business for five or fewer years). Ciro is a product design company founded in 2014 by Aero Rudd and a team of skilled designers. The company specializes in creating innovative and unique designs of aftermarket accessories for power sports enthusiasts. The company is well-regarded for its motorcycle accessories, especially the Harley-Davidson models. Ciro offers 200 elite products and the list continues to grow. The accessories add to rider comfort, style, and performance. Product examples include LED lighting, cams, exhaust, holders, and air intake. They are available online, through dealers, and major motorcycle events like Daytona Bike Week or the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Learn more at

SKYCOAT is 2017 Small Business of the Year (29 or fewer employees). SKY COAT was founded in 2012 by Patrick Traynor. The company provides industrial coating and finishing services to customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Midwest region. SKYCOAT uses the term ‘Industrial Armor’ to describe the durability of its processes. Industrial services offered by SKYCOAT include powder coating, E-coating, liquid painting, conversion painting, pad printing, and surface preparation, such as masking and media blasting. In 2017 SKYCOAT successfully transitioned from leased space in River Falls to a permanent facility in the Baldwin Industrial Park (Baldwin, Wisconsin) totaling almost 50,000 square feet. SKYCOAT is ISO 9001:2008 certified. Learn more at

Aladtec, Inc. is the 2017 Business of the Year (30 or more employees). The company provides a subscription-based online employee scheduling and workforce management software system, also named Aladtec, to the public safety sector (EMS, fire, law enforcement, and dispatch). Users find internet software scheduling reduces human error, improves efficiencies, saves time, and saves money. Aladtec’s software system is now a powerful tool used by public safety agencies across North America. It was created in 2002 when business partners Leo Langlois and Dave Feyereisen were asked by an ambulance company in Ellsworth, Wisconsin to improve their employee scheduling process by moving it online. Both Langlois and Feyereisen, who were experienced builders of custom e-commerce websites, accepted the assignment. Within a few months, the system was active and received the name EMS Manager. Other public safety agencies soon asked for similar solutions. Between 2002 and 2005, Langlois and Feyereisen talked to literally hundreds of EMS directors. Almost every agency seemed to have a different employee scheduling process. Periodic changes were made and new customers were added. Langlois and Feyereisen continued developing the system and it grew to become a robust online software product supporting the complex 24/7 employee scheduling shift requirements found in public safety departments. In 2005, the online scheduling system was spun off into a new company called Aladtec, Incorporated. Since then, many new features have been added along with many thousand lines of new programming code. In mid-August 2017, Aladtec was ranked on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation for the third year in a row. The company moved up 20 spots in 2017 to #2897. Only one in five businesses which appear on Inc.’s list achieve being on it three consecutive times. In early December 2017, Aladtec announced it surpassed 2,000 customers. Learn more at

About Denny Darnold
Denny Darnold retired in mid-2017 from a long, successful career in planning and community development, primarily with the City of Hudson, Wisconsin in the capacity of community development director. His legacy includes a vibrant central business district, riverfront area, residential subdivisions, hospitality, and the St. Croix Business Park. The multi-use business park is home to many companies, large and small. Those businesses are from the Hudson area or were recruited from other areas. The city gained an expanded tax base and an array of jobs for area residents. Darnold was a tireless worker with the mayor’s office, common council, boards and commissions, chamber of commerce, and other local organizations.

Banquet Details
This is the 24th business awards program conducted by St. Croix EDC. The banquet is open to the public but reservations are required. Dinner tickets are priced at $38.00. Visit to RSVP or for more info.

About St. Croix EDC
The EDC was established in 1994 as a public-private business league that operates as the independent economic development arm of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Reflective activities include marketing and communication, business retention, business expansion, business recruitment, new business incorporations, and advocacy on behalf of business and industry. Initiatives taken by St. Croix EDC help improve the business climate of St. Croix County, allowing businesses, large and small, to grow and prosper.

For more information, contact William Rubin or Nita Dusek at (715) 381-4383, or