Four CEOs explain why they made the move

They went North: Testimonials from leaders who moved their businesses to Wisconsin

In December, Pettersen relocated the 114-year-old manufacturer of airbrushes, industrial spray guns, spray booths and air compressors – founded by her husband’s grandfather, Jens Paasche, in 1906 – from Chicago to the Business Park of Kenosha. Machinery began the move in late November so business could restart once employees arrived for their first day of work in the new 42,000-square-foot facility.

What attracted you to Wisconsin?

“Our business was located near O’Hare International Airport, on the northwest side of Chicago. My sons, who are running the company, both went to college in Wisconsin (Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison) and we have had a home on Washington Island (in Door County) for over 40 years. Kenosha is 50 miles from our factory in Chicago and although 40 percent of the employees did not follow us, the 60 percent (30 employees) that did have made the transition smooth.”

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