Profile: Central Wisconsin Podcast

This 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 this vibrant community. New episodes are planned for release every two weeks.

This week, Ben and Todd are joined by Jason Blenker of Blenker Companies, Inc. They will dive into how Jason joined the family business and, along with his parents and two brothers, they grew a traditional construction contractor business into a family of 5 separate companies. One of which specialized in “off-site” construction: the pieces would be built in a factory and then shipped to the property and be put together. 

Fast forward to 2020 when Jason met Joel of Drexel Building Supply. They just clicked and realized that although they had been competitors, they had very similar goals and company cultures. In May of that year, Drexel and Blenker Building Systems, the factory manufacturing portion of Blenker Companies, merged. While some of the staff was split up, Blenker Construction is still a family owned business and has built a new showroom in Stevens Point. It’s a place where designers can help those building custom homes get exactly the look and feel they want for their new home.

Plus hear more about the past and what the future holds for Blenker and Drexel.


Meet the Hosts

Benjamin Nusz is the Mid-State Technical College Stevens Point Campus dean. Prior to transitioning to his current role, Ben taught in Mid-State’s Renewable Energy Technician and HVAC programs for 12 years. He previously served as vice president on the board of directors for the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and volunteers for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, Farmshed, and the Tomorrow River Community Charter Schools. Ben is also co-author of the book Solar Water Heating: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems.

Todd Kuckkahn is the Executive Director of the Portage County Business Council. He has lived in central Wisconsin for over fifteen years and led the Council for nearly six. He takes great pride in the community, for all the incredible business and education opportunities available as well as the involvement and contributions of its citizens. Todd also has an entrepreneurial spirit that fits in well with the roll-up-your-sleeve work ethic so prevalent here in Portage County.