Based in Blue Earth, Minnesota, Winnebago Manufacturing Company is a specialty steel fabricator that prides itself on craftsmanship, quality and innovation. What started in 1950 as a farm repair and blacksmith shop, Winnebago has grown and evolved to now offer capabilities including a stress relief oven, precision welding, plate and bar rolling, fabricating, and complete process finishing. The company has 35 employees and is known in the area for its precision and customer service.
Daryle Pomranke, president of Winnebago Manufacturing Co, has been an organizational leader since 1999. As he took full ownership of the company in 2012, Daryle recognized a need to be able to discuss high level business challenges with other executives, who might be able to provide insight and offer creative solutions.
In 2020 as the pandemic took hold of the country and changed the way manufacturers sourced and produced their products, Daryle needed support from other executives on how to navigate the extreme uncertainty and keep his company moving forward. Daryle turned to Enterprise Minnesota, part of the MEP National Network™.
When you get 10 owners in group, you get to talk about higher level problems and what people are doing with different companies to gain that insight. Learning about the PPP from the Peer Council groups was invaluable. Learning about the details, when to apply, whether it was going to be forgiven, etc. Peer Councils are worth the half a day to get in front of the experts. The sideline conversations are extremely valuable, too, and as the economy changes, like now, we can discuss the issues with other manufacturers and find solutions to challenges.
Daryle joined an Enterprise Minnesota CEO Peer Council several years ago and has found it to be a great experience for helping him manage and grow his business. He continues to renew his membership because the council provides him with an opportunity to discuss high level business challenges amongst similarly experienced business leaders and gain their input and perspective. It allows him to stay up to speed on what's happening in the industry and stay on top of trends to help the company maintain high quality service for their customers.
A rapidly changing situation that emerged during the pandemic was the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) from the federal government. In being a part of the CEO Peer Council, Daryle was able to discuss the details of the loan program, understand how to leverage the program and utilize its benefits. As the program rolled out and details changed, he leveraged the group's knowledge to stay on top of current trends and ensure compliance.