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Life at Interstate

How Two Milwaukee Small Businesses Are Protecting Their Community’s Front Line

May 2020 | By Interstate Batteries

A passion for serving the community and the spirit of teamwork led Interstate Batteries SE Wisconsin to work with a local craft distillery to distribute 12 cases of hand sanitizer to first responders at their county’s sheriff’s office.

What do Interstate Batteries Southeast Wisconsin and Central Standard Craft Distillery have in common? Other than both being independently owned businesses in Milwaukee, not much – until recently. While one is known for providing reliable power supply and the other for producing various spirits, both businesses have a strong desire to keep their community safe, especially during the coronavirus outbreak.

With a nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer, IBS of Southeast Wisconsin and Central Standard joined forces to make and donate 12 cases of hand sanitizer spray – a total of 96 bottles – to the local Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the community. 

Greg Koltek, Interstate Batteries SE Wisconsin’s vice president and director, saw on social media that Central Standard was creating hand sanitizer, and he wanted to help his community.

“As a small business, we are really passionate about doing all we can to prevent the virus from affecting our city,” he said. “When I saw what Central Standard was doing, I knew we had the means to manage the distribution of their product quickly to Milwaukee’s first responders.”

To coordinate the donation, Koltek called Pat McQuillan, co-founder and president of Central Standard Craft Distillery, and the two outlined a plan to deliver the hand sanitizer to Milwaukee’s front line. Officers in the sheriff’s office were the first to receive the hand sanitizers, ensuring front-line heroes had vital protection to help keep themselves and the community safe.

“We knew the sheriff’s department could not only use the product to keep their officers and vehicles clean and safe, but they also could provide hand sanitizer to others in the community that needed it,” Koltek said.

Upon receiving the sanitizer, Milwaukee Sheriff Earnell Lucas sent a signed letter of appreciation to thank both IBS of Southeast Wisconsin and Central Standard.

“We are so thankful to have people like you as partners during these challenging times,” Sheriff Lucas wrote. “The generous support of individuals such as you, helps our officers continue to help those in need within our community.”

And this joint donation will not be the last. Interstate and Central Standard plan to work together for future sanitizer deliveries with a focus on equipping both first responders and front-line workers with the product.

“Our first responders are critical both today and always to the safety and health of our communities,” Koltek said. “Interstate Batteries of SE Wisconsin is blessed to be able to partner with Central Standard Craft Distillery to keep our first responders and front-line workers safe.”

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