Welcome to the Feb. 11 Monday Business Briefing, your weekly business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

Heine Brothers’ opens a new location; others in the works

Check out the Heine Brothers’ Coffee shop on Daisy Lane in New Albany. | Courtesy of Glick Strategies

Locally owned coffee company Heine Brothers’ Coffee continues to grow.

The roaster recently opened a new 2,000 square-foot coffee shop with a patio and drive-thru at 414 W. Daisy Lane near State Street in New Albany. It also is slated to open a location at 3541 Outer Loop soon and could open its planned store at Gottbrath Parkway and State Hwy. 62 in Jeffersonville before the end of the year, according to a news release.

“We’re proud that each of our cafes, including New Albany, have their own unique feel. More than anything though, I think we continue to win over customers because we are focused on both delivering a great cup of coffee and making an impact in the community and around the world,” Mike Mays, co-founder and president of Heine Brothers’ Coffee, said in the release.

Unique to the New Albany store is a mural that artist Monica Mahoney is producing. It will be a replica of a vintage postcard of the second K & I Railroad Bridge, which was built in 1912.

The grand opening for the New Albany store is slated for 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 15. The first 200 customers will receive a pack, which includes a limited-edition Heine Brothers’ New Albany reusable travel mug filled with special offers.

The store’s hours of operation are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. —Caitlin Bowling

Louisville startup will pitch at Silicon Valley conference

The sheets are free of chemicals and dyes. | Photo courtesy of Wicked Sheets

Wicked Sheets, a startup that makes bed sheets with technology to help sleepers stay cooler, will have a chance to shake hands with angel investors and others involved in the startup industry in Silicon Valley this week at the 2019 Startup Grind global conference.

Founder Alli Truttmann had to apply to attend the conference and her company was one of the 212 selected out of more than 5,000 applications from startups around the globe, according to a news release. It is the only Kentucky company invited this year.

The company stated in the release that the conference is “the perfect next stop for Wicked Sheets on its way to total world bedroom domination.”

Truttmann founded Wicked Sheets in 2008. Its sheets are hypoallergenic and free of chemicals and dyes. —Caitlin Bowling

Ford 2020 Super Duty to feature 7.3-liter V8

2020 Ford F-350 | Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Ford Motor Co.’s locally made 2020 Super Duty will have its most powerful engine yet and feature high-tech upgrades such as wireless charging and automatic emergency braking.

The vehicle is made exclusively at Kentucky Truck Plant, which employs about 8,000.

Ford has introduced a website dedicated to the new truck and in a news release said that the truck last year was the market leader in segments including government, with a 60 percent share.

Sales for the F-Series truck, which includes the Super Duty, exceeded 900,000 last year. The truck remains one of Ford’s most iconic vehicles. The vehicle last year was especially important for the company because buyers chose mostly higher-end vehicles, which have a higher profit margin.

The new vehicle, which will come available with a new 7.3-liter gasoline V8, an upgraded third-generated 5.7-liter Power Stroke diesel and an all-new 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission.

Ford said the standard engine will be a 6.2-liter gas V8, but the 7.3-liter engine is “expected to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class,” while the diesel “includes a new 36,000-psi fuel injection system with all-new injectors that precisely meter and spray up to eight times per stroke to control noise levels and optimize combustion.”

Available tech upgrades include the new Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel and instead use a knob “to easily steer the trailer via the reverse camera.”

The new truck also will include a 4G LTE modem “with Wi-Fi access of up to 10 devices, keeping crews in communication no matter where the job might take them.” Tech that helps drivers, such as lane-keeping alerts, automatic emergency braking and wireless charging are available options.

Other changes include a high-airflow grill to maximize powertrain cooling and redesigned front and rear lamps.

Ford said the new Super Duty will be the most tested pickup in its history and has “endured” more than 12 million testing miles for the 2017 model and another seven million miles for the 2020 model. Boris Ladwig

GE Appliances recognized for workforce initiatives

Tom Quick, vice president of human resources, GE Appliances, accepts two Gartner Power of the Profession awards for Talent Breakthrough of the Year and Talent Partnership of the Year. | Courtesy of GE Appliances

GE Appliances has been recognized for innovative approaches to address workforce challenges.

GEA said in a news release that the consulting company Gartner awarded it with two “Power of the Profession” awards “Talent Breakthrough of the Year” and “Talent Partnership of the Year” which “recognized best practices from the most impactful and innovative supply chain initiatives.”

The appliance maker said it received the awards for actions including hosting a manufacturing summit, collaborating with public and private sectors to support advanced manufacturing in the Louisville area and investing in local educational programs.

In the tight labor market, with local unemployment rates below 4 percent, GE Appliances, which employs 6,000 at Appliance Park, has struggled, like many other employers, to find and retain qualified workers.

In late 2017, the company raised its entry-level pay by $2 to $14 because it was losing workers to other local manufacturers that were offering better pay. But the company also has forged close relationships with educational institutions, including Jefferson County Public Schools, to bolster its applicant pipeline.

In October, the company said that it had partnered with JCPS to place students in 150 part-time positions in Louisville to help avoid production bottlenecks that arise when workers extend their weekends by taking off Mondays and Fridays. The program will have students work eight hours each Monday and Friday for $14 per hour and pay them $6,000 toward college tuition.

“These awards are an exciting recognition that GEA is at the forefront of changing the way manufacturing careers are viewed and ensuring young people are prepared for a workforce that is aligned with the continued growth of U.S. manufacturing,” Vice President of Human Resources Tom Quick said in a news release.

The company in October also said that it planned to invest another $200 million in Louisville and add 400 jobs here on the laundry and dishwasher lines. Company officials had told Insider that a new marketing campaign, a new partnership with Crosley Corp., and a focus on innovation and connectivity have boosted the company’s revenue and market share. Boris Ladwig

Leadership Louisville Center names Best of Leadership Summit speakers

Leadership development group Leadership Louisville Center announced three keynote speakers for the 2019 Best of Leadership Summit on March 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Author and leadership consultant Ken Blanchard will open the summit in the morning. Former ambassador to the United Kingdom and Sweden, Matthew Barzun, a Louisvillian, will deliver the afternoon keynote, and Kristen Hadeed, author and founder of cleaning business Student Maid, will close out the one-day event.

Other people speaking throughout the day include:

  • Kirsten Hawley, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Brown-Forman
  • Shawn Herbig, founder of IQS Research and author of “Frequency Matters”
  • Keturah Jenkins, global learning analytics leader at General Electric
  • Victoria Macrae-Samuels, senior director of global quality at Beam Suntory
  • Daro Mott, vice president of process improvement and execution at Farm Credit Mid-America
  • Sabeen Nasim, community and employee relations supervisor at UPS
  • Sadiqa Reynolds, president and CEO of Louisville Urban League
  • Karl Schmitt, president and CEO of Louisville Sports Commission
  • Lisa Zangari, director of learning of Leadership Louisville Center

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, 501 W. Main St., will host the summit, and PNC Bank is the presenting sponsor. Individual tickets are $450, but discounted group rates are available. —Caitlin Bowling

In Brief

On Monday morning, organizers of Forecastle said they would announce the 2019 lineup, with tickets going on sale Wednesday, Feb. 13. Forecastle is up for best music festival under 30,000 daily capacity for the Pollstar Awards, which will be announced Wednesday evening.