Media Contacts

Team Leader

Sandra Talbot, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • For Immediate Release Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020
  • Hop contact: Mark Rosenberg, (612) 269-7902 (c), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • MaskUp MKE contact: Heather Perkins, (414) 628-4364 (c), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hop Launches New Partnership with MaskUpMKE

Free masks to be available on board the streetcars, with one streetcar now wearing a mask of its own to help build awareness

The Hop, presented by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, today announced a new partnership with MaskUpMKE.org to help promote the importance of wearing a mask as the most accessible and effective way for our Milwaukee community to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The coordinated effort is highlighted by a newly wrapped Hop streetcar that is "Masked Up," featuring both noses of the vehicle adorned in a standard blue medical mask, along with a commitment to provide free masks to streetcar riders who board the vehicles without a mask of their own. "The Hop streetcars are an incredibly visible asset for the City of Milwaukee and we are proud to donate one of our vehicles to this critical cause," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said. "We are appreciative of the hard work the MaskUpMKE team is doing to support this public health initiative and we're thrilled to be expanding our relationship even further to help make The Hop, and our whole community, even safer."

The MaskUpMKE branding on The Hop is in line with the organization's ongoing efforts to promote the use of masks or face coverings throughout the city and across the state as the most effective way for citizens to help stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the masks on the two ends of the streetcar, the artwork also features the masked-up faces of Milwaukee citizens, including Milwaukee Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosley, who overcame a battle with COVID-19 earlier this summer (learn more here).

Additionally, the launch of the new MaskUpMKE streetcar coincides with the release of a new PSA, supported by United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Creative Health Collective and the broader MaskUpMKE Coalition (visit MaskUpMKE.org for a complete list of members), featuring City of Milwaukee Health Commissioner Dr. Jeanette Kowalik, Judge Derek Mosley and other members of the community. The new PSA can be viewed here. "Our partnership with

The Hop is another way for us to build awareness for this important cause in a visible and meaningful way," said Loretta Kryshak of Rebel Converting, LLC., and co-founder of the MaskUpMKE movement. "The simple act of wearing a face covering can save lives, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the length and severity of this pandemic. We're committed to ensuring our entire community sees this message, heeds this message, and has access to free and effective masks that will help stop the spread.

The masks donated by MaskUpMKE will be available on all five Hop streetcars beginning today, and are individually packaged and include instructions for proper usage. The availability of masks on board the streetcars will complement the many additional steps being taken to keep The Hop clean and safe, including twice-daily cleanings of the vehicles and stations and a recently-applied anti-microbial protective coating over all vehicle and station surfaces to help minimize the potential for the virus to spread.

Learn more about how The Hop is working to keep riders safe at www.thehopmke.com/COVID19. To learn more about MaskUpMKE and how to help support their efforts, visit www.maskupmke.org. For more information on The Hop, visit www.thehopmke.com. ### Contact: Mark Rosenberg Heather Perkins 2-Story/The Hop Ignite Change/MaskUpMKE.org 612.269.7902 (c) (414) 628-4364 (c) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 6/24/20
  • REBEL CONVERTING CONTACT: Heather Perkins, Ignite Change, (414) 628-4364, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • MEXICAN FIESTA CONTACT: Laura Vazquez, (414) 383-7066 ext. 405, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mexican Fiesta Headquarters Is First Southside Volunteer-Made Mask Distribution Hub

MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc./Mexican Fiesta a proud member of the Milwaukee community since 1973, to collaborate with MaskUpMKE and the Medical College of Wisconsin to have as the first volunteer-made mask distribution hub in the Southside of Milwaukee.

MaskUpMKE is a social awareness campaign that was initiated by Rebel Converting & Ignite Change that encourages Milwaukeeans to wear facemasks when going out. As COVID-19 continues to spread, affecting our Hispanic community, Mexican Fiesta and collaborators encourage you to protect yourself and your loved ones by providing free facemasks to front line workers, small businesses, organizations, and the community. Mexican Fiesta volunteers will lead this initiative by starting the assembly process this week at Mexican Fiesta Headquarters. All health protocols and precautions will be followed.

If you would like to request facemasks for your family, organization, or small business, please contact the Mexican Fiesta office at 414-383-7066 or send an email to info@mexicanfiesta.org. To learn more about MaskUpMKE campaign, please visit www.maskupmke.org.

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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 6/3/20
  • REBEL CONVERTING CONTACT: Heather Perkins, Ignite Change, (414) 628-4364, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • NORTH SHORE BANK CONTACT: Kate Knox, 262-797-3323, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Volunteers Needed

Help Us Reach Our Goal Of 3.5 Million Masks Made And Donated

#MASKUPMKE Taps North Shore Bank Branches For Mask Kit Distribution Sites As Demand Continues For Phase Two

MILWAUKEE – #MaskUpMKE today announced it has partnered with North Shore Bank for distribution and collection of the initiative’s mask making kits. Starting today through June 15, all 33 Southeastern Wisconsin North Shore Bank locations will offer mask making kits for volunteers to pickup to help meet the need of making 3.5 million masks for essential providers in Milwaukee. These additional distribution and collection sites will help fulfill the demand for masks.

“We’re glad to extend our assistance to #MaskUpMKE on this crucial effort to help keep our communities safe. With our locations all across Southeastern Wisconsin, it’s easier than ever for neighbors to pick up a kit and start doing their part,” said Jay McKenna, president and chief operating officer of North Shore Bank. “We’ve always believed in the power of community, and we support this collective effort to help provide 3.5 million masks to those who need them most.”

Healthy individuals are encouraged to participate by visiting JOMMinistry.org/Masks to register to volunteer and pick up the no-sew mask making kits from a North Shore Bank location to take home for assembly. The pick-up times will take place during bank hours. Each kit contains instructions and materials to make 700 masks, and each mask takes approximately one to two minutes to assemble. Volunteers will return their boxes to North Shore Bank upon completion.

Along with North Shore Bank, the organizations involved in #MaskUpMKE are: Rebel ConvertingMedical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Greater Milwaukee FoundationZilber Family FoundationUnited Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County, Fiserv Forum and the Milwaukee BucksMilwaukee Habitat for Humanity, Code for Milwaukee, NeighborExpress-MKE, and Just One More Ministry.

The face covering kits were made and donated by Rebel Converting, a Saukville-based manufacturer of hospital-grade disinfectant wipes. Overall, Rebel has committed to making and donating materials for #MaskUpMKE to make 3.5 million face coverings to address the growing need for personal protective equipment. As part of phase two of the initiative, Rebel Converting is giving $25 to Just One More Ministry for each completed box of 700 masks, up to a commitment of $30,000.

“The support we’ve received from the community and organizations who truly care to make a difference is outstanding. With their ties to the community and span of locations across Southeastern Wisconsin, we knew North Shore Bank was the perfect next partner for us as we entered Phase Two in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Rebel Converting Owner Mike Kryshak.

MCW has been involved in MaskUpMKE to advise on the health and safety aspects on the entire process. After a 72-hour quarantine period, the masks will be distributed to the community under their guidance. Medical and nonprofit organizations should visit www.MaskUpMKE.org/request to request masks. Individuals looking for masks who do not belong to medical and nonprofit organizations should call 2-1-1 for more information.

For more information on MaskUpMKE, visit www.MaskUpMKE.org, watch their PSA here or check out a video here.

About MaskUpMKE

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of health and community leaders have united to form MaskUpMKE, an initiative to get more face coverings into the hands of first responders and community members across Milwaukee. The participants are: Rebel ConvertingMedical College of WisconsinJust One More MinistryGreater Milwaukee FoundationZilber Family FoundationMilwaukee Bucks and Fiserv ForumUnited Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha CountyMilwaukee Habitat for Humanity and North Shore Bank. Many of the partnering organizations are engaged in a cross-sector coalition formed to strategically, equitably and rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in our region. The MKE Civic Response Team is developing unprecedented systems to identify greatest needs, align resources and coordinate relief efforts around the community’s top priorities.

About North Shore Bank

North Shore Bank, headquartered in Brookfield, has assets of over $2 billion and 45 offices throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Wisconsin locations are in metro Milwaukee, Ozaukee County, Racine, Kenosha, Appleton, Menasha, Green Bay and surrounding areas, Burlington, Union Grove, Muskego, and Door County. Locate a North Shore Bank office. You can also connect with the bank on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 About Just One More Ministry

Just One More Ministry (JOMM) who accepts donated food that would be otherwise thrown away from restaurants, caterers, fairs & festivals, and grocery stores has expanded its mission during these challenging the times. The ministry has been participating in Rebel Converting LLC’s One Million Masks campaign to make initially 1 million, then 2 million and ultimately 3.5 million masks to help protect individuals against COVID-19 (see video). JOMM is seeking more volunteers to complete this challenge. Those interested in volunteering are asked to visit https://www.jomministry.org/masks for details on volunteering requirements, instructions and signing up.

Where These Masks Are Being Distributed (See www.jomministry.org/masksout for a complete list.)

  • Milwaukee County Transit
  • Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Inner City Churches
  • Homeless Ministries
  • Women’s/Children’s Shelters
  • Youth Programs
  • Senior Housing/Elder Care
  • Community Centers
  • Essential Businesses
  • Correctional Facilities
  • Police, EMS, and Fire Depts
  • Non-Profit Programs

# # #

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/20/20
  • CONTACT: Heather Perkins, (414) 628-4364

Upping Our Game

New Goal: 3.5 Million Masks

Major Retail, Manufacturers, Step Up; Operation Expands Nationally

(Saukville WI) – Rebel Converting, a Saukville-based manufacturer of hospital-grade disinfectant wipes, is tripling its initial donation of face mask kits in Wisconsin. Earlier in the month, the company shifted production to meet the growing need for personal protective equipment. Since the initial donation of a million face mask kits in April, demand for face masks has exponentially grown with daily requests pouring in from hospitals and clinics, EMTs, first responders, emergency food workers, city bus drivers, nonprofits and retirement homes. To help meet the continual increased need, Rebel Converting owner Mike Kryshak announced today the company would increase its donation to 3.5 million face mask kits.

How did the Milwaukee million mask challenge begin?

After learning of the shortage of masks nationwide and how it was affecting Milwaukee, Thaddeus Kryshak, a recent graduate in engineering and physics from the University of Miami, spoke to his father Mike Kryshak, owner of Rebel Converting about how they might be able to produce facemasks using the materials that they were already using to produce hospital-grade disinfectant wipes. Thaddeus then developed a way to convert the same material used to manufacture hospital-grade disinfectant wipes into a face mask that is similar to a surgical mask.

Rebel is donating enough of the mask kits to produce 3.5 million masks. Additionally, Rebel is supplying the materials to Wisconsin manufacturers that are donating the manpower and space to assemble the masks. Shoemaker Allen Edmonds, along with sailboat hardware and accessory manufacturer Harken, are sewing thousands of masks each week. Allen Edmonds alone anticipates 100,000 masks produced by the end of this week. National Expansion What began as a local initiative is now expanding nationally.

Recently, Rebel began donating mask “straps” to major national retailers whose tailors are sewing them and working with health care systems to distribute them nationally. So far, those masks have been distributed to Washington, Oregon, Texas and California. Plans are currently underway to expand to New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington DC and Florida.  Milwaukee Nonprofits Band Together to Organize Hundreds of Volunteers Multiple nonprofits and community organizations have banded together to form the Milwaukee Civic Response Team thanks to leadership from the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and the City of Milwaukee.

The team provides project strategy, funding and volunteer management for a campaign called MaskUpMKE – a social awareness campaign that was initiated by Rebel & Ignite Change that encourages Milwaukeeans to wear face masks when they go out. As part of the MaskUpMke effort, UniteMKE and the Office of Violence Prevention at City of Milwaukee Department of Health mobilized to get masks to individuals standing in line at the polls during the controversial election last week. UniteMKE also got them into the hands of community health workers and immune-compromised.

Other nonprofits, like Just One More Ministry, are taking an active role by organizing their own volunteers and have already assembled 200,000 masks to-date, with another 400,000 masks currently in assembly. Medical College of Wisconsin Assist in Distribution Locally, staff and medical students from the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute and the Medical College of Wisconsin have coordinated the assembly and distribution of nearly 200,000 masks, triaging urgent requests for masks to front line health care, police, fire and rescue workers, as well as over 50 community-based organizations and underserved communities.

These early efforts are contributing to flattening the curve of COVID-19 spread in Milwaukee. Last week, the team began working on creating a nearly touch-free distribution point for the masks throughout the Metro-Milwaukee area.

About Rebel Converting

Rebel converts giant rolls of advanced nonwoven fabrics into wet wipes that fit inside canisters, buckets and dispensers that allow end users to clean everything from operating rooms to shopping carts. We source major industrial brands and don’t sell our product to the any market under our own brand label. To do so would be a conflict of interest, the way we see it. We also believe in true partnerships saving our customers money, even when it takes money out of our own pockets in the short term. From the start, we have believed passionately in giving back to our communities - as do our family of great, experienced employees. Get to know us. We are the rebels with a cause.

About the 100 Million Mask Challenge

The 100 Million Masks Challenge was launched by Providence health care network, Renton WA. The torch has now been passed to many other organizations, including the American Hospital Association. Locally, in the Metro-Milwaukee area, Rebel Converting has committed to producing enough kits to make 3.5 million masks for the medical and nonprofit community serving those most at-risk of contracting COVID-19.

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  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/2/20
  • CONTACT: Heather Perkins, (414) 628-4364
  • Bebo Nelson, (414) 526-2786

One Million Masks

Local company challenges Wisconsin manufacturers to help them produce one million masks

(Saukville WI) – Every day, as COVID-19 plagues our nations and communities, the shortage of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for professionals in the medical field is growing exponentially. It has been projected that the United States needs 100 million medical masks, and the Providence Health Care Network in Renton WA recently put out a challenge to the nation’s companies to help meet this need.* And while many are stepping up and hand-making masks, the reality is that they do little help reduce risk of transmission against aerosolized virus like COVID-19. These cloth masks are made with regular fabric which, when tested, only filter a small amount of particles at the .3 micron size (a bandana was recently tested at 3%). While this is helpful, our healthcare workers need stronger protection.

After learning about the 100 million mask challenge, Mike Kryshak, owner of Rebel Converting, a Saukville-based manufacturer of hospital-grade wipes, began talking about the pandemic with his son Thaddeus –an engineering and physics graduate from the University of Miami--and found a solution Thaddeus found a way to use the same material they use to manufacture hospital grade disinfectant wipes into a quick and effective face mask. The mask material is about 15 times more effective at filtration than a bandana. They then discovered that the material becomes nearly twice as protective after it is electrically charged. Rebel Converting tested the material at 5K Fibres, Appleton-based producer and engineer of advanced meltblown nonwoven fabrics, and 5K Fibres then agreed to donate equipment and manpower needed to treat the material.

Rebel Converting has committed to donate enough fabric to be treated to make 1,000,000 face mask kits for assembly. Beginning on Thursday April 2, Rebel will be turning over its production to convert the treated material into kits that companies can use to make facemasks. Employees from Port Washington-based shoemaker Allen Edmonds are already donating manpower to help make masks. Yesterday, Pewaukee-based Harken, sailboat hardware and accessory manufacturer, also came on board to help with assembly. However, much more help is needed. Rebel is in serious need of companies willing to assemble the masks, and is asking local manufactures to step up. If your company can help with production please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 *About the 100 Million Mask Challenge

The 100 Million Masks Challenge was launched by Providence health care network, Renton WA. The torch has now been passed to many other organizations, including the American Hospital Association. Locally, in the Metro- Milwaukee area, Rebel Wipes has committed to producing enough kits to make 1 million masks for local hospitals.

backpacks

HOP MaskUpMKE wrapped scaled

Milwaukee JS: The Hop is now providing masks to riders as officials credit mask use for decrease in positive percentage rate

Full Story

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Video Backgrounder

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Local Coverage

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Company News

Move Will Double Capacity

March 25, 2020 - Saukville-based contract disinfectant wipe manufacturer Rebel Converting LLC plans to relocate its headquarters to the Towne Corporate Park of Granville on the city of Milwaukee’s far northwest side. The company recently purchased the industrial building located at 11225 W. Heather Ave. The 95,500-square-foot facility was acquired for $4.77 million, according to a news release. Brett Garceau of Collliers International represented the seller, Rosemont, Illinois-based real estate investment firm Brennan Investment Group.

Story, Biztimes MKE

new plant

Magnificent Courage

April 14, 2020 - The extraordinary circumstances of Wisconsin's spring elections made waves around the country and the world. When state Republicans forced in-person voting amid a caronavirus pandemic, Wisconsinites voted nonetheless. And they voted in massive numbers. Countless heroes worked tirelessly to keep voters as safe as possible. The big turnout stunned pundits far and wide and drew extensive coverage in the national media. Lots of folks on that day were wearing Rebel masks. We're proud to have been part of this historic event.

Story, MNNS

masking up for election day.

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