A University of Wisconsin Madison education can be a powerful thing. For Michael Nikolai, it was the inroad into a company that he now heads as CEO. Waupaca Foundry has had a powerful impact on Wisconsin and the immediate community. The foundry employs more than 1,300 Waupaca County residents, contributing $82.5 million in wages and an additional $307 million to the county's economy. Waupaca Foundry is responsible for 10.4 percent of total income and 9.9 percent of total sales in Waupaca County.