By Mark Concannon Special to Published Sep 01, 2010 at 1:02 PM

He owns some of the hottest restaurants in Wisconsin. Every day, thousands of diners celebrate special occasions at his establishments. Joe Bartolotta runs a company which consists of 11 businesses and 700 employees, operating in a fiercely competitive marketplace and enjoying success despite a sluggish economy.

But achieving that success doesn't happen by accident.

Bartolotta engages in detailed planning with his managers in looking at the big picture. He is always looking for new opportunities, but has to be careful that any new restaurant he might open won't draw business away from his existing eateries.

In this exclusive, we show you the many facets of what's involved in running the Bartolotta empire.

We followed Joe through part of a busy schedule, including a meeting with the executive chefs and general managers, and an audition with an admittedly nervous chef who cooked lunch for Joe to apply for a chef's opening.

We also watched Joe don an apron, take out his knives and cook for a local family who won Joe's services in a charity auction. He finished his day taste-testing some new desserts at his newest restaurant, Harbor House, where he also interacted with several customers at their tables.

Mark Concannon Special to
Mark Concannon moved to Milwaukee in 1987 when he started at WITI TV as weekend sports anchor. He began hosting Wakeup News, signing the new program on the air in 1990. He anchored Wakeup until the spring of 2010. In his 23 years at the station, Mark won four Emmy Awards and multiple local, state and regional honors.

Before arriving in Wisconsin, Mark was a TV sports director at stations in Greensboro, the Quad Cities and Fort Smith, Arkansas. He got his first job at the ABC affiliate in Syracuse during his junior year at Syracuse University where he majored in TV and Radio at the Newhouse School.

Mark is an avid fan of all sports. He covered the Packers at Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans and has also reported on the Final Four, the Daytona 500, the Rose Bowl, the NLCS and the PGA and U.S. Open golf championships. He covered the GMO for 20 years. Mark played soccer in high school and is a passionate supporter of "The Beautiful Game." One of his greatest experiences was attending a UEFA Champions League game hosted by Real Madrid at Bernabeu Stadium.

Mark was born in Philadelphia but has happily made the transition from cheese steaks to cheese heads and is thrilled to now call Wisconsin home. He is currently president of Concannon Communications LLC and working on projects involving, writing, producing, voice-overs and public relations.