Welcome to the Eau Claire Chamber Blog
Physical therapist Tanner Tryon recently joined the Rehabilitation Services Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Tryon earned his doctor of physical therapy degree from Des Moines University in Iowa. He received his bachelor’s degree in health promotion from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Tryon is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.
The American Cancer Society, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization, has announced that Douglas Hoffer, assistant city attorney for the City of Eau Claire, has been selected to its Wisconsin Leadership Board. In this role, Hoffer will join 22 other volunteer leaders in advancing the Society’s lifesaving mission in Wisconsin. The Society’s Wisconsin Leadership Board is a volunteer leadership group that works to increase the success of its efforts to save more lives from cancer. Board members serve as ambassadors in their communities, building relationships with key corporate partners, health systems, advocacy leaders, and other community stakeholders who can impact the Society’s fundraising and mission goals.
Prevea Urgent Care, located at the Prevea Chippewa Falls Health Center recently opened and will offer walk-in care for minor illnesses and injuries including cold or flu symptoms, earaches, sprains, minor fractures, cuts, infections, asthma and more. Prevea Urgent Care will be open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and holidays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No appointments or referrals are necessary. Visitors also will be able to view wait-times at Prevea Urgent Care, at www.prevea.com/urgent. With the opening of Prevea Urgent Care on Jan. 9, urgent care services at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital will transition to Prevea Urgent Care, which is located just across the parking lot from the hospital.
For an eighth consecutive year Mercury Marine has presented Zacho Sports Center of Chippewa Falls its prestigious Service Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Award for 2016. Mercury Marine’s Service CSI Program measures the satisfaction of consumers after having service work done on their Mercury outboard or MerCruiser Sterndrive or inboard. Zacho Sports Center won the Service CSI Award for its ongoing commitment to providing exemplary customer service, based on the responses of customers who had warranty work performed at the dealership during the past year. A total of 144 out of 5000 North American dealers qualified for the Service CSI Award for 2016. Zacho Sports Center was the only dealer in northwest Wisconsin to receive the award and with a score of 98/100 ranks in the top one percent of all Mercury dealers. Zacho Sports Center is one of only 25 dealerships in the United States that has received this award 8 or more consecutive years. Zacho Sports Center is locally owned and operated by Damin Zacho and Mike Emberson.
Dana Cash, M.D., recently joined Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Cash earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. She earned her medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Cash completed her residency in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Previously, Cash provided primary care medicine for 8,000 marines and sailors at Camp Lejeune. She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Board of Family Medicine.
Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) has been named a Military Friendly School for 2017. This is the fourth consecutive year CVTC has earned the designation. The Military Friendly School designation by Victory Media is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students and ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation. The list serves as a resource for service members and military families seeking education and has played a significant role over the past seven years in advancing best practices in supporting military students on campuses across the country.
Nine business and technology programs at Chippewa Valley Technical College have received accreditation, providing assurances of program quality and positive student outcomes. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) recently announced full accreditation for CVTC associate degree programs in accounting, business management, administrative professional, human resources, marketing management and supervisory management, plus the information technology software developer, mobile developer and network specialist programs. To gain accreditation, a program must meet a set of rigorous standards and criteria, including leadership, strategic planning, measureable assessments and faculty and staff focus. A three-member team from ACBSP visited the CVTC campus in September for a three-day review of the programs. CVTC must provide quality assurance reports every two years and undergo a new review after 10 years to retain accreditation.
Charlie Johnson and Mike Botten both recently joined the Low Voltage Contractors (LVC) sales team. Johnson joins LVC with a diverse work background and a variety of unique personal interests including 30 years in the National Guard and property management of 13 rental units. An industry veteran, Botten joins LVC with a background rich in fire alarm and security sales. Most recently, Botten was with a company very similar to LVC and, as such he was familiar with the company through industry events and organizations.
Woita & Associates announced that David Hopkins, RICP® and principal of the firm, has obtained his Certified Financial Planner TM certification. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP ®, Certified Financial Planner TM and CFP ® in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. The certification is a standard of excellence based upon Education, Examination, Experience, and Ethics administered and regulated by the CFP Board. The CFP Board is a non-profit organization acting in the public interest by fostering professional standards in personal financial planning through its setting and enforcement of the requirements for CFP certification.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) recently received a 2016 Best Practices Award from the Credit Union Journal. Royal received the award for its project management initiative. Fourteen credit unions received the award for a variety of achievements including improving efficiency, cutting costs and enhancing member service. Royal’s project management initiative is run by a committee charged with providing a practical framework and prioritization of projects. The initiative has helped manage Royal’s resources and provides better communication for key stakeholders.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has named Karlee Wallin small business lending officer. In this role, she will assist the vice president–business lending manager with overseeing and administering the small business lending program. She’ll also be responsible for developing and managing small business loans and services relationships for existing and new members. Wallin began with Royal in September 2006. She started in the Business Lending Department as a business loan representative; however, for the past six years Wallin has been a business loan analyst. Through her 15 years of experience in the banking industry, she has accumulated Shockproof Credit College certificates in Commercial Business C&I Credit Decisions and Commercial Real Estate Credit Decisions.
Physician assistant Erica Gyorfi recently joined the Orthodpedic Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Gyorfi earned her master’s degree in the physician assistant program from Barry University in Miami, Florida. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology at UW-La Crosse. Gyorfi is board-certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants. Gyorfi will see patients in Hand and Upper Extremity Services in the Orthopedics Center.
The Women’s Giving Circle, a fund of the Eau Claire Community Foundation, has announced its Circle Advisory Team. At the Annual Meeting of the Women’s Giving Circle, the members elected the following individuals for the 2017 leadership positions: Circle Advisory Team Chair Jill Prushiek, Circle Advisory Team Co-Chair Sarah Stokes, Circle Advisory Team Secretary Karen Eisenbarth, Education and Programs Team Chair Petey Ahneman, Education and Programs Team Co-Chair Jennifer Hanson-Bremer, Grants Team Chair Sherry Macaul, Grants Team Co-Chair Jeanne Peterson, Membership/Outreach Team Chair Pat Markin, Membership/Outreach Team Co-Chair Marianne Klinkhammer and Circle Advisory Team Past Chair Sue McIntyre. In order to join the Women’s Giving Circle, members contribute at least $250 a year. Part of their contribution supports grants to local nonprofit organizations that run programs benefiting women and/or children. The other portion of the contribution is used to build an endowment at the Eau Claire Community Foundation for future grants.
The Wisconsin Job Honor Awards, an initiative aimed at recognizing Wisconsinites who have overcome barriers to employment, has selected Larson Companies of Eau Claire as one of its top honorees for 2016. Nominations were judged by a panel of workforce experts and were presented during the Future Wisconsin Economic Summit recently hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). Larson Companies, an asset management company operating hotels and restaurants in the upper Midwest, partnered with Serryn Hawkins, her local representative from Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development – Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and created an in-house training program they dubbed the Hospitality Training Academy. Beginning with an eight-week training program for housekeepers, their success has motivated Larson Companies to expand the initiative to include cooks and eventually front desk representatives.
The obstetrical ultrasound practice at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire recently received reaccreditation by the Ultrasound Practice Council of the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine (AIUM). Under AIUM’s review, the entire obstetrical ultrasound practice was examined, including personnel, physical facilities, documentation, storage and record keeping, policies and procedures and quality assurance methods. Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire’s obstetrical ultrasound program has been accredited since 1998. The latest accreditation is for three years. Participation in AIUM’s accreditation program is voluntary.
Occupational therapist Ellen Christensen recently joined the Rehabilitation Services Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Christensen earned her master of occupational therapy from the University of Minnesota-Minneapolis. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology at UW-Eau Claire. Christensen’s professional interests include adult and geriatric physical rehabilitation, particularly patient care involving orthopedic, surgical and multitrauma diagnoses in the acute care setting.
Cindy O’Brien, office administrator for Edina Realty Chippewa Valley and Spooner, WI. offices, was honored with the Edina Realty Emma L. Rovick Memorial Award, or “Emmy,” on Dec. 13 at a special luncheon for the award winners. Established to honor company founder Emma Rovick, the “Emmy” Award is given annually to two people: one employee and one real estate agent who exemplify Edina Realty’s core values of honesty, integrity and commitment. O’Brien joined Edina Realty in 2004, and is described as hard working and dedicated to the people in her offices. If she doesn't have an answer to a question, she works diligently until she finds it. She also sees to it that new agents get the training that they need to become successful in their careers.
CCFBank’s Regional President of Commercial Banking Tyler Tomesh announces the promotion of Justin Harings to Commercial Banker. Previously, Harings served as a personal banker, a mortgage loan officer and a commercial loan processor for CCFBank. His most current role has been Treasury Management Operations Supervisor, which he will leave to become a Commercial Banker. His role with CCFBank will be based out of the Fairfax Street office in Altoona, where he is very involved in the Altoona Lions Club. Harings is also an Eau Claire Chamber Ambassador, a Young Professionals member and community volunteer with both Junior Achievement and the Seymour Ball Club.
After 28 years, John Frank officially retired as an instructor at Chippewa Valley Technical College. He retires never having taken a sick day from any job in his life. A native of the Eau Claire area, Frank attended UW-Eau Claire, earning his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics, then earned his law degree from UW-Madison in 1977. Frank began practicing law, but also began his teaching career at the UW-Madison Law School. His association with CVTC started in 1978, when he helped launch a Legal Assistant program that later became a Paralegal program. He has also taught at UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and Lakeland College. Frank also has had a distinguished career in law and politics. He has continually practiced law throughout his career. He has managed over 20 political campaigns, served as chief of staff for Congressman Steve Gunderson from 1981-89 and was deputy chief counsel/deputy minority counsel for the House Committee on Agriculture from 1993-97.
Hospitalist Zhibin Jiang, M.D., recently joined the Hospital Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. He will be dedicated full time to taking care of patients admitted to the hospital. Jiang earned his master’s degree and completed medical school at Suzhou Medical College in Suzhou, China. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic Health System, Jiang served as a hospitalist at Ministry Health Medical Group in Stevens Point.
Julie Manas, president and CEO of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, has recently been named to Becker's Hospital Review’s list of "130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know in 2016,” which recognizes female leaders of hospitals and health systems across the country. The leaders on the list were selected based on editorial judgment and discretion of members of the Becker's editorial team, who evaluated leaders for their management and leadership skills and career accomplishments, and also read through and considered a number of nominations. Individuals cannot pay for inclusion on the list. In addition to her role as president and CEO, Manas serves as the president of the Sacred Heart Hospital Board of Directors. She is also a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a member of the board of trustees for the Catholic Health Association.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals also announced that three colleagues have been promoted to director level and have taken on expanded responsibilities:
Northwestern Bank will open their new River Prairie branch located at 1430 Rivers Edge Trail in Altoona on Monday, December 12th. The new River Prairie location will replace the existing Northwestern Bank branch located at 2901 Mall Drive in Eau Claire and will be a full service bank. The Mall Drive location will be closing at 5 pm Friday, December 9th .
Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc., Northwest District is pleased to announce two new members joining its Board of Directors. Lyle Jankee, vice president of pricing and network development at Marten Transport in Mondovi and John Walton, founder of Advance Laser Machining Inc., will be joining the JA Northwest district Board of Directors. Jankee has worked at Marten Transport for the past 15 years where he leads the department responsible for building a freight network that is both profitable and provides a better quality life for their drivers. Walton is a senior business development manager at Advance Laser Machining. Walton is active in the community and serves as chair of the Chippewa Valley Innovation Center and is a member of the Chippewa Valley Technical College Board.
The Royal Credit Union (Royal) Foundation gifted $50,000 to Beaver Creek Reserve for the Discover the Deep Woods exhibit. Proceeds from the 2015 and 2016 RCU Charity Classic event were combined to make the $50,000 gift. The Discover the Deep Woods exhibit includes a beaver bank crawl-through, interactive scat and track wall, and hands-on fur identification. More than 50,000 people visit Beaver Creek Reserve annually. The Charity Classic has been held annually by Royal Credit Union since 1994. The event has resulted in donations of over $227,000 to area charities. The next Charity Classic will be held June 24, 2017.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has earned the second place national-level Louise Herring Philosophy in Action Member Service Award in the over $1 Billion in assets category. The award is made by the Credit Union National Association and reflects the good Royal has accomplished with members and in the community. Royal won the first place state-level Louise Herring Award in Wisconsin, which qualified it for the national competition. Royal has demonstrated excellence and lived its core values by eliminating 100% of punitive fees and achieving a total fee reduction of $6.7 million by eliminating fees ranging from $40 to fifty cents.
The Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity (CVH4H) was presented with a generous grant from the U.S. Bank Foundation this past November. CVH4H applied for a grant to procure funds for their new project of opening a local Habitat ReStore. A Habitat ReStore is a store that specializes in selling new, donated and recycled home building supplies at a discounted rate. CVH4H plans to open the ReStore in the Eau Claire area in 2017. With a ReStore established, CVH4H will be able to generate a sustainable income that can go directly into building more homes for more families. Thanks to U.S. Bank, the ReStore is closer to becoming a reality.
Nurse practitioner Alexandro Vasquez recently joined the Emergency Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Barron and Eau Claire. Vasquez earned his doctorate of nursing practice from Brandman University in Irvine, California and a master’s degree in nursing science from the University of California-Irvine. He completed his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston. He completed his fellowship in emergency medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Physical therapist Daniel Baehr recently joined the Rehabilitation Services Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Baehr earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and his doctor of physical therapy from Carroll University in Waukesha. His professional interests include manual therapy, balance training and working with amputees.
Paul Rudersdorf recently was promoted to succeed Jim Mayo as chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Security Financial Bank (SFB). Rudersdorf also has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of SFB and Security Financial Services Corporation (SFSC), the holding company that owns the Bank. All will be effective on January 1, 2017. Jim Mayo will continue to serve as CEO/president of SFSC during 2017. Rudersdorf joined SFB in July 2015, as the chief banking officer overseeing sales and revenue generation. His responsibilities included building teams to generate revenue for the Bank, overseeing business banking, cash management, customer call center and the retail division for all locations.
Royal Construction recently announced that Carrie Nielsen has joined its team as office manager. Nielsen comes to Royal Construction with six years of accounting experience. Prior to her experience as an accountant, Nielsen worked for a local website development company. In her new role as office manager, Nielsen will handle human resources, payroll and accounts receivable and payable.
Cheryl Halida has been named the 2016 recipient of HSHS St. Joseph Hospital’s Keeper of the Tradition award. This year marks the 14th year the hospital has given the award, which is one of the highest colleague honors at the hospital. Halida joined the hospital in 1979 and currently serves as an executive assistant in the hospital’s administration department. The peer-nominated award honors one colleague each year who carries on the traditions of Christian hospitality, servant leadership and the integration of the mission of the Hospital Sisters into his or her everyday work and service.
Mike Reese as joined Low Voltage Contractor’s Industrial Fire Protection team. Reese joins LVC with more than 40 years of experience, specializing in fire protection. Previously, Reese has held a variety of positions including estimator, operations manager, project manager, sales manager and vice president. With previously employers, Reese was responsible for securing large, complex fire protection jobs, the largest of which included 20,000 sprinklers. His project experience includes a MLB stadium, military hangars, university campuses, steam plants, ethanol plants, office towers, airport hangars, hotels, hospitals and Fortune 100 corporate headquarters.
Wisconsin Farm Broadcaster Bob Bosold was inducted into the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) Hall of Fame during the 73rd NAFB Convention held recently in Kansas City, MO. Bosold is known state-wide for his ongoing commitment to 4-H and FFA students throughout the state of Wisconsin, supporting the future leaders of the agriculture industry. The NAFB Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded by the organization. Each year since 1986 NAFB recognizes members who have made significant contributions to the farm broadcasting industry. Bosold is 39-year farm broadcasting veteran with no plans to stop. He joined WEAU-TV/WAXX-AM/WEAU-FM in 1977 after graduating from UW-Madison in agriculture journalism in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. In 1983, he was named farm director at WAXX/WAYY, and continues this position today.
Attorneys Tanya M. Bruder and Brian M. Nodolf of Nodolf Flory, LLP have been named Rising Stars by Law and Politics and Milwaukee Magazine. The publications ask Wisconsin lawyers to identify an elite group of lawyers, either under the age of 40 or in practice less than 10 years, who demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in their field. Bruder’s practice focuses on business and general litigation. Nodolf’s practice focuses on commercial and industrial development, business and energy law.
After more than two decades with Ayres Associates, Eric Sorensen, PE, has been named vice president of Midwest transportation operations at the firm. Sorensen will oversee transportation and traffic engineering and construction services in Ayres’ Waukesha, Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire offices. Since joining Ayres Associates’ transportation engineering staff in 1995, Sorensen has steadily advanced his career from his work as a design engineer to his current role as a transportation supervisor. Sorensen, based in Eau Claire, will assume his new duties on January 1, 2017.
The EO Johnson service team earned nationwide recognition for 2017 from Ricoh, a global industry leader with the prestigious RFG Circle of Excellence Certified Dealership award. The RFG Circle of Excellence program recognizes dealers who provide outstanding service and support. To be eligible for this certification, all Ricoh technicians needed to pass a series of difficult tests to assess their hardware, software and network connectivity competency. Ricoh then performed an in-depth operations assessment to ensure all business processes met the highest of standards. This extensive preparation continues the tradition of high quality machine service EO Johnson technicians are known to deliver.
Bremer Financial Corporation (BFC) recently announced that its board of directors has unanimously chosen Jeanne Crain as the organization's next chief executive officer. Crain will assume responsibilities immediately and succeeds Pat Donovan, who in July announced his plan to retire at the end of the year. Donovan will continue his service to Bremer through the end of the year as advisor to the CEO. Crain has been part of Bremer's senior leadership team for four years, most recently serving as region CEO of Bremer Bank Twin Cities, as well as group president for BFC overseeing the company's financial services business, including Bremer Trust, Bremer Investment Services, Bremer Insurance and the two banking regions in North Dakota.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital was named a 2016 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner for inpatient satisfaction by Press Ganey. St. Joseph’s Hospital’s inpatient satisfaction scores achieved 95th percentile every month between May 2015 and April 2016. Colleagues throughout St. Joseph’s Hospital have been dedicated ensuring that all patients have good experiences. Projects to achieve improvements in patient satisfaction include working on improved communication and engaging patients in their care.
Three HSHS Sacred Heart & St. Joseph’s colleagues recently earned advanced certification in their respective fields. Valerie Rislove, risk management director for both HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, recently earned her accreditation as a certified professional in healthcare risk management from the American Hospital Association. This is considered the healthcare industry’s premier certification for the risk management profession. Jenny Sabelko, a house supervisor and registered nurse in Sacred Heart Hospital’s critical care services department, recently earned her critical care registered nurse certification. This certification is among the highest professional credentials that can be achieved by a critical care nurse. Tina Voss, a registered nurse in Sacred Heart Hospital’s post anesthesia care department, recently earned her certified post anesthesia nurse accreditation. This national professional certification is designed for registered nurses caring for patients who have experienced sedation, analgesia and anesthesia in a hospital or ambulatory care facility.
La Crosse-based Logistics Health Incorporated (LHI) is adding an operations center in Eau Claire to meet the growing demand for its services. The expansion will bring 120 jobs to the area initially, with the possibility of more in the future. The new office in Eau Claire, located in the Hutchinson Technology Building, will enable LHI to coordinate the logistics of health care services for its growing customer base, while also mining the extraordinary health care talent base for which the region is known. Available positions are already posted and LHI expects to fill the roles by February 1, 2017. LHI currently employs more than 1,200 people in both full- and part-time roles, most of whom are based at its La Crosse location.
Feather Communications, a Colfax-based business, has been named one of the Top 100 Career Websites and Blogs by Feedspot. Dr. Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, founder of Feather Communications, is a certified professional resume writer and provides resume-writing services to clients throughout the United States. As part of her website, she features a regular blog offering implementable tips that range from formatting resumes to how to write a cover letter. Tips from Feather Communications have been featured on CareerSidekick, MSN, Monster, Recruiter, MFG Jobs and the Management Resource Association websites.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) announced that its acquisition of Deerwood Bank in Apple Valley, Minnesota is complete. The transition took place November 5-6 and beginning November 7, 2016 Deerwood Bank, Apple Valley customers became members of Royal Credit Union. This acquisition offered Royal the opportunity to enhance office accessibility to its current Minnesota membership, as well as serve additional members in Minnesota. The office, located at 14295 Cedar Avenue in Apple Valley, was Deerwood Bank’s only facility included in the agreement.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has received a second $2 million grant award from the U.S. Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund (CDFI). Of the 288 CDFI-certified credit unions, only 23 received an award this year. The CDFI program includes both certification and grant options. In 2015, Royal became a certified CDFI, one of only six certified credit unions in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Royal received this certification due to its significant history of serving the needs of low-income people in our communities, through both lending and financial education.
Strong support from the restaurant industry has led the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) District Board to recently approve a culinary program, which will begin in fall 2018 with initial enrollment for 24 students. CVTC’s market research showed that there are about 220 culinary job openings a year in the area, with six percent growth anticipated. CVTC formerly had a Hotel and Restaurant Management program, which was discontinued in 2010. However, in 2011 discussions were already underway to revive the program at the encouragement of industry leaders. The full two-year program will be 60 credits, leading to an associate degree in culinary and operations management. The program includes a 30-credit, one-year embedded technical diploma in professional cooking and a 15-credit, one-semester embedded technical diploma in food and beverage safety.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.