Ambassador of the Month
Marianne Klinkhammer, Gator Garb Promotions
The Ambassador Executive Committee is pleased to announce Marianne Klinkhammer, Gator Garb Promotions, was selected Ambassador of the month in December 2016 for her participation in Chamber and Ambassador activities. Thank you, Marianne, for all your time and hard work.
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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.
The YPCV Committee will be filling open spots on the YPCV Committee. The position will start April of 2017. If interested in applying to the committee, click here for the application.
Applications for the open seats are due by Friday, February 10 , 2017.
If you have submitted an application in the past, we have it on file and will review it. No need to submit another one.
Only one person from a business can serve on the committee in an effort to keep it diverse.
The YPCV committee has up to 22 members.
Our current committee members are:
Luke Benedict, Benedict Refrigeration
Thomas B Burton, Law Office of Thomas B. Burton
Nick Goeman, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP
Nicole Hecksel, Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce
Stephanie Herbert, Lasker Jewelers
Julie Kalpinski, Royal Credit Union, Chair
Vanessa Klemish, Klemish & Johnson, LLC
Ben Komro, RE/MAX Real Estate Group
Joe Larson, Boy Scouts of America, Chippewa Valley Council
Michelle Larson, Kristo Orthodontics
Liz Lemke, Silicon Graphics International (SGI)
Andy Neborak, Eau Claire Express Baseball
Emily Oman, Raymond James
Kaylynn Stahlbusch, Aging & Disability Resource Center
Eric Strobel, Strobel Insurance, Inc.
Daneille Strong, Weld, Riley S.C., Co-Chair
Ben Trachsel, B & B Electric, Inc.
Nick White, Live in Eau Claire, LLC
Melissa Wilson, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Justin Zoromski, Woita & Associates LLC
Spots are filled once a year in March. Committee spots are preferably given to Chamber member businesses (although non-Chamber member applications will be reviewed). To complete a committee application, click here. Only one person from each business can serve on the committee in an effort to keep it diverse.
The committee will consider the following when reviewing applications: length in YPCV, participation in YPCV events, business, why the person wishes to serve on the committee and what they will bring to the committee.
The committee meets on the second Thursday of each month from noon-1 pm at the Chamber office. Committee members are expected to attend 50% of the meetings and 6 YPCV events throughout the year. Please take this time commitment into consideration when applying.
The committee term limit will be 4 years and these terms will begin on April 1, 2017 for the new committee members. Applicants will be notified by March 11th.
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.
The Board accepted the resignation of Faye Deich, DeBraack Group, effective December 31, 2016. She has accepted a new position in hospitals in the Twin Cities. MaiVue Xiong, Weld Riley, was approved to replace and fulfill the unexpired term of Faye Deich, from January 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. The Board appointed Scott Biederman, Profitable Transitions, to replace Faye Deich on the Executive Committee, effective January 1, 2017.
The Board approved selecting Jerry Shea, Market & Johnson, to serve on the Executive Committee, effective April 1, 2017.
The Board approved two of the three one-year appointments, effective April 1, 2017: Paul Kohler, Charter Bank and Paul Madsen, RainMaster.
The Board approved the following for one year terms based on their positions:
Chamber Foundation President: Mark Faanes, Wipfli
Chair of the Young Professionals: Daneille Strong, Weld Riley
President of the Chamber Ambassadors: Nick White, Local Lounge
The Board accepted the election results for six new Board members, for three year terms, effective April 1, 2017:
Steve Anderson, Ruder Ware
Tim Benedict, Benedict Refrigeration
Nicole Lasker, Lasker Jewelers
Andy Neborak, Eau Claire Express Baseball
Laura Talley, BMO Harris Bank
Amy Wolfe, Trubilt Collision Center
The Board received an update on the President’s search committee. The listing is posted on the Chamber’s website. The committee expects to begin interviews in February and hopefully have someone hired by mid-April and to begin June 5
Thirty five people will be going on the Chamber trip to Peru on February 23, 2017. The Chamber will survey members for 2017 trips and see which one has the most interest and then hold informational meetings. Thailand in the fall of 2017, about $3,000 per person. Railroading in the Rockies, Sept. 22, 2017. About $4,700 per person, Shades of Ireland, October 2017, about $3,600 per person.
There were four (4) write ins. John Bast - EverGreen Services, John Satre - Bauman Associates, Brad Stuckert - Documation and Patrick Boughton, Business Impact Group. These names will be placed on the list for next year’s Nominating Committee to consider.
The Chippewa Valley Rally issues were presented and approved. The Rally will be January 25.
The Board discussed the Chamber Buy Local Bucks and the staff will develop an accounting spread sheet for when the five year expiration is up on the Certificates. However, the Chamber will always redeem any unexpired certificates and Chamber members businesses may accept, even if expired. This is because the Chamber owns the project and banks locally with these funds.
The Young Professionals shared their new program, ACE program, Advocate, Collaborate and Educate. They now have 402 members.
The Board discussed the President’s retirement party on June 1 at 4 pm at the Lismore.
Following the Board meeting the newly elected and appointed Board members joined the Board for a planning session for the new fiscal year, April 1, 2017, under the leadership of Tim Benedict, Benedict Refrigeration and facilitated by Bob McCoy.
The Board used the Horizons 2025 program agenda, which was developed by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. The eight areas reviewed include: The Nature of Belonging & Gathering, Communication & Technology, Scarcity & Abundance, Global Impacts, Population Shift, Political & Social Fragmentation, Resource Alignment and Catalytic Leadership.
The new Business Plan and Budget will be reviewed and approve at the February 21, 2017, Board meeting.
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.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.