Welcome to the Eau Claire Chamber Blog
Brandon Riechers has been named president & chief executive officer of Royal Credit Union. The decision was unanimously approved by the Royal Credit Union Board of Directors. Randy Beck has been serving as interim president & CEO since April 15, following the departure of Rudy Pereira. Riechers will be the fourth CEO to lead the credit union since it was created in 1964. Riechers started at Royal in 1996 as a branch financial sales representative while he was a student at UW-Eau Claire. He advanced through several leadership roles at Royal in lending, and has served as executive vice president chief lending officer since 2012. Riechers holds finance and management information systems BBA degrees from UW-Eau Claire and will graduate with his MBA from UW-Eau Claire in December, 2017. He is also a graduate of CUNA Management School and the Cardwell CEO Leadership program.
Associated Bank announced the addition of Nick White to the Chippewa Valley team. White will be working out of the Regis Court office as a business banker. White brings more than 10 years of sales experience as well as other varied skills from his work in marketing, human services, hospitality and non-profit development. Most recently he held the position of sales and marketing director for the Local Lounge as well as the community improvement planner for Live in Eau Claire. In addition to his employment, White is co-owner of Local Partners LLC and Northwest Sports Factory LLC.
The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic (CVFC) announced that Sean Tarpenning, DDS, has accepted the volunteer position of dental director at CVFC. He will be the first to hold the newly created position since the clinic began offering basic dental services in its Tuesday clinics earlier this year. Tarpenning also volunteers as part of the rotation of dentists who serve the clinic’s patients on Tuesday evenings. Along with the Clinic’s medical director, Dr. Lori Whitis, he will provide oversite and advice for patient care and services offered. Tarpenning graduated from the University Of Minnesota School Of Dentistry in 2000 and has been practicing dentistry in Eau Claire for the past 17 years with Dr. Thomas J. Hebert.
Robin Schultz, emergency medical services director at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, recently earned her master of science in nursing degree in leadership and management from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City. Schultz also holds a bachelor of science in nursing degree from the same university. Schultz has served Sacred Heart Hospital for 17 years.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital has named the following officers to its medical staff:
EO Johnson Business Technologies’ Locknet® Managed IT Services ranks among the world’s most progressive 501 Managed Service Providers (MSPs) according to MSPmentor’s 10th-annual MSP 501 Worldwide Company Rankings. The top MSP 501 companies ranked this year include organizations from around the world and from diverse technology and business backgrounds. Collectively, they amassed $14.48 billion in total revenue (based on 2016 results), up more than 15 percent from a year earlier. This is the sixth consecutive year Locknet® has been recognized by MSPmentor, ranking in the Global Edition 2014 - 2016 and in their North America’s top 200 list in 2012 and 2013.
Physical therapist Jennifer Plaetz recently joined the Physical Therapy Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Plaetz earned her bachelor’s degree in health sciences and doctorate of physical therapy degree from the College of Saint Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association. Her professional interests include women’s pelvic health; athletic performance, especially for runners; and learning new and challenging things.
Tasha Bjork recently began her new role as the administrative director in Primary Care – Access and Scheduling at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Bjork has been with Mayo Clinic Health System since 2011 and has held positions in Human Resources, Quality Resources, and Management Engineering and Internal Consulting. She received a bachelor’s degree from UW-Stout and is working to complete an MBA in health care and business management from Lakeland University in Plymouth, Wisconsin.
Inga Forde, M.D., recently joined the Pulmonology Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. In addition, she will care for patients in the Critical Care Unit and provide Center for Sleep Medicine consultations. Forde completed medical school at the University of the West Indies, Barbados. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Seton Hall University School of Graduate Medical Education, St. Michael’s Medical Center, in Newark, New Jersey. Forde completed fellowships in critical care and sleep medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education in Rochester, Minnesota, and pulmonary medicine at Yale New Haven Health, Bridgeport Hospital, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Ophthalmologist Dong-wouk Park, M.D., recently joined the Eye Care Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Park received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. He received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago, Illinois, and completed his residency at Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. Prior to completing medical school, Dr. Park served two years in the Korean military.
Emeka Amadi, M.D., recently joined the Hospital Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Amadi completed medical school at the University of Nigeria in Enugu, where he also underwent his early residency training in general surgery. Amadi completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in Bronx, New York. Amadi’s professional interests include critical care and vascular medicine. He also is interested in medical teaching and quality improvement. He is certified in advanced cardiac life support and basic life support.
Cristian Madrid, M.D., Mark Henry Alon, M.D. and Christopher Barusya, M.D. all recently joined the Hospital Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Madrid earned his medical degree at Universidad Católica in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and completed his medical residency at St. Barnabas Hospital Health System in Bronx, New York. He is certified in advanced cardiovascular life support and basic life support. Madrid also is certified with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. Alon earned his bachelor’s degree in biology, with an emphasis in evolutionary biology from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. He completed medical school at University of Santo Tomas, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery in Manila, Philippines. Alon completed his internal medicine residency training at Columbia University Medical Center, New York City Health+Hospitals in New York, New York. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association and the Society of Hospital Medicine. Barusya completed medical school at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and completed an internal medicine residency at Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield. Barusya’s previous experience includes serving as a medical officer for Serka International LLC on a U.S. Army base in Mosul, Iraq, and supervising a malaria field research site in Kanungu, Uganda.
Two HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital colleagues recently earned advanced certification in their respective fields. Coral Borner, a registered nurse in the hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation department, recently earned her Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse certification, which is administered by the American Board of Nursing Specialties. Nurses who hold this certification have advanced knowledge in assessments, physiology, standards of care and rehabilitation nursing models. Dawn Roskos-Slaby, registered nurse and facilitator in the hospital’s critical care unit, 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. Nurses who hold this certification have advanced knowledge and clinical expertise in the care of acutely and critically ill patients and their families.
Ronald J. Walsh and Justin J. Zoromski recently joined the Chippewa Valley Technical College Board of Trustees following an appointment process that began in February. Also at the organizational meeting Ramona Mathews was elected chair of the Board. Walsh, who grew up in Chippewa Falls, has been a teacher in Boyceville, a counselor in Spooner, and from 1993-2016 a principal and then superintendent in Elk Mound. After retirement last year, Walsh became part-time superintendent at the Plum City School District. Zoromski, who earned an associate degree in business management at CVTC in 2011, has been a member of the CVTC Alumni Association Board since 2015. Since 2012 he has been a financial planner with Woita & Associates in Altoona and Thorp. Zoromski was appointed to a three-year term. Walsh was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Cheryl Maplethorpe. At the organizational meeting, Mathews was elected as chair, with Paul Schley as vice chair, Russell Ratsch as treasurer and Gwen Southard as secretary.
Action City Fun Center and Trampoline Park is featured in the June issue of Tourist Attractions & Parks magazine, one of the most popular amusement industry publication nation-wide. The article is also available online.
Zach Decker has recently joined Woita & Associates of Altoona in a part-time capacity as a Registered ParaplannerSM. An RP ® has the education necessary to work on the basic elements of your financial picture, while the financial planner concentrates on your long-term goals. Decker is a recent graduate of Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College and a current student at Lakeland College working toward a master’s of business administration degree in accounting and ultimately pursuing a Certified Public Accountant designation. Decker is originally from Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
Five residents are the first to begin work in the new Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Residency Program in Eau Claire. The residents were selected out of 999 applicants from medical schools across the country. The new program will accommodate as many as 15 residents, five per year over the three-year residency. The residents are:
Samuel Evers, M.D., recently joined the Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Evers earned his bachelor’s degrees in biology and bacteriology from UW-Madison. He earned his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. Evers completed his residency in emergency medicine at Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and is certified in advanced trauma, cardiac and pediatric life support, and neonatal resuscitation.
Mayo Clinic has started the process of moving to a single, integrated electronic health record and billing system with the implementation of Epic at its Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Wisconsin. Wisconsin sites began implementing Epic last weekend. Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Minnesota are scheduled to go live in November 2017, followed by Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus in May 2018 and Mayo Clinic’s Arizona and Florida campuses in October 2018. Once Epic is in place across Mayo, patients and providers will have the information they need from one system. This includes medications, allergies and health issues. All future billing will be done through one system, meaning patients will receive one consolidated statement, no matter where at Mayo they are seen.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals announced that Patty Allen has joined the two hospitals as chief financial officer. Allen has more than 20 years of experience in Catholic healthcare in areas of strategic and operational financial management. She most recently served as division controller and vice president of finance at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in central Illinois. Allen has also served as chief financial advisor to the hospital division of Columbia-St. Mary’s, a health ministry of Ascension Health in southeastern Wisconsin and vice president of business development and analytics at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare. Allen holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration, magna cum laude, from Monmouth College in Illinois. Dave Nelson, who has served as CFO for both hospitals since January 2013, is retiring.
Northwestern Bank recently hired Cindy Boggess as its marketing and customer relations representative. Boggess has more than 12 years of experience working within financial services, with the last five having lead the marketing department of a bank based in Eau Claire. Boggess graduated from UW–River Falls with a degree in marketing communications and is currently enrolled at the Chippewa Valley Technical College for digital marketing. She additionally has earned a bank marketing degree from the American Institute of Banking and attended a year of the American Bankers Association ‐ School of Marketing and Management.
The UW Health clinics in Eau Claire in Augusta made the official transition to become Prevea Health. The UW Health Eau Claire Family Medicine Clinic, located at 617 W. Clairemont Ave., is now Prevea Health Family Medicine; and the UW Health Augusta Family Medicine Clinic, located at 207 W. Lincoln St., is now Prevea Augusta Health Center. The transition of both UW Health clinics to Prevea Health stems from a collaborative effort, announced Jan. 31, 2017, between Prevea, the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin to keep the Eau Claire Family Medicine Residency Program in Western Wisconsin.
Kevin Miller has been named the first executive director of the Confluence Arts Center in Eau Claire. Miller, who has been the executive director of the Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac since 2007 and led that organization through a facility renovation and expansion in 2012-13, was selected by the Confluence Council Inc. following a national search. He will start his new position July 17. As Confluence Arts Center executive director, Miller will provide leadership, create vision, foster an environment for learning, and carry out strategic planning and programing. He will manage the administrative staff, lead fundraising efforts, establish relationships within the local and regional communities, and ensure the highest levels of excellence in the delivery of outstanding audience and artist experience.
Ayres Associates elected its seven-member board of directors this month, including four outside members and three from within the engineering and architecture consulting firm. The board oversees company operations and sets broad policies, while day-to-day corporate management is delegated to the firm's executive committee, vice presidents, and managers of operations. The board’s large representation of outside directors maintains fresh and broad viewpoints from outside the organization, helping Ayres Associates to remain competitive and ethical in its operations. Members elected to the Board include: Norman Keller, retired Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin executive.; Karl Murch, retired executive in the construction, manufacturing, engineering, and retail industries; Dr. William Rupp, retired CEO of Mayo Clinic operations in Jacksonville, Fla., and Eau Claire; Tami Satre, who retired from Junior Achievement and is active in several Eau Claire civic and philanthropic organizations; Thomas Pulse, chairman and president of Ayres Associates and an active community member in the Eau Claire area; Jan Zander, executive vice president at Ayres Associates and an active community member in the Eau Claire area; and Richard Satterlee, an Ayres Associates business development specialist and active community member in the Green Bay area.
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System recently announced a new agreement that will increase opportunities for research collaboration between the two institutions, create new avenues of learning for UW-Eau Claire students and make way for projects that will lead to improved health and wellness in the community. A new master collaborative research agreement will enable researchers at the two institutions to work together on projects. UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health System will be better able to help prepare the next generation of scientists, innovators, and health care providers and leaders, officials said during a press conference at Mayo Clinic Health System’s Eau Claire campus. While the new master collaborative agreement offers many new opportunities for UW-Eau Claire and Mayo Clinic Health Systems to work together, both organizations also will continue to nurture existing partnerships and look for additional opportunities to work with entities in the Chippewa Valley and beyond.
Blugold Radio announced two new programs coming to their “Sunday Brunch” which airs Sundays between 8 a.m. and noon on Blugold Radio 99.9 FM and at BlugoldRadio.org. The first program is called “The Sounds of Eau Claire” which will air at 10:30 am. For this program local musicians, educators, and promotors are interviewed about both the history of music made in the region and how people have worked together to cultivate a truly unique musical community. The second program is “The Sue Orfield Show” which will air at 11 a.m. This show features guest musicians from the Chippewa Valley and Upper Midwest. The show is recorded in front of a live studio audience. Originally airing in video form this show will be on the radio due to an ongoing partnership between Blugold Radio and Chippewa Valley Community Television
The multi-specialty engineering firm Ayres Associates and Cartegraph, a leader in high-performance government software and services, recently announced a partnership to help clients get a better handle on the condition of their infrastructure assets and plan for the future. Using Ayres Associates’ engineering expertise and geospatial services to supplement Cartegraph’s web-based asset and work management tools, the two companies will assess the current condition of communities’ roads, sewer systems, water supply systems and more, while also efficiently tracking local government resources, performing risk assessments and assisting with budget forecasting.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association recently nominated Joan Coffman, president and CEO of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, to receive the American Hospital Association (AHA) Grassroots Champion Award for her service and efforts. Coffman’s most recent advocacy activities include her involvement in Governor Walker’s Opioid Task Force and attending the AHA Governing Council for Small and Rural Hospitals meeting in Portland, OR, where the discussion focused on hospitals against violence. Coffman has recently been appointed to the WHA’s Subcommittee on Healthcare Reform. She currently serves on WHA’s Board of Directors, helping guide the association’s work. She is also the chair-elect to AHA’s Section on Small or Rural Hospitals. Coffman regularly participates in WHA grassroots advocacy initiatives, including Advocacy Day, promoting the WHA grassroots program, hosting local legislators and more.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital was recently among only 15 hospitals in the state to be recognized by University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation for the hospital’s ongoing commitment to saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation. The hospital received the University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation’s Silver Award of Hope, which recognizes the comprehensive work of hospitals that achieve the goals of two important measures that maximize the gift of life: the true conversion rate, which measures the percent of medically eligible donors that become actual donors; and organs transplanted per donor, which measures the average number of organs recovered from each donor.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) a Smart Manufacturing and Resources for Transforming the Future (SMART Future) grant in June, first announced by Congressman Ron Kind’s office on June 12. CVTC applied for the nearly $900,000 grant in order to partner with rural high schools to incorporate industrial automation and networking principles into the high school curriculum. Menomonie, Durand, Owen-Withee and Greenwood high schools will also be able to start extracurricular robotics clubs; teachers will receive extra training at CVTC; and students will be able to earn industry-recognized credentials before they graduate.
Bowl for Kids’ Sake, the largest fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin, raised more than $214,000 at their 2017 events. Over 1,000 people raised money and took to the lanes to support mentoring in the Northwestern Wisconsin. The signature fundraising event raises nearly a third of the budget for the local Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate. All of the money raised stays local and helps children to be matched with an adult mentor. Proceeds from the events will fund volunteer background checks, participant interviews, and on-going match support provided to each volunteer and family.
Namrata Mehta, M.D., recently joined Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Mehta completed medical school at State University of New York Upstate Medical University College of Medicine in Syracuse. She has 14 years of experience in family medicine. Mehta is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Rahul Sehgal, M.D., recently joined the Rheumatology Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Sehgal earned his medical degree at the University College of Medical Sciences in India. He completed his internal medicine residency at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York, and a rheumatology fellowship at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York. He is a member of the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. He also is fluent in Hindi.
Ten area communities in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties have approved the installation of Born Learning Trails in their area parks. Born Learning Trails are research-based outdoor activity paths for parents and caregivers to walk through with their young children to encourage them to talk, listen, read, think, imagine and create. These trails support United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley’s Successful Children’s Network initiative, which brings programs and resources together to ensure all children enter school ready to succeed.
In addition to commercial security officer and electronic security solutions, Per Mar recently has expanded its monitored home security services to include smart home automation. With smart home automation features like Lyric, the latest and most reliable wireless security and home control system, and Total Connect, which lets you stay connected to your home, no matter where you are, peace of mind is just a tap on the touchscreen away. Another new service is Skybell, a smart video doorbell allowing you to answer your door from anywhere with a smartphone.
S.C. Swiderski, LLC announced three additions to the Leasing Department. The Leasing Department oversees the management of S.C. Swiderski’s real estate portfolio which includes multi-family properties the company has built throughout Wisconsin. Lori Minnihan was promoted to leasing assistant. Minnihan joined the company as a receptionist and recently moved into her new position. In her new role, she is the first point of contact for tenants. Jerry Bruss joined the company as site manager of Willow Estates in Plover. Bruss has a business degree from Madison Area Technical College and two years of experience in customer service and management. Ali Montalbano was named leasing assistant and site manager. She manages four Central Wisconsin apartment sites. She also handles tenant communication and administrative tasks in the corporate office. Montalbano has three years of experience in property management and is pursuing her degree in business and property management.
Jennifer McHugh of Royal Credit Union became a credit union development educator (CUDE) after being guided by dedicated program facilitators and mentors through the intensive Credit Union Development Education (DE) Training from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). A total of 48 credit union professionals received their CUDE designation. DE Training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today. During the recent week-long program, participants were involved in group exercises, field trips, discussions with speakers from around the credit union system, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area.
The UW System Board of Regents elected a new Board president: John Robert Behling. Regent Behling has served as the vice president for the Board since 2015, and will begin his term as president last week. At age 46, Behling is the youngest president- elect, as well as the first Board president from the Chippewa Valley, where he is an attorney with the Eau Claire law firm Weld Riley, S.C. At the firm, Behling serves as the firm’s vice president and chairs Weld Riley’s government and administrative law practice.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring that stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a period of two years.
The Eau Claire Community Foundation awarded $118,441 in grants through its 2017 competitive grant cycle. In this grant cycle, the Foundation received 65 grant applications and was able to fully or partially fund 51 of them. These awards bring the Foundation’s current 2017 disbursements through competitive and Donor-Advised granting to more than $2.1 million, including more than $1.9 million in support of the Confluence Project.
Peoples Bank Midwest recently recognized Donnie Magadance on her retirement. She had worked at the bank for 22 years.
The Carson Park Baseball Stadium Renovation Project is a partnership between the City of Eau Claire, the users of the stadium, and the many supporters of baseball in the Chippewa Valley. The Eau Claire Community Foundation is accepting donations for the Project. Renovation plans include:
• Permanent bleacher seating along both sides of the stadium
• Expanded dugouts and artificial turf
• New restrooms and concession areas
• Enlarged plaza area
The estimated cost of these improvements is $3.5 million, with the city covering half of the costs. The balance, ($1.75 million), will be provided by the users, area businesses, and individual donations. Project organizers encourage everyone to consider contributing to this Project. With strong community support, the renovations will commence following the 2017 baseball season. Online donations can be made on the Carson Park Baseball Stadium Renovation Fund page of the Eau Claire Community Foundation website at www.eccommunityfoundation.org.
CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named EO Johnson Business Technologies’ Locknet® Managed IT Services to its 2017 Solution Provider 500 list. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s annual ranking of the largest technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s predominant channel partner award list, serving as the industry standard for recognition of the most successful solution provider companies in the channel since 1995.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.