The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Pamela Westby has been appointed to the position of library director. Westby is currently the library director for the Middleton Public Library and has 27 years of library management experience. She has a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Mary and a master's degree in library and information science from the University of North Texas. She also is the 2016 Wisconsin Library Association Board President.
Nick White has been hired as the general manager of Live in Eau Claire, a real estate company and event facility. White comes with a varied background in sales, human services, food service, customer service and community development. A lifelong resident of Eau Claire, White will continue to be involved in the community and the business sector in this position.
Gerald Bauer, owner and founder of JB Systems, LLC, has been selected as the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) newest board member. Bauer will work with the board to offer free resources to entrepreneurs and businesses in the Chippewa Valley. With these resources, the Eau Claire Area EDC hopes to “innovate, develop, expand, or locate the communities of Altoona, Augusta, Eau Claire, Fairchild, and Fall Creek,” by providing new career opportunities.
Rita Sullivan recently assumed duties as vice president-operations for Mayo Clinic Health System – Chippewa Valley. Sullivan replaced Ed Wittrock who retired in December 2015 after serving more than 30 years with the organization. Sullivan’s leadership responsibilities also include Mayo Clinic Health System – Northland and Emergency Medicine for the organization’s hospitals in Barron, Bloomer, Eau Claire, Menomonie and Osseo. She has been employed with Mayo Clinic Health System for more than 20 years. She holds a management certificate in advance studies in health services administration and patient care administration, and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. In addition, Michele Eberle has been appointed assistant vice president-operations for Mayo Clinic Health System and will assist Sullivan. Eberle received her M.B.A. from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and her bachelor’s degree in business administration from UW-Eau Claire. Eberle has been employed with Mayo Clinic Health system for more than 20 years.
Laura Bentley, M.D., recently joined Family Medicine at Mayo Clinic Health System. Bentley earned her medical degree from University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City. She completed residencies at Memorial Hospital South Bend in South Bend, Indiana, and University of Iowa Family Medicine in Iowa City. She is board-certified in family medicine with the American Academy of Family Physicians. Previously, Dr. Bentley worked as a physician at Aurora Healthcare in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, and Unity Point Health in Marion, Iowa.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) was named a 2015 Wisconsin Governor’s Financial Literacy Award recipient. Governor Scott Walker presented the awards during a formal ceremony in the Governor’s Conference Room at the Capitol on February 10, 2016. Royal received the recognition for its innovative, Future U.S. Entrepreneurs (FUSE) program. Royal team members Mary Ginder, community financial education coordinator; Julie Frey, business operations manager; Jennifer McHugh, director of public affairs and financial education; and Amy Forcier-Pabst, executive vice president-member experience accepted the award in Madison.
Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. (Citizens) (Nasdaq: CZWI), headquartered in Eau Claire, and Community Bank of Northern Wisconsin (CBN), headquartered in Rice Lake, recently announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which CBN will merge into Citizens Community Federal, N.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Citizens. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $17 million. Based in northwestern Wisconsin, CBN operates five full-service branches and a loan production office. As of December 31, 2015, CBN had total assets of $152.8 million, loans of $113 million, and deposits of $132 million. The combined company will have total assets, loans, and deposits of approximately $734 million, $567 million and $590 million, respectively. The acquisition will expand Citizens’ branch network in Barron and Dunn counties and establish a presence in Washburn and Rusk counties. The combined company will have a total of 22 branches in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan, with a concentration of 11 branches in northwest Wisconsin.
Three Food and Beverage venues will be opening this Spring along with the downtown hotel, The Lismore, A Doubletree by Hilton. The Informalist is the 120+ seat restaurant, Eau Claire Downtown Coffee is the coffee shop with a fireplace lounge and Dive bar replaced the pool on the second floor. Leading the Food and Beverage operations for the property is Terry Vajgrt, former owner of The Creamery in Downsville, WI. Leading the culinary team are Bradley Dean Parent and Luke Bilda, co-executive chefs. Parent has lived and worked worldwide and has been a chef in some of the finest restaurants and worked with some of the finest chefs in the country. Bilda is culinary school trained and interned on the north coast of France. The property’s beverage manager is Sean Murphy. A Chippewa Falls native, Murphy has been in the industry for more than 26 years.
Jennifer Loew was recently named the new regional director of Volunteer Services at Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin. Prior to becoming director, Loew worked for more than nine years as an administrative assistant, coordinator and manager of operations for the volunteer program. As regional director, Loew is responsible for overseeing Volunteer Services in Barron, Bloomer, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Menomonie, Osseo and Rice Lake. She also will serve as a resource for volunteer coordinators and work to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteers.
The YMCA OF Eau Claire recently elected new officers at its 135th Annual Meeting. Pam Haller and Brian Lanners were elected to initial three-year terms on the Board of Directors. Heidi Atkins, Mark Gilbertson, Scott Lau, Connie Pedersen and Chris Seelen were elected to additional three-year terms. At the same meeting, Heidi Atkins was elected president, Jenny Fesenmaier and Scott Lau were elected vice-presidents, Connie Pedersen was elected secretary and Janine Wildenberg was elected treasurer.
The YMCA recognized Dick May for his outstanding service to the Y by presenting him with the “Steven J. Anderson” Memorial Award. They also recognized outgoing President Andy Cooper as well as John Hopkins who is ending his term on the Board. Andy Cooper will serve on the Executive Committee as past president.
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center recently received certification renewal from the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The treatment center offers adult inpatient and outpatient services, as well as outpatient services for adolescents. The center underwent a rigorous on-site survey last month, and the renewal was awarded for a two-year period.
The Rev. Francis Ibanga, hospital chaplain at HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital, has recently been certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC). The NACC is a professional association that advocates for the profession of spiritual care and all members who continue the healing ministry of Jesus in the name of the Church. Ibanga joined St. Joseph's Hospital in 2012 from the Archdiocese of Chicago. His previous pastoral care experience was drawn from his pastoral ministry in several countries including the United States. Ibanga holds a doctorate degree from Fordham University in New York.
Royal Construction announced that the Board of Directors has elected Jim Bunkelman as president and CEO, Jeff Olson as CFO and secretary/treasurer and Dennis Pischer and Brian Bessinger as vice presidents. Tim Pabich and Tim Olson will assume their new roles as vice presidents of project development. They are not retiring. Bunkelman joined Royal Construction in 2012 as a project manager, and in 2014 joined Royal’s Board of Directors as a shareholder. Jeff Olson joined Royal Construction in 2011 as vice president of finance and in 2014 joined Royal’s Board of Directors as a shareholder. Pischer joined Royal Construction in 2002 as a summer intern, became a project manager in 2003 and in 2014 joined Royal’s Board of Directors as a shareholder. Bessinger joined Royal Construction in 1999 as a project manager and in 2014 joined Royal’s Board of Directors as a shareholder.
Citizens Community Federal N.A. (CCFBank) has earned a five-star “Superior” rating from Bauer Financial, an independent rating company analyzing and reporting on the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. Financial institutions that earn a five-star rating from Bauer Financial are placed on the Bauer Financial Recommended Report as a testament to its stability and strong management. Bauer Financial rates financial institutions based upon a complex formula factoring in current and historical data.
Dr. Derek Rognlien became a partner at Menomonie Street Dental, LLC of Eau Claire. A graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry, Rognlien has practiced dentistry in the Chippewa Valley since 2009. In 2015, he came to Menomonie Street Dental as an associate replacing the retiring Dr. Thomas Henry. In less than a year, his fellow doctors presented him with the opportunity to join Menomonie Street Dental as a partner.
Stucky Chiropractic Center of Eau Claire recently announced two new chiropractors have joined the practice: Dr. Eddie Hall, previously of Goldsboro, North Carolina and Dr. Alyse Laguardia Hall of Eau Claire. Both doctors graduated with a degree of doctor of chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, Georgia. Prior to graduation, they completed an extensive internship at Stucky Chiropractic Center in Eau Claire. Eddie Hall managed fitness centers, prior to attending chiropractic school, and has seven years’ experience with personal training of people from all walks of life. Alyse Hall is the granddaughter of Stucky Chiropractic’s founder the late Dr. L. Joe Stucky and will practice alongside her mother, Dr. Pam Stucky-LaGuardia.
Chuck Kaiser, co-owner of America’s Best Value Inn – Campus View recently received the Spirit Award at Vantage Hospitality Group’s annual International Educational Conference & Trade Show in Las Vegas.
WESTconsin Investment Advisors announced Robert Dillon as financial advisor. Dillon’s responsibilities include providing insurance, investment and savings planning services in and around the Eau Claire, Barron, and Chippewa Falls markets. Dillon has an associate of arts degree from South Suburban College in Illinois and has 28 years of financial industry experience. He most recently worked at Lake Trust Credit Union in Lansing, Michigan.
Patricia Darley, Jeff Halloin and Peter Mannix recently were appointed to the Boards of Directors for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. The boards function separately with a common membership base. Having duplicated board memberships supports the continued divisional collaboration between the two HSHS ministries. Darley is an active community volunteer in Chippewa Falls. Prior to retirement, she worked as a project coordinator at Xcel Energy in the strategic sales and marketing department, customer service/public relations focused. Halloin is returning to the boards, having served on both in the past. He is the president of Landmark Company and Landstar Builders and is also active in community affairs. Mannix is the vice president of strategy development and implementation of Hospital Sisters Health System, a multi-hospital Catholic health care system based in Springfield, Ill.
Chris Klay, who served as director of rehabilitation services at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital for the past seven years, has recently been named division director of rehabilitation services for both St. Joseph’s Hospital and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. Klay now has service-line responsibility for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, wound care and hyperbaric medicine for both hospitals and respiratory therapy and sleep medicine for St. Joseph’s Hospital. Klay holds a master’s degree in physical therapy from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, and is currently pursing an MHA from Ohio University.
Physician assistant Lori Arndt recently joined the Internal Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Arndt earned her master of physician assistant studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, where she also received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. Arndt is certified by the National Commission of Physician Assistants and a licensed physician assistant in the state of Wisconsin. She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants. She also is certified in basic life support.
Physical therapist Eric Hemmerich recently joined Rehabilitation Services at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Hemmerich earned his doctor of physical therapy degree from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology at UW-Eau Claire. His professional interests include orthopedics.
Nurse practitioner Judy Nichols recently joined the Gastroenterology Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Nichols earned her master’s degree in nursing from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from UW-Eau Claire. Previously, she was a nurse practitioner at Marshfield Clinic – Eau Claire Center. Nichols is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and an Associate of the American College of Cardiology. She is certified in advanced cardiac life support.
Chippewa Valley Technical College recently honored two instructor. Adam Zwiefelhofer earned the Domer New Faculty Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member for distinguished performance in the first two years as a full-time instructor. In addition, Eau Claire Fire Department firefighter and paramedic Joshua Olson earned the Paul and Karen Kohler Adjunct Instructor Excellence Award for his work as a FireMedic program instructor.
Senasys, Inc., a diversified manufacturer of switching and sensing solutions based in Altoona, recently acquired Cliff Industrial Corporation. Senasys’ acquisition of Cliff Industrial advances its mission of providing regional businesses and consumers with quality parts and service. By merging Cliff Industrial’s current services with Senasys’ machine shop capabilities, Cliff Industrial will now be well positioned to deliver solutions to enterprises and consumers. Cliff Industrial Corporation and its employees will continue operations in the downtown Eau Claire facility.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.