WNB Financial is pleased to announce a donation in the amount of $300 to the Wabasha Area Food Shelf. The donation was made possible from “Jeans Day” collections, where employees choose to pay $2 each Friday to wear casual jeans during the work day, with the proceeds benefiting non-profit organizations. The Wabasha Area Food Shelf provides food assistance to adults and families living in the Wabasha and Kellogg areas. Shelves are stocked with a selection of non-perishable foods, frozen meats, eggs, bread, and personal care items. March has been named “Food Shelf Month” because it’s a critical time of year after donations are down following the holiday season, yet the need still remains. WNB Financial employees understand the importance of giving back to the community they serve. In 2018, 36 employees donated 2,211 hours of service to 91 organizations. Over $377,900 was gifted to the community in the areas of education and youth programs, fine arts and culture, health and wellness, economic development, and community service.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is among more than 80 Donate Life Wisconsin member and partner organizations that will simultaneously host a statewide Donate Life Flag-raising ceremony and moment of silence to promote the mission of organ, tissue and eye donation, and honor donors and their families. A heart recipient will available to share his story with media.
The ceremony will take place on Monday, April 1 at 10:08 a.m. 10:08 highlights that one donor can save eight lives. Followed by a moment of silence for 1 minute and 14 seconds to recognize the nearly 114,000 patients
waiting for a life-saving transplant. Of those patients, nearly 2,000 are right here in Wisconsin. The ceremony will take place at the Healing Garden, outside of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital front entrance
On April 2nd, Wisconsin voters will have the opportunity to elect a new state Supreme Court justice and many key leaders in their local governments.
Why is it important to vote in the Spring Election?
Click here to view and share our video, including early voting information
length: one min, 16 seconds
Wisconsin Supreme Court:
One seat for a 10-year term
Profiles and candidate links on ballotpedia
Court Of Appeals Judge District 3
Judge Lisa Stark is unopposed for reelection
Eau Claire City Council:
Council President: Winner will fill one-year vacancy
Chamber Good Government Council Questionnaire
Recorded Chamber Candidate Forum
Council President Forum (Video: Chippewa Valley Home Builders Assn)
Individual Candidate Video Interviews (Valley Media Works)
City council president candidates debate at WEAU (WEAU 13 News)
Council At large: five seats for 3-year terms
Kate Beaton (incumbent)
Catherine Emmanuelle (incumbent)
Chamber Good Government Council Questionnaire
Recorded Chamber Candidate Forum
Candidate Profiles (Volume One)
Individual Candidate Interviews (Valley Media Works)
Eau Claire School Board:
Three seats, each for 3-year terms
Aaron Harder (incumbent)
Eric D. Torres (incumbent)
Recorded Chamber Candidate Forum
Chamber Good Government Council Questionnaire
Altoona City Council:
District 4: Matt Biren (i)
District 5: Tim Sexton (i)
District 6: Susan Rowe
Altoona School Board:
Two seats for 3-year terms, one for 1-year term
David Rowe (i)
Dan Gluck (i)
Dr. Terry Neff
We’ve provided voting requirements and election information below.
Polling Places, Registration, and Identification
If you’re not a registered voter, you can register on election day at your polling place, which you can find here. But once you’re registered, you’ll need to present a valid form of identification, which you can read about here.
In-Person Absentee Voting
Both Eau Claire and Altoona allow in-person absentee voting, and specific information about each city’s policies are provided below.
Weekdays: March 18-29
Location: Downtown City Hall (enter from the alley behind 203 S. Farwell Street - follow the signs.)
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Additional note: You must be registered before an absentee ballot can be sent to you.
More Information: visit Eau Claire's elections page
Weekdays: March 18-29
Location: Altoona City Hall, 1303 Lynn Avenue.
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Other townships and cities: Contact your municipal clerk for location and hours
Election Day, April 2
Polls will be open in Eau Claire and Altoona from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your polling place here.
Races to Keep an Eye On
A competitive and highly important race is shaping up for Eau Claire City Council President. Last June, Council President Kerry Kincaid resigned and Andrew Werthmann assumed her role, becoming the acting president of the City Council. But rules now require Werthmann to face the voters, so Terry Weld is battling him for the remainder of Kinkaid’s term—one year, or, until April 2020. In his announcement address, Weld vowed to bring a “fresh and positive image to the council presidency and a more rounded leadership style to [the] city council.” Meanwhile, Werthmann has emphasized that the main priorities “have got to be tackling poverty and equality, investing in our neighborhoods, and making sure that everyone is lifted up by the success in our community.” To listen to their candidate forum, click here.
The 10 general-election candidates for the five at-large City Council seats are now set. You can view the primary results here. Turnout in that election was low--around 15%--so it's hard to tell who will be elected to the Council in April. That means general-election voters could sway the final outcomes. As a result, we encourage every member of the Chamber to cast a ballot in that race. For more information about the at-large candidates, check out their bios in our previous post, which can be found here. Or, read through their Good Government Council Questionnaire responses.
Four candidates are vying for three spots on the Eau Claire School Board. Incumbent Eric Torres, who is a university professor, has continually stressed the importance of electing public educators to the school board. And Tim Nordin, who ran last election cycle, has sustained his message that equity and innovation are the essential components of progress in our schools. Much like Torres, Erica Zerr, a first-time candidate, has advocated strengthening the role of teachers in developing curriculum and guiding classroom operation.
Altoona's David Rowe has decided not to seek another term on the City Council, so his wife, Susan Rowe, is running to replace him. Right now, she faces no competition in District 6. The term spans for two years, or, until April 2021.
For the Altoona School Board, all candidates will get elected, but the top two finishers will earn full 3-year terms, while the third-place finisher will earn only a 1-year term.
Questionnaires and Candidate Forums
The Chamber's Good Government Council has published questionnaire responses for these races:
City Council President Good Government Council Questionnaire responses
At-Large City Council Good Government Council Questionnaire responses
EC School Board Good Government Council Questionnaire responses
The Chamber, along with the Leader-Telegram, WQOW TV 18, Wisconsin Public Radio, and Valley Media Works, is proud to be sponsoring three candidate forums before the general election. Each will give different sets of candidates the opportunity to debate with one another and talk with voters. The dates, times, and location of each follows.
City Council President Candidate Forum and Meet & Greet
Audio recording available here.
Eau Claire School Board Candidate Forum and Meet & Greet
Recorded Forum available here
At- Large City Council Candidate Forum and Meet & Greet
Recorded Forum available here
Posted by Nate Kane, Legislative Intern
The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library is moving forward with plans for a $20M renovation and expansion project. After a 2017 building evaluation by Zimmerman Architectural Studios, Inc. revealed a litany of problems with the current library facility, the City of Eau Claire pledged $11.5M from its 2018, 2019, and 2020 budgets to affect the necessary upgrades.
The library is now seeking to maximize the cost and time savings potential of the upcoming renovation to expand the facility, creating a structure that meets the needs of current usage and future growth. The remaining $8.5M needed for the privately-funded expansion will be sought through a capital campaign with pre-campaign committees now underway.
Congratulations to CCFBank on their recent merger with United Bank. A ribbon cutting was held at their Gateway Drive location to celebrate this partnership.
Thank you Farmer's Insurance - John Volgren Agency - Eau Claire WI for your membership with the Eau Claire Chamber!
Local legislators tout support for UWEC Science Building, see potential common ground on Transportation
With deliberations regarding The 2019-21 State Budget underway, it is an exciting and busy time in Madison. Six Local State Legislators came to Eggs & Issues on March 15 at the Green Mill to answer questions regarding the prospects for cooperation under newly divided State Government, their views on the proposed budget and their top priorities for the Chippewa Valley. These Legislators included Senator Kathy Bernier (R-23), Representative Jodi Emerson (D-91), Representative Jesse James (R-68), Representative Warren Petryk (R-93) and Representative Rob Summerfield (R-67). The breakfast was attended by about 80 local business and community leaders.
In their opening statements, emphasis on the budget was apparent. Senator Bernier stated, “The primary focus is the budget.” Representative Emerson described it at “the people’s budget,” in which the people were being given what they asked for through listening sessions. The local listening process was brought up again by Representative Summerfield. He stated that the local listening process should be continued, but he did think that the budget is “very Madison and Milwaukee-centric,” and the rural areas cannot be forgotten about. All of the legislators realize that it will be about negotiation and compromise, which was brought up by Representative James, and that priorities will have to be determined. For Representative Petryk, those priorities are helping fill jobs by helping people that have the skills and training people who want to gain the skills. Representative Kulp states that one of his priorities is to repeal the personal property tax.
The first question was regarding the UW-Eau Claire Science Building and how they think it will fit into the budget negotiations now that it is included in the capital budget that Governor Evers introduced. All of the legislators have high hopes for the project, but realize there will be challenges moving forward with the next steps. Representative Emerson highlighted the UW-Eau Claire Science Building as a “living example of bipartisanship,” both in Madison and the Chippewa Valley. Legislators from both sides of the aisle are supporting this building, and education and businesses are coming together in Eau Claire to make it happen. Representative Petryk focused on the importance of the Mayo Clinic partnership in making this happen, and Representative Summerfield made the point that it was important to all of Northwestern Wisconsin. Representative Kulp stated that he still needed to learn more about it, but realizes the challenges that are approaching in the next stages. The Governor and the legislator have a lot of ways to reject proposals, and with a divided government, this is likely to happen. Representative Kulp said, “There are a lot of ways to say no, we have to find ways to say yes.” Overall, there is a hopeful tone regarding the project and the legislators are working to make it happen.
The second question was, “Can each of you highlight one specific area in which your funding priorities aligns with the governor’s (not including the UW-Eau Claire Science Building) and one in which you differ most strongly?” There was a common theme among several legislators that they agreed with the transportation portion of the budget, including the eight cent gas tax increase. Legislators that focused on potential for compromise on transportation included Representative James, Representative Petryk and Representative Kulp. Representative Summerfield showed his support for the broadband expansion initiatives in the budget.
The disagreements were much more varied among the legislators. Representative James disagreed with the in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and Representative Emerson disagrees with repealing the minimum markup law on gas.
The third question was regarding long-term solutions for transportation and if the legislators see hope for a bipartisan approach to make that happen. A common theme was that it looks better that it has in the past, but it still be a challenge in this session. Representative Summerfield and Representative Emerson agreed that the big picture must be looked at and the future has to be planned for. With the popularization of electric cars, Representative Summerfield highlighted that tolling and registration fees should be considered, not just a gas tax. Representative Emerson said that looking at mass transit and the expansion of bike paths would also be a viable option.
The fourth and final question was, “Last year, WEDC launched a marketing campaign to draw talent to the state, focused on millennials, alumni and transitioning veterans. However, WEDC’s funding request to continue the campaign at $5 million annually was not included in Governor Evers’ budget. What are your thoughts on talent attraction being part of the state’s workforce strategy?” Representative Petryk stated that attraction, retention and training were crucial to solve the workforce issues, while Representative James stated that focusing on the youth should be one of the top priorities. Senator Bernier highlighted that a multi-faceted approach must be taken.
Posted by Emma Koehn, Legislative Intern
Richard Rapp, DO, a family medicine physician based at the Prevea Ladysmith Health Center, is now also seeing patients two Fridays a month at the Prevea Cornell Health Center. Dr. Rapp provides routine care for children and adults, preventive medicine and health maintenance, and joint and muscle injections. He also offers osteopathic manipulation treatments (OMT), a form of hands-on care to diagnose, treat and prevent illness and injury. This treatment method can be considered for muscle and back pain, along with asthma, sinus issues, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines and menstrual pain.
WNB Financial has announced that Greg Oelrich has joined the Bank as a Mortgage Loan Officer at its office in Eau Claire, Wis. In his new role, Oelrich will assist and educate new and existing clients about home ownership, while providing customized products and services to make home ownership or home improvement an affordable reality. He brings 13 years of financial services experience in the areas of insurance, investments, and mortgage origination. Oelrich most recently worked with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Eau Claire.
Midwest Select Insurance Group welcomes their newest agent, Edna Perkins. Edna comes to MSIG as a dedicated professional with over 20 years of experience in human resources and employee benefits management. She is focused in providing employer groups the “best fit” products and services. Edna obtained her education at Villanova University, Kaplan University and the College of Lake County.
Five Star Telecom has been a trusted local provider for over 40 years. "We’re Your Connection" is more than a slogan, it’s a promise – our promise that we will connect you to the best services in the industry.
We develop strong relationships and provided solutions to our clients and friends with unique services.
Join us on Wednesday, March 20th from 3pm-5pm at the Florian Gardens Conference Center for our Cloud Migration event.
See live product demonstrations from Nextiva - Hosted VoIP and Verkada Hosted Video Security.
Networking Social Hour will follow with food and beverages.
Register for this event at www.5startel.com
We will see you there!
Physician assistant Steven Swartz recently joined the Radiology Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Swartz earned a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, and a master’s degree in exercise physiology and physician assistant studies from The University of Iowa. He is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Chippewa Valley Technical College has introduced an Anatomage Table to the students from Fall Creek, Bloomer, Cornell and Altoona high schools who are enrolled in the CVTC Healthcare Academy classes. This table is the most technically advanced way to study human anatomy available. It’s the same technology being used at advanced medical schools around the world. This virtual reality dissection table allows students to look at the digestive system, the respiratory or cardiovascular system – any system in the body and turn it around to look at in different ways.
The $90,000 table was purchased with a grant to CVTC Foundation, Inc. from Rutledge Charities, Inc. in Chippewa Falls to support the expansion of high school academies. The academies provide opportunities for high school students to gain college credits through a cluster of classes on a particular subject and also provide the students with an industry-recognized certification. The CVTC credits also count toward high school graduation and count toward full programs at CVTC. In the Healthcare Academy, the students earn 14 credits and Certified Nursing Assistant credentials.
Nurse practitioner Annie McSharry recently joined the Spine & Neurological Surgery Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. McSharry earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She received a master’s degree as a family nurse practitioner from Chamberlain College of Nursing in Downers Grove, Illinois. McSharry has nine years of experience as a surgical registered nurse, most recently at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.
Speech and language therapist Carly Kjornes recently joined the Rehabilitation Services Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Kjornes earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association.
Prevea Health has announced it now has a board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Oludayo Sarumi, at the Prevea Arcadia Health Center. Dr. Oludayo Sarumi specializes in routine care for children and adolescents, preventive medicine, well-child visits and sick visits. She graduated medical school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.; completed residency in pediatrics at Schneider Children’s Hospital in New York; and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.
Charter Bank has announced Ann Gonstead-Hartle as Compliance Officer. She is responsible for ensuring compliance with Federal and State regulations as well as internal policies and procedures, across all departments within the bank.
Gonstead-Hartle began her banking career over 18 years ago at American Bank, now known as Merchants Bank. She also served as a Manager at Wipfli, LLP providing financial regulatory compliance consulting for banks in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Most recently, Gonstead-Hartle worked as the Vice President of Compliance at CCF Bank. She has earned certifications from the Independent Community Bankers of America and the Institute of Certified Bankers.
Prevea Health announces Dr. Ken Johnson as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations for its Western Wisconsin service area. Dr. Johnson currently serves as the Vice President and Chief Physician Executive at Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) in Springfield, Illinois.
Dr. Johnson will begin his role as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Operations for Prevea’s Western Wisconsin service area on May 20, 2019. Dr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University A&M; his Doctor of Medicine from Louisiana State University Medical School; and his Masters of Public Health from the University of Illinois – Chicago, where he also completed his residency.
Congratulations to King Embroidery & Apparel on the opening of your business! If you need to get some apparel or logo wear for your next event, check out this place located on the corner of Menomonie Street and Clairemont Ave.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.