Recently, 36 area high school juniors graduated from the Chamber’s Youth Leadership Eau Claire (YLEC) program. In its 12th year, the program gives students a chance to enhance their knowledge and development leadership skills. During the nine-month program, the students learn about the community and future career opportunities.
In order to graduate from the program, students must complete community service projects. This year, the class divided into four groups to complete the projects for the Bolton Refuge House, Eau Claire Healthy Community Mental Health Action Team, Feed My People Food Bank and Girls on the Run.
The following is the list of 2015 graduates:
Mitchel Abts, Regis High School
Emma Anderson, Memorial High School
Ali Barrie, Fall Creek High School
Alex Braaten, Memorial High School
Meiyi Chen, Memorial High School
Lauren Clark, Regis High School
Violet Eigner, Fall Creek High School
Chelsea Ennen, North High School
Whitney Folkers, Fall Creek High School
Laura Garcia Pimentel, North High School
Natalie Hellegers, Fall Creek High School
Jennifer Her, North High School
Kevin Humphrey, Memorial High School
Callie Jones, Regis High School
Kate Kalmon, Memorial High School
Katrina Kawak, Memorial High School
Sarah Liming, Regis High School
Jackson Lindquist, North High School
TJ Lustek, Memorial High School
Tori Matson, Regis High School
Jared Merkel, Regis High School
Emily Pedersen, Memorial High School
Alyson Pernsteiner, Regis High School
Megan Pokrandt, Regis High School
Chase Rauckman, Memorial High School
Bennett Running, North High School
Alicia Schwahn, North High School
Nathan Sims, North High School
Channa Steinmetz, Regis High School
Katie Stremcha, North High School
Julia Szepieniec, Regis High School
Izzi Thompson, Memorial High School
Baileigh Tolar, Memorial High School
CJ Vonderheid, Regis High School
Jennifer Xiong, Memorial High School
Pang Der Yang, Memorial High School
Thank you to all the volunteers and sponsors for making this program possible!
YLEC Executive Committee
Chair Carla Leuck, Spectrum Industries, Inc.
Vice Chair Jenna Ziegler, Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire
Kristan Motszko, Eau Claire Area School District
Marc Paulson, Benefit Plan Administrators
Laura Volbrecht, Fall Creek School District
Larry Zorn, Eau Claire Press Company
YLEC Curriculum Committee
Sara Antonson, Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley
Jason Craig, Mayo Clinic Health System
Andrea Finn, Royal Credit Union
Kelly Lauscher, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Eric Lindquist, Leader-Telegram
Susan Peterson, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc.
Ben Richgruber, Eau Claire Regional Arts Center
Vicki Seltun, Weld, Riley, Prenn & Ricci, S.C.
Suzie Slota, YMCA
Daneille Strong, Weld, Riley, Prenn & Ricci, S.C.
Michael Strubel, Visit Eau Claire
Laura Talley, BMO Harris Bank
Keith Zehms, Eau Claire County
Charter Bank Eau Claire
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Citizens Community Federal N.A.
Eau Claire Area School District
Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Ken Vance Motors/Car City Honda
Anton & Mary Kidess
KRM Information Services, Inc.
Mayo Clinic Health System
Mega! CO-OP/Mega Holiday
Norke Nook at Northwoods Brew Pub
Nortrax Equipment Co., Inc.
Oak Park Dental
RB Scott Company
Rotary Club of Eau Claire (Noon)
Royal Credit Union
Scheels All Sports
Silver Spring Foods, Inc.
Sunrise Exchange Club of Eau Claire
Rakesh & Renee Sreenivasam
Sue & Roger Tietz
Youth Leadership Endowment Society
Owen & Janice Ayres
Banbury Place/Cigan Properties
Mel & Leann Breed
Dick & Marlene Cable
Charter Bank Eau Claire
Mark & Donna Faanes
BJ & Bea Farmer
Kurt & Christine Geissler
Jon & Maureen Homstad
Market & Johnson, Inc.
Mike & Pat Markin
Lee & Anna Mayer
Bob & Vicki McCoy
Karl & Denise Murch
RB Scott Company
Joe Stienessen (National Presto)
Roger and Sue Tietz
Wisconsin Independent Network
Congratulations to the following individuals who have graduated from the Leadership Eau Claire™ program.
LEC Class of 2015
Becky Adamski, Eau Claire YMCA
Jason Jon Anderson, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Andie Auna, Xcel Energy
Suzanne Becker, Feed My People Food Bank
Sara Carstens, Mayo Clinic Health System
Marquita Davis, Mayo Clinic Health System
Amy Doughty, Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.
Patrick Erickson, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
Liz Falkner, Lasker Jewelers
Sam Forehand, Realityworks, Inc.
Lieske Giese, Eau Claire City-County Health Department
Jodi Gobrecht, Eau Claire County
Kendra Goodman, Wipfli, LLP
Char Gurney, Royal Credit Union
Karen Hauck, Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes Inc.
Andrew Holland, BMO Harris Bank
Joe Kauffman, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Rachel Kjos, JAMF Software
Kelly Kramer, Herrick & Hart, S.C.
Bob Kremer, Mayo Clinic Health System
Jim Lahti, Bremer Bank
Claire Lindstrom, UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education
Emily Madsen, Eau Claire Realty
Paul Mirr, Ruder Ware, LLSC
Jeff Mohr, Rhom Construction
Amy Muehlbauer, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce
Kyle Neidermire, Xcel Energy
Sara Pedicone, Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital
Dennis Pischer, Royal Construction
Jackie Rasmussen, BMO Harris Bank – Private Banking Division
Josh Rizzo, Chippewa Valley Habitat for Humanity
Matt Rokus, Eau Claire Police Department
Mike Shea, Market & Johnson, Inc.
Cara Sliva, Rump’s Butcher Shoppe
Michael Steininger, Spangler Flory, LLP
Cory Tietz, City of Eau Claire
Mark Troendle, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
Bill Wallo, Weld, Riley, Prenn & Ricci, S.C.
Nicole Wilson, Royal Credit Union
Heather Wolske, Eau Claire County
As part of the program, the class completed five community service projects for area non-profit organizations. To read more about the projects, click here.
Thank you to the many volunteers that make this program possible. We truly appreciate all your support.
Chair Ally Clark Peterson, Girl Scouts of the Northwest Great Lakes
Vice Chair Margo Keys, Chippewa Valley Techical College
Past Chair Barbara Oas, Royal Credit Union
Alumni Chair Stephanie Butero, Gold Cross Answering Service
Sara Antonson, Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley
Zan Degen, Mayo Clinic Health System
Monica Herman, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
Jessica Janssen, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Kelly Jacobs, Eau Claire County
Wayne Marek, Eau Claire Children’s Theatre
Nick Mohr, Rhom Construction
Kristan Motszko, Eau Claire Area School District
Steve Nick, City of Eau Claire
Shelly Olson, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Jon Schultz, City of Eau Claire Fire Department
Chris Seelen, Ruder Ware, LLSC
Michael Strubel, Visit Eau Claire
Leadership Eau Claire™ Participants are required to participate in a group project. The class is divided into teams, which throughout the year work with a community non-profit organization to complete a service project.
City of Eau Claire/DNR
The City of Eau Claire along with the DNR initially asked for help developing a festival to highlight urban wood products made from wood recovered by the City of Eau Claire. After working with stakeholders to realize there was no urban wood network in the Chippewa Valley, Team Orange determined that greater value would come from facilitating the creation of a process by which to connect urban wood resources with potential vendors or artisans and ultimately a local consumer market. Initial outreach meetings were held to gauge the interest of local users, and information was gathered from both individuals who have supported similar network creations in other areas as well as key contacts within the local City government. After several options were reviewed, the recommendation was to work with a similarly minded non-profit organization known as Wisconsin Urban Wood to partner with the City in the creation of a use agreement. This use agreement contract (in the process of execution) will provide insurance for the local members to access City property as well as allow for a more streamlined resource dissemination process from the City’s perspective. In addition, avoiding the cost of chipping urban wood materials that have a higher use will not only reduce cost on behalf of the City but also align with sustainability initiatives outlined in the City’s vision for the future. After successful use agreement execution, the intention is for artisans to produce goods that are then used to form the basis of a burgeoning urban wood market in the Chippewa Valley, and the use agreement created by this LEC team (the first of its kind in the state of Wisconsin) can be modeled by other communities interested in similar initiatives.
Eau Claire Healthy Communities – Mental Health Action Team
This LEC group completed a brochure/guide for the Eau Claire Healthy Communities – Mental Health Action Team. The team had voiced concern that mental health services need to be more visible and accessible in the Chippewa Valley. The group’s goal was to create a document that contained accurate information for mental health services that was easily accessible to individuals in the Chippewa Valley. The final product is a brochure/guide entitled “Navigating Mental Health Services in the Chippewa Valley,” which includes resources, definitions, a mental health wellness check, primary contact information for specific entities and a question and answer section. The brochure/guide will be placed at local food pantries, homeless shelters, hospitals, clinics, social services agencies and any other locations where mental health consumers tend to visit. Hopefully, this brochure/guide will help those mental health consumers obtain the services they need with more ease and less stress.
Family Resource Center
The largest fundraiser of the year for the Family Resource Center is its “Where in Eau Claire” scavenger hunt. It was the task of this Leadership Eau Claire™ group to help grow the event. By increasing the importance of corporate sponsorships and participating, as well as tweaks to raffle ticket sales, registration forms and social media activity, along with incorporating an evaluation form after the vent to take into consideration participant feedback, the group feels like they have set the Family Resource Center up for success. The Family Resource Center and Leadership Eau Claire™ invite you to donate, participate and/or spread the word about “Where in Eau Claire,” which will take place on Thursday, July 9, 2015. For more information about the Family Resource Center or its “Where in Eau Claire” scavenger hunt, please visit www.frcec.org.
Joshua’s Camp asked this Leadership Eau Claire™ group to develop a professional PowerPoint presentation to be used for volunteer recruitment, funding proposals and general organization information. The group met with the founders, John and Cathy Finney, created an outline for the presentation and asked John to write all of the words he would use for each of the outlined topics. The group then took those words and used them on the slides and in the slide notes section to ensure all of his thoughts were in the presentation for any person that used the PowerPoint. In the middle of the project, John lost his own battle with cancer, but the group continued to work with Cathy. After completing the presentation, the group also helped Cathy purchase presentation technology and taught her PowerPoint basics.
Junior Achievement sought assistance from this Leadership Eau Claire™ to improve its brand and community awareness in the North Central district of Wisconsin. This LEC group conducted an extensive study of the North Central districts social media and messaging efforts. A great deal of attention went into examining Junior Achievements’ social media efforts through a SWOT audit. A SWOT analysis is the methodical examination of Junior Achievement’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities to expand, and threats of area competitive non-profits through the lens of social media. The group’s analysis considered JA’s internal efforts in social media and website management. At the same time, the group studied how area non-profits promoted themselves through free social media outlets to gain a strong following of supporters. Our overall conclusions from the SWOT analysis were documented and shared with Junior Achievement staff. The group also assisted with two ancillary Junior Achievement projects. 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of Junior Achievement in Eau Claire serving the North Central district of Wisconsin. The group was eager to help support and promote the 25th Anniversary Gala for Junior Achievement. One group member cultivated a donor to fund the table fee for the group to attend the 25th Anniversary Gala. Members of the group volunteered at the Gala with registration and hospitality. Lastly, Junior Achievement expressed an interest to better connect with the manual labor and construction industries. Thus, the group created a small database of names and contacts within construction and manual trades for Junior Achievement to contact for tentative job shadowing, mentoring or volunteering programs.
Gary Berg recently received the Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award from UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association. Berg, a 1979 UW-Eau Claire graduate, currently serves as the chief executive officer of G.L. Berg Entertainment, a company he established that specializes in contracting entertainment for college, corporate, fair, festival and theater events throughout the United States. The award recognizes distiguished service to the community, state or nation in a manner that brings credit upon the recipient and the university. After graduating from UW-Eau Claire, he went to graduate school in Missouri, and after receiving a master's degree in higher education administration he worked as a college administrator for more than a decade. He left academia to start G.L. Berg Entertainment, which has grown to be the largest entertainment provider in the Midwest, annually contracting entertainment and speakers for more than 3,000 shows throughout the United States and the world. The company represents approximately 100 professional comedians, musicians and variety performers.
EO Johnson Business Technologies Locknet® Managed IT Services has been named to Penton Technology’s eighth-annual MSPmentor 501 Global Edition, ranking at number 24. This is a distinguished list and report identifying the world’s top 501 MSPs. This is the fourth consecutive year Locknet® has been recognized by MSPmentor, ranking #26 in the Global Edition last year and in their North America’s top 200 list in 2012 and 2013. Each year, MSPmentor gathers information for its annual rankings through the participation of managed service providers and IT service providers in an annual survey. The survey was conducted from December 2014 through January 2015. Rankings are based Penton Technology’s unique criteria for MSPs such as annual recurring revenues, total revenues, and more.
JB Systems, LLC, a web development company based in Eau Claire, has been selected as a winner in Graphic Design USA’s (GDUSA) 2015 American Web Design Awards. This is the fourth consecutive year that GDUSA has named JB Systems a winner in these awards, which acknowledges the company’s expertise in creating quality, custom website designs for clients. JB Systems received five awards for their websites in the following four categories: website design, mobile/responsive design, Microsite design and desktop/infographic design. The purpose of the American Web Design Awards, as stated by GDUSA, is to "showcase the power of design in enhancing websites and online communications."
Independent Banker®, the award-winning magazine of the Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA), recognized Charter Bank Eau Claire as an ICBA top performer in its May issue. Charter Bank’s recognition is based on its earnings and operational efficiencies throughout 2014. As part of its annual performance rankings of ICBA member institutions, Independent Banker pulled year-end FDIC call report earnings data to identify the top 25 community banks in six asset-size categories, both for Subchapter C corporation and Subchapter S corporation banks. Each top-25 listing measures community banks by their return on average assets (ROA) and return on average equity (ROE) ratios for all of 2014.
HSHS Sacred Heart & St. Joseph’s hospitals were awarded the 2015 Greenhealth Partner for Change Award by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge. The award is one of the organization’s Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector. The Greenhealth Partner for Change Award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this Award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, have reduced regulated medical waste, are well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire received the 2015 Practice Greenhealth Emerald Award for demonstrating superior sustainability programs and cross-functional excellence. One of the Circles of Excellence awards also was received for having shown outstanding performance for commitment to preserving water. In addition to these practices, other sustainability efforts include increasing the use of cooling towers that saved 14.3 million gallons of water per year; restoring natural prairie habitats on the grounds around buildings to reduce watering needs; diverting 6,400 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air by conserving energy through efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems; and diverting 11,000 pounds of plastic and 845 pounds of cardboard from landfills through recycling.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire also earned a top-tier High Performing distinction in heart failure in U.S. News & World Report ratings. U.S. News Best Hospitals for Common Care evaluated how well more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide performed on routine individual procedures and conditions. The five areas of focus are heart bypass surgery, hip replacement, knee replacement, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure. Only about 10 percent of the hospitals were rated as high performers in any category. The two highest tiers were collapsed to a single High Performing tier, and the two lowest were collapsed to a Below Average tier. About 800 hospitals were rated High Performing in at least one procedure or condition.
EO Johnson Business Technologies has received the Top 9 Performance Award from Square 9 for 2014. EO Johnson is one of nine resale dealers nationally to receive the award. Square 9 Softworks is a leading developer of innovative, business-centric software solutions. Performance Award recipients were selected from hundreds of technology partners within Square 9 Softworks’ North American Reseller Channel who exemplified their commitment to a solution-sales based approach. The awards are based on sales volume, a focus on solving customer business issues relating to document management, creative use of technology, outside-of-the-box thinking, and a strong commitment to developing product expertise. This is the fourth consecutive year EO Johnson has received the award.
Two Royal Credit Union Board members were re-elected to three-year terms— John Sackett and Bill Blackburn. Sackett was elected to the board in 1984; prior to that, he served on the Examining Committee. Currently, Sackett serves as treasurer of the Board, chairman of the Finance Committee and serves on the Political Action Committee. Blackburn was elected to the board in 2005. He also serves on Royal’s Finance and Credit Oversight Committees.
At the Reorganization Meeting, Doug Olson was elected chairman; Tom Huffcutt was elected vice chairman; Sackett was elected treasurer; and Jennifer McDonough was elected secretary. Nancy Beltz, Blackburn and Stuart Schaefer serve as directors.
Marshfield Clinic Health System (MCHS) is joining AboutHealth, the statewide health care organization that includes Aspirus, Aurora Health Care, Bellin Health, Gundersen Health System, ProHealth Care, ThedaCare and UW Health. The system was developed to enhance clinical quality, increase efficiency and improve customer experiences through shared practices. Collectively, the system provides access to care for about 94 percent of Wisconsin’s population and serves patients in neighboring Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital recently presented the 2015 Nurse Exemplar Award to Lindsey Thoma, a registered nurse in the hospital’s rehabilitation department. The peer-nominated award is Sacred Heart Hospital’s highest nursing honor and recognizes an extraordinary nurse who exhibits excellence in caring for patients and families, provides personalized patient care, and has a superior level of knowledge and skill.
The Water Quality Association (WQA), a national non-profit based in Lisle, Ill. that serves as a resource and advocate for improved water quality, names Bret Tangley of Eau Claire-based Sterling Water Inc. president of the Water Quality Association. Tangley is a certified master water specialist and has held numerous positions on the WQA executive committee of the board of governors. Tangley also recently received an award for his 25 years of service at the 2015 Culligan Dealers Association of North America Convention in New Orleans.
ADG welcomed Roberta (Bobbie) Guest as the newest addition to its design technicians team. Guest earned a bachelor of fine arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design, while minoring in technical writing, at UW-Stout. She also holds an associate’s degree in architectural commercial design from Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College. ADG specializes in a number of distinct markets: government, health care, senior living, emergency service facilities, spiritual, educational and commercial design.
At a recent HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital’s Colleague Service Awards banquet Peggy Pendergast, organizational learning colleague, received the Father Klimek Healing Presence Award. In addition, James Geraghty, M.D., was named the hospital’s Physician of the Year for 2015. Pendergast has worked at Sacred Heart Hospital for more than 10 years. She currently serves as education assistant in the hospital’s organizational learning department. She is the hospital’s training center coordinator for the American Heart Association, coordinator for the hospital’s new colleague orientation and hands-only CPR training coordinator, among other responsibilities. The Father Klimek Healing Presence Award is the highest honor that a hospital colleague can receive, and recognizes a long-term colleague who has dedicated his or her life to being a humble servant of the sick. Geraghty is a board-certified radiologist with Medical X-Ray Consultants. Geraghty has practiced at Sacred Heart Hospital for 24 years and currently serves as the chair of the hospital’s medical staff bylaws committee. He has served as past president of the hospital’s medical staff, and currently serves on the Friends of Sacred Heart Hospital Leadership Council. The award honors Geraghty for his life-long commitment to quality care.
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital also announced that it has earned Quality Respiratory Care Recognition (QRCR) under a national program aimed at helping patients and families make informed decisions about the quality of the respiratory care services available in hospitals. Approximately 15 percent of hospitals in the United States have received this
BEI Services and ENX Magazine recently selected Marco as an Office Technology Service Excellence Award recipient. This honor is given to dealerships that have proven to meet or exceed national performance standards in areas relating to customer satisfaction as defined by BEI Services. Thirty-nine Marco technicians were recognized for their outstanding service and Marco also received the dealer award.
Midwest Select Insurance Group is expanding into Minnesota. The new office in Woodbury, Minnesota will serve clients in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul marketplace, according to Christopher Dooley, partner with Midwest Select Insurance Group, LLC. Midwest Select is a Wisconsin-based enrollment partner that helps businesses, brokers and individuals navigate the changing health insurance and voluntary worksite benefit landscape. Midwest Select has offices in Eau Claire, Wausau and Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Indianapolis, Indiana.
The Eau Claire office of M3 Insurance has expanded to include Kristin Schmidt, account executive for employee benefits. She joins Scott Trinrud, senior account executive for property & casualty and leader of M3’s Construction & Real Estate practice group. Schmidt was recently promoted to account executive and is responsible for advising clients about the design, implementation and management of their employee benefit programs. She joined M3 in 2008 and moved to the Eau Claire office earlier this year. Trinrud, with M3 since 2001, was recently promoted to leader of M3’s Construction & Real Estate practice group. He specializes in property & casualty, focusing on the development and implementation of strategies to help clients manage their risk.
Two Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) leaders have been honored for professional excellence by the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education (WACTE). CVTC Foundation and Alumni Association Executive Director Aliesha Crowe received the Outstanding Career and Technical Education Leader Award, and Diversity and Equal Opportunity Manager Mike Ojibway received the Outstanding Member – Community Involvement Award. Crowe joined CVTC in 2009 as dean of Energy, Agriculture, Construction and Technology program, which encompassed 24 academic programs and 50 full-time faculty. Crowe took over as executive director of the CVTC Foundation and Alumni Association in January 2014, leading fundraising and other advancement activities for the college. Ojibway is a Title VII Federal Indian Program volunteer and active in the Eau Claire Clear Vision Bridge Builders Civic Engagement Group and the Eau Claire Junteenth Planning Committee. Ojibway developed the Empower Alliance & Leadership program for high economic need students at CVTC, and initiated CVTC involvement in the Eau Claire International Fall Festival.
The Durand School District has retained SDS Architects as the lead firm to work with the district during the remodeling and expansion projects approved earlier this month by referendum. SDS will provide design services for the school district, which has selected Market & Johnson as the construction manager for the project. Construction is scheduled to begin in October of 2015 with completion and occupancy in August of 2016.
Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire recently elected three members to its Board of Directors, and two new members were elected. Re-elected and newly elected Cooperative Board members include: Dessin Campbell, Mail Source, Inc.; Barb Koski, Bowmar Appraisal, Inc.; Cheryl Gullicksrud, Mondovi School District; Doug Hoffer, City of Eau Claire; Mike Conner, PESI, Inc. As a cooperative, every member has a voice in the organization. A Board of Directors elected by members has the responsibility of overseeing the activities of the Cooperative. The result is a plan that operates with the single focus of optimizing the health care of its members.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.