Charter Bank is proud to announce and welcome Brittany Strand as Human Resources Generalist. She assists with a variety of HR topics such as recruiting and onboarding, assisting with employee questions, benefits administration, payroll processing, and any HR related projects for all Charter Bank locations, serving as a resource to both employees and the bank.
“Brittany comes to Charter Bank with a variety of valuable skills and experiences,” states Jerrilyn Parr, Vice President/Human Resources of Charter Bank. “We are excited to have her join our team as we continue building a top-notch team to serve our employees and customers.”
Strand is not a new face to Charter Bank as she spent some time here as a temporary employee covering another employee’s leave of absence. Strand began her career at the Medicine Shoppe working in Human Relations, Compliance and as a Pharmacy Technician. Most recently, Strand worked at Hutchinson Technology as a recruiter and Leave of Absence Administrator. She helped with various HR projects such as employee training, testing and implementing a new HRIS system, and document redesign.
“Charter Bank is a great company because of its people. I’m really excited to be a part of this organization and have the opportunity to not only work with everyone here, but also have an impact on the company and our community,” states Strand.
An Osceola, WI native, Strand and her husband Nick, enjoy spending free time with family, friends, and pets. They also enjoy spending time boating or floating on the river and visiting local wineries and breweries.
The Eau Claire United Soccer Club is pleased to announce a partnership for its annual soccer tournament. The Eau Claire Invitational Tournament, Presented by Scheels, will be held June 7-9, 2019, at the Eau Claire Soccer Park and Bollinger Fields.
Scheels is joined by an impressive list of sponsors that includes Jimmy John’s, CCF Bank, Chippewa Valley Vein Center, Ken Vance Motors, Larson Orthodontic Specialists, Market & Johnson, Tractor Central, Weld Riley, Heritage Rentals, Kwik Trip, Prevea Health, WESTconsin Credit Union, Hoeft Builders, Mancino’s, Schleis Flooring and Toppers Pizza.
As the United’s main fundraiser, tournament proceeds help to fund player scholarships, coaching certifications, training equipment and lower overall fees for all players with the club. “The mission of the Eau Claire United Soccer Club is focused on giving local soccer players the chance to get involved with and learn to love soccer,” said President Shamus Funk. “Generous sponsorships from Scheels and several other local businesses helps the club provide these opportunities by funding player scholarships and coach training that support the athletes' development to their highest competitive levels.”
While typically drawing around 100 teams a year, 2019 has seen a significant boost. So much so, the club closed registration with 130 teams committed by April 13th. “This is one of the largest weekend events the city hosts annually,” said Boys Team Director Doug Morosky. “It has an economic impact of greater than $1 million over two-and-a-half days of activity. The impact is greater than just hotels. as food/beverage, transportation, entertainment and grocery are all impacted with 1,000's of out of town
Congratulations to Hope Gospel Mission on the opening of it's new Hope Renewal Center for Men. This new facility will serve the homeless, addicted and needy here in western Wisconsin.
Congratulations to Jack Kaiser and Patti Cigan of Banbury Place on their partnership with Royal Credit Union in presenting the Uniroyal Tire Factory Gallery, a new self-guided exhibit celebrating the history of this Eau Claire icon.
Eau Claire-based construction firm Market & Johnson hosted an Apprenticeship Signing Day on May 17 for high school students who plan to join the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters Apprenticeship after graduation. Much like the National Signing Day for student athletes, the event was to celebrate students who are choosing a career in the skilled building trades.
Upper left: Steve Mann, NCSRCC, speaks about the value of the apprenticeship
Upper right: Jerry Shea, President of Market & Johnson, congratulates students on their decision
Lower left: Drew Seveland, Eau Claire Area School District, speaks about the value of a trades career
Lower right: Students signing letters of sponsorship
"They are making a career path choice for a family supping career." It's also a way of getting an education without going into debt," said Steve Mann, Business Representative for NCSRCC.
Students from area high schools signed a letter of sponsorship with a union contractor. Four high school seniors signed their apprenticeship papers, joining Carpenters Local 1074, and took the first step towards a career in the skilled building trades. John Schancer and Carter Verdegan, from School District of Flambeau, and Mason Thurston, from Eau Claire North High School, will be earning while they learn on projects with Market & Johnson, while Luke Mayer, from Neillsville School District, joined Kraemer Construction.
Jerry Shea, President, Market & Johnson agrees, “Market & Johnson is proud to team up with our local high schools and our labor partners to make the Youth Apprenticeship a success for all. We thank those leaders who have made this possible, and we welcome our Youth Apprentice Graduates to an exciting and fulfilling career in construction.”
Posted by Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
WNB Financial is pleased to announce two donations: $500 to Feed My People Food Bank in Eau Claire, as well as $250 to the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley. These donations were 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 benefitting non-profit organizations. 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. WNB gifted over $377,900 to the community in the areas of education and youth programs, fine arts and culture, health and wellness, economic development, and community service.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices North Properties welcomes Janet Bublitz to their Eau Claire offices at 3452 Oakwood Hills Parkway. Janet is a realtor with an interior design background. In her spare time, Janet enjoys cooking, reading and decorating.
Share of Western Wisconsin, a pregnancy and infant loss support group recently started by HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, is hosting memorial and burial services for families who have experienced a loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, early infant death or SIDS. Families throughout western Wisconsin are welcome to attend.
A service will be held in Eau Claire Monday, June 3, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cemetery, 1906 Omaha St. A second service will be held in Chippewa Falls Tuesday, June 4, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Hope Cemetery, 418 N State St.
Each program will consist of a memorial service with a burial ceremony following for miscarried babies under 20 weeks of gestation. Poems or special readings are welcomed and may be shared with others during the service. Extended family and friends are also welcome.
For more information about the programs, please contact Spiritual Care Services at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals at 715-717-6174.
The Healing Place, a free service of HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital that helps anyone who has experienced a loss and is in need of spiritual and emotional support, is offering the following programs and sessions in June. All sessions will take place at The Healing Place, 2125 Heights Drive, Eau Claire, unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 715-717-6028.
Successful ground breaking for Feed My People Food Bank's expansion!
Earlier this week, 36 area high school juniors graduated from the Chamber’s Youth Leadership Eau Claire (YLEC) program. In its 16th 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 Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley, YMCA, Heyde Center for the Arts, Eau Claire County Humane Association and Beaver Creek Reserve.
Congratulations to Brian Salinas from Fall Creek High School for being awarded the first Becky H. Seelen Leadership Award. Becky was a 20 year employee of the Eau Claire Chamber and was instrumental in the development and growth of the Youth Leadership Eau Claire program.
Becky's passion for the program and long-term commitment to youth leadership development made the program what it is today. The award recognizes the student that best exemplifies the mission of Youth Leadership Eau Claire to develop high school juniors in to empowered leaders and motivate them to become involved and committed to their community. Students were asked to nominate an individual from the class that exemplifies this award.
The following is a list of the 2019 graduates:
Altoona High School
Augusta High School
Fall Creek High School
Memorial High School
Mai Nhia Yang
North High School
Regis High School
YLEC Executive Committee
Chair - Michael Strubel, Marshfield Clinic – Eau Claire Center
Vice Chair - Tracey Smiskey, Northwestern Bank
Past Chair - Jenna Ziegler, Charter Bank
Kelly Hebert, Eau Claire Area School District
Eric Nelson, Regis High School
Jim Schmitt, Eau Claire Area School District
Laura Volbrecht, Fall Creek School District
YLEC Curriculum Committee
Elaine Coughlin – Pablo Management
Jason Craig – Mayo Clinic Health System
Richard Eaton – Eau Claire County
Andrea Finn – Royal Credit Union
Travis Ida – Boys & Girls Club of the Greater CV
Nicole Lasker – Lasker Jewelers
Jodi Lepsch – Chippewa Valley Technical College
Eric Lindquist – Leader-Telegram
Andy Neborak – Eau Claire Express Baseball
Eric Nelson – Regis High School
Susan Peterson – Junior Achievement of Wisconsin
Vicki Seltun – City of Eau Claire
Suzie Slota –YMCA
Cathy Statz – Wisconsin Farmers Union
Daneille Strong – Weld Riley, SC
Thank you to all of our sponsors for making this program possible. For a complete list of sponsors, please click here.
The US Chamber's John Kirchner spoke to over 50 local business and community leaders at the Chamber's Eggs & Issues breakfast on Friday, May 17.
Kirchner spoke about a variety of issues, which represented a mixed bag of optimism and challenges. He talked about the strength of the economy, the positive impact of tax reform, along with challenges like the negative impact of tariffs and getting diverse parties in Washington to work together to get critical priorities accomplished like infrastructure and immigration reform.
Left: John Kirchner of the US Chamber speaks at the May 17 Eggs & Issues;
Right: Chamber members getting the federal update at Eau Claire's Holiday Inn South
To begin, Kirchner highlighted the stark partisan divide in Washington, emphasizing that, in 2013, only four members of Congress were considered moderate. (That number might be even lower now, he noted.) What are the reasons? Kirchner proposed two explanations. First, he said that gerrymandering could be a cause. When districts are drawn to favor only one party, those districts often elect the most extreme members of the favored party. Gerrymandering, however, can explain only the House’s division; the Senate is elected to represent states not districts. So he added that the abolition of earmarks could also be feeding the partisan conflict. Earmarks are amendments that individual legislators can append to bills in order to fulfill the interests of wavering legislators. Kirchner argued that their has been less motivation for bipartisanship since their abolition.
Even with that partisan conflict, Kirchner explained that Congress has passed a few important and beneficial bills. The 2017 tax bill is an example. Through lowering the top tax rate, he said, the administration has freed up a significant amount of corporate capital, much of which companies have invested into employee benefits and pay. This reform, having such noticeable effects in America, has spurred other nations to lower their corporate tax rates. Households have benefited too. For example, the bill has nearly doubled the average deduction for both single and joint filers. In addition, the child tax credit completely doubled, going from $1,000 to $2,000 on average.
Kirchner also emphasized the benefits of the Trump administration’s regulatory roll backs. Before President Trump was elected, Kirchner noted, many business owners viewed excessive regulation as the biggest barrier to success. “Since only 1976, executive agencies have issued over 180,000 new regulations,” his PowerPoint read (see also the graph below). In fiscal-year 2018 alone, the Administration repealed 176 regulations, which saved the nation around $23 billion. And since the start of the term, the Administration has withdrawn or delayed over 2,200 executive regulations. In addition, President Trump and Congress have invoked the Congressional Review Act 14 times, something done only once before.
Not all recent policies have improved the economy, however. For example, increasing tariffs has had an all-in-all negative effect on the economy, especially the agricultural industry. Since the beginning of his term, President Trump has imposed hundreds of billions of dollars in new tariffs. In return, many countries—including China, Mexico, and Canada—have retaliated. US industries and consumers now have to shoulder the burdens of roughly $150 billion in retaliatory tariffs. Those burdens, Kirchner added, function as taxes on Americans, which could actually harm the economy in the long run.
Mentioning Congress’s failure to pass health-care reform, Kirchner offered a solution to our current system of health care. He proposed an expansion of association health plans. These plans would primarily help small businesses because they will allow them to join up and enroll in low-rate group plans. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, if implemented, this approach would increase the number of insured by about 400,000. Not long ago, however, a federal court held that key parts of the AHP policy plan are unconstitutional, so the future of that plan is uncertain.
For all the partisan loyalty observed earlier, Kirchner predicted that the parties might work together to pass an infrastructure package. Such a package would likely include a “modest increase in the federal fuel fee.” But that is something he expects both parties to support because it would benefit a large portion of the American population. Constructing the roads would also develop a trained workforce. Those are things everything can agree are beneficial. The primary struggle in passing such a bill lies in the fact that “infrastructure” means different things to different people. That is, infrastructure means the development of complex roadways to urban citizens, while it means the expansion of broadband to rural Americans.
Another area where both parties might work together is immigration. Although some aspects of this issue have caused fervor, it is possible that both parties could come together to reform green cards and the employment-verification system. Kirchner hit on another issue related to immigration--DACA. DACA has proven unpopular among many Republicans, but he stressed that these deferrals positively affect the workforce, something that desperately needs growth. With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, and with our low rate of population growth, DACA serves as a solution to the demands of our waning workforce.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Congressional and Public Affairs
Executive Director, Midwest Region
National chamber aims for the middle now (Leader-Telegram)
John Kirchner's PowerPoint Presentation (Eggs & Issues, May 17, 2019)
Posted by Nate Kane, Legislative Intern
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.