Marshfield Clinic Health System to begin vaccinating community health care workers
MARSHFIELD – Marshfield Clinic Health System is now scheduling community health care workers and emergency responders in north-central Wisconsin who qualify for COVID-19 vaccination based on the Wisconsin State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee’s definition of a health care worker.
These individuals include health care personnel and emergency responders who provide direct patient care or engage in services that place them into contact with patients who are able to transmit SARS-CoV-2, and/or infectious material containing SARS-CoV-2. These workers include behavior health providers, chiropractors, dental services, emergency medical responders, police, firefighters, hospice workers, pharmacists, social workers and many others.
“Our communities have many health care workers who interact with their patients and clients daily and need the protections offered by the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Tammy Simon, Vice President at Marshfield Clinic Health System’s Institute for Quality Innovation and Patient Safety. “We are working tirelessly to use the vaccinations we receive from the State and get them into frontline health care providers, and now our community health care workers, as soon as we can.
Visit the Marshfield Clinic Health System website at marshfieldclinic.org/community-vaccine to enroll yourself for the COVID-19 vaccine. You will need to provide the name of your organization, your job position(s), contact information and date of birth. You will then be contacted within several days to schedule an appointment. We request patience as we anticipate a high number of health care workers reaching out to us to schedule a vaccination.
Marshfield Clinic is offering vaccinations at our medical offices in 14 communities across Wisconsin.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not available to most patients at this time.
“We are expecting further guidance from the State about the rollout of the vaccine beyond these groups in the coming weeks,” Simon said. “We are working on our vaccine rollout plan now to ensure we are ready when the State is ready. We will communicate out to the community once the vaccine is available.”
Prevea Health welcomes Renita Robinson, MEd, MS, ABD Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion
Green Bay, Wis. – At Prevea Health, we recognize widespread disparities exist in health outcomes and care in the state of Wisconsin. According to the 2020 Wisconsin Health Disparities Report: Rural and Urban Populations, the state of Wisconsin received a D on this report as it relates to providing equitable care across race/ethnicity and payer categories.
Prevea Health is committed to caring for all and ensuring health care is readily available to all. To carry this commitment forward, Prevea Health is honored to welcome Renita Robinson, MEd, MS, ABD to its family as Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion. As part of this role, Renita will mine through available data to identify disparities in our health care system statewide and offer solutions to eliminate those disparities.
Brian Duffy Named CEO of Per Mar Security Services
DAVENPORT, Iowa – Per Mar Security Services, the largest family owned full service security company in the Midwest, is pleased to announce that Brian Duffy has been promoted from Chief Operating Officer of Per Mar to President and Chief Executive Officer effective January 1, 2021. Brian Duffy becomes the third generation of the Duffy family to lead Per Mar. The company was founded by John and Eleanor Duffy in Davenport, Iowa in 1953. Michael Duffy will continue with the company as Chairman of the Board.
Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Celebration to be held virtually Jan. 18
The Chippewa Valley will honor the life and work of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18, with a virtual event that includes history, training and education, culminating in a virtual community concert at Pablo Center at the Confluence.
The day of programming, titled the Chippewa Valley 2021 Martin Luther King Remembrance Celebration, will be livestreamed beginning at noon through Pablo Center and Facebook Live on the King Remembrance Program Facebook page. Community members can register on the Pablo Center site. Parts of the day’s events will be broadcast live on Converge Radio, 101.9 FM.
Author Kevin McMullin on “Spectrum West” January 14
Eau Claire, Wis. – Kevin McMullin, musician, storyteller, writer and educator, will be joining host Al Ross on “Spectrum West” at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/ River Falls. The show will also feature the outline of a potential season at a theater in Rice Lake, announcements of current events at the public library in Eau Claire and a preview of a dance performance by an Eau Claire company taking place at the end of the month.
Ross will be welcoming back frequent guest Kevin McMullin to talk about his new book “Into the Black Sea: Stories of Darkness and Light.” McMullin is a musician and educator as well as an author. The book is an adaptation of his stage show of the same name. McMullin will be reading from the book.
Senators Smith and Bernier on “The West Side” January 15
Eau Claire, Wis. – State Senators Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, and Jeff Smith, D-Eau Claire, will talk about the new legislative session and issues that will impact their western Wisconsin constituents at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15 on “The West Side” on The Ideas Network stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls.
Smith and Bernier will join host Dean Kallenbach for a look ahead to the spring legislation, which will include negotiations over the biennial state budget and COVID-pandemic relief. They will also share their thoughts about other legislation expected to come up in the current legislative session, including the creation of new legislative and Congressional districts in Wisconsin for the next ten years.
Green Fleet LLC.
Green Fleet is a sustainable, luxury ride service based in Eau Claire, WI that operates exclusively with Tesla electric vehicles. Our goal is to provide quality, luxury ride services while educating and promoting the public on the benefits of electric vehicles.
1. Private Ride Service: Reserves the entire vehicle for up to 4 passengers with luggage
a. Available 7 days/week with pickup from 5 AM to 8 PM
b. Service to Minneapolis/St. Paul, Rochester, La Crosse and Wausau
2. Hourly Ride Service: Reserves the entire vehicle for up to 4 passengers with luggage
a. Available 7 days/week with 24 hour pickup b. Perfect for special occasions
3. Executive Shuttle Service: Operates between The Lismore in downtown Eau Claire and the MSP Airport.
a. Operates Monday – Friday with up to 3 passengers per trip
b. The Lismore to MSP: 5:30 AM, 12:00 PM, 5:30 PM
c. MSP to The Lismore: 7:30 AM, 02:00 PM, 7:30 PM
Potential Community-Wide Mask Ordinance
(Eau Claire, Wis.) – As our community continues to respond to the ongoing pandemic, Eau Claire City-County Board of
Health, Eau Claire City Council, and Eau Claire County Board have partnered to identify actions that may be needed to
protect the well-being of our residents, businesses, educational institutions, healthcare, and other community partners. One evidence-based community strategy is the use of facemasks in public spaces.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court is currently considering the Governor’s legal ability to declare multiple emergency
declarations for the same emergency. If the court determines multiple emergency declarations cannot be issued, then
the requirement for the use of masks will no longer be in place across Wisconsin. Additionally, the current State
mandate ends January 19th and the Governor has not given an indication of whether there will be a continuing State
order if it is legally permissible.
DigiCOPY Offers Complimentary COVID-19 Cards-Be the Light
(Eau Claire, WI – January 11, 2021) – In the past ten months, no one has escaped the impact of COVID-19 on our families and our communities. In December, 2020, DigiCOPY began working with Compassion in Action, a faith based non-profit organization in Marshfield, WI, on their “Be the Light” program. DigiCOPY printed cards and envelopes for the organization’s “Be the Light” COVID-19 care packages-supporting COVID-19 positive patients, front-line pandemic workers and children/teens struggling with the impacts of coronavirus.
DigiCOPY is now supplying complimentary cards and envelopes in their Eau Claire store location, 1033 W. Clairemont Avenue, to help communities show compassion in action and “Be the Light.” “I invite you to stop by DigiCOPY and pick-up complimentary cards and envelopes to help uplift the spirits of family members and neighbors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DigiCOPY CEO/Founder Craig Shuler. “We are pleased to provide the cards to our customers and community and help “Be the Light” for COVID positive patients, front-line workers and children and teens struggling with the pandemic,” Shuler adds.
We need assistance to get Eau Claire County residents vaccinated!
As you may know, COVID-19 vaccinations began in Eau Claire County in December. Vaccinations are currently happening for healthcare workers and long-term care staff and residents, as these groups are the priority to receive vaccine based on state and federal guidelines. There are several entities in the area that are approved vaccinators and providing vaccines to this group.
The Health Department is also an approved vaccinator and we are requesting assistance with our appointment-only COVID-19 vaccination clinics on Wednesdays in Eau Claire. Training will be provided. Staff working the clinic will be supplied with appropriate PPE. Please read in entirety.
Additional details on how to sign up:
Jan 13th- https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B044EA9AC22A6FF2-covid196
Jan 20th- https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B044EA9AC22A6FF2-covid192
Jan 27th- https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B044EA9AC22A6FF2-covid198
If you can’t assist at these times but would like to assist in the future:
Please email Samuel Simmons <Samuel.Simmons@co.eau-claire.wi.us> and indicate that you would like to be put on the list to volunteer at future clinics when dates and times are finalized.
Questions: Please contact Paulette Magur <Paulette.Magur@co.eau-claire.wi.us>
$34,500 Awarded in Second Round of Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. COVID Relief Grants
Eau Claire, Wis.: The Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI) Board of Directors released a second round of grant assistance to downtown businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The DECI Grant Committee reviewed applications and awarded 23 applicants with grants in the amount of $1,500 each, for a total of $34,500. In June of 2020, DECI awarded $46,500 in assistance grants to members. In total, the organization has distributed $81,000 in direct relief grants to downtown member businesses and organizations. Recipients of the DECI Relief Grants issued in June of 2020 were also eligible to apply for grants this round.
Tax Assistance available through Chippewa Valley Technical College and Royal Credit Union Partnership
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Royal Credit Union is partnering with Chippewa Valley Technical College and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to provide assistance to community members with their tax returns. VITA was created to provide free income tax return assistance to taxpayers who cannot afford to pay for professional help. VITA volunteers provide free tax assistance to anyone with an adjusted gross annual income of $57,000 or less including disabled, non-English speaking, senior citizens and special needs taxpayers.
This service will be available on Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. from February 4 until April 15, with the exception of March 25. Services will be provided at CVTC’s Business Education Center at 620 W. Clairemont Avenue in Eau Claire. Appointments for VITA are required; appointments can be made by going to www.rcu.org/vita or by calling 800-341-9911 and dialing extension 6.
Precautions like mandatory masks, temperature checks, and physical distancing will all be in place to ensure everyone’s safety. To limit the number of people involved, it is asked that only the client/spouse attend the appointment. Translators or caregivers will be allowed for those clients that require them. Royal Credit Union is among a number of credit unions in Wisconsin who are taking the initiative to help build financially strong, self-supporting families and communities by offering innovative services like VITA.
Tax returns are prepared by student volunteers from Chippewa Valley Technical College who have taken the steps to become certified by the IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. VITA offers free basic income tax return preparation and e-filing. Taxpayers with complicated returns or questions will be referred to an IRS publication, to the IRS, or to seek private professional assistance. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis by the VITA volunteer. Those that take advantage of this unique service are asked to bring photo ID, social security cards for taxpayer and all dependents, earnings statements, a copy of their tax return from last year, forms 1095(A, B or C) affordable health care statements, rent certificates from landlord or property tax statement, financial institution’s routing and account numbers for direct deposit.
About Royal Credit Union
Royal Credit Union is a federally insured credit union proudly serving over 220,000 Members in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Royal is driven by a core ideology built on a strong purpose and values. You can open an account or apply for a low-rate loan at Royal Credit Union if you live or work in 26 counties in western Wisconsin or 16 counties in Minnesota. Counties served in Wisconsin include Adams, Ashland, Bayfield, Barron, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Lincoln, Marathon, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Trempealeau, Washburn, and Wood. Counties served in Minnesota include Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Wabasha, Washington, Winona and Wright. Realtors in the state of Wisconsin or Minnesota are also eligible to join the credit union. Visit rcu.org or call Royal Credit Union at 800-341-9911 for more information.EAU CLAIRE, Wis. – Royal Credit Union is partnering with Chippewa Valley Technical College and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to provide assistance to community members with their tax returns. VITA was created to provide free income tax return assistance to taxpayers who cannot afford to pay for professional help. VITA volunteers provide free tax assistance to anyone with an adjusted gross annual income of $57,000 or less including disabled, non-English speaking, senior citizens and special needs taxpayers.
Chippewa Valley Community Chorus
The Chippewa Valley Community Chorus is embarking on a unique season this spring. It is joining the many great local organizations in adapting to the current times by going virtual. Though this is a new challenge, it is an exciting one. It will allow us to bring together members not only from the Chippewa Valley but also from across the country. We will be keeping to our short spring season, rehearsing Tuesdays January 12th-March 16th from 7-8:30 pm, and will culminate the season by compiling a recorded virtual concert to share with those in our communities. The format will be different, meeting via zoom with one hour of rehearsing music for the concert followed by a half-hour relaxed sing-a-long format. We will give members the option of participating in one or the other parts of the rehearsals or both if they would like. Our director, accompanist, and board are all collaborating to make this unique season enjoyable for all, and we hope to continue to bring music to those around us. After all, we believe that singing and working together is the way we can change the world.
Health Care Workers at HSHS, Prevea Health now receiving second doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
Today Prevea Health began administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to its health care workers, along with those at its HSHS hospital partners in Wisconsin. The second dose, which is required for maximum effectiveness (94%) of the vaccine, is given 21 days after the first dose.
“From the moment these vaccines first became available to us by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services just 21 days ago, our teams have been working swiftly, yet carefully to effectively immunize every health care worker within the Prevea Health and HSHS Wisconsin systems that wishes to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Ashok Rai, President and CEO at Prevea Health. “We are immensely proud of the work our teams have done so far to get our health care workers and community EMS teams vaccinated. We continue to eagerly await the opportunity to offer these life-saving vaccines to our community members and put an end to this pandemic.”
Sassha Rongholt Joins Charter Bank as Internal Auditor
Charter Bank is proud to announce that Sassha Rongholt has joined the Charter Bank as the Internal Auditor. She will be responsible for the internal audit and review of all functions performed by bank personnel, for establishing the bank’s Risk Based Audit Program, and the timely execution of both internal and external audits in accordance with the annual audit plan.
Rongholt comes to Charter Bank with 10 years of internal audit experience within the financial service line and 16 years of banking experience. Most recently, she was the Internal Audit Manager at Wipfli LLP in Eau Claire. Rongholt has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from DeVry University in Chicago.
Market & Johnson's Employee Impact Fund Donates $60,000 To Local Organizations
(December 2020) The employees of Market & Johnson continue their community support throughout western Wisconsin by donating $60,000 to several organizations through the Market & Johnson Employee Impact Fund (EIF). Organizations benefiting from the fund in 2020 include both Eau Claire and La Crosse Junior Achievement offices, both Eau Claire and La Crosse Big Brothers Big Sisters, both Eau Claire and Black River Falls Boys & Girls Clubs, St. Croix Valley Foundation - Sterbernz Ryan Scholarship, Chippewa Valley Street Ministry, Eau Claire School Foundation Homeless Program, La Crosse Veterans Mentor Program, Collaborative to End Homelessness, and the Eau Claire Community Foundation Covid-19 Response. “Our employees never cease to amaze us,” said Jason Plante, Vice President, Market & Johnson. “Many people today are facing difficult times, and our team has stepped up and set a record amount of money to give back to those in need.”
Chippewa Valley Technical College President Barker Announces Retirement
After twenty-one years of service to the Chippewa Valley Technical College district, President Bruce Barker has announced his retirement.
At the regular meeting of the CVTC Board on Tuesday, Dec. 15, the board voted to hire The Association of Community College Trustees executive search division to assist with the selection of the next CVTC president. Barker will retire effective July 1, 2021.
Over the past 12 years as president, Barker has been at the center of efforts to meet the region's workforce needs, a vital part of the mission of CVTC. Barker joined CVTC in 1999 as director of human resources and became vice president of operations the following year. In 2008, he was selected as the 10th president of CVTC.
“Being part of the CVTC team has been a wonderful experience and privilege,” Barker said in his announcement to employees Tuesday evening. “I will always be extremely proud and grateful for what we have accomplished. CVTC provides our students with options, hope, direction and the skills and confidence to succeed. We provide our communities with essential workers, experts in every field, entrepreneurs and leaders.”
One-class students at Chippewa Valley Technical College
Curtiss Anderson war recently working on on an electrical controller training unit in December at the Mechatronics lab in Chippewa Valley Technical College’s Gateway Campus. However, Anderson is not a typical student in the Mechatronics program, which was formerly known as Industrial Mechanics. In fact, he is a member of the program’s Advisory Committee, which includes professionals in the field and helps guide the program to ensure students learn the skills they need.
“I came back as a student for the electrical maintenance and PLC (programmable logic controller) refresher, but I am learning a lot too,” said Anderson, 45, a technical operations manager at Premium Waters in Chippewa Falls.
Anderson was only enrolled in one class during fall semester and was not in any degree program. Such students, known as undeclared or non-contract students, are not unusual at CVTC, particularly in the manufacturing cluster. People need to keep up to date on their skills in highly technical fields.
Security Financial Bank Accepting Applications for Scholarships
Security Financial Bank (SFB) is currently accepting applications for scholarships it awards to graduating high school students continuing their education.
Each year, SFB awards up to two $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors in each of its markets, including Bloomer, Durand, Eau Claire, Ladysmith and River Falls. Recipients are chosen based on involvement in school, youth organizations and community events with particular preference given to students pursuing a career in finance, accounting or business administration. The applicant or parent/guardian of applicant must be an account holder of SFB.
For more information and complete guidelines, students are encouraged to download an applicationat http://www.sfbank.com/webfiles/fnitools/documents/2021_scholarship_application.pdf. Application deadline is March 1. Applications can be delivered to a branch location or emailed to email@example.com.
Contact Becky Seelen, SFB marketing director, at 715-930-7030 with any questions.
About Security Financial Bank
Established in 1934, Security Financial Bank is a locally-owned financial institution focused on business and agriculture with offices in Bloomer, Durand, Eau Claire, Ladysmith and River Falls. SFB strives to provide products and services that exceed its clients’ needs and provides guidance that enable them to succeed. For more information on SFB, please visit www.sfbank.com or call 888-254-0615. SFB is an equal opportunity provider.
Royal Credit Union
New Partnership Offers Financial Education for Youth and Incentivized Financial Education for parents/guardians
Royal has partnered with Power of Perception (POP), a local mentorship program for 6th-12th grade African American and biracial students, to provide incentivized virtual financial education sessions. Royal will offer virtual educational programs for both youth and parents/guardians. “It’s one thing to talk about sparking change, and it’s a whole other thing to put that knowledge into action.” Says POP Founder Dennis Beale. “Creating relationships—now that’s action.”
Youth will participate in FUSE - Future US Entrepreneur program, which provides five weeks of virtual sessions to help students learn what it takes to start a business. Youth work with a Royal mentor to develop their own ideas for a small business and submit a business proposal to a panel of judges and an audience.
Parents/Guardians will have the opportunity to participate in four virtual financial education sessions, one session per quarter. The first and final session would be combined with a “virtual” meal (delivered to households) along with informal online socializing among the parents and youth in the household, POP director, and Royal team members. Parents/Guardians who attend all four financial education sessions will receive $100. They will also receive $5 to open an account, becoming Royal Credit Union Members. In addition, the parents will have regular access to team members from the credit union, forging a relationship and creating access to resources for their future financial needs.
The Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation announced it has awarded an Emerging Markets Grant to Royal Credit Union (Royal) in the amount of $1,500. These funds will help the credit union partner with POP and offer the incentivized financial education sessions.
Prevea Health & HSHS Wisconsin
HSHS Sacred Heart, Prevea Health begin administering first round of COVID-19 vaccines to frontline health care workers in Eau Claire
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and its physician partner, Prevea Health, today began administering the first round of COVID-19 vaccines allotted to them by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) for frontline health care workers.
“It is so wonderful to be at a point in this pandemic where there’s hope that this vaccine is the beginning of the end,” said Sandy Anderson, interim president and CEO, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “By receiving this lifesaving vaccine, our frontline health care workers will be able to continue caring for all who need them now and after we’ve made it through this pandemic.”
The first round of vaccines is being provided to a number of frontline health care workers at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and Prevea Health, including those who work in areas such as urgent cares and critical care units. The first to receive a vaccination was Michelle Willcutt, a nurse educator and critical care nurse who provides direct care to some of the most vulnerable patients, including those with COVID-19.
“This is the light at the end of tunnel that we all need,” said Michelle. “We still have a long road ahead of us, but we finally have something tangible to show the world that we are going to get past this pandemic.”
Dr. Carolyn Hellman, an emergency room physician at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital was the first physician to be vaccinated, followed by her emergency room colleague and Prevea Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ken Johnson.
“At this point we’re able to actually do something to prevent the disease rather than just reacting to it,” said Dr. Johnson. “This is a very safe and effective vaccine to protect our communities and our families and our neighbors, so I really encourage people to get this vaccine when it’s available to the public.”
Additional frontline health care workers at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls and Prevea Health locations in western Wisconsin will be vaccinated in the coming days and weeks, and as more allotments of the COVID-19 vaccine become available from DHS.
Firefighters, Santa use ladder truck to spread holiday cheer at HSHS St. Vincent Children's Hospital
Today was a very memorable day for HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital in Green Bay, Wis., as members of Green Bay Area Fire Fighters I.A.F.F. Local 141 in conjunction with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department (GBMFD) and Central Church spread holiday cheer for our patients.
Typically each holiday season, the firefighters are welcomed inside HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital to visit with the children and deliver gifts collected with the help of Central Church in Green Bay. This year, however - to keep everyone safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic - the firefighters and a very special guest greeted children from outside the hospital in a very “big” way.
Firefighter Adam Tomasko and Santa Claus climbed into the bucket of “GBMFD Ladder Truck 2” this morning and were raised almost 100-feet to get as close as possible to pediatric patients excitedly waving from the other side of their windows. The firefighters also left behind gifts, collected by Central Church in Green Bay, for all the children staying at the hospital.
Wisconsin Public Radio
Pablo Center Executive Director on “Spectrum West” January 7
Jason Anderson, executive director of the Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire, will be joining host Al Ross this week on “Spectrum West” at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7 on The Ideas Network stations 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/ River Falls. The show will also be featuring an Eau Claire singer/songwriter, an Eau Claire teacher and author, and the organizer of a Menomonie film festival.
Host Al Ross will welcome back frequent guest Executive Director Jason Anderson to talk about the ongoing situation at the Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire. Anderson will share information about some of the grants and government relief packages that are helping the venue, which has postponed the majority of its in-person programming through March 2021.
Parker Reed, a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Journalism graduate, will be visiting with Ross this week. Reed contributes to both The Chippewa Herald and Eau Claire’s Volume One and is both a singer and songwriter. He distributes much of his work via Facebook and YouTube.
Eric Rasmussen, a Memorial High school English teacher, will be joining Ross to share about his various activities as a teacher and writer for Volume One and his blog www.theotherericrasmussen.com. The two will reflect on 2020 and hopes for the new year.
Red Cedar Film Festival originator Peter Galante, a University of Wisconsin-Stout professor, will be on to talk about the festival, which was cancelled last summer due to the pandemic. The festival of 28 films will be held virtually this month, from Jan. 14 through 21.
Vaccinations And Pandemic Spread Update On “The West Side” Jan. 8
An update on the state of the coronavirus pandemic in western Wisconsin, and prospects for public access to vaccinations in the region will be the focus on “The West Side” 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8 on The Ideas Network stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3/Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls.
Host Dean Kallenbach will welcome Angela Weideman, director of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health; A.Z. Snyder, public health director for Pierce County; KT Gallagher, director of the Dunn County Health Department; and Audrey Boerner, who is serving as the Public Information Officer for COVID-19 Response with the Eau Claire City/County Health Department.
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7/River Falls and online at wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at 800-228-5615. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
NEW YEAR, NEW STATION!
Return to Blended Learning, December 10, 2020.
Gerald Jacobson, president of Northwestern Bank in Chippewa Falls, Wis., was elected by the member banks as a Class A (banker) director and will serve a three-year term. Jacobson joined Northwestern Bank in 1978 as an auditor. Prior to becoming president of Northwestern Bank, Jacobson served as chief operating officer.
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that at a recent meeting of the Bank’s Board of Directors, Mary Polus was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
Farm Technology Days
295 Exhibitors Already Committed To Wisconsin’s Largest Outdoor Agricultural Event
EAU CLAIRE, WI (December 3, 2020) –– Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2021, now scheduled for July 20-22, 2021, will take place at Huntsinger Farms, the largest grower and processor of Horseradish in the United States. Originally scheduled for July 2020, the Eau Claire show moved to 2021 given safety protocols required because of COVID-19.
The Executive Committee and its sub-committees have been meeting virtually since late summer 2020 and are moving forward with extensive planning for a safe and successful show in July 2021. 295 exhibitors from across the Midwest and Canada have already committed to the 2021 show, and based on inquiries, attendee anticipation is high for next year’s show.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days has more than a 65-year history of bringing producers and service providers together to share what is new and innovative in agriculture.
“We are optimistic and excited about the 2021 show,” said Mike Gintner, Executive Chair Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, Eau Claire. “We are grateful to the Rygg family for their generosity in hosting the show on their Huntsinger Farm Eau Claire property, which has taken important acreage out of commission for an extra year.
“The Committee is excited to produce an outstanding show for exhibitors, sponsors and attendees alike,” added Gintner. “Everyone has doubled-down on their commitments, extending their volunteer service by an extra year, and working to improve on our already-exciting plans.”
The show has launched a new, robust website at https://www.wifarmtechdays.org which features a real-time map showing exhibitor and exhibit locations, as well as a visitor “My Show Planner” feature that visitors can use to get the most out of the three-day show.
Companies are invited to reserve their spots for the July 2021 show on the website. Available spaces appear in blue. Website users can also click on the Agribusiness Tents and view the exhibitors and available spaces inside. Reserved spaces appear in gray and show the exhibitor’s name; by clicking on any exhibitors’ space, a window opens showing contact information and a link to that company’s website.
Companies interested in participating in the show, should contact the Marketing Team at 920-644-3551 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Wisconsin Farm Technology Days
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is a three-day outdoor event showcasing the latest developments in production agriculture, including practical applications and recent research and technological developments. This is the only farm show of its size in the United States that is organized and run entirely by volunteers. As the largest outdoor agricultural event in the state, it welcomes more than 45,000 attendees, with more than 600 commercial and educational vendors. The first WFTD show was named Farm Progress Days and was held in Waupaca County in 1954.
About Agriculture in Eau Claire County
Agriculture works hard for Eau Claire County every day. Family-owned farms, food processors and agriculture-related businesses generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity while contributing to local income and tax revenues. Eau Claire County, though dominated by the dairy industry, raises everything from meat goats to milking sheep to apples, grapes and vegetables. The county has seen farm numbers rise, while farm acreage has declined to an average farm size of 155 acres. Migration from the city to rural areas has resulted in smaller farms producing a variety of products. A diverse population has created opportunities to fill ethnic and specialty food niches. Meanwhile, county institutions and farmers have joined forces to produce fresh, healthy products to meet a growing demand for local food.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph's Hospitals
Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, WI – HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals are proud to announce that board member, Jeff Halloin, has received the 2020 Trustee Award from the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA).
“I am honored to receive this award, but it is reflective of the work done by members of both boards,” said Halloin. “Without all their good work through the years, this recognition would not have happened.”
The Trustee Award has been in existence for more than 60 years and recognizes individuals who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to his or her hospital(s) and community.
“With more than a decade of service to the HSHS hospital boards and numerous committee and board assignments within the hospital and throughout the community, Jeff Halloin is well deserving of this award,” said Eric Borgerding, WHA President and CEO.
Halloin has served as a voluntary board member for HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital for a total of 12 years with an additional 5 years on the HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital board of directors. He currently serves as chair of the boards of directors for both HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, a role he has held since 2018. He also leads the Board Executive Committee and the Governance Committee for each hospital.
“The board members have had a front row seat to the hard work the HSHS colleagues are doing during the pandemic,” said Halloin. “They are the folks who really embody the hospital Sisters’ mission to care for all people, so while this award may have my name on it, they are the ones we should celebrate.”
Halloin was nominated for the WHA 2020 Trustee Award by Andrew Bagnall, president and CEO of HSHS Wisconsin, which includes 6 hospitals across the state, and Mary Starmann-Harrison, president and CEO of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) based in Springfield, Illinois.
In her nomination letter, Starmann-Harrison said Halloin has not deterred in his dedication to the hospitals during this extremely challenging year.
“He has helped us make some major decisions to overcome many unforeseen challenges,” she said. “Jeff is a true leader who is passionate about improving health care and helping our communities.”
Besides his commitment to the hospitals, Halloin serves on numerous community boards, including the newly formed Steering Committee of the Greater Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Task Force, which collaborates with the hospitals.
For more information about the HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital boards of directors, visit www.hshs.org.
Cardiothoracic surgeon at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire
Eau Claire – Prevea Health is pleased to welcome Samuel Durham, MD, FACS, FACC, a board-certified and fellowship-trained cardiothoracic surgeon, to its family of care in the Chippewa Valley.
Dr. Durham specializes in coronary artery bypass surgery; repair of thoracic aneurysm and aortic dissections; carotid artery surgery; heart valve repair and replacement; minimally invasive thoracic endovascular aortic repair; minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve replacement; flexible bronchoscopy; and surgery for lung cancer. He practices at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, 900 W. Clairemont Ave. in Eau Claire, and appointments can be made by calling (715) 717-6600.
Dr. Durham is a graduate of Harvard Medical School, completed residencies in surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
Wendel, a nationally recognized architecture, engineering, energy efficiency, and construction management firm, is pleased to announce that Robert W. Krzyzanowski has been appointed to the position of Associate Principal. This appointment recognizes professionals for their exemplary leadership and commitment to excellence.
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Chippewa Valley Technical College‘s agriculture education programs have been honored as one of only six nationwide to receive the 2020 National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) Outstanding Postsecondary Agricultural Program Award. The award was presented to Program Director Adam Zwiefelhofer during the 2020 NAAE Virtual Convention, Nov. 30-Dec 4.
Royal Credit Union
Marshfield Clinic Health System is offering free flu vaccine clinics for adults age 19 and older in December at its medical offices throughout central and western Wisconsin. Adults who qualify for this vaccine program do not need to show proof of insurance. Flu vaccination clinics will be held at the following locations and dates:
Marshfield Clinic Wausau Center – Main Entrance
2727 Plaza Drive, Wausau
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
Marshfield Clinic Lake Hallie Center
112961 27th Ave., Chippewa Falls
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
Marshfield Clinic Rice Lake Center
1700 West Stout St., Rice Lake
8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, and Sunday, Dec. 13
Marshfield Clinic Stratford Center
212800 Stainless Ave., Stratford,
5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8
Marshfield Clinic Colby/Abbotsford Center
111 Dehne Drive, Colby
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
Marshfield Clinic Neillsville Center
216 Sunset Place, Neillsville
5-6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, and 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10
No appointment is needed at any of these flu clinics; walk-ins only.
Flu vaccinations are strongly recommended this season, particularly with the continued COVID-19 pandemic. The body needs at least two weeks to develop an immune response. Flu season ranges from December to February. Continuing to wear a mask, washing hands frequently, sneezing into your arm, and staying home when you are sick are important to halt the spread of both COVID-19 and influenza.
The Clinic also may be participating in community events or extend hours specifically for flu shot clinics. Those dates and times, along with other flu resources, can be found at www.marshfieldclinic.org/flu.
Alliance Plastics of Chippewa Falls is taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With the help of CVTC, Alliance Plastics is taking the lead in supplying the equipment to set up the protective plastic shields.
WESTconsin Credit Union
This holiday season, WESTconsin Credit Union will host The Mitten Tree campaign - a Kindness Counts imitative. While the annual collection event will be a little different this year, the credit union is excited to collect cold weather apparel and accessories for those in need as the winter season's sub-zero temperatures set in. Last year, the credit union collected 3,019 items and $4,411.18 in support of this cause.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Following the announcement of 100% capacity at area hospitals, along with the executive order issued by Gov. Tony Evers concerning the rise of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin, three western Wisconsin regional UW campuses have decided to move to remote instruction after Thanksgiving break.
The University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire and other UW System schools will join in a national survey of alumni to measure graduates' satisfaction with their career paths. The National Alumni Career Mobility Survey, which will be administered from Nov. 14 - Dec. 31, will ask select groups of alumni about pathway factors. The survey will go to alumni who graduated in 2010 and 2015. Full story
Dr. Heather Ann Moody, an associate professor of American Indian studies at UW-Eau Claire and an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, will present “What Do You Know About Your Neighbors? Recognizing the Native Land and People in Your Community” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Nov. 19 for UW-Eau Claire – Barron County's “Thursdays from the U” livestreamed lecture series. Full story.
Eau Claire City-County Health Department
The Eau Claire City-County Health Department is releasing revised COVID-19 Community Expectations. These Community Expectations were first released on October 15, 2020. Since that time, Eau Claire County has unfortunately seen a dramatic and dangerous increase of COVID-19 spread in our community. This is negatively impacting our hospitals, our public health system, our businesses, our schools, and most importantly the individuals and families
in our community who are becoming sick and dying from this disease.
Altoona, WI - Prevea Health is pleased to welcome Dr. Danielle Helmick and Dr. Charles Steinmetz, family medicine providers serving the Altoona and Chippewa Falls areas.
L.E. Phillips Career Development Center
With the cold weather quickly approaching, emergency shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness is a great need as there if no homeless shelter in Chippewa County. The Outreach Office if reaching out to the community to raise money for motel vouchers to help those in need.
Pablo Center at the Confluence
Eau Claire, WI - Governor Tony Evers announced that $15 million in COVID-19 Cultural Organization Grants has been awarded to 385 cultural organizations across Wisconsin. Ten nonprofit organizations in Eau Claire, Chippewa, and Dunn counties have awarded a combined %531,065.91 in grants.
Chippewa Valley Technical College
Eau Claire, WI - Construction work on the projects approved in the Chippewa Valley Technical College spring referendum began this week with a groundbreaking at the Manufacturing Education Center on Monday, Nov. 9. Now under construction is a 10,000 square-foot addition onto the southeast corner of the building to expand the existing Welding program facilities.
Stacy England has joined the team at RMM Solutions as Vice President of Service and Operations.
Stacy England’s love for technology started with a need to deliver high availability critical infrastructure for financial systems, providing five 9’s of availability to these applications.
Local bridge fabricator send last piece of bridge to Washington D.C.
Eau Claire, WI - A local steel bridge fabricator that does work all across the nation is sending the last piece of a bridge to Washington D.C after 18 months of manufacturing on Friday.
“I have worked at Veritas Steel for almost 31 years now, and the most interesting project I have worked one is the New Fredrick Douglass Memorial Bridge. It was the most complex bridge I have seen here and was a nice challenge,” said Gary Connell, Welding Fabricator at Veritas Steel.
Eau Claire community Foundation
Excited to announce that a $100,000 gift from local business C&M Companies has provided vital support for a collaborative effort to support Chippewa Valley nonprofits.
The Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF), United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley (UWGCV), and Community Foundation of Chippewa County (CFCC) each offered concurrent grant cycles, then collaborated during the review process to make sure the grant awards from each organization were the most effective at meeting urgent local needs. Together, they granted more than half a million dollars to more than 40 area nonprofits in this cycle, bringing their collective total since the beginning of the pandemic to more than $800,000!
The Eau Claire Public Schools Foundation is pleased to announce that the Eau Claire Areas School District Board of Education made the final approval at the August 3 board meeting for the installation contract for the Solar on Eau Claire Schools project.
New Safety measures implemented for 2nd annual change for kids event
When: August 11th, 2020, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Where: Northwestern Bank-River Prairie
1430 Rivers Edge Trail
Altoona, WI 54720
Altoona, WI – Change jars changed lives last summer at the Change for Kids fundraiser with more than $20,000 raised to help open the Hope Gospel Mission Renewal Center for Women and Children. This year, Hope Gospel Mission has a goal of raising $25,000 to help provide shelter, training and counseling for one family for a year and have implemented new procedures to keep volunteers safe.
WNB Financial is pleased to announce that Greg Borcherding has joined the Bank as Vice President and Business Banking Officer in Winona.
28th assembly candidates debate on "The West Side" Aug. 14
The candidates seeking the seat in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 28th District will debate during “The West Side” 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 14 on The Ideas Network Stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls.
CVTC Programs Earn Accreditation
Eau Claire, WI – Two Chippewa Valley Technical College programs have earned accreditation, certifying that they maintain national standards established by third-party professional organizations.
Culinary Management is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation's Accrediting Commission. It is the initial accreditation for the program started in 2018. Machine Tooling Technics, which became the first program in the state accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS) in 2015, has earned accreditation for another five years.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Aug. 6 Chancellor Briefing: Preparation for fall semester taking shape on campus
Chancellor Jim Schmidt outlined the recent launch of the Blugold Flight Plan, an informational campaign designed to help provide a healthy learning environment for the campus community when classes resume at UW-Eau Claire on Sept. 2. Full story.
Campus leadership has worked diligently over the last several weeks to create a detailed plan for the return of students, faculty and staff to campus for the fall semester. The Blugold Flight Plan outlines the ways we will ensure a safe campus. Full story.
11th Annual Lemonade Day - Boys & Girls Clubs of the greater Chippewa Valley
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Chippewa Valley will hold their 11th Annual Lemonade Day on Thursday, August 6th 2020 from 10:00am-3:00pm.
For the past ten years, lemonade stands have been set up around the four BGC GCV communities. Members have marketed and sold lemonade with the help of volunteers at each stand. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lemonade Day will look very different this year, however the kids will still be learning about running a business through the Boys & Girls Club program. To keep Club kids safe, each Boys & Girls Club will have a stand at the Club in their community, staffed by volunteers. Lemonade can be picked up that day or preordered online through this LINK. For an extra $5 volunteers will deliver orders.
Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. is excited to announce the winner of the semi-annual downtown enhancement grant, ambient inks
You’ve probably enjoyed a food or beverage cart at an event, but soon you’ll be able to get event merchandise literally “hot off the press” from a new mobile screen printing cart thanks to the Downtown Enhancement Grant and Ambient Inks!
Ambient Inks, a local print shop that does so much more, has schlepped their anything-but-mobile screen printing equipment to several events in the Chippewa Valley over the years. Not only did the live screen printing add a cool spectacle to the festivities, but those buying the merch also got a mini education lesson and glimpse into how a local business worked. These experiences were rewarding for Ambient, however they were having to turn down events that were shorter or smaller in size because of the significant time and physical commitment it took to lug their mammoth screen printing set-up around.
As many businesses have had to do this year, Ambient revisited some ideas that were previously shelved and decided that the Downtown Enhancement Grant might be able to help make a more mobile screen printing cart a reality. Although they had stiff competition from nine other eligible plans, a panel of judges made up of grant donors agreed that Ambient’s long-term philosophical vision of continually reinventing themselves in ways that put people, community, and our world first, paired with the promise of an engaging, educational screen printing opportunity at Eau Claire community events, helped make their application stand out among the rest.
More About the Grant
The $2,000 Downtown Enhancement Grant is awarded twice a year. A judging committee made up of donors reviewed all eligible downtown enhancement plans that were submitted. This year 10 eligible plans were reviewed which is the most to date in program history! In light of COVID-19, there was also an adjustment to the eligibility of this grant cycle that waived the requirement for the business to have been in operation for 2+ years. Thank you to the sponsors of this grant: Jill and Tom Barland, B~Framed Galleries, Charter Bank, Kristen and Donn Dexter, JAMF, JB Systems, Kerry and Dan Kincaid, Royal Credit Union, Ruder Ware, Lissa and Tom Siedow, U.S. Bank.
For more information, please visit https://www.downtowneauclaire.org/news/1209-making-merch-on-the-move/ and https://www.downtowneauclaire.org/programs/our-programs/downtown-enhancement-grants/.
Two Local Attorneys Elected Firm Shareholders
“I am truly humbled that my colleagues recently elected me as a shareholder. I look forward to continuing to provide legal services for new and existing clients and being a part of this wonderful community,” Ludeman said.
Ludeman is a member of the firm’s Business, Probate and Estate Planning, and Municipal Law Sections. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law, where he graduated with honors. While in law school, Ludeman worked for Hennepin County in its Child Support and Civil Divisions..
Strutz is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Section, working primarily in the area of school law. He advises and represents numerous school districts throughout the State of Wisconsin. Strutz graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.
“It is an honor to be asked to join the shareholders at Weld Riley. I look forward to future opportunities to provide clients, particularly school districts throughout Wisconsin, with the superior legal advice and service they have come to expect from our firm,” Strutz added.
Weld Riley, S.C. has offices in Eau Claire, Black River Falls, Wausau, and Menomonie and serves families, private sector businesses, and public sector clients, including school districts, county governments, and many municipalities around western Wisconsin.
Reps. Kind, Kelly Introduce Legislation to Protect Independent Music and Entertainment venues through COVID-19
(Eau Claire, WIS) — On July 23, 2020, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the Entertainments New Credit Opportunity for Relief & Economic Sustainability (ENCORES) Act also known as House Bill HR: 7735. This bipartisan legislation would support independent music and entertainment venues as they work to survive the COVID-19 crisis. The COVID-19 and the necessary response to combat the spread of the disease is continuing to drastically impact Wisconsin’s artistic venues who, without any source of revenue or large corporate backers, are at risk of not being able to re-open after issuing refunds for canceled events. As spaces for indoor, large gatherings – arts venues were the first to close and will be the last to re-open.
This comes as a direct response from Rep. Kind after Jason Anderson, Executive Director Pablo Center at the Confluence in Eau Claire and a constituent of his, reached out to Rep. Kind’s office with concerns. In May, Congressman Kind announced his intention to work with the industry to address this problem by addressing disaster loss rules to ensure independent venues are not shut out.
CVTC Grad’s Career Change is ‘Something for Myself’
Graduation celebration also marks milestone for the MLT program
Opportunity to help the coin shortage while helping families in need
When: August 11th, 2020, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Where: Northwestern Bank-River Prairie
1430 Rivers Edge Trail
Altoona, WI 54720
Interviews: Sandi Polzin, Hope Gospel Mission
Sarah Stokes, Event Sponsor
Jerry Jacobson, President, Northwestern Bank
Photos/Video: Families donating change at Northwestern Bank
Altoona, WI – We are in the midst of a national coin shortage and community members have the opportunity to help circulate change and make a difference August 11th.
Donate jars of change to Hope Gospel Mission’s Change for Kids fundraiser and help to recirculate coins into the community. The pandemic slowed the flow of coins circulating through businesses all across the country, and local businesses are facing a challenge of having to ask for only card payments.
Merchants' second quarter earnings report shows stable performance and continued COVID-19 Relief assistance
Second quarter earnings of $8,442,992 were behind MFGI’s 2020 plan by $346,298 and behind 2019 mid-year results by $484,989. June earnings were profitable for MFGI even though the Company reversed $4 million out of income in the form of additional Allowance for Loan/Lease Loss Reserves as a precautionary measure to cover potential loan risk as the challenging economic situation continues to unfold.
“Our profitable performance through two quarters is a source of pride for our extraordinary employee team, which has been intensely focused on assisting our customers and communities experiencing hardship due to the COVID pandemic,” said Evans. “Most gratifying is the feedback I’ve received from clients who are appreciative of how our bankers have been available to them in serving as trusted advisors at this difficult time.”
Since March, Merchants has provided relief to more than 1,300 consumer and business loan customers in good standing in the form of loan payment deferment programs across all product categories. The Bank continues to assist business customers across its footprint with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) financing through the Small Business Administration and will be accepting applications through the August 8, 2020 deadline. Merchants has been one of Minnesota’s PPP banking leaders, originating more than 1,500 loans with total volume of approximately $200 million. In addition, Merchants reported a 16.1% increase in deposits and origination volume of $478 million of residential mortgage loans through the first half of the year, as customers take advantage of the current interest rate environment.
“We want our customers and communities to know that Merchants will continue to be a source of assistance for those hit hardest by the pandemic and that we take our responsibility as a community bank seriously. We’re here to be your financial partner as you navigate challenges in the coming months,” Evans noted.
Royal Credit Union Announces New Corporate Risk Manager
Prior to joining Royal’s team, Fisher accumulated 13 years of experience in the fields of risk management, regulatory examination, and audit. Fisher holds a Bachelor’s degree of Business Economics which she obtained from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
Fisher currently resides in Eau Claire with her husband Greg and two children, Taylor and Camden. Fisher has volunteered with Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Feed My People, and Bolton Refuge House along with helping at her children’s schools as a way give back to the community.
REACH, INC. HIRES NEW CEO
Mr. Breaker has been working in public programs that serve child and adults with varying abilities, multiple chronic conditions, and frailties of aging for over 30 years. Mr. Breaker has been active with public programs that have changed services in the State of Wisconsin for the past 20 years such as Self-Directed Services, Aging & Disability Resource Centers, Family Care and IRIS. His focus is on quality, strategic planning, program development, management, data analysis and business operations. Mr. Breaker loves to build up programs, create solutions in the most difficult situations, work in complex systems, and stay focused on the customer.
On being hired to lead Reach, Inc., Mr. Breaker said, “Reach’s impact on each person and families is amazing. I am very excited to be part of the future that Reach has to offer the Chippewa Valley.”
Mr. Breaker has his BS from UW-Oshkosh in Human Services and a minor in Wellness Promotion. He earned his MS in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian College in Fond du Lac. Mr. Breaker lives with his family in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Home Sales Less Impacted in June
Eau Claire, WI - With the economy starting to rebound, home sales in Wisconsin were less impacted in June compared to May's slowdown.
“The pandemic led to a big slide in sales in May, but we're seeing home sales pick back up in our area and across the state,” said RANWW Executive Vice President Brenda Barnhardt.
Royal Credit Union uses Grant to study effectiveness of Financial Education Program in Correctional Facilities
Royal offers educational programs in county jail facilities in Rice Lake, Menomonie and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Royal also has a program in the WI Department of Correction’s Chippewa Valley Correctional Treatment Facility in Chippewa Falls. Royal used the grant funds to develop a tool to measure skill development, attitude changes and predictive behaviors upon completion of the financial education course. Data collection started in January 2020 and had planned to continue for 5 months. Unfortunately, the correctional facility financial education program had to be suspend in early March as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Preliminary analyses of the survey data that was collected in January and February of 2020 showed statistically significant gains in attitudes and confidence levels regarding financial literacy. Identifying predatory lending behaviors, understanding there are different ways to pay down debt, and comprehensive awareness of the impact of credit scores/reports were a few of the topics where students showed gains. In addition, course participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with the course and instructor. Overall, the responses indicated high levels of satisfaction in both areas.
Royal remains committed to its correctional facility financial education program and will resume providing in person courses as soon as it is safe while also looking into the possibility of offering virtual lessons. “We look forward to collecting and publishing data that will show the impact of the program on a much larger scale.” said Jennifer McHugh, Royal’s Vice President of Community Engagement. In light of the recent events and increased awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, this program offers an opportunity to support a marginalized population. We believe it can play a small role in creating the systemic change that is required in our society and commend NCUF for being early supporters of this unique credit union program.”
RCU Foundation Announces Giving Total For Virtual Rock The Riverfront Featuring The Charity Classic
The proceeds are being donated to three partner charities: Family Support Center of Chippewa Falls, National Alliance on Mental Illness Chippewa Valley and New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers in Whitehall. Mental health and domestic violence have emerged as two prevalent issues during the global pandemic and the event is providing support to these organizations at a critical time. Registered participants received one free vote at the time of registration; additional votes were available to be purchased online at $2 each. Family Support Center of Chippewa Falls earned 49% of the votes and will be awarded a $15,000 donation, National Alliance on Mental Illness Chippewa Valley earned 40% of the votes and will receive $7,500, and New Horizons Shelter and Outreach Centers in Whitehall will receive $5,000 after earning 11% of the vote.
The RCU Foundation’s Rock the Riverfront featuring the Charity Classic included a 10K and 2 mile walk/run, a youth race, virtual adult and kid’s challenges, the increasingly popular Rock Hunt and lots of prizes. Save the date for next year’s Rock the Riverfront on Saturday, June 26, 2021.
Royal Credit Union Donates $20,000 Plus Additional Match Funds To Frogtown & Rondo Community Business Recovery Fund
Three community groups work together to manage the fund—Summit-University Planning Council, Frogtown Neighborhood Association, and Victoria Arts Theater Center. An executive committee is making award decisions and going door-to-door to talk with local business owners and see the needs firsthand. "These businesses hold down the community and we want to support and rebuild to prevent the domino effect of loss of community,” said Jens Werner, Executive Director of Summit-University Planning Council. “Receiving this level of support from Royal Credit Union is a powerful message of hope and love for our community, and a reminder of brighter days to come."
Some of the most common needs include replacing large-pane windows on storefronts and removing graffiti. A local daycare got a bill for $4,000 to replace glass in their facility. With help from the Community Business Recovery Fund they are working to make these important repairs.
The Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods in St. Paul are a half mile south of Royal’s Rice St. location and were an epicenter of property damage, particularly along University Ave. W. It is served by the Summit-University Planning Council and the Frogtown Neighborhood Association, which work to create opportunities for residents to learn about what is happening in their neighborhood and collaborate to improve the quality of life.
“Royal Credit Union is proud to be a member of the St. Paul business community and we have been deeply saddened that the neighbors we serve have experienced such hardship and loss. Royal’s core purpose is to make a positive impact in the lives we touch and, by supporting this fund, we hope to make a difference as the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods rebuild and recover,” shared Brandon Riechers, President of Royal Credit Union.
To support this vital recovery work, a portion of Royal’s donation will be used for a match campaign. Donations made to the fund from July 23 through August 6 will be matched, up to $10,000. Donations can be made at https://www.givemn.org/story/Uf3tsf.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
UW-Eau Claire was a primary benefactor of Don and Leatrice Mathison's generosity. Since Don first gave his alma mater $100 in 1979, the couple’s accelerated giving rose to more than $1 million. Full story.
Grad builds career using her passion for political science and public health
Aimee Gillespie graduated in 2019 with a major in political science and a minor in public health. She's using her expertise in and passion for both fields as she pursues a career in public health. Full story.
Gen 2 Blugold Beginnings: Cousins join the program
When brothers Adrian and Juan Wilson attended UW-Eau Claire as math and science campers in the 1990s, then later as undergrads, they had no idea that someday their own children might also find a home in UWEC programs and classrooms. Full story.
Current and future Blugolds show interest in new public health major
UW-Eau Claire's new public health major already is drawing interest from current and future Blugolds who want to study and solve the many problems threatening the health and well-being of populations around the world, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Full story.
National Independent Venue association (NIVA) Applauds Bi-Partisan Relief Bill, Save our stages act will assist independent venues during this pandemic
Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar Come Together To Save An Industry
(Eau Claire, WIS) July 22, 2020 - The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) applauds the introduction of the bi-partisan Save Our Stages Act introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The Save Our Stages Act directly impacts independent venues across the country such as Pablo Center at the Confluence, Blue Ox Music Festival, The Grand Theatre, Eaux Claires Festival, Country Jam, Country Fest, Rock Fest, The Lakely, The Mable Tainter, The Plus, Big Top Chautauqua, and The Metro located in Western Wisconsin.
“Our members told us months ago that if the shutdown lasted six months or longer and there wasn’t federal relief to hold them over, 90% of them would fold permanently,” said Dayna Frank, president of NIVA and CEO First Avenue Productions. “With no revenue and immense overhead, four months in, it’s already happening. The warning light is flashing red and our only hope is for legislation like Save Our Stages Act or RESTART Act to be passed before Congress goes on August recess. Otherwise, most businesses in this industry will collapse.”
“On behalf of our more than 2,000 member venues, promoters and festivals, as well as their employees, artists and local communities who are facing an existential crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re incredibly grateful to Senators Cornyn and Klobuchar,” said Adam Hartke, co-chair of NIVA’s Advocacy Committee and president of Hartke Presents. “While existing government assistance programs have helped other industries, they weren’t tailored to meet the needs of small businesses like ours that have zero revenue, enormous overhead and no visibility into when we can fully re-open. The Save Our Stages Act will provide the assistance we need to get through the shutdown until we can reopen safely and once again become the economic generators for our communities that we’ve always been.” A Chicago study last year showed that for every $1 spent on a ticket at a local venue, $12 of economic activity was generated for area businesses such as restaurants, retailers, and hotels.
Pablo Center Passes On Their Portion of Together Chippewa Valley Donations to Eight Local Arts Nonprofits
Prioritizes Aiding Partner Organizations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
(July 22, 2020 - EAU CLAIRE, WIS) Pablo Center is proud to announce that it has passed on its portion of donations from Together Chippewa Valley to its partner local, arts nonprofits. This includes Chippewa Valley Book Festival, Chippewa
Valley Jazz Orchestra (CVJO), Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra (CVSO), Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild (CVTG), Chippewa Valley Writer’s Guild, Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), Eau Claire Children’s Theatre (ECCT), and Eau Claire Jazz Inc.
Pablo Center was a charter member of Together Chippewa Valley, a coalition formed to coordinate a response effort to address ongoing community needs during the COVID-19 crisis. The goal of the collation was to raise funds through a first-of-its-kind community-wide fundraising initiative, collectively support local nonprofits’ missions, and to survive and thrive during this crisis. The Chippewa Valley’s support exceeded expectations and aspirations with a total of $180,567 in donations received from individuals and organizations. Pablo Center and all other participating local nonprofits received a total donation of $9,484 which Pablo Center is now passing on to its partner arts nonprofit organizations. This equates to a donation of $1,185.50 to each organization.
The pandemic has hit the entertainment industry particularly hard with independent venues and arts organizations struggling to survive.
At CVTC, Open Air Classes Perfect for Social Distancing
Agronomy, Gas Utility students gain hands-on experience outside
Eau Claire, WI – At Chippewa Valley Technical College, keeping students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is a top priority. The College has found innovative ways to keep delivering high quality education in these times. Sometimes safe social distancing is easy – like when the classroom spans 145 acres.
Earlier this summer, nine Agronomy Management students gathered in a field on the east side of Menomonie, where instructors had previously planted corn, soybeans and oats to do what they call “crop scouting.”
“We’re looking at growth stages and checking to see the health of the crops,” said Jake Ingli, a 2014 graduate of Plum City High School now living in Ellsworth. “We’ll do yield evaluations later in the year and try to identify insects that might become a problem.”
ECASD Board to Consider Instructional Model for 2020-21 School Year
Proposed model aligns with Respond Together Eau Claire, a step-by-step plan that provides recommendations based on the risks posed by COVID-19 in the community
Eau Claire, WI — On Monday, July 20, the Eau Claire Area School District Board of Education will consider a proposed instructional model aligned with Respond Together Eau Claire, a plan developed by Eau Claire City/County Health Department. The model will outline how the District will approach learning in the upcoming school year, depending on a variety of factors. The Respond Together Eau Claire plan includes seven steps, designated as Safer at Home and Steps A through F. Based on the risks posed by COVID-19 in the community, the orders of the plan are updated every two weeks. These orders directly impact the district’s teaching and learning delivery model.
Martin Dental First Office in Wisconsin with Extra-Oral Aerosol Containment Devices in Treatment Rooms
Eau Claire, WI - A local dental spa is the first dental office in Wisconsin to install a HEPA filtration machine that removes viruses and germs with 99.995% efficiency in each treatment room.
“While many things have changed, the safety of our patients and staff remain our number one priority. During treatment there are droplets and aerosols produced. By placing an EOS Suction System in each room, we are able to minimize the number of droplets and aerosols in the air and the spread of germs,” said Dr. Tony Martin, co- owner of Martin Dental.
Per Mar Security Services Ranked #22 in SDM’s 2020 Top Systems Integrators Report
DAVENPORT, Iowa – Per Mar Security Services, a leading provider of total security solutions for residential and commercial clients based in Davenport, IA, is ranked 22nd in SDM’s 2020 Top Systems Integrators Report. The top 5 market segments contributing to Per Mar’s 2019 security system integration revenue were retail, industrial, health, corporate, and education.
Wisconsin Public Radio
On July 31 and August 6
Eau Claire, Wis. - As part of its 2020 election coverage, Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) is hosting two, live broadcast debates featuring primary candidates for Wisconsin’s 3rd District seat in the House of Representatives.
The first debate will air on Friday, July 31 at 10 a.m. and feature the Republican primary candidates Jessi Ebben of Eau Claire and Derrick Van Orden of Hager City. The second debate will air on Thursday, August 6 at 10 a.m. and feature the Democratic primary candidates Ron Kind, the incumbent, and Mark Neumann; both are from La Crosse. Ezra Wall, host of WPR’s “Newsmakers,” will moderate the discussions. The primary election is on August 11.
WPR’s The Ideas Network stations will broadcast the one-hour debates live on the following stations: 90.3 La Crosse, 88.3 Menomonie-Eau Claire, 99.1 Stevens Point, 89.1 Adams-Wisconsin Rapids, 88.7 River Falls, 91.3 Highland, AM 930 Auburndale, 100.9 Marshfield, 91.9 and 101.3 Wausau, 90.3 Park Falls, and 89.9 Rhinelander.
The debates will also be streamed on wpr.org through a partnership with the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce and WIN Technology of Eau Claire.
Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District includes all or parts of 18 counties in western and central Wisconsin, including the cities of Eau Claire, La Crosse, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Menomonie, River Falls, Chippewa Falls, Plover, Platteville, Sparta, Tomah and New Richmond.
The surge in unemployment because of the pandemic’s effect on the economy has mobilized non-profit organizations to help those in need. That response will be the focus of “The West Side” at 10 a.m. on Friday, July 17 on The Ideas Network Stations of Wisconsin Public Radio: 88.3 WHWC-FM/ Menomonie-Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM/ River Falls.
Host Dean Kallenbach will welcome Nancy Renkes, the executive director of Feed My People Food Bank, which supplies food to more than 200 hunger relief programs in its 14-county service area in western Wisconsin; and Jessica Neuman, community impact director for United Way St. Croix Valley, which serves five western Wisconsin counties in the areas of financial stability, education and health.
Brian Kaczmarski, Polk County public health director and chair of the Northwest Wisconsin Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition, will join the show at the beginning to provide an update and analysis of the current state of the coronavirus in western Wisconsin.
“The West Side” is broadcast each Friday at 10 a.m. on The Ideas Network stations 88.3 WHWC-FM Menomonie/Eau Claire and 88.7 WRFW-FM River Falls and via an online live stream on 88.7 WRFW-FM via wrfw887.com/listen-live.html. Listeners may call in with questions and comments during the program at (800) 228-5615. Archives of “The West Side” are available at wpr.org/programs/west-side.
Royal Credit Union Receives Diamond Award for outstanding marketing, business development achievements
The award was presented by the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council, a national network comprised of over 1,200 credit union marketing and business development professionals. Awards are given in each of 35 categories ranging from advertising to community events and beyond.
Royal won the Website category for its entry, entitled Redesign for rcu.org. The objective of Royal Credit Union’s rcu.org redesign was to increase lead generation, improve search engine optimization, improve in-site search, and improve accessibility. These key elements were identified to help drive growth and retention for the credit union.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
This week, middle and high school students from three states are learning how to code thanks to a popular UW-Eau Claire summer camp that has moved to a virtual format because of COVID-19. Full story.
Award-winning instructor shares passion for mathematics
The national Council on Undergraduate Research has announced Dr. Carolyn Otto, associate professor of mathematics at UW-Eau Claire, as the winner of its math and computer science division’s 2020 Mid-Career Mentoring Award. Full story.
United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley COVID Recovery Grant
The United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley (UWGCV) Endowment has released $500,000 to inspire and fund impactful COVID recovery efforts in the Chippewa Valley. Funds will be released in two waves; the Second Wave request for proposals will be available in late summer for funding beginning in Fall.
Rarely has humanity faced a threatening situation for which one important solution is our staying separated from one another. The consequences of our doing so are especially threatening to our counties’ young children and their families.
“Early childhood care and education is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs in order to build a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing. Early childhood care and education has the possibility to nurture caring, capable and responsible future citizens.” UNESCO
Royal Credit Union Ranked #1 in Wisconsin and one of America's best credit unions
“We are honored to be named by Forbes as one of the best credit unions in America and #1 in Wisconsin,” said Brandon Riechers, Royal Credit Union president and CEO. “The key evaluation factors used by Forbes including creating trustworthy relationships and offering sound financial advice are cornerstones of our commitment to our Members. In addition, we recently launched an updated, award-winning website and consistently offer Members access to digital products to provide them easy access to financial services. Credit unions are known in the marketplace for offering highly competitive rates and exceptional service. We are proud to rank among the best credit unions in the nation and will continue to use our values to guide our decisions as we work to make a positive impact in the communities we serve in Minnesota and Wisconsin.”
DECI Launches Campaign to Support Downtown Business
Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. is excited to announce a new digital content and marketing campaign to support the safe re-opening of downtown businesses: #Root4EC! The campaign invites the community and visitors back to their favorite, Downtown Eau Claire establishments and recreation activities.
The campaign features a powerful video entitled Portrait of Eau Claire, produced by Downtown Eau Claire's own Hookd Promotions. The piece is an intimate portrait of the downtown business owners who need our support. The video was released on Downtown Eau Claire, Inc.’s Facebook page on Tuesday evening and had 9,000 views within 48 hours. Eau Claire area residents will soon start seeing the video and still photography promotions on platforms such as Facebook, Google, and YouTube! The campaign encourages area residents and visitors to #Root4EC on social media to support the people and places that make up the unique fabric that is Downtown Eau Claire.
Another interactive feature of the campaign is a #Root4EC Facebook profile frame that will be available for personal Facebook profile photos. Local cheerleaders of all ages and interests are encouraged to participate! Downtown businesses are taking extra steps, like sanitizing regularly, wearing masks, and providing outdoor seating, to make visits safe. They look forward to welcoming the community to revisit the sites and sounds that make up our downtown and define our connection to it.
For more information, please visit https://www.downtowneauclaire.org/root-4-eau-claire/ or contact us at email@example.com.
To watch the video Portrait of Eau Claire, please visit bit.ly/rootforec
Pablo Center limits Season 3 sales to live performances scheduled after january 1, 2021
[Eau Claire, WI, July 8, 2020] Following the direction of public health officials, data from peer organizations, Members, and Patrons, the Member presale and public sale of Season 3’s live performances will be limited to events scheduled after January 1, 2021.
For Season 3 events scheduled in the months of October, November, and December, performances will be evaluated a month before the scheduled performance date. If the health data and the Eau Claire Health Department indicate it is safe to proceed, tickets will go on sale with a one-week Member-exclusive on-sale followed by a three-week general public on-sale for each event.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire
Like so many activities disrupted by COVID-19, an exhibition to honor the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act has transitioned to a digital format. “ADA30: Accessibility in the Chippewa Valley” will remain online through December 2020. Full story.
Chippewa Valley Innovation Center
Chippewa Valley Innovation Center https://www.chippewavalleyinnovationcenter.com/
The Chippewa Valley Innovation Center (CVIC) announced today their newest graduating clients, Wolfe Ridge Manufacturing and Precision Die Systems, two emerging manufacturing companies who have completed the CVIC Business Growth Program, and will soon begin operations in their new facilities here in the Chippewa Valley.
"The support the Chippewa Valley Innovation Center has provided in work space and advisory services has been critical for these young companies as they establish a foothold in early growth, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Ray French, president of the CVIC board of directors. "We are thrilled to see these newest graduates of our program move into their new facilities and look forward to seeing their continued success. They are shining examples of how CVIC helps to strengthen our community through the generation of job growth, tax revenues and infrastructure."
Change for kids fundraiser is back for year two with a $25,000 Goal
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The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.