Trust Point Names New Leadership
Following a transition years in the making, Trust Point is starting 2021 with a new, but familiar, leadership team.
Bill Bosch, previously chief development and strategy officer, is now the company’s president, succeeding Kent Handel in that role. Handel will remain CEO and chairman of Trust Point’s board of directors. Brian Koopman, CFP®, CPA, previously senior vice president, is the company’s first chief operating officer.
During Handel’s two-decade tenure as president and CEO, the company has experienced exponential growth—increasing assets under management from roughly 850 million to nearly 6 billion. The La Crosse-based company also added offices in Minneapolis and Eau Claire during that time.
Handel, who will remain very involved in the business, says the transition process has been well planned and carefully executed, noting that Bosch and Koopman are each Trust Point veterans who have already played a big role in getting the company to where it is today.
“They are a very good team. They complement each other exceptionally well,” Handel said. “Bill is a high-energy professional who sees the big picture and Brian has a knack for digging into the details. I see my role now as one of mentorship—supporting them as we move into this new chapter.”
A key initiative moving forward is Trust Point’s investment in technology advancements aimed at enhancing and simplifying the client experience. It’s a shift Bosch is excited about as a way to build upon the company’s long-standing investment in relationship development.
“Technology is really reshaping our industry and we’re setting the stage for the future,” Bosch said. “The way I like to think about it is we already have a really great team and now they will be further supported by the best technology. Being there for our customers has been essential to our growth and we will continue to find new ways to better serve them.”
Bosch also emphasized a continued commitment to community partnership as well as providing opportunities for growth internally, initiatives Handel has prioritized. Bosch earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and started his career at Trust Point in 2000 as an operations intern and gained experience in a wide range of roles before becoming president. He credits a strong company culture that fostered personal growth and lasting relationships with colleagues and clients for his long tenure.
“I was given many opportunities to gain valuable experiences early on in my career,” Bosch said. “And what you will see as this organization continues to evolve is that we're trying to give other people opportunities—to pay it forward.”
Koopman has also worked at Trust Point for the last 20 years, and previously served as a supervisor and staff accountant at RSM US LLP (Formally known as McGladrey & Pullen) in the La Crosse office. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and is a CPA and a Certified Financial Planner®.
“I am honored to be part of a company that is committed to our clients, co-workers, and our communities,” Koopman said. “Trust Point has been a pillar of strength for over 100 years by doing what is in the best interest of our clients, and building strong, lasting relationships. We will use the past to build on our future.”
UW MBA Consortium tops in Midwest in U.S. News & World Report rankings
The University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium, managed by UW-Eau Claire, is the top online MBA program in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2021 rankings.
For the second consecutive year, the consortium is ranked 10th in the country in U.S. News’ Best Online MBA Programs rankings. This is the third straight year and the fourth time overall that the consortium, which includes UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse and UW Oshkosh, is among the top 10 programs in the nation.
U.S. News examined 324 schools, making the UW MBA Consortium among the top 3% of online MBA programs in the nation.
“To have the prestigious U.S. News & World Report continue to rank our program so highly is an honor,” says Jessica Franson, UW MBA Consortium managing director. “Since 2015, when U.S. News & World Report began ranking online MBA programs, we have consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation. To hold onto that spot as more online MBA programs have emerged reflects the dedication we have to providing an MBA degree that embodies excellence in all facets of the program.”
The UW MBA Consortium is the only Upper Midwest program included in the top 25 programs in the nation. Other Wisconsin schools in the rankings include: UW-Whitewater, 26th; Cardinal Stritch and Concordia University, 224-295th; and Carroll University and Mount Mary University, unranked.
UW-Eau Claire historian, professor and advocate earns Regents Diversity Award
For the fourth time in the last five years, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is represented among the recipients of the UW System’s highest honor for achievement in educational diversity, with Blugolds earning two of the three awards on Feb. 1.
Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history, and the Counseling Services program at UW-Eau Claire have both been awarded the 2021 Board of Regents Diversity Award. This distinction is awarded annually to three individuals, programs or departments in recognition of their exceptional efforts in fostering greater equity and diversity across their institutions and communities.
Regent Olivia Woodmansee, speaking on behalf of the selection committee, stated, “We selected three outstanding awardees for increasing opportunity and making a lasting impact on their UW campus communities. We are proud to recognize their exceptional dedication to expanding partnerships that support student success for all student populations.”
Ducksworth-Lawton is honored by this recognition for her campus and community impact, all of which is in alignment with the longstanding philosophy of higher education in our state.
“I am very grateful to be recognized in this way,” Ducksworth-Lawton says. “My work with the city of Eau Claire, Uniting Bridges, Converge Radio and UW-Eau Claire opens the door for the public-private partnerships and community-led partnerships that are the heart of the original ‘Wisconsin Idea’ — the use of expertise to help communities improve and adapt to change.”
Regents Diversity Award recognizes work of UW-Eau Claire Counseling Services
As the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s student body has become increasingly diverse, its Counseling Services program has expanded and adjusted its programming to ensure that it is meeting the needs of all students.
Since different student populations have different needs when it comes to mental health, Counseling Services is creating resources and providing a variety of services to support the success of all students, including students of color, students with disabilities, first-generation college students, international students and LGBTQIA+ students, says Dr. Riley McGrath, Counseling Services director.
“For example, students of color often are more reluctant to seek mental health services,” McGrath says. “One of the changes we made was having a specific therapy group for students of color. The students can connect with each other and not feel alone.”
The UW System Board of Regents is recognizing those efforts, presenting UW-Eau Claire’s Counseling Services program with a 2021 Regents Diversity Award.
Each year, three Regents Diversity Awards are given to individuals, programs or departments for their “exceptional efforts in fostering greater equity and diversity across their institutions and communities.”
Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, UW-Eau Claire professor of history, also is an award recipient in 2021.
Campus celebration of Black History Month begins Feb. 1
February is National Black History Month, and UW-Eau Claire will offer a series of online events that reflect the richness of Black culture and history, and recognize the many accomplishments and contributions of African Americans here on campus and beyond.
Campus leadership in the division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the staff and students representing the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and student organizations have worked hard to create a diverse slate of virtual events and activities for the 2021 Black History Month calendar.
Michael Thomas, now in his fourth year as student services coordinator for OMA, has coordinated these BHM efforts once again and looks forward to presenting the rich cultural and historical experiences to participants in a new online format.
"Now more than ever, our university has a unique opportunity to rectify, repair and reimagine what social justice and anti-racism could look like at UWEC, and I am happy to see that Black History Month is contributing to that discussion,” Thomas says. "It is my hope that the Black History Month calendar of events affords the UWEC community an opportunity to reflect on our current realities, connect in our shared experience and discuss how to move forward collectively."
Sophomore Jasmine Rosario, a marketing major from Eau Claire, is president of the Black Student Alliance and has worked to coordinate and plan the monthlong celebration. Rosario is excited to elevate the sense of community it helps to forge.
"Black History Month gives me that extra sense of pride of where and who I've come from," Rosario says. "I also enjoy the extra connectedness I experience with other African Americans/Africans on campus during the month. As the Black/African event coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, my role in this planning is extra important to me and other Black student organizations — it is like the glue between the student organizations and the means to assure they're celebrated and recognized."
With varied events like Wakanda Wednesdays, inviting students to wear dashikis or other cultural attire each week, the Fourth Annual MLK Celebration, "Music Speaks" jazz celebration of Black history, crafting events and a culminating Harambee Award ceremony online, the month will hold many important opportunities to honor and celebrate.
See the 2021 Black History Month poster and OMA Events page for details and information about how to join the various events online. Also, consult the campus events calendar for links and further detail as Zoom sessions and registrations are finalized.
First-ever virtual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration set for Feb. 10
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host a Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration — a cornerstone event of the campus recognition of Black History Month — at 5 p.m. Feb. 10. As with so many events, this signature celebration will take place virtually, inviting campus and community members to log in and safely take part in honoring and elevating King's life and legacy.
Co-hosted by the division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, this year's event will offer a unique way to "gather" online and create the same sense of community and hope that has become the hallmark of the annual celebration.
Dr. Demetrius Smith, special assistant to the vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion, looks forward to sharing an evening of poetry and other readings, music, an award presentation and a keynote speaker.
"The 2021 MLK Celebration will be a little different this year," Smith says. "But Michael Thomas, student services coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and I have worked to provide the UW-Eau Claire campus community with an engaging and thought-provoking online program. Recently, social justice and racial equality have been mainstays in discussions across the country. It is important to celebrate the life and work of MLK as he remains an inspiration — his legacy lives on through all of us.”
The keynote speaker for the event will be Damario Solomon-Simmons, a national civil rights attorney based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Solomon-Simmons has successfully represented clients in federal, state, tribal and administrative courts. He also was an integral member of the legal team that in September 2020 filed a lawsuit in Oklahoma courts seeking reparation and reconciliation for the survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre; the case is pending.
Another highlight of the evening's program is the presentation of the UW-Eau Claire Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Leadership Award. Each year the division of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Student Affairs honors one faculty or staff member who has demonstrated an exceptional ability to advocate for underserved and underrepresented groups, and who leads, organizes and engages the community in the difficult work of EDI through their voice, vision and actions.
This year's award will be presented to Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, professor of history. Ducksworth-Lawton was a recent recipient of the Regents Diversity Award, the highest honor given by the UW System for contributions toward educational equity, diversity and inclusion. For nearly three decades she has worked to remove barriers, foster understanding and offer her wise and measured approach to matters of racism and social justice on campus and in the greater community. Dr. Rose-Marie Avin, the 2019 Social Justice Leadership awardee, will present the campus distinction to Ducksworth-Lawton.
In addition to providing a moment to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, this annual event sheds light on the many current and ongoing fights for social justice, Thomas said.
"The 4th annual MLK Celebration serves as a reminder that the fight for racial justice and equality is not only happening across the country but here at UW-Eau Claire as well," Thomas says. "From the creation of the Center for Racial and Restorative Justice to the development and inclusion of additional multicultural student organizations, I believe that the inaugural MLK celebration four years ago and each event since serve to inform many of our current EDI efforts."
The Fourth Annual UW-Eau Claire Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration can be viewed live at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, at uwec.ly/live.
CVTC Class Allows RN’s to Work as First Responders
Eau Claire, WI - Cheryl Bergmann, a registered nurse who lives in Pepin, knows there is a great need for help at the local ambulance service. As a medical professional herself, she wanted to help, but didn’t have the training necessary.
But Bergmann will soon finish a class at Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire that is providing the training she needs, and she’s anxious to put it to work in her community.
“I heard that they didn’t have a lot of coverage,” Bergmann said. “Sometimes our ambulance can’t even cover because they don’t have the people to staff it. I thought as a nurse, I could help.”
Similar thoughts went through the minds of her fellow RN’s, Lucas Peterke of Menomonie and Emma Flury of Boyceville, both of whom work at the Emergency Room at the Marshfield Clinic Hospital in Eau Claire. They are not only interested in helping as EMS responders but see the value in learning more about what responders they see in the ER regularly do.
The idea enlisting RN’s to help meet the needs of local ambulance services came from Mark Schwartz, emergency service continuing education coordinator at CVTC and director of the ambulance service in Bloomer. He found a strong partner at Marshfield Clinic.
“In Wisconsin, RN’s are able to work in ambulances on their own licenses without EMS licenses,” Schwartz said. “But state statute says they must be trained in the procedures and equipment of the particular service they want to work for.”
That usually involves an RN-EMT 60-hour bridge class that many RN’s see as a barrier. Schwartz’s idea was to create a streamlined class that focuses directly on the additional skills RN’s would need to work on an ambulance emergency response team.
CVTC Seeks Board Applicants
EAU CLAIRE, WI— Applications are being accepted for three positions on the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Board of Trustees. Successful candidates will serve three-year terms beginning July 1, 2021.
The open positions include one member who is an employer, one who is an employee and one school district administrator.
Applications are due by 4 p.m. Monday, March 1. Send applications to Lauren Sullivan, Chippewa Valley Technical College, 620 W. Clairemont Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54701.
All candidates must meet requirements in order to be eligible for Wisconsin Technical College System district board membership. Candidates must be residents of the technical college district, must submit an application/affidavit with a completed questionnaire and at least two written references, and must attend a district board appointment committee public hearing in person to be interviewed. The hearing is scheduled for Monday, March 22, at 1 p.m. at the CVTC Business Education Center and virtually.
For more information or to request an application, contact Sullivan at 715-833-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to www.cvtc.edu/boardappointment.
With over 155 programs offered both online and on-campus, Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers superior, progressive technical education which improves the lives of students, meets the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the community. CVTC programs are designed with input of business and industry to prepare graduates for today’s jobs, with 95 percent employed within six months of graduation and associate degree graduates earning an average annual salary of $46,816.
CVTC Seeks Public Input in Search for Next President
Eau Claire, WI – The search for the next president of Chippewa Valley Technical College is underway and members of the public can help with the next stage.
CVTC will host two Virtual Open Forums on Friday, Feb. 5 to listen to public feedback and insight and offer an electronic survey opportunity to help in the development of the presidential profile, Bauer said.
The first Virtual Public Forum will be held from noon to 1 p.m. and can be accessed at https://cvtc.zoom.us/j/86287663764. The second forum will be held from 3-4 p.m. and can be accessed at https://cvtc.zoom.us/j/81048316449. No RSVP is needed for either forum.
Anonymous responses to a short electronic survey will also be used in development of the presidential profile. It is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cvtc-president. Survey feedback should be submitted by Feb. 5.
The initial stages of the search started shortly after Bruce Barker, who has been president of CVTC for 12 years, announced in December that he will retire at the end of the fiscal year in June.
“The entire CVTC community is invited and encouraged to participate in a wide-ranging discussion about the qualities, characteristics, and qualifications we are seeking in our next president, and the opportunities and challenges facing the College in the years to come,” Paul Bauer, president of the CVTC Board of Trustees, said. “Additionally, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the presidential search process. The virtual sessions will be facilitated by Dr. Cecilia Cervantes, ACCT search consultant.”
With over 115 programs offered both online and on-campus, Chippewa Valley Technical College delivers superior, progressive technical education which improves the lives of students, meets the workforce needs of the region, and strengthens the community. CVTC programs are designed with input of business and industry to prepare graduates for today’s jobs, with 95 percent employed within six months of graduation and associate degree graduates earning an average annual salary of $47,452.
Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard Sold to Local Orchard
Chippewa Falls - A Chippewa Falls winery and apple orchard has joined a new orchard family. Chad and Jean McIlquham have sold Autumn Harvest Winery and Orchard to Jim and Becky Mullane, owners of nearby Dixon’s Apple Orchard in Cadott.
“After five wonderful years at the winery and apple orchard, we are excited to start a new chapter!” said Jean McIlquham. “It’s a bit sad to say goodbye, but we are certain the new owners will inherit the best customers around and are confident they will make the experience even better.”
The McIlquham family has grown apples at the Autumn Harvest location since 1924, and the winery was opened as the first winery in the Chippewa Valley by John and Marykay McIlquham in 2004. John and Marykay sold the winery and orchard to Chad and Jean in 2015, where they have continued to expand Autumn Harvest’s offerings.
The Mullanes also have a long history of growing apples. Becky’s family opened Dixon’s Apple Orchard in 1944 in New Mexico, but a fire and flood forced Jim and Becky to move their operations to Cadott in 2014. They have over 100 acres just 3.5 miles from Autumn Harvest where they grow apples and berries, as well as host weddings at their venue.
“Jim and I feel a lot of excitement about this new venture!” said Becky Mullane. “We feel that Autumn Harvest is a great fit with our apple and wedding business. Autumn Harvest is well known in the area, and we see a lot of potential for the future with Dixon’s and Autumn Harvest working hand in hand!”
Autumn Harvest Winery features both a tasting room where patrons can taste and purchase wines, as well as selling wine in retail sales stores all around Wisconsin. The wine and apples draw in people from all over the region every summer and fall. Autumn Harvest Winery is open seasonally, May to October.
For more information, visit www.autumnharvestwinery.com
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Chris Forcier Receives WNB Financial Community PRIDE Award
WNB Financial is pleased to announce Chris Forcier, Vice President and Financial Advisor, as the recipient of its 2020 fourth quarter Community PRIDE Award.
Community PRIDE Awards recognize WNB employees for exceptional volunteer service to programs, organizations, and initiatives that contribute to the strength and vitality of the communities served. This includes volunteering efforts made during and outside of work hours.
Forcier is deeply involved with volunteering at Bible Baptist Church in Eau Claire, serving as a Sunday School teacher, greeter, usher, and as chair of the Pastoral Search Committee. He also assisted with the Winter Carnival organized by Camp Chetek, a Christian camping ministry.
As a Community PRIDE Award recipient, Forcier received $100 to donate to the organization of his choice, which he chose to donate to Apple Pregnancy Center in Eau Claire. In addition, he received a certificate of recognition and a Bank logo shirt.
In 2020, 36 WNB Financial employees donated 1,393 hours of service to 66 organizations. WNB gifted over $358,000 to the community in the areas of education and youth programs, fine arts and culture, health and wellness, economic development, and community service.
Media Invitation: Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic opening at Jacob’s Well Church in Chippewa Falls
The Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Jacob’s Well Church, 3211 N. 50th Ave. in Chippewa Falls, will open Monday, Feb. 1. On Monday morning, prior to the first appointments scheduled in the afternoon, Prevea Health will welcome members of the local media to tour the clinic space and learn more about its operations.
Date: Monday, Feb. 1
Time: 9:30 a.m. - Remarks from Dr. Ashok Rai, President and CEO, Prevea Health to begin. Media Q&A, tours to follow.
Location: Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Jacob’s Well Church, 3211 N. 50th Ave., Chippewa Falls
RSVP Required: If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Karen Kraus, Public Relations Specialist, at (715) 225-4835 no later than 8 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 1.
Please Note: The practices of social distancing and mask wearing will be required. The remarks and Media Q&A will take place outdoors.
The Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Jacob’s Well Church will provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all community members eligible for the vaccine under the vaccination prioritization guidelines set forth by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and upon the availability of vaccine allotted to Prevea Health by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Currently, frontline health care personnel, residents in skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, police and fire personnel and adults ages 65 and older are eligible for vaccination.
Appointments are required at the Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Jacob’s Well Church and appointment availability is dependent on available vaccine supply that is provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Community members should not present to the church for vaccination without an appointment.
How to make an appointment
The fastest way to get an appointment scheduled for COVID-19 vaccination through Prevea Health is with MyPrevea. Visit www.myprevea.com to set up an account at no cost. You do not have to be a Prevea patient to sign up for a MyPrevea account. MyPrevea is also available as an app on any smartphone or other device.
If you do not have access or are unable to use the internet, we have a toll-free number dedicated to COVID-19 vaccination questions and information: 1 (833) 344 – 4373. (Please do not call the hospital directly to schedule an appointment.)
Having trouble, or still have questions?
Visit www.prevea.com/vaccine for information on Prevea Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic locations, how to create a MyPrevea account, how to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination and more.
For the latest on who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin, Prevea Health encourages everyone to regularly check the DHS website at: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/vaccine-about.htm
Security Financial Bank: Andrew Robertson Promoted to Chief Credit Officer
EAU CLAIRE – Paul Rudersdorf, CEO and president of Security Financial Bank (SFB), is pleased to announce that Andrew (Andy) Robertson has been promoted to chief credit officer for the bank. He is responsible for the development and enforcement of the credit policy and the credit quality of the loan portfolio for the bank. In addition, Robertson manages all credit analysis and loan operations support functions throughout SFB.
“In his short time here, Andy has proven to be an asset to Security Financial Bank,” Rudersdorf said. “His knowledge and expertise will be instrumental in leading SFB as we continue to grow. We congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion.”
Before joining SFB last year as a senior credit officer, Robertson spent nine years with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as a bank examiner. He also has an additional eight years of experience working within the banking industry in Wisconsin and Colorado with positions in the lending and credit departments.
Robertson works out of SFB’s corporate office located in Eau Claire.
WNB Financial: 27th Annual Chili Cookoff set for Saturday, February 12
Chili from Steak Shop Catering will be available at the 27th Annual Chili Cookoff, sponsored by WNB Financial, on Saturday, February 12. A drive-thru meal can be purchased and picked-up for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., or for dinner from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the entrance of the Steak Shop Catering parking lot. All proceeds from the Chili Cookoff benefit Ready Set School, helping to kick-off its annual fundraising campaign.
The Chili Cookoff will feature three types of chili provided by Steak Shop Catering: a mild traditional beef chili; a medium southwest brisket chili; and a chicken chili. Two local radio celebrities – Brian Riley from 101.1 The River, and Tyler Larkin from KG 95.3 – will taste and preview the chili on air.
Chili tickets are available in advance for $10 at HyVee, Midtown Foods, and all three WNB Financial Offices in Winona. Advanced tickets can also be purchased online at www.readysetschool.com/chili where debit, credit, or Paypal options are accepted. Tickets are available for $12 the day of the event.
Ready Set School was created to ensure that all Winona County children have the basic and necessary supplies to better succeed in school. For more information, please call Ready Set School Director Mandi Olson at 507-474-2588.
New "Program" Announcement: Child Care Bridge Fund
We’re excited to announce that through funding from the United Way Greater Chippewa Valley and through a private donation, Child Care Partnership (CCP) is launching the Child Care Bridge Fund for families in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties! Many families struggle paying for child care and the ongoing pandemic has only exacerbated this. The Child Care Bridge Fund (CCBF) bridges the gap for working families who make more than the income threshold for Wisconsin Shares up to 300% Federal Poverty Level to help pay for past due child care fees.
Families located in Chippewa & Eau Claire counties, with children enrolled in regulated child care programs who participate in YoungStar, are eligible to receive up to $1,000 in support to pay for their outstanding child care bill.
More information can be found on our website: https://www.childcarepartnership.org/child-care-bridge-fund-application.phtml and in the attached flyer.
Families can apply online at the link above as well. There is also an option to download the application and submit by mail or in-person utilizing the drop box on the outside of the office in Eau Claire. CCP staff will connect with the child care program when a family is determined to be eligible and work with them to mail a check on behalf of the family to the child care program.
Questions and comments can be sent to email@example.com.
COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-Out and Testing In Western Wisconsin
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.