Paul Swartos has joined CCFBank as its new vice president of commercial banking and Chippewa Valley market manager. Swartos comes to CCFBank with more than 15 years of experience in business banking. Previously, Swartos served as vice president, senior business banker for a regional financial services company serving the Midwest. His role with CCFBank will be based out of the Fairfax Street office in Eau Claire.
Mega! CO-OP has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase five “Travel Stop” locations from Dan and Phyllis Acker. The five stores are located in Stanley, Abbotsford, Elk Mound, Durand and New Lisbon. The Cooperative will operate the stores as “Mega! CO-OP Travel Stop” and will keep the branded fuel they offer, currently Shell and BP. Mega! CO-OP is now focused solely on the convenience store business and, as such, has spent a great deal of resources this last year remodeling, rebranding and stabilizing its new business model. The Cooperative now has 38 convenient options for fuel and food in 11 counties covering 20 cities and employs more than 300 team members that work hard to serve our cooperative member’s needs.” The Consumers Cooperative Association of Eau Claire was founded in 1935 and operates 38 convenience stores in West Central Wisconsin. It employs approximately 300 team members serving over 70,000 Cooperative members.
24-7 and West Wisconsin Telcom Cooperative, Inc., and the communities they serve, were recognized as “Smart Rural Communities” by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. NTCA is a national association representing more than 800 independent, community-based broadband companies. 24-7 and West Wisconsin Telcom is one of only 12 companies nationally to receive this designation in 2016. Fundamentally, a smart rural community uses fiber optic networks to enable applications the community can leverage for innovative economic development, blue-ribbon education, first-rate health care, cutting-edge government services, robust security and more efficient energy distribution and use.
Able Energy recently installed the largest solar installation on a business in the Chippewa Valley. A 100 kW solar system consisting of 377 panels will offset approximately 30 percent of the electricity needs for Huebsch Services, the Eau Claire-based uniform, floor matting and facility services company. Huebsch’s install is just one of the many recent solar installations occurring in the Chippewa Valley. Incentives like the 30 percent Solar Investment Tax Credit from the federal government, and recent Public Service Commission approval of $7.7 million toward Renewable Energy Rebates will help further the growth and affordability of solar throughout Wisconsin.
Chippewa Valley Technical College will start a new Entrepreneurship program in January. The program is designed to help students gain the knowledge and skills they need to start and succeed in their own businesses. The start of that program, approved by the Wisconsin State Technical College System board in July, is the centerpiece of a larger effort by CVTC to become more entrepreneurial in its focus throughout its program areas. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, CVTC President Bruce Barker signed the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship pledge committing CVTC to advance entrepreneurship in the community and an entrepreneurship culture on campus. Heading the Entrepreneurship program is instructor Ben Zugay, a seasoned entrepreneur who started his first business at age 14, who has had at least two successful start-ups among several business launches. As part of the overall efforts, CVTC is building a directory of alumni who are entrepreneurs and small business owners to serve as mentors and advisors in Entrepreneurship and other programs. And a new Entrepreneurship Learning Team will form recommendations for curricular and co-curricular activities to encourage and support entrepreneurship among students and create an entrepreneurship culture at CVTC.
Joan Coffman, president and CEO of HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, was appointed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker last week to serve as the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) representative to the Governor’s task force on opioid abuse. Through its L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital is a major provider of treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse having 46 of the 86 dedicated AODA inpatient treatment beds in Wisconsin. Coffman also serves on WHA’s Board of Directors and has been an active and key resource to WHA, providing valuable insight and information on regulatory, insurance, and other factors that can be a barrier to patient access to opioid and other drug and alcohol addiction treatments in Wisconsin.
Achieve Wellness opened its newest health and wellness clinic in western Minnesota. The near-site clinic is dedicated for the use of all employees and families of Alexandria Industries, a Minnesota-based manufacturer. At no cost to employees, the clinic, staffed by a family nurse practitioner and LPN, provides routine care, treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, prescriptions, vaccinations, and management of chronic health problems.
Royal Credit Union (Royal) has named four team members to manager positions: Kim Green, Ben Priem, Linda Torres and Amy Schaefer. As the consumer lending manager, Green will manage the operation and performance of consumer lending in the Member Loans department. As technical services manager, Priem will manage the technical service specialists and business systems coordinators to provide comprehensive and efficient technical services for Royal. Torres will be responsible, as the consumer lending operations manager, for managing the overall operation and performance of Royal’s Indirect Lending program, including dealer relationships, business development, and loan funding. As the audit services manager, Schaefer will ensure proper execution of the Audit Service’s department vision, strategy and plan.
Chippewa Valley Technical College will initiate new programs and credentials in agriculture-related fields beginning in August 2017. The programs won approval from the Wisconsin Technical College System Board in September and the CVTC board on October 20. The offerings include two new associate degree programs and four new technical diplomas as expansions of CVTC’s existing Agriscience Technician program. The agriculture additions essentially divide CVTC’s existing Agriscience Technician program, which includes components in agronomy and animal sciences, into two associate degree programs in precision agronomy management and animal science management. In addition, CVTC will be offering a new one-year farm operation technical diploma program, meant for farm workers who want to stay engaged in farming while going to school at a time convenient to the cropping season.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.