Welcome to the Eau Claire Chamber Blog
With contested School Board races in both Eau Claire and Altoona, the focus is heightened on the significant policy and fiscal responsibilities these bodies have in our community -- to ensure high-quality education for our children and manage large, multi-million-dollar public budgets (over $125 million for Eau Claire and nearly $25 million in Altoona).
If you live in either one of these districts, you will have a choice when you cast your ballot in the local election on Tuesday, April 3. In Eau Claire, there are seven candidates for four at-large positions, and in Altoona, two candidates for the one open board seat covering the entire district.
Want to know more about the candidates, their backgrounds, and how they stand on school-related issues? Here are a few resources you can check out:
Who's on your ballot: Go to MyVoteWi.gov and enter your voting address. You can also check for your polling place.
Eau Claire Area School District
School District of Altoona
Your one vote has even more impact in a Spring election, where the turnout is typically lower. Take a few minutes now to be sure you're informed, then make plans to vote on April 3. Polls are open 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
WESTconsin Credit Union recently announced Erika Schorbahn Bronder as office vice president of the company’s Eau Claire and Altoona offices. Schorbahn Bronder has spent the past 15 years in a management capacity within the financial services industry advancing throughout this timeframe. Most recently, she was the vice president – regional retail banking manager for Bank Mutual. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree from UW-Stout in marketing education with a minor in business administration.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals welcome Sommer Miller to the role of vice president of strategy development and improvement for both hospitals. Miller will join the hospitals April 11. Miller has more than nine years of health care experience in areas of strategic planning, resource management, business development, public speaking, health care operations, data analytics among others. Miller most recently served as manager of advisory services for Erdman, a health care solutions company, in Madison. Prior to that, she served as executive consultant for Adams Management Services, and regional strategic planner for SSM Healthcare-Wisconsin, both in Madison; and project manager for Hospital Sisters Health System in Springfield, Ill.
Michele Paquette has been named marketing manager for HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. She has been a colleague of HSHS for more than 18 years in the role of marketing specialist. She joined HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2000. Paquette received her bachelor’s degree in health education management from University of West Florida in Pensacola and has worked in public relations and physician marketing for hospitals in Florida, Idaho and Wisconsin. She is a member of Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society, and Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development.
Travis Schroeder, AIA, an architect at Ayres Associates in Eau Claire, recently was awarded the Owen Ayres Good Citizen Award, named after the engineering/architecture firm’s late founder. The award celebrates employees who give back to their community through volunteer work. Ayres donates $500 toward charities of the recipient’s choice. Schroeder, who enjoys the company of his family at many of the activities he’s involved in, decided to split Ayres Associates’ $500 donation between the Miracle League of the Chippewa Valley and Bolton Refuge House.
Jeff Suillivan, dean of skilled trades and engineering at Chippewa Valley Technical College, has been honored as an Outstanding Career and Technical Education Leader by the Wisconsin Association of Career and Technical Education (WACTE). Sullivan was presented with the award for a person other than a classroom instructor who has made significant contributions to career and technical education. Sullivan’s nomination for the award came as a result of major accomplishments by CVTC faculty and staff that advanced career and technical education initiatives, particularly in connecting the technical college with area high schools.
Optometrist Logan Kiekhafer, O.D., recently joined the Eye Care Center at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Dr. Kiekhafer grew up in the Chippewa Valley. He received an optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. He is a member of the American Optometric Association and Wisconsin Optometric Association. Dr. Kiekhafer’s professional interests include fitting contact lenses and managing corneal disease and glaucoma.
Royal Credit Union was recently honored with a six Diamond Awards and one Category’s Best Award, which recognizes outstanding marketing and business development achievements in the credit union industry. The awards were presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Marketing & Business Development Council, a national network comprised of over 1,300 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 following awards:
If you live in the City of Eau Claire, you're guaranteed to have at least one contested City Council race on your ballot, and probably two, on Tuesday, April 3. The five seats elected by district in the city are each up for a 3-year term -- four of them are contested -- plus At-Large Council member Terry Weld, who was appointed to a vacancy last year, must stand for election for the remaining one year of its term.
With so many contested seats up for grabs, how you vote in this election could have a far-reaching impact on the direction of the City of Eau Claire in the coming years.
Want to know more about the candidates, their backgrounds, and how they stand on important local issues? Here are a few resources you can check out:
Encourage your employees
and customers to vote!
Just click on the image to the left to download this mini-poster, then print it out and put it up in your break room, public areas, etc.
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Per Mar Security Services, a leading provider of total security solutions for residential and commercial clients based in Davenport, IA, announced the promotion of Justin McAuliffe to district operations manager for its Bemidji, Duluth and Eau Claire branches. As the district operations manager, McAuliffe will oversee branch operations and will be responsible for the productivity and efficiency of installation and service to ensure customer satisfaction. McAuliffe started working for Per Mar 18 years ago as a technician and throughout the years he has held various positions such as operations manager and senior operations manager.
EO Johnson Business Technologies and Office Enterprises, Inc. (OEI)/Cornerstone Technology announced the sale of OEI’s copier/printer division and Cornerstone Technology’s IT services business to EO Johnson (Cornerstone’s Digital Media is transitioning to OEI). The sale was completed March 9, 2018, and since that date both companies have focused on notifying customers and transitioning the business. EO Johnson welcomes OEI’s service and administrative employees and the Duluth sales employee to its Imaging division. Cornerstone Technologies support, engineering, and administrative employees join Locknet® Managed IT Services, EO Johnson’s IT division. Total new employees transitioning to EO Johnson/Locknet are 22.
Two registered nurses in the Women and Infants department at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital have recently earned advanced certifications. Katie Jelinek recently earned her certification in inpatient obstetrics nursing (RNC-OB). This certification recognizes the applied and theoretical knowledge these nurses possess in the obstetric specialty. To be eligible, a candidate must currently be a licensed registered nurse in the United States or Canada with two years of work experience in labor and delivery and at least 2,000 hours in the specialty. Amy Lokken recently earned her certification in electronic fetal monitoring (C-EFM). Electronic fetal heart monitoring is done during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. It keeps track of the heart rate of a baby. It also checks the duration of the contractions during labor. Having this certification promotes effective communication and collaboration amongst the different roles team members in a hospital’s obstetrics department may have.
The Women's Giving Circle, a fund of the Eau Claire Community Foundation, will once again be offering grants of up to $6000 to Eau Claire area nonprofits that work to enhance the well-being of local women and/or children. The window for submitting grant applications opens on April 1, and the deadline is July 1, 2018. Any nonprofits that are interested in applying can call the Eau Claire Community Foundation or visit the “Women’s Giving Circle Grant Cycle” page at www.eccommunityfoundation.org for more information.
LVC Companies of Minneapolis has received the honor of being named an ANSUL “Double Diamond” Distributor as part of the ANSUL Alliance Rewards Program. This level of distinction is a testament to the hard work put forth by the organization over the past year. Diamond Distributor distinction is based on achieving measurable goals established by Johnson Controls, Inc. At this time, less than 20 percent of ANSUL distributors have achieved Diamond status. Companies that meet this milestone must earn that partnership each year through sales performance.
Woods & Water Realty, Inc. recently moved into its new Regional Office at 2015 Commercial Boulevard in Lake Hallie. Woods & Water Realty has served the Chippewa Valley for more than 25 years. They have three other locations in Chippewa Falls, New Auburn and Bloomer. For more information on Woods & Water Realty please visit their website.
Pablo Center at the Confluence recently announced that the Confluence Council, Inc. Board of Directors has hired Jason Jon Anderson as its next executive director. Anderson has been serving as acting executive director since last October. Before serving as the acting executive director, Anderson oversaw Conferences & Event services in all University venues, as well as in other performance venues on and off campus for UW-Eau Claire. He also was responsible for the development and administration of conferences, camps, campus-wide special events, festivals and other large events held on and off campus. Scheduled to open September of 2018, the Pablo Center at the Confluence will include a 1,200‐seat theatre and a flexible 400-seat theatre, rehearsal, dance and community rooms; visual arts studio and galleries, labs for sound and lighting, set and exhibit design, recording arts, multimedia production and costume design; a scene shop equipped to support the maker space and vocational training initiatives; administrative offices for management, UW-Eau Claire faculty and Visit Eau Claire staff.
Jim Buyze, PGA of Wild Ridge Golf Course and Mill Run Golf Course, was recently awarded the Horton Smith Award from the Wisconsin Section PGA. The Horton Smith Award is given annually to the member that contributes to education programs for the betterment of the members and apprentices in the WPGA. It is the second time that Buyze has been honored by the Wisconsin Section with the Horton Smith award, with the first accolade coming in 2000. The Sterling, Illinois native recently completed his twenty-sixth year of PGA membership. In total this is Buyze’s third WPGA special award as he was also presented with the WPGA Resort Merchandiser of the Year honor back in 1996.
EO Johnson Business Technologies announced that Leif Christianson has joined the company as Locknet director of operations. In his new role, Christianson will oversee the day-to-day activities of EO Johnson’s Locknet Managed IT Services. Christianson’s areas of specific responsibility include the compliance, project management, purchasing, business analysis and field-tech teams, as well as Locknet’s industry leading Support Center team. He brings a deep IT background to Locknet and a thorough understanding of FFIEC IT regulations. His most recent position was as senior vice President – chief operations officer for Peoples State Bank in Wausau.
Area businesses have the opportunity to upgrade the skills and productivity of their employees through training programs funded in part by the State of Wisconsin Workforce Advancement Training (WAT) grants. Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) is accepting requests for consideration for such training programs that would begin after July 1, 2018. The grants promote increased investment in the development of incumbent workers, improve business productivity and competitiveness and strengthen the state’s economic base by expanding technical college training services to business and industry. The training can include any combination of academic, occupational, and employability topics or courses. Approved grants will provide up to a 50 percent discount on training with CVTC. Already this fiscal year, 57 companies have taken part in WAT grant trainings through CVTC. Employers interested in this opportunity should complete the Request for Consideration Online Application found at www.cvtc.edu/TrainingGrants no later than Monday, April 2, 2018.
Huebsch Services is your local independent service provider for work uniforms, floor mats, restroom products, and cleaning supplies. Huebsch was founded in 1891 when John and Joseph Huebsch, the sons of German immigrants, saw an opportunity in the boom town atmosphere of a Wisconsin logging town, and founded a commercial laundry service company in Eau Claire. Today, Huebsch is in its fourth generation of local family ownership with our current President and CEO Jim Vaudreuil. Throughout this time, we have remained committed to our neighbors and customers in the Chippewa Valley. Our neighborhood grew significantly in 1985 with the establishment of an additional office and production facility in Eagan, MN. We currently service over 6,000 customers in Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, La Crosse, Rice Lake, Minneapolis, Saint Paul and the surrounding areas.
Our mission is to provide our customers convenience and peace of mind. In doing so, we have three core values that guide us.
We are Honest. We approach every decision and interaction ethically and with integrity.
We are Hungry. We are eager to learn and improve both ourselves and our company. We take initiative, find ways to innovate, and follow through on our commitments.
We are Humble. We admit mistakes, ask for help, and communicate openly. We demonstrate care and put the needs of our co-workers, customers, company, and community before our individual needs.
We keep these simple philosophies in mind as we service our customers today while we also look ahead to the future. We have developed patented technologies that allow for custom uniform processing, our floor matting solutions support the unique needs of our customers, and we have made significant investments in sustainable practices that show respect for our community.
In November of 2016, Huebsch installed a 100kw solar energy system at our Eau Claire facility. This solar panel system provides one third of the energy needs for our Eau Claire facility. It allows us to co-generate energy and contribute to overall sustainability as well. We were recently recognized by the TRSA (Textile Rental Services Association) with the Clean Green Innovation Award for this solar initiative and commitment to sustainability. In addition, we continue to be a sponsor of the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce’s Green Sustainable Initiative. We strive to find green solutions that both make a difference locally and improve our planet.
In putting our community first, Huebsch contributed more than $35,000 in 2017 to local organizations in addition to our ongoing commitment to employee volunteerism. We take great pride in giving back to the communities we serve.
With 127 years of service under our belt, it’s easy to live in the past. Instead, we just choose to honor it. We are still the friendly face that walks into your business every week, we still answer the phone when a customer calls, and we still give honest consistent pricing.
Now that you know a little more about us, we would love to get to know you better. Ask your neighbors about us. Give us a call. Stop by for a tour. We’re here to help.
For more information, visit our website at huebsch-services.com
In 2016, we proudly celebrated our 125th anniversary. This video helps illustrate both our history and our future.
Prevea Health recently welcomed family nurse practitioner, Angela Lindstrom, to the Prevea Mondovi Health Center. Lindstrom, APNP, FNP-C, specializes in routine care for children and adults, preventive medicine, medication management, sports physicals, sick visits and chronic disease management. She completed a master of science in nursing – family nurse practitioner from Concordia University in Wisconsin and is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
The Prevea Health Family Medicine Residency Program in Eau Claire and Augusta recently received the status of continued accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Next Accreditation System. The ACGME is a physician-led, independent, not-for-profit organization that establishes and keeps track of standards necessary to prepare providers to deliver safe, high-quality medical care. All accredited residency programs, including the Prevea Health Family Medicine Residency Program, are reviewed annually by an ACGME committee. Prevea Health partners with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Medical College of Wisconsin and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital to operate the Prevea Health Family Medicine Residency Program.
RMM Solutions, recently announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named RMM Solutions to its 2018 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the MSP Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.
Vicki Hoehn, Royal Credit Union VP-community engagement, has been named a 2018 Credit Union Hero and is one of five finalists to become the 2018 Credit Union Hero of the Year. The award is presented by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and recognizes those who relentlessly promote credit union philosophy, dedicate themselves to the credit union principles and make a difference in their communities. The Credit Union Heroes are featured online and their bios were published in Credit Union Magazine. Hoehn has been with Royal for 36 years and has spearheaded, led or contributed to many community service projects including Royal’s School $ense program, the Charity Classic and the Eau Claire Confluence Arts Center. Vote for Hoehn at http://news.cuna.org/cuhero.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.