Welcome to the Eau Claire Chamber Blog
Azura Memory Care broke ground on its new facility located on Bullis Farm Road. It should be completed in early 2019. Website
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved UW-Eau Claire’s design report for a new Visitor and Admissions Center, making way for design completion and construction of the facility. The $5.5 million project will be paid for entirely with private funds. The regents also approved the renaming of UW-Barron County as University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County, which will take effect July 1 when the two-year college is integrated with UW-Eau Claire.
Dale Bergeson, PA-C, has joined ReforMedicine as a part-time provider, primarily serving the Eau Claire office. Dale is a physician assistant certified in family practice. He graduated from the Marshfield Medical Foundation Physician Assistant Program and later received his B.S. from UW-River Falls and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska. Dale has worked in various settings to include family practice, urgent care, emergency room, correctional medicine and plastic surgery. He is retired from the U.S. Army where he served as a Major in the aeromedical physician assistant corps.
UW-Eau Claire public history faculty and students has created created "Sounds of Eau Claire," a website that showcases a digital collection of music-related artifacts and stories. The website, which went live on June 13, contains more than 5,000 digitized items, including oral histories, photos, posters, instruments, scrapbooks, albums, personal notes and other historic ephemera related to music history in the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin.
Per Mar Security Services, a leading provider of total security solutions for residential and commercial clients based in Davenport, IA, received “Honeywell Platinum Authorized Dealer” status for 2018. The award states certification in all aspects of sales and service of the complete product line of Honeywell Security and Fire products. Less than ten percent of Honeywell’s dealers across the country achieve this status.
Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire received three awards from the University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation for its organ donation efforts, including the Family Care Award, Excellence in Tissue Donation Award and Award of Hope silver-level recognition. In late 2017, the Eau Claire organ donation team demonstrated consistent family support practices during a complex, rapid recovery case. The donor was able to save three lives thanks to the high degree of collaboration and coordination displayed by the team.
Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc., Northwest District is pleased to announce a new member joining its Board of Directors. Blayne Midthun is a local business owner and real estate investor who started Ramone’s Ice Cream Parlor in Eau Claire, WI.
Per Mar Security Services, a leading provider of total security solutions for residential and commercial clients based in Davenport, IA, received the prestigious “Five Diamond Certification” from The Monitoring Association (http://tma.us/) again this year.
A special thanks to the early risers who helped get the breakfast running whether it was making coffee, firing up the skillets, directing traffic or serving guests. We appreciate those that brought a whole team from their company as well - we hope it was a good team building event! Thanks to everyone for making the breakfast a great success. Save the date for the 23rd Annual Breakfast in the Valley on June 14, 2019.
Breakfast in the Valley Committee
Bob Bosold, Mid-West Family Broadcasting
Mary Kay Brevig, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Nikki Crotteau, Eau Claire Co-op Oil/Chippewa Valley Energy
Christine Gimber, Weld Riley, S.C.
Dave Graham, Northwest Enterprises
Ricki Gudis, Kwik Trip - Otter Rd
Mark Hagedorn, Eau Claire County
Steve Hunsley, Eau Claire Co-op Oil/Chippewa Valley Energy
Nicholas Mohr, Rhom Construction LLC
Bob Panzer, Pifer’s Auction & Realty
Jenny Rathke, WESTconsin Credit Union
Brian Schneider, WRR Environmental Services Co., Inc.
Jon M. Schultz, City of Eau Claire
Mary Stabenow, Nohre & Company, S.C., CPA's
LaVern L. Stewart, LL Stewart, Inc. & American Realty Partner
Michael Stoffel, Ayres Associates
Pat Sturz, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP
Adam Wehling, Chippewa Valley Technical College
Justin Zoromski, Woita & Associates
Platinum Sponsor: Eau Claire Energy Cooperative
Eggs provided by Festival Foods
Ham, cheese and onions sponsored by the Aging & Disability Resource Center
Mushrooms provided by Altoona Family Restaurant
Slice cheese provided by Woodman’s Food Market, Inc.
Kwik Trip fresh muffins sponsored in part by Chippewa Valley Energy
Cheese curds provided by Marieke Gouda
Bananas and orange juice provided by Kwik Trip
Victor Allen's Coffee provided by Coffee Express
Milk provided by Kemps and McDonald’s
Traditional Dairy Breakfast Dessert – Culver’s Fresh Custard topped with strawberries provided by Rhom Construction LLC and General Mills corn flakes
Click here to see all the breakfast sponsors!
Physicians Weight Loss Centers move to its now location in River Prairie. Website
MEP Associates announced the hire of Brian Urlaub as the company’s director of geothermal operations. Urlaub has spent the past 20 years in the geothermal industry, in positions ranging from installation and servicing to design and sales. In his new role at MEP, he will work with clients across the United States developing solutions that help them attain their goals for reducing their carbon footprint and energy costs. Urlaub has an associate’s degree in heating, cooling, refrigeration technology from Chippewa Valley Technical College. He is based in the firm’s office in Eagan, Minnesota.
Dr. Martina Lindseth, professor of languages at UW-Eau Claire, will receive the 2018 UW System Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award. Lindseth, who teaches German, will receive the award during the June Board of Regents meeting in Milwaukee. The award, which recognizes outstanding achievements in teaching, is the UW System’s highest recognition for members of its faculty and academic staff. Each year just two UW System faculty or academic staff members receive the $5,000 awards. Teaching Excellence Award recipients are selected for their strong commitment to teaching and learning; use of effective teaching strategies to enhance student learning; and significant impact on students’ intellectual development.
Stephanie Root, clinical pharmacy coordinator at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, recently received the 2018 Larry Boh Clinical Instructor Award for Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy. This statewide award is given to preceptors who show excellence in teaching student pharmacists. A preceptor is an experienced practitioner who provides supervision and assistance during clinical practice for students.
Michelle Willcutt, RN, critical care at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, recently earned her Critical Care Registered Nurse certification. Nurse certification has been associated with fewer medical errors and increased job satisfaction and confidence. Sacred Heart demonstrates its commitment to safety and quality patient care by supporting continuing education, certification and recertification for nurses.
CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Locknet® Managed IT Services to its 2018 Solution Provider 500 list. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s annual ranking of the largest technology integrators, solution providers, and IT consultants in North America by revenue. Locknet is a division of EO Johnson Business Technologies. The Solution Provider 500 is CRN’s predominant channel partner award list, serving as the industry standard for recognition of the most successful solution provider companies in the channel since 1995. The complete list will be published on CRN.com, making it readily available to vendors seeking out top solution providers to partner with.
Physician assistant Teresa Moreland recently joined the Hospital Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Moreland earned a master’s degree in physician assistant studies at Des Moines University in Iowa. Previously, she worked as a physician assistant in gastroenterology and hospital medicine at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota. She is certified in basic and advanced life support. Moreland will be monitoring patients in the Rapid Discovery & Recovery observation unit.
New or existing programs in Barron, Buffalo, Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Pierce, St. Croix and Trempealeau counties were invited to apply for grant money through Mayo Clinic Health System’s Hometown Health Grant Program. Area recipients recently named to receive a total of $205,000 in grant money are:
The continued used of Tax Increment Financing by Wisconsin communities won a major court victory on June 6 when the Wisconsin Supreme court upheld the use of TIF districts and payments to developers to accomplish public purposes.
The City of Eau Claire had been sued by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) on behalf of Voters With Facts, a local opponent of the Confluence Project. The plaintiffs argued that the city had not proven that the site qualified for the use of TIF, and that it did not meet the "but for" test, meaning that the development would not have happened without the TIF support from the city. WILL also claimed that cash payments to developers were unconstitutional because of the uniformity clause in the Wisconsin Constitution.
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce weighed in on the case with an amicus brief, an argument supporting the city's position that the decision on the applicability of TIF's is a policy determination to be made by the city council, not the courts as argued by the plaintiffs.
"There was a huge amount of public scrutiny and political debate regarding the Confluence Project, including scrutiny and debate on whether TIF was appropriate. That culminated in two public referendums. The voters favored going forward with the project, by comfortable margins. Subjecting the complex, subjective, policy-heavy determinations that went into the decision... would put the courts in a role they are ill-suited to fit." The Chamber argued that finding in favor of the plaintiffs would have a chilling effect on development in the state. Read more here about the Chamber's brief.
The suit was initially dismissed by the local court, but WILL and Voters With Facts pursued the case to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. In its 5-2 decision, the top court upheld the cash payments as constitutional and sent the case back to the local court for a very narrow review of the procedures used by the city to determine the applicability of TIF. "It's a great result," Assistant City Attorney Doug Hoffer told us, "we thought this was the best possible outcome."
Despite their loss in court, WILL issued a news release vowing that, "given the decision of the court, it may be up to the legislature to reform TIF laws to protect the taxpayer and ensure this abuse ends.”
The Chamber would characterize the use of TIFs in Eau Claire as a benefit to the public and taxpayers, not "abuse." The Chamber believes Eau Claire has been responsible in its use of TIFs, which over 25 years added over $312 million in property value across the 11 districts. The downtown North Barstow Tax Increment District alone has seen a 516% increase in property values. Click here for more about how TIF works and Eau Claire's TIF successes.
As noted in the Chamber's amicus brief, “TIF has played a significant role in what has already been a remarkable revitalization of downtown Eau Claire. A court judgment impeding the development underway in the TIF districts at issue would put at risk the momentum and optimism that has developed and steadily grown over the past decade, both in the Eau Claire business community and the community at large.” The brief was written on behalf of the Chamber by Weld Riley Attorney Ryan Steffes.
Because of the statewide implications for economic development, others who also filed Amicus Briefs included the Wisconsin REALTORS Association, City of Milwaukee, League of Wisconsin Municipalities, City of Madison, Wisconsin Towns Association, and the State of Wisconsin. The case was closely watched state wide also because of the role of TIF in the FoxConn deal.
Text of Supreme Court decision (96 pages)
State Supreme Court Sides with City (Leader-Telegram)
State Supreme Court ruling on TIFs favors City of Eau Claire (WEAU TV 13 News)
WI Supreme Court okays Confluence TIF (WQOW TV 18)
Wisconsin's High Court Affirms Use of Economic Incentives (AP/US News & World Report)
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Photo: Market & Johnson
REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin moved into its new office space at 3460 Mall Drive. The space includes a wonderful conference room to conduct its educational programs. Website
ABOUT OUR FIRM
Since 1948, Market & Johnson has been providing Western Wisconsin with quality construction services. Our firm was founded on three basic principles, quality, dedication, and integrity. It is these same principles that have allowed Market & Johnson to grow and become one of the most respected contractors in the state.
Market & Johnson had operated as a family business until early 2001 when Dan Market offered ownership opportunities to four key employees, Steve Breitenfeldt, Ron Dulitz, Gary Carlson, and Don Carlson (all have since retired). Together they had over 150 years of combined construction experience and became involved with the day to day management of the firm. This new ownership team maintained our small town family atmosphere and added many years worth of experiences to it. In 2004, Jerry Shea also became a partner in ownership and in January 2012, Mike Seichter, Kevin Renley, and Jason Plante joined the ownership team.
Our mission statement, Adding Value to Everything We Do is the guiding policy that influences all our services. When you are engaged with the Market & Johnson project management team, you will find a group of professionals that will lead you through every step of the construction process. Our team of professionals will provide the highest quality services from start to finish such as:
The firm’s business philosophy is simple; we are in the business of building relationships. These relationships are based on trust, honesty, commitment to excellence, and a sincere desire to satisfy every one of our clients. We work together as a team with the owner and architect to make sure every project exceeds our expectations. Our firm has shown steady growth since we were established over 70 years ago; today Market & Johnson has an annual volume of approximately $300 million and operates offices in three locations—Eau Claire and La Crosse, Wisconsin and Oakdale, Minnesota. We employ over 400 field professionals that have the ability to perform concrete, masonry, carpentry, and steel erection. Our professional staff includes estimating, scheduling, LEED AP professionals, structural engineer, BIM coordinator, accounting/tax savings leader, as well as all project support staff.
Our markets include Industrial Manufacturing, Healthcare, Education, Governmental, Food Processing, Commercial & Retail, Frac Sand, Senior Living, and Religious.
Construction Management Expertise
Over 90% of our work is providing cost effective solutions by utilizing our construction management tools and resources. Once the referendum has passed, our professionals will take the lead in ensuring a cost effective project is developed, maximize the bidding opportunities for area subs, manage all construction activities and drive the schedule, quality and project safety on site. No other firm will provide a more hands-on approach to managing your project.
All projects, large or small, operate within a finite budget. Compromise, creativity, cost- cutting, and value judgments are a normal part of the design process. Finding the balance between creative design, quality appearance, durable construction, and value comes with experience and practice. Helping our clients make value judgments starts at the programming phase and endures until the building’s grand opening day and beyond. Our team has the unique ability to provide accurate preliminary estimates, backed up by a proven track record of creating project efficiencies resulting in real cost savings.
Our philosophy is to assure you that all capable subcontractors, equipment providers, and material suppliers are knowledgeable of your project and invited to bid on their respective divisions of work. We utilize the various Builders Exchanges, Dodge Reporting Service, Market & Johnson’s own in-house “Bid Notification Software,” and direct phone contacts. As design nears completion, an appropriate list of bidders is identified, pre-qualified, and recommended.
As the area’s leader, Market & Johnson purchasing power from subcontractors and material suppliers is unmatched in the industry. This buying power is evident in not only our competitiveness but also our record of project savings.
Building Information Modeling (BIM). We are experienced and have the capabilities to do 3D Modeling, in fact, we often utilize 3D modeling on many of our projects and have found it to be a useful tool during planning and design, as well as during construction.
As your construction expert, we will work closely with the project team to evaluate and develop different options, alternatives, and ideas on the best way to cost effectively complete your project. A building project is designed with hundreds of options to accomplish the project goals. Our role is to identify those options, provide accurate up front and life-cycle costing and allow the team to make educated decisions. We manage that process throughout the entire project, not just during the design as many good cost savings opportunities come when actual construction is going as well.
LEED and Green Initiatives
Market & Johnson has been practicing sustainable construction processes for many years. We employ four LEED accredited professionals and have completed dozens of projects that are either certified or are certifiable. We will work closely with the design team to incorporate LEED items that are cost effective and have a realistic payback period. We have found in our experience that it is easy to accumulate LEED points, but we pride ourselves in incorporating the items that are providing the largest returns for our clients in the areas of shorter paybacks, lower upfront costs, more durability, and better for long term maintenance.
Project Cost Controls
Controlling project costs is always an owner’s major concern. Our team is always on top of cost controls by performing weekly and monthly reports to compare the budgeted costs to the actual costs. This process acts as a proactive means to red flag any potential problem areas.
Market & Johnson is known for completing projects on time by developing realistic schedules and then adhering to them. Our success is a direct result of thorough scheduling and planning up front, and consistent schedule monitoring during all phases.
Our full-time safety director leads a very proactive safety program that produces positive results and creates safe projects. Our safety program is based on continual training, on-site evaluation, site specific plans and a motivational incentive plan. Preplaning is also a major component of our program. By proper planning, we can create plans for those activities that possess a safety risk. We then can develop a specific training for that activity ahead of time.
Market & Johnson has developed a tool that is web-based, available 24 hours a day and is easy for clients, subcontractors, and architects to use. Our system provides access to all project data, schedule, budgets, RFI, PR, meeting minutes.
Project Close Out
The project close-out phase may seem rather small when compared to the scope of your entire project, but we feel very strongly that this phase is vitally important to bringing a project to a satisfactory completion. Our team will work diligently to accomplish items such as punch list items, system start-up, and testing, and explore potential extended warranties.
As an added precaution, an Eleventh Month Inspection will be completed where our team will review the entire project, looking for anything that may fall within the minimum one-year warranty period. This time frame allows us the opportunity to make any needed corrections and have them fall within the minimum one-year warranty period.
iIn addition to a crowded field of Democrats running for Governor in the August 14 primary, including two from the Chippewa Valley, there will be several contested primaries for local legislative seats in the Chippewa Valley area.
With the passing of the June 1 filing deadline at the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the races throughout Wisconsin for Democratic and Republican positions on the November 6 ballot are coming into focus. As of Friday evening, ten Democrats had filed signatures for the opportunity to oppose incumbent Governor Republican Scott Walker this fall. Among them are Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma (D-31), and Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire (D-91).
Since Vinehout and Wachs can't run for their current seats and for Governor at the same time, their slots are now open and have generated competitive races locally for the chance to succeed them in Madison. In Wachs' 91st Assembly District, which is essentially the City of Eau Claire, four Democrats have submitted nominating petitions: Fierce Freedom director Jodi Emerson, UW-Stout lecturer Rich Postlewaite, and former City Council members Eric Larson and Thomas Vue. Real estate investor Echo Reardon has filed for the Republican nomination.
In the 31st Senate District, which includes parts of Eau Claire, Pierce, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau and Jackson counties, Democratic primary candidates include Steve Boe of Taylor, Jon W. Schultz of Arcadia, and former Rep. Jeff Smith of Eau Claire. The only Republican candidate is Mel Pittman of Plum City, who ran against Vinehout four years ago, and will face the winner of the Democratic primary in November.
In the 92nd Assembly District, which includes the southern portions of the 31st Senate district, three Democrats will vie for the chance to oppose Republican incumbent Treig Pronschinske of Mondovi: Desiree Gearing-Lancaster and Max Hart, both of Black River Falls, and Rob Grover of Galesville.
While no other local Senate or Assembly races will feature in-party primary races in August, the June 1 filings do set up contests for the fall election:
* 23rd Senate: Current Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) is retiring. The fall election will feature current Republican 68th District Rep. Kathy Bernier of Chippewa Falls, seeking to move up to the Senate, and Democrat Chris Kapsner of Boyceville.
* 67th Assembly: Incumbent Republican Rob Summerfield of Bloomer will face Democrat Wren Keturi of Chippewa Falls.
* 68th Assembly: Bernier's current seat, which she's giving up to run for Senate, will feature a fall contest between Democrat and former School Board member Wendy Sue Johnson of Eau Claire and the Republican, Altoona Police Chief Jesse James.
* 69th Assembly: Indumbent Republican Bob Kulp of Stratford will be unopposed in the fall.
* 93rd Assembly: Incumbent Republican Warren Petryk of Eleva will face Democrat Charlene Charlie Warner of rural Mondovi.
* 29th Assembly: This seat, which includes the City of Menomonie in its district, will see incumbent Republican Rob Stafsholt of New Richmond opposed by Democrat John Rocco Calabrese of Menomonie and Libertarian Brian Corriea of Wilson.
Competitive races in our region are already gaining some statewide attention. JR Ross of WisPolitics.com told the Leader-Telegram, "If Democrats want to climb out of their hole in the Legislature, they need to find a way to win in the Chippewa Valley." Retaining, or picking up, seats in the Legislature is the plan for candidates who filed election papers by Friday’s deadline (Leader-Telegram).
To see the Wisconsin Elections Commissions' full list of candidates who have submitted signatures for the August primary, click here and select "Candidates Tracking by Office."
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.