Take Bobby Hamill, for instance. An intern in 2009, he’s now the Senior Legislative Affairs Manager for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Washington, DC. In that role, he lobbies Congress on behalf of our nation’s “rural electric cooperatives,” promoting solutions to “environmental and small business issues.” He credits the Chamber for helping him “develop the interpersonal skills that are critical” for successful lobbying.
In a somewhat different field, Marlin Hardinger (our 1999 intern) is out in Afghanistan negotiating peace with the Middle East. An official at the Department of State since 2002, Marlin began his post-Chamber career in the Wisconsin State Capitol as a legislative assistant for Representative Tom Sykora. Since then, he’s hopped all around the globe, completing assignments in Turkmenistan, Moldova, Nigeria, Kabul, and Kansas, to name only a few.
In other fields still, Tyrel Zich (2012) and Tyler Will (2013) live here in Eau Claire and work at Xcel Energy. Tyrel is Xcel’s Senior Rate Analyst, Tyler, its Inside Sales Representative. According to Tyrel, his work with the Chamber built the connections that led him into jobs with, among others, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. For Tyler’s part, he’s spent his entire career at Xcel, and given the company’s active involvement with the Chamber, his time as an intern has doubtless been valuable.
After Nick Verhaalen (2015) graduated and finished the internship at the Chamber, he went straight to law school where he obtained multiple legal internships. According to Nick, the Chamber prepared him for the legal research that is necessary in law school, as well as helped him develop his analytical skills. He is currently working as an attorney for DeMark, Kolbe & Brodek, S.C. in Racine, WI.
Peter Hienz (2017) is currently working in Madison as a Legislative Aid for State Senator Howard Marklein. The Chamber internship helped Peter get connected to the Capitol in Madison during the Chippewa Valley Rally and allowed him to obtain a job in the Capitol after graduation.
Last year, for the first time, the Chamber had two interns, Savannah Sepic and Kaylee Tracy. Savannah is currently working for the Minnesota Retailers Associations as a Government Relations Manager, where she often uses her skills interacting with public officials and legislators that she learned at the Chamber during her time as an intern. Kaylee, on the other hand, is currently waiting deployment as a missionary for EFCA ReachGlobal, where she will be working in Germany.
My co-intern, Emma Koehn, also has some comments about how the Chamber has helped her develop her professional goals: “After graduation, I hope to work at an advertising/public relations agency and help businesses develop their corporate social responsibility campaigns. The Chamber and the Chippewa Valley have introduced me to many businesses willing to do whatever they can to help the community, and I hope to help other companies give back like the ones in Eau Claire do. Getting an inside look at how Eau Claire is run has been extremely beneficial, and having the opportunity to meet many leaders in our community has given me a new appreciation for the city.”
The Chamber's 2019-20 Legislative Interns have now been selected. "Come this fall, the Chamber we'll be looking forward to working with Amy Oldenburg and Clayton Cavanaugh," said Scott Rogers, the Chamber's Governmental Affairs and Workforce Director. "We appreciated the great work Emma and Nate provided this year, and look forward to following their adventures."
Nate Kane (2018-19) and Clayton Cavanaugh (2019-20)