A Menomonie businessman who grew his beer distributorship into a national leader, two local farm implement dealers and a young IT professional were among the honorees when the Chippewa Valley Technical College Alumni Association held its annual Spring Gala Thursday, April 4.
Terry Giertz, now retired as the CEO of Bill’s Distributing in Menomonie, was named the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award winner. Erin Garney, a network systems shift manager at WIN in Eau Claire was named the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award winner. And Value Implement and Tractor Central were honored as the 2019 Proven Business Partners for their support of CVTC agriculture programs.
Larson Companies/Holiday Inn Eau Claire South and Staybridge Suites
Holiday Inn Eau Claire South and Staybridge Suites Altoona were honored with the IHG 2018 Quality of Excellence Award for achieving superior levels of excellence. This distinction is awarded to less than 3% of properties selected from the company’s more than 5,000+ hotels. This is the 2nd consecutive award for Holiday Inn South and the first for Staybridge Suites, who received the IHG Newcomer Award last year.
“I am pleased to announce this recognition and applaud the continued performance excellence of Holiday Inn South and Staybridge Suites” says Thomas Larson, President of Larson Companies. “Clearly both hotel teams put our guests at the heart of everything they do, and they exemplify what it means to truly be the very best in hospitality. We couldn’t be more proud.”
Cathy Leibke, General Manager of Staybridge Suites and Justin Hinnenkamp, General Manager of Holiday Inn Eau Claire South both extend their heartfelt thanks to their team members who live the brand and the mission of guest first every day, and are an integral part of the reason for the properties receiving this Excellence Award. Both Cathy and Justin extend a special thanks to the Eau Claire, Altoona and surrounding communities for their continued partnership and support.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph's hospitals
Hannah Schroeder, nursing educator at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals, recently earned the international Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) credential from the Society of Simulation in Healthcare. She is one of less than 1,400 people internationally to have this credential, and is one of three people in the Chippewa Valley to have earned it.
Schroeder passed an exam that assesses the knowledge and understanding of the principles, processes, and fundamentals for developing and delivering high quality healthcare simulation activities. The comprehensive CHSE credential covers educational design and healthcare simulation principles, and the application of these to meet the needs of healthcare learners at all levels.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host the second annual Earth Claire event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, on the campus mall east of Schofield Hall. The student-led event, which is free and open to the public, will celebrate both Earth Day and Arbor Day (officially observed on April 22 and 26, respectively). Guests driving to campus can obtain a parking permit at the university's Visitor Center, 127 Roosevelt Ave. (See campus map.)
More than 20 campus and community organizations and businesses will participate, promoting sustainability through activities for all ages, including giveaways (seeds for spring planting, free vegetarian and vegan pizza, snow cones in compostable cones), raffles for items that encourage sustainable practices, an ongoing waste-sorting demonstration by UW-Eau Claire’s waste research team, zero-waste “swap” giveaways, and more. Educational booths also will provide information on getting involved in sustainable initiatives on campus and in the community.
Security Financial Bank
With Americans spending more and saving less, young people often don’t learn valuable personal finance skills that will benefit them throughout life.
Together, educators, bankers and parents can help children build good financial habits from an early age. That’s why Security Financial is participating in the annual National Teach Children to Save Day campaign on April 12.
Volunteers from Security Financial Bank have found a way to teach kids about saving that provides instant gratification – and can be continued at home. Using a Wisconsin Bankers Foundation program called Reading Raises Interest, bank staff will read age-appropriate books with a message about money or saving to students at area schools in Altoona, Bloomer, Durand, Eau Claire, Ladysmith and River Falls.
This year’s featured book is Sammy’s Big Dream by Sam Renick. In the story, Sammy Rabbit has a big dream: to ride the world's first outer space roller coaster! Read along as he works to earn and save enough money to do it. The book can also be a good starting point for conversations about money between children and their parents.
“Although parents may initially feel uncomfortable talking with their children about money, it’s a topic that can’t be overlooked,” said Cathy Couey, SFB’s chief retail officer. “The discussion can begin with something as simple as wants vs. needs.”
In addition to reading books to their children about money, parents can involve kids in spending decisions, encourage them to save part of an allowance and explain the family’s finances in general terms.
To encourage students and parents to read more, Security Financial Bank will donate copies of Sammy’s Big Dream to the class. Throughout the month of April, Security Financial Bank also will give free piggy banks to anyone opening up a Youth Savings Account. Individuals are encouraged to see a personal banker at a SFB location in Bloomer, Durand, Eau Claire, Ladysmith and River Falls for more information on Youth Savings Accounts.
National Teach Children to Save Day is an initiative sponsored by the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation and the American Bankers Association Education Foundation. Last year, bankers from more than 30 institutions reached out to their community to make Teach Children to Save Day presentations. Together, these bankers reported nearly 300 presentations to almost 9,000 students.
For more information about the program, contact SFB at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physician assistant Brittany Jensen recently joined the Emergency Medicine Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She received a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from Rush University in Chicago, Illinois.
Jensen is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Her professional interests include emergency medicine and procedures.
“I enjoy the fast-paced setting and the wide range of patients and conditions that require medical assistance in the Emergency Department,” says Jensen. “I am looking forward to applying what I have learned into clinical practice, making a difference for patients, and growing professionally.”
In her free time, Jensen enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with family.