Chamber Connection, August 2019

Page 1

In this issue . . .


Ambassador Profile Member News Calendar of Events New Members Ribbon cuttings

Talent Attraction and Retention in the Digital Age By David Eckmann, President/CEO


or the foreseeable future, attracting and retaining talent will be a persistent challenge for all organizations, large and small, throughout every industry sector. Like most of Wisconsin, the greater Wausau region faces a significant demographic shift in which we are not replacing working age cohorts, losing significant numbers of our younger generations, and facing increasing retirements of baby boomers. This will be a decades-long challenge. In today’s digital age, our communities – our businesses – require a tool to assist their efforts in attracting and retaining people. As we moved through the construction of the Greater Wausau Region Economic Development Strategic Plan, and with input from many business members, it became very clear that our community was not positioned with a strong central website to promote the high quality and value that our diverse communities offer, including educational assets, arts, culture, entertainment, and the abundance of activities that are found both in the metropolitan and rural areas of Marathon County. Tactic 1.2.1. of the Greater Wausau Region Economic Development Strategic Plan calls for a ‘comprehensive new talent attraction-retention website that is positioned

to market and promote the Wausau region as a desirable destination …’ In the spring of 2019, through a request for proposal (RFP) process, Amperage, a local marketing-website development firm, was hired to construct such a website. As we approach the latter part of 2019, Amperage is nearing completion of a comprehensive website that will be available to businesses for recruiting purposes and also available to those who are new to the area and looking to plug-in and connect with others in the region. The site will also offer useful features for the community at large. While the Greater Wausau talent attraction-retention website is designed to primarily serve our employers and communities by providing in-depth information about the area, the website will also serve as a platform for a comprehensive marketing and talent attraction campaign. If we are to compete for knowledgeable and skilled workforce in the age of talent scarcity, we, as a community, must begin to tell our story and promote the rich value that we offer. It is anticipated that the new website will be tested and introduced early this fall. The website will offer many points of engagement for businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and communities. Brian Otten, Marketing Director at the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce, has been and will continue to communicate these opportunities for engagement and sponsorship placements.



Featuring legendary Badger football coach Barry Alvarez

5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Rib Mountain

The 107th Annual Dinner will include: Board and Chairperson recognition, Ruder Ware Innovator Award, Ambassador of the Year Award, economic development strategic plan update from President/CEO Dr. David Eckmann

Cost is $75 for members, $600 for a table of eight, $90 for non-members


or contact or call 715-848-5953

Chamber News


Coming up on our calendar: September 10: Ribbon Cutting: The Caring Tree LLC September 17: Ribbon Cutting: Kwik Trip September 18: Ribbon Cutting: EXIT Midstate Realty September 20: Nothing But Networking

A trio of Business PM networking events were held in recent weeks. Events were held at The Mosinee Brewing Company on July 25, La Taqueria in Wausau on August 8 and Olson Tire & Auto Service on August 22.

September 25: Ribbon Cutting: Bull Falls Harley-Davidson of Wausau October 1: Increasing the Likelihood of Getting Your Business Funded October 10: Annual Dinner For more information or to register for these programs and events, visit

Help us welcome the newest Chamber member! Support the regional economy - do business with members.

EXIT Midstate Realty


Next Intake: Sept. 9th at 5PM at The Cross Church located in the old YWCA building (613 North 5th St. Wausau, WI) Next Class Session: Sept. 16-20 (located at The Cross Church)

Chamber News

Barry Alvarez to speak at 107th Annual Dinner The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce will hold its 107th Annual Dinner on Thursday, October 10 from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rib Mountain. This event is open to both Chamber members and non-members. Legendary Wisconsin Badgers football coach Barry Alvarez will be the keynote speaker at the event. Alvarez will share his thoughts on building winning teams and business organizations, along with insights on how members and the community can improve themselves and achieve perennial success. The Annual Dinner is one of the Chamber’s signature events and the event will mark the start of a new program year for the organization. “Looking ahead to 2019-2020, the Chamber, along with partner stakeholders, will continue to lead the region forward in implementing the goals outlined in the new economic development plan for the region.” said Dr. Dave Eckmann, President/CEO of the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce. “Our organization will continue to serve as the unique connecting piece for the community between business, education, government and non-profits.” The event will also include the introduction of the Chamber’s new

Chairperson, Darrell Lentz of Aspirus, and members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, and will recognize the outgoing Chairperson, Dr. Jeannie Worden of Northcentral Technical College. The Ruder Ware Innovator Award and Ambassador of the Year Award will be

presented at the event. The Ruder Ware Innovator Award in Memory of G. Lane Ware was established in 2015 by Ruder Ware LLSC. G. Lane Ware was a distinguished attorney and consummate professional with a sincere drive to make the Wausau community a better place for life and for business. Ware realized that to succeed in business, you needed to innovate and differentiate, to remain relevant in a changing economy. The cost for the event is $75 for members and $90 for non-members and includes a meal. Reserved tables of eight are available for $600. If you are interested in attending, please register at Greenheck is the presenting sponsor for the Annual Dinner, along with platinum sponsors The Dirks Group and Ruder Ware LLSC, gold sponsors Ansay & Associates, Marshfield Clinic Health System and North Star Mohican Casino | Resort, silver sponsors Ameriprise Financial – Cornerstone Advisors, Church Mutual Insurance Company, Ho-Chunk Gaming Wittenberg, Wisconsin Public Service Corp and bronze sponsor 3M Company, River Valley Bank | Incredible Bank and Systems Technologies.

2019 - 2020 SeSSion This program offers an opportunity for individuals to build an arsenal of personal growth strategies by equipping participants with the ability to create and inspire change in themselves, their organizations and the community.



Chamber News

The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce enjoys the support of a large group of Ambassador Volunteers. The group met recently and welcomed several new members.

Ambassador Profile: Chamber Ambassadors will be profiled each month in Chamber Connection. NAME: Janessa Brickner BUSINESS NAME: Greenheck-





HIDDEN TALENT: I love to sing!



BACKGROUND: Bachelor of Arts

from St. Norbert College


friends at Hodag and then coming to the Ambassador Meting and finding out they were also ambassadors and we had no idea when we met!



able to be an Ambassador and take part in Brickner’s Of Wausau Ribbon Cutting

The Chamber Ambassadors are volunteers who engage new and current members, reviewing benefits, highlighting programs and events and

ensuring member needs are met. If you would like a visit from an Ambassador or would like to learn more about the group, please contact Judy Pitek at 715848-5966.

Business PM Speed Pass 2019-2020 BUSINESS PM SCHEDULE:

Our 12-month speed pass includes: • Save up to $40! Discounted admission to 16 Business PMs between September 1, 2019 - August 31, 2020. • Automatic registration for every program. • Send a replacement if you are unable to attend.

9/18/2019 Fully Promoted/ Goin Postal 9/24/2019 S.C. Swiderski Urban West 10/24/2019 Aspirus/Aspirus Arise 11/14/2019 Holiday Inn & Express Weston 2/27/2020 Yach’s Body & Custom 3/12/2020 Wausau Noon Optimists & Patron Mexican Grill

4/2/2020 TBD 7/9/2020 7/23/2020 8/13/2020

Bull Falls Harley-Davidson EXPO Business PM Balloon & Rib Fest Sawmill Adventure Park Wausau White Water

Five more dates will be added to this list.


Chamber News

Ribbon Cuttings Ribbon cuttings (clockwise from upper left) were held at Riverlife Park in Wausau on August 7, Kwik Trip on Wausau’s west side on August 8, Patriot K9s of Wisconsin in Wausau on August 13, Brickner’s of Wausau on August 15 and HOM Furniture in Wausau on August 20.

Member News Visit for news items, like the ones below, from members.

We Want to Hear from You! Please submit your stories and photos via your Member Information Center login or to Brian Otten at Use of the submitted content will be at the discretion of the Chamber and may be shortened to fit the appropriate platform. Only stories from members in good standing with the Chamber will be used.

Returning in 2020! The Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce is offering its members a unique marketing opportunity again this fall. The Chamber will publish a printed calendar for 2020, featuring local photography, local events, local faces and local businesses. Members have reserved sponsorships for each of the twelve months in the edition.


The calendar will be sold at the Chamber, given to the attendees at the 2020 Women’s Leadership Conference and inserted in the November Chamber Pak and delivered to 1,600 members.

WWW.N TC.E 715-675-3 DU 331


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Chamber News

Nominations open for Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Johnson Financial Group will accept nominations for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest until Aug. 30. Any product manufactured in Wisconsin has the chance to be crowned the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin, but you must fill out the form at to nominate a product. Self-nominations from companies are encouraged. The Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest is back for a fourth straight year. The annual competition aims to highlight the state’s manufacturing industry – which employs nearly 1 in 5 Wisconsinites – and ultimately determine the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin. “This contest has quickly become one of the best ways to highlight the state’s vibrant and diverse manufacturing industry,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt R. Bauer. “As we approach Manufacturing Month in October, we hope this contest will bring attention to not only the cool things made in this state, but the outstanding career opportunities available in Wisconsin’s largest economic industry.” Following the nomination period, a popular vote will determine the Top 16 products that will be placed in a bracket-style tournament called Manufacturing Madness. To nominate a product for the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, visit www.

Chamber News

Chamber announces 2019-2020 Board of Directors The 2019–2020 Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has been named. The Board of Directors represents the entire membership of the Chamber and the Wausau Region’s business community. Their duty is to set the long-term vision of the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce in response to members’ needs.

2022 Bill Gleason, Honorary Member Term expires August 31, 2021 Cory Heckendorf, Wisconsin Kenworth Term expires August 31, 2020 Keith Hilts, Wausau School District Term expires August 31, 2022

The 2019–2020 Board of Directors will begin in their roles on September 1, 2019. Officers (Officer term expires August 31, 2020): Chairperson: Darrell Lentz, Aspirus Chairperson Elect: Michael Loy, North Central Health Care Treasurer/Secretary: Nicole Williams, QPS Employment Group Immediate Past Chairperson: Dr. Jeannie Worden, Northcentral Technical College President/CEO: Dr. David Eckmann, Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce Director at Large: Robin Hegg, River Valley Bank Director at Large: Jack Hoogendyk, Hope Life Center

Immediate Past Chairperson Cory Heckendorf introduced Dr. Jeannie Worden as the new Chairperson of the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at the Chamber’s Annual Dinner held on September 13, 2018. Directors: Dawn Bernatz, Church Mutual Insurance Company Term expires August 31, 2022 Keri Anne Connaughty, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Term expires August 31, 2020 JoAnn Draeger, Nicolet National Bank Term expires August 31, 2022 Thomas Felch, J & D Tube

Al Lancaster, WSAW – NewsChannel 7 Term expires August 31, 2022

Benders Inc Term expires August 31, 2020

Paul LaPree, Miron Construction Co Inc Term expires August 31, 2020

Ted Fox, Ameriprise Financial – Cornerstone Advisors Term expires August 31, 2020

Yengyee Lor, Faithful Consulting LLC Term expires August 31, 2021

Tom Frank, Greenheck Term expires August 31, 2022 Rebecca Frisch, Marathon County Conservation, Planning & Zoning Term expires August 31,

Craig Timm, Domtar Paper Co LLC Term expires August 31, 2021 Cory Tomczyk, IROW Shredding Recycling & Consulting Term expires August 31, 2022

Chamber News

Each month, Wisconsin Central Time NEWS brings you insightful articles, updates, and events about the issues being discussed and the goals being achieved by Marathon County government. Check out the latest articles from Wisconsin Central Time NEWS — now in a mobile-friendly format — to see how county officials and employees are working to make Marathon County a great place to work, play, live, and do business. View or subscribe at

APPLY ONLINE NOW! 2020 Census jobs provide: ✔ $15-20/hr

✔ Weekly pay

✔ Flexible hours

✔ Paid training

For more information or help applying, please call

1-855-JOB-2020 The U.S. Census Bureau is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

THE IMMERSION PROJECT 2019-2020 The Immersion Project is an intensive year-long program designed to provide meaningful experiences that will immerse and connect participants to the region. These experiences are aimed to cement the participants’ roots in the greater Wausau area through a deeper understanding and awareness of important topics and issues relevant to the region. Session Topics & Dates: Session 1: Welcome & Introduction Tuesday, September 10 Session 2: History & Heritage - Tuesday, October 8 Session 3: Community Development Tuesday, November 12 Session 4: Community Issues Tuesday, December 10 Session 5: Government - Tuesday, January 14 Session 6: Education - Tuesday, February 11

For more information visit or call 715-845-6231

Session 7: Business & Industry - Tuesday, March 10 Session 8: Entrepreneurship - Tuesday, April 7 Session 9: Non-Profit Organizations Tuesday, May 12 Session 10: Public Safety/Judicial System Tuesday, June 9 Session 11: Quality of Life - Tuesday, July 14 Session 12: Program Wrap Up - Tuesday, August 11

NEED TO TAP INTO A TALENT PIPELINE? Students participating in The Branch innovate solutions to real-world projects for member businesses.

“The Branch connected M3 to the best student talent in the Wausau area. We gave them a multi-disciplinary project that will both build their resumes and have an impact on our clients. Win! Win! ” - Nan Pum, Director of Professional Development

“We gave the students in The Branch the unusual opportunity to help us make a decision usually reserved for a board of directors or senior management. And investing $5,000 in the ten weeks of what was essentially consulting work was a great value for us.” - Mike Rayome, Retired Director of Human Resources

To become a supporter of or to submit an innovation challenge to The Branch, contact Renae Krings at or 715-848-5942.

Entrepreneurial Training Program Nine Week Business Plan Series The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Stevens Point is part of a statewide network of SBDCs, working with business owners and entrepreneurs to facilitate business growth and improvement, and to help launch successful new companies. Through no‐cost consulting, low‐cost entrepreneurial education and strategic facilitation, SBDC experts serve as resources for small and emerging midsize companies. The Wisconsin SBDC is hosted by UW-System and is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the SBDC at UWSPCE-SBDC@uwsp. edu or 715-346-3861 for arrangements. UW‐Stevens Point is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.

The Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) offered by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is a 9 week course providing an easy to follow, step-by-step process that shows your for-profit business how to: • Answer the question – “Will people buy my product or service?” • Appeal to more customers • Develop a lender-ready business plan • Use time, money and resources wisely Through instruction and guest speakers, the course serves those who are considering starting a business, owners of existing businesses struggling to get a handle on all the details, and those with successful companies they want to grow.

FALL 2019 Orientation: Tuesday, September 17, 5:30-7 p.m. Class Dates: Tuesdays, September 24 - November 19, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wausau Entrepreneurial and Education Center 100 N 72nd Ave, Wausau, WI 54401


The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is offering qualified applicants Entrepreneurial Training Grants that cover most of the $1,000 course fee. The grant covers 75 percent of the tuition, reducing your cost to $250. Grant recipients must meet attendance requirements and complete a qualified business plan within 90 days of completion of the course or will otherwise be responsible for the remaining $750.


Space in the course is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Register online at by creating an account and filling out the SBDC ETP grant application.

Proven Impact

Since 2013, 537 students have completed the course statewide, including 40 veterans and 73 minorities.

For More Information

Call 715-346-3861 or visit the SBDC at UW-Stevens Point website:


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