The pot of money pledged to the Confluence Project just grew by a cool quarter million thanks to Market & Johnson. The Eau Claire-based construction company announced March 30 that it will donate $250,000 toward the performing arts center that will be built in downtown Eau Claire as part of the multiuse, multibuilding complex at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers. “Market & Johnson has been a proud and an actively engaged partner in the Confluence Project since the project’s inception,” said Jerry Shea, president of the company. “We consider this contribution to be an investment in our community. The performing arts center will do much toward making Eau Claire a destination place in our region.” Donors have pledged more than $7 million toward the $13.5 million local philanthropy goal for the arts center. In addition, $15 million for the arts center was included in Gov. Scott Walker’s version of the state budget, which awaits legislative approval. The $40 million arts center is slated to open in the fall of 2018. A privately built component of the project, dubbed Haymarket Landing, is already under construction. Market & Johnson is the construction manager for Haymarket Landing.
On March 2, UW-Stout alumna Jill Soltau took over as chief executive officer of Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, the nation’s largest fabric and craft suppliers retailer. The Ohio-based company has over 800 stores in 49 states and in 2013 it ranked 195th on the Forbes list of largest privately-held companies.
With one eye on Jo-Ann’s 70 year legacy and one on its future prospects, Soltau expressed excitement about her upcoming tenure as CEO. “Jo-Ann is an industry leader that has exciting opportunities to achieve even greater long-term potential,” she said in a news release. “I look forward to working with the talented management team and dedicated associates to bolster Jo-Ann’s market position and create further enthusiasm for the Jo-Ann brand.” Soltau graduated from UW-Stout in 1989 with a degree in retailing and a minor in business, and since then has had an impressive and prolific career in business management. Most recently she was the president of Shopko, having joined the company in 2007 as its senior vice president. From 2004-06 she was the vice president and general merchandising manager of Sears Holding, and before that she held various planning, private brand, and merchandising positions with Kohl’s. Soltau’s retail career began with the Carson Pirie Scott division of Saks, where she held a variety of roles in stores and merchandising.
According to The Washington Post, Fixr.com, a cost-estimating website, created this map using Google Autocomplete, basically typing “How much does ___ cost in ___?” into Google for each state or state capital, and then marking down the most commonly searched-for good or service. They say, "Some of the searches are somewhat disturbing, including sex, drugs and lots of plastic surgery. Others are delightfully innocent, like Alaska’s search for the price of a gallon of milk and Vermont’s search for the cost of a cord of wood."
In good ol' practical Wisconsin? We want to know the price of electricity.