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Julia Johnson - 2019 Vanguard Award Honoree

Partner at Pablo Properties

Lauren Fisher, video by Joel Pearish

Julia Johnson has been involved with the development of Downtown Eau Claire since the early days of Jamf software company. She was involved with the planning and construction of the Jamf Building, the Lismore, the Informalist, ECDC, and the Pablo Center; she continues to serve on local boards and work toward a more accessible, cooperative city.

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Pa Thao - 2019 Vanguard Award Honoree

Executive Director of the Black & Brown Womyn Power Coalition

Lauren Fisher, video by Joel Pearish

Pa Thao is dedicated to uplifting underserved and underrepresented groups within her community. She was the executive director of the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association for seven years, before becoming the executive director of the Black and Brown Womyns Coalition. Thao’s efforts in the Chippewa Valley have a national, and even international, impact.

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Mike Golat - 2019 Vanguard Award Honoree

City Administrator of Altoona

Lauren Fisher, video by Joel Pearish

Mike Golat has been on the front lines of the River Prairie Development, an investment that will benefit the Chippewa Valley for generations, for the past 13 years. Through service with the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation, Visit Eau Claire, Eau Claire county, and various other community organizations, he has helped build the foundation for regional prosperity through city planning.

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