2012 Year in Review: New Leaders Take Office
Three major public entities in Eau Claire welcomed new leaders during the past year:
Gilles Bousquet (his name is pronounced zheel boo-SKAY, if you happen to bump into him) became interim chancellor at UW-Eau Claire in July. Bousquet, who was born in Algeria and raised in France, spent the bulk of his academic career at UW-Madison, most recently as dean of UW-Madison’s Division of International Studies. He took the reins, at least temporarily, from Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich, who left UW-EC to become president of Westminster College in Utah. This fall a search committee began looking for a permanent replacement, with the intention of having that person in place by next summer. Stay tuned.
May Ann Hardebeck became superintendent of the Eau Claire school district in September, replacing Ron Heilmann, who left the job in June. Hardebeck came to Eau Claire from Loudon County Public Schools in Virginia, where she was assistant superintendent. She beat out another finalist, Mark Mitrovich, who had been superintendent in Napervlle, Ill.
Russell Van Gompel became Eau Claire’s city manager – the city’s top administrator – in November after leading the village of Brown Deer for 14 years. The previous city manager, Mike Huggins, had retired in December 2011, and since then public works director Brian Amundson has filled the role on an interim basis.