Articles in this Issue


Julia Johnson - 2019 Vanguard Award Honoree

Partner at Pablo Properties

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

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

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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Opening Letters

Finding Your Tribe

opportunities abound in the close-knit local writing community

On a Saturday night in February, I slogged through slush to a celebratory reading, the capstone of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild’s Weekend Writers Retreat at the Oxbow Hotel. Despite the weather ...

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The Rear End

In the Sick of It

coping with winter sickness, one complaint at a time

I don’t get sick very often. At least, not in the classical sense. I might have a day or two here and there when my throat is scratchy or my nose is running, and I randomly utter things like, “Ugh. I think I’m getting sick.”

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Cover Art

On the Cover | Feb. 20, 2019

learn more about this issue's cover art from Sara Lieble

“There is a freedom in being able to boldly express myself in line and composition that I experience nowhere else in life. I zoom in on the textures, dark echoes, and vibrations of what ..."

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Opening Shots

Opening Shot | Feb. 20, 2019

MIX-N-MINGLE. Volume One’s annual The Best Night took place on Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Lismore Hotel. The event celebrates the results of the Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll ...

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Athletic Aesthetic

Kicking Higher and Higher

Eau Claire taekwondo competitors take aim at national tourney

My first cognition of taekwondo – as it may have been for you and much of the public – was in September 1988 during the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. This was its Olympic debut as a demonstration sport ...

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Music Quick Hits | February 2019

One of the world’s finest bluegrass bands is coming to Eau Claire for a special one-night-only show at The Metro on March 6. We Banjo 3 is a foursome of prolific and exciting musicians set to whisk the night away with fantastic tunes and a good cause. Featuring banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar ...

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The End of the World!

you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to write a techno-thriller – but it helps

Rick Jurmain has been a rocket scientist, an inventor, a business owner … and now he can add writer to the list: the perfect portable career for someone who loves to travel ...

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Visual Art

Retrospective Redux

artist, a Chippewa Falls native, looks back on vibrant works

Got cabin fever? Tiring of the monochromatic landscape? Then head over to Mark W. Anderson’s “A ReRETROSPECTIVE” Art Show at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire. The gallery offers ...

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Local Lit

Sheep Farm

My footsteps on dry grass // send them scattering, of one mind // and one body off-white, head to head ...

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Local Look

Filled With Love

ceramics student ensures Stepping Stones event won’t come up empty

One glance at Sarah Bennett’s footgear shows where she’s been and what she’s been doing. Her comfortable black sneakers are “decorated” with splashes of the pale gray clay she used to create ...

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EC School Superintendent Will Retire in 2020

Mary Ann Hardebeck, who has served as Eau Claire School District superintendent for six years, informed the Eau Claire School Board in early April that she intends to retire after the 2019-20 school year. In a press release, Hardebeck said she made the announcement 18 months early to allow ...

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Food / Drink
Other Stuff

Center of Community

five years on, wellness hub’s founders find themselves surrounded by loving grace

Everyone needs a place like The Center. I certainly did on a recent Thursday afternoon. I was rushing around after a late lunch, trying to check items off my to-do list. I had just dashed home to let the dog out, and he was relatively ...

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27 Years, 80 Acres

local photographer practices mindfulness from behind the lens

Bruce Siebold believes that there are all sorts of stories to tell, wherever you live. He has made it his mission to tell those that take place in his own backyard. Every day for the past 27 years – that’s nearly 10,000 days ...

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Business-Building Basics

Succeeding as a start-up can be all about meeting the right people and finding the right programs. here are the key ways to do that in the valley.

Are you thinking about taking the leap into entrepreneurship? Have you already started your own business but could you still use a hand, a sympathetic ear, or some inspiration? The Chippewa Valley offers ...

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Slow to Start?

Wisconsin ranks low in nationwide index of entrepreneurship

We have some good news and some bad news about Wisconsin’s national rankings for entrepreneurial activity. The good news is that – unlike the previous three years – Wisconsin didn’t place dead last among the states ...

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Building Community Brick by Brick and Board by Board

market & johnson has created an award-winning business by keeping customers first

You’re forgiven if you didn’t realize that Market & Johnson’s headquarters is on Galloway Street in Eau Claire. After all, those of us who live in the Chippewa Valley are used to seeing their name everywhere ...

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Nurturing Growth

Small Business Development Center expands at UW-Eau Claire - Barron County

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at UW-Eau Claire recently opened an office in Meggers Hall at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County in Rice Lake ...

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Ranked at the Top

U.S. News puts UW MBA Consortium among best online programs in the country

For the first time, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Wisconsin MBA Consortium program among the top nine programs in the nation in its Best Online MBA Programs rankings ...

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Spotting for Start-Ups

Menomonie business owner offers insight into Chamber benefits

Thomas Sampson is chairman of the Young Professionals of the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce and owner of The Machine Shed CrossFit gym. He opened his gym in 2016 and joined the chamber ...

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