7 Rivers Alliance - January 2015 Newsletter                      
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Dear Community,

We are very excited about the confirmed presenters for the Recruiting & Retaining High Skilled Talent event on February 18th at the Radisson La Crosse Hotel. This event was developed to address member concerns about finding skilled workers that they need to sustain their businesses. Hiring a Skilled Workforce was a major concern of more than 87% of the businesses we surveyed in our 2014 Business Retention and Engagement Survey. We are pleased to bring together this incredible level of expertise for you to learn best practices that can be applied at your organization. 

Several members have asked me, “Who should we send to this seminar?” We recommend that you send a team of Executives, HR Directors, and Hiring Managers.  Consider sending your internal champions who embrace innovation and are dedicated to hiring top talent. 

The Mayo Clinic Health System will be our event sponsor and Joe Kruse, CEO of Mayo Clinic Health system La Crosse will provide the keynote presentation, “Recruiting the best and brightest talent in the world.” Kelly Broili, Social Media Manager at Starbucks will provide an opening presentation based on her work building engagement and loyalty with millennials at Starbucks and in her previous work at Microsoft.

General session presenters include Craig Porter, CEO of PlastiCert, who will share his work on creating a great workplace culture; Scott Siebert, HR Director and Karen Kouba, HR Generalist at TRANE, will give a joint presentation with Tim Tritch, Interim Director of Career Services at UW-La Crosse and Patti Balacek, Director of Business Development at Western Technical College, on creating talent pipelines from higher education into the TRANE Company; Susan Whitewater, VP for Business Development at PeopleFirst HR Solutions and Gina Schultz, Human Resource Assistant/Consultant at PeopleFirst HR Solutions, will give a presentation on motivating millennials; Sarah Harris, VP of Workforce Solutions at the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation will share an innovative approach to workforce recruiting that reaches over 100,000 potential workers every month. 

The event will be held on February 18th from 7:30 to 11:30am at the Radisson La Crosse Hotel and includes breakfast. To attend, go to and click on the event flyer or print the registration form and email it to Tickets are $70 before the event or $80 at the event. For additional information, call our office at 608-787-8777. Special thanks to those of you who have already registered.

We have other exciting events planned for you as well. Read on and mark your calendars.

Happy New Year!

Lisa Herr
Executive Director 

Recruiting & Retaining Skilled Talent

Recruiting & Retaining Skilled Talent
February 18, 2015
7:30am to 11:30am
Radisson La Crosse Hotel
7:30AM Event Registration & Breakfast
8:00AM Welcome
8:05AM Event Sponsor & Keynote
Joe Kruse, Chief Adminstrative Officer, Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare, La Crosse, WI
      Mayo Clinic Health System La Crosse: Recruiting and Retaining Excellent Staff
8:30AM Opening Presentation
Kelly Broili, Global Digital Marketing Group Manager, Starbucks, Seattle, WA
     Managing Millennials with Authenticity
9:00AM Session I:

Craig Porter, Chief Executive Officer, PlastiCert, Winona, MN
     Creating a Great Workplace Culture

Scott Siebert, Human Resource Director, TRANE, La Crosse, WI
Karen Kouba, HR Generalist, TRANE, La Crosse, WI
Patti Balacek, Director of Business Services, Western TC, La Crosse, WI
Tim Tritch, Interim Director Career Services, UW-L, La Crosse, WI
     Successful Talent Pipeline Models at TRANE Company

10:25AM Session II:

Susan Whitewater, Vice President of Business Development, PeopleFirst HR Solutions, La Crosse, WI
Gina Schultz, Human Resource Assistant/Consultant, PeopleFirst HR Solutions, La Crosse, WI
     Motivating Millennials

Sarah Harris, Vice President of Workforce Solutions, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation, Dubuque, IA
     Best Practices in Regional Workforce Recruiting

11:25AM Upcoming 7Rivers events/program evaluation

Next ECO DEVO Meeting

The January 14th, 2015 meeting will focus on housing and will be held at the La Crescent City Hall. Karl Green, from UW extension, will share a recently completed housing study for La Crosse County. We have also invited mixed use developers to share some upcoming projects with the group.

Winona Area Composite Consortium Mtg

Members are invited to the next Winona Area Composite Consortium Meeting. Meet with local composite manufacturers and get an update on this exciting industry cluster!

Meeting: Winona Area Composite Consortium
Date: January 23rd, 2015
Location: Winona State University – West Campus – Tau Center - 511 Hilbert Street,  Room B215

Registration includes lunch buffet: $10
Payment can be made at the door. Please bring a check made payable to Winona Area Composite Consortium.         

Please RSVP to by Monday 01/19/15
11:30AM Welcome and Introductions – Craig Porter
11:45AM–12:15PM Lunch
12:15PM–12:20PM Membership and representation in the executive committee
12:20PM–12:30PM Mission: What are professionals looking for from the Consortium - Craig Porter
12:30PM–12:45PM Review of Industry Survey – Jennifer Olson
12:45PM–1:10PM Student Presentation
1:10PM–2:10PM Proposed Composite Bridge for St. Mary’s University – Greg Bond, STRONGWELL
2:30PM Adjourn

Welcome New Board Members

Five new members have been selected to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. The new members consist of members from public and private business, as well as government administrators from the tri-state area. Their terms began on January 1, 2015. 

These new board members replace a distinguished group of leaders:  Todd Restel, Mike Kroening, Jerry Arndt, Ron Zeigler, and Steve Bowen.

We are thankful for those who have served on the board as well as their vision for a strong and vibrant Upper Mississippi region.

We look forward to the wisdom and insight that will be offered by our new Board Members. With a strong Board of Directors, The 7 Rivers Alliance is well positioned to advance businesses and support economic growth in the region through our programs and services.

Clinton Torp
Airport Manager at the La Crosse Regional Airport, La Crosse WI

Craig Porter
President/Owner of PlastiCert, Inc. Lewiston, MN

Brian Fukuda
Community Development Specialist for La Crosse County

Dorothy Duran
President at Minnesota State SE Technical College

Kyle Bakkum
Chief Executive Officer/Administrator for Vernon Memorial Healthcare in Viroqua, Wisconsin
Copyright © 2014. 7 Rivers Alliance. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
400 7th St North, La Crosse, WI 54601

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