Chamber plans two-part annual meeting

EAU CLAIRE — The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce is planning to hold its annual meeting virtually next month but also have a companion event for people to gather in-person during May.

The online meeting scheduled for the afternoon of Jan. 27 will include live music, a presentation on the successes and challenges for businesses in 2020 and honoring chamber members via an annual awards ceremony. The virtual event will 3:30 to 5 p.m. through the web-based Perigon platform.

To give attendees an in-person event to accompany the virtual meeting, the chamber is planning a celebration for May 19 at Phoenix Park in downtown Eau Claire.

Registration costs $80 to view next month’s virtual event and for admission to the outdoor celebration scheduled for spring.

For more information or to register, go to the chamber’s website,

RCU, POP collaborate on youth education

EAU CLAIRE — A partnership between Royal Credit Union and a local mentorship program will provide incentivized online financial education courses for local Black students in middle and high school.

The Eau Claire-based credit union announced Friday that it is working with Power of Perception to offer virtual training sessions from the Future U.S. Entrepreneur Program to area children in sixth through 12th grade.

Interested students will participate in the five-week online program to learn how to start a business. Mentors from RCU will help students develop their ideas into a business proposal that will be presented to a panel of judges.

Parents and guardians of the students will also have the opportunity to join in for four virtual financial education sessions. Two of those sessions will include a meal delivered to the household and online time where parents and children can all speak with mentors. As an incentive, parents who attend all four sessions will receive $100, according to a news release from RCU. The credit union also will give the parents $5 specifically for opening an account at RCU.

A $1,500 grant from the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation is contributing to the joint effort between RCU and POP.

Charter Bank expands with Chetek location

EAU CLAIRE — Charter Bank completed its acquisition earlier this month of Bank First’s branch office in Barron County.

Last week the branch office at 621 Second St., Chetek, reopened under the Charter Bank name after converting its systems.

“The Charter Bank Chetek staff is ready to serve our current customers, and eagerly anticipates any new customers,” Rick Meskers, retail officer/mortgage banker of the branch, said in a news release.

Per the sale agreement announced in September, Charter Bank purchased liabilities (deposit accounts and safe deposit boxes) while Bank First will maintain loans and continue to service loan customers.

Based in Eau Claire, Charter Bank also has offices in the Minnesota cities of Chaska and Chanhassen.

Bank First, which is headquartered in Manitowoc, has 23 branches in Wisconsin.

From staff reports