Commercial real estate firm opens in Eau Claire

An Eau Claire marketing and public relations firm is branching out by starting a commercial real estate business.

STOKES|HERZOG Realty announced last week that it is open for business.

“Business and industrial space is the lifeblood of our community and being involved in helping companies buy and sell property is very exciting and rewarding,” co-owner Chris Herzog, said in a news release.

Herzog serves as the real estate company’s licensed salesperson and will represent buyers and sellers of real estate including offices, retail, multi-family, industrial, other commercial buildings and vacant land. The company also will handle leasing arrangements between landlords and tenants.

Herzog’s wife and business partner, Sarah Stokes, explained how the company will use its existing skills and capabilities to aid real estate clients.

“We’re confident our new real estate clients will value what we can bring to the real estate buying and selling process using the power of our digital marketing agency,” Stokes said.

STOKES|HERZOG Realty can be found online at

Herzog and Stokes, both former TV news anchors, opened their company in 2014. It’s located at 4205 Southtowne Drive.

SBA loans will be explained at business breakfast

A federal small business loan program will be the topic of an upcoming economic update meeting sponsored by the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corp.

The gathering will be at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at Wild Ridge Golf Course, 3647 Kane Road.

Mike Dieckman, vice president of WBD, will make a presentation on the SBA 504 loan program, which has been used to provide low, fixed-rate, long-term financing to small businesses.

“For almost 20 years I’ve been helping local businesses access the SBA 504 loan program in partnership with local banks and credit unions — chances are I have already worked with your lender,” Dieckman said in a news release.

WBD is a Madison-based nonprofit company that works with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Local businesses that recently have used the SBA 504 program include STOKES|HERZOG, Cabin Coffee, Selective Countertops, Eau Claire Music School and JY Collision Center, according to the Eau Claire Area EDC.

The cost to attend the meeting, which includes breakfast buffet, is $15 per person.

For more information or to reserve your spot, go to or call 715-834-0070.

St. Croix EDC names business of the year honorees

A Woodville company that supports medical device manufacturers and is in the midst of an $18 million expansion took the top honor recently in awards recognizing businesses in St. Croix County.

The St. Croix Economic Development Corp. bestowed its Business of the Year award to iMARK Molding at a banquet held in late February in New Richmond.

Started in 2000 by Mark Surtevant, iMARK is a precision plastic injection molding company that serves companies in the drug delivery, pharmaceutical, medical diagnostic and bio-technology sectors. The expansion that started in November 2017 includes a 22,500-square-foot clean room being built to meet the needs of the state’s bio-health industry and life science companies around the world.

The St. Croix EDC’s award for Emerging Business of the Year went to St. Croix Valley Blow Molding in the town of Hudson. Jim Bradac started the company in 2017 to produce in-house parts for one of his other ventures, Ceme-Tube.

A local auto repair company with shops in Baldwin and Hudson was dubbed Small Business of the Year. Next Generation Automotive, started in 2011 by business partners Jeremy Austrum and Shawn Kline, was honored in part due to its charitable work, which includes work with local high school students and giving to a holiday food drive.

Short Takes

• Just Local Food Co-op named Scott Zellmer as the general manager of its business at 1117 S. Farwell St. Zellmer has more than 20 years of experience in the local retail food sector with previous stints as general manager for The Coffee Grounds and Hahn’s Market, both in Eau Claire.

From staff reports