Bank plans office in Altoona development

Winona, Minn.-based WNB Financial will build a new office for full-service banking and other services next year in Altoona’s River Prairie development.

Scheduled to open next fall, the office will be built at the corner of Blazing Star Boulevard and Woodman Drive, near Woodman’s Food Market.

“We’re extremely excited about this new office location,” Dave Vaselaar, executive vice president and COO, said in a news release. “Establishing a full-service office allows us to expand our product and service offerings, while building new and deepening current relationships throughout the Chippewa Valley.”

WNB’s current Eau Claire location is a loan production office at 4330 Golf Terrace, but it does not accept deposits and focuses on commercial and mortgage lending.

The new office will include personal, mortgage and business banking services along with retirement planning, wealth management and financial advising.

Chippewa Valley Rally registration opens

Chippewa Valley businesses who want to discuss state government policy with lawmakers will get their chance on Jan. 30.

Registration is now open for the Chippewa Valley Rally, an annual event sponsored by three local chambers of commerce that brings area business leaders down to the Capitol in Madison.

“With a new governor and state budget, it’s especially important for our region to have a great showing at this year’s rally,” the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce states on its website.

Chambers in Chippewa Falls and Menomonie also are sponsoring the event and sending delegates.

The daylong event includes small group meetings at legislative offices, informal chats with lawmakers and their staff members, a luncheon where Gov.-elect Tony Evers has been invited to speak and networking opportunities to meet with others in the Madison area who are interested in state government policy.

Transportation to and from Madison is included in the $79 registration fee. Buses will leave from Eau Claire, Menomonie and Chippewa Falls that morning and return during the late evening.

Registration is available at

Short Takes

• Eau Claire-based Charter Bank hired Chad Plath as its local branch manager. Plath has more than 20 years experience in the banking industry and for the last eight years he’s been branch manager of RCU’s two Menomonie offices.

• Douglas J. Frederick, vice president and secretary of Eau Claire-based National Presto Industries, will become chief operating officer of the company’s housewares and small appliances segment on Jan. 1, according to a news release. Frederick has worked for Presto since September 2007, getting his start with the company as corporate counsel and applying his expertise in intellectual property matters.

• Arkansaw resident Gabrielle Peskar launched an online-based business on Tuesday from her home. Found at, the business is a online clothing boutique offering handpicked fashions for women.

• A partner in accounting and consulting firm Wipfli’s Eau Claire office has been named to a regional post that covers western Wisconsin and northern Minnesota. Valerie Fedie will continue to oversee the local office’s research and development tax consulting services, but also oversee a team of almost 175 audit, tax and consulting professionals in the region.

• Eau Claire-based credit union RCU named Nicole Frederick as its branch manager for its two Chippewa Falls offices — 215 Bay St. and 1031 Woodward Ave. Frederick, who has worked for RCU since October 2015 and most recently as a member account representative, had been general manager of a Culver’s restaurant before joining the credit union.

• Kurt Bauer, chairman and chief executive of the state’s chamber of commerce — Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce — has been chosen to be chairman of a nationwide business group. For the next two years, Bauer will lead the Council of State Manufacturers Associations, which represents trade associations in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

From staff reports