City leads Opportunity Zone discussion at RCU building

Eau Claire residents can meet with developers and give their ideas for business ideas, construction projects and other ways investors could bolster parts of the city.

The city is sponsoring the informal Idea Lounge gathering at 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, in the Eau Claire River Room at RCU’s Corporate Headquarters, 200 Riverfront Terrace.

The talk is spurred on by the establishment of three Economic Opportunity Zones in Eau Claire — low income areas where private investment is encouraged through tax incentives.

Areas included in Eau Claire’s zones are downtown, the Historic Randall Park Neighborhood, Water Street, parts of the west side around Carson Park, the Mount Simon area and blocks near Birch Street

Tuesday’s event is free and light refreshments will be provided.

Economic Opportunity Zones were created through December’s federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Hobby Lobby will cut ribbon on Monday at Oakwood Mall

Craft and home decor store Hobby Lobby is holding a grand opening on Monday at its new location in Eau Claire.

The 64,000-square-foot store in Oakwood Mall is the chain’s 20th store in Wisconsin, according to a news release.

The new store takes up the majority of an anchor space in the mall previously occupied by Macy’s.

Mandy Green is manager of the new store. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday’s through Saturdays, but it is closed on Sundays in accordance with beliefs of the company’s Christian owners.

Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby has more than 800 stores across the U.S.

Resiliency is topic of lunchtime talk on Aug. 28 in Eau Claire

The ability to bounce back from challenges and how that leads to career longevity will be explored at a Tuesday, Aug. 28, luncheon in downtown Eau Claire.

Deb Clarke, a trainer in Chippewa Valley Technical College’s leadership and supervisory management program, will lead the noon presentation at the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, 101 N. Farwell St.

Registration costs $20 for chamber members or $40 for nonmembers, which includes lunch. Go online to or call 715-834-1204 to register.

U.S. Bank employees rise in region’s business lending

U.S. Bank recently promoted three of its employees at its main Eau Claire office, 131 S. Barstow St., into roles involving business banking:

• After 13 years of managing U.S. Bank branches in the Twin Cities, Nate Kuehl moved to Eau Claire last year and recently became the company’s Wisconsin community business banking manager.

• Dominic Agnoli is now a commercial banking relationship manager in Eau Claire after he transferred last year from his position as a commercial credit analyst for U.S. Bank in Green Bay.

• A recent transfer from Iowa, Blake Willson has been named a business banking specialist where he works with small businesses in the Chippewa Valley.

Short Takes

• Law firm Weld Riley hired attorney David Richie to join its labor and employment section for its Eau Claire office. Richie, nephew of late Eau Claire attorney John Richie, graduated from Marquette University Law School earlier this year and previously worked as a legislative assistant for numerous state representatives.

From staff reports