Silver Spring Foods names new president, VP, CFO

The great grandson of the founder of Silver Spring Foods will take over as the Eau Claire-based horseradish company’s president on Monday.

Eric Rygg, who had been vice president of sales and marketing, also is leading the company’s goal to produce 100 million pounds of product in the upcoming year, up from a projected 95 million for the current year.

In addition to Rygg’s ascent, two others were recently given leadership positions at the company.

Mark Scholze, who had been a regional sales manager for the company between 2001 and 2007 before leaving for other jobs in the food production industry, rejoined Silver Spring in July as its new vice president of sales.

Silver Spring hired Aimee Pernsteiner, who has more than 20 years in public and private sector accounting experience, in May to be the company’s chief financial officer. 

Along with increasing production overall, the company announced last week that it is growing its product lines with marinades and dips, and is planning salad dressings.

Ellis Huntsinger founded family-run Silver Spring Foods in 1929 in Eau Claire and the company has grown to become the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish.

Nominations open for awards to honor state manufacturers

The state’s chamber of commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, is accepting applications until Nov. 16 for its annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards.

Manufacturers of all sizes and throughout the state are encouraged to apply for awards that recognize ethical practices, innovation and increased productivity.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in February in Milwaukee.

For more information, go to

WEDC grants help groups with efforts that aid entrepreneurs

Organizations that aid entrepreneurs can apply for state grants of up to $100,000 from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

The Entrepreneurship Support Program gives between $10,000 and $100,000 toward projects that promote entrepreneurship and provide people with training, mentorship, financial services and help developing their businesses.

The program was started in 2016 and has given out almost $1 million in grants to 17 nonprofit and community-based organizations.

Organizations have until Oct. 26 to apply and winners will be announced in December for grants to fund their 2019 projects.

Sal’s Complete Auto Service opens on Hastings Way

A new auto repair shop recently opened on Eau Claire’s east side.

Sal’s Complete Auto Service, 925 S. Hastings Way, began doing business earlier this month and held a grand opening on Wednesday.

This is the first time Sal Semlali has owned a shop, but he’s got more than 20 years of experience in the car repair business, primarily in the Chicago area.

The new shop services all makes and models, including BMWs, Lexis, Audi and Mercedes Benz, Semlali said. A free courtesy shuttle service is available to customers.

Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Find the business online at

The building formerly was home to Monro Muffler/​Brake & Service.

New coalition with educators advocates for financial literacy

A group of Wisconsin business leaders and educators announced last week that it will start a new coalition to promote business, economic and financial education for students in the state.

The Wisconsin Coalition for Business, Economic and Financial Literacy was formed following a meeting of the foundation tied to the state’s chamber of commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

Members come from several existing organizations, including Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Wisconsin DECA, the Wisconsin Marketing Education Association and Wisconsin Educators of Business & Information Technology.

Short Takes

• The board of directors that oversees Altoona-based Citizens Community Federal Bank decided last week to switch the company’s fiscal year so it will end on Dec. 31 instead of Sept. 30.

From staff reports