Chamber of Commerce

The Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin Rapids, named Kari Schwingle as its engagement director. Schwingle has 10 years of experience in retail management. Most recently, she worked as the Kwik Trip store manager in Wisconsin Rapids. In addition to her prior retail management experience, Schwingle has a bachelor’s degree in speech communications with an emphasis on professional and organizational communications from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls


Ben Bruns joined The Boldt Company as executive vice president for its northern operations group. Bruns will lead business development and operations for Boldt’s Wisconsin offices in Stevens Point, Green Bay and Appleton. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in business development, jobsite project management, and engineering to Boldt. He most recently served as vice president of The Weitz Company, a national commercial contracting firm headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.

Keri Anne Connaughty joined The Samuels Group in Wausau as director of human resources. She has more than 10 years of experience. She is responsible for employee relations and wellness, recruitment, performance management, training and development, compensation/benefits, and labor relations. Connaughty is a member of the Central Wisconsin and National Society of Human Resources Management Chapters and has long been involved with the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce, for which she serves as an ambassador and director of the Board.


CentralStar Cooperative, serving dairy and beef producers in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana, has promoted and hired a number of employees. Sam Nigon and Josh Edge were promoted from team artificial insemination (A.I.) technicians to full-time A.I. specialists. Both now manage their own customer groups of dairy and beef producers. Jen Krull also was promoted to a full-time split role. She now works in both the A.I. and Dairy Herd Information (DHI) portions of the CentralStar business structure. Dan Row has been hired as a full-time A.I. specialist. Five team A.I. technicians have been added. These individuals provide relief A.I. service when A.I. specialists need time off. They are Beth Swortzel, Marley Malkow, Chris Benson, Emily Fluekiger and Zach Clayton. Lauren Hendel has been hired as a genetic consultant. In the DHI arm of CentralStar, Cassandra Wade and Kelsey Hoffman, were hired as DHI specialists. Chelsie Nichols, Kyle Carpenter, and Chad Kaufmann, have been hired to carry out various roles at CentralStar’s milk- and diagnostic-testing laboratory. Patty Browne has been hired to help in the accounting department. CentralStar has offices in Waupun and Lansing, Mich.



Jake Fletcher joined REI Engineering in Wausau as a maintenance and environmental field technician. He has a bachelor’s degree in resource management law enforcement from UW-Stevens Point. His primary duties include maintenance and repairs, field sampling for environmental projects and is part of REI’s emergency spill response team. Samantha Schroeder joined the company as an environmental and safety consultant. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from UW-Green Bay. Primary duties include safety consulting, safety and environmental audits, OSHA compliance, Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, technical report writing and submittal to regulatory agencies, and internal team member safety.


Investors Community Bank, a subsidiary of County Bancorp, which has a branch in Stevens Point, added Elsa Condon as vice president-agriculture-banking officer. She is experienced in working with agricultural businesses who buy from and/or sell to area farms. She also enjoys assisting nonprofit agricultural organizations with their banking needs. She has nearly 15 years of experience in banking, primarily agricultural lending. Anne Denissen joined the bank as vice president-treasury management. Denissen is primarily is responsible for providing business clients with banking services and solutions. She has more than more than 20 years of banking experience. Kristina Dewitt also joined the bank as vice president-consumer and mortgage banking. She has 20 years of experience in the real estate and financial industry, most recently as director of retail sales at Fox Communities Credit Union.


Victoria Pahl, a physician assistant, joined Aspirus Gastroenterology in Wisconsin Rapids. Pahl takes a special interest in irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. She returned to the area after previously caring for gastroenterology patients in Wisconsin Rapids from 2012 to 2015.


Jon Close has been promoted to president of Linetec in Wausau, succeeding Rick Marshall who will retire at the end of the company's fiscal year. Marshall has served nearly 24 years as the company’s president. Drawing from more than 20 years of experience in the finishing industry, Close started with Linetec in 2003 as a commercial sales manager. He was promoted in 2006 to his most recent role as vice president of sales and marketing. Prior to joining Linetec, he worked at International Hardcoat as sales representative. He earned a degree in business administration and management from Upper Iowa University. Linetec also promoted Phil Hanke to the position of senior buyer, promoted from the role of buyer. Hanke joined Linetec in 2013, working in the architectural coatings and packaging departments. The following year, he was hired as a purchasing assistant and was later promoted to be a buyer. Prior to working at Linetec, Hanke held customer service and sales positions in the food service and hospitality industry. In addition to more than a decade of professional experience, Hanke studied business administration at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County.

Real estate

NAI Pfefferle, which has offices in Wausau, Appleton and Green Bay, added Adam Figurin as a commercial real estate adviser. Adam has experience in commercial real estate, particularly in landlord and tenant representation and in sales transactions. He previously worked for Colliers International-Fox Valley as a sales associate. Before that, he worked for both Northwestern Mutual and Otis Elevator Company. T.J. Morice also joined the company as a commercial real estate adviser. He has a variety of business and industry experience during the last 25 years. His past experiences have included facilitating communication, structures and planning programs that span retail-chain store interfaces, energy/efficiency, transportation industry facilitation and manufacturing.


Mark Lewis, chaplain from Ascension at Home, Plover, was honored with the fourth quarter High Five Award. High Five Award recipients are honored for their continuous support of Ascension at Home’s mission, role-model behavior and compassionate presence in the work place. Winners are chosen by a committee of colleagues from various departments and agencies.

Dawn Jameson, business and informational technology teacher at Wausau West High School and Wausau Area Virtual Education (WAVE), received the Resolution of Commendation from the Wausau School District Board of Education for being named the 2019 Outstanding Educator by Wisconsin Educators of Business & Information Technology (WEBIT).