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Second Annual La Crosse Small Business Academy

Tuesday, October 5, 2017
7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce Lyle & Norma Anderson Education Center
601 7th Street N., La Crosse, WI

The first annual La Crosse Small Business Academy was a big success!  This year's program is focused on providing the region’s entrepreneurs and start-up businesses an opportunity to connect with financial and technical resource providers, learn the tools needed to start and grow a business, and network with business owners. Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (invited) will serve as keynote speaker emphasizing the importance of small business to the state’s economy. 

The program will include presentations by successful entrepreneurs in our community and panel discussions which will share financial resources for business start-up.  Participants will also have the opportunity to explore small business management topics by choosing from various roundtables to be conducted during the event. Each roundtable will be led by an expert in a specific area of business, including start-up financing, how and when to hire help, marketing basics, social media and more.  In addition to presentations and roundtable sessions, a number of local resource and economic development organizations will be on hand to provide information about the small business support services they provide. 

Register for the Small Business Academy.


Economic Indicators: An Update for the 7 Rivers Region

Thursday October 19, 2017
7:00-9:00 a.m.
The Bluffs in the UW-La Crosse Student Union
521 East Avenue North

Tourism: The Changing Face of Tourism

Tourism is about more than bringing in visitors to the area. Learn how tourism in our area contributes to employment growth and business development in the region. At the Fall 2017 Economic Indicators event, hosted by the UW-La Crosse College of Business Administration, Dr. TJ Brooks, Economics Department Chair at UWL, will offer his current insights and perspectives on the region’s local economy and the role of tourism in community sustainability. A guest panel of tourist organizations from the region will discuss the rebranding/retooling of tourism and the effects of tourism in their communities. 

UW-La Crosse, in cooperation with State Bank Financial and the La Crosse Tribune, initiated a long-term study in early 2002 of our region's economic indicators. The research is ongoing and focuses on trends for a nine-county region that includes counties in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. This project is expected to continuously build a base of economic information and provide decision makers with valuable tools for strategic planning. The information will also provide a basis for comparison with other regions and a measure of our progress as a region. 

Semi-annual breakfast meetings provide a general update on core indicators and also a focus on a selected economic topic.  

In addition to the open forum, findings are also summarized in a print publication distributed at the meetings and also available on the State Bank Financial website: We have also provided links to the core economic indicators. Readers can use these links as needed for individual research projects.


Russell G. Cleary Distinguished Business Leader Lecture

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Lecture presented by Jim Reynolds
4 p.m., Hesprich Auditorium, Graff Main Hall on the UWL campus

The Cleary family and the UWL College of Business Administration invite you to be their guest and hear James Reynolds, Jr., Founder, Chairman and CEO of Loop Capital.  Mr. Reynolds founded Loop Capital in 1997 with a simple motto as a guide: "To provide client service beyond expectations."  The motto still serves as the foundational driving force of the firm.  Loop Capital has grown into one of the most dynamic and diversified investment banking firms in the country.  Mr. Reynolds currently oversees all aspects of Loop Capital, including investment banking, brokerage and financial advisory services.

A passionate advocate of giving back to the community, Mr. Reynolds currently serves on the boards of buildOn, Chicago Community Trust, Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy, Chicago United, Get IN Chicago, and The University of Chicago Medical Center.  Additionally, Mr. Reynolds is Vice-Chair of the board for the Chicago Urban League and a member of the CFA Institute.  In May, 2017, he was appointed by Governor Rauner to serve on the Intersect Illinois Board.

The topic for this year's program is A Forty Year Journey: Career Strategy, Business Strategy, and Service to Community.

This lecture series honors Russell G. Cleary who attended UWL from 1951-54 and earned the Graff Distinguished Alumni Award in 1980. Cleary built La Crosse’s Heileman Brewing Company into one of the largest breweries in the country. In addition to numerous other awards, he was named Executive of the Year by Corporate Report Magazine in 1980. Cleary, a strong supporter of UWL, was committed to serving the La Crosse community. It will be presented by Jim Reynolds of Loop Capital.

Register for lecture.


2018 Small Business Summit                                        

Summer 2018
This event is created to inspire and recognize the Coulee Region’s business owners and supporters while celebrating success. The event will:

  • introduce the area’s future business leader prospects,
  • recognize the region's small business funders that are helping to fuel new business in our region. and
  • increase awareness of UWL’s Business Connections programs and resources.

Subscribe to CEI email updates for program and registration details when they become available.