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Celebrate Small Business

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
7:00-9:00 a.m.
The Bluffs in the UW-La Crosse Student Union
521 East Avenue North
Cost: $25

May is Small Business Month, so celebrate business startup and growth with the inaugural Celebrate Small Business event on May 15, 2018. Join the Small Business Development Center at UW-La Crosse (SBDC) as we recognize Coulee Region small businesses and the funders that support them.

Guest Speakers:

Mark Lange, Executive Director of the Division for Business and Entrepreneurship (UW Extension) will be presenting The Business Dynamics Driving Coulee Region Economic Activity.

Representative Jill Billings will share her thoughts on the State of Small Business in Wisconsin and the Region. Representative Billings serves on the Small Business Committee in the Wisconsin legislature.

The SBDC supported a number of new business startups in 2017.  This breakfast event will celebrate these small businesses and recognize key funders and community supporters that help make successful business development possible. The event is open to the public. Area businesses, those planning on starting a small business, and anyone involved in economic development is encouraged to attend. The event will begin with breakfast and networking, followed by our featured speakers as well as small business, funder, and community supporter recognition.

Register for Celebrate Small Business at

Economic Indicators: An Update for the 7 Rivers Region

Thursday, October 25, 2018
7:00-9:00 a.m.
The Bluffs in the UW-La Crosse Student Union
521 East Avenue North
Cost: $25

Topic: TBD

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 summarized in a print publication distributed at the meetings and also available on the State Bank Financial website: We also provide links to the core economic indicators. Readers can use these links as needed for individual research projects.

Russell G. Cleary Distinguished Business Leader Lecture

Fall 2018 - Date TBD

In Fall 2017, the Lecture was presented by Jim Reynolds.

In Fall 2017, the Cleary family and the UWL College of Business Administration invited their guest  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 the Fall 2017 program was A Forty Year Journey: Career Strategy, Business Strategy, and Service to Community. Click here to read more about the lecture.

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.

2018 Small Business Summit                                        

Fall 2018 - Date TBD
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.