2000s Class notes

New class notes are posted as time allows.

Sarah MyersSarah (Becker) Myers (BS) has had her book, titled "Outnumbered Mom: Outrageous Stories of My Three Sons," published. It is available online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monica Schley (BA) quit her day job last spring to pursue a full-time career with her minor, music. Her primary instrument is harp. She just returned from a highly acclaimed tour to New York City with jazz trumpeter/comedian Ahamefule Oluo and the show “Now I'm Fine,” which was featured in Time Out New York and The New York Times.

Heather and Nicholas HeezenHeather (Schultz) Heezen (BA) and Nicholas Heezen '04 (BS) were married in October 2014, with many Blugold alumni in attendance and in the wedding party. The couple met during their sophomore year at UW-Eau Claire, and after dating briefly, went their separate ways. Heather went off to study abroad in France, and Nic changed his major and decided to pursue a medical career. After 14 1/2 years, the two reconnected and have been together every since. The Heezens are expecting their first child in early 2017. They say that UW-Eau Claire has played a big role in their lives and will forever have a special place in their hearts.

Sondra (Swiney) Norder (BSHCA) was honored in June with the Tomorrow's Leaders Award from the Catholic Health Association at its annual assembly in Washington, D.C. Sondra, who received her law degree from Marquette University Law School, is president and CEO of St. Paul Elder Services Inc. in Kaukauna.

Kris Sonsin (BA) had been living in Malaysia since September 2014 and now has relocated to Kuala Lumpur. She is a lecturer with INTI, International College's English Laureate Program.

Justin Hentges (BA) has been promoted to the position of senior advisor for accountability and oversight to the assistant secretary in financial resources at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.

Jacob HookomJacob Hookom (BS) received the Fellows Award from McKesson Medical in fall 2016. The Fellow's Program rewards "intentional innovation" as demonstrated by a McKesson technologist who has a reputation for strategic delivery and innovation. This elite award and designation recognizes current and sustained accomplishments over a period of time (a minimum of two years, including the current fiscal year). Jacob is only the sixth person to receive this award.

Tim JohnsonTim Johnson (BS) has been named director of the Smith College Botanic Garden. He previously served as head of preservation at Seed Savers Exchange, an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve, share and promote heirloom seeds and plants. Johnson holds master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Florida. (Photo by Brittany Todd)

Jon Kramer (BA) currently is a research analyst for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison. Jon, who learned the game of pool at the UW-Eau Claire Bowling and Billiards Center, where he worked as a student, has since advanced to the masters level. In February 2017 he won the Wisconsin state pool championships in the masters division. Jon says he's officially a state champion and it all started at the BBC!

Heather (Baier) KrzmarzickHeather (Baier) Krzmarzick (BSHCA) is the executive director for the national campus of the Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She also has been elected and re-elected to serve on the Good Samaritan board of directors.

Jess Schmidt (BA) has joined the Los Angeles office of global public relations company Porter Novelli as a senior vice president in the consumer brand marketing practice. Schmidt will play a key role in the agency’s work with a top consumer client, the Almond Board of California, and will be responsible for managing, growing and developing talent. Schmidt has more than a decade of experience developing strategic communications campaigns. Prior to joining PN, she was a vice president at Finn Partners, where she managed several food and beverage accounts, including Dole Packaged Foods, the Happy Egg Co. and Auntie Anne’s.

Sally Schwartz (BA) and Josh Hummel were married July 4, 2015, at the American Homestead in Naches, Washington. Sally works as a graduate school adviser for the Milgard School of Business at the University of Washington. The couple spent their honeymoon canoeing the Bowron Lake circuit and float plane mountain biking out of Tyax Resort in British Columbia. They live in Tacoma, Washington.

Monica Frederick (BA) is vice president of business development for Royal Construction in Eau Claire. She is responsible for building relationships with clients, consultants and industry stakeholders, and supporting the organization’s business development and marketing strategy. Monica previously worked as a marketing and event specialist for HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital and in business development and marketing for RW Scobie and the Eau Claire YMCA. She and her family have lived in Eau Claire for the past 20 years.

Adrian Klenz (BA) is the executive director for The Reach Foundation, based in Eau Claire. He says that as an individual with a disability, it is an honor to raise funds and awareness for the foundation, which has served adults and children with disabilities in the Chippewa Valley since 1963. Adrian also has started his own business, Klenz Financial Counseling, and has had the opportunity to travel throughout the country teaching nonprofits about financial capability and financial education.

Jolene Clarke (BA) has launched her own talent development agency, Redhead Momentum. She specializes in creating customized experiences to promote the building and sustaining of high-performing teams; strategic planning; and professional and personal change/growth, including work through emotional intelligence, positive psychology and values-based leadership. Jolene also leads the Denver chapter of an international women's entrepreneur group called FemCity, an organization of women supporting women in business.

Kevin Gostomski (BA) received his master of arts in teaching from the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History.

Andrew Kerbel (BA) and Sarah (Hafeman) Kerbel (BA) started an organization called Seeds from Seeds to help victims and families of child abuse and neglect after their son was a victim of abusive head trauma, also known as Shaken Baby Syndrome, at the age of 7 months. The family lives in De Pere and the Green Bay Press Gazette ran a front-page article on their story and organization in October 2015. The Kerbels have turned a horrible event in their lives into something good for the community and other victims and hope to make a difference. They wanted to let the UWEC Alumni Association know that there are graduates out there doing remarkable things, partly because of the education and some amazing professors at UWEC.

Monette Bebow-Reinhard (MA) has published a new novel released by Solstice Shadows publishing. "Adventures in Death & Romance: Vrykolakas Tales" uses history research to develop this paranormal romance between 1503 Greece and 1933 Hollywood. This is her fourth historical novel. See more at her website, www.grimmsetc.com.

Emily Eastwick (BSN) completed her master's degree in Nursing at Winona State University in May 2015. She is now practicing as a clinical nurse specialist in St. Paul.

Luke Plese (BBA) has been a financial advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in Shorewood for three years. He and his wife, Jenny Smith, were married in July 2016 and enjoyed their honeymoon in Ireland.

Noah Taylor (BA) reports that after graduating from UW-Eau Claire, he went on to pursue a master's degree in international peace and conflict studies from the United Nations University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica; a master's degree in peace, security, development and international conflict transformation from the University of Innsbruck in Austria; and a doctorate in peace, conflict and development studies from the University Jaume I in castellón de la plana, Spain. He currently is working with the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, a Cambodian nongovernmental organization that focuses on intervention into armed conflict in Myanmar and other countries in Southeast Asia.

Megan deWerffMegan deWerff (BA) has been promoted to the position of senior client lead at 84.51° in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Angela Halama (BA-E), and her husband, Matthew Halama '06 (BS-E), have published their first book, “Door Within a Door.” Designed as a bedtime read for preschool-age kids, the theme of the book is for all people, from little ones to seniors, to search their hearts for bravery and their minds for curiosity, and be willing to try new adventures, seek out their dreams and befriend those who they wouldn’t normally befriend. The authors describe the book as having a beautiful bedtime cadence and rhymes to engage kids and help them develop a love for reading. The Halamas live in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and would love to see their book reach families in Minnesota, Wisconsin and beyond.

Brian Claxton (BA) and Mary (Imsdahl) Claxton '11 (BME) are making music a family affair. They are members of a nine-piece soul band called The Burroughs based in Greeley, Colorado. The band has opened for acts such as Sir Mix-a-Lot and the Steve Miller Band and have released two studio singles under the title "You Are My Joy." They are incredibly grateful to be able to combine their professional talents and passions.

Morgan HolienMorgan Holien (BBA) has accepted a new position as administrator for Trillium Woods, a life plan community in Plymouth, Minnesota. She previously served as administrator for Sandhill Cove Retirement Living in Palm City, Florida.

Arielle Jasper (BBA) earned her CPA license in October 2015 and was recently recognized by the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants. She currently works in public accounting at RSM US LLP in Minneapolis.

Emily (Goldnick) Christiansen (BA) currently is employed by the Department of Defense, serving as the assistant state coordinator for military funeral honors for the state of Minnesota. She says she proudly serve this country in the U.S. Army, and is the mother of a precious baby boy named Maverick James.


Christopher Moore (BA) has been promoted to vice president of the facility brand design firm ZEBRADOG. Christopher leads ZEBRADOG’s project delivery teams in the deployment of its signature dynamic design programs will also maintaining his role as new media director responsible for the firm's interactive exhibit development, technology strategy and execution. Christopher has led ZEBRADOG project teams in the delivery of impactful private and public exhibit spaces, including The Bemis Innovation Center, Lambeau Field, Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, Northwestern University, Aurora Healthcare, Aramco and Madison College.

Mitch StimersMitch Stimers (BS) has been named the first chief information officer for Cloud County Community College in Concordia, Kansas. Duties in his new position include information management, state and federal compliance reporting, database administration, internal research projects and strategic plan management. Prior to this position, Mitch was the director of institutional research at CCCC. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the community college, teaching courses in geography and geoscience, and also teaches geoscience courses online for Park University in Parkville, Missouri. Mitch holds a master's degree and doctorate from Kansas State University.

Lindsey Hansen (BBA) received a certificate in diagnostic medical sonography from the Johns Hopkins Hospital Schools of Medical Imaging in August 2014.

Jennifer (Krannich) Laber (BSW) and her husband, Ryan, relocated to Denver, Colo., for Ryan's career in the fall of 2014. Jennifer loves her job as a stay-at-home mom to two little boys, Ethan and Adam.

Kelly (McFall) Rogante (BS-E) and her husband, Fernando, are thrilled to announce the birth of their twin sons, Nicolás and Alessandro. They were born Aug. 1, 2014, in Maplewood, Minn. They join their proud big brother, Diego. Kelly currently works as a Spanish tutor at YEAH Academy in St. Paul, Minn.

Kristie (Pettitt) Fowler (N) and her husband Scott welcomed a third son, Demarcus, born in Oct. 2012 and adopted in Aug. 2014. He is received with love by big brothers Collin and Logan. The family lives happily in Kenosha.

Laura Carter (BA) received her doctorate in counseling psychology from UW-Milwaukee in May 2015. Her dissertation title was "Disordered Eating and Spiritual Well-Being in College-Age Women."

Kelly Conlon-ZimmermanKelly Conlon-Zimmerman (BSW) received a master of social work degree, with a concentration in social and economic development and a specialty in management, from Washington University in May 2015.

Bryan Lenz (BBA) was named director of Recreational Sports & Campus Fitness at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., in May 2015. He also will hold the title of associate director of athletics and will serve as a member of the senior leadership team in the department of athletics. Bryan will spearhead the creation and development of a comprehensive recreational sports and campus fitness unit that provides the Washington University campus community with opportunities focusing on wellness of the body, mind and spirit. Bryan previously served as director of Recreation at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif. He holds a master's degree in sports sciences-sport management from the University of the Pacific.

Jacob CarrollJacob Carroll (BBA) has joined Backbone Consultants in Minneapolis as partner and chief operating officer. The company advises other businesses in development, security and IT asset management.

Dave and Julie HoldenDave Holden (BBA) and Julie (Bindl) Holden (BSHCA) were married in February 2014 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with family and friends in attendance. Dave and Julie both grew up in Wisconsin and currently live in Arizona.

Evan Perrault (BA) earned a doctorate in communication from Michigan State University in May 2014. He is excited to be back in the Chippewa Valley, returning to UW-Eau Claire as an assistant professor of integrated strategic communication in the department of communication and journalism.

Jennifer and Rich SlifkaJennifer (Michna) Slifka (BS) and Rich Slifka (BS) were married in October 2012 in Eau Claire. They welcomed their first child, Orson, in January 2014. The family has moved from the Milwaukee area back to Eau Claire.

Barbara Weisenberger (BA) has been awarded the Distinguished Toastmaster Award, the highest award a Toastmaster can achieve, by Toastmasters International. Barbara has been a member of Chippewa Valley Toastmasters since 2007 and is currently serving District 35 Toastmasters as the northern division governor. She also has been included in an international book, "101 Artistic Toastmasters," as one of the featured artists for her costume design work with the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild.

Tim BaumannTim Baumann (BME) and his wife Christine Baumann '12 (MEPD) became camp directors for the International Music Camp in July 2013. Located in North Dakota, the International Music Camp is a nonprofit summer camp that hosts 2,000 students each year in more than 40 different programs, including band, orchestra, choir, dance, theater and visual arts. The couple formerly taught music in Hong Kong, Chippewa Falls and Sun Prairie. Christine and Tim met while working as counselors at the camp.

Katie (Appel) Van Dreese (BS) and Bryan Van Dreese (BS) met at UW-Eau Claire while working together as lab assistants. The couple married in September 2014.