MAILED: Aug. 20, 2001
EAU CLAIRE — Hormel Foods has
pledged $30,000 to help create the Hormel Foods Team Project Lab in the
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s College of Business. The gift will be
matched dollar for dollar by a UW System grant.
The Hormel Foods Team Project Lab will allow business
faculty to incorporate both group work and technology skill development into
their courses, said Thomas Dock, dean of the UW-Eau Claire College of Business.
The Team Project Lab will be the first of its kind in Wisconsin and Minnesota
business schools. The lab also complements the college’s existing network of
The Team Project Lab is targeted for completion in 2002.
In the lab, business students will work in small groups at specially designed
six-person conference tables where they will view and edit network-based
presentations, proposals and data on large, 42-inch, flat-screen monitors.
Students also will be able to access the lab’s audio, video and computer video
systems, as well as the College of Business Cyberlab (also under development) by
plugging their portable computers into an input connector embedded in the center
of each conference table.
“Hormel Foods management provided the $30,000 grant to
encourage and support the UW-Eau Claire College of Business’s mission of
providing strong and innovative education programs to students from Wisconsin
and Minnesota,” said Michael MacLean, corporate manager of staffing and
recruiting for Hormel in Austin, Minn., and a member of the Business Advisory
Council of the College of Business.
The Team Project Lab will help prepare business students
to perform effectively in a business environment that depends heavily on
teamwork and network-based communications.
“Anywhere you look in the College of Business, you will
see students working on group projects,” Dock said. “We stress team skill
development through our curriculum because the team is fast becoming the basic
unit in organizations. The ability to direct and guide others as a team leader
or work productively as a teammate are key competencies for any manager.”
“In today’s business environment, teamwork is
absolutely critical for success,” said Larry Vorpahl, vice president of
marketing in Hormel Foods’ grocery products division. “At Hormel Foods, we
operate through collaborative efforts of cross-functional teams to accomplish
most initiatives in the organization.” Vorpahl also is a member of UW-Eau
Claire’s College of Business Marketing Advisory Committee and a 1985 UW-Eau
Claire business administration graduate.
The gift in support of the Hormel Team Project Lab is a
continuation of a longstanding educational partnership between UW-Eau Claire and
Hormel Foods, which counts among its employees many UW-Eau Claire graduates.
Both Vorpahl and MacLean, through their advisory committee memberships, help
provide direction and counsel to the college. Also, since 1983, Hormel has
contributed more than $44,000 to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation through the
company’s matching gift program and through corporate gifts to the College of
“UW-Eau Claire graduates are very strong contributors
to the success of Hormel Foods,” MacLean said. “A number of them have built
outstanding careers, up to and including the officer level of the corporation.
The people of Hormel Foods value the relationship with UW-Eau Claire and
appreciate this opportunity to strengthen it.”
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Aug. 20, 2001