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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
News Bureau • Schofield Hall 201Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900
Hormel Foods Gift to Help Fund New Team Project Lab
at UW-Eau Claire College of Business
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 technology labs.
         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 Business.
         “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.”

UW-Eau Claire Home [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: Aug. 20, 2001