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.

Jodi (Becker) Tonarelli (BA) has been promoted from communications director to director of weekend experience at The Ridge Community Church. The Ridge is a nondenominational church with two campuses in metro Milwaukee.

Ben Frederick (BS) has been promoted to lieutenant of police within the Eau Claire Police Department. Ben has served with the ECPD since 2004 and has held the positions of patrol officer, school resource officer, patrol sergeant and detective sergeant. He also serves on the Tactical Response Team, is involved with the Police Training Officer Program and firearms instruction. Ben recently created the Junior Police Academy which serves area youth and enhances his agency's connection to children and their families. During his career he has received two National School Safety awards from the School Safety Advocacy Council, the Respect for Law Award from Optimist International and the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association.

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.

Matthew MitchellMatthew Mitchell (BS) recently was promoted to the position of strategic technical account manager at Jamf.

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.