Hutterli, Erffmeyer and Hofacker recognized for their service to the college

The recipients of the 2018 College of Business Employee Recognition Awards are seasoned veterans who have served the college for a combined total of over 85 years. Congratulation to the following College of Business faculty/staff members who were recognized for their contributions to the college in the areas of culture of caring, creativity & innovation, and coaching:

  • Gretchen Hutterli, assistant dean, is the 2018 recipient of the Culture of Caring Award. This recognition recognizes an individual who consistently demonstrated outstanding personal and professional service to COB employees, students and/or their parents.
  • Dr. Robert Erffmeyer, professor of management in the Department of Management and Marketing, is the recipient of the 2018 College of Business Creativity and Innovation Award. The award is presented to a faculty or staff member who developed new or improved processes that allowed the college to operate more effectively and/or better serve its students and other stakeholders.
  • Cynthia Hofacker, senior lecturer in the Department of Business Communication, is the recipient of the 2018 College of Business Coaching Award. The award is presented to an employee who improved the performance of students, faculty and staff through effective guidance, advising or mentoring.

Interim Dean Tim Vaughan presented each recipient with an award and $500 at a college wide meeting on Aug. 29. The awards were funded by gifts made by alumni through the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.


2018 Award Recipients

Culture of Caring Award: Gretchen Hutterli, Dean's Office

“I feel Gretchen's outstanding dedication and service originates from a deep sense of care for the College of Business, which she has consistently demonstrated,” wrote one nominator.

Nominators consistently mentioned Hutterli's strong work ethic and her efforts that go above and beyond her job description to promote the college to students, faculty, staff and alumni.

"Gretchen represents the caring culture we all strive to achieve in our college,” wrote one nominator. “When talking with prospective students and their parents, for example, it only takes a moment to see her passion for our programs, our people, and our students. When she tells them "We Prepare Students for Success" it's more than a mission statement and they know that it's a belief. I believe it’s impossible NOT to be sold on the UW‐Eau Claire business experience."

“I have been with COB for about ten years,” wrote a third nominator. “During this time I saw many changes on COB websites, read news about COB faculty and students in the BizWire and attended many COB activities. Gretchen was involved in all of these activities and I strongly feel her care of our students and faculty and staff through them. In my mind she truly is a person who positively impacts the work environment in the COB.”

Coaching Award: Cynthia Hofacker, Department of Business Communication (BCOM)

With over over 33 years of teaching and administrative experience, including a seven year stint as president of the Catholic Area Schools of the Eau Claire Deanery, Cindy Hofacker is known within the College of Business for her ability to effectively coach and mentor students and faculty members.

"Cindy is always there for students -- whether they are working on a group project in her business communication class, needing help with their resumes for Career Conference or seeking feedback from her on a marketing or finance case presentation," wrote one nominator. "She creatively helps them solve problems and offers good suggestions that will help them be successful.”

Great coaches like Hofacker also understand that sometimes students need help facing a problem or difficult situation.

“Cindy is not afraid to tell students the things they might not want to hear, but that they need to hear,” wrote a nominator. “For example, "It's time to take responsibility for your actions", or "Coming to class regularly gives you habits that you will need to be successful in the business world."

Hofacker is often the "go to" person faculty and staff seek when they have questions about curricular issues, assessment or class room management. 

“As a new instructor, Cindy was the first to offer to help and the first to share all of her teaching materials," wrote another colleague. "She always takes a few minutes to listen if I am struggling with a situation in class. Her level headed, creative suggestions have helped me through a number of difficult classroom or curriculum issues. I know I can count on her to come up with a rational, unique solution."

On a more personal level, Hofacker has also become a role model for many faculty and staff as she understands the challenges they face when balancing professional lives with parenting.

“Cindy has coached me through teaching challenges ‐‐ but also the challenges of being a new mom and working professional,” wrote one colleague. “On so many occasions, she has helped me to see the "big" picture...which has helped me refocus and not worry about little details that won't matter in the long run. Cindy continuously helps those around her -- students and colleagues alike. I know I would not be the same instructor or colleague without her!"

Creativity and Innovation Award: Dr. Robert Erffmeyer, Department of Management & Marketing

Dr. Robert Erffmeyer was honored for his creative leadership as director of both the UW MBA Consortium and the UW-Eau Claire Center for Sales & Sales Management. 

“The Consortium MBA program is one of a kind and is recognized as an innovative program,” wrote one nominator. “Without the planning and work Bob did to get the program off the ground, as well as helping maintain the program, it would not have been as successful as it currently is.”

As co-chair of the committee to revise the MBA program in 1993, Erffmeyer was a key player in the development of the program’s unique format.

“Bob recognized an opportunity to provide students with an MBA experience that was different than a traditional lock-step program by giving them opportunities to create a customized curriculum with many different elective courses,” wrote a nominator. "This curricular model continues to be very popular among our students and is one of the main reasons why they choose the UW MBA Consortium program.”

Under Erffmeyer's leadership, and with the help of the very talented MBA and iDoc staff, the AACSB accredited UW MBA Consortium program continues to be ranked among the top online MBA Programs in the nation by US News & World Report.

Erffmeyer is also the driving force behind the college's professional sales marketing program.

“Not only is the UWEC sales program recognized as a top 10 sales program in the country, but the program is also a member in full standing in the University Sales Center Alliance,” wrote one nominator. “Only .05% of sales programs in the country have achieved this recognition. Bob’s stature has been recognized nationally by his teachings, research, writing and his organizational efforts regarding the Great Northwoods Sales Warm Up."

Under Erffmeyer's guidance, The Warm-Up has evolved from a local event for marketing students to a nationally recognized competition featuring students from over 20 universities from around the United States. He also helped form the department's marketing and sales advisory councils, wrote grants to support student travel to competition, and brought the Pi Sigma Epsilon student organization to campus.