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Mihajlov recognized for economic development leadership

Thomas Mihajlov, a senior lecturer and executive in residence at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Business, is the recipient of the 2015 Frederick C. Pearce Biennial Award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Association. He received the award on February 12 at the 20th Annual Governor's Conference on Economic Development in Madison, WI.

The Frederick C. Pearce Biennial Award recognizes individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the economic vitality of Wisconsin.

"Tom has a long, distinguished, and storied career in economic development in Wisconsin," said Roger Nacker, former president of the Wisconsin Economic Development Institute. "His interest in economic development has never wavered."

A true leader in the industry, Mihajlov's extensive knowledge of economic development comes from working with a variety of public and private organizations. During his nearly 40 year career in economic development, he has held many leadership positions, including the state head of the federal Economic Development Administration, founding member and treasurer of the Wisconsin Development Institute, and founding member, board member, loan committee member and honorary board member of the Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation. An active member of the Wisconsin Economic Develop Association since 1976, he has served the organization as president, board member and chair of the audit committee.

In addition to holding executive positions at several Eau Claire area financial institutions, Mihajlov has played an active role in economic development within the community. He served on the board of the City of Eau Claire Redevelopment Authority. He spurred the creation of SBA loan processing centers at three different banks with the result that all three became preferred lenders-SBA's highest and most respected designation. He was elected to the Eau Claire City Council and the Eau Claire County Board, and led several significant projects that helped develop Eau Claire's central business district.

Currently, Mihajlov is using his knowledge of banking and economic development to teach corporate finance and mentor entrepreneur students in the UW-Eau Claire College of Business.