Photo caption: Chancellor James Schmidt was joined by Billy Felz, Mary Hoffman, MJ Brukardt, Mike Carney, Jake Wrasse, Kim Schmidt, Olga Diaz and Paula Gilbeck at the 107 annual Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at Florian Gardens.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt was the recipient of a Public Employee of the Year Award from the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce Thursday night at the organization’s annual meeting.
Schmidt and Dave Solberg, the city of Eau Claire’s interim city manager, were recipients of the award at the “Eau What a Night: 107th Chamber Annual Meeting” attended by more than 500 people.
Schmidt called the chamber honor “an institutional award for the university’s community-focused efforts during the pandemic.”
"I'm so proud of the work of this team," Schmidt said of the campus response during the pandemic.
UW-Eau Claire has hosted clinics that provided more than 108,000 COVID-19 tests and over 18,000 vaccines to students, employees and the community since the pandemic started in 2020.
The chamber’s nominating committee considers individuals for the award who go “above and beyond the normal,” says David Minor, chamber president and CEO, noting the the COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics on campus were an example of Schmidt's community work.
Schmidt’s leadership also has been a key to the university’s collaboration with Mayo Clinic Health System, Minor says, and in helping to develop projects such as the new Science and Health Sciences Building, and the County Materials Complex.
“I’ve gotten to know Jim and watched what he’s done in this community,” Minor says. “He cares about the community. He realizes UW-Eau Claire is a significant player, and will become bigger with all that is going on, but he knows you need to integrate into the community and work as a partner. I saw him make decisions that were for the campus, but they extended to partnerships in the community.”