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Exploring how music, Blugolds are redefining Chippewa Valley economy

To better understand how music is making the Chippewa Valley a destination for business, culture and economic growth, the Wisconsin Technology Council is presenting a special lunch meeting at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Feb. 28.

As part of its Tech Council Innovation Network series, the group is bringing together four featured speakers with strong ties to UW-Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley.

Zach Halmstad, Nick Meyer, Sean Carey and Jason Jon Anderson all have unique backgrounds, and all four will offer their perspectives on how music has given the region a welcome economic boost.

Halmstad, a UW-Eau Claire alum and the co-founder of JAMF Software, is a partner in the new Oxbow Hotel and an owner of the Lismore Hotel.

Meyer, also a Blugold, is a partner in the Oxbow and The Lakely, a unique hotel, restaurant and music venue. He is also the owner of the award-winning publication, Volume One, and its Eau Claire retail/gallery space, The Local Store.

Carey, who earned a degree in music from UW-Eau Claire in 2008, is best known as a key member of the Grammy-winning band, Bon Iver. He also has his own music project, S. Carey.

Anderson, who is the production director of the world-famous Eaux Claires Festival and production manager for Bon Iver, is the assistant director of conferences and event production at the university.

The luncheon meeting, which will be held in the Dakota Room of the Davies Student Center, is open to all faculty, staff, students and the public. Registration will open at 11:30 a.m., lunch will begin at noon and the presentation will begin at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for students, $25 for Wisconsin Technology Council members and $35 for non-members.

"With events such as the Eaux Claires and Blue Ox festivals, and venues such as the under-construction Confluence Center, the Chippewa Valley is building a reputation as a place where people want to live, work and play," Tom Still, president of the Tech Council, said. "We'll explore how that reputation can continue to attract companies and talent to the region."

Momentum West and UW-Eau Claire are co-sponsoring the event.

The Wisconsin Technology Council is the independent, nonprofit science and technology adviser to the governor and the Legislature, with events, publications and outreach that contribute to the state's tech-based economy. For more information, visit the council's website.