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Spring Gala Draws Largest-Ever Crowd

The social event of the year for the Chippewa Valley Technical College community drew its largest crowd ever April 4.

The CVTC Alumni Association’s annual Spring Gala was held at Florian Gardens and was attended by 298 people. The theme for this year’s big event was “CVTC is Community.”

Much of the fun of the event surrounds the opportunity for alumni, CVTC supporters throughout the community and CVTC staff to network with one another. But the event also provides an opportunity for some special recognitions.

Jeff Urlaub, founder and CEO of Eau Claire-based engineering firm MEP Associates, was named the recipient of the CVTC Alumni Association’s 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award. MEP Associates, which employs about 70 people, including 16 CVTC graduates, offers design services in mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and renewable energy.
“It was excellent,” Urlaub says, describing his days as a CVTC student, during two separate phases of his education. “There were good teachers. They made it fun and promoted learning.”

Spectrum Industries of Chippewa Falls was honored as CVTC’s 2013 Proven Business Partner. Accepting the award was founder and CEO Dave Hancock. Hancock’s record of success qualifies him for legendary status among Chippewa Valley business leaders. He played major roles in the development of companies that were the predecessors to the Pliant Corporation and Pactiv Corporation plants in Chippewa Falls, as well as Hubbard Scientific and Spectrum Industries.

Spectrum, an office furniture manufacturer specializing in recent years in the education market, prides itself on listening to its customers. CVTC is among the many customers that Spectrum has been able to satisfy because of its keen ear for customers’ needs.

“We are honored to be named CVTC’s 2013 Proven Business Partner,” said Vice President of Sales Scott Dorn. “One of Spectrum’s core objectives is to improve continually in all that we do. CVTC has been instrumental in helping Spectrum achieve this objective. Spectrum is fortunate to have a partner in the Chippewa Valley like CVTC. . . We are a better organization thanks to our relationship.”

Also honored at the banquet were four CVTC Alumni Association Scholarship recipients.  Dan Cruger is working toward his AODA counseling certificate. Anna Goebel is aiming to graduate with honors from the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. Mandi Leos is completing classes to become a registered radiographer. Cassandra Thiede is a x-ray technologist. All recipients have strong records of giving back to their community.

The emcee for the evening was CVTC’s own John Kleven, who came out dressed like a basketball player, and to the tune of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” the theme song of the famed Harlem Globtrotters. That set a lighthearted tone that later included a talk show format in which Kleven interviewed the major award winners.

The event raised funds for the CVTC Alumni Association.