Name on the Front of the Jersey



Name on the Front of the Jersey


Memories fade, but calendars do not lie. It’s been 40-years since the U.S. men’s hockey team defeated the Russian team to claim the gold medals during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. The victory is forever known as the Miracle on Ice.

Correction. The U.S. team did beat the Soviets, but didn’t claim gold until a victory over Finland two days later. That’s the faded memory part. A lesser known fact is this – a loss to the Finns meant the U.S. would not earn any medals – gold, silver, or bronze. And worse, the Russians would claim the gold.

The chief architect and strategist of the U.S. team was its coach, Herb Brooks. He was the last player cut from the 1960 U.S. team, which won the gold that year. Then along came a run from the Russians, winning gold in 1964, ‘68, ‘72, and ‘76. They were heavy favorites in ’80. It was Brooks’ job to stop the run. Or at least put up a good showing. Case in point – the Russians trounced the U.S. team in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden 10-3 just before the Lake Placid games.

The young men playing for Brooks in 1980 were a collection of college all stars from across the U.S. They came from places like Rochester, Minnesota (Eric Strobel), Davison, Michigan (Ken Morrow), Easton, Massachusetts (Jim Craig), and Madison, Wisconsin (Mark Johnson). How do you get All Americans and team captains hailing from several time zones to play as a team? Coach Brooks had some ideas.

Brooks worked his players hard in the months leading up to Lake Placid. After one uninspired exhibition game, Brooks reportedly saw enough lackluster play. The players thought they were headed to the locker room, but Brooks kept them on the ice and were lined up at the goal line. It was time for wind sprints on ice, meaning a coach reverts to extra conditioning to make a point. At the whistle, the players skated to the first blue line, stopped with ice showers, and returned to the goal line. Then they skated to the red line at center ice, stopped, and retreated to the goal line. Next up was the far blue line, and back to the starting point. And finally, they skated from one goal line to the other and back to complete the drill. Brooks had his assistant coach blow a whistle to mark the start of another wind sprint on ice. And another. And another. And another.

Sometime later, Hollywood lore shows a darkened arena, but the sprints continued. Brooks may have said something along the lines, “If you want to make this team you’re going to have to start playing at a level that will force me to keep you. This cannot be a team of common men because common men don’t know work. You have to be uncommon men. When you pull on that jersey, you represent yourself and your teammates, and the name on the front is a lot more important than the one on the back (expletives deleted throughout).”

At the start of yet another sprint, Mike Eruzione, the eventual team caption, blurted out his name and hometown of Winthrop, Massachusetts. Brooks asked, “Who do you play for?” Eruzione replied, “I play for the United States of America.” And Brooks announced, “That’s all gentlemen.” The wind sprints were done.

Perhaps a turning point for the ’80 team? Brooks’ message about the front of the jersey was clear. It’s a good reminder in everyday life, whether it’s business, industry, public or private.

It never gets old watching the seconds count down from 40-years ago. Play as a team and big things can happen. Watch the last minute of the game here You’ll see Coach Brooks exiting the bench for the bowels of the arena to reflect on this mega-accomplishment in private. Do you still believe in miracles? YES!

Top Businesses/Individual for 2019 Named

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St. Croix EDC Names Top Businesses/Individual for 2019

Scott Jones, president of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC), announced the EDC’s selection of Gallery 77 Stone (City of Hudson), Catalyst Sports Medicine (City of Hudson), and Three Square Market – TurnKey Corrections (City of River Falls) as recipients of the 2019 Business of the Year awards in St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Mr. S. Mark Tyler (Woodville) is the recipient of the EDC Directors Award, an occasional award presented to an individual or organization championing economic development through innovation actions, making St. Croix County an exceptional place for business, industry, and residents.

The companies will be honored at a banquet on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course in River Falls.

“Our 2019 honorees are great examples of business and individuals that are making St Croix County a better place to work and live,” said EDC President Scott Jones. “St Croix EDC thanks the honorees for their contributions to our community,” he added.

About the 2019 Honorees
Galley 77 Stone is the 2019 Emerging Business of the Year (based in St. Croix County and in business for five or fewer years). Owners Pablo and Suzanne Sotelo moved to the Hudson area from Los Angeles to raise their family and build their business. The showroom and production space along Industrial Street in Hudson allows for the finishing of tile, natural stone, engineered quartz for all areas of the home, including kitchen, bath, entry, fireplace and outdoor kitchen and BBQ areas. The company is dedicated to keeping current with the latest trends and products, as well as technology, to bring the most elegant and functional design for the home.

Catalyst Sports Medicine is the 2019 Small Business of the Year (29 or fewer employees). Catalyst Sports Medicine was launched on January 1, 2013 when then-general manager John Knutson and clinic director J.W. Matheson purchased Larsen Sports Medicine & Physical Therapy. The clinic transitioned from space in the St. Croix Business Park to expanded space at Hanley & O’Keefe Roads. The newly renovated facility opened in September 2015. Catalyst Sports Medicine specializes in physical therapy, athletic training, industrial medicine, orthopedic massage services, and performance training for athletes. Today, Catalyst employs around 20 people including physical therapists, PTAs, athletic trainers, massage therapists, strength coaches and administrative and customer service personnel.

Three Square Market – TurnKey Corrections is the 2019 Business of the Year (30 or more employees). Three Square Market and TurnKey Corrections are partner companies, headquartered in Sterling Ponds Corporate Park (River Falls). The companies are involved in the design, manufacturing, and equipping of kiosks, coolers, vending, fixtures, and market accessories. Turnkey works with correctional facilities on vending needs and Three Square is a corporate solution to in-company breakrooms and convenience stores (snack and vending). Both companies are growing at rapid rates and their respective footprints are global.

S. Mark Tyler and a business partner launched OEM Fabricators in Woodville, Wisconsin in 1987 as a heavy weldment and steel fabricator, serving multiple industry sectors. His latest passion is workforce development, including Success by Six (a United Way program), and Family Friendly Workplaces, Inc. Mr. Tyler serves on the board of the Wisconsin Technical College System, which led to a board position with the UW Regents. He is also on the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment. OEM earned Wisconsin’s Manufacturer of the Year Award, Medium Category, in 2006. In 2012, the company was the recipient of the Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award for Workforce Development. A recent retirement from OEM enables Mark to devote more of his time to workforce development advocacy, legislative advocacy (in Madison and in D.C.), and ensuring the social and emotional development of infants and children, allowing them to be successful in the years that follow.

Banquet Details
This is the 26th business awards program conducted by St. Croix EDC. The banquet is open to the public but reservations are required. Dinner tickets are priced at $45.00 and can be purchased at

About St. Croix EDC
The EDC was established in 1994 as a public-private business league that operates as the independent economic development arm of St. Croix County, Wisconsin. Reflective activities include marketing and communication, business retention, business expansion, business recruitment, new business incorporations, workforce development, and advocacy on behalf of business and industry. Initiatives taken by St. Croix EDC help improve the business climate of St. Croix County, allowing businesses, large and small, to grow and prosper.

For more information, contact William Rubin or Nita Dusek at (715) 381-4383.

Life Lesson: I Got This


Life Lesson: “I Got This”


About a year ago, most of the world was introduced to Amy Bockerstette. Some were lucky enough to know her before a magical moment on a golf course. As part of a pre-tournament practice round, she played the so-called loudest hole in golf, the par-3 16th hole at the TPC Scottsdale course with Gary Woodland, the previous year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open champion. The golf world and people with disabilities may never be the same.

The 16th hole is famous for many reasons. It’s the PGA Tour’s only fully-enclosed hole, meaning grandstand seats and skyboxes surround the entire hole, earning it the nickname, The Coliseum. Players-gladiators enter from a curtained walkway under the grandstands from the 15th green. As the Phoenix Open gets into full swing on the weekend, the 20,000 spectators in The Coliseum judge each tee shot with lusty boos or wild cheers.

Back to Amy. She’s a Special Olympics golfer with Down syndrome. Last January, the PGA surprised her with an invitation to play the 16th with Woodland. With no warm-up, Amy’s tee shot found a sand trap hazard. Woodland offered to hit her next shot, but Amy replied, “I got this.” Her bunker shot found the green and rolled toward the hole before stopping. The crowd, now engaged in what was unfolding, cheered their approval. Amy faced a 10-foot putt to save par. “I got this,” she told Woodland and others in the group. She drained the putt and the crowd roared. The video from tee to putt went viral and has been viewed over 40 million times. Amy and Gary became friends and stayed connected through social media.

Fast forward to the U.S. Open in June at Pebble Beach. Woodland was the 54-hole leader and likely faced a night of restlessness before Sunday’s final round. Amy tweeted him a reassuring message, “You got this.” At a critical time on the back nine, Woodland converted a birdie putt and went on to claim the championship. It was his first major golf championship. Addressing the media, he said “Amy told me a million times when we were on that hole… ‘I’ve got this,’ and I told myself that a million times today, ‘I’ve got this.’” He added, “She’s meant everything for me from a mental standpoint. The world needs more of her in it.”

More on Amy. Before her swings with Woodland, she participated in two Arizona girls state high school golf championships and earned a scholarship to play golf at a community college. There was a graduation speech, too. She balances college with a part-time job. The ‘I Got This’ Foundation was launched and provides golf instruction and playing opportunities to individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special order golf balls bear the message, I Got This. She’s in demand for celebrity appearances. Go Amy Go.

What’s learned. In an interview with Golf World magazine, sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella said, “I have worked with children with Down syndrome for several years, and I would say in general they are the happiest, most positive, upbeat human beings on this planet.” Amy’s father Joe added, “She’s not burdened with self-doubt.” Her golf instructor said, “She continues to teach me not to sweat the small stuff.”

Another take-away concerns employment opportunities for individuals with barriers and disabilities. They bring something new to employers, including productivity, staff morale, work ethic, and dedication. Locally, there’s Rise (, a private organization supporting individuals who have disabilities and other barriers obtain vocational achievement, self-sufficiency, and belonging in their communities. Rise has a training and in-house production facility as close as New Richmond, Wisconsin. Work can be brought to New Richmond or Rise can bring associates to on-site locations.

BRIDGE For Community Life ( is another option. BRIDGE provides opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities as they transition into adulthood. They bring a holistic approach to life – – that a balance of life skills development, continued learning, recreation, and leisure leads to healthy minds and bodies. Among their offerings are community employment services, including job placement assistance, job coaching, and follow-up services.

St. Croix Valley employers may be well served to consider these valuable resources.

Going forward, repeat: I got this. You got this. Go Amy Go. The world needs more of you in it, including business and industry.

November 2019 Unemployment

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St. Croix County’s November Unemployment Rate at 3.0%

On December 27th, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced the preliminary November 2019 unemployment rates for Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the 33 cities with populations greater than 25,000 residents. St. Croix County’s November rate was estimated at 3.0%. For comparison, St. Croix’s final rate in October was 2.6% and September’s final rate was 2.7%. One year ago, the county’s unemployment rate was estimated at 2.5%.

DWD said preliminary unemployment rates from October to November remained the same in 8 of the 72 counties. The rates ranged from 2.0% in Lafayette to 7.3% in Menominee.

Preliminary unemployment rates declined or stayed the same in 13 of Wisconsin’s 33 largest municipalities from October to November. Rates ranged from 2.1% in Madison to 4.6% in Racine.

The five counties with the lowest unemployment rates in November include Lafayette (2.0%), Dane (2.1%), Iowa (2.2%), La Crosse (2.3%), and Green (2.4%). Menominee County had the highest rate in November at 7.3%, followed by Iron (5.6%), Florence (5.2%), Bayfield (4.9%), and Price (4.7%).

St. Croix, Pierce, Polk, and Dunn counties comprise Wisconsin’s Greater St. Croix Valley. In addition to St. Croix’s rate of 3.0%, November’s preliminary rate in Dunn was 2.7%, while Pierce was at 2.9% and Polk at 3.5%.

St. Croix and Pierce counties are included in the 15-county Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI metro area. The November 2019 unemployment rate for the Twin Cities was estimated at 2.7%, which is higher than the final rate of 2.5% for both October and September. The unemployment rate in the Twin Cities was 2.0% in November 2018.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate for Wisconsin in November was estimated at 3.3%, which is the same as October’s final rate, but higher than September’s final rate of 3.2%. One year ago, the state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.0%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in Minnesota in November was estimated at 3.3%, which is higher than the final rate of 3.2 % for October and September. Minnesota’s seasonally-adjusted rate one year ago was 2.9%.

The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate in the U.S. for November was estimated at 3.5%, which is lower than October’s final rate of 3.6% and the same as September’s final rate of 3.5%. One year ago, the U.S. rate (seasonally adjusted) was estimated at 3.7%

Wisconsin’s preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for November was estimated at 67.1%, which is the same as the final rate for October, but lower than the final rate of 67.2% for September. One year ago, Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was 67.6%. The preliminary (seasonally adjusted) labor force participation rate for the U.S. in November was estimated at 63.2%, which is lower than October’s final rate of 63.3% and the same as September’s final rate of 63.2%. One year ago, the labor force participation rate in the U.S. was 62.9%.

November’s estimates are preliminary and are subject to revision within the next few weeks.