National Co-op Month Includes Visit to St. Croix Electric Cooperative

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National Co-op Month Includes Visit to St. Croix Electric Cooperative

On October 22nd, St. Croix Electric Cooperative hosted St. Croix EDC as part of National Co-Op Month in the U.S.

EDC board president Angela Popenhagen presented SCEC with a proclamation to recognize the important contributions made by the rural electric cooperative. President/CEO Brian Zelenak accepted the proclamation on behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and co-op members.

According to the proclamation, every October since 1964 has been designated as National Co-op Month; cooperatives exist because of its members; rural electric cooperatives serve an estimated 42+ million people across 2,500+ counties in the U.S.; and St. Croix Electric, founded in 1937, has grown to distribute electricity to more than 11,500+ members and maintains over 1,800 miles of line throughout St. Croix and the bordering counties of Pierce, Polk, and Dunn in west central Wisconsin

Learn more about St. Croix Electric Cooperative at

Brian Zelenak, President/CEO of St. Croix Electric Cooperative, displays St. Croix EDC’s National Co-op Month Proclamation along with EDC board and committee members

Fill Your Talent Pipeline – A Zoom Event

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Fill Your Talent Pipeline
A Zoom Event

5 critical factors to attract the modern employee
with Justin Vajko (vay-koh)

10:00 a.m.- 11:00a.m.
Wednesday November 3, 2021
Via Zoom, Free Event
Register HERE 

Please join St. Croix EDC on Wednesday, November 3rd starting at 10:00 a.m. for an informative conversation with Justin Vajko on five critical factors to attract modern employees. Vajko is an award-winning marketer who is passionate about connecting great employers to even greater employees. He has seen too many fantastic companies struggling to recruit and that’s why he and his company, Dialog Design Co. help Wisconsin employers generate more job applications by building their reputation online using videos, online reviews, revamped job descriptions, and more.

Participants in the November 3rd interactive presentation will learn five critical factors to attract the modern employee, including:
-Take care of your associates and team members by improving your culture;
-Instantly become +173% (or so) more interesting by creating a compelling value proposition;
-Stop telling the wrong story by taking control of your online reviews;
-Show, don’t tell – why video is the new normal for recruiting top talent; and
-Go where people are by using social media to build your employer brand.

Justin and participants will dive into each of the critical factors with training to help employers create a solid branding strategy that gets more individuals to apply for your jobs.

Register HERE 

About Justin Vajko
Justin lives in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with his wife and three children in their first home where he’s on a steep learning curve involving non-working appliances and leaky faucets. Learn more at

Manufacturing Month Visit

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Manufacturing Month Includes Visit to Syntegon Packaging Technology

On October 15th, Syntegon Packaging Technology, LLC in New Richmond, Wisconsin hosted St. Croix EDC and representatives from the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce and City of New Richmond as part of Manufacturing Month in the U.S. The visit included an overview of the company from Syntegon’s management team and wrap-up tour of the facility.

St. Croix EDC board president Angela Popenhagen presented Syntegon with a proclamation to recognize the important contributions made by manufacturers in the St. Croix Valley. Walter Haecki, President & Managing Director, accepted the proclamation on behalf of the nearly 170 associates at Syntegon in New Richmond.

According to the proclamation, manufacturing is Wisconsin’s top industry sector, producing an estimated $65+ billion in total output, or almost 20 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GPD); the manufacturing sector boasts over 8,000+ incorporated businesses; and employs one in six workers in the state, or around 475,000+ people.

Syntegon Packaging Technology, LLC offers a wide range of packaging equipment, including wrappers, bag closing & sealers, vertical form fill and seal baggers, carton/tray forming and closing, feeding, and robotic pick-place machines. The modular machines can be integrated to form fully automated lines.

Learn more about Syntegon in New Richmond at

Photo: Walter Haecki of Syntegon Packaging Technology, LLC displays St. Croix EDC’s Manufacturing Month Proclamation next to the company’s sign at 869 South Knowles Avenue in New Richmond, Wisconsin  

Get what I’m saying? 100%!


Get what I’m saying? 💯%!


Over a cup of coffee, or in a taproom, classroom, convenience store or staff meeting, the term “100%” dominates many conversations.

For example, a sports broadcaster observes, “A-Rodg gave his all on that play” and receives a reply of, “100 percent” from his/her colleague. Sidebar: For those St. Croix Valley residents living in an all-weather yurt in the deep, deep woods, A-Rodg is #12 or Aaron Rodgers, of Green Bay Packers fame.

100% is all around us, expressed in different ways when written and read, especially in texts or social media:



-Hundo P

-Keep it one hundred


-100 proof (warning: must be 21 to legally consume)

-Keep it 100

Expressed another way, 100% can mean absolute, perfect, or atop the apex. Now there’s a lofty goal.

100% has earned its own emoji and it appears as 💯. It’s officially called Hundred Points and has its origins from the teaching profession’s use of 100 at the top of an assignment or test, meaning it’s the highest score achievable. As one young chap wrote, “You gotta work hard for what you want in life 💯💯💯.” This could be a rare sighting of a budding capitalist. 💯💯💯. The St. Croix Valley and world could use a few more capitalists and entrepreneurs.

Lessons abound. What do employers expect from full- and part-time associates? How about 100, Hundy, or Hundo P? It’s the same for teachers, coaches, doctors and accountants – Keep it 100.

What to flip the script? Without being told of expectations, try giving it the old 90/10 and watch the reaction(s). If there’s room for improvement, reset and dig a little deeper. 100% is there so keep pushing on, and if you do? Well, it’s a deep sense of accomplishment followed by 💯💯💯.

With any luck, “100%” will take its rightful place alongside other worn-out phrases like I hear ya, I feel ya, and ’xactly.

Remember this. The St. Croix Valley is full of high achievers. Many are part of the 100% charter club. Here’s to the Hundo Ps in St. Croix Valley. Keep it real, St. Croix Valley 💯💯💯.