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It’s time to salute the Rising Stars Under 40 in the 7 Rivers Region.

For the third consecutive year, the 7 Rivers Alliance and River Valley Media Group are teaming up to honor dynamic, community-minded young leaders in our three-state region.

We’re seeking your help to identify and nominate the members of our third class of Rising Stars Under 40, who we’ll honor in October.

Nominees must be younger than 40 on Aug. 1. Deadline for nominating someone is July 20. For more information and eligibility requirements, check out the submission form on the 7 Rivers website.

Last year’s class of Rising Stars featured educators and engineers, marketers and construction executives, health care officials and restaurateurs.

Chris Hardie


Despite the varied backgrounds, they shared a strong sense of leadership and community spirit.

“Certainly one of the highlights of the year is when we recognize some of the best and brightest men and women who are helping make the 7 Rivers Region a great place to live and work,” said Chris Hardie, CEO of the 7 Rivers Alliance. “The contributions from these recipients demonstrate that they are already leaders in their communities.”

The first two classes of Rising Stars — a total of 43 women and men — came from throughout our region.

“The 7 Rivers Alliance covers three states and 14 counties, so it’s important that we have nominations from all across the region.”

Josh Trust, RVMG publisher


Josh Trust, publisher and president of River Valley Media, said: “We’re honored to partner with the 7 Rivers Alliance to recognize these talented young professionals. As all business leaders in our area understand, recruiting and retaining talent will continue to play a critical role in making our businesses successful. That’s one of the reasons this program is so important.”

Jennifer Kuderer, regional economic development director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., said: “The Rising Stars recognition I received in 2017 meant a great deal to me in that it acknowledged my accomplishments and inspires me to continue striving toward my personal and professional goals. I encourage anyone to nominate young leaders as a way of letting them know what they mean to your organization and to our community.

“Attracting and retaining great talent is key to the success of our companies and the community, and this is a great way to celebrate that young talent,” she said.

Clinton Torp, director of the La Crosse Regional Airport and another Rising Star from 2017, said: “I think the best part of the Rising Stars Under 40 recognition is that it encourages other younger professionals to see the value of their own contributions to our region and that they can make a difference regardless of their age. All of the great things that we accomplish as a community are because of the hard work of those in the community who have a passion for making our area the best it can be.”


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