The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Jennifer McHugh named Volunteer of the Year

Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes McHugh for her positive impact on the community
Dave Minor, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, and Jennifer McHugh as she accepts her award. (Photo used with permission from the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce hosted one of their main events for the year. Their 109th Annual Meeting, Eau What a Night, was held at the Pablo Center at the Confluence on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

This evening was focused on bringing people together to network with other businesses and award community members for their achievements. 

Jennifer McHugh received the Volunteer of the Year award at this event. She is the Vice President of Community Engagement at Royal Credit Union and has served on the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee.

“The Governmental Affairs Committee’s purpose is to guide ongoing advocacy activities. We take a look at specific policy issues at all levels of government,” McHugh said.

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According to McHugh, she has been with RCU for 13 years in different roles and has served in her current role as VP of Community Engagement for the past three years.

“We do a lot of different things, such as the Financial Education Program, credit union advocacy, media relations, sponsorships, donations and work with the RCU Foundation,” McHugh said.

According to the RCU, McHugh has been involved in the expansion of the Chamber’s educational programs such as the Local Candidate Training Workshop and the “Making a Difference” series.

McHugh has also served as a moderator for the Eggs & Issues programs and helped the Chamber with securing funding for UW-Eau Claire’s Science and Health Sciences building.

“I was just very honored to receive it,” said McHugh. “I really enjoy the work that I do with the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, specifically the Governmental Affairs Committee, and it was nice to receive recognition for doing something that I love.”

McHugh encourages students who are looking into volunteer work to get involved with something they are passionate about. 

“There’s a saying that ‘you can give your time, talent and treasure.’ Sometimes you might not have the extra money to donate to an organization, but you can always give your time, which is just as valuable,” McHugh said.

The Center for Service Learning also provided their insight about this award and how it connects to the students of UW-Eau Claire.

“By highlighting the achievements of individuals who contribute significantly to their community, students can realize the tangible impacts of their own service efforts,” Academic Advisor Jasmine Case said.

This award reinforces the idea that community engagement is a meaningful, lifelong commitment, not just a graduation requirement, according to Case. Service learning has greatly enhanced student success by giving them experience, hands-on training and networking opportunities in their specific career fields.

“For students struggling with motivation to complete service hours, my advice is to find a volunteer opportunity that resonates with their personal values and interests,” Case said. “With countless options available, there is a volunteer experience for everyone.”

For more information about service learning, students can email [email protected] or visit their website,

Matczak can be reached at [email protected].

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