UWRF Innovator in Residence 

Community Resources

Innovator In Residence

UW-River Falls Innovator in Residence speaker events showcase individuals that exemplify the application of innovation in their organization. Promoting a culture of innovation is increasingly important in the competitive business environment. Innovation occurs at all levels of an organization and employers are eagerly searching for talented individuals who understand the importance of innovation, product development, process improvements and creative thinking. UW-River Falls is committed to creating a culture of innovation that provides high quality opportunities for students to enhance their problem solving, creative thinking and self-starting skills. 

Innovator in Residence Graphic Oct. 19, 9 a.m.

Nate Boettcher
President and CEO of Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services and SwiftCurrent Connect

Nate Boettcher, President and CEO of Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services and SwiftCurrent Connect spoke about Innovative Rural Broadband Solutions and what it means to be connected in 2022.

Fall 2022

Watch Nate's presentation here! 


_2022 Spring Innovator in Residence

Michael Mader
Founder/CEO, Hippy Feet

Michael Mader’s vision of helping homeless youth inspired the creation of Hippy Feet in 2016. The company initially donated one pair of socks for every pair sold, but quickly recognized and started addressing another urgent need—job training and transitional employment for young people experiencing homelessness.

Spring 2022

Watch Michael's presentation here! 

Jeremy Dumond 2021 Fall Innovator in Residence

Jeremy Dumond

Director- Research, Insights and Analytics
Land O'Lakes, Inc. Dairy Foods 

Jeremy, Director of Research, Insights and Analytics for Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods spoke about “INNOVATION in Sales and Marketing Strategy Through Cutting-Edge Technologies”. By connecting endless sources of consumer data with practical in-market execution through these technology, Land O’Lakes Dairy Foods is growing market share and profit and thus enhancing the financial viability of its 1600+ farmer-member owners.

Fall 2021

Anchor Paper: Innovator in Residence Brooke Lee

Brooke Lee 

CEO, Anchor Paper Company

Brooke Lee spoke on: "It all started with a Seed: How an Innovative Product Transformed our Business". Lee is the CEO and the 4th generation family owner of Anchor Paper Company, a dual-source Paper & Packaging Distribution Company headquartered in downtown St. Paul with a retail location in Plymouth, MN and a recently expanded manufacturing facility in River Falls, WI.

Spring 2021

Watch Brooke's presentaion here! 

Michael Thompson Innovator in Residence

Michael Thompson, Ph.D.

CEO, KairosAg

Thompson, Founder and CEO of KairosAg, spoke on “Global Impact through Innovation.” Thompson is passionate about eliminating poverty and hunger and is professionally engaged in consulting and agriculture business development.

Fall 2020

Watch Michael's presentation here!

Innovator in Residence Greg Van Bellinger

Greg Van Bellinger

Vice President, Target Owned Brand Product Design & Management 

Van Bellinger spoke about "Innovation; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." He has over 25 years of experience in product design and creative leadership ranging between apparel and industrial design.

He leads the product design and development vision, brand strategy, quality roadmap, and innovation for Target Corporation’s Home and Hardlines business, including electronics, sporting goods, seasonal, furniture, and lighting.

Spring 2020 

Dewey Wahlin Innovator in Residence

Dewey Wahlin

President, TurnKey Corrections

This presentation, "Innovation Big and Small," discussed Wahlin's viewpoint on leadership and innovation.  Wahlin has served in leadership positions with large Fortune 500 companies and medium-sized entrepreneurial companies for over 30 years.

Fall 2019

Innovator in Residence - Eric Galler

Eric Galler

Corporate officer, General Mills and 3M-Marketing Corporate and Innovation Strategy (retired)

Galler, whose leadership spans nearly 30 years at 3M, General Mills, and Pillsbury in key operating positions, strategic marketing assignments, and innovation strategy roles spoke about, “What Drives Innovation Excellence?”

Spring 2019

HCShin UWRF Innovator In Residence

Hak Cheol (H.C.) Shin

Vice Chair and Executive Vice President of 3M Research & Development, Supply Chain, Business Transformation/IT, and Business Development

Shin spoke about leadership and innovation as it relates to the changing business landscape, how the innovation process functions, industry 4.0 and the implications for innovation and growth, leadership principles, innovation leadership, and his personal journey of philosophy of innovation.

Fall 2018


Innovator in Residence Fall 2017


John Romines

Vice President of Seed Sales, WinField United, Land O’Lakes

This presentation, “Growing a Brighter Future,” discussed how using innovation in agriculture will be able to grow more food with fewer resources to feed a growing population.

Fall 2017



Innovator in Residence making presentation to students

Derrick Edwards

President of AGS Data Systems

This talk, “Bridging Views Of Innovation,” discussed the speaker’s perspective on how technology sectors view and promote innovation and suggest ways academic cultures might broaden their conceptualization of innovation to more fully overlap that of industry allowing for better preparation of students for professional life and the enhancement public-private partnerships.

Spring 2016