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Nationally Announced Business Speaker Is Distinguished Alumnus

Renowned entrepreneur, business consultant and motivational speaker Roxanne Emmerich will visit UW-River Falls on Tuesday, May 13, to share her vision for turning challenges into possibilities.

Emmerich, who was named the 2003 Distinguished Alumnus for UW-River Falls will speak twice in presentations that are free and open to the public.

Emmerich will address UW-RF students and the public at 10 a.m. in the Blanche Davis Theater of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. Her speech is titled, "Permission to be Extraordinary: How to Create a Life Beyond Your Wildest Expectations." With the particular needs of students who will soon be seeking careers in mind, Emmerich will discuss how to find fulfilling and financially-rewarding work when a recession makes it seem impossible, and how to find work that allows one to develop and grow.

At 4 p.m. Emmerich's speech, titled "Thank God it's Monday: How to Build a Motivating Workplace," is based on the title of her most recent book. Citing the statistic that over 80 percent of American employees say they don't like their jobs, she will suggest ways to ignite passion for extraordinary results, to find stimulation and excitement at work, and to get more meaning out of life.

The public is also invited to attend a reception for Emmerich at 3 p.m. in Gallery 101 of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building.

A 1981graduate with a major in agricultural business, Emmerich is familiar with the struggle most students face when beginning their careers. Starting out with nothing, she began her career in banking, building on what she learned to found her own banking company with a partner in 1997. Today her banking company, North American Banking Company in St. Paul, is an $80 million bank holding company.

In 1988 she founded The Emmerich Group, Inc., working as a business strategist and consultant to present speeches and develop audio and video training systems for hundreds of clients. She has produced 24 video training programs.

She has also published more than 500 articles and four books on topics ranging from technology to financial services. Two more books will be published this spring. She has twice been voted Entrepreneur of the Year.

These accomplishments have resulted in Emmerich's being named UW-River Falls Distinguished Alumnus for 2003, an honor that recognizes one alumnus each year for his or her outstanding accomplishments.

As an undergraduate student at UW-RF, Emmerich was voted outstanding senior by the faculty in the College of Agriculture. She graduated with high honors, and received a Chancellor's Award of Excellence.

Today, Emmerich is one of the 12 most requested speakers in the country for national sales metings. Her topics motivate financial institutions toward growth, beginning with, "Acquisitions Are for Wimps:how to grow your institution with merging, acquiring or marrying into it."

Another is "Nine New Realities and Why Most Bankers Are Being Blindsided: Find out about trends that are taking the financial industry places for which it is not prepared." Yet another is, "Thank God It's Monday: How to Build a Motivating Workplace: Learn to create an atmosphere where people will think "out of the box" and perform at a higher level. This is the topic she plans to address at UW-RF.

Emmerich's other two motivational topics are, "Customer Satisfaction is a Loser's Goal: Learn why satisfying customers isn't enough and what to do instead," and "Strategies for Growth—Systems for Success: Learn how to systematize growth into your business."

Emmerich rejects much of what she learned in business school. She says banks don't know how to talk to their customers; how to ask the right questions, give the right answers and follow through. They need to create their own sales system and that is what she can help them with.

As an organizational consultant, Emmerich was one of 15 people appointed by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson in the early 1990s to the Study for Administrative Value and Efficiency in state government.

Her other activities include a position as chair of the Certified Speaking Professional Council, the highest certification in the speaking profession. She is past state president of the American Society for Training and Development, and director of the YWCA Foundation.

Emmerich is the founder of a youth scholarship program for underprivileged college freshmen, and a board member of Youth Horizon. She has also served as host mother to three high school foreign exchange students since 1998.

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