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Pablo Group Announced as 2019 Paragon Economic Impact Award

Posted by Becca Coleman on February 20th, 2020

Pablo Group has been announced as the 2019 Paragon Award recipient to recognize their positive impact on the economy in Eau Claire County. Pablo Group, not simply a property management, developer, or event center, but a business aimed to create greater opportunities for the community.

The Eau Claire Area EDC is proud to present the Paragon Economic Impact Award, sponsored by Royal Credit Union, to a local business that has made an economic impact to our community.   The Paragon Award is an opportunity to celebrate businesses that support and enhance our community through a broad range of economic development activities or initiatives.


Businesses are nominated for the Paragon Award by their peers within the community and each nomination is evaluated based on economic impact. Examples of economic impact included, though not limited to; creation of new, quality jobs; recent  or current expansion of existing facility; construction of a new facility; substantial investment into capital equipment; commitment to continued education and training of their workforce; innovations in the development of new technologies and products.


“I would like to congratulate Pablo Group for receiving the 2019 Paragon Award” said Brandon Riechers, Royal Credit Union President & CEO.

“Pablo Group, through their work and dedication to the revitalization of downtown and their philanthropy, has created a buzz of excitement and optimism in our community.  They have helped to make Eau Claire a better place to live and work now, and will continue to benefit generations to come.  RCU is proud to sponsor this award and celebrate businesses, like Pablo Group, who are committed to strengthening the economy and quality of life in the Eau Claire area.”


Pablo Properties was formed in 2013 by three Eau Claire residents and UW-Eau Claire alumni –  Jason Wudi, Zach Halmstad, and Julia Johnson.  The three friends worked at Jamf Software and were mutually invested in making a positive impact on Downtown Eau Claire.  The Pablo Group’s interest in the revitalization of downtown was piqued from partnerships with local and regional businesses during the renovation of The Lismore Hotel in 2015, and the renovation of The Oxbow Hotel, which opened in 2016.  These businesses and their hospitality entities quickly became community favorites in the annual Volume One “Best Of” poll and promoted pedestrian traffic to other downtown businesses.


The Pablo Group has since evolved, and its focus is now on the experiences and opportunities available in the region.  The group took over Racy d’Lene’s Coffee Shop & The Nucleus Café in November 2018, which expanded the scope of development efforts beyond downtown.  The group then launched Skill Shot Coffee Bar, located in Artisan Forge.  Since its inception, the Pablo Group has been devoted to bettering the quality of life in Eau Claire by creating greater opportunities throughout the community.  As those plans and properties matured, The Pablo Group turned its attention to residential projects, including the transformation of the Syverson Home into The Guild with 49 apartments located downtown on the Chippewa River, and the reclamation of the historic Salsbury Row Houses on West Grand Avenue.  In 2019, the group started an initiative to provide affordable accommodations for housing-insecure families, and have been working with Western Dairyland and other local advocacy groups.


As well-traveled observers of other communities and business infrastructures, the Pablo partners have gathered diverse ideas and concepts for developments.  In the words of Pablo Group partner Julia Johnson, “We recognize that Eau Claire is a special place, and that is why we choose to stay and grow here.  By cultivating experiences through the hospitality industry, supporting entrepreneurial endeavors, developing local real estate, and fostering urban living and affordable housing, we aspire to improve upon what exists to expand the opportunities available in this community.”


“The Paragon Award is an opportunity to celebrate the impact that a company makes within our community,” as explained by Luke Hanson, Executive Director of the Eau Claire Area EDC, “ Pablo Group shows us that reinvesting into our community can do great things for so many local businesses and employees.”


Some past winners of the Paragon Award include: Market & Johnson, Artisan Forge Studios, Action City, Dynamic Fitness & Strength, Jamf Software, and Indianhead Food Distribution. To nominate a business for the Paragon Award, visit

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