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Business Notes


Zaborowski is new CLC adviser

Josh Zaborowski of St. Cloud is a new TRiO Upward Bound adviser at Central Lakes College.

He is a recent Bemidji State University graduate in psychology and was a lead tutor mentor for three years in the Upward Bound program, implementing policies dealing with high school students as well as conducting one-on-one meetings with those students.

Zaborowski was a residence hall adviser, as well as a resident assistant at BSU.

During the summer he supervised seven tutors/mentors and directly oversaw six high school students as part of the Upward Bound program, conducting daily staff meetings and facilitating evening activities for up to 100 students.

Kemerlings join Weichert Realtors-Tower Properties

Weichert Realtors-Tower Properties announced the addition of real estate agents Mark Kemerling and Sandi Kemerling to the Brainerd agency’s sales team.  

Sandi Kemerling earned the Certified International Staging and Redesign Professional credential.

Before moving to the area, Mark Kemerling ran a family dental practice for 30 years, following service to the U.S. Navy. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology/chemistry and is a doctor of dental surgery.  

Isackson, Dalton gain recognition 

Steve Isackson and Barb Dalton of The Insurance Office, in Brainerd, and a member of the Insurance Partners, were recognized by Travelers Insurance as one of their top producers working through the Insurance Partners. 

Insurance Partners consists of 180 insurance agencies based in Minnesota and North Dakota. This award recognizes not only outstanding sales, but also takes into consideration the overall positive attitude of the agency. 

Joque earns board certification 

Dr. Laura A. Joque, of the Essentia Health Cancer Center located at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd successfully earned her Board Certification in Hospice and Palliative Medicine from the American Board of Internal Medicine. 

ABIM works to enhance the quality of health care by certifying internists and subspecialists who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for excellent patient care. Joque is also board-certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology. 

Joque practices hematology and medical oncology at the Essentia Health Cancer Center in Brainerd and is a member of the medical staff at St. Joseph Medical Center. 

J.D. Power ranks Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless ranked highest among all other national wireless providers in West Region, which includes Minnesota, in the recently released J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Wireless Call Quality Performance Study.

More than 27,250 wireless phone subscribers were surveyed by J.D. Power and Associates between July and December 2010 about their experiences. Based on their responses, Verizon Wireless ranked highest in five regions, including the West Region.

Alexenko joins Adventure firm

Brad Alexenko joined Adventure, a full-service advertising agency with offices in Brainerd and St. Cloud.

Alexenko will handle graphic design projects for the agency. He will operate primarily from the St. Cloud office.

Alexenko has 16 years of professional design experience to the position. He worked for several St. Cloud-based advertising agencies, including Meyer Marketing, Agency 128 and The Johnson Group.

Alexenko earned his degree in graphic design from St. Cloud State University, after moving there from his home state of North Dakota.

Altrichter earns GRI designation

BAXTER — Katie Altrichter, a real estate sales associate in the Edina Realty Baxter office, completed 90 hours of course work, earning the Graduate Realtors Institute designation sponsored by the Minnesota Association of Realtors. 

The GRI is a designation developed by the National Association of Realtors and requires that sales associates earn educational credits through their state associations covering marketing, technology and legal requirements as well as regulatory rules.

Altrichter returned to the lakes area to practice residential real estate last year after working in the retail real estate business in the Chicago area and in the Twin Cities.  

Pioneer Lake Mutual recognized as Grinnell Mutual top mutual 

PIERZ — Pioneer Lake Mutual Insurance Co. of Pierz was recently named to the Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company President’s Club for 2011 as a top mutual for the company.

Recognized by Grinnell Mutual President and CEO Steve Crawford, Pioneer Lake Mutual ranks among the company’s top 50 agencies and 15 farm mutual companies for outstanding production and profitability over a five-year period.  President’s Club members provide insights on key insurance and business issues to board members and management staff from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance and Grinnell Select Insurance Companies.

McFarlin named Anderson Brothers president/CEO 

Terry McFarlin was named president and chief executive officer of Anderson Brothers construction company of Brainerd. 

McFarlin, senior vice president of operations replaces Dave Johnson, former president and CEO. Johnson recently retired after 41 years of service. Johnson will continue as special projects consultant for the company. 

McFarlin has a 20-year career in construction and has been with Anderson Brothers since 1990. 

MnDOT official selected to serve

ST. PAUL — Bernie Arseneau, deputy commissioner and chief engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, has been selected by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to serve on its Standing Committee on Highway Traffic Safety. 

Arseneau is one of six transportation officials from around the country joining SCOHTS, which recommends and supports highway safety programs aimed at reducing fatal and serious injury crashes on all highway systems throughout the United States. 

Party World hosts CHOW March 24

BAXTER — Party World, located at 15867 Edgewood Drive in Baxter, host CHOW on March 24. During CHOW Party World will provide Brainerd Lakes Chamber members with lunch catered by Ernie’s, dessert from Cold Stone Creamery, networking fun and games, and door prizes.

CHOW is a networking lunch activity highlighting what is new at the chamber. It also allows members to be introduced and offers everyone an opportunity to promote their own business. So, bring your business cards and get ready to meet and learn about other members. Attendees are invited to donate door prizes.

The cost to attend this event is $5 with advance reservations and $7 at the door. Payment can be made at the event by cash, check, debit or credit card. Advance registration and cancellations accepted until 4 p.m. March 23. Register online for this event by visiting or call  829-2838.

Lakes Vybe Social will feature March Madness at Poncho & Lefty’s 

BAXTER — The Lakes Vybe will conduct an after hours March Madness social from 5 to 7 p.m. March 24 at Poncho & Lefty’s, (14151 Edgewood Drive in Baxter). Those attending may bring their NCAA brackets and wear their school’s gear to support their team as they battle in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Tournament! There is no cover charge to attend this event. Food and beverages are on your own. To make your reservation visit www.explorebrainerdlakes,com or call 829-2838.

The Lakes Vybe group links people ages 21 to 40 by offering educational programs and networking opportunities in order to enhance professional skills and create a sense of belonging within the business community. To become a member of the group, contact Amber Haapajoki-Hahn at


Habitat For Humanity to host Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests for Friday Morning Coffee from 7:30-9 a.m. Friday at the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, 200 N.W. First St.

Announcements are at 8:15 a.m. at the networking event. Sponsoring this month is Habitat For Humanity.  

MMBA plans general membership meeting

The Mid-Minnesota Builders Association’s March meeting will be 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Old Waterfall north of Brainerd, sponsored by Nexlight.  

For more information, contact the MMBA at 829-4982 or e-mail to

The Mid-Minnesota Builders Association of Crow Wing, Wadena and lower Cass Counties, fundamental purpose is to foster a healthy business environment for the home building industry and to engage in activities that strengthen competitiveness, professionalism and the publics’ confidence in the industry. The MMBA represents nearly 300 members, involved in and supporting all phases of the home building industry.

Communication techniques will be topic of March 17 Lakes Vybe Luncheon 

Representatives of the Toastmaster Club will speak from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at Central Lakes College cafeteria (501 W College Drive in Brainerd) for a discussion of communication techniques. Speakers will be Sheila Avenson, president, and Cindy Hidde, vice president of public relations for the club

They will lead a discussion regarding communication techniques to gain confidence when networking personally and professionally. Those attending will learn name recognition tips to avoid embarrassing blunders; discover the secret to proper introductions; get tips on how to feel comfortable initiating one-to-one conversations with someone you don't know; and explore ways to strengthen relationships through effective interpersonal communication.

Lunch will be catered by Northwest Pizza Boardwalk Bread N Bagel and will include build your own burger or chicken breast sandwich with an assortment of sauces and other condiments, sweet potato fries, strawberry romaine salad, and dessert. 

The cost to attend this event is $10. Payment may be made at the event by cash, check, debit card or credit card. Cancellations will be accepted until noon on Wednesday. Cancellations and “no shows” are responsible for payment after that time. To make a reservation visit www.explorebrainerdlakes,com  or call 829-2838.

The Lakes Vybe group links people ages 21 to 40 by offering educational programs and networking opportunities in order to enhance professional skills and create a sense of belonging within the business community. To become a member of the group, contact Amber Haapajoki-Hahn at 822-7126 or contact her by e-mail at


Leech Lake Band offers entrepreneurial training  

CASS LAKE — The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s Economic Development Division will offer free entrepreneurial training classes for potential business owners. 

Five classes, each two hours in length, will be offered beginning from 5 to 7 p.m. March 21, April 4, 11, 18, and 15, at the Leech Lake Tribal College, Cass Lake, Benny Tonce room. In the first class, students will identify their personal objectives, skills and experience, and financial resources. In classes two and three, students will define who will be their customers, what they are selling them, how much will it cost them, where will their product be sold, when will they connect with customers. Students will develop a marketing strategy, define their competition, and define their distribution process. In classes four and five, they will describe their management requirements, define their operations strategy, develop your sales forecast, identify their start-up expenses, estimate their 12-month operating budget, and estimate their three-year income statement and cash flow.

For more information contact Theresa Flocken at (218) 335-8266.

Accidents are the topic of March 17 LASHO meeting

Accident Investigation is the topic of the next presentation by the Lakes Area Safety and Health Organization on March 17. 

The program will begin with a 9 a.m. continental breakfast and registration with the presentation to follow from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Brainerd campus Business and Industry Center of Central Lakes College.

The program will look at ways to prevent the same or similar accident from happening again. Cost is $10 for non-LASHO members. A door prize drawing of a three-day ticket to the Minnesota Safety Conference from May 11-13 will be conducted ($495 value).

Upcoming LASHO programs will be on electrical safety in April and home safety in May. Reservations may be made by contacting Donny Hines at 822-2036.


Adventure earns 2011 Rebrand 100 Global Award 

Creative Memories, a direct-sales company for photo album and scrapbooking products, was named one of the world’s most effectively rebranded companies in the seventh annual Rebrand 100 Global Awards. 

Adventure firm, with offices in Brainerd, worked closely with Creative Memories’ creative director and art department to develop the rebranding — from logo creation to design of collateral, catalogs and the company’s redesigned website.

To select winners, an international panel of multidisciplinary experts convenes yearly to review the best of the submissions. They consider “before” and “after” representations of brand transformations with written summaries. Emphasis was on executed strategy that made an emotional connection, and met the stated objectives and needs of the identified customers.

More than 32 industries and 34 countries were represented among the 2011 winners. They ranged from Australian Diabetes Council to luxury car brand, Audi. Some of the competing branding firms included FutureBrand, Interbrand, MetaDesign, Adventure and Siegel+Gale.