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Business Notes


High School juniors win Crow Wing Power contest

Three area high school students will be traveling to Washington in June with about 1,000 other students from around the nation after winning the Crow Wing Power contest.

The winners of the trip are Abby Cyr, Jonah Lazerine and Jordan Loren.

Cyr is the daughter of Bob and Jeanette Cyr, Hillman. Lazerine is the son of Mike and Nancy Lazerine, Pequot Lakes, and Kevin and Laura Damm, Merrifield. Loren is the daughter of Troy and Nancy Loren, Longville.

Students in Morrison, Crow Wing and Cass counties entered the contest by writing a short essay about a new energy technology idea or a futuristic energy thought.

HART seeks board of directors applicants

Heartland Animal Rescue Team is accepting applications for board directors for five available positions.

Those interested may pick up an application at HART and return it no later than May 10. Jan Germann, HART board president, will phone all applicants to set up interviews. Applicants must be a current member of HART.

Keller Williams Realty Brainerd expands to DL

BAXTER — Mike Cylkowski, team leader of Keller Williams Realty Brainerd Lakes, announced Keller Williams is expanding into the Detroit Lakes area.  

Pam Willis and Louella Fraser joined Keller Williams Realty Brainerd Lakes in February and are staffing the office in Detroit Lakes.

Willis has more than 27 years experience in real estate as an agent, broker and team leader in the Fargo, N.D., area. She has the ABR, CRB, CRS, E-Pro and GRI designations.

Fraser has an extensive background in commercial and agricultural lending at Midwest Bank. She and her husband have experience developing lakeshore properties, renovating commercial properties, and converting farmland into conservation programs through the USDA. 

Lakewood  noted for spreading the word on organ, tissue donation

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System was recently presented with an award of appreciation for participating in the 2010 Minnesota Hospital Association and LifeSource strategic initiative to increase organ and tissue donation awareness. Hospital participation included publishing donation stories in newsletters, allowing staff to take time out and register themselves as donors, education sessions for staff and auxiliary, and more.

Fifty-six hospitals throughout Minnesota, including Lakewood, participated in the campaign and were involved in increasing the number of registered donors in Minnesota by 92,000 in 2010. While those numbers are impressive, they still fall short, Lakewood reported. In 2010, 125 individuals died in Minnesota waiting for an organ that never arrived. More than 40 percent of Minnesotans still are not registered donors.

Since 2008, two tissue donors from Lakewood Health System have saved and enhanced more than 100 transplant recipients’ lives, Lakewood reported.

Weichert Realtors-Tower Properties gain recognition

Weichert Realtors-Tower Properties in Brainerd was  identified as the top franchise office in leads conversion over the last 12 months, according to the organizations February “Leader Board.”  

Earning the distinction as No. 1 office in the Weichert Lead Network Conversion category represents the fact that in the past year the agency’s sales people turned the most leads from Weichert headquarters into sales among all Weichert affiliates in 36 states.  

Bursch Travel gains award

American Express Travel announced 25 agency members of its U.S. Representative Travel Network earned the Representative Excellence Award for 2010, including Bursch Travel-Alexandria. 

The Representative Excellence Award honors the achievements of the Representative Travel Network member agencies that have reached superior sales results driving cruise and tour supplier goals or have secured the highest year-over-year sales growth. The 2010 winners will receive a seven-day voyage aboard the Silvesea Silver Spirit from Southampton, UK to Barcelona, Spain.  

Home Instead Senior Care tops franchisee satisfaction list

Home Instead Senior Care topped the list of franchisors with high franchisee satisfaction for 2011.

This is the first time that Home Instead Senior Care, which has been ranked No. 1 in the senior care category for the past five years, has taken home the top honor overall among all categories. The organization also was ranked No. 1 in the large franchise systems category.

Lakewood Health System expands Respiratory and Sleep Services

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System announces the addition of respiratory therapists Barb Bjerketvedt, Mitch Billman, Megan Dolezal and Ally Maneval to its expanding Respiratory and Sleep Services Department.

Kirsten Smith, director of Respiratory and Sleep Services at Lakewood, says the added staff will enable the department to increase its hours and enhanced inpatient/outpatient services, providing respiratory services on a larger scale. 

Bjerketvedt was at University of Minnesota-Fairview Hospital. Billman was with St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, Dolezal was at Douglas County Hospital of Alexandria  and Maneval was with Arrowhead Medical in Duluth and continues to partner with Triumph Hospital in Fargo, N.D. 

Himle joins Crosslake Edina Realty 

CROSSLAKE — A native of the Brainerd lakes area, Dave Himle recently obtained his license to practice real estate in Minnesota and has joined the Crosslake Edina Realty office. Himle is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School and a veteran, having served in the U.S. Army.

Schumer receives financial planner certification

BAXTER — Luke Schumer, a financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial in Baxter, achieved the certified financial planner certification.  

Schumer successfully completed the rigorous requirements that include course work and a series of examinations covering the following areas: the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning. 

Essentia Health signs on as Komen Brainerd Race sponsor

Susan G. Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure announced it has signed an agreement making Essentia Health the presenting sponsor for the race.

The agreement makes Essentia Health the sole local presenting sponsor of the Susan G. Komen Brainerd Lakes Race for the Cure scheduled for June 25 at Forestview Middle School in Baxter.


Pequot Lakes Business Connect is planned April 6 

PEQUOT LAKES — A Pequot Lakes Business Connect networking event will be 8-9 a.m. April 6, at Cole Memorial Building on Front Street (next to the bobber water tower) in Pequot Lakes. 

Representatives of all types of businesses are welcome to come to these free monthly meetings.

C&I show planned April 8-9 in Brainerd

The annual Commerce & Industry Marketplace and Spring Outdoor Expo is planned from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 8 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 9 at the Brainerd Civic Center and Gold Medal Arena of Jackson Street in Brainerd.

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber reports the free event draws more than 10,000 participants each year. This year’s major sponsor is Bridges Academies & Workplace Connection. The Spring Outdoor Expo is organized by BL Broadcasting will be in Gold Medal Arena.

For more information, go online to

Explore Crosslake Committee meeting planned April 5 

CROSSLAKE — The Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber is inviting all non-chamber member Crosslake businesses to the chamber’s Explore Crosslake meetings. 

The meetings are at 8 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month, starting April 5 at Golden Horizons Assisted Living Center, 13631 East Shore Road in Crosslake.

The purpose of the Explore Crosslake Committee is to: Create programs that ultimately promote or provide exposure for Crosslake businesses; encourage volunteerism; create an educational component; increase regular attendance at monthly meetings; continue to grow successful Crosslake events like Winterfest, St. Pat’s Parade & Celebration, Retail Tour, Crosslake in Bloom, 4th of July, Big Fun Tuesdays and Crosslake Days. 

For more information, contact Cindy or Ruth Ann with the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Crosslake Office (218) 692-4027.

Lakewood hosts educational booth

Lakewood Health System’s Social Services Department will be hosting a free Health Care Directive educational booth every Monday throughout the month of April. 

Starting April 4, the booth will be staffed each Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the main level across from clinic registration at Lakewood’s Main Campus, 49725 County Highway 83, Staples.  


Crosslake in Bloom rescheduled to Wednesday

Crosslake in Bloom’s first in a series of five seminars was rescheduled to Wednesday. 

Arlene Jones, owner of The Farm on St. Mathias, will share her vegetable gardening knowledge at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Birch Hill Inne Bed & Breakfast 38606 County Road 66, Crosslake.

Cost to participate is $8 in advance, $10 at the door or $35 when registering for all five Crosslake in Bloom seminars. For more information, contact the Crosslake office of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber (218) 692-4027 or

Health Career Fair planned April 1 in Onamia

 ONAMIA — Elementary, middle school, and high school students will explore health careers through hands-on activities and professionals speaking about their careers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 1 in the Lions Community Center in Onamia.

The Health Career Fair will have booths and speakers scheduled for the Rolf Olsen Community Center. The fair will be open to the public from noon to 3 p.m.

Onamia, Isle, and Nay-Ah-Shing students are scheduled to attend, with elementary and middle schools in the morning and high schools in the afternoon.

The students will be provided with information about a variety of occupations related to health care from the people who work in the areas of mental and physical health, law enforcement, education, chemical dependency, counseling, and human services.

Fair contributors with booths include Central Lakes College, Mille Lacs Health System, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, American Indian Center, St. Cloud State University, Onamia Community Education, Mn Green Corps, Rum River Health Services, Healthy Brains for Children, Mille Lacs County Sheriff, Onamia Fitness Center, Onamia Public Schools, and College of St. Scholastica.

The speakers scheduled are as follows: 1 p.m. Bill Nelson CEO, Mille Lacs Health System, and Mike Taylor, DNR Enforcement, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; 1:15 p.m. Joe Nayquonabe, counselor, and Kate Sand, PsyD., Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; 1:30 p.m. Amanda Nickaboine, chemical dependency assessor/counselor, and Crystal Weckert, mental health therapist, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; 1:45 p.m.  Jeannie Reams, Family Services, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and Dawn Buck, administration, Mille Lacs Health System; 2 p.m. Don Eubanks, commissioner, Health and Human Services, Jim Ingle, fitness coordinator, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and John Unzen, finance, Mille Lacs Health System; 2:15 p.m. Rob Stiles, human resources, Mille Lacs Health System, and Alison Miller, health educator, Rum River Health Services; 2:30 p.m. Jeff Lundgren, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Rum River Health Services, and Dr. Virnig, MD, Mille Lacs Health System.                     

The event is co-sponsored by the Business and Industry Center of Central Lakes College, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and the Mille Lacs Health System.

Boiler operation workshop scheduled at CLC

A 15-hour boiler operator exam preparation workshop starts April 4 in the Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

This course offers attendees an opportunity to prepare for taking the special and second class boiler exams. Instruction will include industry attendance requirements for heating Boilers, safety issues and state boiler rules.

Dave Horn is the instructor for the class, which meets  6 to 9 p.m. April 4, 7, 14, 18, and 21.

The fee is $165 and the deadline to register is Monday.

For more information, call (800) 933-0346, ext. 8142 or 855-8142 or email

‘Going Into Business For Yourself’ workshop scheduled

Central Lakes College has scheduled a “Going Into Business For Yourself” workshop  6 to 9 p.m. April 14 at the Business and Industry Center in Brainerd.

This session covers all areas of business start-up, helpful advice on how to get your dream off the ground and stay profitable, including financing a new venture.

Follow-up counseling is available to qualified individuals from the Small Business Development Center’s team of consultants at no charge to the individual.

Tuition is $49 per person plus $29 for each additional business partner. Instructor is Jay Bock.

Registration deadline to register is April 7.

For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or 855-8142 or email

Welding 48-hour course offered at CLC 

The Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, has scheduled a 48-hour welding course 5:30-9:30 p.m. April 12-May 19 on Tuesdays and Thursdays inW100.

It will cover safety, metallurgy, oxyfuel, arc, mig/tig, plasma cutting and more.  The course is designed for the beginner and will also allow experienced individuals to build on their existing skills.

Upon successful completion of this class, the beginner student will be prepared for an entry-level position in the welding industry. The experienced student will be able to improve skills or add new methods to abilities.

The fee is $449, including materials. Instructor is Craig Weigel. Register with payment by April 5 by calling (800) 933-0346, extension 8142 or 855-8142 or emailing

Free renewable energy and efficiency training at CLC

Central Lakes College, working with Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment, Inc., is offering free training in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

For dislocated workers and current business employees, the two-part series starts April 18 in the Business and Industry Center on the Brainerd campus.

Space is limited, and there are eligibility requirements. Contact Kori Busho at 855-8139 or for information.

There is no cost for attending due to grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and Minnesota Department of Commerce through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Governor’s Workforce Development Council. Funds are also provided by a Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development grant implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.


MnDOT employees raise funds for local food shelf

The Minnesota Department of Transportation District 3’s employees in Baxter exceeded its goal by more than $700 by raising $1,912.90 for the Brainerd Lakes Area Food Shelf at the Salvation Army. 

The employees donated items such as crafts, baked goods and household items and then held a silent auction to raise funds as part of March’s National Food Shelf Drive.  

In addition, employees have a “Can Cone” under CANstruction in their lobby during the month of March.  Employee’s donations of canned goods are being stacked to represent a work zone safety cone. All of the canned food items collected for the cone will be donated to the Salvation Army Food Shelf at the end of the month.  

Additional cash contributions are also being accepted during the canstruction of the can cone.

How to submit a business note

The Dispatch welcomes business notes submissions via e-mail to, or fax to (218) 829-0211, mail to Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 or use the drop-off box in the alley next to the Dispatch building on James Street. Questions are welcome to Renee Richardson at 855-5852.