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Business Notes- July 10


Smith named director of respiratory therapy

 STAPLES — Lakewood Health System announces the appointment of Kirsten Smith as director of respiratory therapy and sleep services. 

Smith has more than 15 years of experience in respiratory care and prior to joining Lakewood worked in the critical and emergency care department at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, and at Stormont Vail Healthcare in Topeka, Kan. 

As director, Smith will manage all respiratory care services as well as Lakewood’s Sleep Center, which offers sleep studies and treatments for sleep disorders. Smith is also overseeing the implementation of an asthma program that will educate and evaluate both adults and children to ensure proper treatment and follow up care.  

Every earns Insurance Agency distinction 

Darlys Every an American Family Insurance agent in Brainerd was recognized for customer satisfaction excellence under the J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Insurance Agency Program.

Every joins other American Family agents who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to outstanding customer service. Every has been an agent for American Family since May 21, 1968. 

The service excellence distinction was determined through an evaluation process conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.  The process consists of a customer satisfaction survey which measures customers’ overall experience with their current American Family agent. Agents must meet or exceed the standards measured on a national benchmark established by J.D. Power and Associates’ annual auto and home insurance customer satisfaction studies. Only agencies that perform in the top 20 percent of all insurance agencies nationwide based on customer satisfaction surveys are eligible to become a Distinguished Insurance Agency.

Schultz joins staff as pharmacy intern

Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center is announced Whitney Schultz, pharmacy intern, recently joined the staff.

Schultz, originally from Swanville, completed four years of the six-year doctor of pharmacy program at North Dakota State University.

Stolts joins Weichert Realtors Tower Properties

Real estate agent Nikki Stolts, Crosslake, joined the sales team at Weichert Realtors - Tower Properties. 

She serves buyers and sellers throughout the Brainerd lakes area as a member of the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors.  Before joining the Brainerd Weichert agency, Stolts worked at Breezy Point Resort and was in business for herself as Stolts Enterprises.

While finishing her business degree, she minors in photography and Spanish. She completed a study abroad in language and cultural immersion in Hualtulco, Mexico.  

Schmidt joins Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Brainerd Clinic

Dr. Kristina Schmidt is joining Essentia Health St. Joseph’s – Brainerd Clinic as a family practice physician on July 25. 

She is returning to the green landscapes of Minnesota, after spending several years caring for patients in the desert climate of Pueblo, Colo.

Schmidt grew up in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. As family practice doctor, Schmidt works with patients of all ages. She says she enjoys the diversity of family medicine, the continuity of care and the long-term relationships she develops with patients and their families. 

Schmidt recently completed a residency at Southern Colorado Family Medicine in Pueblo. She received her medical diploma from St. James School of Medicine in Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Schmidt is one of four new family practice physicians joining the Essentia Health staff this summer and fall, providing our community with greater access to care – it’s how we deliver on our promise to be here with you.

CTC promotes Rosenwald, Haapajoki and Isackson

Consolidated Telecommunications Company recently announced three promotions. 

Ryan Rosenwald was promoted to technology manager. Rosenwald has been with CTC since 2004 where he has worked as sales manager and network analyst. Rosenwald has more than 13 years experience in IT and communication technology. Rosenwald will be responsible for network and central office support.    

Eryk Haapajoki was recently promoted to sales manager. Haapajoki has worked as sales engineer with CTC since November 2009 where he has offered technical support to CTC Account Executives analyzing complete tailored telecommunication solutions for CTC customers. Haapajoki has more than 15 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. 

Andy Isackson was recently promoted to marketing manager. Isackson has been in marketing with CTC since 2006 and has more than 10 years experience in the industry. Isackson will lead CTC marketing communication, public relations and advertising efforts.

Atomic Learning named to Top Workplaces list

LITTLE FALLS — Atomic Learning, Little Falls, was named one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota based on an employee-based survey project from the Star Tribune. 

The Star Tribune Top Workplaces special section was published in the Star Tribune June 19. 

Produced by the same team that compiles the 20-year-old Star Tribune 100 report of the best-performing public companies in Minnesota, Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions about company leadership, communication, career opportunities, workplace environment, managerial skills, pay and benefits. The analysis included responses from more than 60,500 employees at Minnesota public, private and nonprofit organizations. 

The rankings in the Star Tribune Top 100 Workplaces are based on survey information collected by WorkplaceDynamics, an independent company specializing in employee engagement and retention. 

Atomic Learning was ranked 28 on the small company list.     

 Dan Meyer, CEO, said the goal was to create a company  employees would want to work.

To qualify for the Star Tribune Top Workplaces, a company must have more than 50 employees in Minnesota. More than 1,200 companies were invited to participate. Rankings were composite scores calculated purely on the basis of employee responses. 

Founded in 2000 by a group of technology educators, Atomic Learning serves more than eight million individuals in more than 40 countries worldwide. 


Dine and Discover looks at future planning

PIERZ — Health Inc.’s Faith in Action along with Home Savings of America announce their upcoming Dine and Discover — Planning for Incapacity” event. 

The topic covers planning for incapacity during a person’s lifetime. St. Cloud Legal Services will present information about advance directives.

The Dine and Discover session is 11:30 - 2:30 p.m. July 20 at Horizon Health’s Community Room in Pierz. A free will donation will be accepted for this seminar and lunch.  Registration is required by calling Horizon Health at (320) 468-6451 or (800) 224-6451 before July 15.

Perkins to host Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests to Friday Morning Coffee, 7:30 - 9 a.m., July 15, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, 201 N.E. 16 St.  

Announcements are at 8:15 a.m. Sponsoring this month is Perkins Restaurant & Bakery.  


Sun Country Airlines receives award

Sun Country Airlines announced it has once again made the top 10 list of domestic airlines as awarded by Travel+Leisure for 2011.  

The awards are based on a readers’ survey that ranks travel companies based on personal service and attention.  

Sun Country Airlines has been ranked fifth among the top 10 joining Virgin America, JetBlue Airways and Southwest. All domestic carriers — from large legacy airlines to small charter airlines — were eligible for the award. Sun Country has now been ranked six years in a row in the top ten list of domestic airlines by Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best Award.


CLC offers new online creative writing course

Central Lakes College in Brainerd is offering “Creative Nonfiction,” a new writing genre, for the first time this fall when the term starts Aug. 22. 

“This course provides an opportunity for students to record significant memories, experiences, and observations through imaginative, purpose-driven prose,” said instructor Leane Flynn in a news release. “Creative Nonfiction is a highly interactive, online, entry-level creative writing course that covers a variety of creative nonfiction subgenres: memoir, personal essay, literary journalism, biography, and travel/place-based writing.”

Flynn said the major components of the three-credit course are reading and analyzing some of the best examples of creative nonfiction while writing original stories, engaging in peer discussion and review, and conferencing regularly with the instructor. 

“Students will learn about publishing options and free online networking sites for creative writers,” she said, adding that those taking the course can create something special for their children and grandchildren. “Begin writing the stories of your life.”

For more information, contact Flynn at or call Admissions, 855-8137 or toll-free, at (800) 933-0346, ext. 8037, or email

The Dispatch welcomes business notes submissions via email 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.