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Vreeland, Mernin join ChamberMaster

ChamberMaster recently hired Julie Vreeland as director of sales and marketing and David Mernin as vice president of finance and operations. 

Vreeland had been the president of both the Moorhead Area Chamber of Commerce and Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, gained IOM accreditation from the U.S. Chamber Institute of Organization Management program and served on the U.S. Chamber Institute board. Vreeland worked as the nonprofit resource specialist at Bremer Bank and Medicare marketing representative for UCare Minnesota. 

Previously, Mernin has worked in management advisory services for LarsonAllen, as corporate controller and director of information services for Morey’s Seafood International, was a co-founder of a regional food distributor, and recently as an independent consultant for several clients. His experience includes positions in finance, accounting, project management and consulting. 

ADP named to Forbes’ List of Most Innovative Companies

ADP, a leading provider of human resource outsourcing, payroll services, benefits administration and integrated computing solutions for vehicle dealers, announced it has been named to Forbes magazine’s list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies, a ranking of the top 100 “leading-edge corporations deemed most likely to succeed now and in the future.”  

ADP is ranked No. 87, one position behind Microsoft, and is the only Human Capital Management company ranked among the top 100, reported Valerie Fiksdal, the ADP representative who covers northern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin out of Breezy Point. 

Marco’s Knutson named CIO of Year

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has announced Steve Knutson, CIO of Marco, Inc. for its first-ever CIO of the Year Awards.

The Business Journal chose 14 peopple who serve as chief information and technology officers at firms ranking from small companies to global corporations. Knutson was selected as CIO of the Year for the corporate level. Honorees were chosen by a panel of judges from the Twin Cities tech community. 

Knutson has been with Marco since 1999 and became CIO/CTO in 2004. 

Hoefer becomes Hallett wellness coordinator

 CROSBY — Justin Hoefer was selected as the wellness coordinator at the Hallett Center of Crosby. 

Hoefer graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and an internship with Duke University. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and the Dean’s List at NDSU and has experience as a personal trainer, fitness specialist and group exercise instructor. 

Essentia Health welcomes staff additions

Essentia Health announced six staff additions: Valerie Corcoran Bahl, clinical pharmacist at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center; Lorie Barth, laboratory director at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center; Brittany Kraklau, patient services representative at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s – Brainerd Clinic; Melissa Laposky, registered nurse, clinical patient navigator in the Cancer Center at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center; Angela Meagher, accountant at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center; and Jane Susak, RN, CNP, director outpatient OB/GYN services at Essentia Health Specialty Clinic.

Bahl, a recent graduate of North Dakota State University College of Pharmacy, relocated to the Brainerd area for her role as a clinical pharmacist.

Barth has a degree in medical technology from the University of Minnesota and is certified by the American College of Clinical Pathologists and the National Certification Agency for Clinical Laboratory Scientists. Barth’s experience includes eight years as a staff medical technologist and 15 years in laboratory leadership roles for the University of Minnesota, Park Nicollet, and the Fairview system.

Kraklau, a graduate of Brainerd High School, is putting her experience with the public, bookkeeping and reception duties to work as a patient services representative.

Laposky came from the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic Cancer Center to move her family closer to her hometown of Backus. She will guide patients through the clinical process and coordinate their care specific to each patient’s needs. Laposky, RN, earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.

Meagher, a CPA with a degree from St Cloud State University, has accounting and auditing experience in health care, private firms, and even the Minnesota Twins to her new role as accountant in the fiscal services department. She moved to the Brainerd area from Paynesville.

Suska has more than 20 years of obstetrics and gynecology experience. Most recently she was a women’s health nurse practitioner; although her experience includes high-risk antenatal care, labor and delivery, circulating nurse for cesarean births, post-op recovery, and neonatal intensive care. 

Aircraft owner receives ‘Lindy’ award in Oshkosh 

David Dondelinger of Brainerd received one of the recreational aviation community highest honors, as Dondelinger’s aircraft was awarded a prestigious “Lindy” award on July 30 at EAA AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wis.

The Lindys are awarded by the Experimental Aircraft Association for high achievements in aircraft construction and/or restoration. It is considered the highest award available in the world in these areas. The recognition is given for Grand Champion (Gold), Reserve Grand Champion (Silver) and Champion (Bronze) aircraft in 11 separate categories, ranging from homebuilt aircraft and vintage airplanes to warbirds and ultralights.

Dondelinger received a Bronze Lindy in the seaplane category for his Cessna 182. It was one of fewer than 75 top awards given to the more than 2,500 showplanes eligible for judging at EAA AirVenture, the world’s largest fly-in convention.

Behymer joins Deerwood Technologies

Gladys Behymer, Breezy Point, brings more than 23 years of experience as vice president of a marketing, print, mailing and fulfillment business to her new position as marketing/sales associate at Deerwood Technologies. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration. 

Tange joins Northern Psychiatric Associates

Northern Psychiatric Associates announced Philip Tange joined its clinic.  

Tange is a licensed independent clinical social worker and attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where he received his bachelor’s degree.   

He obtained his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1977, and has worked in the mental health field since. Tange is accepting patients 18 and older. 

Riverwood Healthcare trustee earns certification 

AITKIN — Robert Lewis, a trustee of Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin, was honored July 8 for completing the Minnesota Hospital Association board member certification program. 

Certifications were awarded at the association’s 2011 summer trustee conference. 

Under the voluntary training program, hospital board members earn at least 35 education unit credits for studying in topics as varied as strategic planning and positioning and patient safety and quality. The program is designed to help trustees remain up-to-date on healthcare issues, to hone their leadership skills and to develop governance best practices. 

Since 2004, Lewis, a retired educator, has served as a trustee on the Riverwood Healthcare Center Governing Board of Directors, and as a liaison representative on the Riverwood Foundation Board of Directors.

Just for Kix directors attend convention

BAXTER — More than 150 Just For Kix youth program directors from Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and South Dakota attended the 2011 Directors Convention at the Just For Kix Baxter Dance Studios and The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter on Aug. 7-9. 

The convention also highlighted the 30th anniversary of Just For Kix and offered educational and programming classes to assist in furthering the director’s dance curriculum knowledge and sessions on resources for program development. The convention also showcased a fashion show, including more than 40 area youths, who model the upcoming Just For Kix season’s uniforms. This year’s show included 70 uniform options. 

For 27 years, Just For Kix has hosted a directors convention. 


Pillager Booster Club Gets $3,640

PILLAGER — The Pillager High School Booster Club received $3,640 for participating in the Lincoln Drive Smart for Your School program in May. 

Participating in the check presentation at Mills Ford-Lincoln in Baxter were Brady Sladek, Mills sales manager; Danelle Bybee, high school secretary; Dan Devine, teacher/coach; students Brian Mason and EJ Ziegler, Jacob Mehr, teacher/coach; Shannon Hunstad, teacher/activities director, and Greg Bennett, president of the Booster Club. The Booster Club received a $20 donation from Lincoln for 182 test drives of Lincoln vehicles brought to the school by Mills Ford-Lincoln. 

Mille Lacs Band donates more than $45,000

ONAMIA — The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe donated $45,622 in monetary and in-kind contributions to a variety of nonprofit organizations and other charitable causes in July. 

Every month, the band contributes to community programs in Minnesota and nationwide.

In July, the Mille Lacs Band donated $10,000 to support education initiatives that help treat compulsive gambling addictions. The contributions went to Northstar Problem Gambling Alliance in Roseville and the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Disabilities Services Division in Saint Paul.

The Mille Lacs Band also donated $1,000 to Camp Knutson, a camp program created for children with skin conditions that is located in Crosslake. The donation helped fund arts and crafts materials for camp participants. Additionally, the Mille Las Band contributed $500 to the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra to support Classics for Kids, a program designed to expose elementary students to classical music and orchestra instruments. 

Other notable contributions include those to the USA Community Chorus in Swanville to help fund choral workshops, Century College Foundation, Onamia Library, Charlie’s Angels Family Readiness Group in Ortonville, and PATH MN, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides social services to foster children.


‘Going Into Business’ class planned Sept. 8

Jay Bock will teach “Going Into Business For Yourself” 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Business and Industry Center of Central Lakes College 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.

Deadline to register is Sept. 1. For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8140 or 855-8140 or email

Submit a business note

To submit a business news note, contact Renee Richardson, senior reporter, by e-mail at, by fax to 829-0211, by mail to P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401, or via a drop box at the side of the Dispatch along the alley. 

Photos may be submitted as jpegs via e-mail or sent in by mail or taken at the Dispatch by appointment. 

Questions are welcome through e-mail or by calling 855-5852. 

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889