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Business Notes- Nov. 13


Kuehl and Cranny featured speakers

Scott Kuehl, vice president of Marketing and Sales of Nor-Son Inc. and Mike Cranny, director of consulting, were selected as featured speakers for the Care Providers of Minnesota 2011 Annual Convention on Monday through Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis.

They will be presenting an educational session on Creating and Enhancing Successful Senior Living Communities on Wednesday.

Cranny is a licensed Nursing Home administrator with more than 30-years of combined experience in senior living, healthcare and long-term care initiatives including skilled nursing, assisted living, adult foster care, senior apartments, memory care and rehabilitation services

Leading the brand consulting practice for the Healthcare Division of Nor-Son, Kuehl has a passion for developing sustainable brands, businesses and buildings.

With more than 20 years of brand building experience, he has influenced the success of more than 100 organizations, Nor-Son reported.

The Care Providers Annual Convention is the largest gathering of long-term care member providers which offers important information and resources for budgeting and planning for ongoing and future needs.

Lake Country Connections names team

The leadership team was named for the Lake Country Connections Business Networking International Chapter.

New Leadership includes: Joe Theisen of Klein Fleming Insurance as president; Beverly Bourassa, independent Tastefully Simple consultant as vice president; Becky Flansburg of The Office Shop of Brainerd/Aitkin as secretary/treasurer.

The Lake Country Connections Chapter meets every Tuesday at The Northland Arboretum from 6:45-8:30 a.m. and welcomes visitors and guests.

CLC launches mobile Internet site

Central Lakes College reports it recently launched a new mobile Internet site:

A mobile device enables the user to access academic/events calendar, CLC news blog, campus directions, academic program directory, class cancellations notification, Raiders athletics blog, entry for D2L and student Gmail, CLC social media, interactive directory.

Central Lakes College reports 48.7 percent of smartphone owners in the U.S. are between the ages of 25 and 44, with younger users between the ages of 13 and 24 representing nearly one-fourth of all smartphone owners at 23.8 percent, according to comScore MobiLens for a three-month average ending last April.

Residents receive LSS Spirit Award

Eight Brainerd area employees received the Spirit Award from Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota.

The award honors employees who demonstrate outstanding commitment and dedication to the LSS vision and mission.

This year, 88 of the 2,300 employees at LSS were recognized with the award. The Brainerd area honorees are Shawn Moeller in financial services, Amy Johnston in counseling, Cindy Moore in youth services, Bev Wells in senior nutrition and several employees who provide support to people with disabilities in personal support services, including Robert Benhardus, Donna Galbreath, Michelle Maile and Frances Stanley.

Honorees who received the LSS Spirit Award were nominated by their department managers and supervisors, said Jodi Harpstead, CEO of LSS. Employees were honored at an awards luncheon at Salem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud on Oct. 12.

Grant funds to help small businesses

Backed by a State Trade and Export Promotion grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Minnesota Trade Office and Minnesota Department of Agriculture are offering more programs in the coming year to help small businesses expand sales into foreign markets.

A Monday event is designed to provide more information about available opportunities and how to participate in planned trade missions, trade shows, conferences at reduced rates and get reimbursement for export credit insurance for overseas sales.

This one hour event is planned beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Brainerd Campus of Central Lakes College, Business & Industry Center, 501 W. College Drive, Door No. 6, Room E203. The program begins at 9 a.m. The event is funded in part through a grant award with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For more information, email or call 855-8140.

Binger is employee of the month

LITTLE FALLS — Jane Binger, EBD special education teacher at Lincoln Elementary school, was named the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month for December.

Binger has been employed with the Little Falls School District for 34 years. The district reported Binger is a valuable employee who works children and families.

Culver’s offers chance to win $5,000

BAXTER — To celebrate everyday heroes who exemplify hometown values by making a difference in their communities, Culver’s is launching the Hometown Hall of Fame Contest at its restaurants nationwide, including Culver’s of Baxter.

Between now and Dec. 5, guests are encouraged to share the story of their local hero for a chance for their nominee to win $5,000.

Craig Culver, co-founder and CEO of Culver’s said the Hometown Hall of Fame contest recognizes heroes who go above and beyond to make a positive impact.

For more information, to nominate a hero, share the contest or vote, go to

Adventure gains recognition in book

Authors David Langton and Anita Campbell of “Visual Marketing,” a book of 99 marketing campaigns that demonstrate top selling strategies, chose an Adventure Advertising campaign as one of their 99 select case studies.

Adventure reported the authors “admire the way Adventure’s Northern Eye Center campaign engages readers through an ad-within-an-ad format.

Cowell joins Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

BAXTER — Carrie Cowell joined Northwestern Mutual Financial Network working with David Cowell of Baxter as a financial representative assistant.

A native of Elk River, Carrie Cowell received a bachelor of arts business management degree from The College of St. Benedict.

Hautala speaks to students in St. Cloud

Aaron W. Hautala of RedHouseMedia, Brainerd, was a panelist at a recent AdMentor event organized by the American Advertising Federation of Central Minnesota.

Students from Central Lakes College, St. Cloud State University, Rasmussen College, Alexandria Technical College and the Minnesota School of Business gathered at the St. Cloud Public Library to ask questions and listen to local advertising professionals discuss the industry and job market.

Hautala, creative director and owner of RedHouseMedia, talked about the importance of getting hands-on experience in all aspects of advertising in order to be a step ahead when looking for a job within the industry.

Bengtson earns Series 7 licensing

BAXTER — Hannah Bengtson of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network working with David Cowell of Baxter passed her Series 7 securities licensing exam.

Bengtson is an associate financial representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. She has an associate of applied sciences degree in accounting from Central Lakes College.


Grand View Lodge receives Platinum Choice Award

NISSWA — Grand View Lodge, Nisswa, received Smart Meetings magazine’s Platinum Choice Award.

Grand View Lodge was chosen by readers as one of the top meeting hotels in North America, the magazine reported. According to the news release issued by Smart Meetings “winners earn this recognition by setting exemplary standards in a range of categories, including ambiance, amenities, breadth of resources, facility quality, guest services, meeting space, meeting packages, recreational activities, restaurant and dining facilities, staff attitude and technical support.”

Winners were chosen by readers who voted for their favorites over a two-month period, with additional input from editors and industry experts.

Northway Construction wins Best of Show

BAXTER - A Gull Lake home built by Northway Construction Services won Best of Show at the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association’s annual Fall Lakes Area Home Tour.

MMBA members judged homes on curb appeal, design and function, unique features, workmanship and value. Northway was presented the Best of Show award in the “homes valued at $875,000 and up” category.

The home, dubbed “The Gull Lake Coastal Cottage” for its blend of Northwoods elegance and coastal cottage feel, features curved details and sweeping arches both inside and out. This 7,500 square foot custom-built home includes a perfectly round porch and outdoor living room for lakeside entertaining.

Northway Construction used advanced energy-saving techniques during construction, making this newly constructed home energy efficient while maintaining an old-world design through the use of various stones, woods and metals.

The judging committee, made of fellow MMBA members, selected Northway’s Coastal Cottage based on its energy efficiency, craftsmanship and the attention to detail used during construction of the home.

Midwest Motion in Duluth meet

Midwest Motion Gymnastics, Brainerd, participated in the Oct. 29 Duluth meet.

Leading Midwest Motion’s level 4’s with an all around score of 34.35 was Lauren Miller. Midwest Motion Level 4’s placed fourth with a team score of 103. Leading level 5’s with an all around score of 32.55 was Jocelyn Polansky. Level 5’s team score was 95.90 placing sixth. Leading Level 6’s for age division of 7-10 years was Brooklyn Jones with an All around score of 32, placing first for individuals. Leading the Level 6’s age division 11-12 years was Camille Harmer with an all-around score of 32. The entire Level 6 team placed third with a team score of 96.40.

Midwest Motion’s last Lake Superior Gymnastics Association meet was the Championships meet Nov. 12 in Superior, Wis. Level 7’s first meet of the season is Dec. 2-3 at Peppermint Twist at the Minneapolis Convention Center.


Dine and Discover event focuses on identity theft

PIERZ — Horizon Health’s Faith in Action, along with Home Savings of America and the Senior LinkAge Line are offering an opportunity to educate and answer questions about identify theft, and how it can happen to anyone.

The event is 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday 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.

Lakewood’s Women’s Expo invites business participation

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System, Staples, invites all area business owners to participate in Lakewood’s biennial women’s “Laugh and Live Well” expo.

The expo is planned 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 25 at Central Lakes College in Staples.

The event attracts more than 350 women from across central Minnesota to view vendors, attend health-related breakout sessions and enjoy lunch and door prizes. The day is designed to empower and pamper women, while maintaining a fresh take on new and innovative ways to look at healthcare. The keynote speaker will be internationally award-winning humorist, inspirational speaker and author, Renee Rongen. Ninety booth spaces are available for the event, ranging in price from $75 to $100. Exhibitor applications received by Dec. 1 will receive a $10 discount on their booth space rate.

For more information, contact Nola Varilek at (218) 894-8586 or

Heartwood Senior Living hosts CHOW

CROSBY — Heartwood Senior Living Community is hosting the lunch networking event CHOW from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at 500 Heartwood Drive in Crosby.

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber reports 50-60 guests typically attend CHOW events. Advance registration is $5. Non-registered guests pay $7 at the door. Advance registration and cancellations are accepted until 4 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, go online to or call 829-2838.

Baxter State of the City business meeting

As an initiative of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s Regional Business Council, the chamber will host a Baxter business meeting from 7:30-9 a.m. on Friday at the Northland Arboretum, 14250 Conservation Drive, Brainerd.

The purpose of the meeting is to inform Brainerd Lakes Chamber members about the proposed 2012 city budget and other matters specific to Baxter that may impact their businesses. The meeting will be an opportunity for business leaders to interact with their elected city officials to address topics relating to business.

Marshik Insurance Agency to host Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests to Marshik Insurance Agency from 7:30-9 a.m., 501 First St. S.E. on Friday for Friday Morning Coffee.

Announcements and introductions for the networking event are at 8:15 a.m. Sponsoring this month is Marshik Insurance Agency.

The Marshik Insurance Agency is sponsoring a Food Drive for the Morrison County Food Shelf through Friday. Donations may be dropped off at the agency’s office. Some suggested items are cereal, canned goods, and juice boxes. Cash donations are always welcome too as they can buy products needed at a reduced cost.


HealthSource Chiropractic to collect food

Dillon Remmick, doctor of chiropractic at HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab of Baxter reported his participating in a fight against hunger in area communities by offering first day services to new patients for the donation of canned food items in November.

Operation Round Up distributes donations

The Crow Wing Power Community Trust Board donated more than $53,000 to area community programs during its fourth quarter meeting in October.

Operation Round Up funds were distributed to the following project $250 to the Initiative Foundation, Little Falls; $250 to Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp.; $250 to Cass County Economic Development; $250 to Cuyuna Range Economic Development; $250 to Community Development of Morrison County; $10,000 to Lutheran Social Service, Reach out for Warmth; Crow Wing County; $7,000 to Salvation Army, Emergency Heat Share; Three Counties; $5,000 to Bi-County Community Action Heat Share, Cass County; $3,000 to Tri-County Action Heat Share, Morrison County; $2,000 to Faith in Action, Hackensack; $2,500 to Crisis Line and Referral Service, Brainerd; $1,500 to Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity, Brainerd; $3,000 to Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project, Pequot Lakes; $3,000 to Mounted Eagles, Brainerd; $1,500 to Breath of Life Adult Day Service, Brainerd; $1,000 to Youth Wellness Initiative, Brainerd; $1,200 to Kinship Program, Hackensack; $3,000 to Lutheran Social Service, Brain Injury Program, Brainerd; $2,025 to PACER Center, Brainerd School District, Baxter; $1,000 to Mission Fire, Merrifield; $600 to Central Lakes College, Veterans Resource Center, Brainerd; and $4,500 to Private Cooperative Member Crisis Medical Support.

Operation Round Up is funded by participating members of Crow Wing Power who allow the cooperative to round up their electric bills to the nearest whole dollar. The additional change is pooled and distributed quarterly. Since the program’s inception in late 1996, Round Up has donated nearly $2,102,000 to community projects and programs in Cass, Crow Wing and Morrison counties.

The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26. Grant forms can be obtained by calling Crow Wing Power at 829-2827 or (800) 648-9401 or at The deadline for grant applications is Jan. 10.

Finnegans Irish Amber campaign

Minnesota-based Finnegans Irish Amber announced now through Dec. 31 profits are matched by Finnegans’ distributors, doubling the amount of money donated to food shelves in every market they serve, including the lakes area.

This year, the goal is to raise more than $11,000, which equates to more than 23,000 meals in the region. The regional partner is the Brainerd Salvation Army Food Shelf. Finnegans partners match profit dollar for dollar, doubling donations for the fifth annual campaign to raise funds for the Emergency Foodshelf Network.

Give to the Max Day

Pillager Family Center is one of many nonprofit organizations throughout the state that will once again ask Minnesotans to display their record-breaking generosity by donating to their favorite charities online at during the third annual “Give to the Max Day” Wednesday.

Also, Riverwood Healthcare Center Foundation, Aitkin, reports it is participating in third annual Give to the Max Day on Wednesday and will benefit from the community’s online donations through

Money donated to Riverwood Foundation will directly benefit the “Better Together” Expansion Capital Campaign. Every dollar will be matched by Otto Bremer Foundation, said Katie Nelson, Riverwood Foundation manger.