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Business Briefs - Jan. 8

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Barnett elected to board of directors

LITTLE FALLS — Lisa Barnett of Atomic Learning, Inc., Little Falls, was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association.

The newly elected and appointed executives from SIIA member companies will provide the education technology industry with critical leadership, advocacy and market information in the crucial months and years ahead.

SIIA board members represent more than 180 SIIA Education Division member firms that provide software, digital content and other technologies for educational needs. The new board members will help to develop the Division’s initiatives and determine the projects, activities and events to be undertaken by the board.

As chief operating officer of Atomic Learning, Barnett has driven product development for major solutions that have significantly impacted the education industry and garnered numerous industry awards.

Hautala awarded Prairie Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40

Aaron W. Hautala, creative director and owner of RedHouseMedia, was recently presented with Prairie Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 award, a recognition of the region’s top 40 business leaders under 40 years of age.

Hautala, 35, was selected for his professional excellence, community service and personal leadership in the Brainerd and Cuyuna lakes areas. Award winners were chosen from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in careers including science, education, marketing and entrepreneurship.

“The award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishments, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership,” said Jen Braaten, marketing manager at Prairie Business Magazine.

Professionally, Hautala is a business owner and award-winning photographer. He and his wife, Beth, started RedHouseMedia in 2003, providing advertising, marketing and public relations services to businesses throughout Minnesota. Hautala’s photography was featured in the book “The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition,” and last year won a first place award at the 21st Annual Midwest Book Awards as well as the Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction.

Active in both the Brainerd and Cuyuna area communities, Hautala co-chaired Brainerd Rotary’s A P(+)sitive Charge, a photo campaign promoting positivity throughout the Brainerd and Cuyuna lakes areas. A P(+)sitive Charge was chosen as the winner of the 2011 Minnesota Community Pride Showcase, and was featured on Community Pride Day at the Minnesota State Fair. Hautala also helped launch Lifespring Church in Crosby and is a member of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew.

Prairie Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40 award winners are featured in the current issue of the Grand Forks, N.D., based magazine.

Mackcow welcomed as service manager

BAXTER — Mills GM, Baxter, welcomed Brent Mackcow as its service manager.

Mackow, Baxter, began his career with Mills GM in sales. Previously, he spent 18 years with Best Buy, including nine years as general manager of Best Buy in Baxter.

Mezzenga retires from Crow Wing Power Board

Longtime Crow Wing Power Board member Bette Mezzenga announced her retirement from the Crow Wing Power Board of Directors after 24 years of service.

“Bette has been a strong leader for our cooperative,” said Crow Wing Power CEO Bruce Kraemer, in a news release. “Over the years, we have appreciated her deep dedication and her special attention to detail as board president.” Mezzenga served as board president for 12 years.

According to Mezzenga, her decision to retire was a difficult one, but she said: “Due to current health conditions, I felt it was time to step down.”

The Board of Directors will decide at the January meeting whether to temporarily fill the position or allow the seat to remain vacant until the 2012 elections. Mezzenga represented the District 1 At-Large position, which geographically runs north and west of Pequot Lakes and east of Crosslake to Remer at the north. Open filing begins Jan. 26 for three other director positions and now the additional District 1 At-large seat will be open for filing as well.

Questions about filing should be directed to Crow Wing Power at 829-2827 or (800) 648-9401.

Thuringer nominated for national resort committee

Brian Thuringer, president of Madden’s on Gull Lake, was nominated to serve as vice chair of the Resort Committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association in 2012.

Thuringer was nominated for this honorary position because of his longevity serving on the committee and extensive experience in the resort industry.

As vice chair, Thuringer will work with the chair to lead the Resort Committee on its initiatives and meetings. The committee’s responsibilities include assessing the impact of legislation and regulation directed toward the resort community, promoting resort destination travel and tourism, and to foster environmentally responsible operational practices. It is the oldest and largest standing committee of the AH&LA and currently has 60 active and 40 honorary members. The committee will hold its 75th annual meeting in 2012.


LAHRA speaker: recruiting talent in turbulent times

The Lakes Area Human Resources Association will be hosting speaker Christi Schreyer from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 12, at Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter. She will presenting: Talent Acquisition in Turbulent Times – “Level the Recruiting playing Field.”

For more than 17 years, Schreyer has been helping businesses maximize their staffing and recruiting resources. She strives to “level the playing field” for companies who are challenged to compete for talent without the budgets, time or people that large organizations have at their disposal.

Schreyer mentors HR professionals through the TCHRA, and has been active with SCORE, Development Corporation for Children, and the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce. She has a bachelor’s degree in human resources management and is an active member of SHRM, HCI, HRP-MN, TCHRA and NEM-HRXchange.

Members of the community who attend one of LAHRA’s events for the first time, may attend at no charge. Returning non-LAHRA members are subject to a $15 fee.

For more information, go online to

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