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Business news - Feb. 26

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Burgstaler participates in expert panel in Belgium

Ed Burgstaler Jr., the son of Ed and Helen Burgstaler of rural Aitkin, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester was invited to participate in an expert panel on therapeutic apheresis on Dec. 1 near Brussels, Belgium.

Apheresis is a medical procedure used to remove unwanted substances or to collect cells, such as those used in bone marrow transplants. Patients or donors are attached to a machine, which blood is pumped through and the desired component is removed with the rest returned to the patient or donor. The panel consist ed of physicians from Italy, Denmark, Slovenia, Portugal, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Germany and Holland, as well as two non-physicians, a nurse from the United Kingdom and Burgstaler. There were also eight representatives from Fenwal Blood Technologies, which sponsored the event. The event was to promote a discussion by experts in the field on current and future techniques used in therapeutic apheresis and try to come to a consensus on the best techniques. Burgstaler presented techniques and data from studies he worked on and published. Some participants of the event were using those techniques, the Burgstalers reported. Burgstaler, an Aitkin High School graduate, is an associate in transfusion medicine at the Mayo Clinic and has worked there 37 years.

BLAEDC welcomes new board member, announces officers

Karlo Goerges, CEO of Pequot Tool & Manufacturing in Jenkins, was recognized as a new board member during the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Meeting Jan. 30 at The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter.

BLAEDC also announced its new board officers. Bruce Buxton, president of Widseth Smith Nolting in Baxter, was elected as board president. Paul Means, chairman of Riverwood Bank in Baxter, is vice president, and Angella Roby, controller at Oakridge Homes in Brainerd, will continue as treasurer.

Outgoing Board President Tom Anderson and outgoing Board Member Terry McCollough were also recognized at the Annual Meeting for their service, dedication and accomplishments

BLAEDC’s mission is Expanding Business, Building Community and Growing Jobs in Crow Wing County.

Wardrip accepts funeral director position

Nelson-Doran Funeral Home in Brainerd announced Steven J. Wardrip accepted a position as funeral director.

Wardrip, a Baxter resident, has 38 years of experience as a funeral director and has served families in the Brainerd lakes area for the past 20 years.

Barnett appointed to State

Fathers and Families Network

BAXTER — Christian Barnett, Investment and Retirement Services Financial Advisor with Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, was recently appointed to the board of The Minnesota Fathers and Families Network.

Barnett has been with MMFCU for nearly three years and said he is honored to have been named to the board of an organization vital in both creating and sustaining strong communities.

The Minnesota Fathers and Families Network is a federally recognized nonprofit organization intended to enhance healthy father-child relationships by promoting initiatives that inform public policy and further develop the field of fatherhood practitioners statewide in the belief that, in order for children and families to thrive, the whole community – families, individuals, nonprofits, public systems, policy makers, the private sector, and funders – needs to work in partnership and collaboration.

Riverwood welcomes new lab manager

AITKIN — Riverwood Healthcare Center welcomed Craig Ward as lab manager.

In this role, Ward oversees service to patients, as well as the medical staff. Ward supervises a staff of 13 and oversees three labs in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor. Mike Delfs, Riverwood chief operating officer, said Ward has a wealth of experience running labs and in management within health care. Previously, Ward was director of clinical operations for Sibley Medical Center in southern Minnesota. During the past decade, he supervised medical labs and other medical services for various health systems in Brainerd, Mankato, St. Peter and Virginia. He has both a bachelor of science degree in microbiology and a master’s degree in health administration, attending colleges in Montana and Wyoming, respectively. He is certified as a medical laboratory scientist.

Ward grew up just north of the Twin Cities in Andover and has been vacationing on Lone Lake in the Aitkin area for many years. He lives with his family in the Brainerd lakes area.

Butcher named to Platinum Club

Bremer announced Becky Butcher was recently named to its Platinum Club.

The Platinum Club recognizes the top real estate lenders at Bremer, who consistently perform at high levels and are committed to exceeding client expectations.

Butcher is a mortgage consultant for Bremer Financial Services in the Baxter branch location. She has nearly 30 years of banking experience, including 25 years working in the mortgage industry. Mike Riley, president of Bremer Bank in Brainerd, said the recognition represents all of Butcher’s hard work and service to clients.

Grand View Lodge receives

Golf Magazine’s Gold Award

Nisswa-based Grand View Lodge announced it is the recipient of several of Golf Magazine’s 2012 Premier Golf Resorts Awards, including the prestigious Gold Medal Award for the second consecutive year.

Given to 25 locations across North America, Grand View Lodge reported it was the only Minnesota property honored. Other honorees included the Ritz-Carlton Kapalau in Hawaii, the Wynn Las Vegas and Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada. Additional accolades Grand View was awarded included Best Golf, Best Lodging and “The Best Resort Near You” — all in the Midwest region.

“We are thrilled that we have been selected as a Gold Medal Award winner two years in a row,” said Mark Ronnei, general manager at Grand View Lodge.

Under Golf Magazine’s guidelines, voters judge the properties on four criteria, including golf, lodging, food and drink, and service. The quality of golf accounts for 40 percent, with 20 percent allocated to each of the other categories. The golf criteria includes hole variety, course condition, course maintenance and the value of the pro-shop. The resort’s accommodations, such as room décor and non-golf recreation, are also considered in the selection process. One of its courses, The Pines, is currently being renovated to include new tee boxes, rock walls and other features.

Cuyuna Lakes Chamber takes

a year off from annual trade show

The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber Board decided to forgo hosting a trade show this upcoming spring.

The 2012 show would have been the 29th annual, but declining interest by businesses and visitors has inundated this show and many other trade shows across the state.

This decision was not made in haste, the chamber reported, adding revamping the show has been a topic of discussion by the board for several years. The chamber began tweaking the format of the show when it started to see declining attendance, attempting to draw interest by vendors and the community alike. Some of the changes considered included expanding entertainment and speakers, moving the dates to include Friday night versus all day Sunday, and food and beverages were added with the thought that this might attract people to swing in after work, or bring out-of-town visitors to the area.

“In no way is this a negative sign that our chamber events, or the business community is struggling,” the chamber reported. “There are a number of reasons trade shows are not the vibrant marketing tool they once were in prompting the purchasing decision of today’s consumer. Ultimately, people are too busy trying to balance work and family. Packed family schedules have become the norm. As a result, the Internet and other social media are the most natural and convenient fit to reach consumers who are stretched for time.”

The Cuyuna chamber reported it is unveiling an expanded visitor guide, which will also be online. The potential exists to refresh the trade show’s format in the future. Ideas to do that are welcome at the chamber, at (218) 546-8131.

Fair Trade Coalition announces director

The Minnesota Fair Trade Coalition reported it appointed Josh Wise as its new director to coordinate the coalition’s effort in “advocating for federal trade policy that benefits all global citizens, and to build support for fair trade practices in our local community.” Wise is an experienced organizer who has worked as a staff member and consultant to many nonprofit and advocacy organizations, most recently leading the field program for Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. He also directs the Twin Cities Labor Chorus.


‘Going Into Business For

Yourself’ workshop set March 10

Central Lakes College scheduled a “Going Into Business For Yourself” workshop at the Business and Industry Center in Brainerd from 9 a.m. to noon March 10.

This session covers all areas of business startup, 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.

Payment is required at time of registration. The deadline to register is March 5.

For more information, go to or contact the SBDC at (800) 933-0346 ext. 8140, 855-8140 or

Business Basics session set in Walker

WALKER — The Cass County Economic Development Corp. is hosting a free three-hour seminar at 6 p.m. March 12 at the Walker City Hall for those interested in starting a new business.

Gail Leverson, of the Cass County EDC, will present the topics of Business Structure, Filing a Business Name, Estimating a Total Project Cost, Writing a Business Plan, Securing Business Financing and others. The Cass County EDC has assisted more than 70 businesses complete their business plans and secure financing for their projects.

Greg Smith, Leech Lake Brewery, successfully turned his hobby into a business using the help of the Cass County EDC. He will speak about the process of starting a new business in this area — what he would do the same and what he would do differently.

Pre-registration is sought for the seminar by calling (218) 947-7523 or emailing Materials will be provided at the seminar.


Adventure wins ADDY Best of

Show for fifth year in a row

Adventure, which has offices in Brainerd, earned top honors at the central Minnesota ADDY Advertising Award competition Feb. 17 in St. Cloud.

This is the fifth-straight year the agency has received the competition’s award for creative excellence in advertising and communications. In addition to winning Best of Show, Adventure also claimed two Judge’s Choice Awards, Best Copywriting (Greg Skoog, copywriter), 10 Gold ADDYs and four Silver ADDYs for work produced during 2011.

Best-of-Show Award – Red Bull skate athlete photography.

Judge’s Choice Awards – Bayliner Boats photo book, Park Tool ad campaign.

Best Copywriting Award – Creative Memories catalog; copy by Greg Skoog of Creative Memories.

Gold ADDY Awards – Creative Memories catalog, FIT packaging, Bayliner photobook, Park Tool campaign, Initiative Quarterly photography, Crestliner Boats photography, Bayliner photography, Nautic Global Group photography, Red Bull action photography, Red Bull skate athlete photography

Silver ADDY Awards – Rage Broadhead ad, 2011 AAFCM ADDY Award materials, Creative Memories design, Polaris Razor photography.

RedHouseMedia recognized

for nine Addy Awards

RedHouseMedia, Brainerd, recently won nine Addy Awards at the American Advertising Federation of Central Minnesota’s annual awards show Feb. 17 at St. Cloud State University.

RedHouseMedia’s obstetrics brochure for FirstLight Health System won a gold Addy while the Northway Construction Web site, Rice Lake Construction print ad, Cuyuna Lakes logo, Cuyuna Lakes entry point signs, Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail photography, RedHouseMedia hockey board ad, Crow River Dental logo, and Northwoods Log Homes tradeshow booth won silver Addy Awards.

The Central Minnesota district of the American Advertising Federation is comprised of industry professionals dedicated to recognizing creative excellence, providing educational opportunities and effective advertising and marketing.

RedHouseMedia is a Brainerd-based advertising agency located in Franklin Arts Center, serving business clients throughout central and northern Minnesota.


Ford, Mills Motors supports FFA

Ford Motor Company’s 2011-2012 commitment includes substantial support of National FFA events, and $1,000 collegiate scholarships for hundreds of FFA members.

Ford, with local dealers such as Mills Motor Inc., awarded 6,590 scholarships since 1997.

For the 2011-2012 school year, Mills Motor Inc. is sponsoring one Built Ford Tough scholarship for Brainerd High School, helping students attend the college of their choice. FFA develops students’ leadership, business skills and community service in preparation for a career in agriculture, which accounts for one out of five U.S. jobs, the company reported. The FFA was formerly known as Future Farmers of America.

Ford committed to the 15th year of the Built Ford Tough – FFA collegiate scholarship program, which will award $1,000 scholarships to hundreds of FFA members, each co-sponsored by Ford Dealers like Mills Motor Inc. Ford reported it has supported the National FFA since the first F-Series truck was introduced in 1948, and has sponsored the Built Ford Tough collegiate scholarship program since 1997. The program, equally funded by Ford Motor Company and Ford dealers, has awarded almost $6.5 million in scholarships to FFA members.

To be eligible, FFA members must submit an online 2012 Scholarship Application at and take the required Signature Page to Mills Motor Inc. for the dealer endorsement and official dealer code; thus providing FFA members the opportunity to meet and thank the dealer for their support of continuing education.

Bremer Bank to donate $1,000

in nonprofit Facebook contest

Continuing its commitment to build healthy communities through partnerships, Bremer Bank will make a $1,000 donation to one 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in its footprint of Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin in its first-ever Facebook contest.

Visit Bank and follow the contest directions. The nonprofit that receives the most votes will win the $1,000 donation. Contest entry deadline is 5 p.m. on March 2.

No purchase or account is required to win.

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