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Business News - March 18

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Home Instead Senior Care tops list for franchisee satisfaction

The Home Instead Senior Care network, the world’s largest provider of non-medical in-home care services for seniors, tops the list of franchise systems with high franchisee satisfaction for 2012.

Franchise Business Review bestows the Top Franchise awards annually to franchisors with the highest overall franchisee satisfaction, according to an annual survey of franchisees. The 2012 award is based on a survey of more than 22,000 franchisees representing more than 300 franchise brands.

The announcement of the 2012 Top Franchises was made recently by Franchise Business Review at the International Franchise Association conference in Orlando.

Home Instead Senior Care Network, which has been ranked No. 1 in the senior care category for the past six years, has taken home the top honor overall among all categories. The network also was ranked number one in the large franchise systems category for the second time.

Westwood completes

move to St. Cloud

Westwood Professional Services Inc. officially transferred its Brainerd-based staff and operations to St. Cloud, completing the move Friday. The company will continue to provide ongoing support to their Brainerd clients and projects from St. Cloud.

All correspondence should now be directed to: Westwood Professional Services, 3701 12th St. N., Suite 206, St. Cloud, MN 56303 or call (800) 270-9495.

Westwood’s Brainerd office was established in the area in 1996 as Central Minnesota Surveying and later became Westwood in 2001. Westwood provides land surveying, engineering, and environmental services to land and energy clients across the U.S.

Knopik joins Lakewood Health as community outreach coordinator

STAPLES — Jon Knopik joined Lakewood Health System, Staples, as Community Outreach coordinator for Psychiatric Services, which includes Lakewood Reflections, a program offering both inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services to seniors from throughout the state.

As Outreach coordinator, Knopik will serve as an educational resource for community members and as a contact for health care providers. He has more than 20 years of experience working in public education and spent the past eight years working with older adults in central Minnesota through the Central Minnesota Council on Aging. Knopik has a bachelor’s degree from Winona State University, and obtained his master’s degree from St. Cloud State University.

Severson joins Thomas Law

Mark A. Severson recently joined the law firm of Thomas Law, P.A. as an associate attorney. Thomas Law is a business and real estate law firm located in Crosslake and Baxter. He focuses his practice primarily in the areas of litigation, real estate, commercial and business law, wills, trusts and estate planning.

Severson received his juris doctorate from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2008. He obtained his bachelor’s degree graduating magna cum laude in legal studies and philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Severson grew up in the Brainerd lakes area, having graduated from Crosby-Ironton High School in 2001.

While attending law school, Severson was a student certified attorney and clerked for the Crow Wing, Cass and Chisago county attorneys offices. After law school, Severson was an associate attorney for Askegaard & Robinson, P.A. and subsequently a law clerk for the Honorable Erik J. Askegaard. Prior to joining Thomas Law, he was the Assistant Clearwater County Attorney where he gained considerable litigation experience.

Grand View Lodge

recognized twice by GolfWeek

NISSWA — Nisswa-based Grand View Lodge announced two of its courses, The Preserve and Deacon’s Lodge, were recognized by GolfWeek magazine as two of the nation’s “Best Courses You Can Play.”

GolfWeek recognized 10 locations in Minnesota on its annual rankings, which present an ultimate guide to the world’s most outstanding public-access golf courses. Golfweek evaluates courses using 10 criteria, which include, layout, original design, hole variety, features and scenery.

VanderMey profiled in

Home Health Aide Digest

PIERZ — Nita VanderMey, a home health aide for Horizon Health Inc., of Morrison County, was recently profiled in the March-April edition of Home Health Aide Digest. VanderMey has been a veteran home health aide at Horizon Health since 2004. Horizon Health nominated VanderMey with direct input from her clients. Horizon Health noted VanderMey’s ability for problem-solving and good communication. VanderMey said the rewards for working as a home health aide are immeasurable. Home Health Aide Digest is a bi-monthly magazine that provides inservice training for home health aides and provides articles on pertinent information for these caring professionals. Published out of Lester Prairie, it is distributed on a national level. Home Health Aide Digest’s goal is to feature outstanding aides representing a wide range of cultural/ethnic backgrounds from every part of the United States. Home Health Aides that are fortunate to be featured are individuals who inspire their coworkers by bringing a special spirit, skill, style, commitment and compassion to their work.

Chiropractors attend

annual day at the Capitol

More than 400 doctors and students of chiropractic came together to voice their concerns about common issues impacting the chiropractic profession and the patients who benefit from chiropractic care.

During the annual Chiropractic Day at the Capitol doctors of chiropractic encouraged legislators to oppose any no fault automobile insurance legislation that limits the patient’s access to care. Seth and Danielle Sazama, doctors of chiropractic of Baxter, were joined by Allison Zak and Deann Adams, doctors of chiropractic and both of Little Falls, to represent District 12. The day began with briefings on the key issues followed by meetings with legislators or staff issue experts at the Capitol.

CenterPoint Energy ranks

highest in J.D. Power study

CenterPoint Energy was awarded the highest ranking among the largest Midwest Region utilities in the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study.

The J.D. Power study is a comprehensive evaluation of customers’ attitudes in six different performance categories: billing and payment, corporate citizenship, price, communications, customer service and field service. CenterPoint Energy’s overall customer satisfaction index score was 32 points above the Midwest Region large segment average and 48 points above its score from last year. CenterPoint Energy also earned the first place ranking in the 2011 J.D. Power Residential customer satisfaction survey for Midwest Region gas utilities.


Chamber business plan

luncheon planned March 21

LITTLE FALLS — The Board of Directors of the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all Chamber members and their employees to join them for a noon luncheon Wednesday at the chamber.

“This luncheon is a presentation of the chamber’s accomplishments as outlined in the 2011 Business Plan,” said Debora K. Boelz, president/chief executive officer of the chamber. “We often get asked what the chamber does. This program will provide the answer to that question.”

Cost is $15 per person with advance reservation required. Please RSVP to the Chamber at (320) 632-5155 or email to or log onto the Chamber’s website at

Dine and Discover

focuses on nutrition

PIERZ — Horizon Health’s Faith in Action, Pierz, and the Senior LinkAge Line are offering an opportunity to educate the community on “Nutrition Awareness” from 11:30-2:30 p.m. March 28 at Horizon Health’s Community Room.

Oliver Titrud, a doctor of chiropractic, will talk extensively about nutrition and seniors. 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 on or before March 23.


Hanneken Insurance

Agency gains recognition

LITTLE FALLS — Hanneken Insurance Agency Inc. of Little Falls was recently named to the Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company President’s Club for 2012.

Recognized by Grinnell Mutual President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Jansen, Hanneken Insurance Agency is among the company’s top nine agencies for new business growth. This year Hanneken will join Grinnell Mutual’s top 50 agencies and 15 farm mutual companies who have earned membership for outstanding production and profitability during a five-year period. President’s Club members provide insights on key insurance and business issues to company management from Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance and Grinnell Select Insurance Companies. The agents and staff at Hanneken Insurance Agency will be presented with a plaque and letter of recognition from Grinnell Mutual for the agency’s notable achievement.


Welding 48-hour course

starts March 20 at CLC

The Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, has scheduled a 48-hour welding course March 20 to April 26 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It consists of 12 nights.

It will cover safety, metallurgy, oxyfuel, arc, mig/tig, plasma cutting and more. The course is designed for the beginner and will also allow experienced individuals to build on their existing skills.

Upon successful completion of this class, the beginner student will be prepared for an entry-level position in the welding industry. The experienced student will be able to improve skills or add new methods to abilities.

The fee is $449, including materials. Instructor is Craig Weigel.

The class meets in W100 from 5:30-9:30 p.m.

The deadline for registration is Thursday. For more information, email or call (800) 933-0346, extension 8142 or 855-8142 or go online to and click on courses.

Advanced stormwater

diagnosis class offered

Stormwater U is offering an advanced class on Stormwater Diagnosis and BMP Selection.

This class is designed for public works staff, engineers, designers, planners, and public officials to discuss, and learn about stormwater BMP management. Workshop topics include: regularity overview, site assessment concept and how-to, making the diagnosis, BMP siting, reading grading plan, selecting stormwater BMP/site assessment, tools, and local project/case study/site visit.

Stormwater U provides training to local stormwater professionals with a focus on research based education in water management and best management practices. These opportunities focus on important stormwater issues and requirements facing Minnesota cities and other local governmental units such as watersheds. Stormwater U workshops are designed to help cities meet their stormwater permit, impaired water goals and other requirements.

The class is from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., March 27, at the Crow Wing County Land Services Building, 322 Laurel St., Brainerd. The cost of this class is $40 and includes refreshments, lunch and workshop materials. The class may have outdoor field practice exercises so participants are advised to dress for the weather.

Register online at or contact Shahram Missaghi at (651) 480-7788.

Stormwater U trainings are designed and developed by a collaborative team including faculty and researchers from the University of Minnesota and partners from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and other state, regional and local agencies.

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