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Business News April 8

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Summer intern program deadline approaches

WADENA — Tri-County Health Care, Wadena, is offering a paid summer internship to area students interested in health care careers.

The opportunity provides students a chance to work at Tri-County Health Care and give students a taste of the health care industry. The internships are available to students who are between their junior and senior year of high school or are enrolled in a post-secondary educational Institution. The internships are competitive and all eligible candidates will be notified to arrange a time for an interview. The interns selected will work three days per week for a time period of six to seven weeks or 120 hours. A mandatory orientation will be held on Tuesday, June 12.

Interested students need to submit the TCHC employment application, available on the TCHC website at, a letter of recommendation from a teacher (preferably a health occupations or science (educator) and a letter explaining why they make a good candidate for this internship. Their letter should explain their interests, career plans and why they believe they should be chosen to participate in the TCHC summer

internship program. The deadline for application materials is April 27.

For more information, contact Janet Wiedewitsch, Staff Coordinator, at (218) 631-3510, ext. 5012.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans earns top rating

A.M. Best has affirmed Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ A++ (Superior) rating, as well as its stable outlook.

The A++ (Superior) rating is the highest of the ratings agency’s 16 ratings categories. A.M. Best cited Thrivent Financial’s strong capitalization and earnings, positive operating results, higher assets under management, increased scale in its core lines of business, and its’ strong market presence within the Lutheran community as the primary reasons for its affirmation.

Laposky receives oncology specialty certification

The Cancer Center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph’s Medical Center reported Missy Laposky, registered nurse, obtained certification as an oncology specialty nurse.

The Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN) designation is a formal way to recognize the specialized knowledge, skills and experience in providing adult oncology nursing care.

To be eligible for OCN certification registered nurses must have a minimum of 1,000 hours of adult oncology nursing practice, meet a minimum of 10 contact hours of nursing continuing education, and pass a rigorous examination.

Laposky joined the Cancer Center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph’s Medical Center in July 2011 as the patient cancer clinical navigator. She serves a pivotal role in coordinating care for patients from initial diagnosis, providing extensive patient education and support, and supporting the triage program. Only four breast centers in Minnesota are accredited by the American College of Surgeon’s National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. The Cancer Center at Essentia Health - St. Joseph’s Medical Center is one of those four.

CTC officials meet with Congressional representatives

Representatives from Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) met with the offices of Minnesota Rep. Chip Cravaack and Sen. Al Franken in Washington, D.C. the week of March 18 to discuss the significant impact to small communications providers like CTC in delivering affordable broadband services to consumers in the greater Brainerd lakes area.

Kevin T. Larson, CEO/general manager, and Mike Wetzel, CC Board director, spoke about the importance of broadband for rural business development and growth and also the ways that broadband brings education, public safety, telemedicine and other opportunities to rural consumers. They provided an overview of CTC service areas in the 8th district of Minnesota and highlighted the types of services they provide to businesses and consumers in the area. They also pointed out the number of jobs CTC provides in the state and other services that contribute to the area’s economic development.

Larson and Wetzel urged their congressional delegates to help them continue to provide the services their community needs at an affordable rate by removing regulatory uncertainty and urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reconsider the deep cuts and other extreme modifications it is proposing to impose on the Universal Service Fund (USF). Larson and Wetzel said cuts to this important fund could put existing investment in rural broadband at risk and discourage future investment in new broadband-capable networks by small companies, leading to increased rates for telephone, broadband and other services.

CTC representatives were in Washington to participate in the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association’s Legislative & Policy Conference March 19-21. More than 500 rural telecom representatives from all over the country gathered in the nation’s capital for educational briefings about emerging rules and regulations and other industry issues. They also took part in visits to policymakers on Capitol Hill and the FCC.

Insurance Office

gains recognition

The Insurance Office of Brainerd was recognized by Insurance Partners as a Top Producing Member Agent Of The Year - 2011 during an insurance seminar in Anoka.

The Insurance Office, a member of the Insurance Partners agency network, was honored for its Total Travelers Personal Lines Premium place through Insurance Partners. The award recognizes not only outstanding sales but also takes into consideration the overall positive attitude of the agency, the company reported.

Deerwood Technologies offers scholarship

Deerwood Technologies is offering one $1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior at Crosby-Ironton High School who plans to attend any higher education institution.

To qualify for the scholarship a student should have: a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 and/or completed any Bridges Academies curriculum.

Applications are available from the C-I High School counselor’s office or online at Completed applications can be mailed to Deerwood Technologies, Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 393, Deerwood, MN 56444 received by April 15. Applicants are asked to include a list of community involvement and volunteer activities and submit an essay of 100 words or less and answer this question: How can technology benefit disadvantaged individuals, societies and countries?

The scholarship will be awarded at the annual senior banquet in May. The scholarship will be paid to the institution of choice after the student has successfully completed his or her first academic term.

NetAmerica Alliance

joins with Russell Herder

Industry innovator NetAmerica Alliance and its members launched their new 4G LTE service brand recently at a national conference in Orlando, Fla., culminating months of strategic preparation with research and creative partner, Russell Herder, with offices in Brainerd.

NetAmerica (an alliance of independent telecommunications carriers) has dedicated itself to helping revitalize rural markets by arming its members with the advanced services and high performance network infrastructure needed to drive revenue, reduce cost, and create a national footprint for 4G LTE service. Called Bonfire TM, the national brand evolved from comprehensive market research studies in the rural consumer marketplace, encompassing quantitative surveys with hundreds of consumers, more than 60 hours of one-on-one interviews in businesses, coffee shops and on the streets of rural towns across America, and extensive online conversation monitoring. The insight ‘deep dive’ served as the foundation for creative, as well as to successfully establish the brand in key, non-metro markets. The research is also helping direct strategic development and deployment of NetAmerica’s differentiated service offerings. Minnesota-based Russell Herder has served metro and rural markets for more than 29 years through its expertise in creative brand management, digital expertise and strategic planning.

Pizza Ranch gains Golden Butterknife Award

Crow Wing County American Dairy Association awarded Pizza Ranch of Baxter with the Golden Butterknife Award for serving real dairy products.

Becky Joerger, CWC Dairy Association treasurer presented Wyatt Carr, Pizza Ranch owner, with the award.

Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center achieves accreditation

Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center achieved accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) for the third time.

Accreditation distinguishes this surgical center from many other outpatient facilities by providing the highest quality of care to its patients as determined by an independent, external process of evaluation. Status as an accredited organization means Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center has met nationally recognized standards, including Conditions of Coverage by Medicare, for the provision of quality health care set by AAAHC and Medicare. More than 5,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC. Not all ambulatory health care organizations seek accreditation; not all that undergo the rigorous on-site survey process are granted accreditation.

Ambulatory health care organizations seeking accreditation by AAAHC undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC expert surveyors – physicians, nurses, and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

The Brainerd Lakes Surgery Center is an organization, jointed ventured between Physicians and St. Joseph’s Medical Center, that provides ambulatory surgical services to patients who do not require overnight hospitalization.


Lakewood Health hosts

foundation dinner auction

STAPLES — The Lakewood Health System Foundation, Staples, is hosting its 19th annual Foundation Dinner Auction, April 20, at Lakewood Health System’s Main Campus east of Staples.

The theme of this year’s auction will be a celebration, thanking those who contributed to the Care Center’s Capital Campaign. Proceeds from the event will go toward funding renovations at the Lakewood Care Center.

The event will include a dinner, silent auction, and entertainment featuring comedian Kermet Apio. Proceeds will go toward upgrades to Lakewood’s senior living facility. A social hour will start at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m., live and silent auctions at 7:30 p.m. and a comedy show at 8 p.m. Individual tickets are $45 and tables (which seat six) are available for $250. Tax deductions apply. For more information, call Amy at (218) 894-8508 for more information or to RSVP.

Chamber to sponsor

Business After Hours

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce will conduct its next Business After Hours networking event 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Linden Hill Historic Event Center, 608 Highland Ave in Little Falls. Hosting the event is Horizon Health and Linden Hill Historic Event Center. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

The event is free and open to all chamber members and their employees. For more information, call the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce at (320) 632-5155. No RSVP needed.

Toastmasters Club meets Monday

There will be an informative meeting for a new Toastmasters Club in the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point area from 8-9 a.m. Monday at Pelican Lakes Conservation Club and Community Center, 8922 Thrane Dr., Breezy Point.

The mission of a Toastasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment to develop oral communication and leadership skills. For more information, call Marjorie Harris at 838-8354.


CLC offers QuickBooks

Pro Accounting course

A basic skills seminar on QuickBooks Pro Accounting for Windows will be offered 5-8 p.m. Monday at Central Lakes College Outreach site, 980 First St. SW in Pine River.

Instructor Jay Bock is experienced at teaching QuickBooks for Central Lakes College as a computerizing small business instructor. There is a $70 cost to attend.

Goals for the seminar include learning the basic skills necessary to implement computerized accounting using QuickBooks Pro for Windows. Participants will learn the basics of system setup including file creation, setting preferences and a customized chart of accounts. Transaction inputs will then be detailed including: invoicing, deposits, accounts receivable, accounts payable and cash disbursements. Bock will include at least 30 minutes for questions.

Space is limited, so pre-registration is necessary. Participants may bring their own laptop with QuickBooks installed to ask specialized questions about your particular business accounting situation.

Pre-registration is requested for the seminar by calling (218) 947-7523 or emailing at Materials will be provided at the seminar. The seminar is sponsored by the Cass County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a local nonprofit economic development corporation.

Certified food manager

training set at CLC

A Certified Food Manager course will meet 5-9 p.m. April 17, 19, and 24 in the Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College, Brainerd.

Certification is required in most Minnesota food establishments. Instructor is Colette Pohlkamp.

Participants are trained and tested through the ServSafe Serving Safe Food Certification course. They will learn about potentially hazardous foods and safe food handling practices, the HACCP system of food safety, setting up standards and completion upon passing the required exam.

The course fee is $170. Payment is required at the time of registration. Registration deadline is Tuesday. Phone registrations are accepted by calling 855-8142 or (800) 933-0346, ext. 8142. Online registration: and click on courses. For more information, email

CLC offers QuickBooks

Pro advanced accounting

Central Lakes College has scheduled a two-night, computerized QuickBooks Pro Accounting Advanced course on the Brainerd campus.

The class meets 6-9 p.m. April 17 and 24 in Computer Lab C221. The fee is $99.

This class, from instructor Jay Bock, will provide the advanced skills necessary to get more detail from the software package. The student will learn software features including, set up overview, preferences, customization, item detailing for inventory control, sales and purchase orders, bank reconciliation and monthly reporting.

To reserve a seat, register and make payment no later than Tuesday.

For information or to register call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or 855-8142, or email, with online registration at

‘Power Limited’ continuing

education course offered at CLC

Central Lakes College, Brainerd, will host a continuing education course for holders of the Minnesota Power-Limited Technician License on 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 19 and April 20 in the Business and Industry Center.

The course consists of 16 hours of instruction covering applicable articles and sections of the 2008 National Electrical Code, Minnesota statutes and rules governing electrical work, and a review of the basic elements of electricity and electrical calculations.

This course has been approved by the Minnesota State Board of Electricity.

Objectives are to review the 2008 National Electrical Code, particularly Articles 725-730: Wiring methods, grounding, transformers, over-current protection and Articles 800-830: Installation methods, separation from power, fireproofing. Also to review Ohm’s law: Series and parallel AC and DC circuits, meter operation, and systems theory with a review of coaxial, Cat 5, HVAC and/or speaker wiring.

Participants must have a calculator and the 2005 or 2008 NEC Code Book. Code books are available in class for $82. Cost for the course and lunch is $300. The deadline to register is Thursday.

For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or 855-8142 or email, or go 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