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Business Notes Oct. 7

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Crawford to participate in leadership program

Jenna Crawford, Pequot Lakes director for the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, was accepted to participate in the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Advanced Leadership and Professional Development program for local chamber professionals.

The program, which includes a competitive application, is designed for emerging leaders in the chamber of commerce profession who are committed to developing their professional leadership capabilities. The goal is to mentor and advance the careers of talented chamber leaders from across Minnesota.

The program requires six full days of onsite training and development at locations across the state. It is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives, the state professional association for local chambers.

IAAP members honored

Brenda Jindra, Tanya Digiovanni, Shari Fruechte and Laura Larson, members of the Brainerd chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), recently achieved the Member of Excellence status through the IAAP Pathways to Excellence program.

Pathways to Excellence was designed by IAAP “to raise members’ value as career-minded administrative professionals through a set of guiding principles that define and encourage excellence.”

Jindra, Brainerd, is grants compliance manager with the

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She has been a member of IAAP and the Brainerd chapter since 1998 and currently serves as president of the Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota division of IAAP.

Digiovanni, Breezy Point, is the land listing and closing coordinator at Close-Converse. She has been a member of IAAP and the Brainerd chapter since 2008 and obtained designation as a Certified Administrative Professional-Organizational Management (CAP-OM) in 2009.

Fruechte, Little Falls, is the administrative assistant at Atomic Learning Inc. She has been a member of IAAP and the Brainerd chapter since 2008, obtained CAP-OM designation in 2009, and currently serves as president of the Brainerd chapter.

Larson, Little Falls, is office administrator at CliftonLarsonAllen. She has been a member of IAAP and the Brainerd chapter since 2004, obtained designation as a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) in 2007, and currently serves as chair of the financial review committee for the Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota division of IAAP.

Lindgren, Culver, Palmer join Essentia Health

Dr. Christopher Lindgren; and Melisa Culver and Steven Palmer, both certified physician assistants, joined Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center Emergency Department & Urgent Care.

Lindgren attended medical school at the University of North Dakota and residency at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He is a former paramedic.

Culver and Palmer are both relocating from the East Coast to the Brainerd lakes area and will be putting their experience to work in the emergency department and UrgentCare.

Culver graduated from the University of North Dakota. Palmer is a graduate of the University of Nebraska.

Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd is a Level III Trauma Center, providing emergency medical services 24 hours a day, seven days a week through urgent care, emergency rooms and trauma surgery. Emergency specialists and physicians care for more than 26,000 patients per year. Dr. Peter Henry is director of emergency medicine at Essentia Health–St. Joseph’s Medical Center.

Riverwood welcomes new foundation director

AITKIN — Riverwood Healthcare Center, Aitkin, announced Jodie Johnson is the new director of Riverwood Foundation effective Oct. 1.

In this position, she is responsible for the strategic direction and fund development through special projects, annual campaigns and planned giving.

Riverwood CEO Michael Hagen said since 2003, Johnson has excelled in a number of volunteer leadership capacities, helping to raise significant dollars to move the mission of Riverwood Healthcare Center forward.

Johnson, who has served as interim director of the foundation since February 2012, joins Katie Nelson, foundation manager; and Kris Hazelton, administrative assistant, in coordinating financial support from the community for Riverwood Healthcare Center.

Johnson served on the Riverwood Foundation Board since 2002 and has led many committees and projects during the past 10 years. As a co-owner of The Office Shop in Aitkin and Brainerd with her husband, Scott Johnson, she has many years of business management expertise to her new role.

Johnson served in several capacities including on the finance committee and Better Together Capital Campaign Steering Committee. She and her family are Riverwood Foundation donors and founders of the Zachary Johnson Kids with Cancer Fund, a fund within Riverwood Foundation that provides grants to children with cancer and their families in Aitkin and Crow Wing counties. Johnson also chaired the Riverwood Gala committee for seven consecutive years.

Fundingsland attends Connect 2012

BAXTER — Multi-Financial Security Corporation financial adviser Dan Fundingsland of Summit Point Financial, with an office in Baxter, recently attended the national educational conference, Connect 2012, in Denver for intensive skill building.

Beck, Husom, Larson elected to

MPR advisory council

Susan Beck and Al Husom were elected to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) Regional Development Advisory Council.

Beck and Husom, who were elected during the council’s annual meeting, will represent the Brainerd lakes area and serve as a liaison between the surrounding community and MPR stations.

Andy Larson was elected chair of the council at the annual meeting.

Regional Development Advisory Council members are volunteers who create positive community awareness of MPR station activities, advocate the mission of the stations, advise on and implement strategy for securing revenue, offer programming feedback and advocate for MPR at the legislative level.

Adventure Advertising

opens office in Australia

Adventure Advertising, with offices in Brainerd, reported it recently entered into an agreement with Your Inspiration at Home to assume global responsibilities for marketing and brand development of the international spice and seasoning company.

Adventure reports it will assume responsibilities of an in-house marketing department, supporting the company’s rapid growth in Australia, the United Kingdom, Asia and new launches in the United States and Canada and share resources and staff with the home office in Queensland.

Johnson joins RedHouseMedia

Anna Johnson recently joined RedHouseMedia, Brainerd, as the brand manager.

As brand manager, Johnson is responsible for scheduling and coordinating the advertising agency’s printed and digital projects, while maintaining relationships with both clients and vendors.

Prior to joining RedHouseMedia, Johnson was operations and marketing coordinator at an insurance and financial services company near Chicago. She earned her associate’s degree from the Franciscan University in Ohio and her bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Johnson grew up in White Bear Lake and Deerwood.

Nor-Son expands to South Dakota

Nor-Son Inc., Baxter, expanded its Midwest presence with the addition of an office in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Along with the expansion, Bob Kogel joined Nor-Son as project development manager. Kogel will serve as the main contact for the South Dakota office. Serving clients in the healthcare and senior living industry, Kogel has more than 30 years of design and construction project experience.

Panache cosmetologists participate in training

BAXTER — Panache Salon and Day Spa cosmetologists recently participated in one of Aveda’s advanced Coloring Classes.

The class was lead by Aveda’s Educator, Rebecca Yarwood.


McKinnon to speak at LAHRA event

Shelly McKinnon is scheduled to speak at the Lakes Area Human Resources Association event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 11, at Prairie Bay restaurant in Baxter.

McKinnon started her career in the retirement services industry at Universal Pensions Inc. (UPI) in 1997 as a client service representative, and rapidly moved into management roles within UPI.

She advanced to a consultant position where she was responsible for supporting institutional clients with Individual Retirement Accounts and qualified plan issues among others. She was promoted to a supervisory position where she oversaw the ERISA helpdesk. Following UPI’s sale to BISYS, she managed the BISYS Corporate University where she was responsible for developing and deploying retirement education for BISYS employees and clients. Shelly earned a bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration from Moorhead State University, and maintains a Qualified 401(k) Plan Administrator (QKA) designation from the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.


Special Boiler Exam prep course offered at CLC

A 20-hour special boiler exam preparation workshop meets from 6 to 8 p.m., Mondays and Thursdays, Oct. 15 to Nov. 19, in the Business and Industry Center (Entrance No. 6) at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Instruction will include attendance requirements for heating boilers, safety issues and state boiler rules.

Dave Horn is the instructor for the class. The fee is $320. Advanced registration is required no later than Monday.

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

How to submit a business note

The Dispatch welcomes business notes submissions via email to, or online at or by fax to (218) 829-0211, by mail to Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 or use the drop-off box in the alley next to the Dispatch building on James Street.

Questions are welcome to Renee Richardson at 855-5852.

For more business notes, turn to Business/Money Extra in Monday’s edition.

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