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Business Notes Jan. 13

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Boser, Reimer join Hair and Beyond

Stylists LaDonna Boser and Michelle Reimer joined Hair and Beyond in downtown Brainerd.

Both previously worked at the styling salon at J.C. Penney Co. Boser has been in the industry for 16 years. Reimer has been in the industry for seven years. Both stylists specialize on colors, cuts and perms.

HealthSource Chiropractic earns franchise honors

BAXTER — HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Wellness, with a franchise office in Baxter, reached another milestone this month with its fifth straight ranking as No. 1 Health Services Franchise, courtesy of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Franchise 500” list for 2013.

HealthSource, which first earned the No. 1 ranking three years after its founding, remains the only company to hold the top spot in that category this long, the company reported.

The company also moved up three spots to No. 96 on the list of the top “Franchise 500,” which ranks all franchises in the United States.

HealthSource was ranked No. 99 on the esteemed list for 2012, No. 111 in 2011 and No. 258 in 2010.

HealthSource of Baxter is hosting an American Red Cross fundraiser during January to help build awareness for the benefits of donating blood.

Schwendeman gains membership

Chad Schwendeman, of Weichert Realtors - Tower Properties, Brainerd, was accepted as a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network.

The Top 5 in Real Estate Network has a goal of helping consumers identify the most professional real estate agents in North America. To qualify, each member must first meet a stringent set of criteria, based upon performance, as well as educational and professional skills and service to the consumer.

The Top 5 Network is carefully selected and managed by RISMedia, which has provided the real estate industry with news for nearly 30 years, and Pinnacle Quest Consulting, RISMedia’s Top 5 management partner.

Verl Workman, the president of Top 5, said in a news release that Schwendeman’s professional accomplishments were extraordinary.

According to John Featherston, chairman of RISMedia, the significance of Top 5 in Real Estate is that consumers deserve full transparency regarding all matters related to the real estate transaction, which often begins with the need to select a highly competent and experienced real estate professional.

Lakewood employees complete Homeland Security training

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System employees Robin Johnson, safety director, and Geoff Williams, respiratory therapist, recently completed Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala.

The CDP is operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and is the only federally-chartered Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) training facility in the nation. The training offers more than 50 courses focusing on incident management, mass casualty response and emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act.

Klecker joins AE2S

Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. (AE2S) hired Jayme Klecker, professional engineer, as a project manager who will based in Brainerd.

Klecker will be part of AE2S’ Wastewater Group and will serve the firm’s clients in northern Minnesota in addition to working on several other wastewater projects across North Dakota.

Scott Schafer, professional engineer, AE2S Wastewater Group manager, said Klecker has been working on a Bemidji clarifier improvement project and he’ll also work closely with other AE2S staff members in the company’s Williston, N.D. office on the wastewater treatment plant expansion, as well as other projects.

Klecker has nearly 15 years of consulting and industrial wastewater experience; most recently leading environmental/regulatory compliance and overseeing operations of the industrial wastewater treatment plant for the Wausau Paper Mill in Brainerd. He has the top wastewater operator certification in Minnesota.

Chamber seeking

home-based businesses

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites area home-based businesses to an information sharing meeting at 9 a.m. Jan. 31 at chamber office in the historic Cass Gilbert Train Depot, 200 First St. NW in Little Falls.

The purpose of the meeting is hear from the home-based businesses what they need to grow their businesses and if the chamber can help fill those needs.

“We suspect that we have a fair amount of home based businesses in the area, and the chamber would like to reach out to them,” said Debora K. Boelz, president/CEO of the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, in a news release. What that involvement will be depends on what is needed ranging from organizing educational sessions to networking events to a business expo.

For more information on this free event, contact Deb at the Little Falls commerce at 320-632-5155 or No RSVP needed.

Free paint and coatings

available through Initiative Foundation, Valspar

During 2013, the Valspar Corporation will again offer nonprofits and communities a chance to apply for free paint and coatings through its “Minnesota Beautiful” partnership with the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation.

Representatives from the Initiative Foundation and Valspar will select 8-10 restoration or beautification projects to receive paint and coatings based on their visual impact, public benefit, volunteer participation and support, intended use and benefit to the needy.

Projects that may qualify for a grant include historic buildings, community centers, public buildings, facilities for seniors or people with disabilities, murals or other visual impact projects. Ineligible projects include denominational churches, city maintenance, schools (except murals) and privately owned buildings. Projects must take place in one or more of the following counties: Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena or Wright.

“We appreciate Valspar Corporation’s continued support in providing quality coatings and technical assistance to our communities and other nonprofit organizations” said Dan Frank, Initiative Foundation senior program manager for community and economic development and Valspar program administrator for central Minnesota. “It’s a great partnership that has made a real impact in our region.”

Applications are due by March 4, 2013. Successful proposals will receive coatings for projects by May 2013. For more information or to apply visit or contact Dan Frank at or 877-632-9255.

Comfort Keepers

recognized by Franchise 500

LITTLE FALLS — Little Falls Comfort Keepers of Little Falls/Brainerd lakes area was recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual franchise 500 rankings for 2013 recognized as the No. 1 franchise within the senior care category as well as No. 59 among the top 500 franchises.

Jay Vasek owns Comfort Keepers of Little Falls/Brainerd lakes area. For Entrepreneur’s 34th annual Franchise 500 all companies, regardless of size, are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of the franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. According to Entrepreneur, the Franchise 500 shows many of the most competitive companies are those that go after a specific demographic.

Weichert Real Estate gains Franchise 500 ranking

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. (WREA) was ranked No. 2 by Entrepreneur magazine among all other competitors in the real estate category in its “Entrepreneur 2013 Franchise 500” list, an annual ranking of America’s top franchise opportunities. The full list appears in the January 2013 issue of Entrepreneur.

WREA entered the franchise arena in 2001 as a division of Weichert Realtors, opening its first affiliated office in January 2002. In 2005, WREA was identified in Entrepreneur’s “Top 10 New Franchises” as one of the fastest growing U.S. franchises and was the only real estate organization to be included.

In 2008, Entrepreneur’s 29th Annual Franchise 500 listed WREA in 35th place among the nation’s fastest growing franchises in all categories.

Riverwood welcomes

new board member

AITKIN — Riverwood Healthcare Center, Aitkin, announced the appointment of Chad Gross to Riverwood’s Governing Board of Directors.

Gross started his career in banking. He worked as a teller and personal banker at Bremer Bank in St. Cloud during college. After graduating from college, he worked for Citizen’s Savings Bank in St. Cloud and rose to the position of controller. In 1996, he began working for Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge in the Deerwood area, where he is the general manager and chief financial officer.

Riverwood CEO Michael Hagen said: “In addition to his expertise in the financial field, he brings an intimate knowledge of Aitkin County and surrounding communities.”

Gross earned his associate degree from Brainerd Community College and a bachelor of science degree in finance from St. Cloud State University.

Gross said this is a period of great change in healthcare with new federal laws soon to have major impacts for hospitals and health systems nationwide as well as consumers and he hoped his past business, community and board experiences will serve Riverwood well.

Gross grew up in Aitkin and graduated from Aitkin High School in 1986. After living in St. Cloud, he moved back to the area in 1995.


EcoWater Systems to host Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests to the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce for Friday Morning Coffee from 7:30-9 a.m., Jan. 18, 200 First St. NW. Announcements are at 8:15 a.m. Sponsoring this month is EcoWater Systems.


Bock to teach accounting for non-accountants

Jay Bock is the instructor for a two-night course, Accounting for Non-Accountants, 6 to 9 p.m., Jan. 29 and 31 at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

The class is designed for businesses and individuals looking to gain a fundamental understanding of accounting. Basic principles and terms used in the accounting process will be covered along with asset, liability, equity account types and expense account types. No prior accounting knowledge is required to take this class.

The course costs $99. Registration deadline is Jan. 22. For more information, call 855-8142, or go online and click on courses or email


CenterPoint Energy

partners with charities

CenterPoint Energy partners with charitable organizations to give warmth this winter

CenterPoint Energy employees joined forces with The Salvation Army, United Way, Metro Meals on Wheels and Minnesota Food Share to provide energy assistance and conservation materials as well as weatherization kits to 1,700 families in need. “We’re proud to have founded and supported The Salvation Army HeatShare program since 1982,” said Joe Vortherms, division regional vice president for CenterPoint Energy, in a news release. “We ask that customers join us this winter and donate to the program, which helps those who may be struggling to pay energy bills.”

For more information on the HeatShare Program, go to

F & M Bank donates

to Harding Place

PIERZ — Farmer’s & Merchants State Bank in Pierz once again donated gifts for the residents at Harding Place.

Laurie Doroff, Harding Place Mental Health program director said: “Harding Place is so thankful for all the time, donations, and generosity from F & M Bank. They provide our residents so much joy and something to look forward to with the holidays.”

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