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Business notes


■ LAHRA names

board of directors

The Lakes Area Human Resources Association announced its 2013 Board of Directors.

The directors are: President Christina Landree, branch operations manager at Pro Staff; Past President Kristi Westbrock, director of human resources and operations at Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC); President-Elect Dawn Evans, owner at D & D Exteriors; Secretary Jenna Monse, customer sales and service representative at CTC; Treasurer Kim Erickson, practice manager at Lakeland Veterinary Hospital; Membership Director Val Fiksdal, workforce management consultant at ADP; Program Director Jenny Castle, human resources manager at Atomic Learning;

Marketing Director Cheryl Goettig, owner/president at HRCheryl.

■ Lakewood to participate in learning collaborative with Stratis Health

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System, Staples, joined the Stratis Health Acting Together to Achieve Excellence campaign (ATTAX).

Lakewood will participate in this campaign designed to ensure nursing home residents receive the highest quality of care. Lakewood reported ATTAX campaign will instill quality and performance improvement practices aimed at attacking and eliminating healthcare acquired conditions and improving resident satisfaction in Minnesota nursing homes. Supporting the development of strategies for overall quality will be at the heart of this work, as well as specific emphasis and resources on improving dementia care and preventing pressure ulcers, falls and urinary tract infections, Lakewood reported. Successes and best practices from the group will be shared with the Minnesota nursing home community during the next few years.

Dan Donahue, vice president of Senior Services at Lakewood Health System, said working with Stratis Health on past initiatives has proven a positive experience.

“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made transformational quality improvement a priority across the country, and this is such exciting work that we are able to continue as the quality improvement organization with nursing homes in Minnesota,” said Dr. Jane Pederson, director, medical affairs, Stratis Health, in a news release.

This work is supported by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and is being led by Stratis Health, Minnesota’s Medicare Quality Improvement Organization.

■ Psychiatrist Neifert

joins Lakewood

STAPLES — Dr. Peter Neifert, psychiatrist, joined Lakewood Health System’s on-staff specialists.

Originally from Parker, Colo., Neifert received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Colorado College, graduated from Mayo Medical School and completed his residency at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Neifert comes from a family of doctors and teachers. His mother and sister are both physicians, and his grandmother, sister and wife are all teachers.

Neifert will see patients 16 years and older for consultations and follow-up care in Staples.

■ Fitch affirms AA rating for

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

Fitch Ratings affirmed Thrivent Financial for Lutherans AA (Very Strong) rating, the third-highest of Fitch’s 19 categories and given the organization a stable outlook.

Fitch cited Thrivent Financial’s strong capitalization, high quality investment portfolio, consistent profitability and favorable market position within the Lutheran market as part of the basis for the affirmation. The stable outlook was driven by the organization’s strong capital base and the expectation of Thrivent Financial’s solid operating performance, supported by conservative investment and product offerings. These ratings reflect Thrivent Financials’ overall financial strength and claims-paying ability, but do not apply to the investment performance of investment products.


■ SBDC series to cover accounting tools

“Accounting Tools” is the fourth in the spring Advantage Series presented by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in the Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College (CLC) in Brainerd.

The course is 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in E151 at CLC. Jay Bock will be the instructor.

Accounting is the business function of recording, reporting and analyzing financial information. Accounting can help owners make smart decisions through the careful analysis of financial information relating to current operations and new business opportunities.

This session will review the most popular accounting tools used today. Participants will also learn what types of information they should expect to get out of their accounting system to run their small business.

“If you’re thinking of starting or purchasing a business, this session would be great for you,” said Julie Platta of the SBDC. “If you’re already in business and are tracking your business activity manually, this session is a must.”

Follow-up counseling is available from the SBDC team of consultants at no-charge. Admission is $30 per person for each session or $100 per person for all four in the series.

Registration deadline is seven days prior to the class date. To register and to read session descriptions of other classes in the series go online to

For more information, contact Julie Platta at 855-8140 or


■ Crow Wing Power

distributes donations

The Crow Wing Power Community Trust Board donated $43,900 to local community programs during their first quarter meeting held in January. Operation Round-Up funds were distributed to the following projects:

$1,000 to Rising Stars Therapeutic Equitation, Little Falls; $450 to Friends of Old Crow Wing, Brainerd; $450 to Emily Quilters; $1,000 to Smile Again Ministries, Crosslake; $1,000 to Oasis Central Minnesota, Little Falls; $500 to Crow Wing County Licensed Family Childcare Association, Brainerd; $1,500 to Confidence Learning Center, Brainerd; $500 to Fast Cop, Ironton; $1,000 to Camp Knutson, Crosslake; $1,500 to

Ideal Fire Department, Pequot Lakes; $1,500 to Lakes Area Chaplaincy, Brainerd; $1,000 to Kinship of Morrison County, Little Falls; $1,500 to Heart and Hands Ministry, Motley; $1,500 to Brainerd Area Lakers Special Olympics; $26,500 to 12 area food shelves and $3,000 to Private Cooperative Members Crisis Medical Support.

Operation Round-up is funded by participating members of Crow Wing Power who allow the cooperative to round up their electric bills to the nearest whole dollar. The additional change is pooled and distributed quarterly. Since the program’s inception in late 1996, Operation Round-up donated nearly $2,334,000 to community projects and programs in Cass, Crow Wing and Morrison counties.

The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for April 25. Grant forms may be obtained by calling Crow Wing Power at 829-2827 or 800-648-9401 or at The deadline for grant applications is April 10.

■ Bon-Ton holiday Goodwill

sale collects more than

a half million pounds of goods

The Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale, a partnership between The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which operates Bon-Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, Parisian and Younkers stores and Goodwill Industries International, collected 1.2 million pounds of clothing and textiles during its first-ever holiday promotion.

The donations have an estimated value of nearly $5 million in revenue and Goodwill will sell the donations in its stores to fund job training programs and community-based services, such as child care, financial education, youth mentoring, tax preparation and transportation in the communities in which Goodwill operates. The sale took place from Dec. 6–12, 2012, at all 273 Bon-Ton stores.

Donors received coupons for each item donated during the sale to use at Bon-Ton stores. Donors also had the opportunity to register their donations on the Million Acts of Goodwill website, where they could receive an exclusive coupon for 25 percent off and a chance to have their store card paid off in December.

The Goodwill Sale takes place twice a year in the spring and fall. Since 1994, the Goodwill Sale, a cause-marketing collaboration, has generated an estimated potential value of $205 million. Last year was the first year that The Goodwill sale exceeded the $200 million mark in revenue to support Goodwill’s employment services.

■ How to submit a business note

The Dispatch welcomes business notes submissions via email to, or fax to 218-829-0211, or via the online form at, via 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.

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