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■ Brainerd Edina reports Realty Circle Award Winners

Edina Realty Home Services of Edina announced winners of the Edina Realty Circle Awards for 2012.

These residential sales associates earned the Circle Award recognition by achieving a high level of sales volume.

In Brainerd the Masters Circle was awarded to Albie Kuschel and Dustin Kuschel; President’s Circle Penny Nelsen, Brad Wadsten, Matt Wadsten, Mike Kennedy, Debbie Haroldson, Judy Altrichter, and Sandy Knosalla, Leadership Circle; Betsy Hollister, Debra Flam, Jolaine Johnson, William Haroldson, and Pat and Nick Heinen.

■ Kragness joins

Halverson Law Firm

Conrad C. Kragness joined the law firm of Chuck Halverson, a certified criminal law specialist, as an associate attorney.

Kragness, a Brainerd High School alumnus, graduated from the College of St. Scholastica with a bachelor of arts degree in business management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law. He was sworn into the Minnesota Bar Association in May of 2012, and is fully licensed to practice law. Kragness will be engaged in the general practice of law, with an emphasis in criminal, family and business law.

■ Lakeville student places second in national video savings contest

Brainerd Savings and Loan Association’s Matt Xi won second place in the American Bankers Association’s Lights, Camera, Save! national video contest.

The announcement was made Feb. 28 in a video broadcast via the Foundation’s YouTube channel.

Brainerd Savings and Loan Association was one of about 124 banks and branches who hosted local levels of the competition and selected a winner to represent their bank and compete on the national level. Xi’s video, “Saving for the Future” features the benefits of saving, but also rewarding one’s self.

As the second place winner, Xi will be awarded a savings vehicle of $1,500.

Lights, Camera, Save! launched in 2010 as an offshoot of the ABA’s Teach Children to Save program. It is a competition that encourages youth to use video to communicate the value of saving and using money wisely to inspire their peers and others to become lifelong savers.

For more on the contest, visit

■ Eight RNs gain recognition

CROSBY — Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) recently recognized eight registered nurses for their participation in the clinical recognition program.

The purpose of the program is to recognize and reward commitment to and expertise in clinical practice for registered nurses employed at CRMC. The program provides opportunities for eligible nurses to progress through a clinical career advancement program through the achievement of designated credentials, clinical skills and contributions. Program participants were Darcy Otto, Michelle Kemper, Jesse Oman, Chris Roy, Violet Mussell, Joyce Alt, Sandy Taylor and Kelly Hagestuen.

■ Detloff joins Panache

Salon & Day Spa

BAXTER — Jenna Detloff joined Panache Salon & Day Spa, Baxter. Detloff is a graduate of Minnesota State Community and Technical College. She is a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician. Panache reported Detloff’s is talented in customizing haircuts, colors, luxurious facials and body sugaring. Detloff will be a core team member at Panache.

AT&T names Weirtz president

AT&T announced that Paul Weirtz has been named President of AT&T Minnesota.

In this role, Weirtz will lead AT&T’s legislative and community affairs activities in Minnesota.

■ New urologist sees

patients in Aitkin, Crosby

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) and Riverwood Healthcare Center welcomed a new urologist, Dr. Christopher Boelter, of Adult & Pediatric Urology. He joins Dr. Shawn McGee and Cindy Hauser, nurse practitioner, in seeing urology patients in Aitkin and Crosby.

Boelter, Sartell, has a special interest in urological cancers, women’s health, as well as laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery.

Growing up in Minnesota, Boelter earned his bachelor’s degree at St. Olaf College and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He went on to complete a residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Urological Association and the Minnesota Urological Society.

■ Former Baxter resident

noted in honor

Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville was named the 2012 Midwest Golf Course Owner’s Association (MGA) Member Club of the Year.

The honor is based on the facility’s support of the MGA member’s program, involvement with the MGA Junior program and willingness to host MGA championships and qualifiers. Brackett’s Crossing has ships and qualifiers. Brackett’s Crossing has been an active supporter of amateur golf and MGA championships since the early 1970s. In that time, Brackett’s hosted numerous MGA qualifiers and championships including, the 1973 and 2009 MGA Senior Amateur Four Ball Championships, the 1993 MGA Championship, the 2003 MGA Mid-Amateur, the 2006 MGA Mixed Amateur Team Championship, and the 2012 MGA Women’s Mid-Amateur.

In addition, Brackett’s has hosted several MGA Senior Tour events, as well as MGA Junior Team qualifiers.

Brackett’s Crossing actively supports MGA’s nonprofit mission through a large and active MGA associate membership program, which includes more than 520 golfers, and has assumed an active role in adopting new handicap software and hardware testing.

The club received a plaque and will be featured in the 2013 Directory issue of the Minnesota Golfer, the official publication of the MGA.

Brackett’s Crossing is owned by Tom Smith, Tom Proshek is the superintendent, and Arik Hemquist, formerly of Baxter, is the assistant superintendent.

■ Johnson

joins Nor-Son

Karie Johnson joined Nor-Son Feb. 1.

Johnson brings nearly 20 years of expertise applying technology across the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries.

In her role as chief information officer/director of information technology integration and innovation, Johnson is responsible for developing, directing, and managing Information Technology and Information Systems (IT/IS) strategy and integration across the organization.

She will focus on leading Nor-Son’s innovation efforts to continually improve the project delivery process through the application of building information modeling (BIM), virtual design and construction (VDC), and mobile technology to drive efficiency and provide value for clients.

Johnson serves on the board for AIA Minneapolis and 1006 Summit Avenue Society (the Governor’s Residence Council). She is also a past associate director of AIA Minnesota and the current co-chair of the AIA MN BIM Breakfast Club. In addition, Johnson was recognized as one of “40 Under 40” for Building Design + Construction, and she has been awarded the President Citation for BIM Education and Advocacy by AIA Minneapolis. She has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Minnesota and also has Lean and Six Sigma Green Belt Training from Villanova University.

■ Thrivent Financial among most ethical

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans was selected as one of the 2013 “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute. Thrivent Financial was named to the prestigious list for the second consecutive year as a result of its leadership in promoting ethical business standards as well as for introducing innovative ideas to benefit the public.

The Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. The 2013 list is the largest list since the award’s inception in 2007.

Ethisphere reviewed nominations from companies in more than 100 countries and 36 industries. The methodology includes reviewing codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers.

■ Honda awards highest dealership honor to Mills Honda

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced Mills Honda earned the President’s Award for its exceptional performance in 2012.

This annual award is presented to Honda’s top-ranking dealerships that achieved excellence in all areas of operation-customer service and sales satisfaction, sales, training, and facility.

During 2012, more than 1,000 Honda dealerships from across the country competed for the President’s Award title, with 112 dealerships earning the award. Mills Honda was one of two dealerships awarded in Minnesota. Each year the objectives for the program are evaluated to ensure compliance with Honda’s standards. Honda provides each winning dealership a distinguished trophy and other showroom embellishments to herald their accomplishments.

Marisa Mae Mills, general principal and general manager at Mills Honda, congratulated and thanked the staff in the automotive group and thanked customers in a news release.


■ Habitat to host brainstorming session for Women’s

Build event

Lakes Area Habitat For Humanity (LAHFH) will be holding a “Brainstorming” session about a possible Women’s Build Event for fall of 2013. Anyone wishing to attend is invited to the habitat office at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 1110 Wright St., across from the National Guard Armory in Brainerd. If you can’t attend, but would like more information, call 828-8517 or email

LAHFH built 78 homes in the tri-county area and has tithed funds for another 77 homes in Guatemala. Habitat for Humanity is the 6th largest builder in the United States and the largest nonprofit builder in the world.

■ BLAEDC to host ‘Business Chat’

The Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp. is hosting a coff and “Business Chat” with its retired business executives from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Thursday at Heartwood Deli in Crosby, in the Heartwood Senior Living facility, 500 Heartwood Drive.

■ Perkins Restaurant & Bakery for Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests to Perkins Restaurant & Bakery for Friday Morning Coffee, 7:30-9 a.m., 201 NE 16 St., March 15.

Announcements are at 8:15 a.m. Sponsoring this month is Perkins Restaurant & Bakery.


■ CLL session looks at retirement plans

The Center for Lifelong Learning at Central Lakes College is hosting a financial workshop entitled “Reinventing Your Financial Retirement Plans,” from 6:30-8 p.m. March 19 at the Brainerd Campus of Central Lakes College.

This course, led by financial planner Andy Larson, is designed to help individuals understand the process with retirement planning and avoid the common mistakes and problems encountered in the planning process. Larson has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and is a frequent lecturer and author on industry topics. His background includes extensive product design for plan sponsors and advanced sales support for intermediaries who work with plans. As a retirement industry executive, he ran the Consulting and Training group for Universal Pensions, Inc. (UPI), and directed the BLISS Corporate University. He has served as an adjunct professor for the Central Lakes College system in Minnesota, and provides expert witness services on numerous industry topics.

Cost to attend this event is $6 for non-members or free for those with a Center for Lifelong Learning membership. Pre-registration is recommended and can be made by calling 855-8142.

For more information, go to

■ Workshop focuses on orchards in cold climates

STAPLES — Expert researchers and horticulturalists will lead the first in a series of workshops on orchards for very cold climates.

The all-day workshop is suitable for all levels of interest and experience and covers apple and fruit tree grafting. The workshop is from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 19 at the Central Lakes College Ag and Energy Center field office, main building, in Staples just off County Road No. 2.

While this is professional-level instruction of unusual depth everyone is invited from home gardeners and homesteaders to commercial orchardists.

Bob Purvis of Homedale, Idaho, has served as secretary of North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX) since August 2009. Wherever he has lived, he has taught grafting workshops and pruning demonstrations and helped others learn more about fruit growing.

The workshop cost is $80, however, for the first 12 registrants half is defrayed to $40 through a grant from the University of Minnesota Central Region Partnership.

For more information, email Kent Scheer at Green Island, Wadena, or Jim Chamberlin at Happy Dancing Turtle.

■ 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