Weather Forecast


5 Minn. inmates on the loose after one overtakes control of van

Business Notes Dec. 29

1 / 13
2 / 13
3 / 13
4 / 13
5 / 13
6 / 13
7 / 13
8 / 13
9 / 13
10 / 13
11 / 13
12 / 13
13 / 13


■ Gale, Wottreng join CliftonLarsonAllen

Jon Gale, certified public accountant, principal, joins CliftonLarsonAllen’s Brainerd office.

Gale has more than 25 years of experience helping private businesses and their owners achieve their goals. Through assurance, tax and advisory services, Jon helps owners improve profitability, reduce risk, build business value and preserve legacy.

Gale, CliftonLarsonAllen reports, has an interest in building sustainable communities through well run private businesses that create and nurture strong jobs growth.

Chad Wottreng, a certified public accountant and accredited in business valuation, has joined the firm as a manager with more than 11 years of experience. His focus is on audit services, individual and business tax preparation, business valuations for estate and gift tax purposes, shareholder disputes, and buy/sell situations. Wottreng, originally from Rochester now resides in Brainerd.

■ Hautala and Crow Wing County officials present at AMC

Aaron Hautala of RedHouseMedia along with Rachel Nystrom, Crow Wing County commissioner, Tim Houle, county administrator, and Tamra Laska, human resource director, recently spoke at the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) annual conference in Minneapolis.

Hautala, creative director and owner of RedHouseMedia, a Brainerd-based advertising agency, and the Crow Wing County officials conducted a one-hour workshop on “communicating the changing face of county government.” Using Crow Wing County’s multi-media “People’s Report” as an example of an effective communication tool, the group discussed how to engage a large audience in a fiscally responsible way.

Crow Wing County collaborated with Hautala and RedHouseMedia to create the “People’s Report,” released earlier this year, highlighting Crow Wing County’s programs, services and the people who use them. To view it, visit

Representatives including elected officials, department heads and staff from all of Minnesota’s 87 counties, attended the two-day AMC conference to learn more about ways to improve the delivery of services, perform more efficiently and enhance overall service in county government.

■ Dakota Plains Energy executes purchase agreement

The Nisswa regional office of renewable energy developer Dakota Plains Energy announced the execution of a power purchase agreement for the Campbell County Wind Farm in South Dakota. Basin Electric of Bismarck N.D. has agreed to purchase the entire output of the 98 megawatt project to be located near Pollock, S.D.

“This agreement with such a strong, credit-worthy off-taker allows us to further the financing of this $160 million project,” said Rob Johnson, president and co-founder of Dakota Plains Energy. “This wind farm will provide enough clean energy to supply over 120,000 individuals or the equivalent of 30,000 households. After years of wind analysis studies, along with avian, bat, and cultural studies, we expect final federal and state permitting to occur in mid-2014 with construction to begin soon after.”

Dakota Plains Energy was established

in 2007 in Nisswa and also has offices in Aberdeen S.D. The company reports it continues to explore additional large-scale renewable energy projects in Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakotas.

■ Nominations sought for business awards

LITTLE FALLS — Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Service Committee requesting nominations for 2013 small business of the year, large business of the year and volunteer of the year.

Nomination forms are due in the chamber office by Jan. 17, 2014. Awards will be bestowed at the chamber’s annual meeting Feb. 27.

Recipients will receive public recognition and a plaque noting their honor. The names will also be displayed on permanent plaques in the chamber office.

Nomination forms are available on the chamber website at below the nominations link. For more information or to submit a nomination contact the chamber at 320-632-5155 or email Gina at

■ Marco acquires carrier services company

Marco Inc. recently announced another major move in its planned strategic growth with the purchase of a carrier services company.

Marco acquired Twin Cities-based TelePro Communications Inc. to expand the technology services they provide to their clients.

TelePro is a long-standing telecom carrier agent that recommends and supports services from a number of local, long distance, Internet, and data providers across the United States. They currently serve about 2,500 customers.

TelePro’s services compliment Marco’s current voice, data and managed services solutions. Marco’s managed services division has experienced significant growth over the past five years and is viewed as a leader nationwide, the company reported. Collectively, Marco’s voice, data and managed services solutions revenue has grown more than 30 percent in 2013.

TelePro will operate as a division of Marco and will retain the TelePro name. Their employees will continue to office from their current Plymouth location.

■ Klaers to manage Cash Wise Liquor in Brainerd

Coborn’s Inc. named Tony Klaers store manager at Cash Wise Liquor in Brainerd, effective Dec. 16.

Klaers managed the Coborn’s grocery store in Sauk Rapids for the last 10 years and the Coborn’s grocery store in Mora for seven years prior to that. He has been an employee of Coborn’s Inc. since 1993. St. Cloud, Minn.-based Coborn’s Inc. is an employee-owned grocery retailer with 48 stores across the Midwest. It owns and operates 35 liquor stores, an online grocery ordering and home delivery service and stand-alone convenience, video and pharmacy locations.

■ Stebbins to join Cuyuna Regional Medical Center

Peggy Stebbins will join Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in January 2014 as director/marketing/communications/public relations. She has more than 20 years experience in health care and higher education.

Stebbins served as director of public relations and marketing at St. Peter’s Hospital in Helena, Mont., the past 12 years. She was the Hospital’s spokesperson, created and implemented the hospital’s strategic marketing and communications plans and was responsible for media and community relations, advertising, publications and special events. She also managed the graphics, community education, wellness, and volunteer departments.

She also has experience as a communications specialist, advertising copywriter, media buyer, and has worked as a daily and weekly newspaper reporter.

Stebbins has a bachelor’s degree in communications, business administration, and graphic arts from Minnesota State University-Mankato and accreditation in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America.

She is originally from St. Paul.

Todd Bymark, current marketing and public relations director, will transition to a new role as director of physician recruitment and business development for Cuyuna Regional Medical Center. Bymark has been with CRMC for five-and-a-half years.

■ Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Crosslake Clinic offers physical therapy

Physical therapy services for most orthopedic diagnosis, including spine, shoulders, and knees is now available at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Crosslake Clinic. Care is provided by Essentia Health licensed physical therapists who are also STAR certified for treating cancer patients.

■ Northern Trust promotes Wilczynski

Northern Trust, a leading provider of integrated wealth management and other financial services, recently announced Ann Wilczynski, senior personal trust relationship manager, was promoted to senior vice president in the Minnesota office.

Wilczynski assists clients in building, protecting and transferring their legacies with comprehensive, tax-efficient trust and investment strategies.

Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2011, Ann practiced estate planning and probate law in Minneapolis – St. Paul. She has also had positions in state government and practiced law in Chicago and Indianapolis.

Wilczynski is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. She also has a master’s degree from Dominican University. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Basilica Landmark, the vice chair of the Basilica Landmark Planned Giving Committee and a member of the Catholic Community Foundation’s Next Generation Committee. She volunteers for Legal CORPs, which provides pro bono legal services for business owners and small nonprofits. Wilczynski is involved in Vanderbilt University’s Twin Cities alumni group, Minnesota Women Lawyers and DeLaSalle High School.

Wilczynski is based at Northern Trust’s Minnesota office in Minneapolis.

■ Lasar named LF chamber employee of the month

LITTLE FALLS — Jen Lasar, Little Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, is the

Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce January Employee of the Month.

Lasar has been an administrative assistant at the Convention & Visitors Bureau for the past eight months.

Kris VonBerge, executive director, said Lasar “is a ‘non-stop’ excellent customer service example. She starts her day with a smile and jumps right into daily tasks. She is creative, artistic and has a passion to make things better.”

VonBerge said Lasar’s drive is to create a “great day” for everyone she talks to daily.

■ Deerwood Technologies recycling drive takes in 2,700 pounds

Deerwood Technologies announced the company’s recycling drive took in more than 2,700 pounds of computers, monitors, displays, printers and associated electronic equipment on Dec. 14. The support of the community in spite of the inclement weather was greatly appreciated as the proceeds from this event benefit the Deerwood Technologies Scholarship Fund for local youth in the Crosby-Ironton and Aitkin areas. Deerwood Technologies thanked all those who participated in the recycling event.

■ Billington

gains award

The Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point Lion’s Club awarded Jen Billington the “Secretary Award” for 2013.

Billington is instrumental in keeping the inner workings of our Lion’s Club running smoothly and she has worked tirelessly for years without any recognition for far too long, the club reported. The award is intended as a thank you as well as appreciation for work well done. For more information, call Molly Ring with the Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point Lions Club at 218-838-8002. Meetings are at 5:30 p.m., the second Monday of the month at Pelican Lakes Conservation Club (one mile south of Breezy Point gates) and visitors are always welcome.

■ Schroeder joins the Essentia emergency department

Dr. Desiree Schroeder, an emergency medicine physician, has joined the Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd.

St. Joseph’s is a Level III Trauma Center, providing emergency medical services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Emergency specialists and physicians form a life-saving team caring for more than 26,000 patients each year, Essentia Health reported.

Schroeder earned her medical degree at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis. She completed her residency and is board certified in emergency medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y.

Schroeder said she enjoys the variety and fast pace that working in the emergency department brings.

■ Lakewood Health System’s names care center director of nursing

STAPLES — Stacy Line, registered nurse, is the new director of nursing at Lakewood’s Care Center.

Originally from Casselton, N.D., Line started at Lakewood as a nursing assistant in 1995. She received her registered nursing degree from Central Lakes College in 2001, and she will graduate from The College of St. Scholastica with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in August of 2014. Line is a member of the Minnesota Director’s of Nursing Association (MN-DONA). Line has worked in almost every nursing position at the care center and said she’s learned so much from each position, which makes me appreciate them all. Her passion is long-term care.

■ Buss joins Lakewood Health System

STAPLES — Melissa Buss, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, is the newest member of Lakewood’s medical staff.

Originally from Wayzata, Buss received her master of science in nursing degree from the College of St. Scholastica. Buss is passionate about mental health nursing and has worked in the field for more than 10 years. Buss stated she believes in a holistic treatment approach.

■ Finnegan joins Klein & Fleming Insurance Services

Shannon Finnegan recently joined Klein & Fleming Insurance Services Inc. in Brainerd.

Finnegan brings an experience level to his new role as producer for Klein & Fleming. He has spent the last 14 years in the insurance industry and is licensed to sell personal, commercial, life and health insurance products.

Finnegan has a bachelors degree from The University of St. Thomas.

■ Lindholm, Ruen join Lexington Manufacturing

David Lindholm and Kevin Ruen recently joined the sales team at Lexington Manufacturing in Brainerd.

Serving wood product manufacturers and distributors throughout the United States, Lindholm and Ruen have years of customer service experience within the manufacturing and forest product industries.

Lindholm’s knowledge of wood products and original equipment manufacturing comes from more than 20 years of sales, management and business development at companies throughout North America.

Similarly, Ruen has worked in manufacturing management and product development positions throughout the Midwest for more than 30 years. Ruen, a Brainerd resident, is also involved in the Sunrise Rotary Club, Junior Achievement and local sports officiating.

Established in 1981, Lexington Manufacturing creates engineered wood products used in commercial and fire rated doors, furniture, cabinets and stairway components. Lexington Manufacturing is among the largest manufacturing firms in the Brainerd lakes area.

■ Brandow joins Bethany as director of nursing

Good Samaritan Society - Bethany recently welcomed Kim Brandow as director of nursing. Brandow, originally from northern Wisconsin, comes to Bethany with more than 27 years of nursing experience — 20 specifically in long term care. Brandow will work under the direction of Ryan Cerney, administrator at Good Samaritan Society – Bethany.

Cerney said Brandow’s knowledge and management experience as benefits.

The Good Samaritan Society — Bethany campus consists of a care and rehabilitation center, therapy center, senior and assisted living apartments, home care and hospice.

■ Unity Bank welcomes new lender Sorensen

Unity Bank welcomed Todd Sorensen to the lending team of Unity Bank as a vice president.

He will be responsible for serving area customers with business, real estate, consumer, and agricultural loans. Sorensen grew up in the Crosby area and earned his bachelor of science degree in business administration from Bemidji State University. He has 26 years of commercial, residential and consumer lending experience.

Unity Bank is a $179 million asset family-owned, full-service bank with nine locations across Minnesota.


■ Blueprint reading course offered at CLC

A 16-hour blueprint reading course offered at Central Lakes College in Brainerd is aimed at helping students develop skills in practical blueprint reading, interpretation and development.

Welding symbols are learned and drawings will be made. With conventional blueprint reading methods, the student will gain necessary interpreting skills to develop a working knowledge on a variety of blueprint types from various fields with great emphasis on welding.

Cost is $169. The instructor is Mike Reeser. The course is 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30 and Feb. 4 and Feb. 6.

Advanced registration is required by Jan. 7.

For additional information contact: Central Lakes College, Brainerd Campus, 218-855-8118 or 1-800-933-0346, ext. 8118

■ Edina Realtors Foundation awards grants

The Edina Realty Foundation recently awarded $1,000 to the Crosslake Food Shelf and $1,500 to the Mid-Minnesota Women’s Shelter.

A large portion of grant money came directly from the Realtors of Edina Realty’s Crosslake sales office.

“We believe it’s our responsibility to help people for whom housing is a major issue in their lives, and we are proud to donate both our time and our money to these worthy organizations,” said Mary DuBois Adamek, Edina Realty Crosslake sales office foundation representative.

The Dispatch welcomes business notes submissions via email to, or fax to 218-829-0211, 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. Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.

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