Weather Forecast


Business Notes Feb. 16

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3


■ Chamber welcomes Sjoblad

to its board of directors

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber announced the appointment of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union’s (MMFCU) Amy Sjoblad to its board of directors.

Sjoblad, branch manager at MMFCU’s Pequot Lakes location, said she is eager and excited about the opportunity to serve as a chamber board member.

“The Brainerd Lakes Chamber is one of the strongest in the state, and I couldn’t be happier to represent Pequot Lakes, a city where I’m deeply involved personally and professionally,” Sjoblad said. “I hope to be able to share my energy and enthusiasm for the city and the area to be able to attract business, tourism and investment to the Brainerd lakes area.” Sjoblad and her husband, Ryan, own The Hungry Loon in Pequot Lakes.

“Amy brings an ideal blend of experience as both a small business owner and a financial professional who serves small businesses,” said Matt Kilian, Brainerd Lakes Chamber CEO. “She also will represent the Pequot Lakes area communities, which are a vital part of our regional chamber.”

In addition to her work with MMFCU, Sjoblad is treasurer for Community Action of Pequot Lakes; a Pequot Lakes/Breezy Point Lions Club member; a Junior Achievement volunteer; and a Kinship mentor.

■ Rowlette earns recognition from

Minnesota Housing Finance Agency

BAXTER — Jaime Rowlette, mortgage lender at RiverWood Bank in Baxter, was recently recognized by the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency as one of Minnesota’s top producing home loan officers.

Rowlette earned a “silver award” in recognition of the exemplary work he performed offering Minnesota Housing programs during the second half of 2013. Starting Jan. 1, 2010, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency began tracking all first-mortgage loans originated by individual loan officers as part of a program designed to recognize individual loan officer production. Originally from Bemidji, Rowlette is a graduate of Bemidji State University and has lived in the Brainerd area for the past six years. He joined RiverWood Bank in 2011.

■ Home Instead Senior Care

franchise ranks No. 1

The Home Instead Senior Care franchise network was named No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year among the top 50 large franchise systems in the Franchise Business Review’s 2014 Franchisee Satisfaction Index in its annual FBR50 - Franchisee Satisfaction Awards.

The 2014 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards are part of a national effort to examine franchisee satisfaction at some of the country’s most popular franchise brands. The “FBR50” looks at actual franchisee satisfaction data and ranks companies based on the results. This year’s award winners were selected based on a survey of more than 26,000 franchisees representing more than 350 franchise brands. This is Home Instead’s eighth year participating in this survey.

Franchise Business Review recognizes franchisors with the highest overall franchisee satisfaction based on its survey of franchisees. The survey includes 33 benchmark questions relating to the franchisee’s experience and satisfaction, as well as market area, business lifestyle and other demographic characteristics.


■ Chamber’s lead-sharing group meets

BAXTER — The next meeting of ChamberNet is 7-8:30 a.m. Feb. 27, at Mills Ford, 14858 Dellwood Drive in Baxter.

ChamberNet is a lead-sharing group that meets the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The objective is to build strong partnerships with participating member businesses and provide consumer referrals.

Cost is $75 annually, but Brainerd Lakes Chamber members are invited to attend up to two meetings free to see what ChamberNet can do for their businesses. For more information, contact Matt Perrine at or call him at 822-7107.

■ Little Falls Chamber to host

annual meeting Feb. 27

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber and community members to its 125th annual meeting, Feb. 27 at the Falls Ballroom. The chamber will bestow the 2013 Small and Large Businesses of the Year, as well as the Volunteer of the Year awards.

The featured entertainment for this event is SongBlast, two dueling guitars.

The group will be congratulating, Tom West, 2013 chamber board chairman, Morrison County Record, on a successful year and welcome 2014 chairwoman, Lori Kush, Kush State Farm Insurance. Outgoing board members to be honored during this event will be Doug Veillette, Dairy Queen.

“The annual meeting provides the opportunity to celebrate the successes of the Chamber over the past year,” said Debora K. Boelz, chamber president/CEO, in a newsrelease.

Cost is $30 per person with advance reservation required. Reservations may be mailed to: The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, 200 First St NW, Little Falls MN 56345 or by visiting the website at Reservation deadline is Feb. 21.

■ HealthSource of Baxter hosts first Northwoods Networking event

BAXTER — HealthSource of Baxter is hosting the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s first Northwoods Networking from noon to 1 p.m., Feb. 27, at 7656 Design Drive, Suite 100, in Baxter.

Northwoods Networking is a program that will focus on intentional networking for business promotional purposes. After lunch is served, the focus will turn to an educational program and hands-on training. Northwoods Networking is hosted quarterly, generally the fourth Thursday, from noon to 1 p.m.

Cost is $10. As a courtesy to the host, advanced registration is recommended. Those who pre-register by 5 p.m. the day before the event will be eligible for door prizes. For more information, call 829-2838.

■ Free Thrivent Financial

workshop on estate planning basics

LITTLE FALLS — Thrivent Financial is hosting two free educational workshops on estate planning.

Called “Estate Planning Basics,” these one-hour workshops will be hosted 2-3 p.m. and again at 5-6 p.m., Tuesday at the Little Falls Senior Center, 510 Seventh St. NE, Little Falls. The workshops are being presented by Carlyle Olsen, Financial Associate with Thrivent Financial.

The workshop helps participants understand the three essential elements of any good estate strategy: wills, durable/financial powers of attorney, living wills/medical powers of attorney.

Thrivent Financial and its respective associates and employees cannot provide legal, accounting, or tax advice or services. Work with your Thrivent Financial representative, and as appropriate your attorney and/or tax professional for additional information.

■ Franciscan Sisters to host

Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests from 7:30-9 a.m., Feb. 21, to the Franciscan Sisters Campus, 116 Eighth Ave. SE in Little Falls, for Friday Morning Coffee.

Announcements are at 8:15 a.m. Sponsoring this month are the Franciscan Sisters.


■ Bernick Family Foundation Awards $150,000

The Bernick Family Foundation announced it awarded more than $150,000 in grants focused on enriching the lives of youth and improving health through its fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

The latest round of grants provides significant support to help youth gain the experiences, encouragement and education they need to grow and serve their communities well. Among the grants is a $25,000 grant to build a climbing wall at Clara’s House, a one-of-a-kind facility in Minnesota that serves children and teens struggling with mental health and addiction.

Another grant to the Science Museum of Minnesota supports an engineering outreach tour to schools. A $30,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Club of Morrison County will help fund a new facility in Little Falls.

Bernick’s serves St. Cloud, Duluth, Alexandria, Willmar, Brainerd, Bemidji and surrounding communities as well as Dresser, Wis.

The latest round of grants supported the following area community projects: $10,000 to Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake for a new College Learning Center; $7,100 to the Warehouse of Riverview Church in Pine River for an after-school and summer program; $3,500 to Pillager Family Council for Pillager Public School Outdoor Adventures.

■ Bon-Ton Stores raise more than

$375,000 for breast cancer research

The Bon-­Ton Stores, parent company of Bon-­Ton, Bergner’s, Boston Store, Carson’s, Elder-­Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers department stores, raised more than $375,000 for its breast cancer charity partners through its annual Charge Against Breast Cancer, October Pink Shops and through sales of the Community Days booklets in 2013.

Its beneficiaries — Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa; Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation; Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota; and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation — have benefitted from The Bon-­Ton Stores support since 1998.

This year, The Masonic Cancer Center located in Minnesota received $39,260 in donations. During the years Herberger’s has donated a total of $569,100 to The Masonic Cancer Center for breast cancer research.

Brendan Hoffman, president and CEO of The Bon-­Ton Stores, Inc. said, “Breast cancer affects the lives of many of our customers and associates. We are proud of our continued partnership with these breast cancer research facilities and will continue to raise money to find a cure for this disease.”

In the Charge Against Breast Cancer customers use their Herberger’s credit card to make a purchase and the company makes a donation to fund breast cancer research.

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.

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