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Business Notes - March 16

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■ MMFCU announces

changes at Crosby branch

Nate Olson was recently named branch manager and Jill Decent promoted from member service specialist to assistant branch manager, both at the Crosby Branch of Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union (MMFCU).

Olson, who also will continue in his role as manager of the Brainerd branch, will replace Nancy Christensen who will retire in March. Olson has worked as the branch manager at MMFCU’s Brainerd location since 2010 and is active in the community, including volunteering as a member of the Ambassadors with the Brainerd Lakes Chamber, Brainerd Sports Boosters.

Decent, Ironton, has worked for MMFCU for eight years.

■ Keller Williams

receives regional award

BAXTER — Members of the Keller Williams Realty Professionals Market Center 729, North Central Region, enjoyed the spotlight when they received the Regional Bronze Award for highest number of units sold in 2013.

This is the first Regional Award earned by this Market Center, said Team Leader Carrie Lee. Baxter, Fergus Falls and Perham agents recognized for stellar performance in 2013.

■ Edina Realty’s website

receives top award

Edina Realty, which recently received a Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LendingRE), won the top award for “Best Internet Lead Management Process and Response Time.” LeadingRE is comprised of a global network of more than 500 of the top real estate firms.

Edina Realty’s customer care team responds to email inquiries in less than five minutes. Its offerings include online chat and local customer care representatives who have regional knowledge and are able to provide a personalized experience. Staffed seven days a week, Edina Realty’s customer care team handles around 4,590 inquiries on average per month.

Out of the entire national network, Edina Realty’s website was recognized for having the best practices in nurturing Internet inquiries, responding quickly to consumers and delivering customer care. is the top visited real estate website in the region, garnering more than 23 million visits across its site and mobile apps.

Created by LeadingRE in 2009, the Website Quality Certification and its associated awards recognize members’ websites that meet high standards for design, technology and customer service. A panel of independent judges rates companies on multiple criteria, including usability and performance, design and content, interactivity, customer service and Internet lead management, search engine optimization and mobile. Edina Realty reports it was the only Minnesota company to win a WQC award from LeadingRE.

■ Fober returns to Tanner Motors

Terry Fober recently returned to Tanner Motors as service manager.

Fober will be the service manager for Tanner Motors, Tanner Nissan and Tanner Mazda.

Previously, Fober was Tanner’s service manager for 17 years, overseeing the service departments at all Tanner franchises, from 1984 to 2001. Fober has lived in the Brainerd lakes area since 1984.

■ Adventure adds to staff

Adventure, a full-service advertising agency with Minnesota offices in Brainerd, St. Cloud and Minneapolis, added Jake Gyllen and Hali Danielson to its staff.

Gyllen, a 2011 University of North Dakota graduate, will act as a photo assistant for Adventure’s production side, Adventure Studios. He plans to relocate from the Twin Cities area to work out of Adventure’s Brainerd office.

Danielson, Adventure reports, is a standout Central Lakes College (CLC) design student. The two-time Best of Show student division winner at the 2013 and 2014 American Advertising Awards will be joining Adventure part-time until graduating in May and will then transition to full-time at the agency’s downtown St. Cloud location.

Danielson’s soon-to-be-complete associate degree in communication arts and design at CLC is not her first degree. In 2010, the Crosby-Ironton native received her bachelor’s degree in Slavic languages at the University of Chicago. After briefly pursuing a culinary career in Chicago, she moved back to her home state. Adventure reported a gut instinct led Danielson to CLC’s design program in 2012. In just two years, Danielson garnered two Best of Show awards at the American Advertising Awards (ADDYS), five Gold ADDYS and Best of Show at AAFCM’s Annual 1x1 Art Gala.

■ Thrivent Financial posts fifth consecutive year of growth

LITTLE FALLS — Thrivent Financial announced that its 2013 financial results led to a fifth consecutive year of growth for the not-for-profit membership organization.

The organization continued to increase its financial strength as assets under management, revenue and surplus all continued to climb in 2013. Thrivent’s outreach funding also continued to grow, as Thrivent and its members contributed $182.7 million in direct support to charitable organizations, schools, congregations and communities across the country.

Thrivent members volunteered more than 8.6 million volunteer hours in 2013. Assets under management, total revenue, total surplus, and life insurance in force all rose as Thrivent experienced one of its best years of performance in its 112-year history. Assets under management grew to $90.4 billion, up 9.9 percent over 2012, while total revenue was up 2.4 percent, climbing to $8.5 billion from the previous year. Total surplus, a key indicator of overall financial strength and stability of a financial services organization, reached $6.9 billion, 12.7 percent higher than 2012, and now stands at an all-time high for the organization.


■ Free Social Security

workshop offered in Little Falls

With hundreds of options associated with your Social Security retirement benefits, a free workshop is being offered in Little Falls. The workshop is 2:30 p.m., and again, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Little Falls Senior Center, 510 Seventh St. NE. No products will be sold at this event. For questions, contact Carlyle Olsen, a financial associate with Thrivent Financial at 320-632-1655.

■ Friends of Pine Grove Zoo

to host Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests to Pine Grove Zoo, from 7:30-9 a.m. Friday, 1200 W. Broadway in Little Falls for Friday Morning Coffee.

This is an excellent opportunity to kick off your weekend by joining us for a cup of coffee while making valuable business connections. Announcements are at 8:15 a.m. Sponsoring this month are Friends of Pine Grove Zoo.

■ Woodtick Inn hosts

Business After Hours

The Woodtick Inn will host Cuyuna Lakes Chamber’s networking event Business After Hours from 5-7 p.m. Thursday.

This event is open to the public. Hors d’oeuvres will be served. Cost is $2 per person. For further information, call the chamber at 218-546-8131.

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