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Business decision-making: Developing vision and planning strategically

A panel of three experts with extensive experience in business visioning and strategic planning will share their perspectives and offer invaluable advice during a free panel discussion titled “Business Decision-making: Developing Vision and Planning Strategically,” scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Tuesday in room C236 at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

Sponsored by the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC), the event is geared toward business owners, those working in leadership positions, entrepreneurs and anyone else who are looking for guidance on business decision-making. Focus will be given to the topic of developing a vision and strategic planning.

Panelists are:

• Dave Johnson has more than 40 years of experience in the construction industry, including 16 years as president of Anderson Brothers Construction Co. He was responsible for managing the growth of the company from 75 employees to 250, and also “right-sizing” the business during the economic downturn. Johnson frequently facilitates visioning sessions for organizations in the Brainerd lakes area.

• John Newhouse has an engineering background and has been in positions in product, market and sales management with multinational firms in the telecommunications and plastics industry. He served for 16 years as the president of Lakeland Mold Co. and was responsible for the development of strategic planning for the company. Newhouse mentors local businesses on strategic planning for the BLAEDC EXECs.

• Mark Ronnei serves as general manager for Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. Ronnei has been with Grand View Lodge for 32 years and was named the 2006 Minnesota Resorter of the Year in recognition for his contributions to the industry. He serves on the BLAEDC Board of Directors, Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation and the Nisswa Enhanced Reading Foundation.

Each panelist will give a presentation followed by a question-and-answer session and then a time for networking. Light refreshments and beverages will be available.

There is no charge to attend and RSVPs are requested to Megan at

The event is part of BLAEDC’s Business Insights series, which includes panel discussions, meetings and group discussions through BLAEDC’s Executive Initiative that features more than 30 retired or relocated business executives who are volunteering their time to help BLAEDC grow business and create jobs.

The BLAEDC EXECs program is included in the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) through the Region Five Development Commission. The CEDS, funded through the Dept. of Commerce Economic Development Administration, is included as the economic development portion of the region’s 20-year strategy. To build upon its resilient region plan Region Five received a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for $200,000 to move forward 10 projects determined to be vital. The BLAEDC EXECs program is one of those 10 vital projects.

Established in 1985, BLAEDC is a community-driven, nonprofit organization created to preserve and enhance the area’s economic base by expanding business, building community and growing jobs in Crow Wing County. For more information, contact BLAEDC at 828-0096.

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.
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