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Business Notes May 4

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■ Foss receives 2014

humanitarian service award

Jeanni Foss, dentist, was selected as the recipient of the Minnesota Dental Association (MDA) 2014 Humanitarian Service Award. She was honored for her dedication to her profession and community by more than 9,000 dental professionals in attendance at the MDA’s annual convention, the Star of the North Meeting at the RiverCentre in St. Paul.

Foss has selflessly volunteered her time and expertise to dentistry since dental school at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, where she was involved with Minnesota American Student Dental Association and volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission.

Foss now owns a practice in Baxter and serves on committees and organizations within her community, church and the dental profession, including Give Kids and Smile and the Minnesota Mission of Mercy. She has been a member of the former MDA Community Service Committee, on which she served for two years, as well as the MDA Children’s Healthcare Committee. Foss currently sits on the MDA Board as Trustee for the West Central District while simultaneously serving as that district’s Secretary.

Foss also founded a charitable 501c(3) organization called Brighter Days Foundation.

Brighter Days’ mission is “to help seriously and chronically ill children, ages 0-18, and their families living within the Brainerd lakes area by surprising them with meaningful gifts and/or opportunities to brighten their day.” Foss continues to serve as the Foundation’s president.

■ Bengtson receives award for excellence

Hannah Bengtson, an associate wealth management adviser with David Cowell, a wealth management adviser with Northwestern Mutual – The Columns Resource Group, based in Minneapolis, was the 2014 recipient of the Commitment to Excellence Award.

The award, the company reported, is the most prestigious annual award bestowed upon an associate of The Columns Resource Group. The award is selected by the management team based on the nominations submitted by financial advisers.

“Hannah Bengtson stands for everything this award is about. She is a wonderful asset to our team, our clients, and our community. Hannah exemplifies a model associate. She is supremely efficient, organized and has an incredible knack for multitasking, prioritizing and following through. We are very grateful to have Hannah as a member of our team and are proud of her accomplishments” said Cowell.

Hannah will be recognized nationally at Northwestern Mutual’s Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she will receive her award from the executive officers of Northwestern Mutual.

■ Minnesota Grocers Association

present award, donation

“Minnesota’s Own” 2013 Silver Plate Award was presented to MOM Brands Company for winning the 2013 Minnesota’s Own best single creative display vendor.

The contest was part of a campaign that engaged Minnesotans in the fight to end hunger and provided more than 7.4 million meals to Minnesota families through local food drives and donations.

The campaign was coordinated statewide by the Minnesota Growers Association (MGA) MOM Brands Co. also presented a $1,000 donation to the Salvation Army Food Bank in Brainerd on behalf of the “Minnesota’s Own” program.

Individuals who planned to be part of the program included: Minnesota Grocers Association President Jamie Pfuhl; Joel Engel and Dan Rosenthal, MOM Brands Company; Chris Quisberg, Jeff Marchand, S&R Quisberg Inc.; Brian Jelinski, Brainerd Cub Foods; Linda Loftis, Salvation Army Food Bank representative.

■ Erickon becomes consultant

with Tastefully Simple

BAXTER — Kendra Erickon of Baxter has become an independent consultant with Tastefully Simple Inc., a national direct sales company featuring easy-to-prepare foods.

As an independent business owner, Erickon offers food samples at home taste-testing parties, along with easy ideas for everyday meals, recipes, serving suggestions. All of Tastefully Simple’s products are open-and-enjoy or can be prepared by adding only one or two ingredients.

■ Branchaud gains recognition

Dale Branchaud, Little Falls Country Club, is the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce May Employee of the Month.

Branchaud has worked at the Little Falls Country Club for the past 35 years.

Randy Pankonen said Branchaud has been loyal to the city of Little Falls and the golf course and it was an honor to him part of the team.

■ Two area bankers relocate

to Frandsen Bank & Trust

BAXTER — Frandsen Bank & Trust recently announced the addition of two key bankers — Dana Scammahorn and Sarah Dyrdal — to the staff during the past few months.

Both bring extensive lending and management experience to the Frandsen group, reported Jim Kraft, president of the Baxter bank.

Scammahorn came to Frandsen Bank with two decades in customer service, lending and bank management in the Brainerd lakes area. Her new dual position as bank manager and personal banker allows her to train and mentor bank staff.

Scammahorn has an accounting degree from Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She and her family have made their home in the Brainerd area for the past 21 years. She has been a volunteer for Junior Achievement, Habitat for Humanity, and the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Leadership Program.

Dyrdal has worked in the lending industry for 10 years. Her current position as mortgage originator and loan officer builds on her prior experience in those fields. Dyrdal received her degree in business management from Bemidji State University. Since 2006 Dyrdal and her husband have lived in the Brainerd lakes area, where she is involved with Junior Achievement and Habitat for Humanity.


■ Cuyuna Lakes Chamber

plans Business After Hours

DEERWOOD — Cuyuna Lakes Chamber’s Business after Hours is planned 5-7 p.m. May 8 at Coach’s Corner in Deerwood.

The networking event is open to the public, hors d’oeuvres will be served. Cost is $2 per person. RSVP is requested.

For more information, contact the chamber at 218-546-8131 or

■ Brandl Motors to host Business After Hours

LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce will conduct its next Business After Hours networking event from 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday at Brandl Motors, 14873 113 St., Little Falls.

Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided.

This event is free and open to all chamber members and their employees. Sponsoring is Brandl Motors.

For more information, call the Little Falls chamber at 320-632-5155. No RSVP needed.

■ A.M. Best affirms Thrivent Financial rating

A.M. Best affirmed Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ A++ (superior) rating as well as its stable outlook.

The A++ rating is the highest of the ratings agency’s 16 ratings categories. A.M. Best cited Thrivent Financial’s leading fraternal market position, favorable and increasing operating earnings trend, solid risk-adjusted capitalization, and prudent asset liability matching.

The agency also noted that it believes Thrivent Financial’s overall liquidity profile is sound and its ability to meet policyholder obligations remains very strong.


■ ACTing on Alzheimer’s: Live

Well With Hope event is May 20

The Lakes Area Memory Awareness Advocates Education Forum is planned May 20 at Arrowwood Lodge at Brainerd Lakes in Baxter.

Registration is 8 a.m. with the program planned from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a extra professional education session planned from 3:15-5:15 p.m. Registration is $15, if requesting continuing education credits (CEU) $50.

The extra professional only session is $25 for two CEUs.

To register contact Cassandra at 218-822-5573.

The event features: Jim Gambone, with a doctorate, author of “Who Says Men Don’t Care;” Lynda Converse, author of “His Name was Merle: Our Journey Through Alzheimer’s Disease;” Chris Anderson, Generations Law, Legal, and Financial Planning; Colleen Erb, doctorate, “Clarity in Diagnosis: Types and Stages of Dementia.”

The Lakes Area Memory Awareness Advocates (LAMAAs) are a group of citizens, co-workers, caregivers, family members and area consumers dedicated to the education of the greater lakes area on the upcoming tsunami and community impact of dementia. The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders will reach epidemic levels in the next 10 to 30 years, LAMAAs reported.

“This epidemic will affect everyone in our communities from the individuals with memory loss, their families, medical and health care professionals, government and community agencies, and businesses of all types,” LAMAAs reported.

For more information on the forum, call Cassandra James at 218-822-5573, $15 registration includes lunch. $50 registration includes lunch and CEUs. Or go online to

■ Free Thrivent workshop

offered on basic estate planning

LITTLE FALLS — Thrivent Financial is hosting a free educational workshop on estate preservation.

Called “Estate Strategy Essentials,” the one hour workshop will be at the Little Falls Senior Center, 510 Seventh St. NE, Little Falls. It will take place at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. The workshop is being presented by Carlyle Olsen, financial associate with Thrivent Financial.

The “Estate Strategy Essentials” workshop helps participants understand the three essential elements of any good estate strategy: wills, durable/financial powers of attorney, and living wills/medical powers of attorney. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Carlyle Olsen at 320-632-1655.

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.
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