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Business Notes - June 8

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News Brainerd,MN 56401
Business Notes - June 8
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401


■ Baecker joins RedHouseMedia

Jana Baecker recently joined the creative staff of RedHouseMedia, Brainerd, as a graphic designer.


Baecker was hired as a result of RedHouseMedia’s growth in the medical, destination tourism and manufacturing industries.

Originally from Nuremberg, Germany, Baecker graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and a minor in studio arts. Prior to joining RedHouseMedia, Baecker gained design experience as an intern at advertising agencies in Berlin and Fuerth, Germany.

Baecker joined RedHouseMedia’s design team this spring where she specializes in creating identity and communication tools for clients through print and web design. She’s also pursuing her master of arts in sustainable design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

■ Eckelman joins Deerwood Bank

BAXTER — Becky Eckelman recently joined Deerwood Bank as a real estate lender where she’ll manage residential real estate relationships, assisting people with their financing needs.

Becky Eckelman has more than 25 years experience in mortgage lending, real estate, and sales and marketing. She is active in the real estate industry, teaching real estate continuing education.

She has a master’s degree in business administration from the College of St. Scholastica.

“I’ve been involved in real estate lending for most of my working career,” Eckelman said.

Eckelman is a member of the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors and the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association. She is president of the board of directors of the Northland Arboretum in Baxter and serves as chair of the fundraising committee.

She also serves on the board of directors for the Crisis Line in central Minnesota and the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, as well as a supervisor for St. Mathias Township Board in central Minnesota. Eckelman is also an equine foster care provider for the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation.

■ Crow Wing Food Co-op hires new general manager

The Crow Wing Food Co-op, a community-owned natural foods store in Brainerd since 1979, recently hired Nalrah Hicks as its new general manager.

Joining the co-op with a background in business management and marketing, safety manager certification, and experience as a business owner for many years, Hicks will work with co-op staff and the board of directors to continue to strengthen the co-op and direct its growth.

Growing up on a local farm gave Hicks a respect and appreciation for sustainably raised food, and an enthusiasm to see the co-op grow its relationships with local farmers to continue to provide the community with locally grown products. The co-op noted Hicks’ knowledge of wild edibles and herbology as well.

■ Brink featured on ‘Minnesota Bound’

“Minnesota Bound” TV host Ron Schara featured Judd Brink, owner of Minnesota Backyard Birds, Brainerd, on June 1 and again on June 7 on KARE 11.

The show features some of the products and services that are available to help people “birdscape” their home, increasing the number and variety of colorful songbirds. The show will also be available soon after it airs at

■ Besett, Pallanche join The Cut Above

Kayla Pallanche and Maddie Besett joined The Cut Above in Brainerd.

Pallanche and Besett have 20 years of combined experience specializing in modern cuts and styles for all ages, as well as the latest looks for men. They will also be offering trends in bridal hair and color services. Both are certified in the Shellac Gel nail system and the Brazilin blowout split-end repairing treatment.

■ Jones joins Vercon Inc.

BAXTER — Kellie Jones recently joined Vercon Inc., a construction management firm with offices in Baxter, Menahga and Minneapolis, as a business development manager in commercial construction.

As a commercial business development manager, Jones plans and coordinates Vercon’s commercial development opportunities, which includes medical, banking and manufacturing building projects. She works directly with business owners who are in the market for building or remodeling and also supports Vercon’s commercial construction team.

Jones, a graduate of Purdue University, has 17 years of sales experience, with knowledge of business development, management and client relations. Jones is originally from the Chicago area and currently works out of Vercon’s Baxter office.

Jones joins Vercon’s team of more than 100 people, specializing in the design, construction and management of damage restoration, residential and commercial building projects throughout the upper Midwest.

Vercon is a partnership between Northway Construction in Baxter and JP Structures in Menahga, which have a combined 18 years of building and remodeling experience, from multi-million dollar commercial facilities to lake home renovations.

■ Wilson is the Little Falls chamber Employee of the Month

LITTLE FALLS — Pearl Wilson, Morrison County Sheriff’s Office, was named June Employee of the Month by the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

Wilson has been a corrections officer at the Morrison County Jail for the past 23 years.

“Two words come to mind when describing Sgt. Pearl Wilson: fair and consistent,” said Lt. Mike Monnier. “Pearl is respected by the inmates and her fellow staff because they always know where she stands. She constantly enforces the rules and doesn’t waiver when she says ‘No.’ While doing her job her demeanor is friendly and pleasant and she knows where to interject humor and compassion when necessary.“

Wilson thanked those who nominated her, she said working in the jail is nothing like television depictions, as a correctional officer you are always tested by inmates but if they are aren’t treated bad and rules are upheld, respect can be gained.

“Being a correctional officer can be very exhausting job both mentally and physically with a few rewarding experiences. The best part of my job is the camaraderie and the relationships I have developed with my co-workers. I work with great people and we all have each others back.”


■ Market in the Park returns to downtown Pequot Lakes

PEQUOT LAKES — Market in the Park returns June 19 at Trailside Park near the Paul Bunyan State Trail in downtown Pequot Lakes.

Market in the Park is planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday through Aug. 21. This event has crafters, flea market booths, farmers, fundraisers, garage sales, concessions, etc. Anyone is welcome to purchase booth space for this event.

A 10-foot-by-10-foot booth space costs $15/day ($30 for a 10-foot-by-20-foot booth). Brainerd Lakes Chamber members get a booth space for free.

There also will be a bobber hunt for kids from 10 a.m. to noon each Thursday and bobber bowling for kids and adults at 1 p.m. in Trailside Park. Prizes will be given to the winners.

For more information, contact Jenna Crawford at 218-568-8911 or

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.