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Business News March 25

Radco is now open just off Highway 371 in Baxter in the former Floor to Ceiling 1 / 3
Myra Horner2 / 3
Christina Johnson3 / 3


Horner to join Pillager Family Center

PILLAGER — The Pillager Family Center announced Myra J. Horner has been hired as their home visitor.

The Pillager Family Center’s Home Visiting Program offers a variety of family-focused services to expectant first-time parents and families with children ages 0-36 months. Utilizing the Growing Great Kids curriculum, Horner will work with the parents in developing positive parenting practices, building on the parent’s strengths, creating and ensuring safe home environments, and assisting with access to community resources.

Horner is a personal life coach with a focus on self-confidence and family relations. The mother of a 16-year old, Horner learned first-hand the importance a parent has as their child’s first teacher, the center reported.

For more information about Home Visiting Program, or how to become involved, contact Horner at 821-0912 or via email to

The Pillager Family Center serves all households in the Pillager community including single parents, veterans, senior citizens, and families. If a household has questions on whether or not they are eligible for services or what services are available, they are encouraged to contact the Pillager Family Center at (218) 746-4009 or via email to

Johnson continues as volunteer photographer

LITTLE FALLS — Christina Johnson, photographer, recently teamed up with Minnesota Heart Gallery to capture images of children who live in foster homes and are awaiting adoptive families.

The mission of the Minnesota Heart Gallery is to help children and teens living in foster care find permanent and committed families, and to raise community awareness of our shared responsibility to each of these youth. Johnson said they pull out all the stops for the photo shoots to capture the child’s personality and make them feel special.

Once the photos are taken, they will be put on the Minnesota Heart Gallery website for potential adoptive families to see. For those interested in adopting from foster care, volunteering your time or donating to the Minnesota Heart Gallery, please go to for more information.

Johnson has Christina Johnson Photography in Little Falls.

Olson gains appointment to academic excellence foundation

ONAMIA — Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Mille Lacs Band Commissioner of Education Dennis Olson to the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation (MAEF) board.

MAEF is a nonprofit organization that promotes academic excellence in Minnesota schools through partnerships between the public and private sectors. The foundation collaborates with business, education and community leaders to identify and promote excellence in education and growth in Minnesota student achievement. MAEF also oversees the Ethel Curry American Indian Scholarship, which is awarded to American Indian students who have been admitted to Minnesota higher education institutions and have made a significant contribution to their American Indian culture and community.

Olson, who was appointed Mille Lacs Band commissioner of education in 2009, oversees the band’s educational programs and services, including the Nay Ah Shing Schools, early education, and higher education. The band’s schools, which serve 326 students, integrate Ojibwe history, language and cultural curricula into the classroom. Throughout his career, Olson has worked with American Indian students in all stages of education. Olson is one of two American Indians currently serving on the board.

A Fond du Lac Band member, Olson has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He will serve a two-year term on the MAEF board.

Nominations sought for Women Making Waves Award

The Brainerd Lakes Area Women’s Fund is seeking nominations for the Women Making Waves Award which honors women leaders.

The award is in recognition of women in the community who have excelled in a variety of working environments and in doing so have improved conditions for themselves and others in the local community.

The award will be presented at the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation Annual Dinner which is in July and features the annual Award in Philanthropy. The award winner will also be recognized at the Women’s Fund Annual Fundraiser this Fall.

Last year, the first honoree was Sue Hadland, a nurse practitioner at the Women’s Health Clinic at Essentia Health–Baxter Clinic. Hadland has been active with several community groups including the YMCA, Ski Gull, Soup Kitchen and the Interfaith Hospitality Network. She received an honorarium of $1,000 to be donated to the nonprofit of her choice from the Brainerd Lakes Community Foundation and the Women’s Fund. She gifted it back to the Brainerd Lakes Area Women’s Fund.

Nominations are due by April 9. Women Making Waves Award Recipients are women who currently reside in the lakes area community; demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business, profession or community initiatives; provide valuable services by contributing time, energy and/or resources to improve the lives of women and others in their community; actively assist women and others in realizing their full leadership and giving potential.

The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation (BLACF) is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local community. Since 1998, BLACF has grown to more than $5 million in assets and awarded nearly $2 million in grants to local nonprofits. BLACF is affiliated with the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, which administers more than 500 funds totaling more than $65 million. Learn more at


Social Media in business workshop set in Pine River

PINE RIVER — A hands-on workshop led by Ryan Pesch of the University of Minnesota Extension, you will learn the tools and strategies for streamlining, tracking and simplifying your use of social media and marketing. Computers will be available or you can bring your own laptop. Participants can test, learn and even start implementing the tools during this workshop.

The workshop will be 5-8 p.m. April 3 at the Community Computer Center in Pine River. There is no cost to attend, but pre-registration is required.

Workshop topics include: How social networking works and how to get business from it; how to increase traffic to your website; Facebook, pages, groups, profiles — what really works to get more customers. Overview, setting up accounts and pages appropriately, adding events and tactics for attracting friends and fans; Twitter, simple secrets to automate Twitter while still getting results, setting up an account appropriately, finding followers, tools to increase your followers, and tools to integrate Twitter with other social media; using visual online tools, how and when to use YouTube and Flickr, how to track social networking progress and results; numbers of followers, friends, connections and incoming hits; and setting up a plan for social networking success.

The workshop is being sponsored by the Cass County EDC. Pre-register for the seminar by calling (218) 947-7523 or emailing at Materials will be provided at the seminar.

The Cass County Economic Development Corporation is nonprofit economic development corporation created to improve the business environment of Cass County. Contact one of the board members or the office at (218) 947-7522 to get involved.

‘Going Into Business For Yourself’ class is April 12

Central Lakes College has scheduled a “Going Into Business For Yourself” class from 6 to 9 p.m., April 12, at the Business and Industry Center in Brainerd Thursday.

This session covers all areas of business start-up, helpful advice on how to get your dream off the ground and stay profitable, including financing a new venture.

Follow-up counseling is available to qualified individuals from the Small Business Development Center’s team of consultants at no charge to the individual.

Tuition is $49 per person plus $29 for each additional business partner. Instructor is Jay Bock.

Deadline to register is April 9.

To register go to and for more information, contact the SBDC at (800) 933-0346 ext. 8140, 855-8140 or

Lakewood Health to offer hospice and palliative care volunteer training

STAPLES — Lakewood Health System will be offering a series of free hospice and palliative care volunteer training sessions from 5-8 p.m. on April 10, 12, 17 and 19 at its Senior Campus, 401 Prairie Ave. NE, Staples. Trainees will complete a total of 12 training hours in preparation for becoming a part of Lakewood Health System’s hospice and palliative care teams. Hospice volunteers are needed to provide companionship to patients and assist with special events. People from all walks of life and all age groups are invited to partake in hospice volunteer training. After training, individuals can provide care for people who are terminally ill, their families and their caregivers.

Register by calling Jessica Martensen at (218) 894-8082 or Kathy Wenzel at (218) 894-8092.


Pillager Family Center Awarded March of Dimes Grant

PILLAGER — The Pillager Family Center announced it was awarded a March of Dimes grant.

Funded by a community grant from the March of Dimes, funds will be used to support the Pillager Family Center’s Home Visiting Program.

The Home Visiting Program offers a variety of family-focused services to expectant first-time parents and families with children ages 0-36 months. Utilizing the Growing Great Kids curriculum, a home visitor works with the parents in developing positive parenting practices, building on the parents strengths, creating and ensuring safe home environments, and assisting with access to community resources.

Even the best prepared parent can face challenges and hurdles such as being a single parent, income insecurities, or not having a strong support system. Home Visiting Programs have proven to aid parents in overcoming these hurdles reducing incidences of child-abuse or neglect, as well as helping children to build pre-literacy skills and improve testing scores. Home Visiting Programs lay the foundation for a child’s healthy development, it identifies and enhances strong parenting skills, and it assists parents in strengthening the foundation to help their child achieve their dreams. For more about the Home Visiting Program, contact the Pillager Family Center’s Home Visitor Myra Horner at 821-0912.

The Pillager Family Center serves all households in the Pillager community including single parents, veterans, senior citizens and families. For eligibility call (218) 746-4009 or via email to

Thrivent Financial gains recognition

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans has been selected as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” for 2012 by the Ethisphere Institute.

Thrivent Financial was named to the prestigious list as a result of its leadership in promoting ethical business standards as well as for introducing innovative ideas to benefit the public.

The Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think-tank dedicated to the creation, advancement and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. It announced its sixth annual selection of the World’s Most Ethical Companies at an honoree dinner on March 15 attended by representatives of Thrivent Financial.

A record number of nominations and applications this year is evidence of both the award’s growing prominence and companies’ desire to be acknowledged for their high ethical standards, the organization reported. The 2012 list is the largest since the award’s inception in 2007 for more information go online to

Care Ventures Cooperative wins statewide award

WADENA — On Feb. 8, Care Ventures Cooperative, a network of 15 rural care centers including Fair Oaks Lodge, of Wadena, received the 2012 Excellence & Innovations Award for its Fit 4 Life Ventures program from Aging Services of Minnesota.

The Excellence & Innovation Awards celebrate older adult service organizations that develop new and innovative programs that benefit their residents and communities. The Aging Services awards are among the highest honors for aging service organizations and professionals in Minnesota.

Fit 4 Life is an exercise and wellness program for seniors first developed in 2004 at Galeon in Osakis to promote improved physical well being and stability. The philosophy of the program is to balance the traditional medical model of care and rehabilitation services with empowering wellness opportunities. Care Ventures adopted the program at all its organizations two years later with financial assistance from a Pay‐for‐Performance Incentive payment Project (PIPP) grant through the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Fit 4 Life involves a focus on the physical aspect of wellness by providing assistance, personal training and physical fitness consultation to individuals on strength training, conditioning, physical fitness, and general exercise topics.

“Our Fit 4 Life instructors guide our residents through various exercises done on a regular basis,” said Cline. “These exercises work to increase upper body strength, maintain range of motion, enhance motor skills and maintain full body strength.”

The benefits of the program have resulted in a significant reduction in falls in seniors living in care facilities and the greater communities, improved strength and stability and increased socialization, the organization reported.

Care Ventures Cooperative was founded in 1999 by a group of rural, independent long‐term care facility leaders in response to the significant market, financial and staffing challenges.


Mille Lacs Band donates more than $94,000

ONAMIA — The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe donated $94,487 in monetary and in-kind contributions to a variety of nonprofit organizations and other charitable causes in January and February.

Each month the band and its businesses make contributions to community organizations including schools, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, food shelves, and others in Minnesota and nationwide.

In January, the Mille Lacs Band contributed $1,000 toward the renovation of the Hinckley Fire Museum. The museum interprets the history of the Great Hinckley Fire, which destroyed six towns and burned more than 400 square miles in 1894. The band also gave $1,000 to the Brainerd Public Library’s Book Club in a Bag program, which provides books and discussion guides for independent book clubs.

In February, the band donated $1,000 to the Shoreview-based Northwest Youth and Family Services’ Service + Tutoring Equals Pride (STEP) program. The youth development program connects students in grades 5-8 with adults to help increase the students’ academic performance and community involvement. The band also gave $1,000 to the Paradise Community Theatre Association in Mora for new projection equipment.

Other notable contributions include those to Onamia Community Education’s “Sustain our Sustainability Efforts” program; Friendship Ventures in Annandale to assist with recreational programs for children and adults with disabilities; Isle High School for its junior high school basketball program; and the Fishing for Knowledge Program at Hinckley-Finlayson Public Schools.

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