Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
- Member for
- 4 years 1 week
BAXTER — In order to provide information to residents about the local option sales tax prior to the ballot question in November, the Baxter City Council discussed options Tuesday. Plans include utilizing the city newsletter, website, presentations and news outlets. More information is expected in late September or early October. The last time the local option sales tax was on the ballot, the city also hosted public meetings at city hall, but they were sparsely attended. "I think we still have to offer it," Mayor Darrel Olson said.
BAY LAKE - It began with a Christmas gift. One that a horse lover may dream of for decades. That single gift of a black Morgan gelding, expected to be a hobby, grew into a business with international ties. Brenda and Timmy Johnson, Crow Wing County residents for 26 years, now have a thriving breeding center with Friesian stallions from the Netherlands. From the days of that single Morgan horse, the Johnson's horse farm now has a steady population of 30 to 40 horses. Giant white pines provide a backdrop to the farm's multiple buildings and corrals.
What if a host of employees could be engaged in a problem-solving culture? Benefits could come by increasing profits, reducing waste, finding ways to be more productive and engaging employees in finding solutions from the bottom up instead of a top-down approach. Stern Companies in Brainerd found success with the a state-funding matching investment program aimed at small and mid-sized manufacturing companies. The Growth Acceleration Program (GAP) makes business improvement services affordable for those manufacturers.
BAXTER - When the office buildings first went up around the water garden in Baxter's first conservation design office park, the idea was to construct an office building each year. It was 2006, after all. Business was booming. Fairview Conservancy provided a 4.5 acre demonstration project aimed, in part, at increasing awareness of conservation design alternatives for commercial structures. It included low-impact development, green building alternatives, a central rain-water garden with native plants and tree preservation on the perimeter.
BAXTER - If you've opened a plastic food container housing cookies, doughnuts, strawberries or deli sandwiches, the manufacturer may be right in the lakes area's backyard. LINDAR, tucked in a striking office building and manufacturing facility a few blocks off College Road in Baxter's Industrial Park, may still be unsung in its own backyard.
From manufacturing company expansions, to construction of office buildings and renovations of established business, 2014 may be the year the economic recovery picked up steam in the lakes area. Three office buildings are in construction in Baxter at Fairview Office Park and along Isle Drive. Apartment buildings continue to go up in the Baxter. Companies, like Cross-Tech in Crosslake, overcame additional challenges surviving a winter fire. New restaurants either opened their doors or renovated existing eateries. Entrepreneurs and home-based businesses may surprise by their sheer numbers.
NISSWA - The opportunity to drink a cold Gull Dam beer on a warm day is getting closer. Gull Dam Brewing's name is now up on the iconic water wheel building on Smiley Road in Nisswa. In April, with snow melting beneath a cloudless deep blue sky, Mark and Barb Anderson signed the papers closing on the former Werneke Water Wheel Center property. After taking ownership, anticipation was for a June opening day. The aggressive construction schedule proved to be overly optimistic. By early August, building renovations were still taking shape.
Brick House Pizza Bread and Bagel covers a wide-range of menu items and new owners Nick and Jenny O'Reilly have owned the restaurant for a year and are putting their own mark on it. • The restaurant delivers within a 10-mile radius. Brick House offers catering and take-out. "Anything on the menu we can cater," owner Jenny O'Reilly said. • The restaurant is going to self-serve for drinks and is currently adding cases for salads to go and take-and-bake pizzas in an effort to make it convenient for customers looking for a quick pick-up. A bakery display case is also in the works.
In November, an informal gathering of home-based business is planned. The one-day event is expected to include roundtable discussion and networking.
Detour North Cabin Outfitters in Hackensack is hosting an event this Labor Day weekend called Carve for the Kids. The third annual chain saw carving event is through Sunday. Shauna Harding, Detour North Cabin Outfitters, said the premise of the event they created is that all the money - 100 percent of the profit - goes back into the community through various organizations helping children. "Between the last two years, we have donated over $12,000," Harding stated.