Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Sheriff's office investigates death of man found on lake

Biz Buzz: Vanek assumes new role at Bang Printing

Work continues to transform a highly visible corner on Washington and North Second streets in Brainerd into the new Thrifty White Drug store with three buildings and trees removed from the lots. When the move was announced the plan called for a fall 2018 opening. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

Todd Vanek was named president of Bang Printing, Brainerd, and Sentinel Printing, St. Cloud, by CJK Group, a national portfolio of print and publishing-related services. Bang Printing describes itself as a leading short- to mid-run book manufacturer with a history spanning more than 115 years.

Vanek was executive vice president of sales overseeing the sales and customer service activities for the two companies. CJK Group reports Vanek will now direct the ongoing operations of both locations with a primary focus of examining existing processes, identifying improvement opportunities and implementing changes to support growth. Doug Walter, vice president of sales for Sentinel Printing, will add the responsibilities for sales at Bang Printing to his work at Sentinel.

"Todd is a dynamic leader in our organization. His deep knowledge of the printing industry, strategic thinking capabilities, and outstanding relationship skills will be assets to him in this new role," said Chris Kurtzman, CEO of CJK Group Inc., in a news release. "As we look to the future, and consider additional acquisitions, we want to make sure we are in the best position to embrace the growth of our individual companies which, ultimately, will help propel the overall growth of CJK Group."

The company reports Vanek, a University of Minnesota-Morris graduate, joined Bang Printing in 1997 and worked in several roles in customer service and sales before he was promoted to vice president of sales in 2000.

"He has been intricately involved in the acquisitions made by the CJK Group and will remain a member of CJK's executive leadership team," the company stated.

Cuyuna Regional Regional Medical Center, based in Crosby, broke ground on a Breezy Point clinic on June 25. The clinic is going up across from the Breezy Point Sports Complex on County Highway 11. The clinic is expected to open in the spring of 2019.

CRMC reports the new clinic will be the anchor of the new North Star Center being developed on 20 acres by Whitebirch Inc. The complex, named after the Breezy Point North Stars USA Hockey-sanctioned junior ice hockey team, will also include a dental office, other medical related facilities, gas station, and convenience store, CRMC reported.

Sourcewell, formerly known as the National Joint Powers Alliance, or NJPA, in Staples, was recognized as one of the Top Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune for the third consecutive year.

The award recognizes the most progressive Minnesota companies or organizations with a staff of 50 or more people and is based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health, and satisfaction. Over 2,400 companies were invited to participate and the analysis included responses from more than 71,000 employees. Rankings were composite scores calculated based on responses.

"This recognition is given based on feedback from our organization's greatest asset — our service-minded staff," said Sourcewell Executive Director/CEO Dr. Chad Coauette, in a news release. "The board and I are proud of this accomplishment and we don't take recognitions like this for granted. We are very intentional about creating and sustaining our desired workplace culture and we continuously strive to get better at what we do. Receiving this recognition as we progress through our journey is very rewarding."

Sourcewell reports it conducts quarterly all-staff training on topics ranging from communication styles, time management, safety, and customer service and engage staff in monthly small-group leadership development meetings to foster connectivity, communication, and a common, objective language.

"One thing that really surprised me as a new employee is how much Sourcewell invests in its staff," said Michelle Spychalla, contract administrator on staff since December 2017. "From the volunteer hours to the professional development opportunities and expectations; I feel supported and challenged to learn and grow both personally and professionally."

In addition, Sourcewell reports it encourages all full-time employees to participate in 50 hours of professional development and provides them with eight hours of paid volunteer time annually. Since July 1, 2017, Sourcewell reports it hired 45 new employees bringing its total to 146. The organization continues to experience growth across all departments and anticipates hiring more than 30 employees in the fiscal year 2018-19 with current job openings listed at sourcewell-mn.gov.

Broadway Hair opened in Little Falls. Teri Clark and Sue Grzybek opened the business this spring on East Broadway, the Little Falls Chamber of Commerce reported.

Minnesota is the fourth-largest agricultural exporting state with $7.1 billion in annual sales (2016), according to a report by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Department of Employment and Economic Development recently noted in a "Did you know?" report and roundup of news items, which included state trade officials reporting local companies will be hit by more than $600 million in tariffs.