Business Notes Jan. 11

CAREER Bebler joins BlackRidgeBANK in Nisswa NISSWA - Sandy Bebler recently joined BlackRidgeBANK as a mortgage lender in downtown Nisswa. Bebler has been in the banking and finance industry for more than 15 years and has recently moved to the Br...


Bebler joins BlackRidgeBANK in Nisswa

NISSWA - Sandy Bebler recently joined BlackRidgeBANK as a mortgage lender in downtown Nisswa.

Bebler has been in the banking and finance industry for more than 15 years and has recently moved to the Brainerd lakes area from Willmar. The bank reported she is well versed in all areas

of mortgage lending and believes in community involvement. Bebler served as president of the Humane Society of Kandiyohi County, served on the Willmar City Planning Commission, board member for the YMCA and as an ambassador for the chamber of commerce.




MMBA announces board of directors

Since 1980, the Mid-Minnesota Builders Association (MMBA) has worked to promote and protect the local building industry by providing membership-based programs, networking opportunities and government representation to builders, developers, trades contractors, suppliers and a variety of business and community organizations.

The MMBA represents 250 members, working in all facets of the building industry from general contractors, remodelers and developers, to sales and marketing experts, architects, excavators, plumbers, electricians and financial institutions. The primary goal of the organization, MMBA stated, is to ensure local citizens have access to housing of their choice and the opportunity to realize the American dream of homeownership.

The Mid-Minnesota Builders (MMBA) Board of Directors for 2015 includes the addition of two new directors. Incoming directors are Margie Goebel of GPS Restoration Solutions & Severin Neumann of Neumann Construction. The 2015 president is Gerry Traut of Xcel Energy. 2015 Board of Directors: Ray Austin (builder vice president), Kuepers, Inc.; Tim Bement, Nor-Son, Inc.; Larry Geschwill, Simonson Lumber Company; Margie Goebel, GPS Restoration Solutions; Warren Haberman, First Supply, LLC.; Sam Horn (associate vice president), Brainerd Savings & Loan; Jeremy Johnston, Northland Construction; Shayna McCulloch, Stewart Title of Minnesota; Severin Neumann, Neumann Construction; Matt Radniecki (secretary/treasurer), Baratto Brothers Construction, Inc.; Mike Scott (past president), Superior Mechanical; Gerry Traut, (president), Xcel Energy.

Rothleutner joins Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Sandy Rothleutner recently joined Keller Williams Realty Professions.


Sandy is familiar with our communities and all they have to offer. She was born and raised in the Brainerd lakes area and brings with her a 20-plus year career in the Healthcare industry.

Rothleutner says "My goal is to focus on creating relationships with integrity, connecting my clients with properties that are right for them. One of the things I enjoy most is helping clients see the potential in a property and what it can be."

"We are glad to have Sandy join our team. We are growing our company one agent at a time." Says Team Leader/CEO Carrie Lee. "The truth is individual agents are the brand in this business, not the broker or the sign above the door.



Brainerd Overhead Door Co. changes name

After more than 40 years of success and continued growth, St. Cloud Overhead Door Company, Willmar Overhead Door Company, Brainerd Overhead Door Company and Lakes Area Overhead Door Company will be rebranded under the new name, American Door Works.

The refreshed brand is intended to unify operations and build a stronger connection between both consumers and staff across the different markets.


For the Bechtold family, this move is just the latest in series of announcements from the company, co-founded by Roger Bechtold (company president Gary Bechtold's father) over four decades ago. This includes the recent announcement that Junior Achievement, a nonprofit organization focused on educating K-12 students on career readiness, has named Gary Bechtold as this year's recipient of the organization's Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

The company has also been recognized as 2015 Door Dealer of the Year by the International Door Association, an award that will be presented on April 15 at the association's annual awards dinner in Indianapolis. This follows their recent acceptance of the 2014 Small Business Excellence Award presented by the Small Business Administration and Bremer Bank.

While the brand has changed with updated name and logo, founder Roger Bechtold said the values created during 42 years of family ownership will remain the same... "friendliness, integrity, innovation and hard work."

The new brand will be rolled out throughout the course of 2015 and will include updates to the four retail locations, marketing materials, a new website and more.

The Classic at Madden's climbs four spots on Golf Digest's list

The Classic at Madden's was ranked no. 63 on Golf Digest's 2015-16 list of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses.

The Classic is one of only three Minnesota courses to top the list of 100. This year's ranking places The Classic four spots higher than it's 2014-15 listing of No. 67 - its highest ranking on the list was at No. 33 in 2003-04.

"We are excited to have moved up four spots on this year's list to No. 63," says Glenn Hagberg, Head PGA Golf Professional at Madden's on Gull Lake in a news release. "The caddie program, encouraging walking, combined with the commitment to improve playability through agronomics have really raised the bar. We're extremely proud of The Classic and are honored to be considered among the top 1 percent in the United States. We look forward to a great 2015 ahead."

Golf Digest is the game's oldest and most prestigious ranking, established in 1966. The courses are evaluated by a national panel of raters on seven criteria shot values, resistance to scoring, design variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning, ambience.

Madden's on Gull Lake opens for its 86th season in April of 2015.

Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration expands into Sauk Rapids

Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration Inc. a provider of commercial and industrial refrigeration service for the Midwest has expanded its Sauk Rapids operations by purchasing and moving into a larger building along Highway 10 at 189 Industrial Boulevard.

According to President Mike Martin, the new building means improved client services, expanded warehouse space and a larger fabrication area as well as room for growth.

"Our new location allows us to stay conveniently located in Sauk Rapids with its easy access to the St. Cloud/Brainerd area and north-central Minnesota."

The enhanced operational efficiencies will help the company continue to grow and evolve, the company reported. Carlson & Stewart Refrigeration provides industrial and commercial

refrigeration service, including short-notice, emergency service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the meat packing, poultry, dairy, beverage, bakery and cold storage industries as well as refrigeration equipment for supermarkets and other merchandisers.

North Dakota Young Professionals select Marco as Best Place to Intern

Marco Inc. was selected as the North Dakota Young Professionals (NDYP) 2014 Best Place to Intern and runner-up for the 2014 Best Place to Work.

The awards are a reflection of the creativity and innovation that businesses offer young professionals. "The NDYP Best Place to Intern award honors businesses that make a serious commitment to investing in young professionals through valuable internship opportunities," says Laurie Morse-Dell, NDYP Coordinator. "Marco, Inc. is a superb example of the type of quality internship experience that prepares young workers for professional success and we are proud to recognize their dedication to young professionals."

Senior Marco team members also pay it forward by speaking to students at the University of North Dakota (UND) about how to build essential skills for a successful career. About North Dakota Young Professionals Awards: To be considered for the award, applicants submitted a detailed questionnaire about the company benefits, advancement opportunities and why their business is an outstanding place for young professionals to work. A statewide committee of NDYP members judged the nominees and determined the winner, as well as ten runners up in the Best Place to Work category. For more information about North Dakota Young Professionals visit .

Minnesota Chamber begins search for president

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has launched its search for a new president. The process will be steered by the 48-member Board of Directors representing a cross-section of Minnesota businesses. The individual will succeed longtime president David Olson who passed away in July 2014.

The president is responsible for leading and executing the strategic plan adopted by the Board of Directors.

The Minnesota Chamber is the state's largest and premier business advocacy organization representing 2,300 businesses of all sizes and types across the state. As the statewide voice of business, the organization helps businesses advocate, connect and grow. It excels at offering private-sector solutions to public-sector problems.

The board of directors has retained Ballinger Leafblad of St. Paul to conduct a national search for candidates. Applicants should direct all inquiries to Marcia Ballinger, , or Lars Leafblad, .


BLAEDC schedules Business Chat in Crosby

CROSBY - The Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC) is hosting a Business Chat from 8:30-10 a.m. Thursday at Mixed Company- A Kava House in Crosby.

The BLAEDC monthly Business Chats are unstructured and informal discussions among BLAEDC representatives, members of BLAEDC's Executive Initiative (EXECs) and anyone who may have specific business-related issues that they'd like to discuss.

The EXECs are retired business executives who volunteer their time helping BLAEDC grow business and increase jobs in Crow Wing County. They have a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of business such as finance, manufacturing, sales and marketing, strategic planning, human resources, and more. A number of EXECs will be on hand to offer their business insight to any topics that are brought up.

The Business Chat is free and open to the public. No RSVPs are required, and coffee will be available. Mixed Company is located at 128 West Main St. in Crosby.

For more information, contact Chris at 218-828-0096 or email him at .

Costco to host Chamber's next Friday Morning Coffee

LITTLE FALLS - The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests to the Chamber of Commerce from 7:30-9 a.m. Friday, 200 First St. NW in Little Falls for Friday Morning Coffee.

Announcements are at 8 am. Sponsoring this month is Costco.

CRMC to host business after hour social

CROSBY - The Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby is hosting a "State-of-the-art Surgery Center Chamber Business After Hours Social" event from 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesday at the medical center in Crosby to celebrate the opening of the $13 million surgery center.

Participants will be able to meet surgeons and providers. Healthy refreshments, beverages and door prizes will be offered. Participants are asked to RVSP to their chamber of commerce office - Cuyuna Lakes, Nisswa or Brainerd lakes. Participants are asked to use the hospital's main entrance off Highway 210.


Cote Foundation grants $5,000 to Nisswa Enhanced Reading Fund

NISSWA - The Cote Foundation recently granted $5,000 to replenish the collection of books at Julia Thorpe-Cote Children's Library located at the Nisswa Elementary School through the Nisswa Enhanced Ready Fund (NERF.)

The NERF is a donor-advised fund that was established to support literacy education and extended library programs, technology opportunities for individuals of all ages, and activities for the community. The current collection of books have an average age of 27 years old and the grant is estimated to provide approximately 425 new books for the library.

"This means so much to us at Grand View Lodge and the Cote Family Companies. Expanding opportunities in our community with additional funding for more books can help increase academics and imagination in our youth," said Mark Ronnei, board member and Grand View Lodge general manager, in a news release "This is a program Julia Thorpe-Cote would have truly embraced."

On Dec. 6, 2001, the Julia Thorpe-Cote Children's Library opened its doors to the public. The 6,075-square-foot addition to Nisswa Elementary included a full library, a technology center, and a community meeting room which has been proven useful to the community. There are currently 1,471 public library cards and 299 student library cards issued. This card means more than just having access to the amenities, it allows participation in all of the library's programs.

Each program established encourages students to read by making it enjoyable and giving incentive. For example, Beautiful Books focuses on sending books home with students to encourage family reading. The Incentive Room Program awards students who meet or exceed reading goals by letting them select a free paperback book. March Madness is a month-long celebration of reading, culminating in Kid's Choice Award for best book and a free paperback book for all students. There are many other successful programs which are focused in summer. In a typical summer, over 3,000 items are checked out, nearly 300 people utilize the public computers, and an average of 100 children, parents, and grandparents participate in weekly programs. In order to make these astonishing accomplishments the Library receives support from outside sources, such as the Cote Foundation.

Bremer employees donate more than 125,000 volunteer hours

Each year, Bremer conducts an internal survey to calculate the number of volunteer hours employees donate to their communities. In the 10th annual survey, Bremer employees donated approximately 126,000 volunteer hours which is the equivalent of $2.84 million based on a formula from the Independent Sector, which values an hour of volunteer time at $22.55. Locally, Bremer employees donated over 2,800 volunteer hours to 46 local nonprofits.

Employees log hundreds and sometimes even thousands of hours in their communities, serving on nonprofit boards, coaching youth sports, distributing meals and many other activities. These are in addition to the nearly $1 million that Bremer Bank also makes in donations across Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

"We have been conducting this survey for 10 years now and each year the results are consistent, our employees are dedicated to giving their time and talents back to the community," said Kim Ellingson, Region President, Bremer Bank Brainerd. "The employees' spirit of service is at the heart of this great organization."

Realtor Ring Day brings in $5,575

Members of the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors rang the bells for the Salvation Army on Dec. 5, around the greater lakes areas and raised about $5,575.

The Realtor Ring Day has become an annual event for the real estate community, the Greater Lakes Association of Realtors reported, adding a thank you to all who donated to the Salvation Army.

The Greater Lakes Association of Realtors is located in Baxter and is made up of real estate agents and affiliates who service Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties.

Community grants reach $1 million milestone

The Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Foundation has reached a major milestone by awarding more than $1 million in community health grants since 1996.

The foundation's Community Health Initiative Grants provide funding to nonprofits and governmental agencies in the area served by Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center and its clinics. Each year, the board awards a total of $20,000 to $40,000 to more than a dozen recipients.

"One of our main goals is to help support health-related initiatives within the service area of Essentia Health," explains Todd Lyscio, the foundation's board chair. "We want to provide financial support to programs that are educational in nature, or that offer a level of service that residents of our area might otherwise not have access to."

There has been wide diversity in the 209 grants, yet the goal has always been to meet needs identified by local communities. One example Todd points to is an ongoing commitment to place automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public buildings to save lives when people suffer heart attacks. The foundation also has paid for classes to train high school students and community members on how to operate an AED and how to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

A grant helped the Breezy Point Police Department purchase an automated CPR device that has been credited with helping save the life of Marge Olek. She suffered cardiac arrest in her kitchen on Dec. 23, 2012. Police Officer/ Paramedic Jason Rieber relied on the device to do CPR so he could attend to her other medical needs.

Grants have gone to health education programs for all ages, youth and adult sporting associations, fitness programs, medical equipment and efforts to prevent teen pregnancy and suicide. A grant helped the City of Brainerd build a "Miracle League" baseball field for children with special needs and fund a plan to build a fitness trail along the Mississippi River.

"One of the great things about being a foundation board member is that we get to share in the joy of giving back to the community through the generosity of folks who choose to give to the foundation in so many ways," Todd says. "Lives are being touched in many ways by the grants. Donations to the foundation are being used to help our area improve in overall health and wellness."

The Essentia Health-St. Joseph Foundation's board reviews applications for its Community Health Initiative Grants six times each year. The next application deadline is Feb. 1.

Applications should focus on community needs in the area served by St. Joseph's Medical Center and its clinics. Applications must be submitted by nonprofits or governmental agencies and meet outlined criteria.

Applications are due the first day of February, April, June, August, October and December. Applicants are notified within 60 days.

For more information and a grant application, go to and click on the link for the Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Foundation. Or call 218-828-7362.

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.

More business notes may be part of the Business Extra section in Monday's edition.

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