Business Notes- July 3

CAREER Kenow completes certification Amy Kenow of Sunlife Wellness has completed her Natural Health and Nutrition Practioner certification. Kenow has recently completed her certification to teach Zumba fitness. She is the owner, personal trainer ...



Kenow completes 


Amy Kenow of Sunlife Wellness has completed her Natural Health and Nutrition Practioner certification.


Kenow has recently completed her certification to teach Zumba fitness. She is the owner, personal trainer and health coach of Sunlife Wellness serving the Brainerd lakes and surrounding areas.  


LSS named one of the 

Top 100 Workplaces 

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota has been named by the Star Tribune as one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota. 

The Star Tribune’s Top Workplaces initiative recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions about company leadership, communication, career opportunities, workplace environment, managerial skills, pay and benefits.


Gunstad attends national 


economic development conference

John Gunstad, economic development specialist from the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation, recently attended a conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by the National Development Council. 

The conference provided an opportunity to hear from elected officials, administration and Congressional staff and program experts on the challenges facing today’s economic and community development professionals. Each participant was able to choose among four tracks and 24 fast-paced training sessions covering the latest economic and community development strategies used to further economic and community growth including financing options.


LHS staff present at 

national conference 

 STAPLES - Cindy Denning, Lakewood Health System director of nursing, and Jennifer Strickland, registered nurse and joint connection coordinator, presented at the Marshall Steele Annual Summit in Florida.

Marshall Steele is a national physician-led healthcare services firm that works with hospitals to create patient-centered programs that focus on providing superior care and delivering quality outcomes for patients.


Lakewood’s Joint Connection program, which provides orthopedic care and joint replacement surgeries, including total knee replacements, was created based on the Marshall Steele model of care. 

Noting that Lakewood’s Joint Connection program had “distinguished itself from other hospital programs of similar size,” Marshall Steele representatives invited Denning and Strickland to present information about Lakewood’s program to other hospitals and health care facilities from around the country. 

As part of their presentation, Denning and Strickland outlined for Summit participants how Lakewood’s Joint Connection Program was created and how it is structured to deliver individualized care. They highlighted their pre-operative process, interdisciplinary team, methods of team communication, and the performance measures they use to ensure quality care for their patients. 

Denning said Lakewood’s Joint Connection program has been so successful that the organization plans to add hip replacement surgery to its available services.


Goldleaf Partners 

receives IRS approval

Goldleaf Partners announced it received approval from the Internal Revenue Service to become a program sponsor of continuing professional education credits for Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents. 


This addition enables Goldleaf Partners to support a wide variety of retirement industry professionals in meeting their continuing education needs, including financial advisers, pension professionals, Certified Public Accountants and now Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents.

Since 2009, the IRS has offered the ERPA designation to professionals working in the retirement plan industry. The ERPA designation enables the holder to represent clients before the IRS on certain retirement plan matters. The IRS holds an ERPA designee to high standards of continuing education, requiring 72 hours of CPE credit for each three-year enrollment renewal cycle.

Individuals holding an ERPA designation are able to obtain CPE credit only from sponsors who are approved by the IRS as a provider of ERPA CPE credits. 

Earlier in 2011, Goldleaf Partners was approved as a registered sponsor on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. This approval allowed Goldleaf Partners to provide continuing education opportunities to CPAs. Goldleaf Partners is also an approved continuing education provider to financial advisers.


Bienusa named Employee of the Year at Lakewood

STAPLES - Kelly Bienusa, specialist scheduler at Lakewood Health System, was presented with the Employee of the Year award at the annual Employee Recognition Banquet in May for her dedication to quality work, customer service and teamwork amongst her peers at Lakewood. 

The STAR (Service, Teamwork Award Recognition) Employee of the Year is chosen by the Lakewood Health System governing board. Contenders include those previously awarded a monthly STAR Award throughout the year. 


Bienusa is one of the few employees who was chosen as a monthly STAR Award winner multiple times throughout the last year: once in February 2011 and once in March 2011. The first nomination was submitted anonymously by a patient. A portion of the nomination reads, “Kelly is always hard working and has such a great attitude!! Her first concern is always Lakewood’s patients.”

In March 2011, Bienusa was nominated for her exceptional customer service. The nomination was submitted by Kristen Ziegler, specialist scheduler. “Kelly goes above and beyond general customer service. She is willing to do whatever she can to help out a patient in need.”


Panache Salons 

staff attends training

BAXTER - Panache Salons & Day Spas announced its entire Baxter styling team joined in a full-day training session focusing on advanced AVEDA hair cutting techniques in this advanced trends class.


Lakewood Receives Health 


Care Career award 

STAPLES - Lakewood Health System has received the Minnesota Hospital Association Health Care Career Promotion Award. 

“Lakewood Health System in central Minnesota has demonstrated that you don’t have to be a large hospital to implement a robust health care career development model,” the Minnesota Hospital Association reported. 

A key component of Lakewood’s career development program is its summer internship program, which typically provides 16 to 19 junior and senior high school students, as well as college students, the opportunity to experience a variety of health care careers first-hand. 

Lakewood partners with the Staples-Motley High School, Central Lakes College, the Freshwater Education District, and post-secondary schools to recruit young people into the summer internship program. 

In addition to the Staples-Motley School District, previous interns have come from the surrounding communities of Bertha-Hewitt, Verndale, Pillager, Eagle-Valley, Browerville, Long Prairie, Little Falls, Henning and Baxter. 

Karen Treangen, Lakewood registered nurse clinical instructor and summer health care internship coordinator, said many students know they want to work in healthcare, but they’re not sure in which area. The internship gives them the opportunity to discover the specific areas that speak to them.

“I’ve had students come in feeling that they knew what area of healthcare they really wanted and then when they finished with the internship, changed their career plans,” Treangen said in a news release. “The program not only helps with career planning. It builds character.”

Treangen, Lisa Finken, Lakewood recruiting representative, and Janet Jacobson, Lakewood director of human resources, accepted the award at the ceremony in Minneapolis. 

Applications for internships at Lakewood Health System are accepted in the spring following approval of the application process by the Minnesota Hospital Association. For more information, contact Lisa Finken at (218) 894-8615. 






Pequot Lakes Business 

Connect July 6

 A Pequot Lakes Business Connect meeting will be 8-9 a.m. on Wednesday at the Cole Memorial Building on Front Street (next to the bobber water tower) in Pequot Lakes.

The meeting is an opportunity to network with other business representatives, share concerns and ideas and discuss how to market Pequot Lakes as a destination.

Representatives of all types of businesses are welcome to come to these free monthly meetings.


Market in the Park 

July 7-Sept. 1

Market in the Park, billed as a family friendly event, is planned every Thursday at Trailside Park in Pequot Lakes from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 


ChamberNet Open

House planned July 14

ChamberNet Open House is planned 7:15-8:30 a.m. July 14 at Country Inn & Suites, 15058 Dellwood Drive in Baxter.

ChamberNet is a lead sharing group that meets the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. The objective is to build strong partnerships with participating member businesses and provide consumer referrals. Guests are welcome to attend up to two meetings before joining.

Brainerd Lakes Chamber members are invited to register and attend this free networking event. 

Advanced registration is recommended. For more information, go online to or call 829-2838. 




B & I Center to host ‘Going Into Business For Yourself’ class

Jay Bock will teach “Going Into Business For Yourself” at the Business and Industry Center of Central Lakes College in Brainerd  from 6 to 9 p.m. July 21.

This session covers all areas of business start-up, helpful advice on how to get a 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.

The deadline to register is July 14.

For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or (218) 855-8142 or email .




Mille Lacs Band donates 

more than $61,000

ONAMIA - The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe donated $61,296 in monetary and in-kind contributions to a variety of nonprofit organizations and other charitable causes in May.  Every month, the band contributes to community programs in Minnesota and nationwide.

In May, the Mille Lacs Band donated $500 to Pine City’s Loving Hands organization to help cover costs of making hats and comfort pillows for cancer patients. Loving Hands is a church group dedicated to sewing items for people with cancer. 

The Mille Lacs Band donated $500 to the Brainerd Parks and Recreation Department to improve dugouts at the Buffalo Lions girls’ softball field. Additionally, the band contributed $500 to Staples Elementary School to help fund upgrades to the school’s current playground.

Other notable contributions include those to the Special Olympics of Minnesota, Saint Paul Schools’ American Indian Program, Saint Paul-based NATIVES fund, Jackson Volunteer Fire Department, Partners for Women’s Equality in Eagan, and You Can Run International, a nonprofit ministry located in Annandale.




Larger corn crop could 

slow food inflation

ST. LOUIS (AP) - U.S. food prices may ease later this year now that farmers have planted the second-largest corn crop in nearly seven decades.

The size of this year’s corn crop will be 92.3 million acres, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Thursday. That’s 9 percent larger than the average annual corn crop over the past decade. The only crop bigger in the past 67 years was planted in 2007.

Many analysts had worried that wet weather this spring would cut the number of corn acres. But record-high prices are encouraging farmers to use more acres for corn, and less for soybeans and wheat.

A greater crop estimate drove corn futures down 30 cents to close at nearly $6.21 per bushel. That’s the maximum price change allowed by futures exchanges. Corn rose to a record high of $7.99 per bushel earlier this month.

More expensive grain has led to food price increases this year. That could ultimately make everything from beef to cereal to soft drinks more expensive at the supermarket. For all of 2011, the USDA predicts food prices will rise 3 percent to 4 percent.

A huge harvest in August could ultimately slow food inflation. It typically takes six months for changes in commodity prices to affect retail food prices in the U.S. Analysts say consumers could see some relief at the supermarket by early 2012.

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