Business Notes March 20

CAREER Gray joins Positive Realty Amy Gray, a third-generation Brainerd resident, joined Positive Realty. Gray has been active in the community, volunteering for numerous organizations over the years and currently serves as board president of Bra...

Amy Gray
Amy Gray



Gray joins Positive Realty

Amy Gray, a third-generation Brainerd resident, joined Positive Realty.

Gray has been active in the community, volunteering for numerous organizations over the years and currently serves as board president of Brainerd Restoration, a local nonprofit focused on community development by way of downtown revitalization and historic preservation.


Through Brainerd Restoration, Gray participated in a year-long housing institute hosted by Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment Authority and facilitated by the Minnesota Housing Partnership to address the issues of housing in Historic Downtown Brainerd.

Gray has a master's degree in advocacy and political leadership from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree in communications from Hamline University.


Deerwood Bank names Harting to board

Jennifer Harting, chief financial officer/chief operating officer at Deerwood Bank, is joining the bank's board of directors.

Harting began her banking career as a commercial credit analyst in Duluth and now has more than 20 years of financial industry experience. In 2002, she joined Deerwood Bank in an internal credit review role before becoming the bank's CFO and, more recently, COO. Harting has now been with Deerwood Bank for 14 years.

"I am so pleased to be expanding my role with Deerwood Bank by joining the board of directors," Harting said. "This is an exciting time for our organization with our recent acquisition of American Bank of St. Paul and expansion into the Twin Cities market."

Since joining Deerwood Bank, Harting said she's watched the board lead the bank from $140 million in assets and four locations to our current size of more than $500 million in assets and 14 locations. Harting has a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota-Morris and received her MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. She and her husband grew up in the Brainerd lakes area.



Lindner Joins Weichert Realtors - Tower Properties

Weichert Realtors - Tower Properties announced Jorie Lindner joined its Brainerd office.


CTC hires Johnson, promotes Rubin

Consolidated Telecommunications Company welcomed Lauren Johnson to the CTC sales team as business account executive and Lori Rubin, former business account executive, was promoted to consolidated solutions, channel account executive.

Johnson, originally from the Brainerd lakes area, has a background in the wireless industry working in both business and communications solutions. Prior to that, she worked as a sales and marketing intern at CTC. Johnson earned her bachelor's degree in marketing from the College of St. Scholastica. Johnson will work closely with Brainerd lakes area businesses on phone, Internet and TV solutions.

Rubin will be starting a new venture with CTC under Consolidated Solutions, where she will serve as a channel account executive. In her new role, she will offer businesses outside of the Brainerd lakes area assessments of their current communications platforms as well as cost savings strategies.





Riverwood to host women's wellness night out

AITKIN-Riverwood Healthcare is hosting an event billed as an informative and entertaining evening to celebrate women's wellness at midlife.

The event is 5:30-7:30 p.m. April 7 at the Rialto Theatre in downtown Aitkin.

Get answers to questions about women's health, especially as it relates to midlife and menopause. Watch a clip from "Hot Flash Havoc,"which will kick off a candid conversation about menopause and women's health issues.

A team of obstetricians and gynecologists-Dr. Rachel Cady, Dr. Christina Kramer, and Dr. Marie Nelson-plus Nurse Midwife Megan Workman will be on hand to guide the discussion.


A glass of wine, sample hors d'oeuvres and a photo booth are part of the evening along with a vintage glamour theme and decorations. Everyone gets a free gift and a chance to win door prizes. Participants are invited to bring their mothers, sisters or friends to this women's night out.

The cost for this event is $10 and payment will be collected at the door. Registration is required and requested by April 4. RSVP to Riverwood's events line at 218-927-5188 or .


RedHouseMedia wins tourism Excellence Award

RedHouseMedia, Brainerd, and the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council recently won the Travel Marketing Award of Excellence for the Lake Mille Lacs #DoTheLake multimedia campaign.

The campaign, created by RedHouseMedia in collaboration with the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council, positions Mille Lacs as a national destination for outdoor recreation, both on and off the water. Through adventure sports like kiteboarding and ATVing and more traditional sports such as fishing and golfing, #DoTheLake encompasses the many things to do in and around the lake-including two state parks, five towns, and more than 100,000 acres of water.

RedHouseMedia and the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council work closely with Explore Minnesota Tourism to promote Lake Mille Lacs as an outdoor recreation destination-in the face of tightening restrictions on walleye fishing.

"It's certainly a challenge to position a region without its lead actor, but thanks to the hard work of the Mille Lacs Tourism Council, the many businesses and residents around the lake, and Explore Minnesota we have the ability to promote the total package and total experience Lake Mille Lacs has to offer the world," said Aaron Hautala, creative director and owner of RedHouseMedia, in a news release.


The Travel Marketing Award of Excellence, presented at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference in Bemidji, recognizes creative and successful tourism programs by Minnesota tourism entities. The conference was attended by hundreds of Minnesota tourism partners, with a goal of raising awareness of the state's continued growth as a travel destination, for both domestic and international visitors.


Valleyfair ramping up hiring for seasonal staff; adding 1,600 employees

Valleyfair, the upper Midwest's largest amusement park, is now hiring for more than 1,600 seasonal positions for the 2016 season, which begins on May 13.

The park will be hosting a summer job fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 25 at Valleyfair. Applicants will be able to speak with employment representatives and participate in interviews.

Positions available include park operations, games, retail, food service, lifeguards, human resource, marketing, security, maintenance and park/guest services. Applicants 16 years of age and older can apply online at or get more information.

A number of internship and scholarship opportunities are available for Valleyfair associates.

Valleyfair seasonal associates come from all corners of the globe. Limited housing and accommodation space is available for those 18 years of age and older.


Associates enjoy many perks such as free admission to the park, organized after-hours social activities, discounts in the park and at local businesses, recognition events and more.

Valleyfair has a limited number of positions available for applicants age 14 and 15.




Got Plans? Aging Conference set April 16

Got Plans? Aging Conference is 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16 at the First Lutheran Church in the Koinonia Reception Hall, located at 424 S Eighth St., in Brainerd. This free educational health and wellness event is sponsored by Essentia Health St. Joseph's Foundation in partnership with Crow Wing Energized.

The conference is designed to help plan for the best as an individual ages. Learn from experts about various topics to consider when aging or caring for an aging loved one:

• Difficult conversations,

• Age in place,

• Matter of balance,

• Financial/estate planning,

• Care choice,

• Health care directive.

Keynote speaker Dr. Dale Anderson, who has been helping people live longer, happier, and healthier for 50 years as a board-certified surgeon, emergency, and holistic physician will provide humor and inspiration. Anderson is a member of the American Medical Association, the Mayo Clinic Alumni Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American Holistic Medical Association, and the National Association of Senior Health Professionals. He has received Minnesota Meeting & Events Magazine Best Speaker Award.

Space is limited for this free event. Lunch is included. Go to and register online.


Alternative Gardening Session

PIERZ-When we buy green leafy lettuce in a supermarket, where does it come from? Chances are the plants encountered neither soil or natural sunlight and was cultivated indoors using a modern method of hydroponics. Horizon Health's next Faith in Action Dine and Discover from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 30 at Horizon Center in Pierz will provide an opportunity to learn about alternative gardening.

Pat Tax, agriculture sciences teacher at Pierz Healy High School will be on hand with her students to teach those attending about alternative gardening, such as hydroponics. Lunch is included in this free event. Call Horizon Health before March 25 at 320-468-6451 to register or for more information. Horizon Health Homecare provides free blood pressure screenings before and after the event.


Business Now event set March 31

BAXTER-Join Northern Lakes Senior Living, Baxter, for its wine and cheese BusinessNow Social Event with the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce from 4:30-6 p.m. March 31.

Tour the newly completed memory care section of their facility. A formal welcome will be given and tours will start at 5 p.m. Enter through the Assisted Living building at 8186 Excelsior Road, Baxter.


Costco to host Little Falls Chamber's Lunchtime on Location

LITTLE FALLS-The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce invites all chamber members, employees and guests to the chamber of commerce, noon to 1 p.m. March 23, 200 First St. NW, Little Falls for Lunchtime on Location.

Participants may learn more about the event's sponsor, have a light lunch and make business connections. There will be a $5 per person fee to help cover the cost of lunch.

To make your reservation, contact the chamber 320-632-5155 or email ginav30 p.m. Sponsoring this month is Costco.


Lakewood Foundation to host 'Healthy Hawaii' at annual fundraising event

STAPLES-The Lakewood Health System Foundation will host its 23rd annual Foundation Dinner Auction, April 15th at Lakewood Health System's Main Campus, 49725 County. 83, Staples.

The theme of this year's auction will be "Healthy Hawaii." Proceeds from the event will go toward the funding of community health and children's programs.

The event will include a dinner, live and silent auctions, and entertainment. New to this year's dinner auction is an "all inclusive" package, which means the admission cost of either an individual or table ticket will cover all expenses for the evening, except auction items.

A social hour will start at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m., live and silent auctions at 7 p.m. and entertainment at 8 p.m. Individual tickets are $75 and tables (which seat six) are available for $450. Tax deductions apply. Call or email Megan at 218-894-8508 or for more information or to RSVP.

RSVPs are appreciated by April 11.


Business After Hours set in Deerwood

DEERWOOD-Join Backyard Greenhouse and Our Winehouse for the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber networking event Business After Hours from 5-7 p.m. April 14 for Business After Hours hosted at Our Winehouse, 22413 Highway 6, Deerwood for an outdoor party filled with garden inspired food and summer drinks.

Business after Hours is a chamber function for members of the business community and is also open to the public. Chamber members are invited to bring a guest.

Added to Business After Hours events again, participants will be given the chance to give a 15-30 second elevator speech-a short summary to quickly define a person, profession, product, service or organization and its value or a referral they may be looking for. The chamber reports a good pitch needs to answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What is your unique selling proposition?

As a courtesy to the host, advanced registration is recommended. To make a reservation, call the chamber office at 218-546-8131 or email .



Estate planning seminar set Wednesday

LITTLE FALLS-Thrivent Financial is hosting a free educational seminar on estate planning. The one hour seminar is planned at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Little Falls Senior Center at 510 Seventh St. NE, Little Falls.

The seminar is being presented by Carlyle Olsen, financial associate with Thrivent Financial. The seminar helps participants understand the essential elements of any good estate strategy: wills, trusts, powers of attorney, charitable giving, living wills, long-term care, and medical powers of attorney. For more information, contact Olsen at 320-632-1655.



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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