Business Notes March 8

CAREER Grotzke earns real estate brokers license Close-Converse announced Nate Grotzke earned his Minnesota real estate broker's license. Grotzke has been a commercial Realtor with Close-Converse for eight years. He is responsible for selling and...

Nate Grotzke
Nate Grotzke


Grotzke earns real estate brokers license

Close-Converse announced Nate Grotzke earned his Minnesota real estate broker's license.

Grotzke has been a commercial Realtor with Close-Converse for eight years. He is responsible for selling and leasing office, retail and industrial space in central and north central Minnesota.



Cunningham joins CRMC

Family Physician Bruce Cunningham of Maplewood joined the staff of Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Crosby and will begin treating patients at CRMC's clinic on March 16.

Cunningham earned his doctor of osteopathy at the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University in Iowa and his bachelor of art's degree at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. He completed his internship at Grand Rapids Osteopathic Hospital in Michigan and has been a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians since 1995.

Cunningham has practiced at Entira Family Clinics in Woodbury for 20 years and also at Spectrum Emergency Care, Regina Medical Center's Emergency Room in Hastings, River Valley Clinic in Woodbury, and at Medical Block in River Falls, Wis., and Lakeland.

Cunningham was named one Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine's Top Doctors in 2012. He has served on numerous boards and committees including as president of the Minnesota Osteopathic Medical Society and a member of the National Board of Osetopathic Medical Examiners. Cunningham also served as an assistant and associate professor at Des Moines University and the University of Minnesota Medical School.


Hautala speaks at Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference

Aaron Hautala, creative director and owner of Brainerd-based advertising agency RedHouseMedia, recently spoke at the Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference in St. Paul.


Hautala joined marketing, public relations, media and tourism representatives from around Minnesota at the conference designed to share the latest information and trends in destination tourism marketing.

John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota, kicked off the two-day conference by recapping Explore Minnesota's achievements from 2014 and discussing what's on the horizon for 2015.

Hautala led one of 21 breakout sessions called "Turning a small budget into a big return," which referenced RedHouseMedia's marketing successes for both the Cuyuna Lakes and Lake Mille Lacs areas.

"The Mille Lacs area has done a wonderful job showcasing what makes it a great destination in new ways," said Colleen Tollefson, assistant director at Explore Minnesota. "We applaud local efforts like this that strive to attract new visitors in these changing times."

Hautala also serves as president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, where he's helped the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails be consistently ranked among the top 25 trail systems in the world.

"Through strategic partnerships and consistent positioning, we're positively impacting the region's economy through tourism," Hautala said in a news release. "Both Cuyuna and Lake Mille Lacs are great case studies of how purposeful communication and the right delivery tools can lead to success without having to spend a mint."

Hautala frequently speaks on the topics of communication, identity and creative strategy at conferences for varying industries throughout the upper Midwest.



Midwest Family Eye Center welcomes Kuhn

BAXTER - Dr. Evan Kuhn, optometrist, joined Midwest Family Eye Center of Brainerd and Staples.

Kuhn was born and raised in Brainerd. He graduated from Brainerd High School before attending Concordia College in Moorhead. In 2008, Kuhn graduated from the Illinois College of Optometry. After working in Chicago and St. Paul, Kuhn has come full circle back to Brainerd and will be starting full time with Midwest Family Eye Center in February.


Heurung gains honors

LITTLE FALLS - Rhonda Heurung, Little Falls Health Services, is the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce March Employee of the Month.

Heurung has been a registered nursing assistant for the past 15 years at Little Falls Health Services. Laura Stumpf said Heurung not only does her job well but daily demonstrates genuine compassion, goes above and beyond expectations and works to increase the comfort of residents and families.

"Residents' lives are better because of Rhonda's commitment to service, years of experience and dependability," Stumpf said. "Little Falls Health Services is honored to have Rhonda as part of our team."

Brainerd Lakes Chamber forms government affairs committee

The Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce reported it recently launched a new Government Affairs Committee to help guide its work in building relationships with local and state government leaders, educating members, and proactively advocating on behalf of lakes area businesses.

The committee will serve in an advisory capacity to the chamber's board of directors. Committee members, each with two-year terms, are currently working on taxation, transportation, workforce and tourism issues in the Brainerd lakes area and attended the annual Business Day at the Capitol March 3 for a day of lobbying and meetings with state legislators.

Members of the committee are: Bart Taylor, RiverWood Bank; Ben Thuringer, Madden's on Gull Lake; Brandon Andersen, Lonesome Cottage Furniture Company; Bruce Buxton, Widseth Smith Nolting; Chris Quisberg, Cub Foods; Jim Haakonson, certified public accountant, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP; Jim Kraft, Frandsen Bank and Trust; John/Deb Holthaus, Primary Benefit Services, Inc.; Kristi Westbrock, Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC); Nate Grotzke, Close~Converse Commercial and Preferred Properties.

Kilian encourages businesses to contact him or committee members with concerns or issues. He added that personal stories of how laws impact businesses are the most effective communication. Kilian's contact information is or 218-822-7111.

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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