Business Notes - May 7

CAREER Rutske gains promotion to president BAXTER--Arnold S. Johnson, CEO, announced the promotion of Tom Rutske to president of Arnold S. Johnson Properties. Rutske is responsible for all company real estate transactions including sales, acquisi...

Tom Rutske
Tom Rutske


Rutske gains promotion to president

BAXTER-Arnold S. Johnson, CEO, announced the promotion of Tom Rutske to president of Arnold S. Johnson Properties.

Rutske is responsible for all company real estate transactions including sales, acquisition of property, and leasing, as well as property management and maintenance.

Rutske joined the company in 2007 as property manager and rose to vice president in 2008.


He previously worked for Universal Pensions from 1985 to 2001 as its human resources director.

Arnold S. Johnson Properties was organized in 2001 to create and manage high quality office

space buildings and to purchase commercial property for future development. The first project

was the Johnson Centre professional office building completed in 2003 on Golf Course Drive in Baxter. Projects have continued with lakeshore and residential development and the sale of commercial properties for development.

Owen joins BlackRidgeBank

Mike Owen joined BlackRidgeBank.

Owen was born and raised in the Brainerd lakes area and attended Brainerd High School, then earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration at Bemidji State University. He worked in Bemidji and Park Rapids before finding his way back to the lakes area to take on the role of branch manager and lender at BlackRidgeBank office in downtown Nisswa.

Roy gains award for excellence


Sharon Roy of Deerwood, Simulation Lab Coordinator at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby, received the Mary Lou Houle Nursing Excellence Award.

She will be honored at a banquet on May 11 as part of the organization's Healthcare Week celebration.

The nurse received the award for her leadership in the nursing profession and involvement in several committees. Roy has worked at CRMC the past 10 years and has a total of 32 years of experience in nursing. She has been an emergency room nurse, charge nurse and critical care nurse.

"Sharon is intelligent and her years of experience in the nursing profession shine through in her ability to teach those around her in a fun and uplifting way," wrote her award nominator. "She has knack for teaching and her laugh and spirited teaching techniques make learning fun for all involved."

"I was very honored to be recognized by my peers. It's humbling to have touched so many people doing something I love," Roy said of her recognition. "I'm proud to be a nurse and part of an organization that values my skills as an RN and an educator. When someone looks back on their career, I hope they think of me and say, 'she was my role model, I wanted to be the type of nurse she was.'"

Roy earned her bachelor's degree in nursing from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. She worked for Gillette's Children's Specialty Clinic, St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center's Pediatric Unit and Hennepin County Medical Center's ER before coming to CRMC.

Other nominees for this year's award included: Surgery RN Kathleen Maloney, Surgery RN Sarah Oehrlein and Emergency Department RN Drew VanSanten. Past winners include Jacki Rinta, Lisa Slepica, Sandy Taylor, Christine Roy, Lea Carlson, and Jesse Oman.

CRMC established the Mary Lou Houle Nursing Excellence Award in 2010. Houle began her nursing career in 1959 at the original CRMC, Miner's Hospital, and retired in 2010. She dedicated her career to the patients, families and community of the Cuyuna Range. She was a skilled registered nurse working in many areas such as obstetrics, surgery, the ER, medical/surgical, staff development and leadership. She was renowned for her exceptional patient care and the level of dedication she demonstrated in every patient interaction.


Hautala presents at QBP Frostbike event

Aaron Hautala, president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, a chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, presented at Quality Bicycle Product's annual education and expo event, Frostbike.

Quality Bicycle Product provides bike shops with an extensive inventory of top-quality bicycling products from their well-known brands, such as Surly, 45NRTH, and Salsa. They've hosted Frostbike since 1988-bringing dealers and vendors together to sharpen their business acumen and bicycling industry knowledge.

More than 100 exhibitors and suppliers participated and displayed at Frostbike this year, including the Crew.

Rich Tauer, Quality Bicycle Product president, reported how the Cuyuna presentation impacted the Frostbike dinner program and event at-large.

Over the last year, Hautala has delivered the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails story at events held in Friedrichshafen, Germany; Oregon, Tennessee, and Florida.

As owner and creative director of RedHouseMedia, Hautala frequently speaks on the topics of communication, identity, and creative strategy at conferences for varying industries around the country.

Helmin wins Washington, DC, youth tour from CTC

Haley Helmin, daughter of Kyle and Amanda Helmin of Brainerd, won the Washington, D.C. Youth Tour Sponsored by Consolidated Telecommunications Company.

Helmin's essay on the telecommunications industry was selected from applicants from 10 area high schools in CTC's service territory.

The Youth Tour will be held June 3 through June 7, and will bring 100 high school students from across America to Washington, D.C. Attendees will visit the U.S. Capitol, the Federal Communications Commission, area legislators and several historic sites and memorials.

The focus of the trip will be on the critical role telecommunications plays in rural America and the impact that policy development has on the industry.

Consolidated Telecommunications Company is a full-service telecommunications company based in Brainerd.

Bruno named LF May employee of the month

LITTLE FALLS-Samantha Bruno, Great River Arts, was named the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce May Employee of the Month.

Bruno has been a the program and events coordinator at Great River Arts for the past three-and-a-half years.

"Sam handle's our grueling schedule and near impossible expectations with a level-head, smile, sense of humor, an open mind and amazing work ethic," said Bruno's boss Jill Moore. "We greatly appreciate her and are so lucky to have her."

Bruno said she was grateful for the recognition and thanked her family for putting up with her crazy schedule and Moore as a inspiration and motivator to continue to push the limits.

National Small Business Week offers webinars

Throughout National Small Business Week, events will be live-streamed. In addition there will be free webinars/webcasts covering:

• The U.S. Economic Outlook and its Impact on Small Businesses,

• 5 Fabulous Habits of Local Business Champions,

• Grow Your Business Online,

• The Future of Small Business Innovation,

• How to Write Your Email Content in 15 Minutes or Less.

To see the city-by-city schedule and to register for the webinars or view live-streamed events please visit .

Russell Herder is Now a Certified B Corporation

Russell Herder announced it has earned global B Corp certification by meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Russell Herder is one of 10 Minnesota companies to earn the recognition. In achieving Certified B Corporation status, Russell Herder cements its promise to be a business that is a force for good. The agency currently serves numerous Brainerd lakes-area clients.

"Becoming a Certified B Corporation is a natural extension of Russell Herder's values and our enduring commitment to doing good in the community," said CEO Carol Russell in a news release.

In September, Russell Herder changed its legal tax status to become a Benefit Corporation, which means it values achieving social and sustainability goals in addition to financial profit. As a Certified B Corporation (global accreditation) and Benefit Corporation (state tax status), Russell Herder, a full-service, woman-owned advertising agency, was granted Certified B Corporation status by the nonprofit organization B Lab. To earn the certification, Russell Herder demonstrated it meets rigorous social, accountability and environmental standards - joining the ranks of esteemed B Corp companies like Burt's Bees, Aveda and Patagonia.

In 2011, Inc. magazine called Certified B Corporations "the highest standard for socially responsible businesses." There are more than 2,000 Certified B Corporations in over 130 industries and 50 countries.

In addition to exceeding the Certified B Corporation standards, Russell Herder has committed to serving the community by matching a significant percentage of its annual profits in time and services donated to select nonprofit organizations. Russell Herder also gives team members paid time off to volunteer and is pursuing initiatives focused on arts, sustainability, and health

and wellness causes.

CRMC recognizes Glenz

Cuyuna Regional Medical Center Business Office Lead Pat Glenz of Crosby was recognized as an "I Care" Ambassador Wednesday for the care and compassion she provides to patients and others.

She will be honored at a banquet on May 11 as part of the organization's Healthcare Week celebration.

A member of CRMC's staff the past 32 years, Glenz was nominated for always being willing to help others and the organization with her support. Originally from Cloquet, she is a graduate of the Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis.

"Any time there is an event for the organization she is always ready to help," wrote one of her nominators. "Pat's door is always open, no matter what she is doing she is always willing to stop and listen and help in anyway way she can with a positive attitude and a smile. She checks in on newer employees and makes them feel welcome."

Other nominees included Phlebotomist Golda Donnelly, Transcription Coordinator Brenda Potter, Environmental Services Lead Denise Schmidt, and System/Database Administrator Dean Turnbloom.


Business After Hours set Thursday

CROSBY-Cuyuna Brewing Company for Business After Hours from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at 1 E. Main Street, Crosby.

Chamber members and non-members are invited to register and attend this event, to bring business cards and network with other business representatives in the area. Hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar and raffle prizes are planned. Attendees are also encouraged to bring raffle prizes.

As a courtesy to the host, advanced registration is recommended. For more information, call the Chamber office at 218-546-8131 or click on the link below to register online.

Grand View Lodge and Madden's on Gull Lake dominate ceremony

This year's Best of Awards were at the Solar Arts by Chowgirls, in Minneapolis in April.

Grand View Lodge took home two awards. All awards are decided by Reader's Choice for the Minnesota Meetings + Events Magazine Best of the Industry Awards winners and are highlighted in the publication's spring issue.

"This year showcases another ceremony where the Brainerd lakes area is becoming the destination of choice in the state," said Frank Soukup, director of marketing of Grand View Lodge. "Out of all the awards, five local businesses were nominated, and three walked away with the titles."

Grand View Lodge was nominated for a "trifecta" again for its fourth year in a row. These nominations included "Best Resort with Meetings/Event Space," "Best Hotel with Meeting/Event Space (Less than 300 Guest Rooms)," and "Best Golf Venue," taking home two of the three awards and losing "Best Golf Venue" to Hazeltine National Golf Club of Chaska.

"Our team is truly deserving of these awards," said Cindy Baysinger, director of sales for Grand

View Lodge. "We have multiple guests and groups who come back year after year and this award shows that we offer the best space, lodging, and catering options."

Lakes Area Unlimited Learning hosts Crow Wing Energized panel

Lakes Area Unlimited Learning presents a panel discussion by Crow Wing Energized, a united community approach to improve health and wellness by making healthy choices essential.

Four goal groups were designed to help develop and achieve this goal: Workplace Wellness, Community Connections, Healthy Choices and Mental Fitness. The panelists are Cassie Carey, CWE coordinator, Tom Gonzalez, PointWay Church and ARC, Jessica Waytashek, CWE and Heidi Hagen, Home Instead Senior Care.

They will focus on workplace wellness, mental fitness and healthy choices for seniors. The presenters will encourage discussion and questions, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Heartwood Senior Living, 500 Heartwood Drive, Crosby. Non-members are welcome $5.

Lakewood to Host Certified Nursing Assistant Training Class

STAPLES-Lakewood Health System will be hosting a certified nursing assistant training class from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, from June 5 to June 16 at the Lakewood Care Center, 401 Prairie Ave. NE, Staples.

The class will be taught by a registered nurse, certified in CNA training.

Becoming a CNA in Minnesota requires 75 hours' worth of training, which includes classroom learning, as well as hands-on skills. Once training is complete, a certification test must be taken. After completing training, and passing the certification test, you will be placed on the Minnesota Nurse Aide Registry. For a full listing of testing sites, visit the Minnesota Department of Health website.

The cost of the training class is $425, which includes the class and all necessary materials. Cost for certification testing will vary, and registration is the responsibility of each participant after they've completed the training.

Questions and RSVPs should be directed to Tamara Mench at 218-894-8326 or . Deadline to register and pay for the class is May 15.

Beef Home Study Courses offered

The University of Minnesota Beef Team is offering three online Home Study Courses in Summer 2017 , titled "Introduction to Cow/Calf Nutrition," "Health Management for the Cow/Calf Herd," and "Introduction to Cattle Feeding."

Courses focus on practical applications of topics. Each lesson will include online activities designed to encourage participants to become familiar with electronic resources and an online forum gives participants the opportunity to connect with other producers.

Following completion, participants will receive a certificate of completion and the opportunity to highlight their continuing education through a LinkedIn Certificate Badge.

The first lessons will be available June 7, 2017, and the following lessons will be posted every two weeks. The fee for course registration is $75.

Registration is open through June 14. Internet access and Microsoft Office software are required.

Contact Nicole Kenney Rambo at or 320-235-0726 ext. 2009 with questions or visit for further details and a list of lessons offered within each course.

BBB seeks nominations for ethics award

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is issuing its annual call for nominations for the premier awards in business ethics, BBB's Torch Awards for Ethics.

Once again, for the 18th year, these awards will recognize outstanding companies in Minnesota and North Dakota which lead by way of example through the display of exemplary ethics in their dealings with customers, employees, vendors and within their communities.

Nominees for the Torch Awards must be in good standing with BBB; however BBB Accreditation is not a requirement to compete for the award. All for-profit businesses of any size, owned or operated in Minnesota or North Dakota, are eligible. This year's BBB Torch Awards for Ethics nomination deadline May 9.

A panel of independent judges will decide the award finalists and recipients. Winners will be announced live at BBB's 2017-18 Torch Awards for Ethics ceremony on Wednesday, October 25, which will be held in the Hyundai Club at U.S. Bank Stadium. This year's event will start at 2:30 p.m.

Companies can be nominated online by visiting or by sending the company name, contact name, address, phone number, and email along with the nominator's name, phone number and reason for nominating to: BBB, Attn: Mackenzie Kelley, 220. S. River Ridge Circle, Burnsville, MN 55337; or by faxing the information to 651-695-2487. Nominations for the 2017-18 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics are open to the public. Area business owners or employees may also nominate their own firms.

Nominated companies will receive an official entry form from BBB. The entry asks each company to demonstrate their commitment to ethics by addressing the following six Principles of TRUST!, as established by BBB:

• Transformation at the Top

• Reinforce and Build

• Unite the Team

• Steer Performance

• Treasure People

• Enthusiastically Reinvest


Bernick Family Foundation awards $150,000

The Bernick Family Foundation announced today that it awarded $150,000 in grants focused on enriching the lives of youth and improving health through its fund at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

"At Bernick's, we see needs in the community and want to do our part to make a difference. The funding in this year's grant round will help build a stronger future for our communities," said Jason Bernick, director of corporate affairs, in a news release, Bernick's serves St. Cloud, Duluth, Alexandria, Willmar, Brainerd, Bemidji and surrounding communities as well as Dresser, Wis.

This round of grants included a local grant of $5,000 to the Brainerd Baxter Youth Center for their bicycle recycle program.

The Bernick Family Foundation was established as a component of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation in 1989 to help Bernick's and the Bernick Family support organizations that reflect the family's core values, while providing leadership in responding to emerging community needs.

Founded in 1916, Bernick's is a fourth-generation family-owned business.

The Central Minnesota Community Foundation in affiliation with CommunityGiving, is a public charity that attracts and administers charitable funds for the benefit of the local community. Since 1985, CMCF has grown to over $86.1 million in assets and awarded over $87.1 million in grants to local nonprofits. Collectively, CommunityGiving administers more than 650 funds totaling more than $123 million. Learn more at

Goodwill sales donations hit new record

Customers of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc's 262 stores donated more than 564,000 dollars in cash donations, the most dollars ever collected from its customers, and 1.4 million pounds of used clothing, textiles and household items during the company's semiannual Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale, from March 15 through April 3, 2017.

Revenue from the sale of these donations at Goodwill stores in Bon-Ton communities will provide the means to create 250,000 hours of job training, skills attainment and other community-based services.

Operating in 25 states, the Bon-Ton nameplates include Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers. During the 18-day sale event, customers dropped off donated goods and received coupons for up to 30 percent off new spring fashions.

"Goodwill would not be able to fulfill its mission without the generous donations that support our programs and services that help people build their skills and find jobs," said Kim Zimmer, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of global development of Goodwill Industries International. "We salute Bon-Ton and its wonderful customers for heeding the call to make a difference in their communities for people facing challenges to finding employment."

As with all donations received by Goodwill, items collected during the Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale are sold in Goodwill stores, and the revenue from those sales is used to create employment training, skills development, education and job placement for people in local communities. In addition, Goodwill organizations help equip people to change their lives with careers in fields such as automotive services, construction, health care, information technology, manufacturing, hospitality, retail and other high-demand industries.

"We continue to be amazed and touched by the generosity of our customers during this signature cause-marketing event, now in its 23rd year," said Kathryn Bufano, president and CEO of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. "We are grateful for the many donations that help our friends and neighbors in the community find jobs."

Customers take part in the event twice a year, each spring and fall, to donate the items they no longer need to Goodwill and save on new merchandise at Bon-Ton. The Bon-Ton Goodwill Sale represents the largest and longest-standing cause partnership and department store donation drive for Goodwill.

Crow Wing Power donates Operation Roundup funds

Since Operation Roundup's inception in late 1996, more than $3.2 million has been donated to community projects and programs in Cass, Crow Wing and Morrison counties.

Operation Roundup is funded by participating members of Crow Wing Power who allow the cooperative to round up their electric bills to the nearest whole dollar. The additional change is pooled and distributed quarterly.

During their quarterly meeting held in April, the Crow Wing Power Community Trust Board donated $67,200 to local community programs. Operation Round-Up funds were distributed to

the following projects: $500 to Bethel Ladies Sewing Club, Brainerd; $500 to Prayer Quilt Ministry, Brainerd; $500 to Lord of Life Lutheran Church Quilters, Brainerd; $500 to Project Linus, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Baxter; $1,500 to The Center, Brainerd; $2,000 to Lakes Area Chaplaincy, Brainerd; $1,000 to Smile Again Ministries, Crosslake; $2,500 to Crisis Line and Referral Service, Brainerd; $3,000 to Cuyuna Range Youth Center, Crosby; $2,500 to Central Mn. Council, Boy Scouts of America; $3,000 to Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers, Baxter; $2,000 to True Friends; $500 to Deerwood Senior Dance Club; $2,000 to Camp Olson YMCA, Longville; $3,000 to Kinship Partners, Brainerd; $450 to Friends of Old Crow Wing, Brainerd; $550 to Great River Strings Ensemble, Aitkin; $3,000 to The Warehouse, Pine River; $1,000 to a Brainerd Community Project; $2,000 to The Landing Welcome Center & Marketplace, Emily; $2,500 to SMILES, Pequot Lakes; $500 to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Welca Mission Circle, Hillman; $1,000 to Legionville School Patrol Training Center, Brainerd; $10,000 to Lutheran Social Service, Emergency Fuel Fund, Brainerd; $1,000 to Jessie Hallett Memorial Library, Crosby; $2,500 to United Way of Crow Wing & So. Cass Imagination Library, Brainerd; $1,200 to Nisswa Community Children's Library; $2,000 to The Burlington House, Baxter; $2,500 to Acorn Hill EAAT, Motley; $3,000 to Salem West, Salem Outreach, Deerwood; $2,000 to Reading Early Assists Development, Crosby; $5,000 to Essentia Health, Take Heart Program, Brainerd; and $2,000 to Private Cooperative Member Crisis Medical Support.

The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for Aug. 3. Grant forms can be obtained by calling Crow Wing Power at 218-829-2827 or 1-800-648-9401 or at . The

deadline for grant applications is July 10.

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