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CONTENTS GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

E X P LO R I N G C E N T R A L M I N N ES OTA’ S B US I N ESS ES .

Cover Story

PROFIT

34

30 A WONDERFUL WORLD

PRETTY DARN COOL

John Herges, CEO of Falcon National Bank, has spent his entire career helping small businesses – and

Your road to success might be on another continent.

communities – grow.

40 MANUFACTURING’S FUTURE

NETWORK

Manufacturing is facing many challenges – talent, innovation, infrastructure. The answer to these challenges may be …. Women.

8 UPFRONT Valuable information designed to guide and educate 20 BUSINESS TOOLS Useful tips and intelligence on how to continue to grow your business

54 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT John Koshiol, Now IT Connects

42 BEYOND GREEN Construction practices have moved beyond green to include drones, fungi, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

GROW

M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1 : 4 Pr e s i d e n t ’ s Le t t e r / 6 Ed i t o r ’ s N o t e / 1 8 N e t w o r k Ce n t ra l

ONLYONLINE BUSINESSCENTRAL MAGAZINE.COM

• Top cybersecurity news sites

• Ethical decisionmaking

• Creativity myths • Point of intersection 51 COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

© Copyright 2021 Business Central, LLC. Business Central is published six times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487. Phone (320) 251-2940 / Fax (320) 251-0081. Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year.


PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Community Leader

S

enator Norm Coleman begins discussions about political leadership with this statement: “A leader

John readily provides needed resources to employees and colleagues alike. He generously hands out praise. He

without anyone following them is just a person out on a

has a wonderful way of framing constructive criticism with,

walk.” The visual that sentence creates for me is one of

“Did you ever consider this . . .?” John always buys lunch.

aimlessly wandering suits, their eyes closed and hands out in front of them feeling their way along.

John loves his community and our Chamber of Commerce. He recognizes the critical role and function

We all know and recognize bad leaders. For me, good leadership is like Chief Justice Potter Stewart’s assessment of obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio: “I know it when I see it.” I have been fortunate to work

of the Chamber to his important

For me, good leadership is like Chief Justice Potter Stewart’s assessment of obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio: “I know it when I see it.”

with and follow many types of

business customers. I love every visit I have with John because I always come away with new, valuable insight or information. Then I realize, he got something from me, too, because John always asks the right questions.

excellent leaders in my professional life. One of the finest

I was not part of the decision-making for this issue’s

is featured on this issue’s cover. John Herges has firmly

cover story, but I am so happy it turned out to be John. He

secured his position in the history of our area communities.

deserves the recognition and accolades for all he does for

And he is so humble, I don’t think he even knows it.

us. John is a fantastic and superior leader. I cannot define all

John was our 2013-14 Chamber Board Chair. Officially the Board Chair is my boss, and John was particularly effective

the reasons why I know that, but like Justice Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it.

in that role. His leadership style is to establish the goals and direction for an organization, keep the communication lines wide open, then step back and let his crew do what they do best. He maintains just the right amount of oversight and input to correct off-course movements before they

Teresa Bohnen Publisher

become critical.

2020-21 BOARD MEMBERS ____________________________

Main Phone: 320-251-2940 • Automated Reservation Line: 320-656-3826 • Program Hotline: 320-656-3825 information@StCloudAreaChamber.com • StCloudAreaChamber.com ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF ____________________________ Special Events Coordinator: President: Teresa Bohnen, ext. 104 Laura Wagner, ext. 131 Vice President: Gail Ivers, ext. 109 Director of Administration: Judy Zetterlund, ext. 106 Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator: Kelti Lorence, ext. 130

4

CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF ____________________________ Main Phone: 320-251-4170 Executive Director: Julie Lunning, ext. 111

Membership Specialist: Antoinette Valenzuela, ext. 134

Director of Sports & Special Events: Dana Randt, ext. 110

Administrative Assistant: Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122

Sales Manager: Nikki Fisher, ext. 112

Administrative Assistant: Shelly Imdieke, ext. 100

Social Media & Marketing Specialist: Emily Bertram, ext. 129

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Sales Manager: Rachel Thompson, ext. 128

Marilyn Birkland, LocaliQ Ron Brandenburg, Quinlivan & Hughes, Chair John Bryant, Geo-Comm Christy Gilleland, Gilleland Chevrolet Cadillac Tanja Goering Jason Hallonquist, AIS Planning, Past Board Chair Ray Harrington, Pioneer Place on Fifth Joe Hellie, CentraCare Patrick Hollermann, InteleCONNECT Willie Jett, St. Cloud School District Kevin Johnson, K. Johnson Construction Bernie Omann, St. Cloud State University Bernie Perryman, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Board Vice Chair Brenda Sickler, Theisen Dental Allison Waggoner, DCI, Inc. Chriss Wohlleber, Courtyard by Marriott-St. Cloud Colleen Zoffka, GB & Company


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EDITOR’S NOTE

Quotable “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” — Seneca ike many of you, I have spent part of my COVID-19 isolation cleaning out closets and going

through boxes. When my husband died in 2015, I was

the powerful differences between adapting to cope

reminded of what a good collector he was of detritus.

and adapting to win.” This has become my mantra

Everything broken was just a spare part looking for

and one that all of us at the Chamber have adopted

a home. He never met a recipe he didn’t want to

as we continuosly explore ways to help members

try, especially if it called for several rare ingredients.

not just survive, but thrive.

Old catalogs were not trash, they were sources of Over the holidays I decided it was well past time for me to try and tackle some of these piles. One enormous box was full of recipes he had cut out of

Quotations were something else my husband liked to collect. As I sorted through boxes I came

inspiration.

across this one by Henry Ford:

I enjoy comic strips so I spent a COVID-19 afternoon reading through the ones my husband had collected.

I have three binders and two manila folders full of

think you can’t, you’re right.” Another pandemic message! I think Tom left that one for me to find. I now have it posted in

magazines and newspapers. I started looking through them, then decided that since

“Whether you think you can or

my kitchen where it encourages me daily. While interviewing John Herges for this issue’s

recipes I haven’t tried, along with a shopping bag full

cover story, (see page 34) he pointed out a framed

of old cooking magazines, I could probably get along

poster in his office. It says, “Let’s think of a few

without the ones in the box and hauled them to the

reasons why it CAN be done.” This is John’s mantra

recycle bin.

and one that I think belongs in every office.

Another large box turned out to be full of comic

I, too, am a collector of quotes and comics.

strips. I enjoy comic strips so I spent an afternoon

The drawing you see below sits on my desk as a

reading through the ones he had collected. We had

daily reminder of perseverance. Another favorite

a similar sense of humor and it was a delightful way

comes from a coffee mug I won at a staff party a

to pass the time. When I was done, I discovered I had

few years ago. It simply says…

set aside several that I couldn’t bear to throw away.

Actually, I can.

Instead, I packed them up and sent them to my Aunt Nancy to enjoy, secure in the knowledge that she would both laugh at the jokes…and the fact that I couldn’t throw them out.

Until next issue,

Early in the pandemic I was talking with Aunt Nancy about the challenges we were facing at the Chamber regarding our programming. Trying to stay relevant and continue to provide quality programming felt impossible. She sent me the following quote from English author Max McKeown: “Adaptability is about

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BusinessCentral Magazine.com // M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1

. Gail Ivers Editor

Photo by Joel Butkowski, BDI Photography

L

Editor Gail Ivers with John Herges, Falcon national Bank


Advocacy in Action Publisher Teresa Bohnen Managing Editor Gail Ivers

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Dr. Fred E. Hill, St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Ari Kaufman, Freelance Writer Phil Kunkel, BerganKDV Kelti Lorence, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Hannah Mayhew and Lynn MacDonald, St. Cloud State University Michael Stalboerger, Mahowald Chad Staul, Quinlivan & Hughes

ADVERTISING Associate Publisher/Sales Melinda Vonderahe Ad Traffic & Circulation Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media ART Design & Production Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media Cover Story Photography Joel Butkowski, BDI Photography ACCOUNTING Judy Zetterlund WEBSITE Vicki Lenneman

Dan Soldner, Vye Jessie Storlien, Stearns History Museum

MidCountry Bank welcomes Keith Gordon to the St Cloud community as our Market President. As a banker who has lived and worked in the area for nearly a decade, Keith knows that opportunities are out there for businesses in the community to grow. Over 15 years in banking and finance have given Keith the knowledge and insight that guides him to create custom solutions and long-term planning strategies, and to ad advocate for his client. “I enjoy learning about your business and embrace the challenge to find new ways to support its growth.” Keith is dedicated to find the right solutions and make banking easy. Contact Keith today to get the conversation started!

Keith Gordon 1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101,P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 Fax (320) 251-0081 BusinessCentralMagazine.com

Market President - St. Cloud

For advertising information contact Melinda Vonderahe, (320) 656-3808 Editorial suggestions can be made in writing to: Editor, Business Central, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487. Submission of materials does not guarantee publication. Unsolicited materials will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

www.MidCountry.bank

1113 W St. Germain St, St. Cloud, MN 56301

Branch: 320.529.8878 Direct: 320.229.5278 M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

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UPFRONT GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

N E WS & P EO P L E T H AT M A K E U P T H E C H A M B E R N E T W O R K

I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E : People to Know / Digging H is to ry / Yo u r Vo ice in Govern me n t / T h e Tro u b le w it h B us i ne ss BOOK REVIEW

NEWS REEL

Sweet Dreams

Tri-County Humane Society expands

Sleep may well be the starting point to better health.

Tri-County Humane Society

Reviewed by Dr. Fred Hill

“The 4 Season Solution provides a new, sustainable model for living in sync with the natural world. By making small but meaningful changes to the four keys of wellness – how you sleep, eat, move, and connect – over the course of the year, you will reclaim your health, regain your energy, and lose excess weight. At once a bold new philosophy and an accessible plan to live well all year long, The 4 Season Solution is a new health paradigm for an increasingly unhealthy world.” — The Four Season Solution

A

uthor Dallas Hartwig started his career as a physical therapist, gradually expanding his practice to include strength and conditioning, nutrition, and functional medicine. His initial treatment for people with hectic lifestyles was to offer strength training and cardiovascular conditioning, along with stress management, in an effort to improve their overall

recently moved into a new shelter, located directly behind

health. A focus on food and nutrition were soon added as the most useful and impactful starting point. Based on these practical experiences, Hartwig wrote The 4 Season Solution, which combines ancestral health, with a recognition of how to adapt core practices into busy, modern lives resulting in a blueprint for better living. This very useful and timely book consists of two parts and eight chapters: Part One: Getting Stuck • Chapter One: Beaten down by being normal • Chapter Two: It starts with sleep • Chapter Three: Food doesn’t have to be so hard • Chapter Four: Moving to the rhythm • Chapter Five: People matter most Part Two: Getting Unstuck • Chapter Six: Anchors

• Chapter Seven: Pivot to heal: fall and therapeutic winter • Chapter Eight: Your life beyond There are many lifestyle changes that are crucial to optimum wellness, according to Hartwig, and their effects are difficult to perceive and deal with. “Looking back,” he writes, “I might have overestimated food’s centrality and underestimated that of sleep. Now, I feel that optimal health really does start with sleep and the inherent rhythmicity that is, or should be, built on.” Getting unstuck from seasonal “less than best” personal and career wellness starts with seasonal sleep demands and expectations. This book will be of great help – so, get a good night’s sleep, and start reading it.

their old building. The new $3.5 million facility is twice as large as the old one and features larger offices, more outdoor play space, improved on-site surgery, and an education space.

Schroeder joins CMBA Wanda Schroeder has been hired as the new executive director of the Central Minn. Builders Association (CMBA). She succeeds Bonnie Moeller who retired from the position after 38 years with the CMBA. Schroeder has a background in communications and leadership having worked at Cellular 2000 of St. Cloud and most recently at Marco.

Initiative Foundation receives $150,000 grant The Initiative Foundation is set to receive a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help lowincome entrepreneurs gain access to capital. The grant will help fund the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, more

Dr. Fred E. Hill is an emeritus

commonly known as PRIME. The

professor at St. Cloud State

award supports the Initiative

University.

Foundation’s Enterprise Academy in St. Cloud, and will help expand the program into Brainerd and the

T h e 4 S e ason S ol ut i on; T he Groundbreakin g New Plan for Fee l i ng B e t t e r, Liv i ng We l l , and P owerin g Down Ou r Al way s- On Liv e s; Dallas Har tw ig , At ria Books , New York, 2 0 2 0, IS BN 97 8-1 -982 1 -1 5 1 5 -9

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Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Send News Reel items to Gail Ivers, givers@businesscentralmagazine.com for possible inclusion. News Reel is compiled by Kelti Lorence.


POINT OF VIEW

How do you unwind after work? Dan Kramer, Dan Kramer Inc.

Michael Heen, Central Minnesota Credit Union

––––––

Quality time with my family is the best way to unwind from work. Whether it’s pulling out a board game or taking a nature walk, sharing those small moments with my three kids helps me prepare for the next week of work.”

Megan Bistodeau, Gate City Bank

Alicia Chapman, Bluebird Creative

–––––––

I like to unwind by getting outside. Whether it’s a quick walk around the neighborhood or a long hike in a park, I notice I’m more relaxed after taking this time for myself!”

–––––––

My favorite place to unwind after work is in downtown St. Cloud. I love meeting up with friends for happy hour at Beaver Island, Jules’ Bistro, Searles on Fifth, or any other amazing restaurant!”

––––––

First and foremost, I try to de-screen. I leave work in my office and turn my phone off before I get home. With six little kids at home, I recognize that my wife truly has the harder job! Being present with my family helps me re-center.”

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NETWORK

UPFRONT PEOPLE TO KNOW

NEWS REEL Paramount exceeds fundraising goal The Paramount Center for the Arts

Individuals Worth Knowing These community leaders are making a difference.

hosted their annual fundraiser, Autumn Moon: Paramount Confidential, as a livestream event in September. The event featured stories about the Paramount, cameos from local and national artists, performances by local artists, an art exhibition, and a silent auction. The event raised over $81,000.

CMCF Board adds new members, awards scholarships

Rachael Sogge Eyecon Graphics

Jodi Speicher The Good Shepherd Community

–––––––

–––––––

The Central

–––––––

(320) 258-9364 jodispeicher@gsc-mn.org Chair, Membership & Workforce Development Division

Minnesota

The Marketing Committee is responsible for the over-all marketing efforts of the Chamber of Commerce, including communication materials, advertising, publications, the website, promotional programs, and organizational research.

The Membership Division is responsible for all marketing and membership activities, including workforce development, networking programs and all of the Chamber’s special events.

Community Foundation welcomes Erin Bitzan and Ryan Daniels to its Board of Directors.

(320) 237-3695 (work) rsogge@eyecongraphics.com Chair, Marketing Committee

–––––––

–––––– In conjunction with CommunityGiving, CMCF awarded $136,050 in academic scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year to 87 students from the upper Midwest.

Park Industries named Manufacturer of the Year

Bernie Perryman Batteries Plus Bulbs

Sangeeta Jha St. Cloud Technical & Community College

Park

–––––––

Industries

(320) 292-5960 / bernie@mnbattery.com Chair, Government Affairs Committee

–––––––

The Government Affairs Committee researches legislative issues, makes recommendations regarding legislative policy positions, organizes trips to the Capitol, and maintains contact with area legislators and other elected officials throughout the year.

–––––––

received the Manufacturer Alliance’s 2020 Mid-size Company Manufacturer of the Year Award and Governor’s Certificate.

JLG Architects named to national architecture list JLG Architects has been named

–––––––

(320) 308-5996 / SJha@sctcc.edu Chair, Diversity Council Chamber’s Diversity Council purpose is to support an inclusive business community by encouraging Chamber members to advocate, enhance and promote equity of opportunity in all their business practices.

#101 on the Architectural Record Top 300 Firms list, which ranks

–––––––

engineering, and architecture/

(320) 761-8500 / jason@jasonmillerhomes.com Chair, Chamber Connection

engineering/construction firms headquartered in the United

–––––––

States by revenue. JLG has been

Chamber Connection is a premier networking event for businesses. Hosted by a different Chamber member every Friday morning, Chamber Connection attracts people each week to network and share information about their businesses.

on the list since 2014.

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Jason Miller. Premier Real Estate Services

architecture, architecture/

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1


Brady DeGagne Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota

–––––––

(320) 252-7616 / bdegagne@bgcmn.org Chair, Chamber Open

–––––––

The Chamber Open is an annual networking and fundraising event for the Chamber. Volunteers organize the day’s activities, sell sponsorships, and help the day of the Open. Ashley Green Green Thumb Etc.

–––––––

(320) 493-2955 / ashley.88.green@gmail.com Chair: Business Development Council

–––––––

The purpose of the Business Development Council is to provide training and education for Chamber members and their employees to help their businesses grow and thrive. Programs include Lunchtime Learning, and a variety of seminars, workshops, and certificate programs.

IN THE NEWS

GSDC presents Innovation Awards Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation’s (GSDC) 9th annual Innovation Awards were presented to organizations focused on ways to deliver healthcare more affordably and on helping area young people succeed. 2020 recipients were: _________ CareerSTART, a program launched in September 2019 by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota Pathways 4 Youth, created in 2018 by three St. Cloud area

Rotary and Rotaract Clubs Sartell Family Medicine, founded in 2018, one of Minnesota’s first clinics to offer solely direct primary care (no insurance accepted)

Simplicity Health, opened in 2018, providing both direct primary care and serving traditional insurance clients

I mask for my customers Who do you mask for? Wearing a face covering protects the people around you. It helps you keep germs to yourself — protecting the most vulnerable. Help slow the spread of COVID-19 — we’re all in this together.

#imaskforyou

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL

DIGGING HISTORY

A Lifetime of Healing Her selfless spirit and adaptability made Sister Julitta exceptional at caring for others. By Jessie Storlien

Sister Julitta (L) and Sister Glenore doing administrative work at the St Cloud Hospital, ca 1960

Redefining the Road magazine announced Brenny Transportation as one of the recipients of the 2020 “Top Companies for Women to Work For in Transportation.” –––––– Duane Botzek and Connie Miller, a driver team for Brenny Specialized, Inc., were nominated for the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) driver of the year program, joining an elite group representing the very best of the 125,000 drivers in the NASTC.

Blattner Energy receives Job Creation Fund award Blattner Energy was one of five companies to receive awards from the Job Creation Fund through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for business expansions in their communities. Blattner received $175,000 toward a 70,000 square foot expansion on their current office building. The expansion is expected to create 15 new jobs over the next three years.

St. Cloud Surgical breaks ground on renovation Construction on the St. Cloud Surgical Center began October 13, 2020. The 13,000 square foot $11 million renovation includes a remodel as well as 7,500 square feet of new space to accommodate a growing demand for joint replacements and spine surgeries.

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“I enjoy every day of my work. There are little ins and outs, but take it as it comes. Be pleasant and things will be all right.” — Sister Julitta Hoppe, age 84, as told to the St. Cloud Visitor in 1959 on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.

T

heresa Hoppe was born to Henry and Theresa Hoppe on June 11, 1875 in New Munich, Minn. She entered the Order of St. Benedict in 1895 and took her perpetual vows in 1902 becoming Sister Julitta Hoppe. Her selfless spirit and adaptability made Sister Julitta exceptional at caring for others. After being chosen to help Sister Placidus at St. Raphael’s Hospital in 1898, Sister Julitta became a nurse. At the time, Sisters learned on the job. Because there was no formal healthcare education for nurses, Sister Julitta began her career at the hospital having never professionally seen a sick person. In 1915, after completing a training

program, she became one of the first registered nurses in the community. Throughout her sixty years in healthcare, Sister Julitta also served as superior, administrator, and surgical advisor at the hospital in St. Cloud. As Prioress, Mother Henrita Osendorf, wrote of Sister Julitta in 1971, “Her love for people urged her to devote herself wholeheartedly to the good of her community and the patients under her care.” In the early twentieth century, there weren’t many amenities available in healthcare. “We had only a few conveniences. We had kerosene lamps. Our signal bells were hand bells or any other honking device that could be put to use. Only lumber wagons or buggies could be used [to transport patients]. Often the doctor had to wait for favorable weather to bring his patient to the hospital,” Sister Julitta told the St. Cloud Visitor in 1959. These conditions were frequently tested when

waves of those suffering from typhoid, influenza, or other ailments sought care. Sister Julitta witnessed many diseases sweep the area, including the 1918 flu epidemic. She gave an account of the experience in her memoirs, of which an excerpt was published on the Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery blog in November 2009: “While the flu was raging in St. Cloud, it seemed that every family was involved and Sister Cunegard and I went to tend the sick from house to house…It was decided to use a diocesan building for the care of the sick…We had only a few beds set up when the patients began to come…The schools had been closed, and so the Sisters came to help from almost every one of our convents, and they helped until they, too, were taken with the flu…We had very few doctors and they, too, got sick.”

Sister Julitta breaks the g round for the nor thwest wing of the St. Cloud Hospital in 1968

Photos courtesy of the Stearns History Museum.

Brenny Transportation named top company for women; drivers nominated for national award


Sister Julitta (standing at right) at a St. Cloud School of Nursing celebration, ca1960

Sister Julitta persevered. She survived the epidemic and went on to become the hospital administrator and superior, first at St. Raphael’s Hospital in 1924 and then at the new St. Cloud Hospital in 1928. In her administrative role Sister Julitta was instrumental in the building process of the St. Cloud Hospital. She is even credited with suggesting the half “X” shape of the building with thoughts of accommodating future additions. “It was Sister Julitta who knew every detail of the Chicago architectural firm’s (Schmidt, Garden and Erickson) plans

which they delivered in May 1926,” according to the Saint Benedict’s Monastery Archives. “The plans called for a $1.5 million ten-story building with 475 rooms that would accommodate 250 patients. That she watched the construction process carefully is exemplified in an incident on one of her inspection tours during the construction. She picked up a sledgehammer and smashed an opening in a wall saying, ‘There was supposed to be a DOOR here!’” All the attention to detail from Sister Julitta is memorialized in a hospital that has not only seen multiple

additions, but has provided care to those in the St. Cloud area since its inception. Her longevity in the field afforded Sister Julitta the honor of breaking ground for both the St. Cloud Hospital building in 1926 and the northwest wing of the Hospital in 1968 at the age of 93. Sister Julitta died on February 26, 1971, leaving an unrivaled legacy of dedication and commitment to healthcare in St. Cloud. Jessie Storlien is an archivist at the Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud.

Improving Lives

ONE SURGERY AT A TIME

Tom Swanson of St. Cloud chose the facility where he would have his knee replacement surgery after watching a television commercial that boasted helping top athletes. After surgery, which was performed by a surgeon outside of the St. Cloud area, Tom experienced pain and two post-surgery infections. Discouraged, Tom sought the advice of Dr. Nessler, of St. Cloud Orthopedics, who informed him that the knee he received was too large, causing hyperextension and pain.

I was so impressed with the preciseness of which they prepared for and performed the surgery with robotics that I took Dr. Nessler’s advice to replace my right knee as well,” said Tom.

Tom recently found himself back at the St. Cloud Surgical Center to see Dr. Mariash for an achilles reconstruction. “I am still in awe about the care I received. Everyone at St. Cloud Surgical Center is thorough, friendly and caring.”

Tom Swanson

St. Cloud Surgical Center Patient

Better Care, Better Costs, Better Recovery… Better YOU. 1526 Northway Drive, St. Cloud, MN 56303 |

PH

800.349.7272 | stcsurgicalcenter.com

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL Schlenner Wenner adds partner, promotes staff; employees complete CPA exam

YOUR VOICE IN GOVERNMENT

Connecting Now more than ever it’s important to talk with your representatives. Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer met with Chamber members via Zoom in Januar y.

Schlenner Wenner & Co. added Brian Skluzacek as a partner of the firm, effective January 1. Skluzacek graduated from St. John’s University and specializes in audit, accounting and consulting services, and brings over ten years of experience to the firm. –––––– Two Schlenner Wenner & Co. employees and St. Cloud State University graduates completed all parts of the CPA exam in 2020. Paul Vreeland received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and currently helps with business and individual tax returns. Sydney Wittnebel received her Bachelor’s in Accounting with a minor in Global Business and currently works with government and not-for-profit agencies. –––––– The following employees were recently promoted: Samantha Kohout, Brian Schellinger and Val Giefer-Fossa promoted to senior manager; Jacob Wickman promoted to manager; Morgan Kern and Jacilyn Nemec promoted to senior accountant; James Fischer, Tony Goelz, Riann Harpster, Nicole Quade, Matthew Rathlisberger, Stephanie Schroden-Kieffer, Grant

E

ven though our face-to-face interactions have been limited over the past months, the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce continues to give you excellent opportunities to meet and interact with your elected officials. In fact, the seclusion of elected officials that recent events have necessitated makes it even more vital to tell our representatives what is important to you during the 2021 Congressional and Minnesota legislative sessions.

Our Chamber gives you multiple ways to connect with elected officials. We hosted a Legislative KickOff in December. While the Minnesota Chamber’s Session Priorities event was virtual and shortened this year, it provided important information about expectations for the session and the opportunities to hear from legislative leadership. The St. Cloud Area Chamber is planning topical programming throughout the 2021 session and a virtual Mid-Session Update featuring

our elected officials. We will be providing Zoom breakout rooms on March 17 where you will be able to talk in small groups with our representatives and senators. We are tentatively planning to take a small group to Washington, D.C., later this year with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. This event is dependent on whether or not we will have access to congressional offices. In the meantime, we will be hosting a federal update on April 17 with our national leaders. Finally, we will host a Legislative Wrap-Up in late May. Do not let the pandemic limit your access or input with our elected leaders. Plan to participate in these events and let your voice be heard.

s For contact information for all our elected officials, visit BusinessCentralMagazine.com

Stangl and Sydney Wittnebel have all been promoted to in-charge accountant; Ryan Preusser and Julie Veillette have been promoted to staff accountant II.

Marco purchases New Jersey company Marco recently announced its acquisition of Advanced Office Systems, a copier and printer company in Roselle, New Jersey.

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IN THE NEWS

DeZURIK earns Governor’s Safety Award DeZURIK was recognized for excellence in workplace safety and health at the annual MN/SD Safety & Health Conference. Since 1934, the annual Governor’s Safety Awards program has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance. ___________


DO IT NOW!

Make Use of Your Travel Time The world of work has changed for many of us in 2020 and will continue to evolve for most in 2021. With all challenges come benefits!

W

orking remotely allows you to be closer to family during the holidays, while still maintaining customer relationships and meeting project deadlines. However, making efficient use of your time on the road or at home can be difficult. Here are four strategies for increasing productivity outside of the office: A.Listen to podcasts while you’re on the go.

Do you have knowledge gaps

you’ve been meaning to fill for months, or possibly years? Podcasts are a great way to learn from experts, professionals, and the average person, and are often free to download. Find any topic of interest (business, cooking, finances, history, etc.) and start getting educated! B.Make quick calls while in transit.

Need to update a team member or finalize an event catering

order? Use your few spare minutes in the cab to check off a few short phone calls before reaching your destination.

D Indulge in pleasure reading.

Remember – you are your best investment...and reading develops creativity! Pick up a book, settle into your spare travel time, and explore a new world between the pages.

C.Work on writing projects when stuck in planes, trains, or shuttles.

Will you be sitting on a plane or in the airport for a few hours? Pull out your laptop and finish those longer stories, newsletters, letters and emails. Some airlines now even offer Wi-Fi.

The Bottom Line: A little

planning can help you efficiently use travel time to grow personally and professionally. —KL

Doing what’s right to get things done In manufacturing, there’s no such thing as coasting along. You have to be ready to grow, adapt and improve when market conditions — and your customers — demand more. At Bremer Bank, you’ll find a proactive partner who can help you identify and seize opportunities as they arise. Let’s see what we can do together. bremer.com

Member FDIC

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

THE TROUBLE WITH BUSINESS

Sold! If you’re hoping to sell your business, here are six tips to keep in mind. By Phil Kunkel, JD

2 Negotiate holistically. Price is not everything.

It is not how much you make; it is how much you get to keep. Prequalifying your buyers ensures you are spending time on due diligence with someone who can afford your business. But don’t only entertain offers from cash buyers. Keep your options open. Securing all contracts to make sure that your intellectual and physical properties are owned and titled properly will also help the negotiation process run smoother. 3 Pre-sale tax planning is critical to help you structure the proper deal.

S

elling your business is no simple task. The end goal appears simple: creating a transaction on which both the buyer and the seller can agree. But getting to that end goal is a detail-oriented process that requires significant collaboration and communication between buyer and seller. One should go into the process prepared, because making a misstep can have consequences for both parties. I have put together a series of tips that I have found useful to maximizing the outcome of a transaction while minimizing risk.

Here are six important things to keep in mind when selling your business: 1.It’s important to hire the right professionals to help you sell.

Find the right broker and/or investment banker appropriate to the size of the transaction. They will have networks of the appropriate size and strength to move your business. They will also be able to assist in getting a proper valuation on your business and recommending ways you can increase the value of your business.

While a stock purchase can be advantageous to one seller, an

asset sale can be best for another. Use tax mitigation strategies that apply, including allocating the purchase price, structuring an installment sale, arranging for contingent consideration or an earn-out, or even maintaining an equity position in the company post sale. These are all things to

Financial services attorney Phil Kunkel, BerganKDV, has extensive experience in financial restructuring, business sale transactions, finance, agribusiness, real estate financing, for-profit and nonprofit businesses, operations, workouts, and bankruptcy.

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4.Revisiting your debt structure and reviewing your expenses.

Checking those can open avenues to sale whereas earnouts or payments can be easier by potentially extending the payments and reducing expenses. This can leave more money for the buyer to allocate to the seller as purchase payments rather than paying the bank for debt payments. Earn-outs can be an attractive option when a buyer and seller need to close the gap between the seller’s asking price and what the buyer is willing to pay. An earn-out will allow

Pre-qualifying your buyers ensures you are spending time on due diligence with someone who can afford your business.

Contributor ________

16

carefully consider before you pull the trigger on the sale of your business.

a client who is perhaps overly optimistic about what his or her business can achieve, to be realized. On the flip side, a buyer, who is not overpaying up front, may be willing to give the client a piece of the upside potential of the business. 5.Are you planning on retiring after the sale?

If so, there are important things to consider. You need to determine how much retirement will cost since your business


Ask for will no longer be there to support you. Will the sold amount of the transaction cover your expenses for the future? Many business owners have half their net worth tied to their business. Is the timing right? If you have control of the timing of the transaction, be sure it’s when the marketplace for your business is strong. Are your bases covered? Be sure to build up your emergency savings, make a retirement budget, determine your health insurance options, and make an income timeline to ensure you’re ready to enjoy retirement. 6.Have a post-sale plan.

When you’ve successfully sold your business, have a

post-sale plan for what you plan to be doing three and six months after you sell! Are you still planning on being involved in the business after selling? Be sure to have postsale roles defined in order to make the transition process seamless. Surrounding yourself with the right people, at the right time, with the correct tax planning in place will be of great benefit to you and will make the process that much easier for both seller and buyer. If you are ready to close the business-owner chapter of your life and start a new one, be sure to contact your financial advisor to help you navigate all areas of your financial life and set you up for post-sale success.

Get Back to the Top

SPINE CARE We know life is meant to be actively enjoyed. That’s why we’re so dedicated to helping you move with ease once again. For expert treatment options from people who truly care, ask for St. Cloud Orthopedics.

320-259-4100 StCloudOrthopedics.com 1901 Connecticut Ave S. Sartell, MN 56377 3315 Roosevelt Rd. 200B St. Cloud, MN 56301

TO P H ATS

MILESTONES 45-year member: BerganKDV, business planning and consulting, tax assurance and accounting, technology and wealth management service. 220 Park Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Russ Sand, Paul Radeke, Jean Massmann, Julie Forsberg

MILESTONES 50-year member: St. Cloud Country Club, offering golf, dining, wedding and banquet facilities, 301 Montrose Road, St. Cloud. Pictured: Mary Swingle, Ashley Turck, Dave Kowalczyk, Debbie Clausen.

MILESTONES 35-year member: St. Cloud Scheels, retail sporting goods. 40 Waite Park Ave. N, Waite Park. Pictured: Patrick Hollermann, Jamie Mortland, Sara Petrusek, Peg Imholte.

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NETWORKCENTRAL GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

NETWORK!

E V E N T S A R O U N D T H E ST. C LO U D A R E A

M O R E O N E V E N T S : Fo r i n f o r m a t i o n o n t h e s e o r o t h e r b u s i n e s s e v e n t s , c a l l 3 2 0 -2 51 -2 9 4 0 o r v i s i t S t C l o u d A r e a C h a m b e r. c o m a n d c l i c k o n “ C a l e n d a r.”

December’s Curiosity, Cocktails and Conversation was a holiday party. Frank Ringsmuth, The Camera Shop, demonstrated his juggling talent during Curiosity, Cocktails, and Conversation in December.

Brad and Megan Hoelscher share their singing talents with attendees. Their song? “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Chamber President Teresa Bohnen starts off the holiday party with a recipe for peppermint martinis.

GROW!

Small group networking is standard at Chamber Zoom events. (Clockwise from top left) Mark Osendorf, Xcel Energy; Gail Ivers, Chamber of Commerce; Amanda Othoudt, Benton Economic Partnership; Jason Miller, Premier Real Estate; and the Hoelschers – Brad, Mahowald, and Megan, D.J. Bitzan Jewelers.

The December Leadership class met via Zoom, which provided an opportunity for small group discussions with many of our elected officials.

Rep. Lisa Demuth

Carl Kuhl, Velocity Public Affairs explains how to run for elected office.

18

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Rep. Aric Putnam King Banaian, SCSU, talks about civil discourse.


TO P H ATS

NEW MEMBER K.I.S. Merchant Services, an independent agent of First Data, offering ecommerce, mobile payments, point of sale, virtual terminal, and ACH solutions. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Antoinette Valenzuela, Jason Miller.

NEW MEMBER Residence Inn St. Cloud, an all-suites Marriott Hotel with fully equipped kitchen and hot breakfast, 450 Division Street, Waite Park. Pictured: Kara Tomazin, Bre Disrud, Purva Watten, Julie Forsberg.

NEW MEMBER Shiprock Management, property management team providing maintenance, tenant screening and 24-hour emergency service. 806 Summit Ave. S, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Jim Schwalbe, Nate Wahl, Mark Osendorf.

NEW MEMBER Homewatch CareGivers, in-home personal caregivers for you or a loved one, 2701 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tim Schmidt, Susan Pundsack, Wendi Sauza, Tom Travaglio, Alisa Travaglio, Amanda Groethe.

NEW MEMBER Hilton Garden Inn St. Cloud, modern guestrooms with amenities, 550 Division Street, Waite Park. Pictured: Kristin Hannon, Dan Lovaas, Kendra Love-Gack, Mary Swingle.

NEW MEMBER SOS-Smart Organizing Solutions, assisting those in life transitions by organizing your home or garage, also offering estate management, 24 7th Street N, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Julie Braun, Tauna Quimby.

NEW MEMBER Apiary Coworking, flexible office space for any size user, 703 W St. Germain Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Mary Swingle, Jon Hicks, Caryn Stadther.

NEW MEMBER Demuth Spinal Care & Concussion Center, treating concussions, migraines, and neck pain through cervical specific chiropractic care, 71 County Road 120, ste 300, Sartell. Pictured: Bernie Perryman, Nicholas Demuth II, Amanthi Demuth, Julie Forsberg.

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BUSINESSTOOLS GROW

| NETWORK

|

PROFIT

R ES O U RC ES T H AT H E L P YO U R B US I N ESS G RO W

I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E : E n t r e p r e n e u r i s m / M a n a g e m e n t To o l k i t / Ec o n o m y Ce n t ra l b y Fa l c o n B a n k ENTREPRENEURISM

Keeping Confidences When it comes to Non-Disclosure Agreements, language matters. By Chad Stahl

information relevant to existing business practices. ________ c A need to provide employees with access to the company’s confidential or proprietary information, either as part of specific job functions or in connection with a promotion.

A

Non-Disclosure Agreement is, at its core, a promise among parties to freely exchange certain confidential information with each other. Non-Disclosure Agreements can be crafted in a variety of ways depending on the parties’ needs and the interests sought to be protected. There are a number of situations where a Non-Disclosure Agreement might be appropriate. It most commonly arises in instances where there is a desire to relay something valuable about a business (or prospective business) accompanied by a need

for assurance that this valuable information will not be stolen or used without knowledge and approval. Typical scenarios include: a A desire to present a business idea with a prospective buyer or partner to discuss a new product, service, or technology that might need to be researched, developed, or implemented. ________ b A need to receive services from a vendor or company, but in doing so it requires providing access to sensitive

Depending on the specific circumstances for its use, key terms should be used when drafting a Non-Disclosure Agreement: Identification of the Parties. This seems straightforward, but where parties often go astray is in a failure to anticipate whether one or both parties might need to coordinate with a related or affiliated company or agent. If so, the agreement should have a provision that covers that situation. Mutual v. Non-mutual. Are both sides bound by the agreement or just one? The parties should discuss if this is a onesided agreement whereby only

Contributor ________ Chad Stahl, an attorney at Quinlivan & Hughes, advises organizations on a variety of workplace and employment law matters. The information presented here is for educational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice or legal opinions. Readers should seek legal counsel for specific questions.

20

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one party is providing confidential information, or is this a situation where there will be an exchange of each party’s confidential information. Term of the Agreement. While it is possible for an agreement to last forever, the more practical reality is that the parties will want some certainty as to when the agreement ends in the context of the business or industry, and the information being exchanged. For example, a piece of technology that is state of the art today, may be independently discovered or commonly known within a few months or years making it no longer confidential. In such a case, a shorter time period might be reasonable. Definition of Protected Information. Clearly understanding and defining exactly what information is subject to protection is vital. Generally, the disclosing party wants to define protected information as broadly as possible. In contrast, the receiving party may want to significantly narrow the definition so as not to make an inadvertent disclosure. Protection may also extend to not only the specific information shared, but to the


Are both sides bound by the agreement or just one? The parties should discuss if this is a one-sided agreement. fact that the parties are engaged in discussions or an exchange about a particular topic. How the Information is Used and/or Protected. The parties will want to clearly state specifics on how the information is used and protected. For example, it should define reasonable steps that need to be taken to protect the information. Such steps might be specifically naming or limiting the person, positions,

or departments with access, stating where and how the information is to be stored, noting any required steps for those with authorization to take before accessing the information, etc. Forced Disclosure. The agreement might also account for a situation where one party might be compelled through the legal system to disclose the information to the courts or counsel, and

a requirement that in such instances the other party be notified. Remedies in the Event of Breach. It is important to define the remedies available to the parties in the event of a breach. The disclosing party will want a provision that provides the right to both recover monetary damages, and obtain injunctive relief in order to prevent the other party from a continued breach. Post Agreement Obligations. The agreement should account for such things as how to dispose of or return the confidential

Borrow

information, how long to protect and treat the information as confidential, and any other long-term desired assurances, once the need for the agreement is concluded. The decision to use a NonDisclosure Agreement depends on the circumstances, industry, information at issue, and the desired goals to be achieved. Despite what you see here, NonDisclosure Agreements do not have to be long and complicated in order to be effective and enforceable. They simply need to be evaluated on a case-bycase basis and anticipate and incorporate the terms and conditions relevant to the parties’ specific needs.

With Us

For personal or business lending that’s as carefree as a day in the park, come on over to Farmers & Merchants State Bank.

Because friendly still counts.

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MANAGEMENT TOOLKIT

New Year, New Brand Five signs it may be time to rebrand your company. By Dan Soldner

early as these can result in identifying other demographics and lead to company growth.

practices in place to protect your new identity moving forward. 5 The Market is

3 You Need to Shake

T

here’s much more to rebranding than simply changing a logo or the typestyle of your company’s name. Branding plays a significant role in helping companies position themselves and allowing consumers to understand what you offer, what your philosophy is, and what sets you apart from competitors. Interestingly, we don’t always notice branding changes as consumers, unless they’re serious makeovers or they spark interruptions in products or services. But for business owners and marketing leaders, rebranding is a big undertaking and should be viewed as a serious declaration of intent, a marker of your company’s commitment to evolution and upward growth.

Is it time for your company to rebrand? Here are five signs that it might be:

Off a Poor Image Errors, customer dissatisfaction, poor leadership, disgruntled staff…. Business owners face these challenges nearly every day. But in some cases, the impact can be too deep and long lasting, and the only way forward is to rebrand. If you find yourself in this position, devise a rebrand that consciously pays attention to the tangible and intangible, subtle, and direct ways to allow you to refresh and move on.

A You’ve Outgrown

4 You Have an

Your Mission A rebrand can signify the evolution of an organization and alert current—and prospective— clients to the ways you’ve grown as a company and how you’re meeting clients’ needs in new and creative ways.

Identity Crisis If you find you are inconsistent, incorrect, or messy with the way you present your visual and/ or editorial image, a rebrand may be in order. Consider this: Is it easier, and more cost effective, to polish your existing brand identity or to completely start fresh? And what are the implications for your team, your customers, and the market? This doesn’t have to be an all-ornothing game, but not going “all in” in either scenario could add confusion to an already fragile state. Whether you rebuild or refresh your identity, ensure you have the correct parameters and

Whether you’re refining a niche or venturing into new territory, remember the quote from George Patton: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” Invest in customer feedback, research, and market studies to keep you apprised of when a rebrand may be necessary to keep you relevant and growing.

TECH NEWS

Renewable Energy Defies COVID

Dan Soldner is the president of Vye, a passionate entrepreneur and marketer,

Bucking the slowdown in most of the power sector caused by responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, renewable energy actually grew in 2020. It will represent about 90 percent of the total power capacity added for the year, according to the International Energy Agency. Wind and solar power generating assets are expected to jump by 30 percent in both China and the U.S. as developers take advantage of incentives that are set to expire.

and a Cold Spring, Minn. native.

Source: Tech Crunch

B You Want to Reach a New Demographic For the sake of moving your business forward, it’s necessary to keep your eye on new audiences that could benefit from your products or services. Commit to doing ongoing research, learning best practices in your space, and eyeing trends

Contributor ________

22

Evolving Quickly Sometimes a rebrand is necessary to keep your company competitive in a fast-paced, everchanging market.

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TECH NEWS

Gene Editing CRISPR is the gene-editing tool most commonly discussed in the media, but it’s just one of the gene-editing tools that scientists have been exploring over the last decade. We hear about gene-editing mostly as it relates to important health care opportunities, but that’s not all it’s used for. In agriculture, gene-editing could help cultivate plant varieties that reduce the need for pesticides, require fewer natural resources, and help farmers grow more crops – a win for both people and the planet. Is this technology something to fear or celebrate? Scientist Bob Reiter says celebrate. Source: The Scoop

Together we are…

Innovative.

Seek to know more, do more and be more. Always.

Let’s get together. StearnsBank.com Follow us

INTRODUCING FARMING TODAY!

An online conference for farmers and everyone interested in today’s agricultural trends and challenges.

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 9-10, 2021 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. // FREE! Attend both days or as your schedule allows.

s Read the whole story at BusinessCentralMagazine.com.

Cleantech Rules Solar, storage, and cleantech are some of the hottest investments for 2021.This optimism is driven in part by the Biden administration’s support of sustainable technologies and in part because the technologies themselves are becoming more affordable. Source: PV Magazine-USA

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FO R DETA ILS, V ISIT C ENTR A LM NFA R M ING TO D AY. C O M

Business Broker ––––––––––––– Sell your business Find a business Access to over 300 Franchises Commercial Property If you are Buying or Selling 4Confidential Business Analysis 4Confidential Network & Advertise the Sale 4Sale Structure

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40+ Years of Business Experience in Minnesota __________ 320-267-9626 / msoldner@tworld.com www.tworldminnesota.com

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BUSINESSTOOLS

MANAGEMENT TOOLKIT

Investing in Insurance Every small business should have certain types of essential insurance. By Mike Stalboerger

Workers’ comp benefits you as a small business employer by assisting in the coverage of legal costs if the injured employee or the family sues your business. Factors that influence the workers’ comp premium cost are payroll, work industry, type of work being completed, and your company claims history. Working with a trained risk advisor helps control these costs.

E

very business owner confronts a variety of hazards and risks that threaten everything you have worked so hard to build. Small businesses are vital to the local economy, yet often do not have a dedicated professional whose primary responsibility is to manage risk. Every small business should have certain essential types of insurance to protect what is important. Workers’ Compensation You desire to run your business as safely as possible, yet accidents and illnesses may

happen. When these situations take place, you desire the peace of mind to know that your business is covered. Workers’ compensation coverage provides employees with benefits if they suffer a compensable work-related injury or illness. These benefits help cover medical expenses, replace lost wages, and provide disability benefits. Additionally, most businesses are required by state statute to carry workers’ compensation insurance, and failure to do so may result in fines or penalties.

Contributor ________ Mike Stalboerger is director of operations for Mahowald, providing commercial and personal insurance, employee benefits, and risk management. For more information visit Mahowald.net.

24

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Commercial Property Coverage Commercial property insurance is essential to reimburse for losses of your building and physical assets (tools, equipment, inventory, personal property) if they are damaged or destroyed from a fire, theft, or other covered loss. Business income insurance can help protect you by replacing lost business income if you are not able to operate due to a covered loss. Commercial Auto Coverage If you have employees that drive for your business, commercial auto insurance is essential. It helps cover losses from accidents you or your employees are involved in while working. This coverage is especially critical if your business has workers that drive leased, rented, or companyowned vehicles, or if your employees drive their own vehicles for their jobs. Liability Insurance Coverage General liability insurance protects your business from

claims that your business caused bodily injury or damaged property during your normal business operations. If a customer slips and falls in your business, this coverage can help pay for the medical bills. General liability coverage may also cover advertising injury, copyright infringement and reputational harm claims. Without this coverage, you would be responsible for paying damages out of your own pocket. Employment Practices Liability (EPLI) EPLI helps protect you as an employer in the event you face an employment-related claim. Claims arising from acts of discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, and retaliation are covered. Small (or newer) businesses are often most vulnerable as consistent policies around hiring, disciplining, or terminating employees may not yet be in place. If you have employees, this is an essential business coverage. Professional Liability Insurance Professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, consultants, and physicians, need this insurance to protect against claims of negligence brought by their clients. It is commonly referred to as “errors & omissions” coverage. If you provide professional services, or if your clients rely on your advice and expertise, you very well may need professional liability coverage.


ECONOMICS

Small (or newer) businesses are often most vulnerable as consistent policies around hiring, disciplining, or terminating employees may not yet be in place. Cyber Liability Insurance Beyond the numerous physical risks of running a small business, you also face risks that stem from using technology. Cyber liability insurance covers financial losses that result from data breaches and other cyber events such as ransomware. Many businesses believe the third-party vendor who

provides their IT services will protect them from a cyberattack, but that is often not the case. Numerous reports indicate that data breaches and other cyber-attacks are occurring at an alarming rate, often targeting small businesses. Cyber liability or data breach coverage will help you respond quickly and effectively after a data breach or cyber-attack.

BUILDING BUSINESSES Want to survive in business? Come to Minnesota.

M

innesota ranks first in the nation in its five-year business survival rate (2015-2020), based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s rate was 55.3 percent, compared to the national rate for the same period, which was 50 percent. This ranking bodes well for the state’s economy, as small businesses account for 47 percent of the jobs in the state. A recent MIT study showed that new businesses are responsible for nearly all net new jobs and 20 percent of gross job creation in the economy. In the third quarter, business starts in Minnesota were up nearly 60 percent compared to a year ago. Since the pandemic began, Minnesota remains above the national average in incorporated business starts. Source: Mn-DEED

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BUSINESSTOOLS

Economy Central presented by

ECONOMY CENTRAL

Staying Home Is remote work here to stay? By Hannah Mayhew and Lynn MacDonald

T

he way we do business has shifted dramatically in just one year. Lifestyle and working norms that we once took for granted have disappeared. Businesses that have relied heavily on face-toface interactions are finding their footing as offices lie empty. According to a September 2020 Gallup poll, 33 percent of workers were solely working from home, with 41 percent of workers never working from home, and the remaining 25 percent of workers toggling between remote and in-person

work. This is a stark contrast with pre-pandemic patterns. In 2018, less than 25 percent of workers reported working from home on a typical day. To better understand the variation in COVID-19related remote work decisions, economists Jonathan Dingel and Brent Neiman developed a measure of remote work feasibility by industry. Using survey responses related to both work context and general work activities, reflective of the typical experience of U.S. workers in approximately 1,000

Contributors ________ Hannah Mayhew, is an economics student at St. Cloud State University and Lynn MacDonald, is an associate professor of economics at SCSU

26

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occupations, they classified occupations according to how plausible it was for work to be done entirely from home. This measure reflects a feasibility constraint—it is the maximum amount of remote work that is feasible under current occupation characteristics. They found that 37 percent of U.S. jobs could be fully remote. The 37 percent finding hides substantial variation by sector and geographic location. The remote work feasibility ranges from a low of 28 percent in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) up to 51 percent in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. MSA. The transition to remote work is contingent on the extent of physical activity and direct customer contact. Florida tourism and hospitality can’t make this transition as easily as the California tech sector. Industries that have transitioned to remote work are correlated with high-wage jobs and highly educated workers. The St. Cloud MSA’s remote work feasibility falls slightly below the average at 31.5 percent. St. Cloud’s leading sectors by employment include health care, manufacturing, and retail, all of which are largely unable to fully transition to remote operations. A team of economists led by Alexander Bartik set out to expand our understanding of remote work feasibility by analyzing survey responses from both large (average size of 532 employees) and small businesses (average size of 14 employees). These two surveys

provided strikingly similar responses with 45 percent of small businesses reporting some workers shifting to remote work early on during the COVID-19 pandemic and 50 percent of large businesses seeing a similar shift. Even as early as May 2020, businesses expected some increased levels of remote work to continue post-pandemic with at least 16 percent of workers who transitioned to remote work during the pandemic expected to remain remote after the crisis resolves. It is too early to know the long-term effects of COVID-19 on work patterns and productivity. While the post-pandemic prevalence of remote work will vary by location, it is unlikely that St. Cloud will become a remote economy given our industry composition, which is heavily reliant on physical activity and human contact. Firms that invested resources to enable remote work or saw increased productivity from remote work may allow workers to continue to work from home or may use a combination of in-person and remote work in the future. Face-to-face operations have been an integral part of doing business for many years. While it is possible that some jobs may stay remote, the ease of communication, collaboration, and knowledge transmission from face-to-face interactions still offers substantial benefits. Businesses that benefit greatly from interpersonal interactions, or find it more efficient to have workers centrally located, will bring workers back.


Economy September

July 2020 Jan Feb December Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

December

November

October

September

August

Home Sales Closed in St. Cloud Area

July December

Sartell

TOTAL: $178,724,272

June $13,856,200 November

50

36 $12,784,000

Sauk Rapids 34 May $16,509,793 October

55 $24,841,483

2019

309 $15,070,149

Food and Beverage 228 $30,482,808 ST. CLOUD

TOTAL: 1868*

Waite Park 83 136 135 Apr September $7,260,629 $15,234,330 $5,556,423

2018

TOTAL: 1823

1500

St. Augusta 7 7 11 Mar August $1,587,313 $271,600 2020 $9,754,200 St. Joseph Feb July Jan

70 61 $18,129,160 $9,026,116

June *Total as of 2/10/2021

2000

$2M

$200M $250M $300M TOTAL: $178,724,272

TOTAL:1815

TOTAL: $1,287,691*

TOTAL: $1,604,677

TOTAL: $1,566,952

$1.5M

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

383 338 246 $231,596,447 $116,566,743 $68,749,665

51 $0

$500k

$7,919,703

2019

May and St. Joseph. Sources: Building departments for the following cities: St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Waite Park, St. Augusta,

2019-2020

Apr

2019-20 % CHANGE

Source: positivelyminnesota.com

Source: positivelyminnesota.com $0 $500k

Feb

December

November

October

3%

September

August

July

June

May

Jan

April

6%

March

$300M

February

January

December

$250M

November

$200M

October

September

August

$100M

July

$100M June

May

April

March

$50M

2018

Non FarmMarJobs 9%

$0M

February

January

12%

ST. CLOUD

2020

St. Cloud

Unemployment Rates

15%

Food and Beverage

September

TOTAL: $288,822,542 2018

500

Commercial 2018 2019 2020* August #/$ #/$ #/$

TOTAL: $137,532,948*

$100M

0

November

1000

$1M $100M

2020

500

$500k 2019

$50M

122 $3,685,577

B U I L D I N G P E R M I T S BY C O M M U N I T Y

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH TOTAL: $288,822,542

$0M

95 $10,023,126

2018

98 73 $6,043,519 $3,304,271

February

October

Commercial Building Permits

2020

73 $5,979,717

December

TOTAL: $137,532,948*

2018

500

2019

January *Total as of 2/10/2021

$80M

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

2019

July

St. Augusta 72 March $6,469,120

Commercial Building Permits

2020

765 $38,601,654

Waite Park 46 39 49 April $1,509,887 $1,084,477 $2,336,431

St. Joseph

$70M

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

Sauk Rapids 174 165 236 May $8,409,293 $8,585,270 $7,739,324

TOTAL: $66,467,193

$60M

June

$50M

May

$40M

2020

2019

$30M

Home Sales Closed

Sartell 380 309 560 January$20,426,812 $18,954,216 0$16,235,353 June

2018

$20M

607 2018 $25,977,770

597

$25,555,950 February July

0

$10M

August

St. Cloud

$60M $70M $80M TOTAL: $63,885,721

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$0 2018

$0M

April

$50M

March

$40M

2019

September

2020

2019

2018

2019

$30M

May October

Residential 2018 2019 2020* March #/$ #/$ #/$

2020 $20M

June November

BUILDING P E R M I T S BY C O M M U N I T Y April

TOTAL: $78,621,465*

$10M

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

TOTAL: $63,885,721

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH TOTAL: $66,467,193

$0M

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD

Central presented by ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

COLOR KEY:August

TOTAL: $78,621,465* Compiled by Shelly Imdieke, data current as of 2/10/2021 2020 2021 figures have not yet been released at time of print.

2018

Home Sales Closed

October

ECO N O M I C I N D I C ATO R S & T R E N D S

Residential Building Permits

E PARK,

November

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

2019

21,465*

$300M

Residential Building Permits

885,721

467,193

$80M

E PARK,

2,948*

24,272

22,542

0M

December

0%

9%

-3% 6%

-6% -9%

3%

-12% 0%

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

*Total as of 2/10/2021; December 2020 Mpls & St Cloud figures have not yet been released at time of print.

A

S

O

N

D

St. Cloud Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota United States

-15%

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

St. Cloud, MN MetroSA Minnesota United States

M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

27


$300M

GROW

1000

E PARK,

500

21,465*

0

885,721

January

1500

COLOR KEY:

Jan December Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

ECO N O M I C I N D I C ATO R S & T R E N D S

December

September

TOTAL: 1868*

TOTAL: $137,532,948*

TOTAL: $1,287,691*

August

August

2020

2019

December

H

TOTAL: $1,287,691*

concernApril when the rapidly changing economic conditions in the first half March of 2020 pushed health care employers to shed over 2,100 jobs in the region. February

TOTAL: 42* $1.5M

$1M

$2M

Benton County Sheriff’s Civil Process; Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Office *Total as of 2/10/2021; There were no reported auctions in April & May 2020.

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1

+21.6% Projected job growth in health care between 2018-2028

December

8

November

34

21

October

102

31

September

84

Benton Co.

150

Employment losses in the health care industry in Minnesota in the second quarter of 2020 ________

Average regional health care wage ________ August

7.3%

$46,312 July

Stearns Co.

June

2020

May

2019

April

Residential 2018

March

SHERIFF’S FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS

February

120

January

January

TOTAL: 115

90

4.3%

Employment losses in the health care industry in Central Minnesota in the second quarter of 2020 ________

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

60

TOTAL: 1868*

May employment in the region than the state, so it was cause for

TOTAL: $1,566,952

2018

30

TOTAL: 1823

The vital health care industry has a higher concentration of

$2M

TOTAL: 123

0

TOTAL:1815

$1.5M

2020

2019

July

2000

$2M

$500k

in Central Minnesota, accounting for 49,131 jobs in June

TOTAL: $1,604,677

STEARNS AND BENTON COUNTIES

$0

September

ealth Care and Social Assistance is the largest industry August

the region in 2019 — that’s more than one in every five jobs.

Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auctions

2018

November

$2M

Health care employment has rebounded, October but the first half of 2020 was rough.

1500

TOTAL: $1,287,691*

TOTAL: $1,604,677

TOTAL: $1,566,952

$1.5M

$1M

Source: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud *Total as of 2/10/2021

1000

$1M $500k

$1.5M

1 in 5

TOTAL: $1,748,626

2019 Source: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud *Total as of 2/10/2021

$1M

BY THE NUMBERS

TOTAL: $1,599,444 Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$500k

January

Home Sales Closed in St. Cloud Area

2000

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

$0

TOTAL: $749,418*

2020

2020

ST. CLOUD

$0

2019

February

Feb

500

$500k

Lodging Tax Dollars

TOTAL: $1,566,952

March

0

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$0

2018

Mar

500 1000 1500 Jan $100M $200M $250M $300M Housing/Real Estate sources: St. Cloud Area Association of Realtors, http://stcloudrealtors.com/pages/statistics. *Total as of 2/10/2021

2020

2018

2020

2019

2018

April

TOTAL:1815

Apr

0

2018

May

May

TOTAL: $288,822,542

2019

TOTAL: $1,604,677

June

TOTAL: 1823

June

2018

28

July

July

TOTAL: $178,724,272

December

ST. CLOUD

November

Food and Beverage Tax Collection October

September

2020

October

September

August

July

June

November

May

April

March

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

November

ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH UD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK,

2019

2000

BUSINESSTOOLS

Home Sales Closed in St. Cloud Area ing Permits 6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, October WAITE PARK,

M

467,193

$80M

$80M

$70M

E PARK,

$60M

2,948*

$50M

24,272

22,542

0M

$40M

$2.3 Billion Total regional health care payroll Source: Mn-DEED


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F E AT U R E

Ingredients of Socially Responsible Travel From Bursch Travel come these tips for helping make your next vacation special – not just for you, but for those you encounter. TIP 1 Before leaving home, learn as much as possible about the country you are visiting. While in-country, always keep these things in mind and respect important norms and values.

TIP 2

A Wonderful World Your road to success might be on another continent. By Kelti Lorence

S

eeing the world with your own eyes may be one of the best ways to change your capacity for impact and success. One could dare to suggest travel is a prerequisite for greatness. This isn’t to say you must expose yourself to foreign territory to reach your full potential. You can replicate the challenges of planning in advance, upholding time deadlines, and communicating across languages right in your

30

hometown. But there’s no substitute for the intangible rewards of stepping out of a car or airplane into new air, filled with the vibrations of an unknown town or city, as people who look different from you navigate their day. Getting out of your comfort zone and seeing new locations broadens your character and immeasurably impacts your perspective. Humans are designed to connect, which enables us to work cohesively and share the same planet.

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“I’ve always felt like travel helps us celebrate other people and cultures,” Lee Hurd said. Hurd is the chief operating officer of Bursch Travel Agency, headquartered in Waite Park. When we visit unfamiliar lands, we increase our own probability for happiness. “Any way to connect with people will make the world better,” Hurd said. This is partly because you become better. When faced with unexpected encounters and scenarios, you learn coping and management skills that

Support locally-owned businesses to ensure that the money you spend remains in the country you visit. This means staying in locally-owned lodging, eating in locally-owned restaurants, and using local guides and tour operators.

TIP 3 Ensure fair tips are paid to your guides and drivers. If tips are not included, ask what people generally give or what is fair.

TIP 4 Please be kind to the environment. Try to refrain from single-use plastic consumption including plastic straws near waterways, plastic cups in rooms and more. Many hotels are supporting the environment by washing sheets less often, turning the A/C off when you leave the room etc. Use reusable water bottles when you can.


TIP 5 Learn some of the local language – even just a few words or phrases – and attempt to use them. Don’t simply assume people understand English or want to speak it with you.

TIP 6 Support fair trade and fair wage. Purchase local handicrafts and products to support the local economy using the principles of fair trade. Bargaining for goods should reflect an understanding of a fair wage.

Lee Hurd, Bursch Travel, and her daughter Molly, worked in a ‘failure to thrive’ center and taught English in a local school while traveling in Romania.

help you deal with others and your fear of the unknown. “We must be open to new ways of doing things,” Jill Ward, manager of Bursch’s Waite Park office said. “That’s why we travel.” Read that statement again. We must be open to new ways of doing things.

While on vacation, Molly Hurd (L) and Zoe Weiler assisted at an orphanageschool in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

While it would be nice to merely tell yourself “I’m going to be open-minded,” accomplishing this isn’t always that simple. You first need to achieve empathy. Empathy is an essential component of our ability to connect with others. It opens our minds which enhances our creative perspective.

Travel is a great way to develop empathy.

The Big Picture Not only does travel increase empathy, but it also increases our ability to improve the planet. Some view vacations as a strain on the environment. While you can argue that may be true, keep in mind the bigger

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F E AT U R E

Students from Sartell traveled to the Dominican Republic where they helped install a basketball hoop at a local school. Bursch Travel donated the hoop and a number of basketballs to the school.

picture. Supporting the tourism industry translates into support for that destination’s local economy, which supports the residents, who in turn support their environment when we go home. And there are a

32

number of ways you can directly impact your destination environment while being a tourist. “It doesn’t take a monumental effort to be a responsible tourist,” Hurd said. “It can be simply having a higher awareness of the little things in your trip that will impact the place you’re visiting.” Responsible travel (also referred to as sustainable travel) is when travelers take steps to “minimize their negative impact on the environment and maximize the positive contributions tourism can make to local communities,”

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according to CREST (Center for Responsible Travel.) Another way to view this behavior change in the tourism industry could be calling it “respectful travel.” Whether you’re jetting off to a foreign country or taking a three-hour road trip to a new town, remember every part of the world is home to someone else. Bursch Travel provided a few tips for respectful travel: • Before leaving home, learn about the culture and social norms of the place you’re visiting. • Spend your money at locally owned locations as much as possible. Tip when you can. • Be kind to the environment

TIP 7 Give mindfully. Consider donating to reputable local organizations rather than giving money to individuals on the street, especially children as they can be victims of trafficking and/ or exploitation. Donate to national parks and communities that you visit.

TIP 8 Always ask before taking photos or videos of people.

TIP 9 Ask questions and listen more than you talk. Don’t give unsolicited advice.


TIP J Always remain aware of your privilege. The ability to travel internationally is a luxury. It is important to keep in mind the uncomfortable realities of history, and economic exploitation throughout both recent and past history.

TIP K Bring it home. Change your purchasing behavior, the companies you support, the way you live, how you give, and how you give back to your own community.

“Finding ways to give back while traveling adds so much to your trip!” —Lee Hurd, CEO of Bursch Travel Agency

when you arrive. Leave no trace and make it even better before you leave if possible.

Global Volunteering A hands-on option is to explore the growing impact of global volunteering. On your next vacation, you could also spend half a day volunteering at a local shelter or teaching English at a school. “Finding ways to give back while traveling adds so much to your trip!” Hurd said. “You can find many ways to

enhance your experience that are simple and affordable. For example, you could donate a pair of shoes, then tour a rubber factory.” It’s no secret that COVID-19 has completely changed our world in the last 12 months. The pandemic will cost the tourism industry more than $1 trillion in losses and “places over 100 million direct tourism jobs at risk,” according to a policy brief completed by the United Nations in August 2020. These numbers

are a great reminder that a vacation for us translates into the livelihood of someone else. As you sit at home wondering when you can take your next vacation safely, remember that you can still support the industry, and do so responsibly, by postponing instead of canceling, engaging with virtual exploration events and resources, and researching the cultural habits and social norms of your next destination. Kelti Lorence is the communications and workforce development coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and a frequent contributor to Business Central Magazine.

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COVER STORY

Est. 2003

Pretty Darn Cool John Herges, CEO of Falcon National Bank, has spent his entire career helping small businesses – and communities – grow.

I

n July 2003 John Herges walked into his brand-new bank building in Foley. He had four employees, $4.5 million in capital, and zero customers. “What have I gotten myself into,” he asked himself. Herges, CEO of Falcon National Bank, is a hometown boy. “I went to St. Mary’s grade school just down the street. I went to Cathedral High School. I went to St. Cloud State University in economics and accounting. That sounds like a banker’s education, doesn’t it,” he said with a laugh. It is

34

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1

an education that has served him well in a banking career that has spanned almost 50 years. Banking always interested Herges. His father, Paul, was a banker and owned the bank in his hometown of St. Martin. “I worked there in the summers as a teller,” Herges said. “It was a very interesting experience. I think back then almost half the people who came into the bank only spoke German.” Though both Herges’ parents spoke German, the children never learned the language. “They only used it when they didn’t want


M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

35


COVER STORY

PERSONAL PROFILE

Falcon National Bank in Foley, Minn.

1968

36

asking if I could move to the commercial loan department. That was my entry into working with smallJohn Herges, 70 and medium-sized businesses.” CEO, Falcon At that time 1st American wasn’t National Bank particularly involved in SBA (Small Hometown: Business Administration) loan proSt. Cloud grams. Herges saw this as an opporEducation: tunity and educated himself on the MBA – Finance; programs. “That really caught fire,” Bachelor of Arts in economics and he said. “It put me in the forefront of accounting, all working with small- and medium-sized from St. Cloud businesses and start-ups.” And it put State University 1st American in the forefront as an SBA Work History: us to know what they were talking Preferred Lender. 1972 – 1992: about,” Herges said. At the bank, For Herges it was all about engag1st American he did learn enough to understand ing with entrepreneurs. “Working with National Bank (now Bremer) what people wanted. “But I could small- and medium-sized businesses never really respond to them in has always intrigued me – and contin1992 – 2002: Stearns Bank German.” ues to intrigue me,” he said. “It’s more 2003 – Present: Paul Herges eventually left entrepreneurial than car and truck Falcon National banking and started a real estate loans. I’m an entrepreneur at heart, Bank business. John Herges finished his something I think I got from my dad.” Family: education and secured his first proSitting in his office on St. Germain Wife, Mary; sons fessional position at 1st American Street and 10th Avenue, Herges gesChristopher National Bank in St. Cloud, now tures toward the windows. “I can drive and Adam; two grandchildren Bremer. “I went in there as a young around town and point to buildings person who knew very little about I’ve helped finance over the years. the technical parts of banking,” I can point to businesses that I’ve Herges said. He started out in the financed over the years…it’s pretty installment loan department, making loans for darn cool.” Though reluctant to name names, things like cars, trucks, and home improvement Herges admitted to helping May Printing get projects. “I only did that for a short time before started. “Back when I worked with them it was two

1992

John Herges graduates from Cathedral High School

begins working at 1st American National Bank in St. Cloud (now Bremer)

1972

1976

1998

Herges graduates from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and finance; he

Herges receives an MBA in finance from St. Cloud State University

Herges becomes president of Stearns Bank

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1

TIMELINE

Herges leaves 1st American National Bank for Stearns Bank in St. Cloud

2003

2012

2020

Along with a small group of investors, Herges establishes Falcon National Bank in Foley

Falcon National Bank purchases the State Bank of Richmond

2006

Falcon National Bank acquires Community Pride Bank in Ham Lake and Isanti

Falcon National Bank ends the year with $650 million in assets, over 120 employees, and plans for additional acquisitions

Falcon National Bank opens a branch in St. Cloud and starts a leasing company

2014


brothers, located on the east side.” in the commercial loan departThe printing company grew into ment until 1992 when he received a major local enterprise and was a phone call from Norm Skalicky, “When I hear eventually sold to outside interests. owner and CEO of Stearns Bank. ‘recession,’ Today we know it as Merrill ComSkalicky was opening a branch instead of pany, which recently underwent a office near Crossroads and wonthinking ‘pull major expansion and relocation in dered if Herges would be interestback,’ I think Sartell. ed in running it. Herges said yes. ‘opportunity.’ “Tom Ritchie was another local “I was able to take my knowlThere are company I worked with,” Herges edge of commercial lending and always said. Ritchie founded Woodcraft SBA programs and help grow opportunities Industries, located in east St. Cloud. Stearns Bank. In the ten years I if you look for “I arranged the funding for the plant was there we grew that bank from them. Not just in Foreston.” Ritchie, too, grew and $150 million to just about $1 bilto buy banks, then sold his business to outside lion. We were hopping.” During but to find investors. his tenure with Steans Bank Hergcustomers.” Helping businesses grow is the es was promoted to president, point, but it can have a downside. “A built the bank’s current location lot of these businesses grow, grow, on 2nd Street South, and bought grow and then they sell out,” Herges Office on the Green. “We opened said. “They lose their local connecthat building on 2nd Street South tions and that’s unfortunate.” thinking we had lots of growth potential,” Herges Maintaining local connections is critical to said. “A few years later it went from empty to full Herges. He points to former 1st American National and we bought Office on the Green so we could Bank President Al Didier, Herges’ first employer, expand again.” as the gold standard of corporate leadership. “I One day, Herges received a call from Brian had two good mentors in my life,” Herges said. Bauerly. Bauerly was one of the owners of The “My father and Al Didier. They both had a good Bauerly Companies, now Knife River, and anwork ethic, were intelligent, and cared about the other St. Cloud native. “He wanted to meet me business…but also cared about the employees and at a restaurant. What I thought he wanted was the communities that they operated in.” a loan,” Herges said, laughing at the memory. It Didier was active in a wide variety of com- turned out that Bauerly was one of a small group munity organizations, including the Boy Scouts, of investors who wanted to start a bank in Foley. Catholic Charities, St. Cloud State University “Not only were they looking for someone to run Foundation, and the College of St. Benedict. the bank, but they were looking for someone to be He was instrumental in founding the Central part of the owner group as well. I’d always thought Minnesota Community Foundation, serving as about being an owner of a bank. I knew the other president and director. “I saw what he did and people who were involved, it was a good group of how he encouraged employees to be active and people, so I thought, ‘What the heck. I’ll do it.’” participate in the community,” Herges said. The investment group focused on Foley for “He got me started with the Chamber of Com- a variety of reasons, Herges said. “There were merce, the United Way, and service clubs.” a lot of mergers and acquisitions happening at In 1990 Didier retired from 1st American. that time and a real void for community banks. Herges applied for the position, and though he Foley’s existing bank wasn’t local. Foley was the was a finalist, he was not selected. He continued county seat for Benton County and most county

Best advice to a business owner: Whatever you do, make sure you’re passionate about it. It will make coming to work easier. Strive to strike a work/life balance.

Best advice you’ve received: “Don’t get too high when things are good or too low when things are not so good.” —Al Didier, former president, 1st American National Bank, and Herges’ mentor.

M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

37


COVER STORY

Falcon National Bank helped fund the Foley Community Mural added to downtown Foley.

replace it. If the garbage is full, you empty it. If the floor is dirty you clean it.” “I love driving The key to success, Herges around town said, is hiring the right people. “Al and seeing Didier taught me ‘Hire people who all the projects are smarter than you. They’ll make that Falcon you look good.’ And he was right!” has had an So much of what he learned impact on.” from 1st American’s Al Didier remains with Herges to this day. As CEO of Falcon National Bank, more than at any other time in his career, he’s able to put those lesseats have more than one bank. And sons into action. “I’m concerned some of the shareholders were from the area and about my employees. I want Falcon to be an emthought this was a real opportunity.” ployer of choice. And I’m very aware of being a This was a de novo bank, meaning it was a good corporate citizen. I think it’s important to be newly chartered bank that was not an existing involved in the community with your talent and bank or branch being acquired through purchase. your money. I encourage employees to do that “We were a start-up business,” Herges said. “We and I lead by example.” bought five acres in Foley, built a big new building, You can see that in the employees who volhired staff, and we had no customers.” unteer throughout the community. And you can Which meant that on July 1, 2003 Herges see it in the financial support the bank provides found himself standing in his big empty building to community causes. “If we have an employee thinking What have I gotten myself into. or two who are heavily involved or passionate “It really gave me a new appreciation for what about a particular cause, we try to support that small businesses go through,” he said. “Lots of employee through our donations,” Herges said. hours, lots of hard work, lots of worry. But also A recent example was the bank’s significant the day-to-day things that most of us don’t think contribution to the new Tri-County Humane about. Like, if it snows you grab a shovel and clear Society shelter, championed by two Falcon the walk. If a light goes out, you climb a ladder and Bank employees.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT If you look around, you’re bound to see Falcon National Bank’s logo on projects in the communities they serve. Following are just a few examples of how the bank invests in community projects.

––––– City of Richmond Parks – new performance stage ––––– Foley Athletic Field

38

––––– Foley Community Mural (above) ––––– The Ledge Amphitheater in Waite Park

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 2 1

––––– Richmond Reader Sign ––––– ROCORI Food Shelf Toy Shop Donation

––––– The Rox Stadium Terrace ––––– St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

––––– St. Cloud Area Family Y ––––– SummerTime by George

––––– Tri-County Humane Society ––––– United Way of Central Minnesota


Time and Treasure John Herges puts his time and his money where his heart is. Over his almost 50-year banking career he has served on a number of boards including: St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce ––––– Foley Chamber of Commerce ––––– Benton Economic Partnership ––––– Minnesota Business Finance Corp. ––––– Gabriel Communications ––––– Opportunity Matters, Inc. ––––– Greater St. Cloud Development Corp. – Business Development ––––– Downtown Council ––––– Central Minnesota Boy Scouts ––––– United Way ––––– Cathedral High School Foundation ––––– Central Minnesota Community Foundation ––––– Community Giving ––––– Centra Ventures, inc. ––––– Kiwanis Club ––––– Workforce Council - SCTC

“The other thing we BUSINESS look at is whether or not the PROFILE project is impactful commuFalcon National Bank nity wide. SummerTime by 1010 W Saint George is an example. We Germain St Ste 150, sponsor the opening act. Saint Cloud, MN When Waite Park was work56301-5461 (320) 223-6300 ing on their amphitheater (866) 439-4363 (City Administrator) Shaunna falconnational.com Johnson met with me to talk Locations: about it and I thought, yes, Foley, St. Cloud, this is a great regional project. Richmond, Ham Lake, Helping the Chamber build and Isanti out their new space and make CEO: it a nice, useable space for the the bank now has $650 million in John Herges business community made assets and over 120 employees. Ownership: There are currently sense. We helped rebuild the “In some cases these are banks 20 shareholders: Foley athletic field and put that have been owned by an infive of the original six up a performance stage in the dividual and there are no family investors (including park in Richmond. I like that members who want to take over. Herges), plus key kind of giving better than conIn some cases, it’s just become too employees. tributing $500 here and $500 complicated to compete with all Business Description: Full-service bank and there.” the technology that larger banks leasing company Of course, that level of can provide,” Herges said. Number of community involvement Herges is sympathetic with the employees: didn’t happen instantly. It challenges faced by the smaller 120 of which 54 are has been the result of steady banks that have joined the Falcon based in St. Cloud growth that has includNational Bank portfolio. “We are ed organic growth and acin an ever-changing technology quisitions. In 2006 Falcon and regulatory environment. It’s made their first expansion a constant challenge. We try to from Foley by opening a branch location in develop niches to stay competitive – leasing is St. Cloud and starting a leasing company. a niche. Our leasing department is nation-wide. “That was always the plan,” Herges said. “We We try to be proactive with customers and powould open and get established in Foley, then tential customers. We try to make what could expand to St. Cloud, and continue to grow be difficult, easy. During downturns, big banks from there.” tend to push their clients around. When that And grow they have. In 2012 the State happens it’s a chance for us to help them.” Bank of Richmond became available. “It fit Pointing to a large, framed poster on his our profile perfectly,” Herges said. “A small wall, he added, “I keep that in front of me as a community bank that was in our region. It’s reminder and I talk to the staff about it all the almost exactly as far west as Foley is east so time: Let’s think of a few reasons why it CAN it’s very manageable.” In 2014 Falcon pur- be done.” chased a bank in Ham Lake, along with its Isanti branch. By second quarter 2021 Herges Gail Ivers is the vice president of the St. Cloud Area expects to finalize another purchase. From Chamber of Commerce and editor of Business $4.5 million in capital and four employees, Central Magazine.

Kathy Bebb (L), leasing support specialist and Paula Capes, deposit sales and development officer

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WOMEN IN MANUFACTURING BY THE NUMBERS

Manufacturing is facing many challenges – talent, innovation, infrastructure. The answer to these challenges may be …. Women.

W

omen make up about 47 percent of the entire U.S. labor force, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. That creates a huge opportunity for manufacturers to grow their labor pool by making their jobs attractive to a more diverse workforce. Gender diversity benefits a manufacturing firm through improved ability to innovate, higher return on equity, and increased profitability, according to a 2017 report by Deloitte. For example, Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in business, found that Fortune 500 companies with high percentages of women officers had a 35 percent higher return on equity and a 34 percent higher total return than companies with fewer women executives. Opportunities to bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women needs to begin in school

and at home. The good news is that many schools, and the industry itself, are starting to recognize their roles in encouraging women to pursue manufacturing as a career. Female executives who visit schools and talk about manufacturing as a career deliver a strong message of success. Teachers who encourage female students to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) play a critical role in moving those students into manufacturing careers. But companies need to work on their retention strategies, according to the Deloitte report. When asked what they want from a career, women are most likely to answer: opportunities for challenging assignments, work-life balance, and a good income. Manufacturers that want to retain talented women need to align their company policies to match these needs.

58%

of women surveyed have noticed positive change in their industry’s attitude towards female professionals over the last five years.

________

70%+

of women in manufacturing would stay in their field if they were to start their career today.

________

49%

of Gen Y survey respondents listed “work/ life balance” as very important

________

41%

of survey respondents said they would move to another industry because of a lack of promotion opportunities

DCI, INC.’S WOMEN IN

MANUFACTURING FROM WELDERS AND MACHINE OPERATORS TO DRAFTERS AND PURCHASERS WE ALL MAKE AN IMPACT

www.dciinc.com

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Source: The Future of Manufacturing, Deloitte

Manufacturing’s Future


OUR LABS ARE STERILE. OUR CULTURE IS NOT. Where talent and passion unite to create innovative solutions that make a global impact

Packaging Associate | Manufacturing Engineer Production Lead | Inside Sales Representative Research & Development Scientist Marketing Coordinator | and more!

microbiologics.com/careers

ONE VISION. ONE SUPERIOR LINE OF PRODUCTS. Made better by the Women in our facility.

Woodcraft Industries is the leading manufacturer of kitchen and bath components.

“ ”

“Woodcraft is a great place to work. The people that work here are very friendly.”

Front L to R: Brianna Jonas, Val Murray, Betsy Runnels, Roxanne Wimer, Donna Coplien, Laida Bemboom Back L to R: Brittany Reed, Megan Schafer, Tammy Guggenberger, Donna Jackels, Lois Larue, Lorene Stolp, Julie Ogg, Jen Schafer, Deb Patrias

522 Lincoln Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304

www.woodcraftind.com

“Fun place to work filled with good management and co-workers. We always stay busy.”

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SPECIAL FOCUS

BEYOND GREEN Construction practices have moved beyond green to include drones, fungi, and the Internet of Things (IoT). ––––––––––––––––– By Ari Kaufman

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T

he construction industry began 2020 strong. It added more than $900 billion to the U.S. economy in the first quarter and employed nearly 8 million people in February 2020. Both were the highest level since the 2008 recession. And then COVID-19 came to the United States, causing the industry to lose more than $60 billion in GDP and decrease total jobs to roughly 6.5 million. This effectively wiped out two years of GDP gains and four years of job gains. For the construction industry, trends like teleworking, social distancing requirements, supply chain disruptions, and cash flow challenges are now part of life. Despite these challenges, many find reasons for optimism. An uptick in public and commercial spending could especially improve the outlook for 2021.

“Some sectors of the market are very busy, while others have trailed off, but that’s something we always need to be ready and prepared for to retain our viability in the market.” —Tony Godlewski, vice president at Shingobee Builders

Larger firms with more diversified exposure should be in a better position to absorb upcoming impacts. Smaller firms with less balanced portfolios or a higher exposure to energy, travel, hospitality, or recreation markets are likely to experience greater volatility this year. “Some sectors of the market are very busy, while others have trailed off,” Tony Godlewski said. Godlewski is vice president at Shingobee Builders, a commercial construction company in St. Cloud. “But that’s

something we always need to be ready and prepared for to retain our viability in the market.” Trending One of the newest – and most unusual – construction trends to watch is the development of living materials. These biological compounds literally grow themselves, and are poised to move from experimentation to full-scale production in the near future. The most promising

A Culture Built On Safety. For nearly 70 years, our goal has remained the same: zero harm and zero lost-time incidents. We incorporate safety into everything we do, and our leading safety program translates to quality projects –– where every detail is meticulously done right.

Architecture + Engineering Construction Management Field Services Real Estate + Brokerage Maintenance Services

320.252.0404 / ricecompanies.com Sauk Rapids • Glencoe • Mankato • Fargo

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SPECIAL FOCUS

In a recent U.S. Institute of Building Documentation survey of more than 250 construction companies, three in five now use 360-degree cameras on their projects. biological materials are built by, and made of, bacteria and fungi. This makes them light, strong, and portable. An example of the use of bacteria is selfhealing concrete. This is concrete that is saturated with bacteria that binds materials around them into a new structural material. It then grows in the pores of concrete, adding to impermeability. It also can fill fissures and repair cracks. Automation “Smart Buildings” will soon be standard, if they aren’t already. Smart buildings use IoT devices – sensors, software, online

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connectivity – to share information about various building systems to optimize the building’s performance. This information is then used to automate various processes, from heating and ventilation to air conditioning and security. These devices also help track sustainability measures and building efficiency. According to a December 2019 informal client survey conducted by the international contracting company STO Building Group, 60 percent of respondents plan to incorporate sensors and technologies into their projects to track sustainability measures. Perhaps as


important, over 80 percent of clients now say it’s important that service providers have a sustainability program. There is also a growing awareness of the need to create resilient buildings to withstand natural and man-made disasters. Jobsite Tech Construction firms are also undergoing digital transformation to run more efficiently. Jobsite technologies like cloudbased project management software, cameras, drones, and mobile devices have become commonplace today, where not that long ago companies had barely heard of them or the technologies were too expensive for common use. In a recent U.S. Institute of Building Documentation survey of more than 250 construction companies, three in five now use 360-degree cameras on their projects.

“We video conference much more than face-to-face meetings,” Shingobee Builders’ Tony Godlewski said. “Presentations via electronic media platforms are common now — they almost never happened before in our industry.” For firms with a digital transformation plan already in place, the main focus is on organizational structure, tools for collaboration, communication between employees, company culture and workspace design. For most firms, however, complete transformation is still a ways off, mostly due to lack of appropriate skills and necessary resources, worker commitment, and funding. A former school teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He has published articles in a dozen newspapers, written three books and currently resides with his wife in St. Cloud.

DID YOU KNOW?

Going Greener What is the ‘greenest’ way to design and make homes, clothes, cars and even food?

A

growing community of designers and scientists believe the answer is to follow nature’s blueprint and incorporate biological systems into the creation of objects, so that they are symbiotic with our planet, rather than parasitic or polluting. Source: Forbes.com

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SPECIAL FOCUS

Design

SINCE 1874

ARCHITECTURAL

Artificial Intelligence

AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

Using AI may be the way to keep operating costs down and bring productivity up. SINGLE SOURCE. SUPERIOR SERVICE. REMARKABLE RESULTS. 800.772.1758 | www.millerab.com

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A

rtificial Intelligence (AI) is the use of smart machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. In the construction industry one use of AI is to design the routing of electrical and plumbing systems in modern buildings. It’s also beneficial for the development of safety systems at work sites, which can minimize the risks of accidents. AI is expected to reduce expensive errors and make building operations more productive. A study from Reports and Data, a strategic consulting firm known for their forecasting models, predicts the global construction market for AI will reach $4.5 billion during the next five years. They anticipate AI can help reduce construction costs in many ways, like bringing efficiencies in design, planning and other processes. A few more practical cases for AI in construction include: 1 Assist with forecasting

W W W. I N V ENTU R EPRO PER T I ES .C O M 46

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| (32 0) 9 8 0 -2 3 0 0

By leveraging AI to process huge amounts of historical productivity and performance data, firms can make more accurate spending predictions.


2 Optimize project schedule AI can process millions of alternatives for project schedules and adjust as needed. Additionally, censor data analysis enables firms to prioritize maintenance and make the most of their time. 3 Improve safety monitoring Artificial intelligence is used to develop safety systems at work sites, which reduces the risks of hazards and accidents and helps protect workers.

BY THE NUMBERS

Pandemic Fallout Even as we welcome the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine, construction companies across the country remain pessimistic, according to a January 2021 survey by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Sage Construction and Real Estate. Of the Minnesota construction firms that were included in the survey…

76%

said they had clients postpone building projects in 2020

48%

reported jobs had been canceled altogether

83%

worried that the pandemic would continue to hurt projects, workers and supply chains well into 2021

34%

anticipate employing fewer workers this year

41%

reported that the pandemic increased project costs and the time it took to complete building projects *29 of Minnesota’s construction firms participated in the survey

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LOOKING FORWARD TO SERVING OUR COMMUNITY IN THE COMING YEAR

www.DESIGNELECT.com CONTACT US FOR ALL YOUR COMMERCIAL WIRING NEEDS STILL GREAT REBATES ON LED LIGHTING UPGRADES CONTACT OUR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE TEAM

COMMERCIAL

PH-320.252.1658

INDUSTRIAL

TRANSPORTATION

24-Hour Emergency Service

A New Horizon

BUILDING TODAY TO POWER TOMORROW W. Gohman Construction builds environments that work for your employees and your budget. We give you the freedom to work so you can get back to doing what you do best. Why make do with the space you have when W. Gohman Construction can help you do more? Recently W. Gohman assisted in expanding Blattner Energy’s headquarters building in Avon, Minn. The addition was safely tied into an existing, fully occupied building with the least amount of disruption to daily operations. In addition, W. Gohman was able to maintain Blattner’s current sustainable energy efforts and fortify their existing and new facilities for future growth.

St. Joseph, MN | 320.363.7781 | info@wgohman.com GENERAL CONTRACTOR

48

| DESIGN/BUILD | CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT | BUILDING + REMODELING

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WGOHMAN.COM

SPECIAL FOCUS

Think Differently Rethinking how a space is used is crucial in changing times.

D

avid Leapaldt, principal architect at JLG architects in St. Cloud, says the pandemic has caused his company to think differently about how they approach design. JLG Architects specializes in design for recreation facilities, schools, medical centers, offices, retail spaces and more. “In K-12 design for example, the pandemic gave us an opportunity to work with districts to help them prepare to have students in school fully, in hybrid, and in distance learning,” he said. “We conducted surveys to find out what worked well, and what didn’t work quite as well. We found that the model for school design related to 21st Century education — informal learning areas outside classrooms, wider halls, flexible spaces and furniture — all adapted better to the requirements of the pandemic than did the traditional school model.” Leapaldt believes some changes made in schools during the pandemic will become standard in future construction. “For example, how ventilation systems are designed and operated. While the new energy code requires more outside air and full air exchange, we worked with schools


in particular to use the building’s control systems to allow for a ‘full building flush’ at the touch of a button,” he explained. “Also, during this pandemic, we found that buildings with flexible design and furniture were the easiest to manage. With a flexible design and furniture, people could be more easily spread out, and yet maintain at least a visual connection.”

DID YOU KNOW?

Net-Zero

T

here are roughly 5,000 so-called “net zero”

single-family homes in America, according to the Net-Zero Energy Coalition. A net-zero home will make as much electricity on-site as it will consume over the course of one year. The number of net-zero homes could increase rapidly in the coming years, especially if onshore wind

ARCHITECTURAL SHEETMETAL

and solar is cheaper than fossil fuels as an electricity source; but

We are committed to providing

that’s to be determined by price,

our customers with quality solutions

success rate and more. A more

and services for their roofing, heating,

energy-efficient home often

ventilating and air conditioning needs.

costs an additional $10,000, before adding solar systems, which can tack on 10 percent

COMMERCIAL HVAC // COMMERCIAL ROOFING // ARCHITECTURAL SHEETMETAL

more to the price.

1431 Prosper Drive, Waite Park, MN mcdowallco.com

// 320.251.8640

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SPECIAL FOCUS

THE IDEAL CHOICE

COMMERCIAL GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Construction Bots The future of construction may very well be robotic MINNESOTA TRUCK HE ADQUARTERS- COMMERCIAL DIVISION- SAUK RAPIDS, MN

A

side from some experimental efforts with 3-D printing, the use of robots in construction remains relatively limited. However, in the last decade, investment and research in construction technology has been growing and is expected to reach $225 million by 2025. What to watch:

Congratulations to MTH on the Grand Opening of their new commercial facility!! 3709 Quail Road NE, Sauk Rapids, MN 56379 (320) 253-3524

Let us build your needs. www.alliancebuildingcorporation.com

On-site production robots Think bricklaying, welding robots, and 3-D printed houses.

Stylish Solutions for Your Projects

Pre-fab construction robots Robotic arms and machines have been used for decades in factory production lines, so it’s no surprise that the growing market for pre-fabricated homes is also using this technology.

The latest in flooring and lighting with over 45 years of industry experience.

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CT-SPAD0122085352

26 1st Ave N, Waite Park, MN 320-253-5078 www.mcicarpetonewaitepark.com Mon-Fri 8AM–7PM, Sat 9AM–4PM, Sun 10AM–3PM Locations in Waite Park, Baxter, Mankato, Champlin and Sioux Falls, SD

Autonomous vehicles A variety of building-site vehicles such as diggers and bulldozers, are in line to work without human support. Equipment that moves earth and rubble could eventually allow for building and site clearing work to occur 24/7, rather than being restricted to working hours and overtime pay. Inspection robots It’s still in the early days for this technology, but a lot of time and resources are going into developing robots that can streamline site-inspection tasks.


SPECIAL FOCUS

Source: ibisworld.com

Commercial Construction The Commercial Building Construction industry in the U.S. has grown 0.9% per year on average between 2016 and 2021. Central Minnesota is no exception. Continue reading to learn more about the variety of commercial construction offerings and projects that provide growth in Central Minnesota.

CMBA BUILDER OF THE YEAR Dale Gruber Source: PlanRadar

Exoskeletons Construction work, for the most part, is a young person’s job, what with all the heavy lifting and other physical demands the job requires. Enter the exoskeleton. Exoskeletons are pieces of kit worn by construction site workers that provide robotic features. They can help wearers lift heavier weights, while reducing fatigue. Don’t expect robots to take over the construction industry anytime soon. Aside from the cost and liability issues, there is the complexity of the jobsite itself. Robots work well on a predictable, indoor manufacturing floor, but facing unreliable weather and the peculiarities jobsites often present – bridges, 12-story buildings, multi-lane roads – can be a challenge for robots.

General Contractor Design-Build Commercial Construction & Remodeling

320-251-4956

Alliance Building Corp.

DaleGruberConstruction.com

Bradbury Stamm Construction Winkelman, LLC

Scheels Athletic Complex Sartell, MN Gray Stone Flats - Mounds View, MN Opening April 2021 Mounds View’s newest premier upscale apartment! Stainless steel appliances, 9ft ceilings, granite countertops and beautiful trim work!

New construction, additions, or remodels. Let us build your needs!

The Scheels Athletic Complex is a 73,000 sq ft expansion of Bernick’s Arena in Sartell, MN. The new facility will be usable as both an ice rink or a turf field with a mezzanine level training area and locker rooms.

www.bradburystamm.com

alliancebuildingcorporation.com

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SPECIAL FOCUS: COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

Dale Gruber Construction

Sartell City Hall - Sartell, MN

FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS... Relax and enjoy your beautiful outdoor living space with family and friends created with Borgert premium pavers, slabs and walls. Live your lifestyle for a lifetime with their beauty and timeless designs. For those who want the best, it’s simply Borgert for over 95 years.

Your vision, brought to life.

Dale Gruber Construction recently completed a remodel project at Sartell City Hall. In addition to updating the finishes of the council chambers, we reconfigured the space to improve overall operations and accommodate current social distance guidelines. The project also entailed technology upgrades for the chambers and main entrance; allowing staff to serve their residents more efficiently and effectively.

General Contractor: Dale Gruber Construction 320-251-4956 DaleGruberConstruction.com

We can handle your toughest electrical jobs, including: Electrical service technicians available 24/7 Electrical system design Government electrical projects WWW.DESIGNELECT.COM Industrial-grade installation and electrical repairs • ARE YOU AN XCEL CUSTOMER? Low, medium and high-voltage system • DID YOU KNOW TIME ISinstallation RUNNING OUT ON SOME OF THE Commercial lighting retrofitting BEST LED LIGHTING REBATES? • NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO ENGERGY EFFICIENT LED LIGHTS • CONTACT US TODAY FOR A RETURN ON INVESTMENT ESTIMATE

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ELECTRIC, INC.

PH-320.252.1658

GLTArchitects

Stearns County Service Center Addition and Remodel GLTArchitects worked with Stearns County to master plan their facilities to accommodate growth, promote efficiency and improve public access to services. This recently completed project doubled the original 50,000 sf facility GLTArchitects completed in 2008 and offers Human Services, Assessor, Auditor/Treasurer, License Center and other services. Location: Waite Park, MN Architect: GLTArchitects Size: 96,000 sf Project Completion: Fall 2020 gltarchitects.com

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Electrical Contractor When you need commercial electrical work done in St. Cloud, trust the contractor who has been around for over four decades. Design Electric, Inc. is a family-owned electrical contractor established in 1972.

4807 Heatherwood Road St. Cloud, MN 56301 // (320) 252-1658 CONTACT US FOR ALL YOUR COMMERCIAL WIRING NEEDS designelect.com

Visit our showroom at: 8646 Ridgewood Rd., St. Joseph, MN 56374

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Design Electric, Inc.

24-Hour Emergency Service

HMA Architects

Southside and Lions Park Improvement Project HMA Architects has been working with the City of Sauk Rapids on the Southside and Lions Park Improvement Project, This new development will include a 6,500 SF events center space, outdoor performance area, trails, splash pad, and play areas. The events center will overlook the outdoor performance area and Mississippi River. Construction is scheduled to be completed by June of 2021. Location: Sauk Rapids, MN Architect: HMA Architects hma-archs.com


SPECIAL FOCUS: COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

Miller Architects & Builders

Rice Companies

LIFE Assembly of God

Virnig Manufacturing

5,800 sf. addition included a large fellowship area with a second entrance and connected to the existing lobby, coffee bar, new children’s wing featuring a children’s church for 100+ kids, preschool room, children’s restrooms. Remodeled existing nursery rooms, refaced exterior to match new addition, expansion, and renovation of the parking lot.

Rice Companies is partnering with Virnig Manufacturing on multiple projects including a new 9,000 SF engineering facility and a 24,000 SF manufacturing addition., both scheduled for an early 2021 completion.

WE BUILD PROJECTS AND PARTNERSHIPS THAT LAST

Location: Rice, MN

We work as a dedicated partner with each and every client. General Contractor: You have our promise to be here long after the job is done to ensure and maintain the integrity of our work. Perhaps Miller Architects & Builders that’s why many of our clients call on us again and again

Architect: Miller Architects Builders to expand their facilities& and build new ones.

www.millerab.com Do you have an upcoming building or development project you’d like to discuss? We would be happy to sit down with you and learn more about your business.

MAINTENANCE SERVICES | REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT + BROKERAGE ARCHITECTURE | SELF-PERFORMING FIELD SERVICES CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT | GENERAL CONTRACTOR

Strack Construction

COMMERCIAL HVAC, ROOFING, ARCHITECTURAL SHEETMETAL

General Contractor & Architect: Rice Companies

We are committed to providing our customers with quality solutions and services for their roofing, heating, ventilating and air conditioning needs.

Completion Date: Spring 2021 ricecompanies.com

1431 Prosper Drive, Waite Park, MN 320.251.8640 // mcdowallco.com SAUK RAPIDS GLENCOE MANKATO FARGO 320.252.0404 | RICECOMPANIES.COM

W Gohman Construction

We promise you’ll love the way your new floor looks, or we’ll replace it FREE - including installation!

BUILDING A NEW HOUSE OR PLANNING A REMODEL?

Blattner Energy Expansion Simplicity Health & 360 Chiropractic This project consists of a new 8,200 square foot health clinic facility for Simplicity Health of St. Cloud, an independent full-service health facility providing Family Medicine and Direct Primary Care. Also located in the building is the second St. Cloud area location for 360 Chiropractic, a family-oriented chiropractic and related services clinic. Project Architect: Negen & Associates Completion: January, 2021

W. Gohman assisted in expanding Blattner Energy’s headquarters building in Avon, Minn. The 72,466 sf new building addition adds 135 new offices and work stations, multiple collaborative group spaces, parking lot expansion, 10 new conference rooms, catering kitchen, work lounge, recreation spaces, A/V labs and a new auditorium. This building addition was safely tied into an existing, fully occupied building with the least amount of disruption to daily operations. In addition, W. Gohman was able to maintain Blattner’s current sustainable energy efforts and fortify their existing and new facilities for future growth.

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Location: 3290 42 Avenue S., St. Cloud, MN wgohman.com CT-SPAD0120161924

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26 1st Ave N, Waite Park, MN 320-253-5078 www.mcicarpetonewaitepark.com Mon-Fri 8am-7pm, Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 10am-3pm

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PROFIT

BUSINESSSPOTLIGHT

P R E M I E R R E A L ESTAT E

AT A G L A N C E

Never Bored

Premier Real Estate Services

Noel Johnson doesn’t like being bored. As the owner of Premier Real Estate, that’s not a problem.

550 25th Ave N Saint Cloud, MN 56303 (320) 259-4554 PremierHomeSearch.com

By Gail Ivers

someone to do maintenance. No plans to expand the business beyond that. Then some agents came to me with questions and then they asked if they could come work for me, and before I really knew it, we went from two to 12 to 100. I went from an 800 square foot office to 1,200 square feet to 3,200 to 6,900 and today we’re at 10,000 square feet.

Business Central: How did you decide to go into real estate? Noel Johnson: I was paying for school BC: What’s been the biggest challenge? by painting houses, doing showings and Johnson: We’re all independent contractors so changeovers for apartments, so I always had an you kind of become competitive with everyone interest in the business. in the office. And yet I was painting mansions you want to grow as a “There’s always something to in Minnetonka and saw team. That’s a constant sell in the real estate market.” what people had there challenge. and the one thing they all had in common was real estate. BC: The real estate market has been crazy, despite COVID-19. BC: Did you always plan to have Johnson: January and February 2020 were your own agency? gangbusters. Then everything shut down. All Johnson: Working on my own made sense, those record sales were completely wiped out in but I was never going to have agents. I was March, April, and May. We went from being up 25 self-managing 250-300 tenants in properties I percent to being down 10 percent. We found new owned and I was doing all the maintenance. I ways to market homes and ended the year with was working all the time. So I planned to have an an 18.2 percent increase over 2019…and 2019 was office with someone to answer the phones and a record year for us.

TIMELINE

1991 Noel Johnson moves to St. Cloud to attend SCSU.

1993 Johnson buys his first home; a year later he buys his second home. Both are fixer-uppers which he turns into rental properties. 54

1995 Johnson receives his real estate license and creates Johnson Painting; he begins doing apartment changeovers for multiple management companies. Johnson changes his major

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Owners: Noel and Cindy Johnson Opened: 2002 Number of Employees: 6 Number of Real Estate Agents: 100; 70 are in the St. Cloud area Office Locations: Princeton, Litchfield, Hutchinson, Little Falls, Sartell, St. Cloud, and the metro area. Joined the Chamber in 2004

PERSONAL PROFILE

Noel Johnson, 48 Hometown: Princeton, Minn. Education: Graduated from Princeton high school; attended St. Cloud State University (SCSU) before going into real estate full time. Family: Wife, Cindy; two daughters: Olivia and Lauren Hobbies: Coaching his daughters in sports; participating in competitive sports like hockey, pickle ball, and racquetball; recently bought an airplane and goes flying 2-3 times a week

F U N FA C T

1994 Johnson becomes caretaker for his apartment building.

Business Description: Residential and commercial real estate services, including property rental

from criminal justice to sales and marketing and continues attending college part time before deciding to leave school and focus on real estate with Coldwell Banker.

2002 Johnson starts Premier Real Estate Services.

Johnson was studying criminal justice in college. “I interned with the St. Joe Police Department and realized the one thing I didn’t want to do was work evenings and weekends… so I went into real estate.”


refinancing made nice & simple

The refinancing process couldn’t have been easier with Deerwood. From the beginning, Denise and her team answered questions for us and helped us choose the best term and rate. Everything was done online, and we never had to go into the bank office, which was really convenient for our busy family. We set up our auto payment on the Deerwood app, so it’s all automatic from here. We saved about eight years and thousands of dollars by refinancing. Plus, we got a crazy good rate—even lower than they originally thought!

Kayla and Shawn Deerwood Bank Refinance Customers

deerwoodbank.com 320.252.4200

Deerwood Bank NMLS #408174


AMERICAN H B ANK ERITAGE MERICAN A H B ANK ERITAGE ERITAGE MERICAN AMERICAN H ERITAGE B ANK ANK

Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Back Business Payroll PayrollProtection ProtectionProgram Program(PPP) (PPP)isis isBack Backinin inBusiness Business Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is Back in Business

Local Lenders Local Local Lenders Local Lenders Lenders Supporting Supporting Supporting Supporting Local Business Local Local Business Local Business Business

Back row (L to R): Back Back row row (L to (L to R):R):

Matt Coran, Since 2004 Back Matt row (L to R): Matt Coran, Coran, Since Since 2004 2004

Brian Mathiasen, Since 2006 Matt Coran, Since 2004 Brian Brian Mathiasen, Mathiasen, Since Since 2006 2006 Jason Baszler, Since 2019 Brian Mathiasen, Since 2006 Jason Jason Baszler, Baszler, Since Since 2019 2019 Denis Irsfeld, Since 1994 Jason Baszler, Since 2019 Denis Denis Irsfeld, Irsfeld, Since Since 1994 1994 Preston Irsfeld, Since 2012 Denis Irsfeld, Since 1994 Preston Preston Irsfeld, Since 2012 2012 Front row (L to R): Preston Irsfeld, Since 2012 Front Front row row (L to (L to R):R): Jay Johnston, Since 2002 FrontJay row (L to R): Jay Johnston, Johnston, Since Since 2002 2002 Molly Marlow, Since Since 2002 2007 Jay Johnston, Molly Molly Marlow, Marlow, Since Since 2007 2007 Adam Vee, Since 2012 Molly Marlow, Since 2007 Adam Adam Vee, Vee, Since Since 2012 2012 Denita Wisniewski, Since 1987 AdamWisniewski, Vee, Since 2012 Denita Denita Wisniewski, Since Since 1987 1987 Denita Wisniewski, Since 1987

American Heritage Bank pleased announce that we are now American AmericanHeritage HeritageBank Bankisis ispleased pleasedtoto toannounce announcethat thatwe weare arenow now accepting PPP applications for the next round of SBA forgivable loans! American Heritage Bank is pleased to announce that we are accepting acceptingPPP PPPapplications applicationsfor forthe thenext nextround roundofofSBA SBAforgivable forgivablenow loans! loans! accepting PPP applications for the next round of SBA forgivable loans! Contact our American Heritage business lenders for more Contact Contactour ourAmerican AmericanHeritage Heritagebusiness businesslenders lendersfor formore more information on how to apply again or for the first time. Contact our American Heritage business lenders for more information informationon onhow howtotoapply applyagain againororfor forthe thefirst firsttime. time. information on how to apply again or for the first time.

Call for aaFREE FREE CONSULTATION or visit LogBank.com Call Call for for a FREE CONSULTATION CONSULTATION or or visit visit LogBank.com LogBank.com Clearwater St. Cloud CONSULTATION East Avonor visitLong St. Cloudfor West Prairie Browerville Call a FREE LogBank.com Clearwater Clearwater Cloud Cloud East East Avon Avon St.St. Cloud Cloud West West St.St. Long Long Prairie Prairie Browerville Browerville

(320) 558-2021 (320) 257-5000 (320) 356-7334 (320) 732-6131 (320) 594-2215 (320) 654-9555 Clearwater St. 257-5000 Cloud East (320) Avon St. Cloud West (320) Long Prairie (320) Browerville (320) 558-2021 558-2021 (320) (320) 257-5000 (320) 356-7334 356-7334 (320) (320) (320) 654-9555 654-9555 (320) 732-6131 732-6131 (320) 594-2215 594-2215 (320) 558-2021 (320) 257-5000 (320) 356-7334 (320) 732-6131 (320) 594-2215 (320) 654-9555

Profile for St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

March/April 2021  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine

March/April 2021  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine