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“It was reassuring to know they had

the latest treatment and technology to take care of me here.” David Anderson

When David was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, he was concerned he might need to receive treatment far from home. Instead, David benefited from St. Cloud Hospital’s advanced imaging technology and access to the latest cancer treatment options at Coborn Cancer Center. This high-tech care, along with the support of his doctors, nurses and family, has David singing again. High-tech, yet personal care—two vital elements in delivering quality care.

Quality care—it’s our passion. care above all. 1406 Sixth Avenue North | St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303 | www.centracare.com


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Editor’s Note

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Network Central

CONTENTS

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Business Tools

20 Working Well

Falling on Deaf Ears

22 TechStrategies

Ready…Set…Action!

23 Tech News 24 Management Tool Kit Make ‘em Laugh

25 Going Green

28

By the Numbers

26 Economic Review Knowledge Economy

34 P ROFIT

This Issue 34 Feature

Unprecedented Growth

Profit

28 Cover Story

Infrastructure is the focus of Sartell officials as they work to accommodate the needs of new commercial and residential development.

During his 36 year tenure at St. Cloud Industrial Products, Don Schiffler has honed many skills, not the least of which is to glory in the strengths of others.

40 Special Focus

Eternal Optimist

N E T WOR K

Upfront 10 News Reel

What’s happening and who’s moving. Business news from

around Central Minnesota.

10 Book Review

The Law of the Garbage Truck: How to Respond to People Who Dump on You, and How to Stop Dumping on Others by David J. Pollay

12 Your Voice In Government A Spring of Programming

There are many opportunities this spring for business leaders to influence decisions regarding business policy.

13 People to Know 16 Regional Round-Up Waite Park

The Waite Park Chamber meetings offer participants a variety of ways to network and build their businesses.

Location, Location, Location The ideal location

20 Special Section 40 Commercial Construction

for your business depends on a number of factors, including where the competition is located.

46 Business Spotlight Mike Fanslau, Image Builders

ONLY ONLINE •• Best industries for starting a business

•• Multitasking is destroying your brain

•• Low-cost marketing ideas

•• In defense of multitasking

www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com


PRESIDENT’S LETTER

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NETWORK

You Never Know Who You’ll Meet

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ost of our loyal Business Central readers are aware how much I love working for our Chamber. It allows me to draw on my skills, past education and experiences, while giving me outlets for the little eccentricities in my personality. For example, I love celebrity. I read People Magazine. I follow Matchbox 20 lead singer Rob Thomas on Twitter. I applied for the TV show Survivor – video and all. Celebrity excites me – there’s just something about being in the presence of stardom. In my job, I get to do fun things that put me in the midst of celebrity. Many times, it’s political celebrity. While I have become somewhat less enthralled with political celebrities as they have become more accessible to me, I still always ask for a photo. I really don’t care what they think of me, because often I won’t be seeing them again. But, I’ll always have the photo to prove I was once in their presence.

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Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

At the annual Minnesota Chamber Session Priorities Reception, political celebrity abounds. I try to squelch my natural tendency to ask for photos, but this year was an exception. As I stood in the overflowing reception corridor of RiverCentre in downtown St. Paul, my eyes landed on a handsome face that looked very familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it in context with the political crowd. I smiled, and he smiled back. As we completed our silent greeting, a voice said in my ear: “Teresa, have you met our coach?” The voice belonged to Vikings’ Vice President Lester Bagley. I extended my hand and said, “I knew you looked familiar. Congratulations, Coach,” addressing Leslie Frazier.

Meeting Sena tor Ted Kenn edy

We talked, uninterrupted, for five minutes. He is a very gracious man; calm and self-assured. When we were parting I asked if I could have a photo with him. He looked at me as if thinking, “Now, why in the world would you want a photo with me?” You never know, maybe his future greatness will rub off on me. Go Vikes!

Teresa Bohnen President


Main Phone | 320-251-2940 Automated Reservation Line | 320-251-2940, ext. 126 Program Hotline | 320-251-2940, ext. 125 www.StCloudAreaChamber.com email: information@StCloudAreaChamber.com ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF President | Teresa Bohnen, ext. 104 Vice President | Gail Ivers, ext. 109 Director of Administration | Judy Zetterlund, ext. 106 Special Events Coordinator | Virginia Kroll, ext. 105 Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator | Jill Copeland, ext. 130 Membership Sales Specialist | Wendy Franzwa, ext. 134 Administrative Assistant | Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122 Administrative Assistant | Cindy Swarthout , ext. 100 Administrative Assistant | Sharon Henry, ext. 124 CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF Executive Director | Julie Lunning, ext. 111 Sales Manager | Lori Cates, ext. 113 Director of Sales & Marketing | Judy Okerstrom, ext. 112 Director of Sports & Special Events | Kelly Sayre, ext. 128 Director of Visitor Services | Jean Robbins , ext. 129 Receptionist | Nikki Fisher, ext. 100 2010-11 BOARD MEMBERS Jim Beck | Minnesota School of Business Craig Broman | St. Cloud Hospital/ CentraCare Health System Brenda Eisenschenk | InteleCONNECT, Inc. Linda Feuling | Westside Liquor Todd Fritz | InteleCONNECT, Inc. Jayne Greeney Schill | St. Cloud Area School District #742 Steve Hahn | HahnMark, LLC John Herges | Falcon National Bank Joy Hornung | LarsonAllen LLP Dolora Musech | Batteries Plus Kris Nelson | Custom Accents, Inc. Bernadette Perryman | C & L Distributing, Board Chair Rick Poganski | Principal Financial Group Dr. Earl Potter, III | St. Cloud State University Dr. Mark Roerick | Advantage Chiropractic Melinda Sanders | Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A., Past Board Chair Jodi Speicher | The Good Shepherd Community Bill Winter | St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, Board Vice Chair


EDITOR’S NOTE

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NETWORK

Lessons from the School Bus I don’t imagine bus drivers hug children anymore, which is too bad, because sometimes a child needs a hug.

was critical. At least twice I remember racing down the driveway only to wipe out In the Driver’s Seat: Business Central Editor Gail Ivers checks out the view from the front of a St. Cloud Industrial Products bus.

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on Schiffler chuckled at my surprise. He was telling me about St. Cloud Industrial

Products which, it turns out, has very little to do with industrial products and a whole lot to do with school buses. Selling them and driving them. (See the story on page 28)

the bus on special trips was an older gentleman

who I particularly liked. He and

on an icy patch, books, lunch box

his bus met us at the airport late

and dignity flying in all directions.

one evening as we returned from

Lesson 1: Don’t wait until the

a school trip. I was tired and

last minute. (I’m still working on

homesick. He greeted me with a

this one.)

hug. I don’t imagine bus drivers hug

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children anymore, which is too bad,

y the time we got on the

because sometimes a child needs a

bus in the morning all of the

hug. When I graduated from high

older boys had already found

school I tracked him down and

their seats in the back. I sat in the

asked him to come to my reception.

front with the girls, but my brother

When he arrived, I greeted him with

to reflect on my days of riding the

had to make his way to the back

a hug, because sometimes guests

school bus.

to find a seat with the boys. They

need to know they’re special.

Our conversation caused me

We could see the bus arrive in

would slide to the edge of their seats

the neighborhood from my parents’

so he couldn’t sit down. They would

bedroom window upstairs. On cold

laugh at him and make him sit with

or rainy days, we would wait for it

the girls. They called him names.

to round a particular corner then

Then one day, as the boys started

run as fast as we could down the

this horrible ritual, one of the older

stairs, out the door, and down the

boys said, “Wayne, you can sit with

driveway to beat it to the bus stop.

me.” And with that simple act, the

Since both Mom and Dad worked

teasing stopped.

and were gone by the time the bus arrived, missing the bus was not an

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ne of the people who drove

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

Lesson 2: One person really can make a difference.

Lesson 3: Friendship is ageless Until next issue,

Gail Ivers

Vice President

Editor

Photo by Joel Butkowksi/BDI

option. Timing the race to the bus


Publisher Teresa Bohnen Managing Editor Gail Ivers Associate Editor Dawn Zimmerman CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jill Copeland St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

Mary Edwards St. Cloud State University Fred Hill St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Tracy Knofla High Impact Training Chelsey Larson St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Dawn Zimmerman The Write Advantage ADVERTISING Associate Publisher/Sales Wendy Hendricks, Hendricks Marketing

Ad Traffic & Circulation Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media ART Design & Production Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media

Cover Photo Joel Butkowski, BDI Photography ACCOUNTING Accountant Judy Zetterlund

110 Sixth Avenue South

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P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 •  Fax (320) 251-0081 www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com For advertising information contact Wendy Hendricks, (320) 656-3808, 110 S. 6th Ave., P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487. Editorial suggestions can be made in writing to: Editor, Business Central,

Let’s meet. Then let’s get to work. At Bremer Bank, it starts with getting to know you and your business. Finding opportunities that fit. Putting them together into a solid plan. Let’s take action. Your business. Our bank.

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. © Copyright 2011 Business Central LLC Business Central is published six times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 110 Sixth Avenue South P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 •  Fax (320) 251-0081 Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year.

Downtown St. Cloud 251-3300 West St. Cloud 656-3300 • Sauk Rapids 252-1938 Sartell 255-7121 • Rice 393-2600 Call 1-800-908-BANK or visit Bremer.com. Member FDIC. ©2011 Bremer Financial Corporation. All rights reserved.


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It’s Made Where?

Your Voice in Government

People to Know

Business Calendar

Point of View

Regional Roundup

UPFRONT

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This book is best read as a type of journal. There are quizzes, evaluations, and spaces for introspection scattered throughout.

n The Law of the Garbage Truck, David J. Pollay shows us that by refusing to let others dump their ‘garbage’ (negativity, anger, resentment) on us – and letting it pass by instead – we become happier and more successful, both personally and professionally. And, when we stop dumping garbage on others, we improve our relationships, strengthen our businesses, and bring our communities together. Pollay is attempting to reach an audience that includes everyone. When given the

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Just because people try to dump their garbage on you doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Reviewed by Fred E. Hill

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Civility Under Fire

by David J. Pollay, Sterling Publishing Company New York, 2010 ISBN 978-1-4027-7664-9

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BOOK REVIEW

The Law of the Garbage Truck: How to Respond to People Who Dump on You, and How to Stop Dumping on Others

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suggestion to narrow his audience to one group, he states that he has – he’s narrowed it to the World! He says many people are like garbage trucks. They are full of negative energy and looking for places to dump it. Don’t let them! cautions Pollay. Instead, be happy, and don’t pass on any garbage – your own or that of others. This book is best read as a type of journal. There are quizzes, evaluations, and spaces for introspection scattered throughout. The author provides an abundance of resources. They include a DVD, audio book, the licensing of his Law of the Garbage Truck program for organizational use, website support including purchasable products, newsletter, and blog and social networking sites. His book has been translated into 48 languages and is in 100 countries. Pollay says that it is not our duty to absorb the frustrations,

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

anxieties, and disappointments of other people. We were not put on earth to carry other people’s negative energy, nor were we created to burden others with ours. The Garbage Truck can pass us by…and, we don’t have to be the driver. There are 35 chapters organized in Eight Commitments. Here are five of the Commitments: Do Let Garbage Trucks Pass You By, Do Avoid Becoming Someone Else’s Garbage Truck, Do Honor Your No Garbage Trucks! Pledge, Do Declare Your Life a No Garbage Trucks! Zone, and Do Declare Your Work a No Garbage Trucks! Zone. Pollay preaches “civility under fire.” Incivility is a burden for everyone and improvement requires that we start with ourselves. BC Dr. Fred E. Hill is a professor of Learning Resources and Technology Services at St. Cloud State University.

Effective January 1, 2011, the First State Bank of St. Joseph has changed its name to Sentry Bank. The bank has expanded with branch office locations in St. Cloud and St. Stephen.

St. Cloud VA awarded accreditation, appoints nurse managers The St. Cloud VA Health Care System has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in four accreditation programs. Lori Mader and Laura Kunstleben, are new nurse managers for the Community Living Center at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System.

Agency 128 adds staff

Van Vooren

Agency 128 hired Nathan Van Vooren as copywriter/ designer.

Best Buy wins Award The U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center recognized Best Buy with the Corporate Citizenship Award for its overall culture, operational practices, and for creating shared value benefiting both the company and society.

Koskela joins HatlingFlint Jessica Koskela joins Hatling Flint as an account manager in the St. Cloud office.


IT’s Made WHERE?

St. Cloud, Minn.

New Flyer’s most recent product launch, Xcelsior, is a next-generation, best-in-class transit bus, and offers many industry firsts, including LED headlights, electronic instrument panel, lowest step height and the highest ever recorded MPG of all 40-foot heavy-duty buses with 2007 or later conventional engines.

New Flyer is the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States and Canada. Established in 1930, New Flyer has over 2200 employees across 10 locations. It is a technology leader, offering the broadest product line in the industry, including the following propulsion systems:

•• Clean diesel

New Flyer USA

•• Natural gas

6200 Glenn Carlson Drive St. Cloud, MN 56301 (320) 203-0576 www.newflyer.com

•• Hybrid-electric •• Fuel cell •• Electric trolley

BusinessConnection Your connection to business answers.

Everyone’s got an answer...

...ours will GROW your business. We know times aren’t easy for Minnesota businesses these days. You need a resource that provides direct and immediate help for all of your important business questions. BusinessConnection is your free, go-to service in Minnesota for any and all business questions. Its purpose is to help Minnesota businesses grow by breaking down barriers, opening doors and answering questions – so you can get back to business.

Connect anytime: www.mnbizconnect.com Call toll-free: 1-888-MINN-BIZ / 1-888-646-6249 Personal assistance is available 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. BusinessConnection is a service of Grow Minnesota! and sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, its local chamber partners and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Connect online: www.mnbizconnect.com BC_Ad7.5x4.875_020110.indd 1

2/1/2010 12:53:32 PM   M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m 11


UPFRONT

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NETWORK

N E WS R E E L Rice Building receives Pyramid Award Rice Building Systems received the Pyramid Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Awards Competition for the work done on the Coborn’s Grocery Store in St. Joseph, Minn. The grocery store was recognized in the Commercial Construction Category $1-5 Million.

Mather joins Bremer Todd Mather has joined Bremer Mather Bank in St. Cloud as a senior vice president and business banking credit manager. He will manage the overall business credit portfolio for the St. Cloud charter.

Jacobs awarded accreditation David Jacobs, Jacobs Financial, was awarded the AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary) designation from Fi360. The AIF designation signifies training in fiduciary responsibility.

Motes joins St. Ben’s The College of Saint Benedict Motes recently named Kimberly Ferlaak Motes vice president of Institutional Advancement. She will be responsible for all aspects of fundraising for the college and overseeing Alumnae Relations, Fine Arts Programming, and the Literary Arts Institute.

Hughes Mathews adds attorney John F. Mathews Matthews joined the Hughes

Mathews law firm as a third-generation attorney in the law practice established by his grandfather, Fred Hughes, in 1934.

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YOUR VOICe IN GOVERNMENT

A Spring of Programming There are many opportunities this spring for business leaders to meet our elected officials and influence decisions regarding business policy. By Teresa Bohnen

T

here is no better time to get involved with your government than right now. So much is happening at local, state and federal levels that it’s easy to be active. You can take your pick from a wide variety of activities and events offered through the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, including those shown below, and add your voice to those of business leaders making a difference across Central Minnesota. Monthly Educational Meetings The Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee meets the second Friday of each month from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in the Chamber’s main conference room. Programs cover a wide variety of legislative information, helping keep Chamber members up-todate and in-the-know. Local legislators attend the monthly meetings as their schedules permit, providing convenient access for our members. Legislative Session Conference Calls Minnesota Chamber of Commerce lobbying staff provide up-to-the-minute reports of activities at the state Capitol. The St. Cloud Area Chamber connects to calls from 7:30 - 8 a.m. on the dates listed here. You are welcome to join in on any date that works with your schedule and hear answers to questions. March 4 March 18 May 6 May 14 April 1 May 20 April 15

Need to know more?

St. Cloud Evening at the Capitol Tuesday, March 15, 2011 5 – 7 p.m. • St. Paul Hotel, St. Paul, Minnesota The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce showcases St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Waite Park, St. Joseph and St. Augusta for all Minnesota legislators. Chamber members are invited to participate in a reception at the St. Paul Hotel for an evening of networking, business and fun. (Reservations are required.)

St. Cloud Area Chamber Goes to Washington, D.C. April 11 – 14, 2011 Each spring Chamber members travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation in their D.C. offices. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides a briefing session to educate participants on up-to-the-minute issues and policy. A bonus of this trip is the camaraderie and relationships that are built among attendees.

Minnesota Business Day at the Capitol Wednesday, March 16, 2011 Crown Plaza, St. Paul, Minnesota This annual statewide event unites local chambers across Minnesota to learn about business issues and advocate for job-friendly legislation. You can join hundreds of business leaders and speak out on issues critical to Minnesota’s competitive business environment. This is an excellent event for people interested in learning more about how to engage with government.

U.S. Chamber Small Business Summit May 23-25, 2011 The St. Cloud area also participates with the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C. This annual event unites hundreds of business leaders from across the nation to advocate for important business issues and policies. National speakers share their insights on the federal governmental and the event culminates with visits to our Minnesota congressional leaders.

For more information and pricing for these events, please contact Sharon Henry at (320) 251-2940, extension 124, or email shenry@stcloudareachamber.com .

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011


PEOPLE to KNOW Melanie Hirsch GrandStay Residential Suites Hotels Phone: (320) 251-5400 Email: melanie.hirsch@stcloudgrandstay.net 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 survive and thrive. Programs include Executive Dialogue Groups and a variety of seminars, webinars, workshops, and certificate programs. Sam Stone St. Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Health System Phone: (320) 251-2700 E-mail: stones@centracare.com Chair: St. Cloud Area Leadership

This nine-month adult leadership program is designed to help current and emerging leaders understand the dynamics of the community and the role leadership shares in building healthy communities.

Jackie Bauer St. Cloud Technical & Community College Phone: (320) 308-5000 E-mail: jbauer@sctcc.edu

Erica Rademacher St. John’s University Phone: (320) 363-2036 Email: elrademacher@csbsju.edu Co-Chairs: Work-based Learning

WORKING WITH PEOPLE, NOT JUST NUMB3RS

Connecting businesses to schools and schools to businesses is the goal of Work-based Learning. Committee members coordinate the Chamber’s Unite For Success high school scholarship program, arrange BusinessEducation Partnerships, and organize the College to Career Connection. Jayme Woehl Array Services Group Phone: (320) 253-0800 E-mail: jayme.woehl@arraysg.com Chair: Next-St. Cloud

Designed for the “Next” generation of Central Minnesota business leaders, Next-St. Cloud members meet monthly for personal and professional development, training and networking opportunities. Chris Panek Christine R. Panek, CPA Phone: (320) 260-6491 Email: chris@panekcpa.com Top Hatters

The Top Hatters are the Chamber’s ambassadors, welcoming new members, congratulating members who have expanded or relocated, and serving as greeters and hosts at Chamber events.

MIKE WENNER, Partner, C.P.A. and SHELLEY GAETZ, C.P.A. with Jeff and Barb Larson of Guardian School Bus

“Working with Schlenner Wenner & Co. has been a long-term commitment for us. For the past 20 years, Mike, Shelley, and their team have made us feel comfortable and always put things in terms we can understand. In this complicated world, it’s nice to have a relationship that is easy.” -Barb & Jeff Larson St. Cloud 630 Roosevelt Rd. Ste. 201 P.O. Box 1496 St. Cloud, MN 56302 320.251.0286

www.swcocpas.com An Independently Owned Member, McGladrey Alliance

  M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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UPFRONT

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NETWORK

N E WS R E E L Mathew Hall wins state, national awards Mathew Hall Lumber was named the Minnesota 2011 Lumber and Building Materials Retailer of the Year by Northwestern Lumber Assoc. Criteria include being well-respected by dealers and suppliers, active in the industry, active in the community, ethical business practices, and successful business with respect to store design and yard layout. ProSales Magazine has awarded the Industry Excellence Award to Mathew Hall Lumber for their website. They were chosen because their interactive website gives their customers a sense of the deep roots that Mathew Hall has in the community, while also offering state-of-the-art technology and services.

BUSINESS CALENDAR

Can’t-miss opportunities to influence, promote, and learn March - April 2011 Visit events.StCloudAreaChamber.com for a detailed calendar.

Business After Hours – Extra!

Evening at the Capitol Meet your legislators in a comfortable, relaxed setting. Refreshments included. •• 5-7 p.m. March 15: St. Paul Hotel. Registration is $50 per person. For details call (320) 251-2940.

Schwegman

Ford

Quinlivan & Hughes announces Super Lawyers, state appointment Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A. attorneys Michael J. Ford and Steve R. Schwegman were selected “Minnesota Super Lawyers” by Thomson Reuters. Ford was selected as a Personal Injury Defense: General Super Lawyer and Schwegman was selected as a Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice Super Lawyer. Dyan J. Ebert has been appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Ebert Court to serve as the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) representative on the Civil Justice Reform Task Force. Ebert is also a member of the MSBA Assembly and currently chairs the Elections and Appointments Committee. Compiled by Chelsey Larson

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Lunchtime Learning

A combination of lunch, networking, and education. Noon – 1 p.m. at the Chamber office, 110 S 6th Ave. March 2: “Creative Financing for Businesses” •• A discussion on how to solve financing challenges without personal guarantees or extensive time in business. Sponsored by Synergy Chiropractic & Wellness Clinic. April 6: “Marketing & Sales: What’s the Difference?” •• Leave with new ways to brand yourself, your company and the products you offer. Sponsored by Liquid Assets. •• Registration required: $15 for Chamber members, $22 for the general public. Call 320-251-2940 for details.

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

The biggest Business After Hours of the year with games, prizes, food, and of course, networking! 4:30-7 p.m. April 12, 2011: Best Western Kelly Inn, 100 4th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Sponsored by Grand Casino Mille Lacs and TDS. No registration is required

Sauk Rapids Chamber

For businesses interested in doing business in Sauk Rapids. Lunch is provided by the host when you register at least two days in advance. Call 320-251-2940 for details.

11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. March 24: hosted by PineCone Vision Center at C&L Distributing, 1020 Industrial Dr. S, Sauk Rapids

49th Annual Winter Economic Institute

This Business & Economic Leadership Summit features forecasts from three world-renowned economists on the changing face of the workforce. Luncheon speaker Chris Farrell, Minnesota Public Radio; and a panel of local business leaders who will share their creative solutions to workforce challenges.

March 3: Sessions run all day. prices vary depending on

the programs and meals you attend. For details, visit www. stcloudstate.edu/winterinstitute. Sponsored by the St. Cloud Area Chamber, St. Cloud State University, the Initiative Foundation, and Times Media. All events are at the SCSU campus.

Business After Hours A complimentary open house for Chamber members and guests. Bring lots of business cards and prepare to grow your network! 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. •• April 28: Waite Park Chamber After Hours at LaCasita, 314 Division St., Waite Park, open to all Chamber members


–Craig Shiffler, Melrose Bowl

POINT OF View

Craig Schiffler, owner of Melrose Bowl, needed more space due to the popularity of his $5.00 lunch special. Central Minnesota Credit Union assisted by financing the expansion. “Everything went smoothly—there were no glitches”, said Schiffler.

Business Central asked readers: “How do you stay informed?”

Greg Engdahl City of St. Cloud

Kyle Seamans Brenny Transportation, Inc.

Kelly Walz Bernick’s Beverages & Vending

Tim Magnuson Servicemaster Professional Services

Angela Alwin Gray Plant Mooty Mooty & Bennett, P.A.

“My homepage is set to MSN, and I read the St. Cloud Times and the Star Tribune daily.”

After adding Schif’s Bar and Grill, Craig has seen a significant increase in business during lunch as well as dinner.

Craig Schiffler with Dennis Waldvogel of CMCU

Talk to one of our business experts about your ideas today!

“I read and watch CNN for most news. My homepage is set to Google if I need to find something fast.” “Yahoo is my homepage and I read the St. Cloud Times online. Of course, I read Business Central Magazine!” “It’s WCCO for news and weather. I listen to KFAN and read Time Magazine.” “I read Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal, Twin Cities Business, and a lot of blogs. I also use Twitter and LinkedIn – to hear about job changes and other updates.”

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UPFRONT

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NETWORK

REGIONAL ROUNDUP

Businessto-Business

PEOPLE to KNOW

Waite Park Chamber Planning Committee Julie Forsberg

Forsberg Investments & Insurance, LLC

Waite Park Chamber Chair (320) 230-8300 julie@forsberginvestmentsandinsurance.com

The Waite Park Chamber meetings offer participants a variety of ways to network and build their businesses.

Della Ludwig Schlenner Wenner & Co.

Waite Park Chamber Vice Chair (320) 251-0286 dludwig@swcocpas.com Sheri Moran Spirit 92.9

It was hat day at the Waite Park Chamber meeting in October, hosted by Bremer. From Left: Brian Jarl, Stearns Insurance Services; Allen Faber, Great River Federal Credit Union; Tim Schmidt, Rejuv Medical.

Andrea Lodermeier Minnwest Bank M.V.

Special Events Chair (320) 251-1780 sheri@spirit929.com

Special Events Vice Chair (320) 529-4801 andreal@minnwestbankgroup.com

Tim Schmidt

Brian Jarl

Rejuv Medical

Stearns Insurance Services

Greeter (320) 217-8480 tim@rejuvmedical.com

Greeter (320) 253-3525 brianj@stearnsinsurance.com

Cyndi Prather Member at Large (320) 251-2235 dencyn@clearwire.net

Dara Westra, Performance Design Training Center

Jeff Manthe, Compound Profit

Waite Park Chamber Meeting Schedule March 16

Host: Minnesota School of Business Location: on-site, 1201 2nd St. S, Waite Park Program: Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner addresses “Gangs in Central Minnesota”

April 20

Program: Granite City Gearheads talk about District 742’s Robotics Program

April 28 At the September Waite Park Chamber meeting, FBI Special Agent Sean Boylan discussed how citizens can participate in homeland security.

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State Rep. Steve Gottwalt (L), Coborn’s Inc., and John Herges, Falcon National Bank, exchange information during a networking activity.

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

Waite Park Chamber After Hours Host: LaCasita, 314 Division St., Waite Park Time: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. A complimentary networking event open to all Chamber members and guests. No registration required.


TOP HATS | New Locations, New Ownerships & Expansions

We’ll make sure your meeting hits the jackpot. Meshbesher & Spence, Ltd., law firm, 111 Waite Ave. N, Waite Park. Pictured: Tauna Quimby, Jeff Oistad, Tina Mork, Jen Bauer and Bob Lien.

McKay’s Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/ Mitsubishi, 2020 Division St., Waite Park. Pictured: Diane Ohmann, Travis Benoit and Bob Lien.

TOP HATS |

Custom Accents, promotions, apparel, advertising, screen printing and embroidery, 734 1st St. S, Waite Park. Pictured: Tauna Quimby, Beth Putz, Kris Nelson, Amanda Holthaus and Diane Ohmann.

Let us make your next meeting, banquet, or special event truly memorable. With two spacious casino hotels, 24-hour gaming action and award-winning dining, we offer the perfect setting for your guests. Grand Casino Mille Lacs Events & Convention Center

Grand Casino Hinckley Events & Convention Center

For more details, call 800-626-5825, ext. 8515

For more details, call 877-447-2631

Luther Honda of St. Cloud, 1805 Highway 23 E, St. Cloud. Pictured: Dolora Musech, Carlos Garcia and Owen Peterson. grandcasinomn.com

New Members

Central Minnesota Wedding Association, PO Box 55, Delano. Pictured: Shannon Templin, Adam Welz and Jayne Greeney Schill.

McCann’s Food & Brew, 3320 3rd St. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Shannon Templin, Matt Indieke and Dolora Musech.

Cru Wine On Line, a subscription driven, web-based, wine entertainment company, 824 W Saint Germain St., St. Cloud. Pictured: Jill Magelssen, J. C. Turner, Andy Barth, Nick Barth and Dolora Musech.

Customized Banking Solutions. Employee Owned. We get the job done! Stearns Bank was established in 1912, under current ownership of Norm Skalicky since 1964. We are a local, employee-owned bank with more than $1.3 billion in assets. We are proud to support the commuities we serve through contributions made by the Norman C. Skalicky Foundation.

Great Steps Orthotic & Prosthetic Solutions, 154 19th St. S, Sartell. Pictured: Bob Lien, John Held and Dolora Musech.

TOP HATS | No photos Lyon Contracting & Development, Inc., design/build, general contracting, construction management, 3601 18th St. S, Suite 103, St. Cloud. Twin Pines Catering, catering, wedding banquets, reunions, family gatherings, PO Box 602, Albany.

Rejuv Medical, 210 3rd St N, Waite Park. Pictured: Bob Lien, Dr. Joel Baumgartner, Tim Schmidt, J. R. Burgess and Kris Hellickson.

Fair Hills Resort & Wildflower Golf Course, 24270 County Highway 20, Detroit Lakes.

4191 2nd St S St. Cloud, MN (320) 253-6607

www.stearnsbank.com

Member FDIC.

M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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UPFRONT

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Leadership Education Day Superintendent Panel: Bruce Watkins, St. Cloud, (L), Bruce Novak, Cambridge, and Dan Bittman, Sauk Rapids U

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N E T WO R K

NEXT- St. Cloud offers skills and networking to the NEXT generation of business leaders.

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Amanda Henry High Impact Training (L) and Eric Reisinger, U.S. Bank participate in a roundtable discussion.

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Kim Noetzel, Charter Communications (L); Melissa Scapanski, MediBill Professionals and Autumn Gould, formerly Pennington Lies & Cherne, discuss servant leadership.

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

Melanie Hartman, High Impact Training, provides training on servant leadership for NEXT-St. Cloud.


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Kerry Peterson, Premier Real Estate (L) and Frank Imholte, Black Diamond Auctions

Melanie Hirsch, GrandStay Residential Suites

Lee Meyer, Vision Ease (L); Renae Sternke, Catholic Charities; Christine Tollefson, Tully Tube Network

Steven Ehni, Saint Augusta Bank Office - State Bank of Kimball (L); Jason Hallonquist, AIS Planning; Jay Johnston and Chris Schuver, American Heritage National Bank

Larry Logeman, Executive Express and Ann Feldhege, ETC Enterprises

Shannon Templin, Minnesota School of Business, volunteer Chamber Top Hatter

Rod Lindquist, GrandStay Residential Suites

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RESOURCES THAT HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW

WORKING WELL

Falling on Deaf Ears

For those employed in hazardous noise work environments, hearing problems can present themselves slowly and may even go unnoticed for a period of time.

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y age 25, the average carpenter has the same hearing as someone who is 50 years old. Hearing loss most often strikes in workplaces such as manufacturing, transportation, public utilities, and public administration. Unfortunately, most employees don’t ‘tune in’ to this message until it is too late. Hearing loss is preventable and ears are not replaceable. For the average person, hearing loss does not begin until age 60, according to

the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The Institute judges hazardous noise levels in two ways: •• First, if you have to raise your voice to talk to someone who is an arm’s length away •• Second, if your ears are ringing or sounds seem dull or flat after leaving a noisy place Prevention measures can and should be taken. Earplugs are distributed by many employers to safeguard their employees’ hearing. But some employees

DID you KNOW?

The allowable amount of noise exposure is a level of 90dB (decibel) for 8 hours. 

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leave their ears unprotected due to lack of knowledge or concern about hearing issues. For instance, some fear that using earplugs will cause an infection or that they can get lost in the ear. Both are false. The path from the opening of the ear canal to the eardrum is curved, not straight as many people believe. Consider it nature’s way of protecting the eardrum from poking objects. Warning sounds are loud enough to surpass many ear protectors. There are hearing protectors that can provide flat attenuation, so everything is quieter but still audible. There are also noise-activated hearing protectors that allow normal sounds to pass through the ear and activate when the noise reaches hazardous levels. The amount or dose of exposure to noise is calculated using 8 hour shifts for a total of 40-hours in one week. The allowable amount of noise exposure is a level of 90dB (decibel) for 8 hours.  Hearing conservation programs should begin at 85 dBs. Have your hearing checked regularly by a trained professional and take prevention measures. If you already have hearing loss, it’s important to protect the hearing that you have left. Loud noises can further damage your hearing, making it even more difficult to communicate with coworkers, family and friends. Heed the warning the first time, or you may be asking others to repeat themselves for the rest of your life. Compiled by Jill Copeland


CORPORATE EDUCATION & OUTREACH the training you need for the job you do. Soft Skills • Hard Skills • Technical Skills Workshops • Seminars • Conference Planning Topics developed to specifically fit your needs SOUND CHECK

The estimated decibel (dB) of common workplace environments:

Contact Gail or Tammy today!

102-111 dB Jackhammer

101 dB

88-102 dB

99-102 dB

84-93 dB

93-96 dB

80 dB

90-96 dB

70 dB

Stud welder Concrete joint cutter Bulldozer Crane

Skilsaw

Backhoe

Garbage disposal Vacuum cleaner

Check LIST

Hard of hearing? The Hearing Loss Association of America offers the following questions to those who think they may have hearing loss. If you answer yes to three or more questions, you may have a hearing problem. YES NO

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Do you need to turn up the volume on the television?

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Do you frequently have to ask others to repeat themselves?

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Do you have difficulty understanding what is said when in groups or in noisy situations?

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Do you have to sit up front in meetings or in church in order to understand?

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Do you have difficulty hearing higher pitches, such as women or children?

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Do you have trouble knowing where sounds are coming from?

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Are you able to understand when someone talks to you from another room?

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Have others told you that you don’t seem to be listening?

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Do you avoid social situations because you cannot understand what is said?

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Do you have ringing or other noises in your ears?

Tammy Anhalt-Warner

Gail Ruhland

tammy@scsutraining.com 320.308.4252

gail@scsutraining.com 320.308.5759

www.scsutraining.com

CEO

Corporate Education & Outreach

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BUSINESS TOOLS

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G R OW

TECH STRATEGIES

Ready…Set…Action!

Behind any successful marketing move is a plan, and social media is no exception. By Dawn Zimmerman

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hen social media started boasting some significant opportunities for businesses, many dove in without a tactical response. The availability and perceived no cost of social media makes it easy to forego the traditional planning and decision making processes. But behind any successful marketing move is a plan. In its simplest form, a social media action plan should answer why your organization is using social media, what you want to accomplish through it and what needs to happen to achieve that. Here are five common mistakes and ways you can avoid them when creating a social media action plan for your business: Not specific enough. The social media planning process in businesses often is limited to choosing a tool – likely because ‘everyone else is doing it’- and starting to

use it. Then, they find that the details matter. Organizations can jumpstart a plan by first identifying: • Focus: Why are you using it? • Goals: How will this tool help achieve your business goals? • Audience: Who do you hope to reach? • Content: What are the key messages and the focus of the content? • Usage guidelines: What are the specific steps you take to effectively use the tool? Then, dig in deeper by outlining: • Promotions: What are some possible opportunities? • Integration: How does this fit into your broader marketing strategy? • Metrics: How will you know you are reaching your goals? • Accountability: Who’s responsible for carrying out the plan?

About the writer Dawn Zimmerman is owner of The Write Advantage in St. Cloud and a regular contributor to Business Central.

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Too many tools, not enough time. Organizations try to tackle too many tools at once and soon find that they cannot effectively manage them all. This is why focus is essential. Whether its LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, organizations that set a strategy for using one tool often see more significant benefits from social media than those that embrace several tools all at once. Failure to use best practices or provide clear direction on usage. Social media is a new tool and few organizations find someone in their organization who knows how to use it for business. Employees need a roadmap. Leaders need to set clear expectations on usage and outline best practices already established in the marketplace. A lack of accountability. This is one of the main reasons social media efforts lose steam. Successful implementation requires someone to take the lead and be responsible for results outlined in the plan. This person does not need to do every action step, but should provide regular updates and reports to the leadership team on activity and results. Failure to monitor, measure and make changes. Social media requires attention. It is not like other marketing tools that can be created and not updated for extended periods of time. Monitoring activity and leverage the metrics social media tools like Facebook offer can help organizations see their progress and more importantly, adapt to ensure it continues to provide value for the business. A social media action plan does not need to be formal. But it does need to be executable. Take some time to set a strategy and outline the details. Not only will you more effectively leverage social media, you’ll see how it is – and is not – helping you achieve results. BC


Collect as you go

By THE NUMBERS

For many, the Web isn’t a place to look for information, it’s the only place.

75

the percent of owners of small and medium-sized businesses that use search engines to find suppliers

Over the long term, there will be continuing demand from the health care sector for new or remodeled properties as the percentage of Americans over age 65 continues to grow, increasing demand for medical care. Source: Plunkett Research Ltd.

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the percent of those same people who click through to a company’s website after finding it online

The Trusted Leader in Commercial Real Estate Since 1971

13

the percent of small and medium-sized business owners who turn to video sites like YouTube when searching for how-to information

the percent of small business owners who have a blog

COMING MAY 2011

Trailblazers: Young Professionals

Each profile will showcase one of the top young professionals in Central Minnesota. A Full Service Company including Business Brokerage Serving Central MN & the Twin Cities

630 First Street South • Waite Park, MN 56387 • (320) 251-1177 • www.cbcorion.com

SPECIaL FOCUS

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PROFIT

Trailblazer:

Isaac Flenner

Who am I?

Commercial Lender • Stearns Bank

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saac Flenner knows a little something about being affiliated with strong organizations. He attended college at St. John’s University in Collegeville and played football under the school’s legendary coach. “Playing at St. John’s – and for John Gagliardi – was a great experience,” says Isaac. “During my time at school and on the team, I really learned what it was like to be part of a community.” Now, as a commercial lender with one of the most well-known local banks, he gets to experience that sense of community every day. Isaac joined Stearns Bank five years ago and says he’s fortunate to work for such a strong institution led by Norm Skalicky. Stearns Bank has earned national recognition for being a top performer in the banking industry. While it’s impressive both in asset size and reputation, it still operates like a small-town, local bank. “When clients call to reach me, they use my direct phone number,” Isaac says. “If

Much is written about young professionals, but who are they exactly, and what do they want? BY JILL COPELAND

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aleb is a 31 year old accountant. Caleb is a “young professional” who stimulates the local economy as he lives here, works here, spends here, socializes here, and grows here. He is eager to support the community, but feels underutilized. Businesses, schools and organizations are trying to learn about Caleb and his peers in order to attract and retain this younger demographic. A young professional is typically a graduate of a professional school serving in a professional, white-collar career. This is the definition used by Ryan Kohnen, author of Young Professional’s Guide to Success. He says they are strongly attached to technology and media, and can be energetic with a strong desire to shape communities and politics. Raleigh-based Fountainworks recently organized a focus group for the city to understand what young professionals value in terms of amenities, and to help businesses market themselves to this demographic. The focus areas were:



   

•• Earning/Employment: Many young professionals move where higher-earning opportunities are available.

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•• Social Capital/Diversity: Young professionals want to feel comfortable and connected. •• Around Town: Is public transportation available? Are there traffic issues? •• Cost of Living: Is housing available that matches salary levels? •• Vitality/Recreation: Not only are amenities available, but do those who live and work in the city know about them? •• After Hours: Examples are coffee houses, sports bars, ethnic restaurants and dance clubs. Walkability is important. •• Housing: Young professionals frequently want to live near schools because they are interested in continuing education or have started families.

The study found a pronounced need for young professionals to connect with each other, often through social media and other community networks. Employers can provide employees an opportunity to get involved in community organizations and connect with peers inside and outside of the office. The focus group also found young professionals embrace cultural diversity and support diverse restaurants, diverse retailers and farmers’ markets. Big hits with young

professionals are gyms, coffee shops and internet cafes, kid-friendly establishments such as community centers, and after-hours outdoor music. Young professionals soak up most of their information online. This generation is more likely to use expanded business hours and make store purchases during off-peak hours, probably because they are used to the freedom of purchasing items online anytime. Many of today’s young professionals have an entrepreneurial spirit and would benefit from start-up business assistance. They have a strong willingness to give back by serving on a board of directors or commission, or helping boost a campaign. Businesses can benefit from young professional traffic by keeping these characteristics in mind when selling products and services. Engage and use the next generation by encouraging leadership and continual learning, remembering Caleb and his desire to contribute. BC Jill Copeland is the Communication & Workforce Development Coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

NEXT-St. Cloud is a networking and professional development group serving Central Minnesota’s next generation of business leaders. Group members benefit from a year of peer dialogues, networking, promotional opportunities, and professional development, and are the first to hear insider news and information. This is your chance to meet like-minded individuals working to advance their careers. Join a group of highly motivated businesspeople and start building your connections today! Contact Jill Copeland at jcopeland@StCloudAreaChamber.com

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Photo by Joel Butkowski, BDI

Source: Entrepreneur.com

Bright Spot

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HOUSING DEMAND

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B u s i n e ss C e n t ra l M a g a z i n e • • M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 0

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4/10/10 2:36 PM

I’m not in, they’re directed to a live person who will help them. These things are important and necessary when you’re working on building relationships and helping clients do business.” Additionally, Stearns Bank’s financial strength enables it to make loans that perhaps some other institutions would be unable to make. For Isaac, having the resources to help more borrowers is one aspect of his job he finds especially gratifying. For a self-described “outgoing guy,” Isaac has a career that fits him well. “I get to spend time learning about my clients and helping them achieve the goals of their business,” he says. “Building and nurturing these relationships is my primary focus. When you have good relationships with people, and they know you’re committed to meeting their needs, they pay the ultimate compliment and refer their friends and colleagues to you. It’s a rewarding process.” — Kara Tomazin

M A Y / J U N E 2 0 1 0 • • w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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Act fast, limited space available. Deadline is March 21st.

For more information, please contact Wendy Hendricks at 320-656-3808 or at whendricks@StCloudAreaChamber.com

www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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BUSINESS TOOLS

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G R OW

Management TOOLKIT

Make ‘em Laugh

Creating a humor-friendly workplace can result in decreased absenteeism and increased morale.

By Tracy Knofla

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f asked to describe today’s workplace in one word, most people would say BUSY. Just look around and you’ll see people checking their overflowing e-mail, attending meeting after meeting, and trying to complete a jam-packed to-do list. What you might not see them doing much is laughing. However, laughter is as essential to any business environment as a fast computer or properly working machinery. The benefits of laughter to the human body are well documented. When the body laughs, your circulation increases, your respiratory system gets more oxygen, and you release hormones and antibodies that help keep the body healthy. Laughing is really good for you.

Laughter is also good for the environment in your workplace. When employees are encouraged to incorporate humor and laughter in their work life they experience important physical benefits, which can decrease sick days (and mental health days!) and reduce stress. A workplace that promotes the use of humor will see an increase in camaraderie among employees. They will be more at ease with each other, better able to communicate effectively with one another, and more willing to take risks. Laughter and fun in the workplace opens doors to greater understanding among people. When your workplace commits to humor and laughter you must also create “social norms” for the type of humor that will be encouraged. As we know,

not everyone finds the same thing funny. Employees should be sensitive to the reactions of others and should be able to honestly challenge jokes or cartoons that are not in keeping with agreed upon standards. At no time should the humor be directed with malicious intent at coworkers or customers or contain racist, sexist, sarcastic, or other demeaning elements. The best way to have laughter in your workplace is to allow those folks that are naturally funny and fun-loving to be themselves. Some workplaces frown on fun and laughter. They give subtle or overt messages to enthusiastic employees that they are a distraction and not a valued addition. Allow those employees who love to laugh and are barrels of fun to help create a healthy and productive work environment. You will all be better for it! BC

Laugh Track

Ways to encourage humor in the workplace include: •• Starting out meetings with jokes or humorous situations that occurred during the past week •• Devoting time to talk about funny work situations •• Organizing office Olympics or other fun activities during lunch or break times •• Creating a special file or bulletin board for new and funny cartoons

About the writer Tracy Knofla is the co-owner and featured consultant of High Impact Training. She has been presenting to audiences across the country for more than 25 years.

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Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011


GOING GREEN

25 billion the number of cartons manufactured in the U.S. that are used just once

55% Source: PlanetGreen.com

the amount of water saved by producing recycled paper as compared to virgin paper

120 tons

the amount of steel that would be saved if every office worker in the United Kingdom used one less staple per day

©2010 LarsonAllen LLP

If you think it, your phone can record it

4 apps that will keep you on the fast track. 1 Never lose another

great idea with Evernote. This app captures your best ideas before they slip your mind and documents them as text, photos, or audio recordings, all while auto-synchronizing the content to the desktop. 2 Prefer to talk it out? Try Vlingo’s voice interface technology.

3 If you need a task

master, try InerTrak which not only tracks how you spend your day, but will calculate hourly client billings as well. 4 Not so important in

Central Minn., but cool all the same, Taxi Magic connects you directly with local cab dispatch systems. With just a few taps you can request a cab (no call necessary), track its arrival, and charge it to your credit card.

• Knowing, not guessing • People who care deeply about regulations and rules • Local talent with national resources We have an annoyingly thorough understanding of tax, but we know when to share it.

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Find out how Marco has helped other organizations apply technology to improve how they do business. Read their stories at www.marconet.com/ListenLouder

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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BUSINESS TOOLS

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G R OW

ECONOMIC REVIEW

Knowledge Economy

E

very region dreams of hosting its own Silicon Valley. Areas based on knowledge economies have various names: technopoles (growth centers based on technology and innovation), innovative milieu, or science parks. These areas acquire and generate knowledge to improve or create goods and services. Most importantly, these regions disseminate their discoveries worldwide. Successful knowledge economies create well-paying jobs and increase the local standard of living. Association with an established technopole brings worldwide prestige to a firm.

What essential elements make up a technopole? A knowledge economy requires first, an industrial culture that promotes collective learning for all, regardless of industry. It benefits from the Co-opetition concepts of Barry Nalebuff and Adam Brandenburger: Cooperate to create knowledge, but compete for market share. In conjunction with the collective learning and discovery, creative forgetting of outdated methods allows technical change to proceed. “That’s the way it always has been done so that’s how we will continue to do it” stymies growth and creates economic stagnation. Finally,

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the industrial culture must tolerate risk, rewarding those who try, but have to learn from their mistakes, as well as those who succeed. Without such an industrial culture, an innovative milieu will fail. The cornerstone of knowledge economies combines proximity to 1 high-tech industries, 2 research universities, and 3 public or private research centers. Along with this “Golden Triangle” is access to educated labor. Cities grow more quickly if the area firms hire skilled workers who, because of their training, can easily acquire and advance production techniques. Star scientists hired by the university or research centers act like antennae. Not only do they collaborate in producing basic research, they are active within their own international scientific communities, returning home with the latest ideas from researchers worldwide. Finally, a knowledge economy needs amenities and high quality schools. Not only will these attract researchers and their families, good schools prepare the future workforce, and the amenities stem a potential brain drain. Informal activities create social capital that facilitates information flows between scientists and creative professionals in various disciplines and industries.

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

How does St. Cloud compare? Researchers at Indiana University created an index to measure the innovation potential of any county or groups of counties in the nation. The Innovation Index for the U.S. is standardized at 100. The 2011 figures set Minnesota at 103.7; Benton County, 81.7 and Stearns County, 84.7. These figures are down from the 2010 index of 108.6, 87.7, and 84.9 respectively. It’s possible that Benton and Stearns Counties rank below Minnesota’s index primarily because of the lack of a local research university, but there is more to it. The three counties consistently at the top of Minnesota’s index were Hennepin (120.7), Carver (118.3), and Ramsey (108.1). The three Minnesota counties with the lowest innovation potential according to this index are Traverse and Kanabec (70.8), and Watonwan (70.3). Although Stearns and Benton Counties provide a more dynamic environment for innovation than these rural counties, the St. Cloud area is not what one could consider a strong local technopole.

Figure 1 shows the 2001 Innovation Index for the counties which host the six four-year Minn. state universities. Stearns is second only to Winona’s index of 92.8, and pretty much even with Blue Earth (83.2) MSU-Mankato. What will it take for Stearns County to be more of a player in the knowledge economy? We explore that topic next time. BC Mary E. Edwards, Ph.D., is a professor of economics at St. Cloud State University.

Source: Innovation in American Regions. http://www.statsamerica.org/pre/innovation2/index.html.

Successful knowledge economies create well-paying jobs and increase the local standard of living. By Mary E. Edwards, Ph.D


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Eternal

Optimist During his 36 year tenure at St. Cloud Industrial Products, Don Schiffler has honed many skills, not the least of which is to glory in the strengths of others By Gail Iv ers // P h otos by Jo el B utko w s ki

Just off Clearwater Road sits one of St. Cloud’s best-kept business secrets.

S

ituated in a small commercial development in an unassuming building is the headquarters for St. Cloud Industrial Products, Inc. (SCIPI). You won’t notice it if you drive by – the sign says North Central Truck Equipment. You won’t notice it if you step inside – the front office is a retail store for truck accessories. You may not even notice it if you receive a tour – the garage hums with the activity of truck, bus and hydraulic lift repair. But sit down for a cup of coffee with the leadership team and you begin to realize that this is no ordinary truck equipment company. Or parts company. Or hydraulic repair company.

SCIPI is unique. In 1974 SCIPI (pronounced skippy) was a very different company. Don Schiffler was an assistant project engineer at Electric Machinery & Turbodyne (Brown-Boveri) in St. Cloud. He wanted out. He didn’t like the corporate structure and the way the company treated people. “Everyone was a number,” Don said. “I wanted to get into a small business. My father said it was a foolish mistake, but I did it anyway.” The eleventh employee to join the company, he no more than walked in the door when one of the owners, Irv Lund, decided to retire. Don and the remaining partner, Ken Gross, read an article in a trade magazine about a little-used finance tool that could be employed to buy out an existing owner. It was called an Employee Stock Ownership Plan


>>>> business profile

St. Cloud Industrial Products Inc. 2629 Clearwater Road PO Box 1084 St. Cloud, MN 56302-1084 Phone: (320) 251-7252 Fax: (320) 252-3561 info@northcentralinc.com www.northcentralinc.com Business Description: Sales and service of school and commercial buses, light/medium-duty truck equipment, and mobility/special needs equipment; school bus private operator; sales and manufacturer of granite products, including cemetery, lawn ornaments, and granite countertops; automotive parts, accessories, and shop supplies. Ownership: 79% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP); 21% divided between Jim Schiffler and Mike Braulick Leadership: President Jim Schiffler, Vice President Mike Braulick, recently retired CEO Don Schiffler Number of employees: 156 Divisions: Monumental Sales, Inc.; North Central Bus Sales, Truck Equipment & Mobility; Sunburst Transit; Parts Midwest, Inc. 2010 sales: $40 million

  M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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(ESOP). The two went about establishing Minnesota’s first ESOP, not because they thought it was good for the employees, Don said, but because “we thought it made good economic sense. It was basically a tax deductible way of selling a company and buying out an existing owner.” Today, Don is an evangelist for the ESOP. It permeates the corporate culture and helps drive decisions. “I look at SCIPI as a vehicle to get a lot of people to a lot of places that they couldn’t get to otherwise,” Don said. “We’re not a one-business company. We’re more like a mutual fund. This way we’re not dependent on just one industry to succeed. That’s important because for most of our employees the ESOP is a large part of their retirement.”

I

Diversification n 1959 when Ken Gross and Earl Buttweiler started Earl’s Welding Supply, it didn’t take them long to expand their holdings. Within two years they bought the Blue Bird Bus Co. By the time the ESOP was established, these two companies were still the foundation of the company. Then Don Schiffler joined the team. “We realized the importance of diversifying SCIPI,”

If people believe in our culture, work hard, and are patient, we’ll tap them on the shoulder —Mike Braulick, Vice President, SCIPI for a leadership role.

he said. They changed Earl’s Welding Supply to Earl’s Welding & Industrial Supply and added industrial lines to their product mix. In 1977 Don drew on his knowledge of the turbine industry and created the TANI Division. The division manufactured removable industrial blanketing for turbines and the power industry. Boosted by new OSHA laws, the industrial blanket sales quickly expanded beyond the U.S. to places like Trinidad, Mexico and Taiwan. “TANI is close to my heart,” Don says. “It was the first company I gave birth to. It was under the SCIPI umbrella and it evolved and changed – which is good. I’ve dabbled in a lot of things, but TANI will always be special.” In 1984 Don found a good home for TANI when he sold the business to his brother, Bryan, in Albany. “It’s much bigger now,” according to Don, “and an international company with 15 employees.”

TANI was followed by Northwest Industrial Services. Not one to overlook opportunity, Don learned about a new piece of technology that involved high pressure water blasting. “I partnered with a guy in Chicago to use the technology to develop a piece of equipment that could be used to clean up mineral deposits inside boilers. Very useful in power plants and refineries,” he said. The company did well immediately, filling a niche with no initial competition. This company Don sold to his brother, Loren. “That business still exists, too” Don said. “They do business in five states and it continues to be successful.” North Central Truck Accessories in St. Joseph was originally a SCIPI company. From about 1960 to 1990, pickup truck rear bumpers were an option, Don said. Already in the industrial supply business it wasn’t a big leap to add truck accessories

It’s all about hydraulics

David Salzer repairs a lift for a bus client. SCIPI’s many business products include service and repair of commercial buses and mobility aids, such as the lift.

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Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

How does a bus company become the largest seller of snowplows in Central Minnesota? Hydraulics. St. Cloud Industrial Products, Inc. (SCIPI) has always been an eclectic business. Starting out as a welding supply company that bought a bus company, SCIPI has moved in and out of a variety of businesses as opportunities present themselves. In some cases those opportunities are part of a natural evolution. Experience in school bus sales made the move into commercial bus sales a logical step. These are small commercial buses often used by companies and

organizations to transport clients and residents around town. As bus use evolved, more and more of them required hydraulic lifts to service their customers. Since sales and service go handin-hand, SCIPI’s repair team became adept at maintaining the hydraulic lifts. “Mobility is an important part of our business,” according to Don Schiffler, who recently retired as CEO of SCIPI. “We sell and service lifts and accessories to help people become more mobile so we know how to work with hydraulics. People started bringing in their snowplows to be repaired and serviced. If we’re going to service them, we might as well sell them.”


>>>> TIMELINE

and start distributing pickup bumpers. “We were the largest distributor of bumpers and bed-liners in the country at one time,” Don said. How does an unassuming company in St. Cloud, Minn. reach such a milestone? “We’re pretty good marketers,” he said modestly. “We started early. We nurtured the market. We had good penetration.” In 1992 they became the Ford Motorcraft parts and accessories distributor in Minnesota. Though a good business move, it eventually required a realignment of their business holdings. Previously Ford had not been in the accessories business. As the market grew, Ford moved into it. When SCIPI became a distributor for them, Ford said “Either you’re our partner or you’re our competitor,” according to Don. He chose to be a partner. In 1999 SCIPI created a new ESOP for North Central Truck Accessories, selling the company to the employees.

I Photos courtesy of St. Cloud Industrial Products

Something Significant n 1990 Don saw a win-win opportunity. A local granite company was going out of business. Don’s brother, Jim, was looking for a new opportunity. Don took Jim to lunch and suggested this was just what Jim needed. Jim didn’t see it that way. “He said ‘How about getting involved in a monument company?’” Jim Schiffler recalled. “I said, what’s a monument company? He said, ‘Tombstones.’ I said no thanks.” Don let it rest for awhile, but he hadn’t given up. “That monument company was our first endeavor to do something significant,” Don said. “We were looking for a business to buy to diversify what we were doing. They were going to liquidate that business and those people were going to be unemployed.” He called Jim again. “Don calls me, after I said no, and tells me that if SCIPI doesn’t buy that company it’s going to die and 20 good people will lose their jobs,” Jim said. “That was 1990. Today we have 60 employees.” Rebuilding was complicated. The company was held in a trust, the buildings

1958 Earl Buttweiler and Ken Gross kick in $500 each to start Earl’s Welding Supply in Earl’s basement. 1959 St. Cloud Industrial Products, Inc. (SCIPI) is incorporated 1960 SCIPI forms North Central Coach Co. to distribute Blue Bird school buses 1974 Don Schiffler joins SCIPI as controller; he is the 11th employee and the company has about $1 million in sales 1975 The first Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in Minnesota is established to finance the buy-out of Irv Lund’s SCIPI stock following his retirement 1977 The TANI (Temperature/Air/ Noise/Industrial equipment) Division is created to design, manufacture and distribute industrial blanket systems for gas and steam turbines 1978 Founder Ken Gross dies unexpectedly. His stock is purchased

Top Photo: Earl’s, 1969 Above: SCIPI 1980 Left: Don Schiffler. and Pat Buttweiler in 1978

by Don Schiffler, Dave Gross, Pat Buttweiler, and Al Illies. Don Schiffler, age 32, is appointed president. 1984 TANI Division is sold to Bryan Schiffler in Albany; Mike Braulick is promoted to parts/ shop manager to lead the development of North Central Truck Equipment 1990 SCIPI purchases Monumental Sales, Inc. for $686,000; Jim Schiffler joins the company as general manager of Monumental Sales 1991 1995 SCIPI purchases Mount Hope Monument in Lansing, MI 1992 SCIPI acquires Parts Midwest, Inc. a Ford Motorcraft Distributor in Minneapolis

acquires Kunz Oil; Threadfast Fasteners, Inc.; and Winona Monument, Inc., 1996 Don Schiffler’s remaining partner retires; ownership shifts to 75% ESOP, 25% Schiffler 1997 SCIPI purchases DeRienzo Monument 1998 Threadfast Fasteners is sold to Northern States Supply 1999 North Central Truck Accessories is sold to the employees; SCIPI acquires MichelichJones Monument Co. & Granite Manufacturer 2000 Earl’s Welding/ Industrial Supply is sold to Oxygen Service Inc. of St. Paul 2002 North Central Mobility Group is established as a separate business

2005 Jim Schiffler becomes president of SCIPI; the company acquires Peninsula Granite in Ironwood, MI 2006 SCIPI opens a new operations facility in Minneapolis 2007 SCIPI acquires Watertown Monument Works, including ten retail stores. Monumental Sales now has 13 retail stores, 250 independent dealers, and services seven states. 2008 Sunburst Transit, LLC, starts; their first contract is for student transportation with the St. Paul, Minn. schools December 31, 2010 Don Schiffler sells the last of his SCIPI stock; the company has $40 million in sales and 156 employees.

2003 Granite Kitchen & Bath/Countertop Manufacturing is established as a separate business

Monumental Sales, 1990

1993 1995 - SCIPI

2004 SCIPI acquires Grande American Bus Sales of Anoka

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>>>> PERSONAL PROFILES

Jim Schiffler,

Mike Braulick,

Don Schiffler,

Hometown: Albany, MN

Hometown: Sleepy Eye, MN

Hometown: Albany, MN

Education: Bachelor’s degree in management with a minor in traffic safety from St. Cloud State University.

Education: Alexandria Technical College

Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics and management from St. Cloud State University

President Age: 51

Work History:   Eagle F/B Truck Lines, Salt Lake City, UT; Mountain States Trailer, Salt Lake City; Business Records Corp., St. Cloud Family: Carrie, wife of 30 years; Simon 26, Eric 23, Marina 20,  Hobbies: Family, bicycle riding, basketball, travel  Advice to a wouldbe entrepreneur: You have to be selling your ideas, philosophies and products continuously.  Best advice you’ve received: From my mother: You are no better than anyone else, which means you have to work harder than everyone else.  

Vice President Age: 54

Work History: Burlington Northern Railroad 1 year, SCIPI 33 years Family: Married to my wife Brenda for 34 years; one son, Justin and his wife Candace; daughter Jessica, and two beautiful grandchildren, Ava and Jackson Hobbies: Spending time at the lake, fishing, motorcycling, and quality time with the grandchildren Advice to a would-be entrepreneur: Patience, persistence and perspiration are unbeatable combinations for success. Provide meaningful learning and growth opportunities for employees. Best advice you’ve received: My mom said if you can’t say anything nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.

>>>> FUN FACT

Don and Jim Schiffler’s father was a farm equipment dealer in Albany, Minn. He had seven boys and one girl, all of whom have been independent business owners at one time. 32

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

CEO, retired Age: 65

Work History: Turbodyne 1970 -1974, St. Cloud Industrial Products 1974 – present Family: Wife, Patti; four daughters Nicole, Kate, Kerri, Corinna, and four grandchildren Hobbies: Gardening, golf, travel, seasonal activities Advice to a would-be entrepreneur: Believe in yourself. Best advice you’ve received: “Have a lively intellectual curiosity about everything, because everything is related to everything else.” Harlan Cleveland, American diplomat, educator and author. Greatest Business Challenge: Managing our ESOP and growing our business simultaneously. Something you should know about me: I’m a volunteer with the Service Corps of Retired Executives, known as SCORE.

went back to 1917 and were falling apart, the customer base was slim at best. At one point Jim was looking for new dealers to carry their product. He asked one why the dealer didn’t come up and take a look at the operation. The dealer told him, “I was there a week ago and I thought it was abandoned.” The employees at the monument company assumed SCIPI would liquidate the company. Not so, said Don and Jim. “We said we’re in the business for the long haul. Twenty years later some of those employees are still there…and we are, too,” Don said. Of course, things have changed. The buildings have all been remodeled with an eye toward preserving some of the architectural features of the office. Advanced fabrication techniques have been employed, resulting in major productivity improvements. But best of all, according Don and Jim, is what they have been able to do for the employees. “One of our employees retired right after we bought the business,” Jim said. “His son and some other family members all worked there. The gentleman who retired left with his Social Security check as his retirement. Since we bought the business his son has been in the ESOP. I can guarantee that he’s retiring with significantly more than just a Social Security check. Now that’s making a difference.”

W

Seeds of Change hen Don looks back on his career he sees few challenges. “I had a few hiccups along the way, but I don’t really remember them. I guess I’m an eternal optimist.” “I think working around partners who weren’t overly excited about where you wanted to go with the company was your biggest challenge,” Jim told his older brother. “Motivating people who were older than you.” Don pondered that, then nodded his head. “I got the job of president because no


Don’s done a good job of finding people to do what he doesn’t want to do. ‘I’m bored. Here take this.’ The next thing you know, you’re in charge.

—Jim Schiffler, president, SCIPI

created an environment for me to grow. He challenges us to go to the next level. He’s always raising the bar.” “The granite company has always operated independently of SCIPI,” Jim said. “Don let me learn and make mistakes. He’s given us the opportunity to think bigger and do more than we ever thought possible.”

On a wintry day in January Ken Krych examines a snowplow. SCIPI is the largest distributor of snowplows in Central Minnesota.

one else wanted the job,” he said. “When you run a company like this you have to always think about that next opportunity. Always be ready to take a risk. You have to be on the edge all the time. These last few years I felt the edge wasn’t quite so sharp anymore, it’s been getting rounder.” As an example, Don pointed to SCIPI’s newest business venture – transportation. “If it had been up to me we wouldn’t be in the transportation business,” Don said. “I fought it. But it was a smart move.” Their entrance into transportation came in the form of Sunburst Transit, a company that provides school bus transportation for students in the St. Paul School District. The idea was born of necessity, according to Jim. “We had a problem. We had a facility in Minneapolis that had more expenses than revenues. About half the building was used to distribute parts. The rest was for servicing buses. The shop was under-utilized. So we decided to create a customer that would buy everything from us.” That meant a transportation company that could buy buses, service, and parts from various SCIPI companies. Reluctant to compete against any existing or potential

customers, their research showed that the St. Paul school district was using an international transportation provider that bought buses directly from the manufacturer. The contract was up for renewal, Jim pursued it, and Sunburst Transit was born. To manage the transit company, Jim tapped an employee from the granite company. “He’s hardworking and understands the culture and philosophy of SCIPI,” Jim said. Promoting from within is a hallmark of the SCIPI culture. “We move people from division to division,” Don said. “Our leadership group is made up of people who are philosophically on the same page, which is important since SCIPI has 17 locations in five states.” Mike Braulick is the poster boy for the company’s leadership strategy. Mike went to the Alexandria Vo-Tech to be a welder. He started at SCIPI right out of school. “In 1978 I worked in the shop. I worked my way up through the ranks. I was willing to learn new things, take some risks. I went to night school to learn new skills. Don was always encouraging me to learn new things.” Today Mike is vice president of SCIPI. “Don

“I Transition

think Don saw that when people got to a certain age they are more likely to fear risk. He saw that coming in his own life and decided there needed to be a transition,” Jim said. Such self-awareness led Don, Jim, and Mike to develop a transition plan that was completed on Dec. 31, 2010 when Don sold the last of his shares in SCIPI. Currently the ESOP owns 79 percent of the business and Jim and Mike own 21 percent. By all accounts it has been an orderly transition. “It’s a process to go from being involved in everything to not being involved,” Don said. “It’s ok. I’m ok with it. I have a lot of confidence in these two guys.” “Jim and I see eye to eye on running this business,” Mike said. “Don’s philosophical views were drilled into us, and it all makes sense. The ESOP, fiscal responsibility, engaging employees, profit, positive attitude. We want to see SCIPI continue to grow. He’s been a good mentor to us.” BC Gail Ivers is vice president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and managing editor of Business Central Magazine.

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FEATURE

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SARTELL COMMUNITY

Unprecedented Growth

Infrastructure is the focus of Sartell officials as they work to accommodate the needs of new commercial and residential development. By Jill Copeland

“O

ver the last ten years we invested in the community through infrastructure,” said Anita Rasmussen, Sartell’s planning and community development director. The last five year’s growth was unprecedented, and the utilities and roadways were the first step to embracing that growth. The Highway 15 corridor near Sam’s Club and Walmart will be the downtown hub for Sartell. Businesses are exploring facility options near the two new shopping centers. PineCone Road has

fielded increased traffic and holds many opportunities for future growth, according to Rasmussen. “We had a market study recently that suggested we focus on commercial nodes that meet neighborhood needs – those are areas that have to grow.” The median household income for Sartell is $52,531, higher than any other local community. Affluence draws businesses that hope those higher-income dollars will be spent close to home. Walmart and Sam’s Club completed extensive market research before choosing

By THE NUMBERS

5,338

Total family households

34

30.9

median age

$52,531

median household income

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

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number of parks

their locations at County Road 120. Along with the two retailers, five new medical offices were announced in 2009. Near those retail spaces are new restaurants Taco John’s and Hardee’s, both open for business, and Frugal Burger, which broke ground in late February. While there are new houses, apartments and town homes located on the PineCone thoroughfare, there is still land to be sold and building permits to issue. “Single family residential building has slowed down considerably, but this is the third year in a row we have increased building permits,” said Rasmussen. “Our inventory is starting to diminish to a healthy balance.” No longer just spec homes for sale, in the last few years 160 empty Sartell lots have been transformed into homes. She says growth in the housing sector is cyclical.


GROWTh SPURT

to grandparents and seniors who like to be near family in the area, but do not like to population population population worry about property in 2000 in 2011 in 1990 maintenance. Pinecone Park is an athletic The years of high growth in single family complex that will take the place of the old homes have passed, while growth continues Sartell golf course. in multiple family housing and senior Roadways will continue to cater to housing. “Our niche is senior housing,” commercial growth and changing traffic confirms Rasmussen. “It is always interesting needs. A significant upcoming project reto talk to the owners of those buildings.” aligns 50th Avenue at County Road 120, Unique features of the city include near Gold’s Gym and Perkins Restaurant. plentiful senior housing in proximity to “Right now it is a dangerous intersection medical complexes and the emerging and we will make it a four-way,” said Pinecone Park. Housing complexes cater Rasmussen. Currently there is a dead-end.

5,354

9,641

15,062

The city required an easement and a church was removed to make way for re-alignment. It will be a controlled intersection, with stoplights, to ease the congestion and protect drivers. The move will provide more connection with businesses along the medical complex and should prevent future accidents. A 17 million dollar project will begin in 2012 to change the grade of County Road 120 and Highway 15. Eventually Highway 15 will go underneath, and County Road 120 will be at grade. “The interchange will not build up,” Rasmussen said, “some of which has to do with space limitations, and for us it maintains a consistent level of visibility for businesses in the area.” BC

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FEATURE

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SARTELL COMMUNITY

Ensuring Student Achievement

Student success is broadly impacted by partnering with faith communities, youth agencies and parents.

C

apacity issues are a reality for the Sartell, Minn. school district. As the community continues to grow, capped enrollment means parents make sacrifices to move into the district. “Pine Meadow Elementary School is beyond capacity,” says Dr. Joseph Hill, superintendent of the Sartell School District. Sartell Middle School is reaching capacity, but the high school was built with growth in mind and is functioning well. One option to address growth is reconfiguring the grades to fit within the school buildings. Currently grades are set up kindergarten-4, 5-8, 9-12.

“The quality of the team in place is of primary importance, the configuration is secondary,” Hill said. Hill, an Alexandria, Minn. native, is dedicated to ensuring student achievement in this growing community. In his first year at Sartell he has focused on optimizing every dollar that comes into the system. It is a sobering reality that resources are drying up at the same time that schools are pressured to reevaluate workforce needs, post-secondary learning, and state standards. “In the end, we have two work groups,” according to Hill. “Lots of great teachers, and everyone

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Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

Mammography

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Pain Management Injections


who supports them.” One of his priorities is funding professional development for staff. “Staff learning and growing is as important as developing the students – the core of who we are is outstanding instructors.” Hill sat down with twelve high school students and listened to how they struggle to “power-down” at school when they have so much technology at home. The school district has researched technological changes at other schools and interviewed model districts. With careful planning and input from staff and students, the way students receive instruction might change, said Hill. “In the end, technology accelerates good teaching, but does not replace it.” The future may hold electronic books in place of print books, or other learning resource modules, but for now the district is still providing the same services it always has. Teachers are facing new models for learning as technology puts the medium in the hands of the student. “The old model was that the educator was the holder of all information. Today teachers are the facilitators of EXPANSION

Park and Rec

Pinecone Park in Sartell is an athletic complex that will take the place of I Site Plan the old SartellPhase golf course.

reboot Bend without breaking When your stride becomes a limp, it’s time to put your foot down. From rehab to replacement, St. Cloud Orthopedics will help you restore your flexibility and get you moving again.

7

Features include: •• seven baseball/softball fields •• eight to twelve soccer and football fields •• concession/restroom facilities •• picnic shelter •• walking/running/ski trails •• ice rink/warming house •• splash pad and pool •• horseshoe pit •• playground areas •• skating park •• sand volleyball courts •• field house

1901 Connecticut Ave S, Sartell

StCloudOrthopedics.com OrthopedicSportsCenter.com

320.259.4100 General Orthopedics • Sports Medicine Joint Replacement • Trauma • Knee & Shoulder Hand Center • Spine Center • Foot & Ankle

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Our clients depend on us–their trusted advisors– for solutions to their current business needs and to plan for future opportunities. Our team of trusted advisors includes over 60 experienced staff, including 26 Certified Public Accountants and 23 Accountants.

FEATURE

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SARTELL COMMUNITY

learning – information is ubiquitous,” according to Hill. A recent assessment helped the district identify new means of learning and development. “I am not really into gadgets, but I do embrace tools that open the world interactively to kids.” However, their success will not be dependent on technology, says Hill. Student success is broadly impacted by partnering with faith communities, youth agencies and parents. “High achieving kids are supported at home.” BC Jill Copeland is the communications and workforce development coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber.

Our Sartell office is located in the Northwest Professional Center.

RESOURCE GUIDE

Sartell 2351 Connecticut Avenue, Ste. 110, Sartell Phone: (320) 252-7565 | Toll-free: (800) 862-1337

www.cdscpa.com

Sartell | Willmar | Benson | Morris | Litchfield

Certified Public Accountants & Consultants

SARTELL COMMUNITY

Resource guide of area businesses Bremer Bank

No Varicose Veins. No Surgery. No Down Time.

Bremer Bank provides a wide range of banking, investment, trust and insurance solutions. Bremer has five convenient locations in the St. Cloud area. 520 1st Street NE

The non-surgical laser procedure for varicose veins. Ask about our cosmetic treatments and skin care line. Call The Vein Center today for your Complimentary Consultation. 320-257-VEIN (8346)

www.beautifulresults.com

1990 connecticut avenue south sartell, mn 56377

Sartell, MN 56377 (320) 255-7121 • Bremer.com

Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI) Powerful insight at the right price. Ask for CDI. Offering: MRI, CT, Ultrasound, Mammography, X-ray and Pain Management Injections. 166 19th Street South, Suite 100 Sartell, MN 56377 • (320) 251-0609 www.CentralMnCDI.com

Central Lakes Oral and Facial Surgery Oral and maxillofacial surgical services including extractions, wisdom teeth removal, dental implants, biopsies, and reconstructive procedures. 2380 Troop Drive, Suite 202 Sartell, MN 56377 (320) 257-9555

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Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011


Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing, PLLP is a certified public accounting firm. We offer a full range of tax, accounting, auditing and consulting services.

Sartell Business Central Magazine ad $225

2351 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 110 Sartell, MN 56377 • http://www.cdscpa.com/

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(320) 252-7565 | Toll-free (800) 862-1337

Interventional Pain and Physical Medicine Clinic IPPMC is a multidisciplinary clinic providing interventional pain techniques, physical therapy, massage therapy and behavioral health. 2301 Connecticut Ave South Sartell, MN 56377 (320) 229-1500 • www.ippmc.com

St. Cloud Orthopedics We specialize in complete musculoskeletal health care. It’s our goal to improve the quality, cost, and access of care for our patients and their families.

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151 Cty Rd 120, St. Cloud • Off Hwy 15 in Sartell

1901 Connecticut Ave. S., Sartell www.StCloudOrthopedics.com (320) 259-4100

U.S. Bank U.S. Bank is 5th largest Commercial Bank in the country. We have a strong balance sheet & our strength enables us to provide customers with comprehensive banking solutions. 800 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis MN 55402 800-USBANKS • usbank.com

There’s a New Way to Look at Eye Health Early detection can prevent loss of your sight. Minimize eye damage from Dry Eye, Glaucoma, Cataracts and Macular Degeneration with our Comprehensive Eye Exam.

Call now for a complimentary iLASIK consultation.

The Vein Center The Vein Center, physicians with Regional Diagnostic Radiology, provide minimally invasive and non-surgical laser treatments for varicose veins. No surgery, no down-time. Information online at beautifulresults.com. 1990 Connecticut Avenue South Sartell, MN 56377 • (320)257-VEIN (8346) www.beautifulresults.com

Dr. Colatrella | Dr. Hinkemeyer | Dr. Oakland | Dr. Womack

Don’t Lose Sight of What’s Important to You.

Annual eye health examinations are covered by most insurance plans. Schedule yours today!

320-258-3915 | www.PineConeVisionCenter.com In Sartell, Off South PineCone Road

Sartell Resource Directory

Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing, PLLP


SPECIAL FOCUS

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C O N S T R U CT I O N

Location, Location, Location The ideal location for your business depends on a number of factors, including where the competition is located.

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hether you’re just starting out in business or you’re thinking about relocating, the most important thing to consider when deciding on a location is the kind of business you’re running. Before you begin looking, consider the following points that can help you select just the right spot for your business.

Determine Your Business Activity • Do your customers come to you? • Do you have to go to your customers? • Do you have employees? • Do you manufacture products for distribution?

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• If your type of business depends heavily on pedestrian or drive-by traffic, such as a florist, gift shop, or clothing boutique, you’ll want to seek popular retail locations, such as a downtown area or a mall, which can help attract passing customers. • If customers typically seek out your type of business, such as a child care service, beauty salon, or fitness center, you’ll want to find space that is easily accessible from population centers, major roads and public transportation. • If your customers do not typically come to you, other location factors may be more important than physical

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

If your customers do not typically come to you, other location factors may be more important than physical proximity to your customers. For example, if you conduct much of your business online, establishing a home-based business might be more desirable and economical than leasing commercial office space. If you manufacture products for distribution, an ideal location might be an industrial park near major transportation ports.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration

Cyber-Business


By THE NUMBERS

Commercial construction spending has seen better days. Non-residential construction put in place in the U.S. reached $357 billion in 2007 and $410 billion in 2008. Despite the slowing economy, strong growth was seen in construction in the hotel/motel sector, higher education, health care, and office facilities. On a seasonallyadjusted annual basis, as of February 2010, the number had dropped to $302.7 billion. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

proximity to your customers. For example, if you conduct much of your business online, establishing a home-based business might be more desirable and economical than leasing commercial office space. If you manufacture products for distribution, an ideal location might be an industrial park near major transportation ports.

Proximity to Your Competitors While it may seem counter-intuitive, operating a business close to your competitors is often beneficial. This is especially true if you have a retail business that relies heavily on foot traffic. Shopping malls are a good example of why proximity to your competitors can be helpful. Most major pedestrian

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

malls are full of clothing shops, and cost of retail space is often very high. The reason for this is that the number of potential customers increases exponentially on a per-store basis around a concentration of similar businesses. For example, while one store might attract 50 customers, two stores might attract 200 customers, and three stores might attract 1,000 customers.

Zoning and Signs Before setting up shop, check with local zoning authorities to make sure you will not break any city ordinance or zoning policies

in your preferred location. Also consider your sign requirements and compare them to sign regulations set by the local government. Many communities set restrictions on the size and appearance of signs. BC

COMMErCIAL CONSTRUCTION

For help finding, building or remodeling that perfect location, contact the businesses on the following pages.

405 North 33rd Avenue St. Cloud MN 56303 (320)-251-2200 www.RealtySourceCommercial.com

RE/MAX Realty Source aquires Meyer Commercial

In 2010 the acquisition of one of N.W. Minnesota’s most reputable commercial brokerage firms creates one of Greater St. Cloud’s largest, most knowlegable and experienced team the area has to offer. The RE/MAX network has thousands of commercial and investment practioners who provide commercial real estate services to the global market. Providing the service and expertise you have every right to expect.

Your vision Our passion Allen Bright, J.D., Broker Nancy Doran, CCIM, Broker Don Weisman, REALTOR* Bill Molitor, REALTOR* Craig Hiltner, REALTOR*

RE/MAX. Commercial. Real Estate.

Hagemeister Mack Architects Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union - Melrose, MN Location: Main Street, Melrose, MN 56352 General Contractor: Breitbach Construction Architect: Hagemeister Mack Architects www.hmarch.com

The project includes 3 floors of offices and customer service areas featuring a 2-story atrium.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

A Tradition of Building Success for More Than 50 Years

Rice Building Systems, Inc. Holiday Stationstore Coborn’s, Inc. 328 - 5th Street South, St. Cloud, MN 56301 General Contractor: Rice Building Systems, Inc. Architect: Hagemeister/Mack Architects Completion Date: November 11, 2010 www.ricebuildingsystems.com

Remodeling of an existing 4,000 SF store and exterior improvements.

We invite you to experience the Rice difference. Our unique in-house capabilities, knowledge of municipal processes, time-tested subcontractors and expansive client list prove Rice Building Systems to be the leader in design/build construction. You can depend on Rice Building Systems to handle everything from concept and design through to the completion of your project.

Building Relationships Since 1953

BC MarApr Ad_Layout 1 1/26/11 4:04 PM Page 1

BUILDING SYSTEMS, INC.

1019 Industrial Drive South Sauk Rapids, MN 56379 320.252.0404

www.ricebuildingsystems.com

Miller Architects & Builders Good Shepherd Households Good Shepherd Community Location: Sauk Rapids, MN General Contractor: Strack Companies Architect: Miller Architects & Builders Completion Date: March 2011 www.millerab.com

New: 59,397 sf.; existing remodel: 67,008 sf. Created 8 new “households” ranging in size from 16-23 beds. 154 private rooms were created to serve market demand.

Single source. Superior service. Remarkable results.

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION

W Gohman Construction Co Cub World Medieval Castle Central Minnesota Council of the Boy Scouts of America - Nisswa MN General Contractor: W Gohman Construction Co Architect: SJA Architects Cost: 1.7 Million Completion Date: February 9, 2009 Email: telness@wgohman.com www.wgohman.com

Winner of the NAHB’s National Commercial Builder Council “2010 Awards of Excellence”

Strack Companies St. Cloud Civic Center Expansion - City of St. Cloud Location: Downtown St. Cloud General Manager: Strack Companies Architect: Hagemeister & Mack Architects Cost: $22 Million Completion Date: December 2011 www.strackcompanies.com

80,000 square foot expansion to the existing St. Cloud Civic Center to include new entrance, pre-function area and exhibit halls.

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ADVERTISER INDEX

ADVERTISER Bernick’s - Beverages & Vending............................... 45 Bremer...............................................................................9 Center for Diagnostic Imaging..................................... 37 Central Lakes Oral & Facial Surgery, P. A................. 35 Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union.................... 15 Charter Communications................................................2 Coldwell Banker Commercial - Orion........................ 23 Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing...................................... 38 Falcon National Bank.................................................... 48 Grand Casino Mille Lacs............................................... 17 Hagemeister & Mack Architects, Inc.......................... 42 Hardees........................................................................... 39 Interventional Pain and Physical Medicine Clinic...... 27 JDB Associates............................................................. 15 Jennings Insurance....................................................... 23 LarsonAllen LLP............................................................ 25 Marco, Inc....................................................................... 25 Miller Architects & Builders, Inc................................. 43 Minnesota Chamber of Commerce............................. 11 M

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PineCone Pet Hospital.................................................. 39 PineCone Vision Center................................................ 39 RE/MAX Realty Source - Gary/Lisa Barnier............... 41 Regional Diagnostic Radiology & The Vein Center.... 38 Rice Building Systems, Inc........................................... 43 Rinke Noonan....................................................................5 Schlenner Wenner & Co., CPA’s................................. 13 Short Stop Custom Catering........................................ 45 St. Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Health System.............3 St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates, Ltd.......................... 36 St. Cloud State University............................................. 21 St. Cloud Surgical Center............................................. 21 Stearns Bank.................................................................. 17 Strack Construction Co. Inc......................................... 44 Tri-County Abstract & Title Guaranty, Inc.................. 13 US Bank.......................................................................... 47 W. Gohman Construction Co........................................ 44 Westside Liquor............................................................. 45 Winkelman Building Corporation ..................................7

SARTELL RESOURCE GUIDE Bremer............................................................................ 38 Center for Diagnostic Imaging..................................... 38 Central Lakes Oral & Facial Surgery.......................... 39 Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing...................................... 39 Interventional Pain and Physical Medicine Clinic...... 39 Regional Diagnostic Radiology & The Vein Center.... 39 St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates, Ltd.......................... 39 US Bank.......................................................................... 39 COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION Hagemeister & Mack Architects, Inc.......................... 42 Miller Architects & Builders, Inc................................. 43 RE/MAX Realty Source - Gary/Lisa Barnier............... 42 Rice Building Systems, Inc........................................... 43 Strack Construction Co. Inc......................................... 44 W. Gohman Construction Co........................................ 44 Winkelman Building Corporation ..................................7

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

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PROFIT

Image Builder

After 25 years in the promotional products business, Mike Fanslau still enjoys helping clients achieve their goals. By Gail Ivers Personal Profile Mike Fanslau, 52 Education: Graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisc., majored in biology, conservation and natural resources, with a minor in geography; played football

Work history: painted houses in the summer; sold farm equipment for two companies, including four years with Wollak Hardware in Rice (now part of Arnzen Construction in Freeport); sales for G&K Services Family: two sons ages 20 and 23

and the numbers pointed to the art department. He’d been here 10 years. I hated that…that was really tough.

Mike Fanslau, Image Builders

Business Central: How did you go from selling farm equipment to selling promotional products? Mike Fanslau: My wife at the time, Barb Anderson, was in charge of purchasing promotional and logo items for Anderson Trucking. She suggested that if I sold logo-wear at the same price that she could get it from the company they were using, that she would buy it from me. I looked at buying a company, but it fell through, so I started my own. We were Image Builders Sportswear and Apparel initially. We didn’t start doing promotional items until about two years later.

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BC: How did you happen to join the Chamber? Fanslau: I’m a biology major. I didn’t know squat about running a business except that what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. I talked to [my father-inlaw] Harold Anderson, and asked what I should do. He said “You have to join the Chamber.” BC: Did the economic downturn impact you? Fanslau: The economy shrank and I had to shrink my art department as a result. We’ve had a full time art department for 18-20 years, but I had to stop the bleeding

Business Central Magazine  ••  MARCH/APRIL 2011

Hobbies: Bow hunting trophy bucks, creating wildlife habitat on 80 acres of hunting property in North Dakota, fishing, woodworking: “My chainsaw is my friend.”

BC: What has been the biggest change you’ve seen? Fanslau: The economy getting tighter and everything that has gone with that. I used to be pretty accurate at predicting three to five years down the road. Now I can’t even see around the curve and the curve is only six-twelve months out there. That’s kind of scary. BC: What do you like best about your work? Fanslau: I like solving challenges. I like working with clients who know their goals and objectives. I have clients that say ‘I want 150 t-shirts.’ My tendency is to say ‘Why?’ We do a better job when we know what the client’s goals are. The client doesn’t know what trade show I’ve just been to where I’ve found something that could be perfect to help reach a particular goal. When we can talk about their goals, odds are they’ll be happier with the end result.BC

Fun Fact

About 50 percent of Image Builders’ clients are not-for-profit organizations

AT A GLANCE Image Builders Mike Fanslau, owner PO Box 1453 2907 Clearwater Road St. Cloud, MN 56302-1453 Phone: (320) 259-1311 Fax: (320) 259-1368 www.imagebuild.com Date established: 1985 Moved to current location: 2004-05 Number of employees: 8 FTE Business Description: Promotional advertising products, screen printed and embroidered clothing, incentives Chamber member since 1986


Profile for St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

March/April 2011  

Business Central Magazine

March/April 2011  

Business Central Magazine