July/August 2021 Issue

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refinancing made nice & simple

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

Kayla and Shawn Deerwood Bank Refinance Customers

deerwoodbank.com 320.252.4200

Deerwood Bank NMLS #408174



CONTENTS GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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

We design We design the places the places where where greatgreat people people thrive. thriv

J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 : 6 Pr e s i d e n t ’ s Le t t e r / 8 Ed i t o r ’ s N o t e / 2 2 N e t w o r k Ce n t ra l

PROFIT

34

40 OVERLOAD!

A LITTLE BIT OF MAGIC

Donella Westphal knew nothing about running a restaurant when she purchased Jules’ Bistro in 2017. Despite an admittedly steep learning curve, she calls the experience a little bit magical.

44 TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION

NETWORK 10 UPFRONT Valuable information designed to guide and educate

Phone systems. Web sites. Internet access. E-commerce. Office equipment. Every category of technology comes with too many options. But never fear – help is here.

50 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Mike and Julie Forsberg, Forsberg Investments & Insurance LLC

GROW

Cover Story

The City of The St. Cloud, City ofMinnesota St. Cloud, Min i s u s i n g a ihs i sutos i rni gc ba u hi l ids to i n gr i ctob u i l d c reate f uture c reate oppor f uture tunities oppor for tunit p e o p l e to pg eaot hpel er ito n tgh ae t hheera ri nt t h e of their great of their communit greaty.communit The y 10 4 - ye a r- o 10 l d 4f o- ye r maer-r oTe l d cfhonrim c aelr Te c High School,High located School, with located views ofwith v Lake George Lake in the George heartinofthe theheart city, will be transformed city, will be transformed into a new into city hall designed city hallaround designed citizen around access and access a safe, and efficient a safe, work efficien environment.environment. The most historicallyThe most histo significant elements significant of the elements sprawling of the sp High School High will be School preserved will beand preserv ONLYONLINE celebrated alongside celebratedanalongside engagingan en entry addition, entry a light-filled addition, alobby, light-filled a nBMdUA rSGeIAfNZrEeI SNsaShEnCe. dCEdONrM dTeeRf rpAeaLsrhtemde ndt eapl a r t m spaces and spaces City Council and City chamber. Council ch • Effective Cold Calls Other por tions Otherofpor thetions bui l dofi ngthe bu will• Constructive be demolished will be demolished to make way to mak Accountability for a long -term for a redevelopment long -term redevelo o f • tAvoiding h e s i t eoan f i ntAudit thoe ms iut let i -i fnat om i lmy u l t i - f • Re-Entry residences overlooking residences overlooking the park. the

46 VOLUNTEERING AS PHILANTHROPY Volunteering builds a stronger community and can help with employee retention.

24 BUSINESS TOOLS Useful tips and Led by CEO Michelle Led by CEO Mongeon Michelle Allen Mongeon Allen intelligence on how Copyright 2021 Business LLC. MN Business Central is published 505 W Saint 505 Germain W©Saint Street, Germain Suite 200 Street, | Central, St. Suite Cloud, 200 | St.56301 Cloud, MN 56301 six times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber to continue to grow of Commerce, 1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487. Phone (320) 251-2940 / Inc. Magazine’s Places toBest Work Places | 100% to Work Employee-Owned | 100% Employee-Owned ESOP ESOP yourMagazine’s business Inc.Best Fax (320) 251-0081. Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year.

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PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Moving Forward

A

s we return to a welcome sense of normalcy, most

my time to seek and discover the surprises the future holds.

people cannot wait to close the door on some of the

A favorite Eckhart Tolle quote has never felt truer: “Life is an

most challenging times of our lives. The roller coaster we have been on over the past months makes other challenges we have faced seem like a kiddie ride.

adventure, it’s not a packaged tour.” On May 25, the Chamber Board of Directors selected Julie Lunning as our next Chamber president. Julie is a

What have we learned? How will we use that in our

skilled leader who I have worked with for more than

business and personal lives? Who is important to you and

20 years. She is well-positioned in our community

your business? How do you rediscover happiness in a world

and state to assume this leadership role, supported by

that in many ways is forever changed?

experience and knowledge. I am a big fan of hers and could

I find the perspectives of business owners,

not be happier with the Board’s decision. Support her.

community leaders, friends, and family enlightening and helpful. It seems there are as many perspectives

Cheer her. Be as loyal to her as you have been to me. It has been my greatest honor and privilege to serve our

as there are individuals. The one thing that resounds

Central Minnesota business community as your Chamber

with many people is the desire for true happiness in the

president. As I leave my desk on August 31, I will look

post-COVID world. People seem more focused on other

forward to my next chapter, and to watching our Chamber

people. Family, friends, employees, neighbors, and even

continue to change, grow, and flourish.

complete strangers have taken on a new importance.

Thank you for a most wonderful adventure!

Mental health is on the minds of many and has a renewed focus in the workplace. I have taken notice of the number of people stepping Teresa Bohnen Publisher

back and examining their professional lives. The question, “What do you REALLY want to do with the rest of your life?” looms for many, including me. My answer to this question became crystal clear during quarantine. It is time to repurpose. I love our local business community and its leaders, but there is something more for me to do. Now is

Final Note: In my May-June column I wrote that I have served under seven female board chairs, then only named six of them. My sincerest apology to the Fabulous Pamela Raden who served as 2007-2008 board chair.

2020-21 BOARD MEMBERS ____________________________

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

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

Membership Specialist: Antoinette Valenzuela, ext. 134

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

Administrative Assistant: Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122

Sales Manager: Nikki Fisher, ext. 112

Administrative Assistant: Shelly Imdieke, ext. 100

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

Sales Manager: Rachel Thompson, ext. 128

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



EDITOR’S NOTE

My favorite Mar tian: Fred

Meanwhile, my home was invaded by ants. This seems to happen on a small scale every spring and fall and is easily handled with the correct product. This year the correct product didn’t even make a dent in the ants. This is why they invented exterminators. As the spring thaw occurred, and the exterminators were driving away the ants, my driveway heaved and the concrete cracked. My brand new patio cracked. Weeds sprouted in the joints. This is why they invented concrete contractors. For the price of a small car, I was able to have

Bucket Lists

L

it all repaired, lifted, and sealed. Supposedly for good. At about this same time my garage door opener stopped working. Fortunately my car was on the outside

ast winter the alarm on my septic system went

when this happened. The opener made lots of humming

off in the middle of the night (of course) for about

noises, but they were not followed by any action. This is

30 minutes, then stopped. This has happened before and

why they invented overhead door companies. Turns out the

I was told not to worry about it unless the alarm didn’t

door opener was 20 years old and had lived its useful life. The new opener is sooo much

stop. So I didn’t worry. Fast forward to early spring when the circuit breaker for the lights in the garage kept

My electrician couldn’t find any reason for the breaker to trip, but pointed out that a different breaker, labeled “Lift Tank,” was tripped. Uh-oh. Time to worry.

tripping. This is why they

quieter! I guess that technology has improved, too. So why am I sharing all this with you? Aside for my desire to whine, it’s all about having a bucket list.

invented electricians. My electrician couldn’t find any reason for the breaker to trip,

Buying a restaurant was not on Donella Westphal’s

but pointed out that a different breaker, labeled “Lift Tank,”

bucket list, but she has managed to weather the joys and

was tripped. Uh-oh. Time to worry.

frustrations with grace, good humor, and some particularly

This is why they invented septic maintenance specialists. Turns out the pump had burned out. Good thing

clever ideas. (See the story on page 34.) Building a house was not on my bucket list. Or maybe,

there aren’t five people in my family putting demands on

as with Donella, it was there all along, just written in

the lift tank and drain field. The septic folks did what they

invisible ink.

could at the time, then came back this spring to install all new electrical. They said mine was outdated. That was

Until next issue,

hard to argue with, since it was 30 years old. In place of the 6’ electrical pole with a big red warning light, they installed a 2’ pole with small green LED lights that are always on. Except they aren’t small at night. They turn huge and bright and shine into my bedroom with enough power to create shadows. It’s like sleeping under the watchful eyes of a Martian. I’ve named him Fred.

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Gail Ivers, Editor


Publisher Teresa Bohnen // Managing Editor Gail Ivers CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Alicia Chapman, Bluebird Creative Dr. Fred E. Hill, St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Ari Kaufman Randy Krebs, Freelance writer Kelti Lorence, St. Cloud Area C hamber of Commerce Ryan McCormick, Great River Regional Library

Jeanine Nistler, Freelance writer Chris Panek, Christine R. Panek, CPA Nazimuddin Shaikh and Lynn MacDonald, St. Cloud State University Dan Soldner, Vye Jessie Storlien, Stearns History Museum ACCOUNTING Judy Zetterlund WEBSITE Vicki Lenneman

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

1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101,P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 / Fax (320) 251-0081 BusinessCentralMagazine.com For advertising information contact Melinda Vonderahe, (320) 656-3808 Editorial suggestions can be made in writing to: Editor, Business Central, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487. Submission of materials does not guarantee publication. Unsolicited materials will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Caring for them means caring for me first.

We get it.

Knowing what’s safe is confusing. So, trust who you’ve trusted for years. We’re ready to care for you, so you can care for them.

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UPFRONT GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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

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

NEWS REEL

Kindness Counts

BerganKDV announces new shareholders

The essentials of health rest in our everyday connections to each other. Reviewed by Dr. Fred Hill

Adam Heathcote will become a shareholder in BerganKDV effective July 1. He is a wealth advisor who primarily focuses

In 1978 researchers using rabbits to link high cholesterol and heart health found, surprisingly, that one group of rabbits had much heathier arteries than the others. How could this be possible if they were all genetically similar and fed the same high-fat diet? The answer, as it turns out, is kindness. After years of researching the science of compassion, Dr. Kelli Harding’s captivating findings help explain how America, a country that leads the world in biomedicine, spends nearly twice as much on medical care than any other developed nation, yet remains far sicker. … At once transformative and inspiring, The Rabbit Effect shares a radical new way to think about health, wellness, and how we live. —From The Rabbit Effect

on helping clients, specifically executives and business owners. Heathcote has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Macalester College.

Quinlivan & Hughes, merges with Brown, Krueger & Vancura Law Quinlivan & Hughes merged with

T

his book has two parts, 10 chapters, a conclusion, and an afterword. Each has merit and is worthwhile reading. They are: The Hidden Factors Chapter 1. The Hidden Factors of Health Chapter 2. One-on-One: Your Intimate Relationships Chapter 3. Social Ties: Your Community Chapter 4. Work: What You Do Chapter 5. Education: Learning Your Purpose Chapter 6. Neighborhood: Live and Play Chapter 7. Fairness: Living by the Golden Rule

Chapter 8. Environmental Influences: The Power of Compassion Essentials of Health Chapter 9. The Mind-Body Link: Individual Health Chapter 10. All of Us (Trust): Collective Health Conclusion. The Ripple Effect: Getting to Kindness Afterword. The Enduring Mystery Here are some kindness findings: a The essentials of health rest in our everyday connections to each other. b Our one-on-one bonds are most critical. c Loneliness is equivalent to smoking cigarettes or heavy alcohol use.

d When supervisors socially support employees, mental/ physical health is benefitted. e Happiness does not rise continually with income. f People who infuse purpose into their lives function better in many areas. g For every one life biomedicine saves, education saves eight. h A neighborhood is more than space, it is a sense of community and connections. i A “pay gap” is a “health gap” in disguise. j It seems race becomes biology, from outside in. k Caring for others is a superpower we all have.

the Long Prairie based Brown, Krueger & Vancura Law firm. This is now their fifth location within Minnesota, all under the name Quinlivan & Hughes.

DAYTA Marketing promotes employees DAYTA Marketing recently promoted three employees into new roles within the company. Jennifer Och was promoted to project manager; Zoe Meyer to account manager; and Jessi Ewald to senior digital project manager.

St. Cloud Financial Credit Union announces new CFO St. Cloud Financial Credit Union announced Sheloa Fieldseth as the

Dr. Fred E. Hill is an emeritus

newest addition

professor at St. Cloud State

to its executive leadership team,

University.

moving into the role of Chief Financial Officer.

T h e Rab b i t Effect : Liv e Long er, Happier, an d Health ier with t h e Groundb re ak i ng S ci ence of K i nd n ess; Kelli H a rd ing, M D, M P H; AT R IA Bo o ks, N Y, 2 01 9; IS BN 9 78 -1- 50 11- 8 426 - 0

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


POINT OF VIEW

How do you decide whether to email, text, call, or talk in person? Chris Jacques, Premier Real Estate Services

––––––

I do my best to tailor the communication to what the other person prefers. I try to find this out as soon as I meet someone. Being in real estate, text or call is often a go-to choice. It also depends on how quickly I need a response — phone calls usually being the fastest.”

Caitlin Heglund, Haga Kommer

––––––

If I think the conversation will have a lot of back-and-forth questions, I prefer to make the phone call. I do try to use the communication form that my client prefers — which could be text or email, but I find a call or in-person conversation usually prevents miscommunication.”

Brad Hoelscher, Mahowald

––––––

Email can lower the pressure on the receiving end, so sometimes that’s my choice, but I prefer phone calls or in-person communication as these are more personable and help you build a connection with the client. A text can get you on their radar faster than email, but be sure that you’ve asked their permission to use their cell number before you send the message!”

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NEWS REEL Advantage Chiropractic celebrates 25th anniversary Advantage Chiropractic celebrated its 25th anniversary in business on May 1. Throughout the years, the company has been active in the community serving a wide range of customers and helping raise money for local nonprofit organizations.

DIGGING HISTORY

Hoeing Their Own Row A cyclone was the catalyst for the Juenemann’s vegetable garden and market, a business that served St. Cloud for over 75 years. By Jessie Storlien

Herman and Margaret Juenemann at Juenemann’s Garden, St. Cloud, 1970

PleasureLand RV receives “Flying W” designation, celebrates anniversary The St. Cloud and Brainerd based PleasureLand RV Centers recently earned the Flying W Dealer Excellence award from Winnebago. PleasureLand RV is celebrating its 50th year in business. It is a family owned and operated dealership based in St. Cloud since 1971, now with locations in Ramsey, Long Prairie, and Brainerd, Minnesota, along with Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Falcon National Bank acquires Eagle Community Bank Falcon National Bank acquired the Maple Grovebased Eagle Community Bank. This is Falcon’s sixth Minnesota location.

U.S. Bank expands leadership team U.S. Bank has appointed two St. Cloud natives to top roles to lead the bank’s community banking footprint in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Mike Markman expanded his regional president role to include all of Minnesota and La Crosse, Wisconsin, excluding the Twin Cities metro area. Scott Lahr was promoted to St. Cloud market president and commercial team lead.

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his story begins with Nicholas Juenemann, who as a young man, was conscripted into the German army when they were at war with Denmark. After contracting typhoid, he was sent home to recover. Looking for better opportunities for himself, Nicholas married Angela Juenemann (no relation) and set out for America. In 1854, the couple settled on 200 acres of farmland southwest of St. Cloud. They built a log house for their growing family, cleared trees, and began farming wheat. After surviving the hardships of the grasshopper plague in 1878, tragedy struck the Juenemanns, now a family of nine children. The cyclone that ripped through St. Cloud in 1886 took the life of Nicholas, critically injured Angela, and left the children to rebuild the house and farm. The land was divided among the Juenemann

children and Peter started operating 70 acres of the farm as a vegetable garden. The move to horticulture was prompted by higher taxes on the land after it was annexed by the city of St. Cloud. Peter married Theresa Blissenbach in 1895, and the couple went on to have 12 children. The entire family helped with the vegetable garden. By 1900, Peter was delivering produce to St. Cloud residents via horse and wagon. The delivery vehicle was upgraded to a truck in 1932, and runs were made every other day to customers in the area. When Peter retired in 1940, his sons, Leo

and Herman, bought the operation from their father, and the Juenemann families continued to help with the greenhouse and garden. At Sister Jean (Demetrius) Juenemann’s 60th jubilee in 2019, it was said, “S. Jean remembers learning about growing things from her father and uncle [Leo and Herman], both very passionate about their work. Among other garden tasks, she spent a fair amount of time each summer carefully picking strawberries and raspberries for sale. This lesson, service and quality, served S. Jean well in her years of ministry as a health care provider of the highest quality.” Many area young people were also employed by Juenemann’s. Herman said in a 1970 interview with the St. Cloud Times, “The boys used to have a gay old time working out in the fields and then eating melons for lunch

Henr y Juenemann with a twin squash, 1955

Courtesy of the Stearns History Museum

NETWORK

UPFRONT


The Peter Juenemann family in front of their home in St. Cloud, 1909

The Juenemann Produce Tr uck, St. Cloud, ca 1935

and for breaks to quench their thirst. So many of them have come back and have told me that their work here was the highlight of their lives.” The market remained popular with locals for over seven decades. In 1970 from

April to late fall, Juenemann’s had 1,300 people come every day to buy vegetables and flowers. Herman recalled that when the business was at its peak, he was selling three tons of sauerkraut cabbage a day and 500 bushels of tomatoes a week. Beyond providing fresh fruits and vegetables, the Juenemanns served the community through

educational tours. Groups of students would visit from as far away as Canada to learn about plants and wildlife. In fact, when the market and greenhouse closed its doors, Paul Weide of the St. Cloud Times wrote, “If there is another place in the St. Cloud area which carries the variety of unusual plants which Herman and Margaret displayed for the public every day, I would like to hear about it. A few curious adults… and thousands of school children from central Minnesota will miss

the tours which Juenemann’s provided.” This beloved family business ended when Herman and Margaret retired in 1974. The couple issued a statement in the newspaper, which concluded, “Again a huge thank you to St. Cloud, for providing a benign climate that made it possible for us to pursue such a gentle occupation and delight so many people with the beauty of our growing know-how and our good radishes!” Jessie Storlien is an archivist at the Stearns History Museum.

Now Scheduling Your

COLONOSCOPY

A colonoscopy is a minimally invasive, safe procedure used to evaluate the colon for cancer and other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as rectal and intestinal bleeding, abdominal pain, or changes in bowel habits. The screening decreases colon cancer mortality rates, which is the third leading cause of cancer deaths. If you are 50 years of age or older, you can schedule a Colonoscopy without a referral at St. Cloud Surgical Center. Most insurance plans accepted. Call 320-229-3201 today.

St. Cloud Surgical Center complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Interpretalk 1-877-386-9235 & Keystone Interpreting Solutions (TTY: 1-651-454-7275) Spanish: ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Pida asistencia de un empleado. Somali: KA DIGTOONOW: Haddii aad ku hadasho somali, gargaarka aad heli karto lacag la’aan. Fadlan weydiiso caawimaad ka xubin shaqaale ah.

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

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL

YOUR VOICE IN GOVERNMENT

Vye purchases Meta 13

Employees Needed!

Vye (formerly Leighton Interactive), an inbound marketing agency in St. Cloud, Minn., and Green Bay, Wis., announced its acquisition of Meta 13, a website design and development firm in St. Cloud. Effective immediately, the two companies will join their teams and operate under the Vye brand.

urge Minnesota government leaders to immediately address this crisis in ways that include: Actively and aggressively enforcing job-search and job-acceptance requirements for recipients to qualify for unemployment benefits.

Stearns Electric elects board members

Reduce the scope of allowance for not accepting job offers. Establish a process for companies to easily report nonresponsive applicants. At its annual meeting, Stearns

Add an incentive (termination of benefits bonus) for those receiving unemployment benefits to return to work.

Electric elected a new director and board members. Michael Cramer was elected to the board in District 3 to serve a one-year term following a recent vacancy. Re-elected to serve three-year terms were Randy Rothstein, District 4; Tony Ampe, District 5; and Jerry Fries, District 9. ––––––– Jerome “Jerry” Fries, Stearns Electric Association board member, received the national Director Gold Credential certificate from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

DeZURIK employee elected president of MSS Jim Barker, DeZURIK, was elected as president of MSS (Manufacturers Standardization Society of the Valves and Fittings Industry) for a three-year term beginning in 2021.

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n late May, a 16-question, online survey was emailed to approximately 1,460 investors/members of central Minnesota chambers of commerce and economic development organizations. The survey was completed by 216 individuals. Survey results indicate a clear need for action to help Greater St. Cloud/Central Minnesota companies hire employees. More than half of respondents (56%) surveyed say that expanded unemployment benefits contribute to their difficulty filling positions. Thirty-eight percent say fewer than half the candidates who were

offered jobs accepted them. These results indicate a serious problem that needs attention and action – now. While this was not formal research conducted to have a small margin of error, the reality is that 59 companies said that current hiring challenges have forced them to cut back on expansion plans in the Greater St. Cloud/Central Minnesota region. Fourteen said they have considered relocating elsewhere. And that is just in one small region of the state. The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation

Return the maximum term of eligibility to pre-pandemic levels. Offset the amount of eligibility by the amount added by the federal top-off. Central Minnesota businesses and business organizations stand ready to assist the State of Minnesota in helping quickly bring these and other needed changes to fruition.

To access complete survey results, visit stcloudareachamber.com and click on “COVID-19 Resources.”


Ask for PEOPLE TO KNOW

Five people worth knowing The following people are working to better Central Minnesota by volunteering to serve Bernie Perryman Batteries Plus Bulbs (320) 292-5960 bernie@mnbattery.com Chair: Top Hat Ambassadors

________

The Top Hat Ambassadors welcome new members, congratulate members who have expanded or relocated, and serve as greeters and hosts at Chamber events.

Brenda Sickler Theisen Dental (320) 252-7806 brenda@TheisenDental.com Chair: Sauk Rapids Chamber

________

The Sauk Rapids Chamber, a division of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, promotes a healthy business environment in the community of Sauk Rapids. Volunteers and committee members work in cooperation with member businesses, local government, the public school system and other community organizations. Programs include the Sauk Rapids State of the City address.

Brady DeGagne Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota (320) 252-7616 (work) bdegagne@bgcmn.org Chair: Waite Park Chamber

For Care That’s

EXCEPTIONAL Flexible yet specialized, St. Cloud Orthopedics offers a variety of treatment options aimed at helping you live better. From nonoperative therapy to state-of-the-art surgical care, our specialists and physical therapists will set up a personalized care plan just for you. For expert orthopedic care that keeps you moving forward, ask for St. Cloud Orthopedics.

No referral necessary. 320-259-4100 Meet our team at StCloudOrthopedics.com Clinics in South St. Cloud & Sartell

________

The Waite Park Chamber, a division of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, is a place where business, education and government come together for the betterment of the community. Programs include the Waite Park State of the City address.

Chase Larson BerganKDV (320) 251-7010 chase.larson@bergankdv.com Chair: Star Celebration

________

The Star Celebration is the Chamber’s annual volunteer recognition celebration. Committee members are responsible for planning the event and soliciting sponsorships.

Linda Dvorak Premier Real Estate Services (320) 316-3650 linda@jasonmillerhomes.com Chair: NEXT-Chamber’s Emerging Leaders

________

NEXT-Chamber’s Emerging Leaders provides networking and educational opportunities designed for the NEXT generation of business leaders in Central Minnesota.

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NETWORK

UPFRONT TO P H ATS

DO IT NOW!

Add “Happy Personality” to Your Resume Learning to be happy can help you overcome life’s struggles and improve your career opportunities. By Kelti Lorence 30 YEARS IN BUSINESS Central Landscape Supply, wholesale distributor of landscape supplies, 4026 County Road 74, St. Cloud. Pictured: Jason Miller, PauliAnne Roerick, Herman Roerick, Debbie Clausen.

happiness may require you to first go through periods of uncomfortable and upsetting moments as you dive deep into yourself. Where to Begin Your Happiness Process

50-YEAR MEMBER The Camera Shop, full-service photo lab, 25 7th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Frank Ringsmuth, Kristin Hannon.

25-YEAR MEMBER Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, loans, long-term fixed rate commercial real estate and equipment financing, 616 Roosevelt Road, ste 200, St. Cloud. Pictured: Bernie Perryman, Tom Saehr, Jana Nyholm, Patrick Hollermann.

25-YEAR MEMBER Crown Companies, property management company, 1411 W St. Germain Street, ste 103, St. Cloud. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Jim Knoblach, Chase Larson.

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ccording to the American Psychological Association (APA), psychologists define resilience “as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress.” One of the four factors in this process is healthy thinking. In 2020, Psychology Today published a blog post stating “Yes, you can choose to be happy.” According to a 2019 Forbes article, happiness is outlined as the “most important pre-condition for powerful leadership.”

In short, being a happy person, or adding happiness to your personality, can help you overcome life’s struggles and increase your capability to rise to the top of your career. People are more likely to be attracted to happy people. We aren’t saying this is as simple as repeating to yourself, “I am happy,” and immediately the world changes. This is a good start though! Happiness, resiliency, and leadership require focused attention on multiple areas in your life and brain processes. Be forewarned: Finding true

Take a close and honest look at the internal and external environments you have control over. The word to focus on here is habits. Where are your finances at? How is your physical health? What are your relationships like? While you might not always have the ability to control these situations, ask yourself sincerely if the way you live habitually has contributed to the position you are currently in. Don’t sit there in shame, or feel overwhelmed if the answer is ‘yes.’ This is the time for you to forgive yourself, create new habits, and move forward. Three Tips for Improving Your Happiness

1 Once you start, don’t stop. As you begin to form new habits, recognize that it will take multiple repeated, conscious efforts for ingrained happiness to be your “go-to” demeanor. Psychologists suggest our tendency to be negative is an evolutionary trait to keep us safe. Verywell Mind, an online resource for


Banking and

improving mental health, writes that “those more attuned to danger and bad things around them were more likely to survive.” 2 Change your internal language. Stop saying “I will be happy when…” and change to “I am happy now because…”.

forward” and will begin to improve the resiliency of your entire community. People receiving your random act could have their entire day turned around and might be inspired to make changes to their own mentality. Kelti Lorence is the communications and workforce

3 Start doing random acts of kindness. You may be surprised how fulfilling it is to do good deeds without anyone seeing. These acts are a form of “paying it

Imagine friendly service, local decision making, quick lines, and endless possibilities. That’s what it’s like to partner with Farmers & Merchants State Bank. So go ahead and shoot for the stars—bank, borrow, and save with us.

development coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. For the sources used in this story, visit BusinessCentral Magazine.com.

TO P H ATS

NEW MEMBER Headwaters Strategic Succession Consulting, LLC, business succession planning, 4314 32nd Street S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tim Schmidt, Douglas Cook, Jason Miller.

NEW MEMBER TheHomeMag, home improvement magazine, 8925 Aztec Drive #116, Eden Prairie. Pictured: Carl Newbanks, Amanda Boomen, Angie Kohout, Chase Larson.

Because friendly still counts. FMPierz.com NEW MEMBER Agency North Real Estate, residential and commercial real estate, 2395 Troop Drive H102, Sartell. Pictured: Chase Larson, Matt Wieber, Jeff Udy, Tom Glieden, Wendy Hendricks, Nadine Glais, Alex Gardner, Chelsey Hanson, Mary Swingle.

NEW MEMBER Mullin Wealth Management, financial consultant and accredited asset management specialist, 1011 2nd Street N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Rachel Meyer, Peter Mullin, Tim Schmidt.

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NETWORK

UPFRONT TO P H ATS

BUSINESS CALENDAR

Mark Your Calendars! Can’t miss opportunities to influence, promote, and learn. Visit events.StCloudAreaChamber.com for a detailed calendar.

Chamber Open

NEW MEMBER Synergy Sleep Health, in-home sleep testing and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea with CPAP, 48 29th Ave. N, ste 110, St. Cloud. Pictured: Debbie Clausen, Jennifer Blum, Mitzi Rasmussen, Mary Swingle.

NEW MEMBER Goodie Vend, vending without the machine, 4020 Clearwater Road #117, St. Cloud. Pictured: Mary Swingle, Sara Goodrum, Tim Goodrum, Linda Diwishek, Carl Newbanks.

NEW MEMBER Edenbrook St. Cloud, senior campus offering skilled nursing care, memory care, assisted living and adult day care, 1717 University Drive SE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Jordan Lothert, Michele Halvorson, Carl Newbanks.

The 75th annual Chamber Open is August 9. Network in the sun and on the golf course, then relax and enjoy dinner and awards at 5 p.m. Registration is required. ______ August 9, Blackberry Ridge Golf Club, 3125 Clubhouse Rd, Sartell; shotgun start at 11:30 a.m.

NEXT – Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Offers professional development, leadership and networking opportunities for emerging leaders in Central Minnesota. Meets the second Tuesday of every month, noon-1 p.m. Cost is $195 for an annual membership. Register to Laura, lwagner@ StCloudArea Chamber.com. ______ July 13, presentation on physical and mental wellness from your diet’s perspective, by Alexis Demuth.

Waite Park Chamber NEW MEMBER Cintas, corporate uniforms, specialty floor mats and other promotional products, 1250 Kuhn Drive, St. Cloud. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Blake Hawkins, Janet Finstad, Mary Swingle.

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For businesses interested in Waite Park community issues. Lunch is provided at in-person meetings by the host when you register at least two days

in advance. Meeting runs from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. ______ July 21, hosted on-site at the Joe Faber Field by St. Cloud Rox Baseball, with a presentation on “Marketing on a budget,” by Tim Schmidt, Agency511. ______ August 18, hosted by Terebinth Refuge, with a presentation on “Benefits of community gardens,” by Tracy Ore. Location TBA (likely Zoom.)

Sauk Rapids Chamber For businesses interested in Sauk Rapids community issues. For Zoom meetings the room opens at 11:15 a.m., small group networking at 11:30 a.m. For in-person meetings lunch is provided by the host when you registered at least two days in advance. Introductions for both start at 11:45 a.m. ______ July 22, hosted by the Tri-County Humane

Society via Zoom, with a presentation on “State services for the blind,” by Lisa Larges, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. ______ August 26, annual Business Showcase featuring seven companies, held in person at the Sauk Rapids Lion’s Park Pavilion from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. Registration required.

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. ______ July 27, hosted by Kensington Bank, 501 W St. Germain, St. Cloud


TO P H ATS

NEW MEMBER Bluebird Creative, LLC, storytelling for small businesses and nonprofits through various mediums, 1521 15th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Brenda Eisenschenk, Alicia Chapman, Chase Larson.

NEW MEMBER Media H, social media management and marketing for small business and nonprofits, 401 17th Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Bernie Perryman, Hailey Everson, Peg Imholte.

NEW MEMBER Pivotal Advisors, LLC, helping build healthy sales organizations to achieve growth, 15815 Franklin Trail SE, ste 400, Prior Lake. Pictured: Bernie Perryman, Mike Huey, Peg Imholte.

NEW MEMBER Tiny Hearts Studio, photography studio specializing in Fresh 48, newborn, maternity, modeling, and special occasions, 2820 2nd Street S, ste 120, St. Cloud. Pictured: Amanda Groethe, JC Campos, Amanda Campos, Julie Forsberg.

NEW MEMBER Boot Barn, retailer with western and work-related apparel, shoes and accessories, 4101 Division Street, ste E0030, St. Cloud. Pictured: Patrick Hollermann, Mercedes Dennis, Mariah Bartlett, Jason Olson, Bernie Perryman.

NEW MEMBER Frandsen Bank & Trust, full-service community banking, trust and investment services, 341 4th Ave. Foley. Pictured: Carl Newbanks, Jeremy Johnson, Julie Forsberg.

Enjoy Life

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

THE TROUBLE WITH BUSINESS

Record Retention Creating a records retention policy makes good business sense. By Christine Panek

or deposits, inventory, deposit slips, cancelled checks, payroll and other transactions you may have in your business. These documents support the entries you make in your bookkeeping system, which make up your balance sheet and income statement and ultimately are reflected in your tax return. Which is better, electronic or hard copy storage, and does it matter if you use one or the other method to store your records?

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etting up a records retention policy for your business is something all business owners should do. When setting up your records retention policy, take into consideration what the IRS is looking for, as well as any other requirements your business vendors may have, such as your insurance company. You may also want to keep records for any lawsuit, claim or work-related accident for a longer period than generally recommended. Your business ownership records should be kept indefinitely. These would include business formation documents, annual meeting minutes, by-laws, stock certificates, lease agreements, as well as permits and licenses, just to name a few.

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Create a retention policy for documents like your business tax returns, financial statements, payroll tax records, employee files, job applications, and human resource files. You will also want to have a retention policy in place for any supporting documents. How long do you actually need to keep these records?

Other than the records mentioned previously with longer retention periods, you can normally follow the seven-year rule. The IRS says: “You must keep your records as long as they may be needed for the administration of any provision of the Internal Revenue Code. Generally, this means you must keep records that support an item of income or deduction on a return until the period of

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limitations for that return runs out. The period of limitations is the period of time in which you can amend your return to claim a credit or refund, or the IRS can assess additional tax.” Most lawyers and accountants recommend keeping the original documents for at least seven years. This is normally a sufficient amount of time for tax audits or lawsuits. What supporting documents are you required to keep for your small business?

The IRS wants to make sure you have supporting documents to prove any income items and deductions you have on your tax return. These supporting documents would consist of, but are not limited to: invoices, sales receipts, bills, credit card receipts, automatic deductions

The main point to consider here is to ensure you are able to quickly locate the records that may be in question. When storing your hard copies, make sure you have them organized so you can find information if you are ever audited. I would strongly recommend grouping your records by year and then breaking them down even further. You could keep your records by month or by customer, vendor or type of transaction, if you feel it would be easier to find in the future. When you wrap up your month-end bank reconciliations and compile your financial statements, this would be a great time to make sure you have all your supporting documents for that month. When the month has been closed and you are ready to file your records away, you can do so either by hard copy, or you could scan and have each of the items saved electronically. You can use


Putting effort into a record keeping policy may not seem like an important task, but if done properly you will surely help reduce the risk if, or when, you need to provide proof of your business records.

the same systems to store your records electronically, but make sure you have a good backup system in place -- especially if you are destroying the original hard copy. According to the IRS, it doesn’t matter if you provide hard copy or an electronic copy of your supporting documents, as long as they are properly reflecting the transactions you have recorded in your financial statements and tax return.

Additionally, whether you have a manual or computerized software system for your bookkeeping process, you still need to keep proper business records. If you are using a computerized system like QuickBooks to do your bookkeeping, you have options to scan and upload your supporting documents right to the transaction you are recording. This is a nice feature

that helps you to quickly obtain the supporting document you are looking for with a click of a button in your software system. Putting effort into a recordkeeping policy may not seem like an important task, but if done properly you will surely help reduce the risk if, or when, you need to provide proof of your business records. And remember, when you decide you are going to get rid of old documents,

make sure you do it in a safe and secure manner. As much as you want to protect your information when you are storing your business records, you want to make sure when these records are no longer needed, they are disposed of securely. Chris Panek is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and Certified Public Accountant at Christine R Panek, CPA with over 20 years of experience helping small businesses with accounting and bookkeeping, financial statement preparation, QuickBooks consulting and payroll services in the St. Cloud area.

Here When It Matters Most As the #1 SBA 504 Lender in Minnesota you can count on MBFC to be up on all new loan options for fixed asset financing. We continue to serve all of Minnesota as well as western Wisconsin and eastern North Dakota. So when you need expert insight and personable service, you know who to call.

MBFC.org | Offices in St. Cloud

Minneapolis

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NETWORKCENTRAL GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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

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

Welcome Back! H&S Heating hosted Chamber Connection in April, complete with a Superhero theme!

Chamber Connection returned in-person in April with a full house at the Holiday Inn & Suites Carrie Vesel, ABRA Auto Body & Glass (L); Emily and Jeremy Salzbrun, H&S Heating & A/C

(From left) Caitlin Heglund, Haga Kommer; Cheryl Hochhalter, Jacobs Financial; Cyndy Thayer, Executive Express; Ann Thelen, Falcon National Bank; Bernie Perryman, Batteries Plus Bulbs

Profile by Sandford hosted the Waite Park Chamber meeting at the Moose Family Center in May. Ann Thelen, Falcon National Bank; Mike Brower, Ehlinger & Associates, Inc./American Family Insurance; Brian Jarl, Advantage 1 Insurance Agency

April Good, AMG Promotions & Apparel; Steven Schack, Beaudry Oil & Propane

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Waite Park Chamber chair Brady DeGagne, Boys and Girls Clubs, and vice chair Kayle Ellison, BadCat Digital, welcome everyone as in-person meetings resume.

Mike Imholte, Black Diamond Auctions (L); Rachel Templin, Tri-County Abstract & Title Guaranty; Tim Schmidt, Agency 511


NETWORK

Putting the FUN in Fundraising! Bags and Brew cornhole tournament and Tending for a Cause raise money for the Chamber’s charitable foundation in May.

Greeting friendly faces. Tanja Goering, Chamber Board member, served as a celebrity bartender

New Chamber member RB BBQ Beast joined the fun with its food truck at Bags & Brew

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson served as celebrity bartender

Twenty teams competed for the top title at the Chamber’s cornhole tournament

Laura Wagner (L), Chamber of Commerce and Stephanie Court, 7Sigma Systems

Cornhole tournament winners, Andrew Peterson (L) and Nathan Klingelhofer, K. Johnson Construction

Nice weather and a little beer made for a perfect tournament day.

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BUSINESSTOOLS GROW

| NETWORK

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PROFIT

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

I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E : Entrepreneu r is m / Manageme n t To o l K it / Eco n o my Cen t ral by Falco n Ban k ENTREPRENEURISM

Hiring for Success A company’s talent level is a major factor for a winning business. By Ari Kaufman

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ore than three in four CEOs reportedly see hiring the right talent as their biggest challenge and even a threat to long-term success. Yet almost 85 percent of companies don’t believe they recruit great talent, according to the 2020 McKinsey Global Survey, and for those that do, only 7 percent think they can keep it. In the Predictive Index’s 2019 Annual CEO Benchmarking Report, one CEO said, if this is left unchecked for another decade, “the talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.”

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Writing in the Harvard Business Review last year, Michael Watkins said, “more than anyone else, the hiring manager understands what his or her people need to accomplish and what it will take — skills, resources, connections — for them to become fully effective.” The business professor then listed a few ways to set up new hires for success. Learning can be more important than “doing” in the early days, Watkins believes, since it’s vital to understand a new employee’s challenges. ––––––

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Even if they are experienced professionals, new hires are likely unfamiliar with the workings of a new business, lack established relationships, and need to adapt to a unique culture. Failure in this realm is a big reason for quick turnover. –––––– It’s then important to “accelerate” learning because the faster new hires learn their role in an organization, the more they can accomplish in the first few months. –––––– It seems simple, yet be sure to make new hires part of the team. The sooner they build effective working relationships with their peers, the better. –––––– Watkins also recommends giving new employees clear expectations, proper guidance, and helping them get early “wins” to build confidence and credibility with new colleagues. “Employees represent a company’s brand,” Jill Magelssen, franchise owner of Express Employment Professionals in St. Cloud, explains. “The right hire quickly assimilates to the culture of the organization and helps enhance it. Team members benefit from a good hire, too, if the person that has the skills and experience also fits the culture. A bad hire is

worse than no hire. Both cause added stress and workload, but a bad hire adds the element of conflict more often than not.” Magelssen, who’s owned the company for 16 years, agrees that the early days and weeks for a new employee are vital. “The best thing a company can do when onboarding a new employee is to have a plan,” she said. “Interfacing job duty elements with other team members, cross training and learning, and being sure to share some of the culture that makes the company do their best work are important. It’s all about the people element, making that the primary focus of any good onboarding plan.” Georgia McCann, talent acquisition manager for St. Cloud-based Anderson Trucking (ATS) since 2013, says the hiring landscape has changed in the past year, necessitating creativity like drive-thru career fairs instead of traditional in-person interactions. “We believe hiring the right person is essential to not only our continued growth, but it truly sets us apart from our competition,” McCann said. “We evaluate knowledge, skills and abilities, as it relates to the position, but also a candidate’s internal drive, positive attitude


and willingness to learn can certainly set them apart.” McCann added that ATS uses company values to “provide structure to behavioral-based interview questions. Our goal for all new hires is to provide them the support and resources to best help them acclimate to their new position and offer an environment where they can continue to learn, grow and feel they are making a positive impact,” she said. A former school teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He has published articles in a dozen newspapers, written three books and currently resides with his wife in St. Cloud.

TECH NEWS

Geo-fencing and the New Taxi Volkswagen plans to launch a commercial self-driving taxi and delivery service in Germany by 2025. Known as a Level 4 car, it can operate fully on its own, though only in set conditions, the main one being within a geofenced area. A Level 5 car would be able to function on its own in all of the same conditions expected of a human. Source: MotorAuthority

Peanut the Robot If you’re looking for employees, Peanut the Robot may be the answer. This autonomous machine is finding a home in restaurants where it shuttles back and forth from the kitchen delivering food and bussing dirty dishes. It uses an upward-facing infrared camera that scans markings on the ceiling in order to navigate. When Peanut can’t move around something, it says “Excuse me,” though without the pleasant tone one might hope for. Source: Wired; photo Richtech Robotics

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MANAGEMENT TOOL KIT

Everyday Stories Learning to tell compelling business stories can help distinguish you from your competitors. By Ryan McCormick

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nce upon a time… Every day we tell stories. We might tell them to our children, our friends, our neighbors, or to ourselves. Stories are how we learn, grow, and make sense of the world. They’re how we build trust, and connections with others. Stories have always played an important role in our personal lives, but there is an increasing recognition of their importance in the business world. If you are looking to recruit new employees, or bring in new investors, stories can help you distinguish yourself from your competitors. If you hope to grow your professional network, stories can be an effective way of sharing your values with others. Internally, stories can

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help get staff on board with organizational changes, and they can be a constructive approach to writing performance reviews. As the recognition of storytelling’s importance in business settings has grown, so too has the body of literature dedicated to the subject. In “Let the Story Do the Work,” author Esther K. Choy makes a compelling case for the strategic use of storytelling in various business settings. For instance, she contends that in many situations, qualifications alone are not enough. Instead, it is those who use storytelling to integrate their values and aspirations with their qualifications that truly stand out from the crowd. Choy discusses the principal elements

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of storytelling, as well as the “Five Basic Plots in Business Communications.” She stresses the importance of knowing your audience, and provides tips for telling stories with data, and effectively using visual aids. Her book also offers storytelling templates and opportunities for readers to practice telling their own stories. On LinkedIn Learning, journalist Shane Snow writes that the power of stories is simply that they can make people care what you care about. In a presentation filled with engaging pop culture references, Snow discusses the history and science of storytelling. He cites relatability, novelty, tension, and fluency as the key elements in telling an effective story, and provides ideas on how to apply them to activities like

effective way of bridging the gaps that exist between a business and its customers, as well as those between employees. Hall stresses that this is no easy task, but when done right, stories can capture your audience’s attention, influence them to take an action, and transform them into making lasting, meaningful change. She further identifies the types of stories that can be told to build these bridges. For example, telling “the Value Story” can help convince customers they need your products, and telling “the Purpose Story” can help inspire your employees. Like the other authors, Hall provides resources for readers to improve their storytelling. Every business has a story. It is usually one of hard work, determination, and a relentless desire to serve customers.

Every business has a story. It is usually one of hard work, determination, and a relentless desire to serve customers. presentations and marketing. He also recommends a number of other intriguing resources for further study. In “Stories That Stick: How Storytelling Can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences, and Transform Your Business,” author and professional storyteller, Kindra Hall places storytelling in the context of bridge building. She contends that stories can be the most

However, not everyone is able to share a story effectively. To learn more, and to discover tools to practice telling your story, check out the books mentioned and LinkedIn Learning at your local library or at griver.org. Ryan McCormick is patron services supervisor at Great River Regional Library; griver.org


All Thumbs Researchers at University College London are giving new meaning to the expression “all thumbs.” They’ve taken an award-winning graduate project from the Royal College of Art in London and are using it to test the brain’s reaction to coping with additional body parts. The idea behind the project was to reframe traditional views of prosthetics through the use of a robotic thumb that can be attached to a hand. The preliminary research shows that people changed their natural hand movements, and they also reported that the robotic thumb felt like part of their own body. Source: Tech News World

Generosity Rules Overall charitable giving was up in 2020

$737

2%

average size of a donation in 2020 ––––

the increase in charitable giving in 2020 over 2019 ––––

$617 average size of a donation in 2019 ––––

17% the decline in charitable giving during April – June of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019

$449.64 billion

Everything a business needs for success, technology is behind it.

TECH NEWS

ProductivIT FlexibilIT SecurIT FunctionalIT AccessibilIT ReliabilIT ConnectivIT

OpportunIT PossibilIT VersatilIT CapabilIT ScalabilIT

Managed IT Services | Cybersecurity Collaboration/Voice | Hardware/Infrastructure Website & Custom Application Development Business Intelligence & Analytics

the total estimated donations made to charities in the U.S. in 2019 Source: MarketWatch

Read more about charitable giving in Economy Central on page 30.

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MANAGEMENT TOOL KIT

Ignite Sales with Empathy How deep connections with people can grow your business. By Dan Soldner

3 What are the greatest challenges among your sales and marketing teams? 4 Follow up with, “What else?” Ask this several times, then listen! Keep in mind, every human decision is made with emotion. This is especially critical to recognize when selling, and especially selling in a virtual world where it’s harder to establish a genuine human connection via phone or video. People are generally distracted and rushed, so taking time to ask the right questions and truly listen can help you stand out above your competition.

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mpathy, not sympathy. This distinction is important to keep in mind when considering how human connection can grow your company’s sales. If you have responsibility for the sales function within your organization, you may know there are a lot of techniques, systems, and opinions about how to achieve sales and revenue goals. Throughout my career, I’ve studied and used many of these (e.g. AIDA, Sandler, BANT, LAER), and what I’ve learned is that a critical component of success is the ability to infuse empathy into the sales approach. Obsess over questions

It’s easy to confuse the terms empathy and sympathy. Simply put, empathy is about putting

yourself in someone else’s shoes, and sympathy is about feeling bad for someone. The primary reason empathy is critical in your sales approach is that it helps define the problem. A surface-level understanding of the problem isn’t good enough. You must be willing to persist in questioning and learning to uncover the real pain. If you invest the time to study, be curious, and genuinely seek to understand the customer and the opportunity, you can help guide them to a viable solution. An important lesson I’ve learned is that the problem or challenge the customer is facing isn’t always obvious or visible. In fact, it may not even be the problem they’re stating out loud. To fully define the problem, we must obsess over the questions we ask.

Putting empathy into action

A new day for empathy

Some customers come to us with a solution in mind such as, “We need a new website.” While a dated or ill-performing website could be a barrier to growing business, there is typically something else – a systemic or deeper issue – hindering their success. You might ask, “What’s the business problem you’re seeking to fix?” Then stay on the path to more deeply understand using questions such as, “What’s prompting you to do something about it now?” A few more examples of questions that imbue empathy:

Sales practices of the past focused on a consistent mindset: “I have something to sell, and my job is to get you to buy it.” Today, successful sales professionals are comfortable not knowing the answers. Lean into curiosity, and work hard to relate to prospective customers in a way that brings value to the process and the relationship. Think about your own consumer behavior. When you have a problem or an opportunity, you research, ask for referrals, walk in, or call someone. You gather information to make an informed decision. The best salespeople are not ‘yes getters.’ Rather, they seek to understand and feel what the customer feels, to gain deeper insight into the emotional foundations of the customer’s problem. Infuse empathy into your sales approach, and sales will follow.

1 What misperceptions do your customers have about what you offer? 2 How has your company been impacted by uncertainty or crisis?

Contributor ________ Dan Soldner is the president of Vye, a digital marketing agency based in St. Cloud.

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THE IDEAL CHOICE

COMMERCIAL GENERAL CONTRACTOR

TECH NEWS

3D Biomaterial Printers Researchers in Australia have developed a new 3D printing technique that allows them to create incredibly small and complex biomedical implants. The approach involves printing glue molds that can then be filled with biomaterial. Once the mold is dissolved, the biomaterial structure remains. The technique uses standard 3D printers, such as those now commonly found in high schools, and PVA glue as a printing material. Source: Medgadget

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Food for Thought Lunchtime conversational series developed by the St. Cloud Area Chamber’s Diversity Committee. Sessions provide participants with an informal, comfortable, and engaging setting to consider diversity, equity, and inclusion. Events run from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m and include lunch. Registration is required: $15 for Chamber members, $30 for the general public. ______ July 28 “Lessons from the Past: Visiting the Wall of History.” ______ August 25 “Being antiracist.” Visit StCloudAreaChamber. com for location details.

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Experienced.

Take any opportunity to collect insight, skill and understanding. When we build experience together, small business is knowledgeable.

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Economy Central presented by

ECONOMY CENTRAL

Charitable Giving and COVID-19 It turns out that in times of dire need, we actually are more generous. By Nazimuddin Shaikh and Lynn MacDonald

Did the pandemic fuel an increase in charitable giving?

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ince the beginning of the pandemic, the economy has undergone a forced metamorphosis. We have seen unemployment reach unusually high levels in some sectors while seeing a high number of job openings in other sectors. Even though the impact on the economy has been uneven, what we know for sure is that many things are not as they used to be. It may come as no surprise that

there have been accompanying changes in our charitable giving. In March 2020, Fidelity Charitable conducted a survey of its clients’ attitudes toward charitable giving during the pandemic. They surveyed 1,842 adults in the U.S. who had donated at least $1,000 in 2019. Survey results showed that 25 percent of donors planned to increase their charitable giving and 54 percent planned to maintain their same level of charitable giving. Fidelity Charitable clients followed

Contributors ________ Nazimuddin Shaikh, is an economics student, and Lynn MacDonald, is an associate professor of economics, at St. Cloud State University

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through on plans to increase their donations and donated more than $8.1 billion in 2020, compared with a total of $7.3 billion in the previous year. In August 2020, Fidelity Charitable found that 46 percent of the 500 clients who were surveyed had increased their donations in response to the pandemic. This giving tended to focus on food banks and homeless shelters. Other frequent recipients include “charities that help victims of domestic violence, struggling restaurant and healthcare workers, and mental health support groups.” While complete data is not yet available to fully understand charitable giving during the

overall increase in donations, Deryugina and Marx found that these dire-event-driven donations did not come at the expense of other local charities -- those charities did not see a decrease in the donations that they would normally receive. The initial response to the pandemic has been to increase charitable giving, but we still don’t know if this will be an ongoing increase or just a temporary one. It is also worth cautioning that though this increase in charitable giving is, and has certainly been, a good thing for COVID relief efforts, it is not meant to imply that our work is done. There are many

This has led some to point out that yes, charitable giving is up, but is that enough to sustain our nonprofits? COVID-19 pandemic, we may be able to look to some related economic research for guidance. Recently, economists Tatyana Deryugina and Benjamin Marx set out to explore whether societal needs increase charitable giving or simply reallocate a fixed supply of donations. To study this question, they look at the effects of tornadoes on the supply of charitable donations. They find that there is an overall increase in donations made toward relief efforts. Dire events prompt people to give more. We see this echoed now in the overall increase in charitable giving in response to the current pandemic. In addition to the

areas of high need. Donations may have increased, but other sources of revenue may be down. This has led some to point out that yes, charitable giving is up, but is that enough to sustain our nonprofits? Our world today is more interconnected than when such crises have occurred in the past. The knowledge and technology afforded to us by globalization enables us to make gifts to the right place at the right time. While our individual worlds may have become smaller and more isolated, our altruistic and philanthropic tendencies have become more expansive in this time of need.


E PARK,

$200M

Residential Building Permits

November

16,523*

621,465

885,721

$80M

E PARK,

1,424*

32,948

24,272

December

Home Sales Closed

October

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

Economy September

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

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD

Central presented by ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

COLOR KEY:August

TOTAL: $22,032,015* Compiled by Shelly Imdieke, data current as of 6/14/21

July 2021 Jan Feb December Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

2021

500

$500000

Food and Beverage ST. CLOUD

September

St. Cloud Sartell

TOTAL: $137,532,948

36

309 $15,070,149

June $12,784,000 November

94 $23,700,548 72 $10,104,765

Food and Beverage 13

2020

Sauk Rapids 55 May $24,841,483 October

228 $30,482,808

Waite Park 136 Apr September $15,234,330

135 $5,556,423

$2,200,436 ST. CLOUD 15 $418,056

TOTAL: 182*

TOTAL: 1868

TOTAL: 1823

2019

St. Augusta Mar 7 August $271,600

11 4 $9,754,200 $199,435 2021

St. Joseph Feb 61 July $9,026,116

51 $7,919,703

Jan

June *Total as of 6/14/2021

2000

$2000000

$150M TOTAL: $137,532,948 $200M

246 $68,749,665

July December

1500

TOTAL: $1,287,691

TOTAL: $1,604,677

$1500000

TOTAL: $37,780,807*

2021

338 $116,566,743

10 $0

$500k

$1,157,567

2020

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

TOTAL: $178,724,272

2020-2021

2020-21 % CHANGE

Source: positivelyminnesota.com

December

November

3%

October

September

August

July

June

Jan

May

April

March

6%

February

$200M

December

$150M

November

12%

October

September

August

$100M

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

$50M

Source: positivelyminnesota.com $0 $500k

Feb

9%

$0M

2019

Non-Farm MarJobs January

15%

500

Commercial 2019 2020 2021* August #/$ #/$ #/$

Unemployment Rates

2019

0

November

1000

Data not released at time of print

$1000000

2020

54 $2,205,894

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

TOTAL: $37,780,807*

$100M

39 $4,290,808

2019

October

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH TOTAL: $178,724,272

$50M

December

122 $3,685,577

December

Commercial Building Permits

$0M

November

St. Joseph 73 February $3,304,271

Home Sales Closed in St. Cloud Area

95 $10,023,126

January *Total as of 6/14/2021

$80M

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

2021

October

St. Augusta 73 March $5,979,717

Commercial Building Permits

2019

2020

Waite Park 39 49 15 April $1,084,477 $2,336,431 $1,358,680

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

$70M

500

Sauk Rapids 165 236 76 May $8,585,270 $7,739,324 $2,515,687

TOTAL: $63,885,721

$60M

September

$50M

212 $7,354,947

560 136 $16,235,353 0$4,306,000

2021

$40M

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

2021

2020

$30M

2021

2020

Sartell 309 January$18,954,216 June

2019

$20M

Home Sales Closed

765 2019 $38,601,654

607

$25,977,770 February July

0

$10M

August

St. Cloud

$60M $70M $80M TOTAL: $78,621,465

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$0M

August

September

2021

$0 2019

July

$50M

June

$40M

2020

2019

2020

$30M

May

$20M

April

$10M

2020

Residential 2019 2020 2021* March #/$ #/$ #/$

2021 $0M

May October

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

TOTAL: $22,032,015*

2019

June November

March

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH TOTAL: $63,885,721

February

January

December

Residential Building Permits

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

2020

TOTAL: $78,621,465

0% 9%

-3% -6%

6%

-9% -12%

3%

M

A

M

*Total as of 6/14/2021

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

St. Cloud Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota United States

-15%

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

St. Cloud, MN MetroSA Minnesota United States

J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

31


1000

1500

BUSINESSTOOLS COLOR KEY:

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

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

December

September

TOTAL: $407,920*

September

TOTAL: 312*

TOTAL: $37,780,807*

August

August

2021

July

July

Where are the Workers? December

The pandemic November has caused a disturbance in the talent pipeline.

F

TOTAL: $407,920*

TOTAL: $1,599,444

August

contracting COVID-19, despite the widespread availability July

TOTAL: 182*

a condition, May they might be concerned about working outside of

$2M

the house, especially if the job involves face-to-face interaction. April

TOTAL: $1,604,677

Coronavirus concerns have likely had a big impact on labor force 2000

$2000000

$500k

is down and hiring at this time is difficult. One is fear of

TOTAL: 1868

$1.5M

March

participation and willingness to work outside the home over the February particularly prior to vaccine availability. past 14 months,

STEARNS AND BENTON COUNTIES

$0

orSeptember a variety of reasons, the labor force participation rate

someoneJune with a chronic medical condition, or they have such

TOTAL: $1,287,691

Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auctions

2019

October

$2M

of vaccines. If a person is living at home with an older person or

2020 Source: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud

*Total as of 6/14/2021

$1.5M

E C O N O M I C I M PA C T

TOTAL: 1823

$1M

$1M

Source: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud *Total as of 6/14/2021

1500

$500k

TOTAL: $1,287,691

TOTAL: $1,604,677

$1500000

$0

$500k

January

Home Sales Closed in St. Cloud Area

2000

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

1500

1000

Data not released at time of print

$1000000

2021

2021

$0

TOTAL: $749,418 Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

March February

Feb

TOTAL: $263,458*

2021

TOTAL: $1,604,677

500

ST. CLOUD

0

$500000

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

1000

2019

Mar

Jan $150M $200M Housing/Real Estate sources: St. Cloud Area Association of Realtors, http://stcloudrealtors.com/pages/statistics. *Total as of 6/14/2021

2019

2020

April

Lodging Tax Dollars

2020

2019

2021

2020

2019

$0

$100M

May

TOTAL: 1823

Apr

TOTAL: $178,724,272

500

2020

May

2019

0

TOTAL: $1,287,691

June

TOTAL: 1868

June

TOTAL: $137,532,948

December

ST. CLOUD

November

Food and Beverage Tax Collection October

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

2021

October

September

August

July

June

November

May

April

March

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

November

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

2020

2000

TOTAL: 11* $1.5M

$1M

$2M

2021

Another big reason for labor force participation and January hiring challenges is increased difficulty finding childcare and the uncertainty of in-person schooling during COVID-19. Many childcare providers had to shrink their programs to

TOTAL: 42

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

accommodate social distancing, lost staff, or experienced

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

2020

temporary closures due to COVID-19 exposure. Many providers,

TOTAL: 123

especially smaller family providers, elected to close permanently despite grants and loan opportunities. Parents also had to adapt

2019

to radically changing schedules and the need to supervise young 0

30

60

90

120

children engaged in virtual learning. Workers who are waiting to return to their previous jobs

SHERIFF’S FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS Residential 2019

2020

2021

and are not interested in other work are another reason

Stearns Co.

102

34

5

employers may have a harder time attracting applicants.

Benton Co.

21

8

6

Transitioning to a new career can be daunting and many

Benton County Sheriff’s Civil Process; Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Office *Total as of 6/14/2021; There were no reported auctions in April & May 2020.

32

150

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1

workers still believe their layoffs to be temporary, preferring to wait to go back to their old employers.

Source: MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Trends June 2021

$200M

GROW

500

E PARK,

0

16,523*

January

621,465

885,721

$80M

$80M

$70M

E PARK,

$60M

1,424*

$50M

32,948

24,272

$40M


REAL PEOPLE CREATING STRONGER COMMUNITIES

The organizations we support are making a difference in the communities we call home.

See more organizations Falcon gives back to:

FalconNational.com/Falcon-Gives-Back

When you bank with Falcon, your money works to grow your local economy. That’s because we make it our mission to donate our time, talent and treasure to the local communities we call home. Because when our communities are strong, it gives everyone a more vibrant environment to work, play, dream and thrive.

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B y Je a n in e N is tl e r P h o to g ra p h

y b y Jo e l B u tk o w sk i, B D I P h o to

Donella Westphal knew nothing about running a restaurant when she purchased Jules’ Bistro in 2017. Despite an admittedly steep learning curve, she calls the experience a little bit magical.

THIS IS A LOVE STORY. It’s the story of Donella Westphal’s love of creativity, customer service, community, challenge and continuous improvement. It’s the story of her love of Jules’ Bistro and her bistro team. Westphal has worked as a writer, graphic designer and university English department instructor. She has worked in university offices and for the Girl Scouts. She launched and operated one business, then in 2017 bought another, Jules’, in an industry in which she had no previous experience, and tripled that business’s revenue in three years. Westphal empowers her Jules’ Bistro staff to share in decision making, provide exceptional service and continually strive to enhance the customer experience. She enthusiastically embraces community campaigns and gushes about Jules’ Bistro’s partnerships with other small businesses.

Take, for instance, Jules’ Bistro’s relationship with Spice of Life, a shop just down the street. Jules’ buys loose leaf teas there to brew for customers; and when customers ask where they can buy tea to brew at home, Jules’ points them to Spice of Life. Jules’ buys milk, cream and butter from Stony Creek Dairy near Melrose. In the beginning, “we bought maybe six gallons of milk a week for coffee,” Westphal said. Despite those small purchases, she talked about Stony Creek on the radio and on social media, which boosted Stony Creek’s business. “I just get jazzed about that,” Westphal said. “It’s been a really brilliant partnership.” Westphal has at least 10 such mutually beneficial relationships – and showcases them on the Jules’ website. “You help each other’s businesses grow,” she said.

WHY BE ORDINARY WHEN YOU CAN BE ORIGINAL?” —DONELLA WESTPHAL

THE LOVE STORY BEGINS

Westphal relishes the story of her transition from bistro regular to owner. She owned Your Creative,

J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

35


COVER STORY

TIMELINE 2007-2017

Donella Westphal is a regular guest at Jules’ Bistro

April 2017

Westphal and her husband, Brian, buy the bistro

October 2018

The bistro undergoes a physical expansion, doubling its capacity

March 25, 2020 Bistro team members decide to close because of the pandemic

March 28, 2020 The Westphals decide to press forward with expansion and renovation of kitchen facilities

July 16, 2020 Jules’ Bistro reopens

DISH PIT TALK

Donella Westphal, owner of Jules Bistro, often finds herself in the dish pit when the restaurant is busy. “I’m pretty good at dishes,” she said, “and you’re pretty invisible.” As a result staff talk freely about their frustrations and what equipment they need and haven’t asked for. “You also see what food comes back and whether the portions of your entrees are right or if you’re throwing away a lot of food. One thing I’ve learned is you can learn everything you need to know about the health of your business in the dish pit.”

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BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1

an advertising/marketing business based in the home she shares with her husband and their two sons. “Jules’ was the place where I met my clients,” she said. “It was the place where I came to escape the four walls of my house. So, I was a regular here for over 10 years – in here three or four times a week. I loved this place. It was my place. And I knew Julie, the previous owner. I was in here all the time and she would stop and say ‘hi’ to me.” One day in 2017, while Westphal was meeting with a client, Julie “tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘I think I might need to hire you.’ I got really excited because I thought she was going to ask me to redo her logo. After my client left, she said, ‘I really want to sell the bistro and I want to do it quietly. Can you help me do that?’ I was thinking to myself, ‘I don’t really know how to do that.’ ” So Westphal asked for a few days to come up with some ideas. “I left and got in my car and drove home. It’s about a five-minute drive. I walked in the front door and up the stairs and looked at my husband and said, ‘Julie is selling the bistro, and I’m going to buy it.’ I knew right after Julie told me that she was going to sell. I knew it that moment. I don’t know how I knew. I’d never dreamed of owning a restaurant or a coffee shop.” Westphal recalled that, from time to time when she was working on projects for Your Creative clients, she would muse about how much fun it would be to do the creative work for a business of her own. “I didn’t know what that business would be, but in that moment when Julie told me she was selling, I knew that this was my next thing. This was the next thing I was supposed to do.” Westphal’s husband, Brian, laughed when she said she was buying Jules’ Bistro. “He looked at my face and said, ‘Oh, no. You’re serious.’ I

think he knew how much work Jules’ was going to be, and I wasn’t there yet in my head. He also knew he wasn’t going to dissuade me from doing something I wanted to do.” At Brian’s urging, Westphal met with a friend who is a financial planner. “Andy knows me. He knows my strengths. He knows my weaknesses. He said, ‘I think this is a really good fit for you, and I think you should do it.’ ” Westphal’s next stop was Falcon National Bank, kitty-corner across the street from Jules’. She secured a loan, signed the purchase agreement several weeks later “and Julie handed me the key.” For the next nine to 12 months “I was drowning,” Westphal said, “just trying to figure out how to run this business.” She whittled down the Your Creative client list – and eventually put that business on hold to devote her days (and nights and weekends) to running Jules’ Bistro. “I think it sounds corny when I say this, but everything about the last four years with Jules’ has been a little bit magical,” she said. “The right person has shown up at the right time. The right opportunity has appeared. Every time I feel like I’m not sure what the way forward is, the answer, the solution appears. It just shows up.” She cites as an example the way one team member, Melissa Hessler, came on the scene. Westphal received a call from the woman who at that time was her accountant, saying, “I think my daughter would be a really great fit for your team. Are you hiring and would you consider interviewing her?” Westphal declined, reasoning that she didn’t want to mess up her relationship with her accountant if employing the daughter didn’t work out. The accountant called again, a week later, saying, “Will you please just meet with her?” Westphal asked one of her managers to interview Hessler, who was hired into a part-time position. Westphal and Hessler worked together and got to know each other. Then one day, Westphal said, “She came to me in the hallway, and she said, ‘I love everything about Jules’, and I believe in your vision for this place, and I’m excited about all the things you have planned, and I really just want to be here full-time.’ It was such an incredibly humbling moment to


PERSONAL PROFILE Donella Westphal, 48 Owner/operator of Jules’ Bistro Hometown: Carrington, N.D. Education: Bachelor’s Degree in English and Business Administration, Mayville State University, Mayville, N.D. Master’s Degree in English, St. Cloud State University

ONE THING I’VE LEARNED IS YOU CAN LEARN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HEALTH OF YOUR BUSINESS IN THE DISH PIT.”

have someone so enthusiastically and eagerly telling you that they believe in you and believe in what you’re doing and want to be part of it. I said ‘absolutely,’ so I ended up making her my front-end manager, this young woman who I at first even refused to interview. She came at just the right time, as my other manager was unexpectedly leaving. Things like that happen often here. I think they’re pretty magical.” Westphal says Jules’ Bistro is her passion. She hasn’t achieved work-life balance – and doesn’t want to. “I don’t even know if I believe in it. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to put boundaries around it, even if I tried, and I don’t feel any desire to.” Despite the heavy workload of owning and operating a business, Westphal keeps family close. Husband Brian, who works full time as engineering technical team lead with New Flyer, co-owns Jules’ and does maintenance for the restaurant. He and the couple’s 18-year-old son, Noah, did a whole lot of hands-on work during the remodeling and expansion that doubled Jules’ capacity. The couple’s 10-yearold son, Wilson, frequently hangs out in Westphal’s basement office while she handles the business side of the restaurant.

—DONELLA WESTPHAL

Westphal grew up in Carrington, N.D., in a very conservative Baptist family. No dancing, drinking or card playing. Lots of salt-of-the-earth values. “You do what you say you’re going to do,” Westphal said. “You take care of people. My parents gave me the most incredible grounding, foundation. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m a super creative person, but also incredibly logical and strategic in the way that I do things. I do not quit. I am very driven and motivated. Continuous improvement is at the core of who I am.” Those positive qualities are evident to Bob Johnson, executive director of the nearby Paramount Center for the Arts. “Donella is my friend and an inspiring woman in so many ways – wife, mother, entrepreneur, business

Graphic Design Coursework, The Art Institutes International Minnesota, Minneapolis Work history: The Write Place, St. Cloud State University, Sept. 1999-May 2000 Department of Music, St. Cloud State University, Sept. 2000-May 2001 Department of English, St. Cloud State University, ongoing as invited Office of Sponsored Programs, St. Cloud State University, Sept. 2000-Dec. 2005 Girl Scouts, Land of Lakes Council, Jan.-June 2006 Your Creative, owner, July 2006-2020 Jules’ Bistro, April 2017-present Family: Husband, Brian; Sons: Noah (18), Wilson (10) and Caden (deceased twin of Noah) Hobbies: Live music (all kinds, in all types of venues); theatre (Guthrie season ticket holder for more than a decade); planting flowers in the spring; reading; long-distance walking

J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

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COVER STORY

BUSINESS PROFILE Jules’ Bistro

921 West St. Germain, St. Cloud, MN 56301 (320) 252-7125 julesbistrostcloud.com Owner/Operator: Donella Westphal Owner: Brian Westphal Business description: Jules’ Bistro combines a casually sophisticated menu with a cozy, artistic atmosphere, while putting a delightfully different spin on cooking and baking from scratch. Number of employees: 22

owner,” he said. “It is her passion and commitment in all she does that drives her success. Yet the vision and hard work isn’t for her alone, but rather for a community she cares about deeply.”

FAVORITES AND NOT-SO-FAVORITES

Westphal doesn’t stop for breath when talking about Jules’ Bistro. “My absolute favorite experiences at Jules’ happen, pre-pandemic of course, on Thursday nights when we have live music and the dining room is full of people who are laughing and talking and tapping their feet and singing along to music made by someone who lives in Central Minnesota and there’s art on the wall and it is art created by some talented individual in Central Minnesota and my staff are flying around the bistro making sure everyone has what they need, and they are laughing with each other and chatting with guests, and I am standing in the back, just taking it all in. In those moments, my heart is completely full, and Jules’ is everything I have dreamed it would be,” she said. “It’s a place for community. It’s a place for creativity. It’s a place for kindness. I get the privilege and the joy and the honor of providing the space

for that and experiencing it. All of those experiences and all of the things that we do here at Jules’ are the things that add color to life. They are the moments that people treasure and savor and that is such an honor, such a privilege to witness that in people’s lives. I love it so much.” As with any business, mistakes sometimes happen. At Jules’, it might be a server delivering a salad to a table but forgetting the dressing. It might be inadvertently leaving an item out of a take-out order. “We aren’t perfect,” Westphal said. “We are human, and sometimes we screw up. I teach my staff that I need to be able to have trust with them. I need to know when they genuinely screwed up or when the perspectives of the guest might be skewed a little. “We will have those days, right? I try to teach my guests when I interact with them. ‘I’m sorry you had a poor service experience. That’s not what we want for you. We’re going to do everything we can to make it right. But the server who waited on you has the same struggles you have from day to day. Their dog might have just died. They may be trying to figure out how to pay a bill. They

Winning Combination

Jules’ Bistro owner, Donella Westphal, serves up food and generosity in her downtown St. Cloud restaurant, earning her the 2021 Woman in Business Champion award. Donella Westphal ran a successful advertising agency out of her home and regularly met with clients at Jules’ Bistro in downtown St. Cloud. When the owner of the bistro decided to sell the restaurant, she asked Westphal for help. By the time she arrived home, Westphal told her husband, “I want to buy Jules’ Bistro.” Even though she had no restaurant experience Westphal managed to convince both her husband and the bank that the decision was a good one. After turning over her entire staff in the first three months, Westphal wasn’t so sure. She cut back on her agency work, learned every job in the restaurant, and did lots of cooking, serving, coaching and mentoring. It wasn’t long before she was purchasing the space next door to expand dining. Then, after only three years as owner, Westphal received financing to gut and remodel the existing kitchen and add a baking kitchen in the basement of the building. Timing was not on her side. About halfway through the construction, COVID-19 hit and the restaurant was shut down. Westphal talked with her banker who agreed to continue to

38

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1

finance the construction and she forged ahead taking advantage of the closure to finish the project. These days she spends less time cooking and serving, and more time coaching staff and working with them to find creative ways for Jules’ to be a generous community partner. From Anna Marie’s Alliance to the “Kindness Cake” – a Jules’ fundraising original – their charitable focus is on building community and helping families, women and children. Westphal’s unexpected career shift, company growth and expansion, successful survival of the pandemic, and support of women in business and the community has earned her the title of 2021 Business Central Mark of Excellence-Woman in Business Champion. Westphal, along with Joe Francis, Central McGowan, 2021 Small Business Owner of the Year; and Joe Sexton and Gary Posch, Brandl Motors, Entrepreneurial Success award recipients; was honored at the annual St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Luncheon in June.


3

OF DONELLA’S BEST WORDS OF ADVICE

may have had their car towed.’ No matter how much they care, how hard they try, some of that may bleed through.” Sometimes customers get angry; they overreact. But most, Westphal said, recognize that staff are doing their best and give them some grace. “Of course, there are times when someone just doesn’t fit here. They don’t fit the culture. They’re unhappy,” Westphal said, just like in any business. But she teaches her managers how to do what needs to be done. “Quickly, kindly and honestly ending an employment relationship with someone here might mean the next thing for that person is even better and is a good fit for them. It’s hard in the moment, but I honestly believe things happen for a reason.” Another difficult experience for Westphal is when staff leave to pursue another path. “There are times it’s very clear for someone to move on to the next thing so they can continue to grow, but man, they take a piece of my heart with them. I have such a hard time letting people go.” Tara Gronhovd, owner of ALIGN, business coach and consultant, acknowledged Westphal’s commitment to her team. “Donella truly cares about the employees. She invests in them and cares about their well-being. She makes decisions that are in their best interest even when it may not make sense to someone on the outside,” Gronhovd said. “I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how she invests in her team and it’s exceptional – especially given

The staff of Jules’ Bistro

the year they’ve had with the pandemic. Even in survival mode, she never took her eye off of what was most important to her: the people.” Jules’ kitchen manager Ryan Zerull has worked for Westphal for four years. “In that time, Donella has fostered an environment of creativity and striving for excellence. From supporting her staff to challenging them for personal growth, Donella actively promotes self-ownership of our jobs as well as invests time and resources for each of us to grow and improve personally and professionally,” Zerull said. “I have never worked for someone who cares so much about the people in her life and backs it up every day with kind words, a joke to break the tension, or the time and space to talk about our lives. I can say with 100 percent certainty, that I would not be the same chef or even the same person today, had I not met Donella four years ago.” Westphal says she and her staff care deeply about each other. “I love being able to provide a safe space for my staff to grow and thrive. They mean the world to me. They have gifted me with so much,” she said, with an emotional catch in her voice. “It’s hard for me to imagine I will ever feel like I have given them enough in return.”

Give credit for everything good to your employees and take responsibility for every mistake.” —Brian Westphal

Never ask or expect anyone to do anything that you aren’t willing to do yourself.” —Donella Westphal’s dad

If a job is worth doing, then it’s worth doing well.” —Donella Westphal’s mom

FUN FACT:

When Donella Westphal bought Jules’ there were individual refrigerator and freezer units snaking all the way around. “Every time a truck would come in, we’d have to empty out the chest freezers and put the new stuff in the bottom and the old stuff on top.”

THERE’S SO MUCH ON THE HORIZON FOR US THAT WE HAVEN’T EVEN SCRATCHED THE SURFACE.” —DONELLA WESTPHAL

Jeanine Nistler is a communications professional who formerly worked in St. Cloud and who now lives and works in the Twin Cities.

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F E AT U R E

OVERLOAD! Phone systems. Web sites. Internet access. E-commerce. Office equipment. Every category of technology comes with too many options. But never fear – help is here. By Randy Krebs

W

hether it’s a new entrepreneur shopping for startup technology or a longtime owner asking what would make the company better, astute business leaders don’t just look once, buy IT equipment, plug it in and walk away. Sure, that’s tempting, especially given the endless pushes, pitches and advertisements for all things IT. Still, owners and leaders of

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a variety of Central Minnesota IT companies say the exact opposite is the best investment for any business. To get the most out of their technology, business owners need to start by finding a trusted IT company, share their wants and needs with that provider and – once the new equipment is up and running – have ongoing communication with the provider. That’s the best way

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to make sure businesses are not only getting what they expect, but they’re aware of potential updates, upgrades and any new high-tech tools and trends that might help business. “Continuous contact is important,” said John Koshiol, owner of Now IT Connects, a managed services provider operating in St. Cloud since 2004. “We’re always in touch with clients. The more the

IT service knows about the company, the better service they’re going to be able to provide that customer.” Brenda Eisenschenk, owner of InteleCONNECT in St. Cloud, agreed. “We need to know what type of tools you use. What’s important for the business to run? From our perspective, one of our slogans is ‘we sit on hold so you don’t have to.’ We prefer our customers call us first. We can help them gauge


who they should be reaching out to for help.” “The more you’re able to share with an IT company, the better they will be able to support you,” said Allen Hillstrom, COO of West Central Technology, which started in 2018 in Willmar. “It’s a lot like a doctor. If you go to the doctor and don’t tell the doctor your full history, it’s going to be harder to diagnose the problem.”

Getting started Of course, the first step is often finding that doctor – or in this case, the right IT provider. Start by determining what technology is needed to run the business effectively. Those answers will vary widely. For example, the needs for a business doing e-commerce or relying on social media are much different than an organization with minimal direct contact with the public. With those answers in hand, Eisenschenk, Hillstrom and Koshiol all suggest a similar launch point. Start researching your IT provider options. That research can range from a simple internet search to seeking recommendations and referrals from personal and professional networks. While today’s technology makes it possible to find an IT provider without ever meeting them in person, these three high-tech service providers all stress it’s critical to have face-to-face meetings and site visits in determining initial needs, equipment setup and user training. “Try and find a company that allows you to work with the same engineers, the same group of people, all the time. It makes life a lot easier,” said Hillstrom, who along with CEO Jeremy

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F E AT U R E

“The way technology changes, it’s good to take a look at what’s out there. I would recommend doing it at least on a yearly basis.” —Brenda Eisenschenk, owner of InteleCONNECT

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Winter and CIO Brian Weis, coowns West Central Technology. “We try and customize our services to provide the best level of support for each customer.” Eisenschenk, who started InteleCONNECT in 2007 to focus on telecommunications, said providers should be asking a potential client about the kinds of software it uses, whether the business uses its own servers or relies on cloud computing, and what kind of infrastructure is in place. (Think switches, cabling, routers, firewalls, power backups, etc.) “They really need to think about what’s important for a business to run,” she said. Koshiol, whose Now IT Connects offers complete coverage of all devices and

hardware, recommends not looking solely at price. “Our main focus that we try to make sure of is quality,” Koshiol said. “You don’t want the $400 computer. You want one that’s $900. Otherwise, you’re disappointed every day at work. We look for value and quality.” Hillstrom, whose company joined the Chamber recently, echoed that, saying “if you’re going to go cheap, you’re going to get cheap.” He also advised potential buyers to study details about warranties, research a provider’s partners, and watch for unnecessary upselling. “Most customers should get at least two different quotes,” he said. “Look at the warranty. Look at the level of support and


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service you’re getting. Look at who you’re more comfortable with. The more comfortable you are with the company, the better your support is going to be in the long run.”

Today, tomorrow and beyond While it can be tempting to overlook technology after that initial investment and installation, Eisenschenk, Hillstrom and Koshiol all say that mindset is not the best short- or long-term thinking. Whether it’s industry trends or new products, most businesses can expect hardware will last three to five years. “When I first started in 2007, a lot of it was based on price,” Eisenschenk said. “The way technology changes, it’s good to take a look at what’s out there. I would recommend doing it at least on a yearly basis.” Now IT Connects’ Koshiol agreed, noting that software upgrades often dictate hardware changes. He estimates the average personal computer lasts about four years and the average server five years. “You have to adapt to how the world connects,” he said. A textbook example of that emerged with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Employers and employees suddenly found themselves forced to work from home, which pushed countless IT providers and their partners to develop, install and train users on how to use virtual platforms. “It was a little bit of the Wild West going on, where people just took their machines and left to work from home,” Koshiol said. “There were a lot of home devices that companies had no control of. Is it secure? Does it have anti-virus? At first it was ‘Hey let’s get them working.’ Then from there ‘Let’s move into managed services and managed mobile devices.’ ” Eisenschenk, now in her third decade of business telecommunications experience, said

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F E AT U R E

the pandemic essentially pushed more people to work remotely, a trend all three owners expect to continue. “You’re going to see a lot of people continue to be remote workers,” Eisenschenk said. “As part of that, from a business perspective, you need to protect your data – things like security. You really need to make sure these individual users are taking security into consideration.” In fact, security is among the biggest challenges all three IT providers see in 2021 and beyond. For example,

Eisenschenk and Koshiol both see password sign-on becoming outdated. Instead, businesses will use more secure tools such as two-factor authentication or even biometrics. Similarly, the importance of firewalls and anti-virus software will become only more critical as more people work remotely. And Hillstrom adds backing up data as an emerging challenge, especially as the trend of storing data in the cloud continues to grow. “Small- and medium-size businesses are the majority of

the targets because they don’t have the same setups, the same firewalls that these larger companies have,” he said. “The mindset that it’s not going to happen to me really hurts those end-users.” Hillstrom noted that while it’s easy to not think about – and spend money on – IT services, that approach can be very painful when equipment does crash or systems are breached. And it’s why all three IT owners recommend business owners keep tabs on their IT investments.

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“Testing your comfort zone and being aware of new products is the biggest piece,” Hillstrom said. “Not being stagnant in what is comfortable because things change so often. If you’re not looking at what’s going to change three to five years from now, that three to five years comes up and it’s going to be a lot harder to change. It’s going to be a lot bigger surprise.”

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SPECIAL FOCUS

VOLUNTEERING AS PHILANTHROPY

V

Volunteering builds a stronger community and can help with employee retention.

olunteers are essential to nonprofits. Last year, Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity (CMHFH) estimated it saved over $150,000 because of volunteers. “Without the volunteers, we would have to hire framers, siders, and landscapers,” said Jessica Dahl, volunteer coordinator at CMHFH. “And there are so many other jobs that volunteers help with that without those volunteers we would have to hire that out.” Independent Sector, an advocacy association that supports the

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BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J U LY/ A U G U S T 2 0 2 1

By Alicia Chapman

charitable sector, places the estimated value of each volunteer hour at $28.54. Nonprofits in the area depend on individuals, businesses, and organizations to give back to the community and donate their time. Dahl sees firsthand how volunteering benefits both parties. “My background comes from the corporate world, and I found that when we started engaging our employees in volunteering, overall employee engagement and happiness increased,” Dahl said. “Volunteering helps teams come together.

It helps everyone focus on a common cause beyond their day-to-day activities.” Many local businesses see the benefits of volunteering and include paid time for their employees to volunteer in the community. “I feel like we can all put our name on something and say we donate to it,” said Andy Noble, vice president of Advantage 1 Insurance. “But to physically be there creates that feeling for my staff. It shows that we do care. Businesses get such a bad rep that they have so much money, and they can just write checks for everything. That’s not why we’re doing it. It’s not purely to


have my name on something and only to grow business. It’s to actually impact something.” Giving back to the community is part of the foundation of Thrivent Financial. Its employees are encouraged to volunteer and are given different amounts of time to volunteer depending on their role. Debbie Clausen, who is a financial adviser, has the flexibility to fit volunteering into her daily work schedule. She’s helped frame houses at CMHFH, lead donation drives for Anna Marie’s Alliance, chaired the YMCA’s Promenade, and sits on a few nonprofit boards. As someone who is passionate about the community and all the great causes, Clausen was attracted to a position that encouraged volunteering and community involvement. At DAYTA Marketing, CEO Luke Riordan built a system to make it easy for employees to give back their time, treasure, and talents to the community. They offer unlimited PTO. Their employees are encouraged to

GETTING STARTED Lead by example. Join a board and show your employees that you are giving back to the community.

Find out what causes your employees care about; reach out to nonprofit organizations to see where they need help.

Create a structure that makes it easy for employees to volunteer.

Include your employees in the decision-making process. They will likely have some good ideas on starting to incorporate a volunteer program and/or have some ideas on places they would like to volunteer.

Don’t over-think it. There are fundraiser walks and food drives that make great places to start.

use their skills to volunteer without the hassle of counting their hours. This program has helped build a strong company culture at DAYTA. The idea of a work-life balance is hard to find. At Advantage 1, they focus on a life balance, which is one reason volunteering

and community involvement have become part of its culture. “Everything is tied together, and everything runs together,” Noble said. “So their families mean a lot to me, and the fact that they’re able to do whatever they’re passionate about means a lot to me. Because if you’re sitting here at

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SPECIAL FOCUS

“We want to find employees who care about the community, It’s one of the top things that we look for in finding an individual.” —Luke Riordan, DAYTA Marketing

the office, thinking about all the things you can’t do, you’re not very productive anyway. I’d much rather have you feel like you can do all those things. And we find that people are more productive, even with fewer hours, when they can fulfill their own personal gratification.” This commitment allows Advantage 1 staff to participate in organizations they care about, like Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, St. Cloud Area Chamber, and more. As a result, Advantage 1 has created an environment that attracts top talent. “I usually have people asking if we have openings

because of the culture we’ve created,” Noble said. “We’ve just done things that we felt were right. And some of those have turned out to be very good things for staff retention.” During the interviewing process at DAYTA, the open PTO, culture, and community volunteering are discussed early. Many team members sit on boards or regularly volunteer at Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Catholic Charities, St. Cloud COP House, and more. “We want to find employees who care about the community,” Riordan said. “It’s one of the top things that we look for

in finding an individual. Everybody wants to work in a better community, so that’s why we give back to it.” Volunteering can also help employees feel more connected to the community and feel like they can positively use their personal and professional skills to make a difference. “I think our employees enjoy volunteering because it’s the whole idea of being able to use their talents and be respected for this skillset they have,” said Riordan. “They can see the immediate impact that they’re having or the pathway that they’re blazing.” When businesses first start a paid volunteer program, it can feel a little scary. Noble said this is something he sees a lot from very business-oriented people. They sometimes wonder why he allows his employees paid time off to volunteer for their causes.

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“It’s hard to understand the multiplication of what you get back,” he said. “Say employees only worked six hours a day, and you’re paying them for eight, but those other two are something that they really enjoy doing. That does benefit your business. Not directly but indirectly. It’s really good name and brand recognition that shows we care. We’re not just here trying to make a bunch of money off of people’s insurance. We’re here to be part of the community.” Consumers enjoy seeing their local businesses giving back. When a company is out volunteering or donating to a specific cause, it can attract new customers. “Giving back to the community shows you’re not just a business,” said Clausen. “You are part of the community. You know, anybody can sell the same thing at five different stores, but I’m going to go to the one that I’ve seen out in public volunteering or donating at places that I’m passionate about.”

Another benefit of volunteering, according to Riordan, is helping to grow a stronger economy. “We’re being proactive about building an employee pipeline,” said Riordan. “With Big Brothers, Big Sisters as the example, when we go out and raise funds, or we’re helping them get Bigs matched with Littles, then those youth are going on to be business professionals in the community. And a strong local economy is going to create a better business environment in the end. For us, it’s a long-term strategy in terms of making a better business environment for us and creating more opportunity for the employees around us.” Getting started with volunteering is easy. There are lots of ways organizations need help. No matter what your skills or talents are, most nonprofits can work with you to find a way to plug you in. For example, search the nonprofits on the St. Cloud Area Chamber website and start reaching out to see where

the needs are. Clausen said it doesn’t matter what your passions are. You are likely to find a nonprofit that needs your help – even if it is as simple as coming in and taking some clerical work off the employees. Don’t be afraid to reach out and see where the needs are. “In this current climate that we’re in, after a year of COVID, volunteering is going to become more important than ever,” said CMHFH’s Dahl. “A lot of nonprofit organizations, including ours, were really hard hit, and we are kind of in recovery mode right now. Any hours that people can start volunteering in the community and helping build a stronger community will help build it for generations to come.” Alicia Chapman is a freelance writer and owner of Bluebird Creative LLC, a content writing business specializing in helping small businesses share their stories.

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PROFIT

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FO RS B E RG I N V ESTM E N TS & I N S U R A N C E, L LC

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Independence As independent investment advisers, Mike and Julie Forsberg enjoy flexibility for their clients … and themselves. By Gail Ivers

Business Central: How did you end up in Duluth? Mike Forsberg: We took a weekend trip to Duluth. When we saw the panoramic views of Lake Superior Julie said, “I want to live here.” So we moved. BC: Why did you move back to St. Cloud? Mike: Duluth was a depressed economy. Cold calling was TIMELINE 1972 Mike graduates from Bemidji State University and moves back to St. Cloud; he begins working at North Central Labs as the fleet manager. 1975 Julie Forsberg moves to St. Cloud and meets Mike. 1976 Julie and Mike move to Duluth;

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easy, but no one had any money to buy insurance. I was raised in St. Cloud, the economy was better, I knew people. Julie Forsberg: We were kind of isolated in Duluth. All of our connections were in St. Cloud. BC: Why did you go out on your own? Mike: It allows me to focus on our clients’ best interests. When you have obligations to

one company, you need to offer those funds first. Now I can do what I want …mostly. Julie: Some people are better team players than others. (laughter) We do very little life insurance now. Retirement and inheritance planning is the bulk of our business. Mike: I should have made the move a lot sooner. Being independent, I have a very balanced life and I appreciate that. Julie: Now we can go on vacations together whenever we want. BC: What’s the future for Forsberg Investments? Julie: I’m very semi-retired. I don’t want to work until I’m 80. Mike: I love what I’m doing. I have the flexibility I want. Will I work until I’m 80? Sure, why not? I’m in a position to do a lot of good for a lot of people, and that’s very rewarding.

Mike works in the chemical dependency field; Julie works at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Late 1980s Mike obtains various investment licenses.

1977 The two are married.

1995 Mike transfers from Principal to Pruco Securities.

1980 Bankers Life (now Principal) approaches Mike to sell insurance. Mike transfers to the Bankers Life office in St. Cloud; he and Julie move to Sartell; Julie begins a 30-year career in clinical services and management.

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Feb. 2003 Mike leaves Pruco to become an independent adviser. 2010 Julie retires from clinical services, obtains insurance and annuities licenses, and joins Mike in the business.

99 10th Ave S, Waite Park, MN 56387-1040 (320) 230-8300 forsberginvestments andinsurance.com Business Description: Forsberg Investments & Insurance provides a full range of financial services, including IRA rollovers, retirement planning, inheritance investing, and fee-based accounts. Owners: Julie and Mike Forsberg Opened: 2003 Number of Employees: Two part-time employees Chamber member since September 2006 PERSONAL PROFILES

Mike Forsberg, 71 Hometown: St. Cloud Education: Bemidji State University with a major in social studies/history emphasis and a minor in geography and sociology Hobbies: Bicycling. Mike bikes 3,000-4,000 miles per year, he owns eight bicycles of which three are collectibles; he owns a 370Z Roadster; and collects cigars. Fun Fact: Mike has suffered two concussions from falling off bicycles, breaking his helmet in both cases. ____________

Julie Forsberg, 66 Hometown: Ludington, MI Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison studying cytotechnology; St. Cloud State University studying microbiology Work Experience: North Central Labs in St. Cloud and St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth as a cytotechnologist; manager of North Central Pathology for 28 years; two years setting up a retinal practice in St. Cloud before joining Mike in the investment business. Family: Mike and Julie have two children: Erik and Emily, and six grandchildren Hobbies: Volunteering, reading, time with family, friends and grandchildren. She and Mike enjoy traveling together to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe.


Above and beyond Forbes honors Michael K. Karl and Matthew R. Nikodym as 2021 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors for Minnesota You put your trust in us to work with you along your life’s journey. That relationship is what we enjoy most about our profession. It gives us the opportunity to listen to your challenges and dreams and then bring our knowledge and the global resources and insights of UBS to bear to help you on your path. Our success is due to your success. That’s why we are pleased to inform you that Forbes and SHOOK Research named us 2021 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors for Minnesota. We know we have you to thank. As always, please feel free to reach out to discuss how we can help you with the things that matter most in your life. Michael K. Karl, CFP®, CIMA® Senior Vice President– Wealth Management Branch Manager Senior Retirement Plan ConsultantSM 320-203-6572 michael.k.karl@ubs.com

Matthew R. Nikodym, AAMS®, CRPS® Senior Vice President– Wealth Management Senior Retirement Plan ConsultantSM 320-203-6579 matthew.r.nikodym@ubs.com

Karl Nikodym Wealth Management Group UBS Financial Services Inc. 4150 South Second Street, Suite 500 Saint Cloud, MN 56301 320-252-6909 800-444-3809 toll free ubs.com/team/knwm

Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list is comprised of approximately 5,200 financial advisors. It was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person and telephone due diligence meetings to measure factors such as quality of practice, industry experience, compliance record, assets under management (which vary from state to state) and revenue. Neither UBS Financial Services Inc. nor its employees pay a fee in exchange for these ratings. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC and not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience. As a firm providing wealth management services to clients, UBS Financial Services Inc. offers investment advisory services in its capacity as an SEC-registered investment adviser and brokerage services in its capacity as an SEC-registered broker-dealer. Investment advisory services and brokerage services are separate and distinct, differ in material ways and are governed by different laws and separate arrangements. It is important that clients understand the ways in which we conduct business, that they carefully read the agreements and disclosures that we provide to them about the products or services we offer. For more information, please review the PDF document at ubs.com/ relationshipsummary. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified finanCial PlannerTM and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the US, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. CIMA® is a registered certification mark of the Investments & Wealth InstituteTM in the United States of America and worldwide. For designation disclosures, visit ubs.com/us/en/designation-disclosures. © UBS 2021. All rights reserved. UBS Financial Services Inc. is a subsidiary of UBS AG. Member FINRA/SIPC. ACC_05122021-6 IS2101037 Exp.: 05/31/2022