__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


CRAFTSMANSHIP IS OUR MIDDLE NAME

DCI IS A WORLD LEADER IN MANUFACTURING OF STAINLESS STEEL AND ALLOY EQUIPMENT - A PLACE WHERE WELDERS WANT TO WORK! DCI, Inc. is a world leader in the manufacturing and servicing of shop and field-fabricated storage and processing tanks, vessels, agitators and integrated systems. Our planning, design, manufacturing, and field fabrication teams consist of craftsmen with knowledge and skills in the most innovative and modern technologies in the industry. If you want to work with individuals with the expertise and the technology to support their innovative ingenuity, then DCI is the place for you.

BECOME A PROUD MEMBER OF THE DCI TEAM TODAY! APPLY ONLINE AT DCIINC.COM TODAY!

dciinc.com 320.252.8200


With so many options for care —

primary, urgent or emergency — it can be confusing to know where to go when you need help. Let us help you make the right choice. Contact a CentraCare Connect nurse 24 hours a day / 7 days a week Call 320-200-3200 Text CARE to 320-287-9355 Live Chat at CentraCare.com/connect

Right care. Right place.


CONTENTS GROW

|

NETWORK |

PROFIT

E X P L O R I N G C E N T R A L M I N N E S O TA’ S B U S I N E S S E S .

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 : 6 P r e s i d e n t ’ s L e t t e r / 8 E d i t o r ’ s N o t e / 1 6 To p H a t s / 2 0 N e t w o r k C e n t r a l

PROFIT

Cover Story

40 MORE IS BETTER Ernie Wollak’s dad told him he could have whatever he wanted as long as he

21 CENTRAL MINNESOTA FARM SHOW

worked hard. It turns out, Dad was right.

29 EAT LOCAL

NETWORK

From farm to table, consumers are having a bigger impact on agriculture than simply cleaning their plates.

10 UPFRONT Valuable information designed to guide and educate 32 BUSINESS TOOLS Useful tips and intelligence on how to continue to grow your business

50 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Scott Gronseth. Central Hydraulics

46 JOB CENTRAL: THE SKILLS GAP

GROW

The Trophy room Terri & Ernie Wollack

ONLYONLINE BUSINESSCENTRAL MAGAZINE.COM

• Satisfying Customers • Making Successful Decisions

• Maximizing Video

• Celebrating Best Books

2000-2020 YEARS

Business and education are coming together to address a growing worker shortage.

© Copyright 2020 Business Central, LLC. Business Central is published six times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487. Phone (320) 251-2940 / Fax (320) 251-0081. Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year.


ST. CLO U D AR E A

SP ONSORED BY:

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 :: 5-7pm Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge 161 Saint Anthony Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55103

PARTNER SPONSOR

I N VE ST M E N T S P O N SO R

E V E NT S P O N SO RS ST. CLOUD AREA

Fre e S p o n s o re d Bu s Ava i l a b l e fro m St. C l o u d – l i m i te d s e a ts available . Re gist rat io n is o p e n a n d s p o n s o r s h i p s a re a va i l a b l e a t L e g i s l a t i ve - C o n ne c tion.com


PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Happy Birthday, Business Central! Business Central Magazine is 20 years old.

success. We thank all of them and especially those

This seems like an unbelievable milestone. I clearly

who have been with us for all 20 years. Special thanks

remember walking into Managing Editor Gail Ivers’

to Bob Strack, Strack Companies; CentraCare; and,

office in 1990, tossing the Bloomington Chamber’s new

Stearns Bank for helping us though the beginning

magazine on her desk and saying, “I want to do this;

years and still advertising today.

Consistent advertisers have been key to our

Thanks to Yola Hartman who is our design,

what do you think???” Gail quickly (and excitedly) replied, “I’ve ALWAYS

production, ad traffic and circulation manager.

wanted to do a magazine like this. Let me work on it . . . .”

You’ll notice an updated, fresh design and attitude this

Within weeks Gail brought several publishers to the table,

issue for which Yola is responsible. Joel Butkowski, BDI

we discussed the project and settled on using the same

Photography, is our long-time photographer who does superior work with our cover stars.

publisher as the Bloomington Chamber. That magazine only lasted a few years, due to the crowded magazine market in the Twin Cities. Lots of water has flowed under the bridge since I tossed that magazine on Gail’s desk. Most of it has been smooth water, but there have been some rapids,

One thing is certain, it takes a village to publish a successful magazine. We love our readers, but we could not exist without our advertisers.

Thank you to Wendy Hendricks, who was our associate publisher/sales agent until last spring. Wendy had a passion for this magazine and shared it with anyone who would listen. Our new associate publisher/sales agent, Melinda Vonderahe, is stepping in right where Wendy left off, providing

as well. Today we self-publish, which

advertising sales and service that

means we control our own destiny, but we’ve also weathered changes in printers, associate

allows us to continue to bring stories and news

publishers, sales agents and advertisers.

to all of you.

One thing is certain: it takes a village to publish a

And, of course, Gail Ivers. Gail plans all editorial, writes

successful magazine. We love our readers, but we could

fabulous stories, directs photo shoots, manages the

not exist without our advertisers. When we brought

business of the magazine and worries about everything

Business Central to Central Minnesota, we provided a

there is to worry about. She is and always has been the

venue and readership that was different from any other

heart and soul of Business Central Magazine.

in the area. Our businesses responded enthusiastically to that offer.

Celebrating 2000-2020

Teresa Bohnen Publisher

YEARS

S N A P S H O T: 2 0 0 0 M A G A Z I N E L A U N C H PA R T Y

6

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


2019-20 BOARD MEMBERS ____________________________ Marilyn Birkland, LocaliQ Main Phone: 320-251-2940 Automated Reservation Line: 320-656-3826 Program Hotline: 320-656-3825 information@StCloudAreaChamber.com StCloudAreaChamber.com

Ron Brandenburg, Quinlivan & Hughes, Board Vice Chair John Bryant, Geo-Comm Christy Gilleland, Gilleland Chevrolet Cadillac

CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF ____________________________ Main Phone: 320-251-4170 Executive Director: Julie Lunning, ext. 111 Director of Sports & Special Events: Dana Randt, ext. 110 Sales Manager: Nikki Fisher, ext. 112

Tanja Goering, PAM's Auto

Sales Manager: Rachel Thompson, ext. 128

Jason Hallonquist, AIS Planning, Board Chair

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

President: Teresa Bohnen, ext. 104

Joe Hellie, CentraCare

Vice President: Gail Ivers, ext. 109

Patrick Hollermann, InteleCONNECT

Sales and Services Coordinator: Erin Statz, ext. 113

Director of Administration: Judy Zetterlund, ext. 106

Dennis Host, Coborn’s, Inc.

ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF ____________________________

Willie Jett, St. Cloud School District

Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator: Kelti Lorence, ext. 130

Kevin Johnson, K. Johnson Construction

Special Events Coordinator: Laura Wagner, ext. 131

Bernie Omann, St. Cloud State University

Membership Sales Specialist: Antoinette Valenzuela, ext. 134

Bernie Perryman, Batteries Plus Bulbs

Mark Osendorf, Xcel Energy

Administrative Assistant: Amber Sunder, ext. 124

Allison Waggoner, DCI, Inc.

Administrative Assistant: Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122

Chriss Wohlleber, Courtyard by Marriott-St. Cloud, Past Board Chair

Administrative Assistant: Shelly Imdieke, ext. 100

Administrative Assistant Information Specialist: Jennifer Schroeder, ext. 170

• • • •

Business Conflicts Contract Disputes Property Disputes Partnership & Shareholder Disagreements • Insurance Coverage Issues • Marital Dissolutions

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

7


EDITOR’S NOTE

T

rue story: While on a tour in Africa, I met a man who grew up in Jackson, Minn. and went to school with my sister-in-law, Ann. “He was one of those boys who used to hang out at the gas station,” she said, when I told her of this unexpected encounter. The gas station was the family business, owned by my father-inlaw, Homer Lanning. Homer grew up in a farming family of 12 kids just north of the Iowa border. He suffered from hay fever and left the farm to find work in Jackson. At age 21 he was driving a gas truck for the local cooperative, and soon purchased a tiny Tydol gas station. He expanded the gas station, now a Texaco, building two service bays and purchasing buses to service the local school. That led to another expansion across the street for a bus garage. Homer also provided a tank wagon service, hauling gas to farmers in the region, and had a contract with the local funeral home to ensure that the hearses were kept in running order. He hired high school kids to pump the gas, Ann recalled, “and he expected them to be out there beside the car before it was shut off, and to clean the

8

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

windshield, pump the gas, and check the tires without being asked.” One of the benefits of being a Texaco distributor was their annual Christmas toy campaign. “They came out with toys every Christmas,” she said. “One year I remember a great big ship – it must have been 30 inches long. Once it was a truck for transporting gas. When they branded as Fire Chief, they had a Fire Chief helmet….And you know who the beneficiary of all that was? Tom, of course!” she said, referring to my late husband. Not surprisingly, Texaco memorabilia and photos have been part of my life since I first met Tom. A Texaco clock, sign, and miniature pump are on his shop shelves. I can only imagine what a kick he would have gotten out of seeing the multiple, restored Texaco gas pumps at Ernie Wollak’s office. (See the story on page 40) Tom used to tell me about how his dad and a friend would let off steam by going for a drive. At the riproaring speed of 20 mph they would drive up and down the country roads sharing stories, friendship, and a bottle of bourbon.

From lef t to right: Editor Gail Ivers’ father-in-law Homer Lanning, circa 1940; The origina l gas station owned by Homer, circa 1940; Editor Gail Ivers ponders how to add the Texaco gas pump to her collection of Texaco memorabilia; The gas station right af ter Homer added on a second service bay, circa 1948.

Homer was also a volunteer fireman. One day the sirens went off and he showed up at the fire station. “It’s your place that’s on fire,” they told him. Someone had driven into the gas station knocking over one of the pumps. “The fire went straight up,” Ann said. “It was a torch. They just had to cap it and it was fine.” She said it so matter-of-factly. Like a gas station fire was no big deal. I never had the chance to meet Homer, but everything I’ve ever heard about him says that would have been his attitude. Work hard, have fun, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Until next issue,

.

Courtesy of Ann Dehn; Joel Butkowski, Butkowski Digital Imaging

The Gas Station


Publisher Teresa Bohnen Managing Editor Gail Ivers Associate Editor Dawn Zimmerman CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Luke Greiner, Minnesota DEED Dr. Fred E. Hill, St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Ari Kaufman, Freelance writer

ADVERTISING Associate Publisher/Sales Melinda Vonderahe Ad Traffic & Circulation Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media ART Design & Production Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media

Tracy Knofla, High Impact Training

Cover Story Photography Joel Butkowski, BDI Photography

Kelti Lorence, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

ACCOUNTING Judy Zetterlund

Jeanine Nistler, Freelance Writer Steve Penick, Stearns History Museum Amber Sunder, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Kimberly Tjaden, MD, CentraCare

Celebrating 2000-2020 WEBSITE

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

YEARS

Vicki Lenneman

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.

The Future is Here:

ROBOTIC ASSISTED JOINT REPLACEMENT Take control of your joint pain with robotic-assisted technology. With robotics, our surgeons are performing knee and hip replacements that are more accurate and more personalized, resulting in better outcomes for patients like you. No need to drive to the Twin Cities or Rochester – these revolutionary outpatient procedures are performed right here in St. Cloud. Life without joint pain is closer than you think. Contact us today to learn more.

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

PH

800.349.7272 | stcsurgicalcenter.com

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

9


UPFRONT GROW

|

NETWORK |

PROFIT

N E WS & P E O 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 WO R K

I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E : Digging Histor y / Your Vo ice in Gove r nme nt / To p H a ts / T he Tro u ble w ith Bu sines s

BOOK REVIEW

NEWS REEL

Healing Words

CentraCare documentary wins award

Saying “I’m sorry,” isn’t always easy, but learning to do it effectively is at the heart of leadership. Reviewed by Dr. Fred Hill In Why Won’t You Apologize?, the renowned psychologist and bestselling author of The Dance of Anger shows us how a meaningful apology restores trust, while silence and defensiveness can cause excruciating pain. She also explains why the pressure

CentraCare and Twin Cities PBS received an Upper Midwest Emmy for their documentary series about Adverse Childhood

In Chapter 1 Dr. Lerner explains how to craft a meaningful apology, explaining that “I’m sorry,” if done well, is enough and soothing. If done poorly, it’s a bummer that can continue haunting and even be downright mean. The

We all want to suffer less, yet we may reflexively lock ourselves into ways of thinking that block us from resolution and letting go. That’s the message in Chapter 11. When other people act badly, it has to do with them, not with you.

Experiences called “Whole People.”

Microbiologics announces acquisition Microbiologics acquired Micromyx, a Michigan-based commercial microbiology laboratory.

to forgive only deepens the original injury and may even retraumatize the hurt party.

D

r. Harriet Lerner has written a sanity-saving book. As she points out, “The courage to apologize, and the wisdom to do it well, is at the heart of effective leadership, marriage, parenting, friendship, personal integrity, and all that we call love.” Of the 12 chapters in the book, my four favorites are: Chapter 1: The many faces of I’m sorry Chapter 6: He’s so defensive Chapter 11: How to find peace Chapter 12: The two most powerful words in the English language

People won’t apologize if they’re feeling overly accused or pushed to assume more than their fair share of the blame. simplest “I’m sorry,” the one easiest to offer, is when nothing is anybody’s fault. Entrenched nonapologizers will never own up. People won’t apologize if they’re feeling overly accused or pushed to assume more than their fair share of the blame, the author explains in Chapter 6. Anyone who is criticized inaccurately will listen defensively. When appropriate, criticize the behavior, not the person.

Dr. Lerner believes “I’m sorry” are the two most healing words in the English language. Chapter 12 explains that when they are spoken as part of a wholehearted apology, these words are the greatest gift we can give to the person we have offended. I’m sorry if you didn’t like my review. (Smiling at you )

Pelzel receives Caduceus Award Jamie Pelzel, MD, cardiologist at CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center, received the 2019 Caduceus Award. This award recognizes the work of physicians who exhibit humanitarian medical efforts locally or around the world.

Groome Transportation acquires Executive Express Groome Transportation recently purchased airport shuttle rights from Executive Express and will operate out of the facility in Waite Park, which was opened

Dr. Fred E. Hill is an emeritus

by Executive Express in 2018.

professor at St. Cloud State

Executive Express will continue

University.

to operate its charter, package delivery, and Iowa shuttle businesses.

W hy Won’ t You Ap ol og i ze? Heal i ng Big Betrayals an d Ev er y day Hur t s, by Har r iet Ler ner, PH .D., Touchtone ( S i mo n & S c h u ster, In c . ), N Y, 2 01 7, ISBN 9 78 -1- 50 11-29 59 -9

10

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

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


PEOPLE TO KNOW

Get to know these people, it’ll be worth your time!

Tammy Buttweiler United Way of Central Minnesota ________

Rachael Sogge Eyecon Graphics ________

Chad Staul Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A. ________

Phone: (320) 229-3509 Email: tbuttweiler@unitedwayhelps.org Chair, Membership & Workforce Development Division

Phone: (320) 237-3695 E-mail: rsogge@eyecongraphics.com Chair, Marketing Committee

Phone: (320) 251-1414 Email: cstaul@quinlivan.com Chair, Business Development Council

________

________

________

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

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

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

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

11


NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL

DIGGING HISTORY

PleasureLand RV Center wins industry awards

Rail and Stone

PleasureLand RV Center was to the RVBusiness Magazine

Polish immigrants found work and camaraderie in the St. John Cantius neighborhood.

list of Top RV Dealers in North

By Steve Penick

one of 50 dealerships named

received the 2019 Arthur J. Decio Humanitarian Award for their charitable endeavors.

CommunityGiving receives national recognition The Central Minnesota Community Foundation, in partnership with CommunityGiving, received reaccreditation from the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, the nation's highest standard for philanthropic excellence.

E Borash named Nursing Director of the Year Jessica Line Borash, Assumption Community, was named Nursing Director of the Year by the Minnesota Directors of Nursing Administration.

POS acquires Palmer Printing POS Professional Office Services recently acquired Palmer Printing. Clients will continue to work with their current account and project managers.

JLG Architects receives award JLG Architects was recognized with the 2019-2020 Emerging Professional Friendly Firm Award by the Emerging Professionals Committee of the American

thnic districts played a major role in the evolving American story in the 19th Century. Immigrants often lived next to those with similar backgrounds, finding comfort and stability in a common heritage. St. John Cantius Catholic Church served as the neighborhood landmark for the nearly 300 houses located northwest of downtown St. Cloud, bringing together those of Polish ancestry to live, work, and practice their faith.

Boy Scouts standing in front of St. John Cantius Catholic Church, St Cloud, 1942

The neighborhood itself remains one of the oldest in the city. By 1858, Anton Edelbrock and Charles Stearns platted the neighborhood, but it took several years before any significant housing construction began. Houses remained scattered, with many empty lots in between. One reason for this haphazard development was linked to the railroad. Rail lines reached St. Cloud by the mid-1860s and crossed the Mississippi River six years later when a bridge was built. The tracks, depot, and accompanying railyard bordered Breckenridge Avenue just north of the St. John Cantius

neighborhood. Polish families started locating there by the mid-1880s, attracted by railroad jobs and affordable housing. The neighborhood experienced a construction boom between 1890 and 1920, with architectural styles indicative of workingclass neighborhoods in larger American cities. These 19th Century designs initially had German floorplans and used local materials, such as granite, for foundations. By the turn of the century, a character unique to the area developed: yellow brick, from factories in south St. Cloud, became a common building material over the next two decades. Employment opportunities undoubtedly influenced those in the neighborhood. In addition to the railroad, the burgeoning granite industry marked the neighborhood’s west side. Finishing shops, of which there were several by 1905, took advantage of rail lines near Osseo Avenue to ship granite products across the country. Workers at Great Northern Granite, St. Cloud Marble, Granite Works, and others shaped, chiseled, and polished granite into building components and memorials.

Institute of Architects.

St. John Cantius Calendar, St Cloud, 1926

12

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

Photos courtesy of the Stearns History Museum.

America in 2019. The center also


The Granite Sheds, St Cloud, circa 1916

An expanding economy and quality craftsmanship served the industry for the next several decades. Other small businesses took hold as well. In time, ethnic shops served the local clientele, such as Peter Janochosky’s grocery store and Max Kloskowski meats. By the late 1880s there were enough Polish residents to form a Catholic Church. A few years later, Bishop Otto Zardetti of the St. Cloud

influence. The church was blessed by Bishop James Trobec in 1901. The neighborhood evolved and changed throughout the 20th Century, facing challenges common in aging city districts. While Polish roots continued, their prominence waned as different ethnic groups established themselves. In 1996, an association formed to advocate for infrastructure improvements. Nearly

While Polish roots continued, their prominence waned as different ethnic groups established themselves. Diocese asked Fr. John Kitkowski to organize a national Polish church. In 1893 congregation members purchased a lot on the corner of 3rd Street N and 16th Avenue N and in 1895 Fr. Sigismund Suszcynski began the incorporation process. Construction was supervised by two parishioners, Joseph Marsolek as the general contractor, and Frank Porwoll, for the brick work. An onion dome at the top of the steeple (not an original design element) indicated the parish’s eastern European

a decade later there was discussion about forming the neighborhood into a St. Cloud Historic District, but resident reaction to the idea was mixed and the idea was tabled. Built on the economic strength of rail and stone, the St. John Cantius neighborhood, under the shadows of the onion steeple church, still attracts those looking for affordable housing. Steve Penick is the head archivist at the Stearns History

your care,

YOUR CHOICE.

When it comes to bone, joint, and muscle care, remember—you have a choice of who your treatment comes from. As an independent healthcare practice, St. Cloud Orthopedics was built just for patients like you. We give you the advantage of one-on-one care from nationallyknown experts who also happen to be your neighbors. From treatment through recovery, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Ask for us by name.

Ask for

ST. CLOUD ORTHOPEDICS 320-259-4100 1901 Connecticut Ave S, Sartell, MN 56377

StCloudOrthopedics.com 3315 Roosevelt Rd. 200B St. Cloud, MN 56301

Museum in St. Cloud.

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

13


NEWS REEL Gray accepted into ABOTA Kevin Gray, managing partner of the law firm of Rajkowski Hansmeier Ltd., was accepted into the American

YO U R VO I C E I N G OV E R N M E N T

Workforce: Seeking private-sector solutions Business Benchmarks

o subject is more widely discussed than the state’s – and the nation’s – current labor shortage. It impacts every industry and region in Minnesota and challenges current systems and assumptions about how workers are educated and prepared for jobs of the future. As the public sector debates systemic changes in immigration and education, private-sector employers are finding new ways to retain, train and attract new employees to fill immediate needs. It’s clear there are no simple long-term solutions. But private-sector innovation is leading the way toward solutions to these critical workforce challenges.

Making sense of our economic competitiveness is tougher. MINNESOTA RANKING: 1ST IS BEST

the ethics, professionalism and

TWO-YEAR DEGREE OR HIGHER

principles of the legal profession.

(AGE 25 AND OLDER)

Roberts named to IPPA board of directors Lee Roberts, director of sales as BerganKDV, was elected to the Independent Payroll Providers Association (IPPA) board of directors.

Marco names vice president of finance Marco recently promoted James Bainbridge to vice president of

8TH-GRADE READING SCORES

company since 2017 as controller. Marco was also named an Elite Dealer by ENX Magazine

2017

Ranked 4th 47.3% 2017

Ranked 12th 269 average 2017

LABOR PARTICIPATION RATE

Ranked 2nd 70.1%

NET INTERNATIONAL IMMIGRATION

1

SPOT

FROM 2016

WORSE

6

SPOTS

National Average: 265

Ranked 36th 83%

NET DOMESTIC MIGRATION

BETTER

National Average: 40.5%

ON-TIME HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE

finance. Bainbridge is an active CPA and has been with the

PAGE 18

In the last year, Minnesota has been ranked the second-best N place to live, and also the worst place to live (for our weather).

Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA.) This organization champions

See five-year EDUCATION trends

FROM 2015

WORSE

1

SPOT

National Average: 85%

FROM 2016

2019

SAME

RANKING AS 2018

National Average: 63.2%

BETTER

2010-2018

Ranked 29th 26,159 net loss 2010-2018

1

SPOT

FROM 2005-2009

BETTER

Ranked 18th 107,830 gain

1

SPOT

FROM 2000-2010

for the seventh consecutive year. This award acknowledges Marco’s commitment to customer satisfaction, quality service and cutting-edge technologies.

Chamber receives Mayor’s Award St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis presented the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce with the 2019 Reflection of the Year Award. The mayor cited the Chamber’s 150 years of advancing business and supporting the community and the region, and for the organization’s successful and on-going 5-Star accreditation as reasons for his selection.

14

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

T

he Minnesota Chamber of Commerce recently produced and released the 2020 Business Benchmarks report. The report, in its fifth year, analyzes data around a multitude of available economic indicators and illustrates the impact on real businesses in our state. Among this year’s findings: Minnesota’s economy is still growing slower than the national average. We are ranked 22nd nationally with 2.2 percent growth in state Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to the

MINNESOTA 2020 BUSINESS BENCHMARKS

national average of 2.9 percent. Still, we’re up one spot from 2017. ––––––– Tax reforms in other states and federal reform have widened the tax competitiveness gap. ––––––– Innovation continues to be a bright spot for our state’s economy. ––––––– Long-term transportation investment helped support global business connections. ––––––– Solutions to workforce challenges will come from private-sector innovation

16

and systemic changes in education and immigration. ––––––– In the current labor market, the cost of doing business is tied to the cost of living for workers. The Minnesota Chamber looked back on results from the last five years to identify key trends and takeaways. These included: Improved highway performance, lower workers’ compensation costs and more talent coming into our state through state-to-state and international migration. –––––––

Source: Minnesota 2020 Business Benchmarks Executive Summary; Graph from 2020 Business Benchmarks.

NETWORK

MINNESOTA 2020 BUSINESS BENCHMARKS

UPFRONT


IN THE NEWS Troubling trends include rising tax burdens and health care costs, and overall economic performance that lags the national average. ––––––– Mixed results include exports that are up, but subject to uncertainty in this political environment; and, a strong workforce, yet we face critical labor shortages, education outcomes and achievement gaps that impede worker preparedness. ––––––– We continue to rank in the top seven or better in the Technology and Science Milken Index (7th); business

five-year survival rate (2nd); and patents per capita (6th). ––––––– The data collected in the Business Benchmarks report is used to address how to make our businesses more successful. We also use it to drive policy development that we share with our elected officials in hopes of encouraging decisions that make Minnesota a more attractive and affordable place to work and live.

Sartell Citizen of the Year! Jed Meyer, president and CEO of St. Cloud Financial Credit Union, is the 2019 Sartell Citizen of the Year. The recognition is a collaborative effort between the City of Sartell and the Sartell Chamber and recognizes citizens who make significant contributions to the community.

Doing Good Express Employment Professionals donated $10,000

To review the entire report visit Business CentralMagazine.com

to local nonprofits through its Brand It Blue Initiative. Recipients include Pathways 4 Youth, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army.

Redefining Commercial Real Estate We’ll keep you engaged every step of the way.

LEASING | SALES | DEVELOPMENT

320.257.5400 | RICEPROPERTIES.COM

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

15


NETWORK

UPFRONT TO P H ATS

NEWS REEL

CentraCare nurses selected as finalists Twelve nurses from CentraCare were selected as finalists for the 2019 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award. Kim Welvaert, neonatal lactation nurse, was named the 2019 Distinguished Nurse of the Year. CentraCare

NEW BUSINESS Crooked Pint Ale House, an urban pub with the feel of a local neighborhood restaurant, full menu and a generous selection of beer, wines, and spirits, 58 Division Street, Waite Park. Pictured: Sarah Noble, Darin Agnew, Mark Osendorf.

NEW BUSINESS Twenty4Seven Fire and Security, fire alarm and security systems that work on all low voltage systems, 20 32nd Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Peg Imholte, Rich Halloran, Jason Miller.

also had four category winners:

10-YEAR MEMBER Infinite Eye Care, comprehensive optometry eye exams, specialty contact lens fitting, pre/post lasik care, glaucoma testing, infantSEE well child exams, injury, 210 2nd Ave. N, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Jason Miller, Dr. Tom Johnson, Tammy Buttweiler.

35-YEAR MEMBER Spee-Dee Delivery Service, a regional delivery service, 4101 Clearwater Rd, St. Cloud. Pictured: Liz Kellner, Andra Knapek, Don Weeres, Jana Schindele, Tanja Goering.

Jessica Thoma, education and research; Diane Pelant, leadership; Melanie Odden, neonatal; and Sara Maciej, oncology.

25-YEAR MEMBER American Heritage National Bank, commercial bank offering business and personal loan products, financial planning and depository services, 2915 2nd St. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Bernie Perryman, Matt Coran, Jay Johnston, Tanja Goering.

S Economic Climate

CHANGED

Ex plore the e ffe c ts of c l i m a t e cha nge o n our l oc al , s ta t e , n a t i o n a l and global e c onomi e s .

F e b r u a r y 2 0 - 2 1 , 2020

S

Presented by the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs, Department of Economics, and Center for Economic Education.

learn more | register | sponsor

stcloudstate.edu/winterinstitute Facebook: @winterinstitute Twitter: @stcloudstate_WI St. Cloud State University is committed to legal affirmative action, equal opportunity, access and diversity of its campus community. (scsu.mn/scsuoea)

16

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

S

S S S

SS S S

WINTER Innovative Economics

10% discount promo code: Chamber2020

S


WWW.DESIGNELECT.COM

TO P H ATS

NEW MEMBER Spinal Rehab Clinics, a multi-disciplinary clinic providing chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy and physical therapeutic rehabilitative health care, 225 N Benton Drive, ste 105, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Dr. Tom Dungey, Dr. Daniel Carlson, Patrick Hollermann.

NEW MEMBER Inspired By You Home Care, LLC, offering complex nursing care and personal care assistants to individuals looking for homecare services, 2700 1st Street N, suite 202, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Crystal Whitworth, Jacie Blenker, Jason Miller.

• ARE YOU AN XCEL CUSTOMER? • DID YOU KNOW TIME IS RUNNING OUT ON SOME OF THE BEST LED LIGHTING REBATES? • NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO ENGERGY EFFICIENT LED LIGHTS • CONTACT US TODAY FOR A RETURN ON INVESTMENT ESTIMATE CONTACT US FOR ALL YOUR COMMERCIAL WIRING NEEDS THINKING OF SOLAR AS AN OPTION FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

ELECTRIC, INC.

PH-320.252.1658 NEW MEMBER Midwest Financial Partners, 912 W St. Germain Street, ste 201, St. Cloud. Pictured: Matt Knutson, John Glomski, Patrick Hollermann

NEW MEMBER Central Minnesota Orthodontics, 140 Twin Rivers Court, Sartell. Pictured: Brenda Eisenschenk, Dr. Kyle Knudsen, Rory Cruser.

NEW MEMBER Danny’s Dugout, Frey Inc., a neighborhood sports bar and a game day destination, 736 S Benton Drive, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Patrick Hollermann, Jeremy Frey, Tanja Goering.

NEW MEMBER Sound Connection, Inc., a vehicle enhancement facility offering remote starts, multimedia radios, speakers, vehicle safety to full custom show vehicles, 49 2nd Ave. S, Waite Park. Pictured: Brian Jarl, Mike Schwitz, Amanda Groethe.

24-Hour Emergency Service

NEW MEMBER Lincoln Depot, a casual pub with something for everyone including a kids menu, call ahead and togo orders, 629 Lincoln Ave. SE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Patrick Hollermann, Jeremy Frey, Tanja Goering.

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

17


NETWORK

UPFRONT

THE TROUBLE WITH BUSINESS

Identity Theft Take steps now to keep your identity, and that of your customers, safe. By Jeanine Nistler

W

hat troubles can befall your business if your identity is stolen? Credit accounts could be opened, with astronomical charges billed to you. Tax returns could be filed using your Social Security Number, with refunds going to the thief. Large sums of money could be swept from your bank account to fake employees of fake companies. The latter is exactly what happened to a St. Cloud-area business owner a few

years ago. The experience, he said, was devastating. Thieves transferred $300,000 from his company’s checking account to pay “employees” of a make-believe company. The identity thieves also opened 36 accounts across the country in the business owner’s name. (Business Central agreed to protect the business owner’s identity as he has become extremely cautious as a result of his experience. “You’re always on high alert about everything,” he said.) Although the St. Cloud Police Department sees few cases of identity theft, “when it happens, it is so disruptive, whether it’s an individual or a business,” said Assistant Chief Jeff Oxton. In the St. Cloud-area case discussed here, the FBI investigated. The business owner’s insurance paid for a private firm to recover the money and clean up the mess, which the business owner said took hundreds and hundreds of hours, involved numerous signed affidavits and a lot of heartache. “It angered me. It took so much of my time. I worried about what was going to happen next.” Now, as a registered identity theft victim, he files tax documents using a secret code that the government provides a month before the filing deadline. What advice does this businessman offer to you? “Freezing your credit (reports) is probably the smartest thing you can do,” he said, adding that it’s important to freeze with all three credit reporting companies.

He also strongly recommends sharing your Social Security Number only when necessary, which it rarely is. Protecting your Identity Credit report companies offer these 6 tips for protecting your identity: A Collect only the information and data you need about your employees and customers. Securely dispose of it when you no longer need it. B Regularly monitor your financial accounts with a sharp eye for suspicious activity, no matter how small the dollar amount. C Lock or freeze your personal and business credit reports, which restricts access to the reports and makes it extremely difficult for new credit accounts to be opened in your name. A lock is a product offered by the credit bureaus; a freeze is guaranteed by the government. D Regularly check your company’s locked or frozen credit report for unusual activity because fraud can still happen. E When asked for your Social Security Number, push back. Ask why it’s needed, how it will be used, how it will be protected and what will happen if you don’t provide it. Chances are another form of identification will suffice. F Unless you are covered by Medicare, you should not have to provide your Social Security Number to your health care provider.

Fraud Alert! The IRS encourages you to be alert for these 4 signs that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft:

18

A Your attempt to file your

B You receive a letter from

C You receive income

D You receive a tax refund,

tax return electronically is rejected.

the IRS asking you to verify whether you sent a tax return bearing your name and Social Security Number.

information from an employer with whom you are not familiar.

tax transcript, or a reloadable, pre-paid debit card that you did not request.

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


STEARNS BANK CUSTOMER

Jim Urseth, President Reliable Premium Management, Waite Park, MN

Ask about our BusinessSmartTM accounts. They’re simple, smart, and rewarding for your business.

Fast Financing & personalized service. We get the job done!® Visit StearnsBank.com today.

Follow us

| 800-320-7262 |

Let’s fix your marketing. Better results don’t just happen. They start with serious thinking, smart approaches and proven experience. PU

They start with a call to us.

B O

R

TI A

ES

EL

EA

R

R

C

C

H

LI N

Small Business Tips The Federal Communications Commission offers these 10 cybersecurity tips specifically aimed at small businesses: A Require employees to use strong passwords and establish policies for protecting customer information and other vital data. B Use the latest security software, web browser and operating system to defend against viruses and malware. C Use a firewall to prevent outsiders from accessing data on your network – and make sure that firewall protection covers employees who work from home. D Require employees to passwordprotect their cell phones, iPads, and other devices; encrypt data. E Limit employee access to only the specific data systems they need for their jobs; require employees to obtain permission to install any software. F Require employees to use unique passwords, which should be changed every three months. Require information beyond a password to enter the system. G Regularly back up the data on all company computers and mobile devices; store copies offsite or in the cloud. H Require employees to lock laptops when unattended; give administrative privileges only to trusted key personnel. I Secure your Wi-Fi network by setting up the wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name – and password protect access to the router. J Isolate payment systems from other, less secure programs and don’t use the same computer to process payments and surf the Internet.

Stearns Bank has everything the large banks have, but they also have the people behind it, which is very important to me.

S IR

B

G

PU

N

LI

SI

C

TI

For additional resources related to identity theft, visit BusinessCentralMagazine.com

FF A

ER

GreenfieldComm.com 320.260.5744

A

V D

working in the Twin Cities.

A

communications professional now living and

S

Jeanine Nistler is a former St. Cloud

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

19


NETWORKCENTRAL GROW

|

NETWORK |

PROFIT

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

The Night the Stars Came Out The Chamber celebrated and thanked the many volunteers who held leadership positions during 2018-19 at the annual Star Celebration. Photos by Jeff Yapuncich, YuppyPhoto

2019-2020 Chair of the Board Jason Hallonquist, AIS Planning

Jason Hallonquist AIS Planning thanks retiring Board Chair Chriss Wohlleber, Courtyard by Marriott

Completing six years on the Chamber Board, Dave Borgert, retired, CentraCare with his wife Sharon Star Celebration Committee (L-R): Committee chair Chase Larson, Falcon National Bank; vice chair Kristin Hannon, Minnwest Bank; Rachel Templin, Finken Water Treatment; Rose Clement, The Flag Store; Ashley Green, Green Thumb, Etc.; Paula Capes, Falcon National Bank; Julie Forsberg, Forsberg Investments & Insurance; Laura Wagner, St. Cloud Area Chamber; Dan Kramer, Dan Kramer Inc.; Bernie Perryman, Batteries Plus Bulbs

Sarah Noble, AIS Planning, former chair of NEXT and a past Top Hatter with her husband Andy Noble, Advantage 1 Insurance Agency, retiring 2-term chair of the Central Minn. Farm Show

Retiring Board member Jim Gruenke, Traut Companies, and his wife Pat

Liz Kellner, Odor Eliminators (center), membership and workforce development division chair, with her daughters Amelia Rivers (L) and Jillian Kjer

20

Waite Park Chamber past chair David Vee, Edina Realty with his wife Bridget Vee, Guaranty & Title Co., a current member of the Sauk Rapids Chamber Executive Committee

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

The Star Celebration was the capstone event of the Chamber’s 150th Anniversary. The audience ended the evening with a toast to the past, present and future of business growth in Central Minn.


2020 CENTRAL MINNESOTA FARM SHOW FEBRUARY 25-26, 2020

CULTIVATING FRIENDSHIPS Presented by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce


22

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


2020 CENTRAL MINNESOTA FARM SHOW FEBRUARY 25-26, 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Central Minnesota Farm Show! CINDY BATTLESON

Rapids Alterations & Repair (320) 255-9083 Co-Chair, Central Minnesota Farm Show Committee

FRANK IMHOLTE

Black Diamond Auctions (320) 241-1200 Co-Chair, Central Minnesota Farm Show Committee

LAURA WAGNER

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce (320) 656-3831 Central Minnesota Farm Show Coordinator

T

he Central Minnesot Farm Show, brought to you by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, is the largest indoor show of its kind in the region. Why does such a show exist in this growing metropolitan area? Because agriculture is still one of the area’s leading industries! The St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has 1.5 as many people working in farming as other regions. Since opening its doors 50+ years ago, the Farm Show has been a popular community event for Central Minnesota. The show offers something for everyone with an interest in agriculture. When you turn to the center of this program you’ll find a complete map of the show and a list of vendors to help you make the most of your visit. The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping area farmers through organization and sponsorship of the Central Minnesota Farm Show. And there’s something else we’d like you to know. As part of our commitment to agriculture and education, each year the Chamber dedicates a portion of the proceeds from the Farm Show to ag-related student scholarships. Volunteers have worked hard to put together a show that you will find both valuable and fun. Enjoy your visit with us and if you have questions or suggestions, please stop by the information booth. We’d like to hear from you. Sincerely,

Cindy Battleson, Frank Imholte and Laura Wagner

Fun Fact: Agricultural production and processing in Minnesota plays a huge role in the state’s economy as it accounts for $57.5 billion in sales and more than 147,000 jobs. Minnesota ranks fifth in total agricultural production and eighth in live-stock production for the nation. Source: MN Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED)

2020 Farm Show Seminar Schedule TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25

WEDNESDAY,FEBRUARY 26

10 - 10:45 A.M.

Minnesota’s Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture Thom Petersen will join us to discuss the regional farm economy. –––––––––––––– Thom Petersen is a long-time resident of Royalton Township near Pine City where he lives on a horse farm. He has served as the director of government relations for Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) since 2002, working on behalf of MFU’s farmer-members in both Washington, D.C., and St. Paul. Prior to his work at the Minnesota Farmers Union, Commissioner Petersen spent most of his life working for his family and on his own horse and farm business. He has a wide range of experience in state and federal farm policy, and travels to almost every county in Minnesota each year to fully understand how these policies affect farmers’ daily lives. The Petersens show horses around the state and have competed at the Minnesota State Fair for over 25 years.

1 - 1:45 P.M.

J.D. Shuerman, Advance Trading, Inc., will talk about risk management and market guidance to grain producers, commercial elevators and end users, including energy producers and livestock feeders.

10 – 10:45 A.M.

Steve Schack, Beaudry Oil & Propane, will address propane safety.

11 – 11:30 A.M.

Beck’s Hybrids will share the results of their Practical Farm Research Study.

1 – 1:45 P.M.

Emily Wilmes, University of Minnesota Extension Service, will share ideas on managing stress, with a particular focus on the challenges in rural areas and farming communities. Presenters and topics are subject to change. For the most current information visit CentralM-NFarmShow.com

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

23


2020 CENTRAL MINNESOTA FARM SHOW FEBRUARY 25-26, 2020

#19

#18 EXIT

Concessions

O.H. Door

O.H. Door

Exit

A621 A709

A431 A508

A520 A608

A620 A708

A430

A507

A519 A607

A619 A707

A717 B815

B836

A429

A506

A518 A606

A618 A706

A716 B814

B835

A617 A705

A715 B813

A409

A432

A120 A208

A220 A308

A320 A408

A420

A108

A119 A207

A219

A307

A319

A407

A419

A107

A118 A206

A218 A306

A318

A406

A418

A404

A315 A403

A416

A427 A504

A615 A703

A425 A502

A514 A602

A614 A702

A712 B810

A501

A513 A601

A613 A701

A423 A500

A512 A600

A612 A700

A114 A202

A314 A402

A414

A102

A113

A201

A213 A301

A313 A401

A413

A424

A101

A112 A200

A212 A300

A312 A400

A412

Entrance

A2

A3

A5

A4

Mens

A7

A6 INFO

Entrance

Entrance

A9

A8

Event Room

B834 B833 B832

B831

B830

11'' Aisle

11'' Aisle

A1

B812

A515 A603

A103

A100

A616 A704

A714

A426 A503

A215 A303 A214 A302

A415

A516 A604

B837

A713 B811

A115 A203

A104

A517 A605

B838

A718 B816

A15

A316

11' A 16' Aisle

A428 A505

A417 10' Aisle

A216 A304

A317 A405 10' Aisle

A116 A204

10' Aisle

A105

A217 A305

A433

9' Aisle

A121 A209

A109

10' Aisle

A110

9'' Aisle

Bleacher Seating

A509

A521 A609

A421

A205

B839

A522 A610

A422

A321

A117

B817

B840

A510

A322 A410

A221 A309

A106

B818

A622 A710

A222 A310

A122

B841

A7 19

12'' Aisle

A210

A111

B819 Exit

Exit

12'' Aisle

10' Aisle

Exit

Exit

10' Aisle

#6

#12

B840

14' Aisle

#11

#9

B820 14' Aisle

2020 Booth Floor Map

OVERHEAD DOOR

B809 B829 B808

A10

A11

A13 A14 Entrance

Womens

WF

A12

B828 B807

Wall Storage

B827 B806

WF

B826 EXIT

Exit

Exit

Exit

Exit

B804

Exit

B803

There are many well-paying jobs in Central Minnesota’s ag industry. A,B,C Spaces Exhbit 197 10' x 10' Booth Spaces 14 Bulk Spaces Central Minnesota agriculture, food and natural resource occupations with high median wages

Environmental engineering technicians

FARM SHOW CM $26.42

Supervisors/Managers

Agriculture inspectors

25-26, 2020 FEBRUARYAnimal Scientists

Waste Treatment plant & systems operators $26.35

Conservation Scientists Show 02-20.DXF CAD Cust/2020 CM Farm

$23.77 Veterinarians $20.62 Preliminary 10-16-2019

Conservation technicians Farm equipment mechanics

Soil and plant scientists

Prepared By A & N Convention Services

Scholarships Available

$28.22 $24.64 Exit $39.23 $33.17 $37.82 $30.83

24

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

B824 B823

B802

B822

B801

B821

B800 EXIT

LOBBY Exit

Again this year, there will be several scholarships worth $1,000 each awarded to both high school and college students. We’ll announce the recipients at the Farm Show on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. The Chamber of Commerce is committed to offering the Central MN Farm Show Agriculture Scholarships to support students who explore fields of study and careers in the agri-industry. Businesses that are interested in supporting our agricultural scholarship program are encouraged to donate to the fund.

–––––––––– For more information, or to apply for a scholarship, visit CentralMNFarmShow.com. Application deadline is February 1, 2020.

14' Aisle

Jobs

B825


HOMES, GARAGES, SHEDS, ROOFS, YOUR HOME HOMES, GARAGES, SHEDS, ROOFS, COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS, YOURtheHOME Deserves Best! COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS, FARM & LIVESTOCK BUILDINGS HOMES, GARAGES, SHEDS, ROOFS, DeservesHOME the Best! FARM & LIVESTOCK BUILDINGS YOUR COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS,  Saves 30-50% on energy costs  Highest R Value per inch

Many thanks to the following sponsors of the Central Minnesota Farm Show:

B940

B938 B1016 B937 B1015

B914

B936 B1014

B913

B935 B1013

B933 B1011

B910

B932 B1010

LET LETUS USLEVEL LEVELIT!IT! LET US LEVEL IT!

B1034

• Uneven Concrete Sidewalks • Uneven Commercial Floors • Sunken Concrete Pool Decks • Settling Concrete Stairs • Sinking Concrete Garage Floors • Sagging Concrete Patios • Dipping Concrete Driveways • Voids Under Roadways • Settling Concrete Stairs • Sinking Concrete Garage Floors • Uneven Concrete Sidewalks • Uneven Commercial Floors • Sunken Concrete Pool Decks • Sagging Concrete Patios • Dipping Concrete Driveways • Voids Under Roadways • Small holes are drilled, foam is injected, • Settling Concrete Stairs • Fast and economical - no demolition• to Sinking Concrete Garage Floors and holes are filled again your existing concrete • Small holes are drilled, foam is injected, • Fast and economical - no demolition to • Completed quickly minimal • Less than the cost of pouring new concrete and holes arew/ filled againdisruptions yourhalf existing concrete - most jobs done in a day • Lightweight material withcost superior • Completed quickly w/ minimal disruptions • Less than half the of pouring new concrete compression strength - no demolition to • •No disposal cost from demolition Small holes are drilled, foam is injected, • Fast and economical - most jobs done in a day • Lightweight material with superior - no tofilled surrounding anddamage holes are again landscape your existing concrete • Expands to fill voids - stops further soil erosion compression strength • No disposal cost from demolition • Completed quickly w/ minimal disruptions • Less than half the cost of pouring new concrete - no damage to surrounding landscape • Expands to fill voids - stops further soil erosion - most jobs done in a day • Lightweight material with superior compression strength • No disposal cost from demolition no damage to surrounding landscape • Expands to fill voids - stops further soil erosion Sales

We Can Level & Raise Most: Leveling Concrete With Eco-Rise™ Polyurethane Foam: Leveling Concrete With Eco-Rise™ Polyurethane Foam:

B1033 B1032

Leveling Concrete With Eco-Rise™ Polyurethane Foam:

B1031

B934 B1012

B911

320-852-7050 UNEVEN SIDEWALKS, Don’t Replace the Concrete www.tricountyfoam.com UNEVEN PATIO, SIDEWALKS, DRIVEWAY, Don’t Replace the Concrete DRIVEWAY, PATIO, POOL DECK, STAIRS? UNEVEN SIDEWALKS, Don’t Replace the Concrete POOL DECK, STAIRS? DRIVEWAY, PATIO, We Can Level & Raise Most: • Uneven • Uneven Most: Commercial Floors • Sunken Concrete Pool Decks POOL DECK, STAIRS? WeConcrete CanSidewalks Level & Raise • Sagging Concrete Patios • Dipping Concrete Driveways • Voids Under Roadways

B1030 EXIT

B912

14' Aisle

B916 B915

15' Aisle

B939 B1017

HEALTH • SAFETY • SAVINGS • COMFORT

COOKIES/DOUGHNUTS SPONSOR Farm Bureau Financial Services, Megan Anderson and Chase Carlson

Aisle

B917

www.tricountyfoam.com 320-852-7050 www.tricountyfoam.com

–––––––––

15' Wide

B918

Ryan Cleland 320-760-1681 Ryan Cleland 320-760-1681

B1029

ryan@tricountyfoam.com • 320-852-7050 Sales ryan@tricountyfoam.com • 320-852-7050 Ryan Cleland 320-760-1681 Sales ryan@tricountyfoam.com • 320-852-7050

B1028 B909

B931 B1009

B1027 B1026

B929 B1007

B906

B928 B1006

B1025

B905

B927 B1005

B1024

B904

B926 B1004

B1023

B903

B925 B1003

B1022 15' Aisle

B902

EXIT

B930 B1008

14' Aisle

B908 B907

MEN

001732397r1

B941

B919

75+ YEARS COMBINED EXPERIENCE.

Experience makes the difference! 75+ YEARS COMBINED EXPERIENCE. Experience makes the difference! HEALTH • SAFETY • SAVINGS • COMFORT Experience makes the difference! HEALTH • SAFETY • SAVINGS • COMFORT 320-852-7050

001732397r1

14' Aisle

B920

B942

 Completely sealsstrength & reduces noise Eliminates  Improves indoor air quality  Increases structural condensation  Saves 30-50% on energy costs  Highest R Value per inch  Increases structural strength  Eliminates condensation  Completely seals & reduces noise  Improves indoor air quality 75+structural YEARSstrength COMBINED EXPERIENCE.  Increases  Eliminates condensation

001732397r1

B943 B921

Deserves the Best! FARM &noise LIVESTOCK BUILDINGS  Saves 30-50% energy costs  Improves  Highest R Value per inch  Completely seals &on reduces indoor air quality

ADVOCATE SPONSOR Advantage 1 Insurance Agency ––––––––– PARTNER SPONSOR Stearns Electric ––––––––– MILK SPONSOR Arnzen Construction/St. Rosa Lumber

B924 B1002

WOMEN

CONCESSIONS

B1021

B901

B923 B1001

B1020

B900

B922 B1000

B1019

10' Aisle

B1018

WOMEN

MEN

C3006

EXIT

C7024 C7023 C7022 C7021 C7020 C7019 C7018

Comfort. Performance. Industry Leader.

11' Aisle

C3013 C4006

C4013 C5006

C5013 C6006

C2012 C3005

C3012 C4005

C4012 C5005

C5012 C6005

C2011 C3004

C3011 C4004

C4011 C5004

C2010 C3003

C3010 C4003

C4010 C5003

C2006 C2005

C2001

C5009 C6002

C2008 C3001

C3008 C4001

C4008 C5001

C5008 C6001

C2007 C3000

C3007 C4000

C4007 C5000

C5007 C6000

C2000 11' Aisle 4' Aisle

EXIT

10' Aisle

C4009 C5002

C5010 C6003 10' Aisle

C3009 C4002

10' Aisle

C2009 C3002 C2002

10' Aisle

C2003

9' Aisle

C2004

Farm-Rite Equipment is Central Minnesota’s largest Bobcat dealer. New, pre-owned, rentals and service all in one place. Offering red-carpet customer service on a daily basis. Why go anywhere else.

Willmar, MN 320.235.3672

Dassel, MN 320.275.2737

320.732.3715

St. Cloud, MN 320.240.2085

Long Prairie, MN C7000 C7001 C7002 C7003 C7004 C7005 C7006 Seating Stage EXIT

LOADING DOCK

#1

farmriteequip.com

GLENN CARLSON EXHIBIT HALL J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

25


2020 CENTRAL MINNESOTA FARM SHOW FEBRUARY 25-26, 2020

2020 EXHIBITOR LIST BY NAME A Advantage 1 Insurance Agency Ag Solutions, LLC Ag Spray Equipment Ag Tech Drainage AGFOCUS Agri-King, Inc AgriGold Aldrich Tractor Inc All Energy Solar Alltech

Growing Employees

American Door Works

The ag industry is wondering where their next employees will come from – and the Chamber is trying to help.

American Pressure Inc

B

usinesses throughout the country are struggling to find employees. In Central Minnesota almost everyone will tell you that they would hire if they could just find the right person. The shortage is becoming particularly acute in ag-related businesses. There is such a shortage of students in the agriculture colleges that the ag-related companies are recruiting students with degrees in other disciplines such as business and marketing. In fact, the opportunities are almost unlimited for students who are willing to relocate in the United States, as well as overseas. The St. Cloud Area Chamber is committed to doing our small part to help address the shortage. Each year we dedicate some of the proceeds from the Central Minnesota Farm Show to student scholarships. Since 1998, we have funded $76,000 in scholarships.

Congratulations to our Scholarship Winners!

In 2019 the Chamber awarded seven $1,000 scholarships. The recipients were: • Makenna Ludwig, Eden Valley-Watkins High School

• Kayla Kutzke, Lake Lillian, South Dakota State University

• Holly Keppers, Holdingford High School

• Jalissa Johnson, Becker, University of Minnesota, Morris

• Julia Welle, Melrose High School

• Ashley Maus, Freeport, South Dakota State University

• Cael Carlson, Willmar Senior High School

26

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

American Family Insurance AMPI AMPS Inc Arnold’s of St. Cloud Arnzen Construction/St. Rosa Lumber Arvig Auto Value Parts Stores/APH B Bath Planet Bazooka Farmstar Beaudry Oil & Propane Becks Hybrids Belgrade Coop Benton County American Dairy Association Big Gain Inc BigIron Auction Company Blue Horizon Energy, LLC Bongards Creameries Boss Supply

Complete Grain Systems Inc Country Acres/ Benton Ag COUNTRY Financial Crystal Media Group, LLC Cutco D D & K Pure Water Service

L LeafFilter Gutter Protection Leedstone, Inc LG Seeds

Rotochopper, Inc

Lifestyle Lumber

Royalton Lumber Inc

Litzau Farm

Rush River Steel & Trim

Lumber One Cold Spring

Dairyland Seed Inc

MCKAYS Chrystler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat

F Farm Bureau Financial ServicesBruce Vanderpool Farm Bureau Financial ServicesMegan Anderson & Chase Carlson

Midsota Manufacturing, Inc MEDA/Chemstar Meg-Mo Systems Messer Repair & Fabricating, LLC Midwest Machinery Co

Stearns History Museum Steffes Group Inc Sterling Culligan Water

Farmers & Merchant State Bank

Mueller Mustang Seeds

SuperGreen Solutions of Central Minnesota

Feed Stuff Bagging

N NAPA Central MN

T The Boot Shack

Nextire Inc

The Land

Northland Buildings, Inc

Thunder Seed

Gilleland Chevrolet Cadillac

O O’Reilly Auto Parts

Tri County Foam Insulation, LLC

Gilman Coop Creamery

OK Track Solutions

Twin Valley Tire

Osakis Silo Repair

Gold Country Seed

P Pauls Welding

U United Country Pro Realty

Forward Farm Lines Freeport State Bank G Garage Door YStore

Granite Electronics Inc Grassland Solutions Green Energy Products

Peterson Farms Seed PowerLift Doors by French Manufacturing Inc Princeton Agencies, Inc

Catholic United Financial

Hotsy Minnesota

Puck Enterprises

Centra Sota Coop

Hubbard Feeds Hydro Engineering

Q Quality Forklift Sales & Service Inc

Compeer Financial

Stearns County Soil & Water Conservation District

Mimbach Fleet Supply

H Hanson Silo Company

Cloverdale Equipment

Stearns Bank

Mies Outland

C Carlson Wholesale, Inc

CHS Inc

Semmler Farms LLC

Farm-Rite Equipment, Inc

Byron Seeds, LLC

Centre PowerSports & Recreation

S Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants

Farm Systems

Growers Mineral Solutions

Central Minnesota Credit Union

RetroGreen Energy Rinke Noonan Attorneys at Law

Dairy Farmers of America

Doda USA, Inc

Renk Seed

Legend Seeds, Inc

M Martin Industries

DairyMaster USA Inc

Redfield, LLC

J Jordan Ag Supply K K&S Millwrights Inc Kensington Bank Kuhn North America, Inc

Precision Rain

Prinsco

R R&S Tire Service RAM Buildings RDO Equipment Company Real-Tuff, Inc

Sunrise Ag Coop SunSource

Traut Companies

W Weatherstar Company Wieser Concrete Products, Inc Woller Equipment Inc Worms Lumber & Ready Mix Y Your Home Improvement Company Z Ziegler CAT Zips Diesel Injection Services, Inc


2020 CENTRAL MINNESOTA FARM SHOW FEBRUARY 25-26, 2020

Tech News

C

Ida knows

onnecterra, a startup out of The Netherlands, is using sensors, data and machine learning to help farm operations become more efficient, more productive and more sustainable. Its intelligent dairy farm assistant, Ida, was launched in 2017. This rugged sensor is fitted to cows on a collar and an app for farmers. Ida turns animal behavior data into predictive analytics and actionable recommendations. The insights were initially focused on health, fertility, and other core productivity drivers for farms. What makes Ida really special is that farmers provide feedback to Ida, which then adapts its behavior for the specific farm, farm goals, herd type and environment. Since 2017, Ida developed so quickly it now monitors tens of thousands of animals in 14 countries.

Source: AgFunder News

Real Dairy

Consumers and retailers are putting increasing demands on the world’s dairy farmers

117 million

Number of dairy farmers worldwide

$400 billion The annual amount dairy farmers spend on feed

$20 billion

The amount spent in genomic industries for livestock farming overall

14

The percent of the world’s protein that is provided by real dairy sources

Your livelihood has been built through hard work and integrity. Trust your insurance to a company built on these same values.

You’re working hard today for a better tomorrow. We’re here to lend a hand. Equipment finance and agricultural lending Business and personal banking 100+ years of service, rooted in ag Put our experience to work for you. Let’s talk at the Central MN Farm Show | Booth #B917

Craig Kern

CraigK@stearnsbank.com

ROB STAY – Agribusiness Agent 320.968.6884 • PrincetonIns.com

| StearnsBank.com | 800-247-1922

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

27


Heading to the Farm Show?

Come visit Farmers & Merchants State Bank at the 2020 Central Minnesota Farm Show. We’ll be there to talk farming and answer questions about how our relationship-based banking approach has helped our customers and their businesses succeed for generations—including many local farm families. We care about the future of agriculture, and we’re here to help you grow. February 25 & 26, 2020 Tuesday from 9 AM to 4 PM Wednesday from 8 AM to 3 PM River’s Edge Convention Center • St. Cloud

Visit us for a chance to win a pair of Minnesota Wild hockey tickets and other great prizes!


F E AT U R E STO RY

Eat Local

From farm to table, consumers are having a bigger impact on agriculture than simply cleaning their plates. –––––––––– By Ari Kaufman

W

hether in urban or rural friends in the community and use areas, it’s no longer trendy local sources as much as possible. for consumers to “feel good about “Local partnerships are their food” as they clean their very important to us, but those plates; many people also seek to partnerships aren’t necessarily for have an impact on agriculture and simple ingredients, like carrots their community at the same time. or ground beef,” Westphal said. Minnesotans in particular want to Westphal bought the restaurant in support local farms and have their 2017 and more than doubled the food sources be environmentally seating capacity last year. “Our take responsible. This has given rise to on ‘local’ is maybe a bit different farm-to-table popularity. from some people’s. For example, While the Gopher State currently we source our coffee beans and tap ranks middle of the pack (26th) in kombucha from locally-owned small our commitment to healthy local businesses in the Twin Cities. Many food, per Locavore of us make that Index’s 2019 rankcommute regularly “Local partnerships ings, Minnesota for work and fun. are very important to us, has stood as high as So to us, the Twin but those partnerships 11th in past years. Cities is still local.” aren’t necessarily for The Vermont-based Westphal works simple ingredients, like system ranks states with neighborhood carrots or ground beef." by dedication to inbusinesses, like –Donella Westphal, owner Jules Bistro creasing nationwide Backwards Bread efforts to sell and Co., Beaver Island consume local food. Brewing Co., Christine’s Sweet Numerous grocery stores in Confections and Manea’s Meats, but Minnesota are indeed increasing the also Ames Farm in Delano, Dogwood amount of local sources they use Coffee Co. in Minneapolis, Sapsucker for food, as restaurants continue Farms in Mora, and Stony Creek to pride themselves on using local Dairy in Melrose, among others suppliers. outside the St. Cloud area. Jules Bistro, a popular downtown Beaver Island Brewery, which St. Cloud establishment, uses several opened downtown nearly five years local and regional partnerships — ago, proudly uses local hops in their including clients more than 50 miles brews. Co-Founder Nick Barth away. Owner Donella Westphal believes this sets the brewery apart believes it is important to support from other similar establishments.

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

29


F E AT U R E STO RY

Top 5 reasons to eat local food –––––

Mighty Axe Hops Farm

“We are crafting a unique brew, and it also gives us a story to tell,” he explained. “Any time we can partner with a local business, we positively impact the local economy.” Barth believes customers like to support local businesses. “That’s what community is all about,” he said. “Customers feel a sense of community when they drink local with us, and they hopefully love the product, too. We love working with local partners, whether they are from Central Minnesota, Greater Minnesota or the Midwest.” One local company Beaver Island relies on is Mighty Axe Hops in nearby Foley. “Mighty Axe produces hops in Central Minnesota terrain,” Barth said. “This adds unique characteristics to the beer that can only be found in beer that uses their hops.” Founder and CEO of Mighty Axe, Eric Sannerud, began the business as a college student in 2012. He sells to breweries around the country, but mostly in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota graduate says 90 percent of each dollar stays in the state, as opposed to fewer than 10 percent when hops are imported from other states. “When you drink a beer brewed with Minnesota hops, you significantly reduce your 'beer miles,' or how far your beer and its ingredients traveled to get to you,” Sannerud explained. “Local hops have

30

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

unique flavors and characteristics, which bring new flavors to your beer.” Mighty Axe, which has as many as 14 employees during the busy harvest season, sets itself apart in various ways. “We're leading the way on transparency and differentiation in the hops industry,” Sannerud said. “We work directly with our brewer customers to custom harvest and dry our hops to best meet their needs. The methods we use to grow our hops, how we harvest our hops, and where we grow our hops, leads to unique flavors and aromas that brewers and drinkers cannot get from the commodity hops brokers.” Beyond Business Though community gardens have existed in Sartell for at least a decade, this marks the first year Sartell-area schools have accepted food donations from the city’s community garden for school lunches. According to an August St. Cloud Times report, the district received hundreds of pounds of fresh vegetables during the program’s first month. Donated vegetables mostly included cucumbers, zucchini and cabbages to be chopped and shredded. Additionally, Northridge Community Garden, located next to Oakridge Elementary in Sartell, provides clear bins with a sign calling for vegetables. As nutrition regulations change, it can

A Support local farms Minnesota is one of the five largest agricultural producing states in America, according to the USDA. Why not help your local farmers keep us highly ranked? B.Boost the local economy Money spent at local businesses stays in the community, creating more farming and food processing jobs, as well as helping other local businesses. C Eat fresher food Local food is fresher and in turn, generally tastes better, due to less time in transit to market than processed grocery store food. It’s often also healthier. D.Attract tourists Ever heard of agri-tourism? If not, no doubt you’ve seen the farmers’ market in St. Cloud and surrounding communities like Mora and Staples. These local producers help draw visitors to a town or region. E. Build a healthy and connected community Farmers today may be only 1 percent of the population, but one farmer sustains more than 150 people. That’s five times more than just two generations ago. Experts say buying locally creates a connected, more social community by virtue of knowing the producers who bring you your healthy food.


Photos courtesy of Mighty Axe Hops Farm

Building Toward the Future. be challenging to find healthy options students enjoy; the hope is gardens will help generate interest in the students. Playhouse Child Care has operated for nearly three decades in the Granite City and surrounding communities. Safety and Wellness Administrator Catherine Brattensborg-Brown continues Playhouse’s tradition of providing farm-to-table food options, with most of their products grown in Minnesota. She says that while the “Farm to School” program has been around for a while, “Farm to Early Care and Education” is still a fairly new concept. Now a leader in the area, Playhouse was one of the few companies to originally research their options and participate in the program via a United States Department of Agriculture grant. These opportunities were rare until a few years ago, but have since become more common, especially in the Midwest. “Parents trust us with the most important people in their lives, their children,” Brattensborg-Brown said. “Providing the freshest, most nutritious food is an extremely important part of the care we provide daily. Parents are happy that we make our meals from scratch and use fresh produce sourced from Minnesota farmers. We believe that when young children start to experience how fresh, non-processed food tastes, it will lead to healthier choices as they grow.” Each Playhouse location has a garden where children plant different items that teachers use in classrooms for tasting and teaching. Students take field trips to local farms to pick strawberries, apples and talk to farmers. Curricula are also created around the topics. “Educating our children on where their food comes from, and the importance of supporting farmers, is important to their future and the future of the farmer,” Brattensborg-Brown said.

YOU CAN MAKE DO WITH THE SPACE YOU HAVE, BUT EVENTUALLY LACK OF SPACE MEANS LOST PRODUCTIVITY… AND THE END OF GROWTH. W. Gohman Construction can build the space you need, from new construction to renovating an existing structure. We build environments that work for your employees and your budget. More importantly, we can give you the freedom to work so you can get back to doing what you do best. Why make do with the space you have when W. Gohman Construction can help you do more?

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

| DESIGN/BUILD | CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT | BUILDING + REMODELING

WGOHMAN.COM

A former teacher and historian, Ari Kaufman has worked as a journalist in various roles since 2006. He has published articles in more than a dozen newspapers, written three books, and currently resides with his wife in St. Cloud.

meta13.com • 320-230-1223 J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

31


BUSINESSTOOLS GROW

|

NETWORK

|

PROFIT

R E S O U RC E S T H AT H E L P YO U R B U S I N E SS G ROW

I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E : M a n a g e m e n t To o l k i t / Wo r k i n g We l l / E c o n o m y C e n t r a l b y Fa l c o n B a n k MANAGEMENT TOOLKIT

The New Kids in Town Make the most of the talents Gen Z brings to your workplace. By Tracy Knofla

T

oday’s workplace is crowded with many generations of workers. The ones most frequently identified are: The Greatest Generation, born between 1900 and 1945, followed by the Baby Boomers, 1946 to 1964, then Generation X, 1965 to 1980, followed by the millennials from 1981 to 2000. Any given workplace could employ teammates from 19 to 75 years of age! Phew! However, just as you have mastered the recruitment, training, support, and motivational needs of all of these previous generations,

along comes the new kid in town, Generation Z, born from 1998-2015. Gen Z is unlike any generation before it. They are truly a reflection of the times in which they were raised. This is the generation that’s going to make us “up our game!” Here are five quick facts to help you understand this generation and make the most of their talents within your workforce. A Gen Z is motivated by financial security and not by idealism. They will insist upon

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

32

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

a competitive compensation package with retirement benefits. They are looking at the longterm, not the short. Remember, this generation grew up with the effects of the recession in 2008. They saw many people (including their own families) lose their homes and assets. This major event has changed the way they look at work. They can anticipate graduating from college with tremendous debt and will do everything they can to alleviate that burden. Many companies are now including student loan repayment as a benefit to new hires.

They understand the way that technology can be used to make the world more efficient and to connect people from across the globe. Their proficiency with the technology is a strong benefit to any company. However, digital natives will always expect their employers to have the latest technology and the most efficient work spaces. This will be a crucial factor as they choose a prospective employer. The workplace that allows them the most flexibility and has the latest technological toys will win.

B They are competitive, not collaborative. They are highly independent, preferring to work alone. They’re interested in proving themselves, and to that end are open to all manner of training, both soft and technical skills. They are more entrepreneurial than previous generations, although those ventures would be in addition to their primary work. They are motivated to work to make their dreams a reality.

D.As skilled with technology

C They are truly digital natives, that is, they have grown up with phones in their hands and the Internet at their fingertips.

as this generation is, it comes at a price. These highly

skilled employees will need soft-skills training, including: interpersonal communication, managing their emotions, conflict resolution, setting reasonable goals, teamwork, and collaboration. They may have difficulty interacting with their peers and supervisors due to a lack of experience in personal interaction with others. The good news is, this generation is eager to please at work and is generally receptive to the additional training. They will see this training as valueadded to their position.


F U N FAC T

Most Gen Zers prefer face-to-face communication over any other method. E Their online privacy is of paramount importance. This seems

counterintuitive to a generation raised online, but Gen Z members are very selective about what they put out in their social media and how they present themselves online. Interestingly, they don’t see their personal preferences as being part of their privacy. Their personal preferences are merely a way for a company to give them exemplary service

and so they willingly share information that will help a retailer target advertising specifically for them since they see that as a core customer service function. Understanding this matters to employers because this generation has also grown up with customization in all aspects of their lives and will expect your workplace to conform to their personal needs and wants. Another interesting fact about their privacy: most Gen Zers prefer face-to-

face communication over any other method. Part of this is to ensure that what they want to stay private, stays private. We will continue to learn more about this generation as they age into our workplaces. Start thinking about the changes you can make now so that you will be an employer of choice for the next generation.

For the sources used in this article, visit BusinessCentral Magazine.com

TECH NEWS

Seeing isn’t Believing The internet is increasingly populated with false and misleading videos. These videos — spread by politicians, advocacy groups and everyday users — are viewed by millions. The Fact Checker set out to develop a universal language to label manipulated video and hold creators and sharers of this misinformation accountable. Source: The Washington Post

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

33


GROW

BUSINESSTOOLS

WORKING WELL

Stay Well!

Prevention is the best strategy for fighting influenza. By Kimberly L. Tjaden, MD

T

he best way to avoid getting influenza is to get vaccinated. We recommend vaccination for everyone age six months and older. It’s particularly important in certain populations that are more at risk such as children younger than five, pregnant women, people older than 65, and people with underlying autoimmune diseases such as asthma and other chronic lung issues.

The vaccine takes about two weeks to develop immunity. We know that the most common time for flu season is the end of October through spring — with the peak being January-February. So if you haven’t had your flu shot yet, run, don’t walk to your clinic and get one. In addition to vaccinations, other precautions you can take include cleaning surfaces you touch frequently and those in the

Contributor ________ Kimberly L. Tjaden, MD, practices family medicine at CentraCare - St. Cloud Medical Group South

Finding innovative solutions to challenges that face our clients. Development / Architectural Design / Construction Services

SINCE 1874

800.772.1758 / www.millerab.com

34

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


common areas at work. Use disinfecting wipes on elevator buttons, doorknobs, handles, faucets, tables, and copiers/printers. Clean your desk area at the beginning of your day. Wipe off your keyboard, mouse, telephone, pens and the surface of your desk. And don’t forget your cellphone! Wash your hands often, with soap and water or with an alcoholbased hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Keep hand sanitizer at your desk. Maintain healthy habits, including plenty of rest, physical activity and healthy eating. If you get influenza, please don’t share. Distance yourself from others so you don’t help

spread the virus. Stay home from work if you have: • Fever • Headache • Extreme tiredness • Cough • Sore throat • Runny or stuffy nose • Muscle aches • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whooping cough are spread by coughing, sneezing and unclean hands.

at LOCALiQ... ...we know banks.

S TAY H E A LT H Y

Always Sick? Are you one of those people who always ends up with a winter cold? Quite likely it’s the germs you and your family bring home that are the culprit. Avoid that cold this year by regularly cleaning: • Dish sponges • Kitchen sink • Toothbrush holder • Pet bowl and pet toys • Coffee reservoir • Bathroom faucet handles • Countertops • Stove knobs and dishwasher buttons • Light switches • Toilet handle • Toilet seat • Doorknobs • Cellphone

The Choice is Yours... Choose the Best! Working with buyers, sellers, Realtors, Lenders and Builders throughout Central and Greater Minnesota

We currently have 249 active SEM campaigns running for Banks across the country delivering over 285 millions leads! We bring you national intelligence at the local level. Call us today to learn how we can help you!

Call Marilyn Birkland at 320-255-8794 or mbirkland@localiq.com

Back Row L to R: Mary Weis, Mary Schneider, Brenda Roettger

Front Row L to R: Melanie Walz, Sue Lentner, Jan Carlson, Mary Jo Schepers

Professional Residential & Commercial Closing Services Title Insurance / Construction Disbursing Experts Abstracting / Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges

122 12th Ave. N / St. Cloud, MN 56303 / 320-253-2096 208 Red River Ave. S. / Cold Spring, MN 56320 / 320- 685-4280

1-800-892-2399 / tricountyabstract.com

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

35


GROW

BUSINESSTOOLS

Economy Central presented by

ECONOMY CENTRAL

Farming Matters If you’re interested in agriculture as a career, one of the largest opportunities is becoming a self-employed farmer. By Luke Greiner

C

entral Minnesota’s agriculture industry is incredibly important, providing unique job opportunities while supporting a variety of other industries such as manufacturing, finance, and transportation. At an occupational level, the region boasts 32 unique jobs in the agriculture, food, and natural

resources career field with 8,380 jobs, excluding self-employment (primarily family farms). Within the broad career field, Central Minnesota has seven career pathways to explore employment opportunities. The chart to the right shows how employment varies within each career pathway. Larger numbers of jobs means more job openings and frequent opportunities to gain employment as current workers move into other occupations or exit the labor force. To that end, one of the largest opportunities is becoming a self-employed farmer. The region is currently home to 14,786 farms according to the most recent data. While roughly half of farmers do something else as their primary occupation, farming is still the most common occupation in the

Central Minnesota Career Pathways AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND NATURAL RESOURCES

14,786 4,480 1,550 950 840 360 240 0

3,000

6,000

9,000

12,000

15,000

EMPLOYMENT Agri-business Systems (Farmers)

Animal Systems

Food Products and Processing Systems

Natural Resources Systems

Plant Systems

Power, Structural & Technical Systems

Environmental Service Systems

agriculture, food, and natural resources career field in Central Minnesota. Like other industries, self-employment comes with larger risks and can be difficult to obtain success. Aside from becoming a self-employed farmer, the most common employment opportunities are in the food products and processing

Contributor ________ Luke Greiner is DEED's regional analyst for central and southwestern Minnesota. He can be reached at luke.greiner@state.mn.us or 320-308-5378.

systems pathway. Roughly 3,300 jobs in this pathway are meat cutters and trimmers or slaughterers and meat packers, a nod to the region’s robust food manufacturing base. This demonstrates that excellent paying jobs exist in the agriculture, food and natural resource career field for people at every education level.

BY THE NUMBERS

Job Growth Despite Minnesota’s continued tight labor market, job growth is slowing in the state.

36

3.2%

3.5%

6

September’s unemployment rate in Minnesota

September’s unemployment rate in the U.S.

The number of major industry sectors that lost jobs in September: education and health care; professional and business services; information; other services; government; and construction.

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


E PARK,

$300M

Residential Building Permits

November

8,010*

467,193

80,396

$80M

E PARK,

4,956*

22,542

16,488

0M

December

Home Sales Closed

October

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

Economy September

E CO N OM 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: $54,7948,010* Compiled by Amber Sunder, data current as of 12/1/19

July 2019 Jan Feb December Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec

2019

46 $1,509,887

32 $1,003,877

500

$500k

ST. CLOUD

September

Commercial 2017 2018 2019* August #/$ #/$ #/$

TOTAL: $173,134,956*

St. Cloud

2019

341 $89,192,774

383 $231,596,447

July December

178 $70,239,428

Sartell 44 50 20 June $89,959,156 $13,856,200 $5,664,900 November

TOTAL: $288,822,542

34 $16,509,793

Waite Park 73 Apr September $6,403,398

83 $7,260,629

$13,944,082 ST. CLOUD

57 $10,479,000

TOTAL: 833*

2017

St. Augusta Mar 13 August $2,107,200

7 $1,587,313 2019

2 $10,100

St. Joseph Feb July

70 $18,129,160

30 $0

56 $19,525,262

$500k

$5,578,760

Jan June St. Augusta data is only available quarterly. *Total as of 12/1/19;

2000

$2M

$200M $250M $300M TOTAL: $288,822,542

Food and Beverage 22

2018

Sauk Rapids 32 May $14,128,688 October

TOTAL:1815

TOTAL: $173,134,956*

$150M

500

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

1500

$100M

50 $2,462,790

Food and Beverage

TOTAL: 1789

TOTAL: $1,340,279*

TOTAL: $1,566,952

TOTAL: $1,523,946

$1.5M

$50M

98 $6,043,519

November

1000

$1M $0M

2017

140 $4,433,502

February

October

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH TOTAL: $221,316,488

2019

2018

January 0 *Total as of 12/1/19; St. Augusta data is only available quarterly. December

$80M

Commercial Building Permits

2017

December

Waite Park 70 April $4,244,281

500

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

$70M

November

140 $8,116,040

St. Joseph

$60M

October

174 $8,409,293

Commercial Building Permits

2019

2018

Sauk Rapids 199 May $7,908,010

St. Augusta 88 72 46 March $6,116,630 $6,469,120 $3,805,325

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

2018

380 270 $20,426,812 0$15,791,816

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

$50M

September

$40M

TOTAL:$70,880,396

543

Sartell 299 January$15,947,945 June

2019

$30M

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

2017

597

2018

$20M

622

2017

$10M

Home Sales Closed

$32,230,127 $25,555,950 $23,768,161 February July 2019

0

$0M

August

St. Cloud

$60M $70M $80M TOTAL: $66,467,193

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$0 2017

August

$50M

July

$40M

June

September

2019

2018

2017

2018

$30M

May

$20M

April

$10M

2018

Residential 2017 2018 2019* March #/$ #/$ #/$

2019 $0M

May October

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

TOTAL: $54,7948,010*

2017

March

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH TOTAL:$70,880,396

June November

February

January

December

Residential Building Permits

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

2018

TOTAL: $66,467,193

2018

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

TOTAL: $221,316,488 2017

2018-2019

2017

Non Farm Jobs Mar

Unemployment Rates

2018-19 % CHANGE

Source: positivelyminnesota.com

Source: positivelyminnesota.com $0 $500k

Feb 1.5%

December

November

0.5%

October

September

August

July

June

Jan

May

April

1.0%

March

$300M

February

$250M

December

November

October

$200M

September

August

$150M

July

$100M June

May

$50M April

March

February

January

$0M

January

5%

4%

0.0% -0.5% 3%

-1.0% -1.5% 2%

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

St. Cloud Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota United States

-2.0%

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

St. Cloud, MN MetroSA Minnesota United States

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

37


December

November

October

September

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

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

100.3

94.6

115.4

111.5

77.5

107.3

94.8

118.7

109.6

February 2019) 101.3 St. Cloud (Q1

117.7

78.4

99.7

100.7

119.9

112.5

96.0

102.0

104.5

114.1

96.5

112.7

103.1

107.7

108.6

110.6

103.7

December

105.3

75.7

November

84.9

90.6

94.8

October

97.3

Eau Claire, WI

September

Cedar Rapids, IA 97.0

August

GROW

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

104

July

*Total as of 12/1/19

102.7

June

91 18

89.7 103.1 64.6 97.2 98.8 117.6 98.0

May

31 94

106.5

Mankato

April

84 27

St. Paul

March

Stearns Co. Benton Co.

Minneapolis 105.9 103.1 102 97.3 104.1 103.3 113.3 January

February

2019

TOTAL: 833*

79.4

118.2

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

100

Benton County Sheriff’s Civil Process; Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Office

38

116.3

March

Pierre, SD 101.1 102.1 110.2 90.9 101.7 97.3 96.0 Least Expensive Most Expensive Urban Communities Urban Communities

TOTAL: 111

80

Grocery Housing Utilities Transpor- Health Misc. Goods Items tation Care & Services

(Q2 2019) 100.2

2000

$2M

$2M

All Items

April

St. Cloud (Q3 2019) 100.3 St. Cloud

TOTAL: 109* $1.5M

2018

August

May

CITY

TOTAL: $1,523,946

SHERIFF’S FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS Residential 2017

2019

$2M

TOTAL:1815

$1.5M

TOTAL: 1789

June COST OF LIVING INDEX COMPILATION FOR THIRD QUARTER DATA FOR 2019 MINNESOTA AND OTHER UPPER MIDWEST CITIES

TOTAL: $1,566,952

2017

60

July

The St. Cloud area experienced a slightly above average cost of living October during the third quarter for 2019, according to the Cost of Living Index September of 268 urban areas. The composite index is based on six components – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and August miscellaneous goods and services. The "all items" index for St. Cloud was 100.3, just July 0.3 percent above the national average (100.0) for the quarter.

TOTAL: $1,340,279*

$1M

40

June

December

$2M

HousingNovember keeps Central Minnesota’s cost of living average.

TOTAL: 125

20

$1.5M

Cost of Living

2019

0

$1M

GROWTH

STEARNS AND BENTON COUNTIES

$500k

$500k

*Total as of 12/1/19

Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auctions $0

January

Sources: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud

2018 Sources: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud *Total as of 12/1/19

$0

1500

$1M

May

2000

TOTAL: $1,623,035

TOTAL: $1,340,279*

TOTAL: $1,566,952

TOTAL: $1,523,946

$1.5M

$500k

February

1000

$1M $0

TOTAL: $1,523,946

March

500

$500k 2019

2018

Feb1500

TOTAL: $1,748,626 Food and Beverage Tax Collection

2017

April

2017

Mar

TOTAL: $1,396,191*

ST. CLOUD

2017

April

http://stcloudrealtors.com/pages/statistics. *Total as of 12/1/19

2019

TOTAL: $1,566,952

TOTAL: 1789

$150M Housing/Real $200M Estate $250M sources:$300M St. Cloud Area Association of Realtors,

ST. CLOUD

May

2018

Jan

Lodging Tax Dollars

March

June

0

1000

TOTAL: $1,340,279*

July

TOTAL:1815

Apr

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

500

October

August

2019

May

ST. CLOUD

$0 0

November

ST. CLOUD September

June

TOTAL: $221,316,488

2018

2000

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

August

2019

2017

2018

TOTAL: $288,822,542

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

November

July

2017

1500

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

December

TOTAL: $173,134,956*

2018

E PARK,

$300M

M

1000

COLOR KEY:

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, ing Permits ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH October UD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK, TOTAL: 833* September

2017

500

8,010*

0

BUSINESSTOOLS

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

2018

467,193

January

E CO N OM I C I N D I C ATO R S & T R E N D S

2019

80,396

$80M

$80M

$70M

E PARK,

$60M

4,956*

$50M

22,542

16,488

0M $40M

February

120

New York (Manhattan) NY

254.7

Harlingen TX

75.6

Honolulu HI

201.3

McAllen TX

75.6

San Francisco CA

200.1

Kalamazoo MI

77.7

New York (Brooklyn) NY

184.2

Muskogee OK

78.6

Washington DC

164.0

Pittsburg KS

79.6

The Cost of Living Index, which is compiled and published quarterly by C2ER - The Council for Community and Economic Research, measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering almost 60 different items for which prices are collected three times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. Small differences should not be interpreted as showing any measurable difference, according to C2ER.


SECURELY DEPOSIT CHECKS ANYWHERE. ANY TIME. Turn your smartphone into your local drive-thru with Falcon National Bank’s mobile app.

DEPOSIT CONVENIENCE

✓ ✓ ✓

Save time Eliminate paperwork Improve cash flow

Save a trip to the bank, make deposits from anywhere. Mobile Deposit from Falcon National Bank helps you manage your money, on your time. Easy. Secure. Convenient. Download our mobile app for iOS or Android devices. Tap the logo of your smartphone’s native app store, or search for “Falcon National Bank” in your app store.

Put your $ where your ♥ is. St. Cloud | Foley | Richmond | Ham Lake | Isanti

FalconNational.com


40

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0


MORE IS BETTER

Ernie Wollak’s dad told him he could have whatever he wanted as long as he worked hard. It turns out, Dad was right. By Gail Ivers // Joel Butkowski, Butkowski Digital Imaging

I

f you want to reach Ernie stakes in the ground and 90 Wollak, you’ll find him days later you have a dream on the job site. It doesn’t home sitting there. That’s what matter that he’s been building it’s all about,” he said. Wollak Construction houses for over 40 years. It’s Ernie grew up on a farm 6225 Lark Rd NW, Sauk Rapids 56379 where he needs to be. It’s near Rice. He and his nine where he wants to be. siblings learned their work Phone: (320) 252-2115 “Ernie talks to clients ethic early from their parents. Fax: (320) 252-7070 every day,” Terri Wollak said “I thank my dad every day,” wci@wollakconstruction.com of her husband. The two Ernie said. “He always told wollakconstruction.com own Wollak Construction, a me ‘You can have just about Ownership: Ernie and Terri Wollak home building and property anything you want as long as Business Description: development company. “He’s you work for it.’ And that’s Residential construction and on the job site every day. what I’ve done.” remodeling; housing development Some people leave that up to Getting up at 4:45 a.m. Total number of employees: 3 the supervisors. Not Ernie.” since he was 16 years old, “It’s important to be there Ernie continues that practice so that people know you care,” Wollak agreed. “If you to this day. After stopping for coffee, he’s in the don’t care, pretty soon no one else cares either.” office by 6 a.m. and tries to be on the job site by And then there’s the social aspect. Meeting with 7:30 a.m. clients and sub-contractors…working out problems… At 17 he was working on a neighbor’s farm, making watching the buildings go up…that’s what makes it good money, and putting in 12-hour days with only fun for Wollak. “Seeing a piece of property with four two days off a month. This was followed by two years

BUSINESS PROFILE ––––––––––––––

FUN FACT: Wollak Construction has built about 850 homes.

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

41


COVER STORY

HOBBYIST –––––––––––––– Ernie Wollak loves to work. And he loves to play. And he loves to do both with gusto. The owner of Wollak Construction, with his wife, Terri, Ernie is a racing enthusiast, likes heavy equipment, collects antiques, and displays several old-fashioned gas pumps at his office. But most of all, Ernie likes tractors. “I’m an antique tractor nut,” he said. In the 1980s Ernie built a number of barns and other agricultural buildings. A slow economy found one of his customers short of cash. He asked if Ernie would accept an old tractor as payment. Ernie agreed. The 1954 Minneapolis Moline R tractor became the foundation of a hobby that now boasts 130 full-size restored antique tractors. There are no duplicates in his collection. Ernie doesn’t just admire his tractors. He restores them using original parts and keeps them secure in a climate-controlled garage. For years he took a trailer load of antique tractors to display at the Benton County Fair. Almost as much as antique tractors, Ernie likes speed. Since 2002 he has been an annual sponsor of dirt track racing for up to as many as 12 cars in a single year. Ernie and Terri’s twin girls competed in racing for a number of years and the company has sponsored racers at the national level. However, Ernie isn’t a racer. “If I got into racing, I’d never get out,” he said.

42

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

of carpentry training at the St. Cloud Technical School, now St. Cloud Technical and Community College. Here he met two teachers he has come to think of as mentors: Ted Ferkinhoff and Jerry Strack. “I barely graduated,” Ernie admitted. “They told me I’d never amount to a hill of beans. They both said that. I was kind of wild, maybe not wild, but I was a young person and I was having fun, not so focused on the education.” Both Ernie and Terri laugh at this memory. “Years down the road when I was building houses,” Ernie said, “they would always come to my open houses and say, ‘Amazing.’ Every single open house, they both were there. I still see Jerry every once in a while, and he still commends me on the outstanding job we do, what we do in the community, and how successful I’ve turned out to be. If it wasn’t for that schooling, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. They really were mentors.”


Within six months of graduating from school, Ernie started his own business remodeling bathrooms, finishing basements, and putting up small ag buildings. “Anything and everything,” he said. By the early 1980s, he was building a lot of dairy barns, had started building houses, and began hiring employees.

The part-time bookkeeping work for Ernie expanded to helping on the job site, Ernie Wollak, 63 doing painting, siding, CEO/President trim work, varnishing, Wollak Construction, Inc. and cleaning the houses. By the end of the year, Hometown: Sauk Rapids she was working for Education: Graduate, Wollak Construction full Sauk Rapids-Rice High School; time. They were married Graduate, carpentry program, in 1989. St. Cloud Technical & Between 1986 and Community College 1992 Wollak traveled the state building barns, Work History: Grew up THE LAND some houses, and on a farm near Rice, worked at a rnie bought his first moving into commercial neighbor’s farm when he was 17; piece of land in 1979. sub-contracting with a started Wollak Construction It had a little garage on focus on framing and six months after graduating from it and a three-bedroom finishing senior assistedthe St. Cloud Technical and trailer house. He rented living facilities. “I still Community College. out one bedroom and worked morning to turned the second one Family: Wife, Terri; twin daughters night, on the site myself, into his office. “It was with the guys,” Ernie Maria Albers and Christina Studanski; small,” he said. “You said. At his peak Ernie four grandchildren had a five-foot desk and had about 22 employees Hobbies: Racing, farming, two filing cabinets. I and was working all 4-wheeling, fishing, anything remember I paid 18 or 19 over Minnesota and with the grandchildren, percent interest when I into Wisconsin. “I was vacations in Mexico bought that place and I never home. We were thought ‘How am I ever in Watertown, Spicer, going to get out of this?’ But I knew it would Mora, Grand Rapids… all over the state for be a good investment down the road. Land has about six years.” been a great, great, great investment.” “The commercial work was extremely Terri didn’t join the company until 1986. competitive,” Terri said. “Low margins, so many Though she and Ernie had known each other carpenters to work with…it was…at times… in high school, they had not been friends. aggravating. So when a farm became available Terri graduated from high school and moved in Sauk Rapids that we could buy and develop, away for several years. When she returned, she we decided to give it a try.” That was in 1994 started helping a mutual friend with his books. and became the foundation of the Wollak It turned out Ernie needed help as well, so Terri Development Company. stepped in. Though she isn’t formally trained in Things were good for the Wollaks. They bookkeeping she’s a master of the numbers. “I finished the first phase and started a second one can tell you how much I have in my accounts,” in what they now called Eastern Star Estates. Ernie said. They became the exclusive contractors for other “I know where every penny is,” Terri developments, and they built custom homes countered. for individual property owners. “That’s one of

PERSONAL PROFILE ––––––––––

E

TIMELINE –––––– 1974

Ernie Wollak graduates from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

1976 Wollak graduates from the St. Cloud Technical School carpentry program; he begins working for a local contactor. Three months later he quits and works for a different contractor, again quitting within three months.

OCTOBER 1976 Wollak starts his own construction company.

1976-1986 Wollak Construction focuses on agricultural buildings, home remodeling and some new home construction.

1979 Wollak buys his first piece of land, a lot with a garage and a three-bedroom trailer.

1986 Terri Wollak begins working for Wollak Construction.

1989 Terri and Ernie Wollak marry.

1982-1994 Wollak Construction works in commercial construction, primarily senior living campuses; subcontracts in framing, carpentry, and finishing of apartment buildings; continues doing new home construction and remodeling. The company has 22 employees.

1986 Establishes “Ernie’s Antique Tractors”

1994 FUN FACT: Ernie Wollak is an antique tractor nut, owning 130 full-size restored antique tractors.

Wollak Construction establishes Wollak Development Company, purchasing its first housing development, Easter Star Estates.

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

43


COVER STORY

PERSONAL PROFILE –––––––––– Terri Wollak, 63

Vice President and Chief Finance Officer, Wollak Construction, Inc. Hometown: Sauk Rapids Education: Graduate, Sauk Rapids-Rice High School Work History: Part time bookkeeping before joining Wollak Construction to help with the books and work on the job site. Hobbies: Creative activities, including crocheting, quilting, sewing, and knitting

1993-1995 Wollak purchases vacant land near Highway 10 and begins mining aggregate.

1994 Wollak receives the Mayor’s “High 5 Award” from the City of St. Cloud for work on the “DARE” house.

1996 Wollak purchases the land and puts up a shop where the company is currently located; the Wollaks decide to change their business model, using subcontractors instead of employees with Ernie serving as the general contractor. The company has three employees.

2000 Wollak builds his current office on Lark Road in Sauk Rapids.

2004 Wollak Development purchases its sixth development, Southfork in south St. Cloud.

44

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

the things that’s unique about us,” Ernie said. “Everything we do is custom. You drive into one of our developments and there will be 40 homes and none of them look the same. If you already own a lot somewhere and you give us the blueprints, we’ll build your house the way you want it.” While the business was growing, the Wollaks continued to work out of their home. Home buyers needed to meet after work and on weekends, so Saturdays and Sundays, customers would make their way through the Wollak home into the basement office. More often than not, visitors would find the Wollaks’ twin daughters playing on the floor of the office while Terri did the bookwork nearby. “When they were first born, they were regularly in their rocker seats on the conference table,” Terri said. By 2000, the Wollaks were tiring of the busy office in their home. “Our girls were 10 and they never answered the phone because they knew it would be a ‘Wollak Construction’ call,” Terri said. “We were at the point we needed more privacy, they needed more privacy, so we finished this office, sold our house and moved across the street,” back to the property that had held the original garage and trailer.

In 2005 the Wollaks bought property in Sartell near the new Sartell High School, intended for a high-end development. Along with the 50-plus homes they built that year, they developed Phase 1 of Eagle Ridge Estates and put in one model home. In 2006 Wollak Construction built 57 homes. “The following year we built one,” Ernie said. The Great Recession had arrived. THE RECESSION he company had seven developments underway and 11 model homes. “We had taxes and assessments, a loan payment on the development…and sleepless nights,” Terri said. “We went from four incoming lines ringing off the hook to no calls. Overnight. Now you start to wonder, what are you going to do with all these homes, because all your capital is basically sitting in these homes that you can’t sell. You don’t even have anyone who wants to look at them.” Ernie went back to his roots. He had started in business doing small jobs and he was prepared to do it again. After a hail storm in 2007, he contacted his sub-contractors. “I said, ‘Instead of buildings homes do you want to replace windows, shingle roofs and put siding on?’ And they all agreed to it.”

T


“I’M A WORKAHOLIC. I LOVE IT. BUT I DO STILL SPEND TIME WITH THE FAMILY, WITH THE GRANDKIDS… I DO STILL MAKE TIME TO GET AWAY.” –ERNIE WOLLACK

Terri made flyers and Ernie started going door-to-door, seven days a week, promoting his services. A second hail storm hit in 2008. “That’s basically what we did for three years,” Ernie said. “We built a few homes a year too, but mostly windows, roofs, and siding.” The 2009 St. Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Health expansion was a boon for many Central Minnesota businesses. Hospital administration requested that the general contractor use as many local businesses as possible. Wollak Construction was one of them. “I love equipment, so we always had dump trucks, a frontend loader and a skidloader,” Ernie said. “In 1993 I bought a piece of land on Highway 10 and my vision for that piece of land was a sandpit.” When the St. Cloud Hospital expansion started, Ernie waited by the gate for the subcontractor to arrive. “I told him I had a gravel pit and if he needed any material hauled, I could do that. And I had three dump trucks.” Ernie was hardly back in his office before his phone rang. “I jumped in the truck and started hauling.” He also used his street sweeper to make sure the roads were cleaned every night and he kept the construction site plowed in the winter. “I think the recession has been the hardest part of being in business,” Ernie said. “The recession and all the stress for those five years.” FAMILY s engaged as Ernie is with his companies, he is not just about work. Despite long hours and the challenges created by a boom-bust-boom economy, he always made it home for supper. “Ernie was always home for supper at 5:30 p.m.,” Terri said, “and he rarely

A

missed a sporting event for our girls. He worked really hard, but he made sure he had time for the family. He’d go back to work in the evening, but he was always home for supper.” “I’m a workaholic. I love it. But I do still spend time with the family, with the grandkids…I do still make time to get away.” “The thing is,” Terri said, “you can work hard like that and still have a full, active life with your family. You don’t have to miss out on life just because you’re working hard.” They have also been involved in the community more than many people might realize. Ernie has been a member of the International Lions Club for over 40 years, receiving a number of special recognitions for his contributions. He was a contributor and project manager to the “DARE” House in 1994, receiving the Mayor’s High Five Award for his participation. He repeated that contribution in 2016 for the Community OutPost (COP) House. He’s been president of the Benton County Historical Society for 19 years, and a member of the Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years. “That’s Ernie,” Terri said. “He loves the limelight. He loves to get up every morning and be with the subs, be with the clients, make their dreams come true for the clients, and for anyone else – whatever it is he’s involved in. That’s Ernie. He just loves the challenge.” Ernie grinned. “I just love it. The more pressure, the more power, the more challenge, the better.” Gail Ivers is vice president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and editor of Business Central Magazine.

2005 Wollak Development purchases land in Sartell for Eagle Ridge Estates; putting in Phase 1 and building a model home.

2006 Wollak Construction builds 57 homes; Terri and Ernie establish Wollak Racing to support their daughters’ interest in dirt track racing.

2007 The Great Recession starts for Wollak Construction; they build one home during the year.

2008 A hail storm hits the area; Wollak reaches out to his subcontractors, suggesting they work together to shingle roofs, and replace siding and windows. All parties agree. For the next three years, this is the focus for Wollak Construction.

2009 Wollak receives the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award from the St. Cloud Metro Lions for outstanding community service.

2016 Anthony Wollak, Ernie’s nephew, begins working as a project manager for Wollak Construction; plans are developed for Anthony to eventually take over the construction company. The Wollaks organize their company into Wollak Construction (home building); Wollak Development (land acquisition and ownership); and ER Wollak Trucking (equipment and gravel pit).

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

45


Rotochopper

SPECIAL FOCUS: JOBS CENTRAL

THE SKILLS GAP Business and education are coming together in Central Minnesota to address a growing worker shortage. By Kelti Lorence

o matter your profession or industry, chances are you’ve heard this common concern in the last few years: “We can’t find enough qualified employees to fill our job openings.” Or this complaint: “There isn’t enough interest in our job openings.”

The speed of technological advancements has both boosted and shattered the way we prepare and view employees. Employers are aware of the growing gap in teen exposure and knowledge of current jobs and industries and are seeking ways to connect with school staff and parents before

BY THE NUMBERS

Hiring Difficulties in Manufacturing In 2018, manufacturing firms struggled to fill 62 percent of skilled production job vacancies.

46

Seventy percent of these vacancies required only a high school diploma.

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

Sixteen percent of job vacancies were exclusively due to a lack of skills, experience or credentials in candidates.

Central Minnesota struggled to fill 94 percent of job vacancies, 31 percent higher than any other region in the state.

Photos courtesy of Rotochopper

N


Alex Bromenschenkel's first day at Rotochopper

students reach high-school graduation and set their future plans. One side effect of specialization is a decrease in wide-ranging skills. “Think about it. Many students today grow up in apartments, where maintenance is taken care of by staff, and they never have a chance to learn that skill set,” said Tammy Anhalt-Warner,

director of workforce development, St. Cloud State University. “Employers have to adjust minimum skill requirements and do more on-the-job training.” Future hiring difficulties are foreseeable for many industries, but certain Minnesota professions experience higher vacancies than others. To help students see higher education as a financially possible option, the Minnesota Legislature has appropriated $8 million in funding since 2017 for workforce development scholarships in the following industries: advanced manufacturing, agriculture, health care services, information technology, early childhood education, and transportation. Rotochopper, Inc. is one of many local companies that have partnered with the St. Cloud Technical & Community College (SCTCC) to provide matching fund scholarships to entice more students to consider skilled trade professions. “We started

Chamber Programs Unite for Success Summer High-School Internship Program ––––––– Unite for Success & Farm Show scholarships for high-school and college students ––––––– Grow with Google partnership ––––––– St. Cloud Area Leadership Program ––––––– Employers in the Lunch Room ––––––– Supervisor Development Certificate Program

YEAR ROUND

Let’s co-create more life success stories. Starting with yours. If you feel your career should be about accomplishing something, not just doing something, let’s talk. Our St. Cloud office, nestled in our skyline for over 35 years, is growing, and looking for individuals who are passionate about helping people follow their dreams and create a stronger future for themselves and their family. And we can help do the same for you. Let’s do something great together.

INDOORS LOCAL DESIGN | PRODUCE | ERECT

JOIN OUR TEAM NOW HIRING DRAFTERS AND PRODUCTION LABORERS

Visit cetera.com/careers and select the St. Cloud location. You don’t have to look far to go far.

WELLSCONCRETE.COM/CAREERS

320.845.8576

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

47


SPECIAL FOCUS

“Sixty-five percent of children entering primary school will end up in jobs that don’t yet exist.” — World Economic Forum

Local Programs With Chamber Involvement EPIC (Exploring Potential Interests and Careers) ––––––– Business & Industry Summit with Sauk Rapids-Rice School District ––––––– CareerSTART – Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota

working with SCTCC in 2018,” said Angie Brick, community relations director for Rotochopper. “After a year-long welding program, one of their students came to work for us full time.” In addition to providing financial support, Rotochopper has increased their presence at community programs that provide workforce exposure to students. “We were involved with activities in the manufacturing cluster at EPIC in 2019 and are really excited to be participating again in 2020. Being more involved in community activities helps build awareness around manufacturing careers, not only

Business Broker Sell your business Find a business

Access to over 300 Franchises Commercial Property If you are Selling or Buying Ø Ø Ø Ø Ø

Confidential Business Analysis Sale Structure Confidentially Network & Advertise the Sale Assist & Control Information Flow Support through Due Diligence to Closing

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

48

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

at Rotochopper, but across Central Minnesota,” Brick said. Exploring Potential Interests and Careers (EPIC) held its inaugural event in February 2019 at SCTCC. It provided over 2,300 students with the opportunity to interact with more than 200 business partners through hands-on workforce skills and exposure activities. The second event, again at SCTCC on Feb. 28, 2020, has a goal to double student attendance from last year. There also needs to be ways for current job seekers to acquire the skills employers want. A number of local, state and national


funders have joined the work, enticed by the potential gains of closing the skills gap. Since 1983, St. Cloud State University has worked with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to promote cooperative ventures between business, labor, and education through the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership. On behalf of local employers, the university obtains grant funding to provide customized training. Since March 1, 2011, over $2.8 million in grants have funded training for 4,698 employees. Examples of current trainings include: Park Industries: Engineering – finite element analysis, root cause analysis, sales and customer service, and more (serves 1,388 people, $350,000 grant funding) –––––––––

Essilor: Ophthalmic – optics, instrumentation, electronic troubleshooting, embracing diversity, and more (serves 712 people, $350,000 grant funding) ––––––––– Nahan Printing: Mechanical aptitude, math and measurement, leadership and more (serves 424 people, $300,000 grant funding)

Recent Discussions Forward Together Conversations with the Department of Higher Education – Achieving Minnesota’s education attainment goal ––––––– Age Restricted Workforce discussion with Representative Tim O’Driscoll – relaxing and refining the rules surrounding 16- & 17-yearold teens working in transportation, construction and manufacturing facilities

Kelti Lorence is the communications and workforce development coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

For the sources used in the story visit BusinessCentral Magazine.com

DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED HELP ALLEVIATING ITS HIRING BURDEN? strategic. creative. effective.

Call (320) 251-1038 and learn how we can help you!

To help you and your business goals finally see eye to eye, let WhiteBox Marketing put our expertise to work just for you. Welcome to today’s modern marketing firm.

WhiteBox Marketing

info@whitebox.marketing 320-270-0722

www.WhiteBox.Marketing

Express of St. Cloud won a $10K donation to St. Cloud area non-profits.

Strategic Marketing • PR • Branding Creative Campaigns • Web Digital Media • Social Media Consulting Services

J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 // BusinessCentralMagazine.com

49


PROFIT

BUSINESSSPOTLIGHT

CENTRAL HYDRAULICS

Staying Engaged Scott Gronseth hints at retirement, but his growth plans sound like a man on the move. By Gail Ivers

Business Central: You come from an entrepreneurial family. Scott Gronseth: Yes, and I miss my dad dearly. He was a smart man and I learned a lot from him. He owned Gronseth Directory Services. I worked with him from the time I was 14 until he sold his business. He took it from three employees to 110 in 20 years. How did he do that? I wish I could have some of those conversations now. BC: Did you ever think about buying that business? Gronseth: No, it didn’t interest me. I was glad when he sold it. BC: How did you end up in hydraulics? Gronseth: I was looking for a business to buy. There were lots of bars and restaurants. This wasn’t a bar or restaurant. BC: Did you have a background in hydraulics? Gronseth: No, but hydraulics kind of interested me. I started out machining. The company was pretty small, dump trucks and some construction equipment. I was 22 years old and I suppose I didn’t think it mattered that much if I succeeded or failed. The previous owner stayed on and worked with me for about six months. I told my sister, Margie, that she had to come work with me and do the books. Which she did and she’s been with me the whole time. There were rough spots. The Bauerly Brothers company was a really good relationship for us back then. There were times that without them we wouldn’t have made payroll. They were 10% of our business for a long time. BC: Anything on your horizon? Gronseth: There’s a possibility for some new locations, though I said I’d never do that again. We just took on a new machinery line for business growth. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you need new stuff to keep you engaged.

AT A G L A N C E

Central Hydraulics 7245 Old Highway 52, St. Cloud, MN 5630 (320) 255-1628 central-hydraulicsmn.com

50

Owner: Scott Gronseth Number of Employees: 27 Locations: St. Cloud, Rogers, Hutchinson Opened since 1986 Chamber member since 1987

BusinessCentral Magazine.com // J A N U A R Y/ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0

PERSONAL PROFILE

Scott Gronseth, 55 Owner and president, Central Hydraulics –––––– Hometown: St. Cloud // Education: Graduate, St. Cloud Tech High School; two years of college // Work Experience: One year in roofing, one year in concrete before buying Central Hydraulics // Family: Wife of 25 years, Rhonda, works at Central Hydraulics; four children: Rachael, Avery, Calvin, and Reece; Scott’s sister, Margie Gronseth, also works in the business // Hobbies: Hunting, golfing, wake-surfing in the summer

BEST BUSINESS ADVICE:

“Treat every customer like they’re your best one. Ten farmers are the same as one big company.”

TIMELINE

=

Oct. 1, 1986 Scott Gronseth purchases Central Hydraulics; there are four employees

1995 Central Hydraulics moves to their current location on Old Highway 52 in the St. Cloud Industrial Park

1996 Gronseth purchases Prairie Hydraulics in Lester Prairie

1997

2008

Gronseth moves Prairie Hydraulics to Hutchinson and renames it Central Hydraulics

The economy crashes and Central Hydraulics has its worst year ever. As the recession continues, people started repairing equipment rather than buying new, generating business for Central Hydraulics

2006 Central Hydraulics has its best year ever; Gronseth invests by purchasing a building in Rogers and establishing a third location in 2007

2020 Gronseth considers expansion at both the Hutchinson and Rogers sites

Business Description: Hydraulic service, parts, and repair shop; sales and service of Boss snowplows; sales and rental of Wacker Neuson compact equipment.


THE MARRIAGE OF BANKING AND JEWELRY. Banking Transitions

Throughout J. F. Kruse and Deerwood Bank’s partnership, both businesses have seen significant change.

“You rarely get to talk to a real person or explain your unique situation to them. If you don’t fit inside their box, you’re done. At Deerwood, it’s personal.”

In 2013, Melissa and Mike Kelley purchased J. F. Kruse Jewelers from Melissa’s father, Jim Kruse.

What Melissa Kelley loves about Deerwood Bank:

“Jacki Templin, our business banker, helped us navigate that transition,” said Melissa. “Jacki and her team worked to understand our unique situation and help us find win-win options for our financing.” A few years later, in 2017, Deerwood Bank acquired Plaza Park Bank—the bank that J. F. Kruse had been working with for years. “To be honest, we knew the name had changed, but everything else was seamless,” said Melissa. “The team is still the same, the exceptional service is still the same, and they still provide the personal service that we loved with Plaza Park Bank.”

Mutual Success

“Deerwood Bank is our business partner, and they see our success as their own,” she said. “They have never stopped earning our business in all the years we’ve worked together.” When J. F. Kruse built their new store, the Deerwood team was the first to pick up a shovel, literally. “When the first shovel hit the ground at our new building site, our banking team was there and cheering just as loudly as our own team. How cool is that?!” said Melissa.

1. Stability “Deerwood Bank and J. F. Kruse have both been through some transitions, but we’re still working with the same people and seeing the same faces. They’re the same great team and we’re so grateful for that.”

Personal Banking

Each person who comes into J. F. Kruse to buy a piece of jewelry has a story. Melissa and her team love hearing every story and building relationships with customers that last far beyond the sale. Similarly, Melissa said her banking feels very much the same.

2. Partnership “We’ve been doing business with Deerwood for years, and they’re part of our J. F. Kruse Corporate Perks Program. It’s so refreshing to know that Deerwood not only supports us in our finances, but also supports us by shopping in our store.” 3. Big bank capabilities “Deerwood Bank has all the robustness and capabilities of what a big bank has, but on a much more personal level. They really, really care.”

“Jacki and the Deerwood team partner with you, they care about your story and they value your relationship,” said Melissa. “They’re not like the big banks—they truly treat you like the unique person and business that you are.” Melissa and Mike own three businesses, and they’ve worked with multiple banks, including large, national chains. “When you walk into the big banks, they tell you to submit your information online,” said Melissa.

320.252.4200 2351 Connecticut Ave, Ste. 100, Sartell, MN 56377 131 6th Ave S, Ste 100, Waite Park, MN 56387

deerwoodbank.com


Open your

NexGen Investment Account • Available free to ages 0-19 years old • Special high interest rates until age 26 • Handcrafted Log Bank gift at opening • No monthly fees or minimum balance • Free mobile banking and online access • Free debit card and remote deposit app • Personalized youth to college savings plan

INVEST in Your Next Generation!

Call for a

FREE CONSULTATION

LINDSAY FRIELER (320) 654-9555

DEB RIELAND (320) 654-9555

VIKI MONROE (320) 257-5000

JENNY MASSMANN (320) 558-2021

KINSEY BINNIE (320) 356-7334

ST. CLOUD WEST

ST. CLOUD EAST

CLEARWATER

AVON

LONG PRAIRIE

BROWERVILLE

2915 2ND ST. S (320) 654-9555

525 HWY. 10 S (320) 257-5000

800 NELSON DR. (320) 558-2021

104 AVON AVE. N (320) 356-7334

24 2ND ST. S (320) 732-6131

502 S MAIN ST. (320) 594-2215

HEIDI SUDBECK (320) 732-6131

Profile for St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

January/February 2020 Issue  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine

January/February 2020 Issue  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine