March/April 2022

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CONTENTS GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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

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

Cover Story

30 DO BETTER

The lessons of the Great Recession continue to shape the leadership team at MCI.

PROFIT

28 WOMEN IN MANUFACTURING 36 TREND WATCHING Tracking and acting on trends is essential to growing your company.

40 BECOMING NIMBLE The commercial construction industry is embracing flexibility as businesses deal with workforce and supply challenges.

NETWORK

GROW

48 COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION DIRECTORY

8 UPFRONT Valuable information designed to guide and educate.

20 BUSINESS TOOLS Useful tips and intelligence on how to continue to grow your business.

50 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Cathy Juilfs and Jason Hallonquist AIS Planning

ONLYONLINE BUSINESSCENTRAL MAGAZINE.COM

• Three Key Management Skills • Cybersecurity on a Budget • Path to Innovation • Diversity Marketing

© Copyright 2022 Business Central, LLC. Business Central is published six times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487. Phone (320) 251-2940 / Fax (320) 251-0081. Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year.


PRESIDENT’S LETTER

Better Together

O

ur world and communities have changed and just when we thought we hit our new normal,

The St. Cloud Downtown Council and St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce share interests vital to both

the curveballs continue to come. This “continuous next,”

organizations. Throughout the U.S., there are many successful

as I’ve heard it referred to, brings ongoing challenges

models of downtown associations that have merged with

and opportunities. Community priorities, the business

their local chambers of commerce, allowing for better inte-

environment, and public expectations are shifting.

gration of resources, operating efficiencies, and leadership.

To remain successful, we must adjust the way we lead

Chambers play an essential role in creating positive

our chambers and communities to meet these changing

community impacts. Ensuring that St. Cloud has a robust

demands. Partnerships, collaborations, and a unified

urban core positively affects our membership and

approach are more important than ever.

community. In January, the boards of directors for the

St. Cloud’s downtown plays an essential and unique

St. Cloud Downtown Council and St. Cloud Area Chamber of

role in the economic and social development of the city.

Commerce unanimously agreed to explore and investigate

A strong and vibrant downtown is critical in any

possible collaborations between the two organizations.

community to the quality of life for residents and attracting

As a result, we have formed a committee that will research,

visitors. Downtown is the heart of the community – a

and possibly create, a plan for future sustainability

symbol of community health, pride, and history, as well as

of the Downtown Council.

quality of life. The St. Cloud Downtown Council has been

Community-strengthening partnerships are not

the long-time downtown leader. The organization advocates

unique to the St. Cloud Area Chamber. The Chamber is

for downtown development and improvement, supports

an umbrella organization that includes the Sauk Rapids

downtown business, and creates quality events.

Chamber, Waite Park Chamber, St. Cloud Area Chamber,

With the ongoing myriad of changes we’re all facing, even the strongest organizations have experienced an impact, some more negatively than others. The St. Cloud

and Visit Greater St. Cloud. We are better together, building an even stronger organization and region. Sincerely,

Downtown Council is facing challenges that it cannot remedy alone – from staffing to revenue to membership. Downtown advocates have been exploring ways to address the issues, and we may have the answer.

Julie Lunning President

2021-22 BOARD MEMBERS ____________________________ Marilyn Birkland, SCTimes/LocaliQ Main Phone: 320-251-2940 • Automated Reservation Line: 320-656-3826 Program Hotline: 320-656-3825 • information@StCloudAreaChamber.com StCloudAreaChamber.com

Main Phone: 320-251-4170

ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF ____________________________ President: Julie Lunning, ext. 104 Vice President: Gail Ivers, ext. 109 Special Events Coordinator: Laura Wagner, ext. 131 Membership Specialist: Antoinette Valenzuela, ext. 134

CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF ____________________________

Administrative Assistant: Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122 Administrative Assistant: Shelly Imdieke, ext. 100

Executive Director: Rachel Thompson, ext. 128 Director of Sales: Nikki Fisher, ext. 112 Sales Manager: Craig Besco, ext. 111 Marketing Manager: Emily Bertram, ext. 129 Sports and Special Events Manager Mike Johnson, ext. 110

Ron Brandenburg, Quinlivan & Hughes, Past Board Chair

Willie Jett, St. Cloud School District Kevin Johnson, K. Johnson Construction, Board Vice Chair

John Bryant, Geo-Comm

Bernie Perryman, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Board Chair

Christy Gilleland, Gilleland Chevrolet Cadillac

Paul Radeke, BerganKDV Brenda Sickler, Theisen Dental

Tanja Goering

Allison Waggoner, DCI Inc.

Joe Hellie, CentraCare

Donella Westphal, Jules’ Bistro

Ray Herrington, Pioneer Place on Fifth Patrick Hollermann, InteleCONNECT

Dr. Jason Woods, St. Cloud State University Colleen Zoffka


Business Financial Solutions NEW NAME, SAME GREATNESS Central Minnesota Credit Union has changed its name to Magnifi Financial. We continue to provide best-in-class financial solutions for businesses of all sizes. From loans to checking accounts and digital cash management tools, your business can find success when partnering with Magnifi Financial. Now open in Waite Park! 608 2nd St S, Waite Park, MN

MYMAGNIFI.ORG

Insured by NCUA


EDITOR’S NOTE

Editor Gail Ivers with Ryan Corrigan, MCI

Wind Speed

M

y mother was a wonderful gardener. She had

just couldn’t grasp it right away. This huge, beautiful tree

an eye for color and a flair for design. Not me.

now lay across half the garden, a short strip of lawn, and

I’m what you might call a prolific gardener. Slopes, trees,

stretched far out to the middle of the adjacent pond.

driveway edges, ponds…they all beg to be decorated

Wow.

with flowers.

And now for the truly astonishing part – there was no

One of the things that keeps gardening interesting for

damage. Well, there was a big hole in the garden where

me is that the gardens

the root ball ripped out. But

are ever changing. Plants

the lawn was undamaged

expand and take over spaces where they don’t belong. They die and open a

If you don’t want to dig and move plants, then gardening is a poor hobby choice.

down to the pond so the trunk made a bridge from

spot to try something new.

garden to pond, which also

Trees grow and change a

protected the flowers it

full sun garden into a shade garden. If you don’t want to dig

would have otherwise crushed. And that lovely big tree

and move plants, then gardening is a poor hobby choice.

had the courtesy to fall into the pond rather than onto the

Several years ago we had an incredibly wet July and August. Rain and more rain. My pond broke its banks. The lawn was so saturated we couldn’t drive the lawn tractor

sodden lawn on the other side of the garden, which would have required some major repair. Ryan Corrigan, MCI, knows all about big things falling

up the slope without the grass ripping out. On my way

over during high winds. (See the story on page 30.) I’m

home one day we had one of those torrential downpours

not suggesting my tree incident compares to what MCI

that requires pulling off the road and waiting it out.

had to deal with. But just like the team at MCI, I found

When I got home I looked out my living room window

a silver lining.

and knew something had changed. The weird thing is,

I went flower shopping.

I didn’t immediately understand what it was that had

Until next issue,

changed. I just knew that something in the shade garden was completely different. Then realization hit – the 40foot ash tree that was the centerpiece of that garden had blown over. Now you would think that would have jumped out at me immediately. But it was so unexpected that I

6

because the grass sloped

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

Gail Ivers, Editor


Publisher Julie Lunning // Managing Editor Gail Ivers

Our sympathy goes out to the

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

family, friends and co-workers

Allison Bily and Lynn MacDonald, St. Cloud State University

of Fred Bursch who passed away in December. Fred owned Bursch Travel and was on the September October 2008 cover of Business Central. He was also the 2008 recipient of the St. Cloud Area Entrepreneurial Success Award for growing his company from a small

Alicia Chapman, Bluebird Creative Dr. Fred E. Hill, St. Cloud State University Andy Hawkins, BerganKDV Michelle Henderson, BadCat Digital Gail Ivers, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Julie Lunning, St .Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Jeanine Nistler, freelance writer

enterprise to a large one, but

Ashlinn Rooney, former intern, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

will be best remembered for his

Jessie Storlien, Stearns History Museum

optimism and courage.

Jonathan Wolf, Rinke Noonan

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

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

after 50 years, we have a lot to celebrate! Thank you to our current and former patients, surgeons, employees, and teams of outstanding health care professionals for making St. Cloud Surgical Center one of the leading and most trusted ambulatory surgery centers in Minnesota.

the

greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground In Honor of Joseph Belshe, MD

– St. Cloud Surgical Center Founder

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

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UPFRONT GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: People to Know / Your Voice in Government / Do it Now! / Digging History / The Trouble with Business BOOK REVIEW

NEWS REEL

Look for the Helpers

PleasureLand wins Top 50 Award

Fred Rogers' enduring legacy is to be thoughtful, curious, and compassionate. Reviewed by Dr. Fred Hill

So much more than another biography, Kindness and Wonder is a warm hug for those who grew up with Mister Rogers and have missed his presence, as well as a wonderful introduction for those unfamiliar with his power. Reminding readers of Mister Rogers’ simple yet indelible lessons – how to be a good person, how to be openhearted, how to be thoughtful, how to be curious, how to be compassionate – Edwards has found unknown nuggets of beauty in the life of this fascinating man, interviewed many people whose lives he touched, and most important, showed us how the wisdom of Mister Rogers can, and should, be applied to the way we live today. —Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever

F

or over 30 years Fred Rogers was welcomed into American homes. Looking back at the

PleasureLand RV was recently honored with the 2021 RV Business Top 50 Award, one of only three dealers in North

history of the show and the creative visionary behind it, author Gavin Edwards reminds us of the indelible lessons and insights that Mister Rogers conveyed. Part I: Let’s Make the Most of This Beautiful Day. This Part has 130 pages of the life of Fred McFeely Rogers. Part II: Ten Ways to Live More Like Mister Rogers Right Now. 1) Be deep and simple. 2) Be kind to strangers. 3) Make a joyful noise. 4) Tell the truth. 5) Connect with other people every way you can. 6) Love your neighbors. 7) Find the light in the darkness. 8) Always see the very best in other people. 9) Accept the changing seasons. 10) Share what you’ve learned. (All your life.) “When he was alive, Fred Rogers stood stalwart against humanity’s nastiest impulses,” according to

Edwards. “That made him a hero, but he wanted you to know he wasn’t the only one.” Rogers’ mother taught him that whenever there would be any real catastrophe, to always look for the helpers. There will always be the helpers – just on the sidelines. In a few sentences, Mister Rogers not only offered solace, he helped turn despair into action. Somebody who sees that there are helpers in the world’s worst hours, and that they make a difference, is somebody who stops watching and starts helping. Mister Rogers can be a model for living in the moment – and living kind and well. Dr. Fred E. Hill is an emeritus professor at St. Cloud State University.

America to receive this award each year since its inception. Dealerships are judged on their operation and financial performance, along with their charitable and community involvement.

SCSU Receives Job Training Grants The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded 13 workforce development grants totaling nearly $2.2 million under the Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) to assist businesses and educational institutions in training workers to keep high-quality jobs in the state. St. Cloud State received two awards totaling over $500,000 to assist Eye-Kraft and Sand Companies.

Quiet Oaks hires director of nursing Heather Olson joins Quiet Oaks Hospice House as the new director of nursing. Olson received her BA in nursing from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1997, and comes to Quiet Oaks with 25 years of nursing experience in both urban and rural settings.

Ki n d n ess and Wonde r ; Why M i st er Rog ers Matters Now More T han Ev er; G av in Edw ards; Har perCollins ; NY; 20 19 ; I S B N 9 7 8-0-06-2 95 074 -1

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

Send News Reel items to Gail Ivers, givers@stcloudareachamber.com for possible inclusion. News Reel is compiled by Ashlinn Rooney.


Banking and

N E W AT T H E TO P

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

Chad Johnson, 35 Executive Director, Central MN Habitat for Humanity Previous employer: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud What will you miss most about your previous position? My coworkers on the Organizational Advancement team When did you start in your current position? June 2021 What are you looking forward to the most in your new position? I am looking forward to leading this amazing organization to continue to provide safe,

decent and affordable housing for Central Minnesota. The projects that are most exciting are our School Build projects with Tech, Sartell and Rocori high schools. Where did you grow up? St. Cloud (Pantown neighborhood) What are your hobbies? Running, reading, watching football, spending time with my family. Fun fact about yourself: I used to compete in eating contests throughout the state of Minnesota.

Because friendly still counts. IN THE NEWS

FMPierz.com

Jolly Trolley sets donation record Jolly Trolley delivered 7,400 pounds of food and $1,700 in December to Catholic Charities Emergency Services, Promise Neighborhood of Central MN, and St. Cloud Area Salvation Army. To date, Jolly Trolley Food Drive has collected and donated $25,000 and 45,000 pounds of food. Each December Metro Bus partners with businesses and organizations to collect donations for area food shelves.

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

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL

DO IT NOW!

Robinson joins Initiative Foundation

Sleep Well

Donniel Robinson has been programs officer for the Initiative

One of the biggest drivers of poor sleep is using electronic devices at bedtime.

Foundation. Robinson will work

By Ashlinn Rooney

hired as entrepreneurship

across the Initiative Foundation’s entrepreneurship programs and support the growth of Enterprise Academy.

Lesmeister earns industry recognition Jennifer Lesmeister, AIF®, financial advisor with Laraway Financial Advisors Inc. (LFA), was awarded the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies®.

Marco promotes Akervik, supports Salvation Army Trevor Akervik has been promoted to chief operating officer at Marco. He has worked at Marco for 20 years and most recently served as the company's chief strategy officer. He replaces longtime Marco leader Jonathan Warrey, who will continue in the company through a newly created position leading organization-wide sales development. _________ Marco’s annual support of The Salvation Army initiative in December included a $10,000 corporate donation, as well as employee support through donations of monetary gifts and volunteered time.

Granite Electronics is acquired Granite Electronics Inc., a St. Cloud-based provider of communications systems and devices for public safety, industrial, and commercial clients, has been acquired by Superior, Wisconsinbased DSC Communications. DSC Communications provides sales and service for Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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B

eing well-rested is a universally desirable feeling for humans. It brings an overall sense of well-being to oneself, physically and mentally. On the other hand, being tired from lack of sleep is incredibly unpleasant, as it impedes sharp thinking and causes normal things to seem irritating and intolerable. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over one-third of adults in the U.S. fail to get enough sleep each night. What may be preventing people from achieving adequate amounts of sleep? One of the biggest culprits behind poor sleep

quality in the 21st Century is exposure to screens from electronic devices before bed. When it’s nighttime, looking at the blue-light emitting screens on electronic devices such as TVs and smartphones can throw off your circadian rhythm, making it difficult to fall asleep. It’s wise to stop exposing your eyes to blue light at least two hours before bed, and to make sure there are no artificial lights in your bedroom – no matter how small – that remain on while you sleep. If you must look at screens before bedtime, invest in blue lightblocking glasses to reduce the circadian-disrupting effects of

looking at electronic devices before bed. Stress can be another large factor in someone’s ability to rest at night. The brain interprets any stress as something that should not be ignored, therefore preventing you from falling asleep. To eliminate stress before bedtime, consider developing a nightly wind-down routine. Sticking to a nightly routine consisting of relaxing activities, such as drinking herbal tea, bathing, or reading a book, can help signal to the brain that there is stability in your immediate environment, which will allow your body to produce sleep-promoting chemicals. Removing any impediments to a good night’s sleep can improve your quality of life, as sleep is a driver of wellbeing. Those who are well rested are healthier, happier, and more productive at work than those who don’t get enough sleep. A well-rested you is the best version of you! Ashlinn Rooney was the communications intern at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce in the fall of 2021.

For the sources used in this story, visit Business CentralMagazine.com.


Ask for PEOPLE TO KNOW

Get Acquainted The following four individuals help make things work; get to know them now. Rachel Templin Tri-County Abstract & Title Guaranty ________

(320) 253-2096 rtemplin@firstam.com Chair, Chamber Connection ________ Chamber Connection is the premier networking event for businesses in Central Minnesota. Hosted by a different Chamber member every Friday morning, Chamber Connection attracts 75 - 120 people each week to network and share information about their businesses, all for the price of $1 at the door.

Eric Johnson Bradbury Stamm Construction ________

(320) 290-8664 ejohnson@bradburystamm.com Chair, Chamber Open ________ The Chamber Open is an annual networking and fundraising event for the Chamber. Volunteers organize the day’s activities, sell sponsorships, and help the day of the Open.

Patrick Hollermann

For Care That’s

FREEING Swing on in for orthopedic care that leaves you feeling free. At St. Cloud Orthopedics, we’re here to help you reach new heights of health and wellness with state-of-the-art technology and treatment options, as well as a team of caring and dedicated specialists and therapists who will keep you going in the right direction. When it comes to your care, you have a choice. For freeing bone & joint care that helps you live better, ask for St. Cloud Orthopedics.

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

InteleCONNECT ________

Phone: (320) 227-3938 patrick@inteleconnect.net Chair, Top Hat Ambassadors ________ The Top Hat Ambassadors welcome new members, congratulate members who have expanded or relocated, and serve as greeters and hosts at Chamber events.

Sam Lieser Edina Realty ________

(320) 248-6872 samlieser@edinarealty.com Chair, Sauk Rapids Chamber ________ The Sauk Rapids Chamber, a division of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, promotes a healthy business environment in the community of Sauk Rapids. Volunteers and committee members work in cooperation with member businesses, local government, the public school system, and other community organizations. Programs include Sauk Rapids State of the City address and Rock the River Expo.

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

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL Stanton named General Counsel Cheryl A. Stanton joined the College

YOUR VOICE IN GOVERNMENT

Speak Up If you don’t tell our legislators what’s on your mind, who will?

of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University as

3.Thou Shalt Promise

its first general counsel and

To Listen So That Thou Shalt Understand What Thou Is Hearing.

corporate secretary to the boards of trustees. Stanton oversees the provision of legal services to

Do not jump to conclusions. Do not assume something is being said that is not actually being said. If you don’t hear the words “I’m with you,” don’t assume it is implied — no matter how much someone tells you “I understand your position.”

CSB and SJU, providing executive and confidential assistance, and legal and strategic guidance. She will also serve as the Title IX coordinator for CSB and SJU.

Gartland reappointed to MAC Gov. Tim Walz reappointed Patti Gartland, president of the

4.Thou Shalt Not

Greater St. Cloud Development

Circumvent Staff.

Corporation, to the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). Her term ends in January 2026. Gartland was appointed to the MAC by Gov. Mark Dayton in March 2014. In 2017, she was elected vice chair of the MAC, a position she still holds.

Schlenner Wenner promotes staff The following individuals have been promoted to partner at Schlenner Wenner. All three graduated from St. Cloud State University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. Brian Schellinger, CPA, CVA, has worked in public accounting since 2009. Samantha Kohout, CPA, CSEP, has worked in public accounting since 2005 and is a certified specialist in estate planning. Ryan Schmidt, CPA, has worked in public accounting since 2010 and holds an advanced single audit certification. _________ Bob Hengel, CPA, is retiring from Schlenner Wenner. He joined the firm in 1987, became partner in 1990 and has spent the last 30+ years serving the firm’s clients at the St. Cloud and Albany offices. . 12

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

I

t’s that time of year when government is in full swing. There are plenty of opportunities for you to head to St. Paul and talk to our legislators – almost every association has a “Day at the Capitol.” But once you’re there, then what? How do you share your concerns … hopes … goals … in a productive manner? To begin with, remember that legislators are people just like you. Yes, they ran for office and were elected, but they are still someone’s neighbor, spouse, and friend. That means the most important thing you can do is be respectful. No one is out to get you and you shouldn’t be out to get them. Share your opinions politely and be specific about why you are hoping for a vote to go a certain way or why something should or should not be included in a bill.

Still looking for some advice on how to approach an elected official? From the U.S. Chamber come these Five Essential Commandments of Lobbying.

1 Thou Shalt

Staff are there to be worked with. Winning the confidence and trust of staff is the first step to success. Meeting with staff is almost as good – and in some cases better – than meeting with the member of Congress or the Legislature. Unless you work with staff, you will not succeed.

Tell The Truth.

Lobbying is simply the political management of information. If you want to be taken seriously, you must always tell the truth. 2.Thou Shalt Not Promise More Than Thou Canst Deliver.

The best lobbyists always deliver on their promises. If you promise phone calls will be generated, that another business will sign on, that you’ll get media coverage, you’d better do it. No excuses. Otherwise don’t promise it. Far better to under promise and over deliver.

5.Thou Shalt Spring No Surprises.

Politicians hate the unexpected. They want to act upon information rather than react to it. They are keenly interested in what is going on in their home states and districts and are especially interested in information and events that affect their own constituents. They want to know what is happening at home before someone asks them about it. To be successful, share information; don’t sit back to see what happens when they find out by surprise.


TO P H ATS

NEW MEMBER Momentum Partners LLC, consulting firm helping companies, teams and individuals grow, 3600 W St. Germain Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Sheri Moran, Michelle Primus, Jason Miller.

NEW MEMBER INDY Foundation, a nonprofit supporting families in the midst of cancer, 4-13th Ave. N, Waite Park. Pictured: Jason Miller, Kayla Strand, Tim Schmidt.

NEW MEMBER Scooter’s Coffee, locally owned franchise that serves specialty coffee drinks, 3203 Division Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Mary Swingle, Sarah Ressemann, Tyler Ressemann, Brayden Ressemann, Jason Miller, Front- Evelyn Ressemann, Owen Ressemann.

NEW MEMBER Copeland Buhl, CPA firm with multiple divisions, 800 Wayzata Blvd. E, ste 300, Wayzata. Pictured: April Diederich, Nancy Bielke, Carl Newbanks.

NEW MEMBER Make-It Mac’s Makerspace, machine and tool shop accessible to the community, 2803 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. Pictured: Patrick Hollermann, Macanon Dhein, Josh Vraa.

NEW MEMBER Simplicity Redefined, organizers providing functional space design, productivity and home improvement solutions. Pictured: Tauna Quimby, Carrie Christensen, Kim Molitor, Mary Swingle.

Find your

NEW MEMBER Network Center Inc, technology solutions company, 630 Roosevelt Road, ste 102, St. Cloud. Pictured front row: Mitchel Orthman, Patrick Hagameier, Allison Abels, Peg Imholte, Mark McQuillan, Ben Carlsrud, Julie Forsberg, Jen Brueske, Luanne Brosz. Back row: Ben Nelson, Lloyd Sanquist, Jon Schloesser, Chris Johnson, Steve Stenerson, Roger Lund.

purpose

at CentraCare

Change lives and improve health through the work you do.

Choose an opportunity that encourages you to be your best and make a difference in the lives of our patients, coworkers and community. Search positions at CentraCare.com to find the job right for you.

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

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL ATS announces staff changes Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) hired Lars Offerdahl as the new vice president of driver recruiting.

DIGGING HISTORY

Not Just Playing Around At Swanson’s Day Care, play was serious business. By Jessie Storlien

with 15 years of experience in

Swanson's Day Care, December 1984. Dorothy Swanson is in the back row, second from lef t. The Top Hatters are Don Volkmuth (L) and James Gammell.

the transportation industry to ATS, including several years in operations and a decade in leadership roles in both operations and driver recruiting. He replaces Joe Goering, who is entering a 31 years at ATS.

Rachel Thompson appointed to MACVB board The Minnesota Association of CVBs (MACVB) appointed Rachel Thompson, Visit Greater St. Cloud, to the board of directors to serve a two-year term from Jan. 2022-Dec. 2023. Thompson is a seven-year employee of Visit Greater St. Cloud, a division of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. She was promoted from sales manager to executive director in September of 2021.

BerganKDV announces merger BerganKDV recently merged with two human capital management service providers: Paystubz based out of South Dakota, and People Etc., based out of Illinois. This partnership adds 21 new team members to BerganKDV and expands the company’s reach into the South Dakota and Illinois markets. The newly added companies will use the BerganKDV name and branding.

Kramer recognized as a Top Financial Advisor James Kramer III, an independent LPL financial advisor at Kramer Financial in St. Cloud, was recently recognized for his inclusion in the LPL Patriot’s Club. This elite award is presented to less than 7 percent of the firm’s more than 19,000 financial advisors nationwide.

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“The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.” – Maria Montessori

I

n 1940, the number of households in the United States with two working parents was less than 10 percent. By 1975, over 40 percent of households had two parents working outside the home. This shift in demographics created, among other societal changes, a strong need for childcare. St. Cloud resident Dorothy Swanson saw this trend as a way to fulfill her love of children and offer a solution to working parents. In February 1975, she started Swanson’s Day Care and Nursery School at 818 Sixth Ave. S in St. Cloud. Swanson was a former kindergarten teacher and mother of three children. “The day care was my husband’s answer to a fourth child,” she said.

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 attended Swanson’s day care, where imaginative play, interacting with others, and creativity were priorities. “I believe in playing and socializing,” Swanson told the St. Cloud Times in 1977. “We teach them to share and love.” The children at Swanson’s spent their days painting pictures, reading stories, playing games, and singing songs, among other activities. “We’re flexible in our daily schedule and try to determine the mood of the kids and do what they want to do,” Swanson told the St. Cloud Times in 1975. The overall goal was to teach children lessons without making them feel as if they were at school. This was the embodiment of Swanson’s philosophy: “Learning with love.” It was no secret that Swanson put the children first. In 1975, she told the

St. Cloud Times, “Around here, children are the center of attraction.” And she delighted in their zest for life, “Kids have a fantastic amount of energy, and their enthusiasm is catchy!” This popular child-centered approach to care and the ever-growing number of families with working parents meant an expansion for Swanson’s. By 1982, there were three Swanson Day Care centers: two in St. Cloud and one in St. Joseph. One reason Swanson was able to manage three centers was employee Pat Smith. When Swanson received a questionnaire from the Stearns County Historical Society asking her to name people important to her business over the years, Dorothy wrote “Pat Smith, my best friend, we decided we wanted to teach and take care of young children.” Smith and Swanson would run Swanson Day Care centers together for 28 years. The growth of Swanson’s business was indicative of the rising number of area families in need of childcare. In 1983, Jeanne Hoodecheck, coordinator of the St. Cloud Area Vocational Technical

Photo courtesy of the Stearns History Museum

phased retirement after more than


IN THE NEWS Institute’s (AVTI) Parent Child Programs, discussed the challenges with the St. Cloud Times. “It’s important for parents to get the kind of care that meet their children’s needs. And it’s also important for the caretaker to be able to run her business the way she sees fit,” Hoodecheck said. “Sometimes it’s hard for parents to see child care as a business,” Carol Lewis, AVTI parent-child resource coordinator, added. Parent relationships, licensing, staffing, and buying or leasing center space are just a few of the hurdles Swanson had to navigate as a business owner.

After almost 30 years of serving the St. Cloud area, Dorothy Swanson retired in 2001. In a statement printed in the St. Cloud Times, Swanson wrote, “I would also like to give a special thank you to all the parents who have shared their children with me and all the children who have spent part of their pre-school and school years at one of my centers. Thank you for making my life so pleasureful and worthwhile. I have wonderful memories.” Jessie Storlien is an archivist at Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud.

Women’s Fund grants $84K The Women’s Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation has awarded more than $84,000 during its most recent grant rounds. Some of the organizations that received grants are: Anna Marie’s Alliance $8,000 to support continued mental health programs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota $4,500 for its Dr. Potter, Bigs on Campus Mentoring program

Paramount Center for the Arts $2,000 for its Gift of Stories: Memoirs program Additionally, the Julianne Williams Fund awarded $14,400 in grants to three organizations, including:

Terebinth Refuge $5,000 for its Aftercare Program

Terebinth Refuge $4,000 for its Health and Wellness-Kayaking program

Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity $8,000 for its Women’s Build-Genesis Home

Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota $5,200 for its DateSMART program

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

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NETWORK

UPFRONT

NEWS REEL Lutgen joins CRS Jesse J. Lutgen is a new commercial agent with Commercial Realty Solutions (CRS). He will be based in the

THE TROUBLE WITH BUSINESS

Budget Planning If your budget goes in a file drawer after it’s created, it will be as beneficial as a doughnut to your diet. By Andy Hawkins

company’s St. Cloud office.

Martone joins Rinke Noonan Attorney Gabrielle Martone has joined the law firm of Rinke Noonan. She practices in the areas of banking and lending; business law; and real estate law.

Decker honored by museum John Decker, longtime employee of the Stearns History Museum, received the 2021 Zapp Historian Award. The honor recognizes Decker’s longtime service to the community and his commitment to promoting the rich history of Stearns County and Central Minnesota.

Foundation awards grants The Bernick Family Foundation recently awarded grants to organizations and projects that go toward supporting youth, education, and health and wellness programs in Central Minnesota. Among the recipients was Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central MN for its Sports Buddies program.

Schlenner Wenner appoints managing partner Pat Plamann, CPA,

I

have a self-proclaimed love of great food. This love has led to ups and downs on the scale. To help balance my fondness for food with a healthy lifestyle, I decided a couple of years back to meet with a trainer and talk through a plan. I quickly realized that the similarity between a weight loss plan and creating and maintaining a business budget is striking. Here are several similarities I discovered that can help you budget more wisely (and maybe even help you stick to a health routine too)! Make a plan. My trainer met with me and discussed my current situation, challenges I’ve faced, what my goals were, and how I would quantify success. The same is true with a budget. The first goal of any budget is to be realistic and look at what has happened in the past. When budgeting, I advise reviewing the last two to three years and break down revenue and expenses by month. This allows you to see patterns for what has worked or not so you can better prepare your next budget.

MBT has been appointed managing partner at Schlenner Wenner. He

What is your predicted revenue? When starting my health journey, my trainer asked the big question. What is your goal? Mine was simply to lose some weight and make healthier choices. Same with predicting budgeted revenue. The goal is to be practical, don’t overestimate revenue just because it sounds good. When you plan out your one-year budget make doable changes that keep you motivated to stay on track. Using your historical data, create a realistic prediction of what revenue will be, by month and for the year. What are your fixed costs? Another question my trainer asked was “What food challenges will get in the way of achieving your goal?” My wife bakes irresistible cookies every Sunday. In business, those are the fixed costs that happen every month and are consistently the same. Think things like rent, insurance, utilities, accounting, leases, etc. Same amounts, month in and month out. What are your variable costs? As I went to the gym regularly, I purchased a supplement. The more I worked out, the more I used the supplement. In business, these are items that vary by month according to production or sales volume and are referred to as “cost of goods sold” or anything related to the production or purchase of the product your business sells. One question I often hear is “Are salaries or payroll fixed or variable costs? ” Anything related to the production of a good is treated as a variable expense, while office or in-house staff are usually associated with fixed expenses.

takes over for Steve Schueller who has led the firm since 2013. Schueller remains active in the firm as a tax partner in the St Cloud and Little Falls offices.

16

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

Contributor ________ Andy Hawkins, CFP®, is a business advisor at BerganKDV where he helps closely held companies solve their most complex business problems.


What are your one-time costs? One-time costs for a budget might include a large capital purchase like a new oven for a restaurant, machinery for a production facility, etc. For my health plan, a one-time cost I could plan for was Thanksgiving, the day I never counted calories. It’s important to plan for these types of items so you have a line of sight on how they will affect your budget. What is your profit? Once my trainer and I established my plan, the next step was to follow through so that the net result leads to weight loss. In other words, if your revenue exceeds your expenses, you will have a profit. Growing profits mean a growing business. If profits are low, it could be that your prices or revenue are too low. It also could mean that fixed expenses are too high, or more likely, variable costs are contributing to your lack of profit. Monitoring. Successful companies monitor budgets without fail and compare budgets to actual numbers. My success at the gym came from tracking my calories daily and meeting with my trainer each week to gauge my success and by making small adjustments along the way. If your budget goes in a file drawer after it’s created, it will be as beneficial as a doughnut to your diet. Accountability. I’ll never forget the difficulty of my first gym day. I didn’t want to be held accountable, but I knew I had to push myself to break out of my comfort zone. In the end, I gained confidence, dealt with roadblocks, and experienced success through tracking my progress. It’s the same with a budget. Budgeting helps you see exactly where you stand, it tells you if you’re spending money the way you think you are, and gives you invaluable insight to improve your company’s performance.

Let’s get down to Business We build the relationship that helps build your business. Find out how MidCountry Bank can get things done for you.

Visit us online or meet with Keith Gordon, Market President - St. Cloud. Phone: 320-229-5278 | Keith.Gordon@MidCountryBank.com

www.MidCountry.bank

IT SOLUTIONS AND SUPPORT TO KEEP YOU UP AND RUNNING. When IT works, you probably don’t notice. You may even take IT for granted. But when IT doesn’t work, your team’s productivity grinds to a stand-still. You can’t afford downtime, but with Now IT Connects, you can afford custom IT solutions and ongoing IT management. From hardware procurement and cloud services to managed services and ongoing IT support, Now IT Connects helps your business stay up and running. Contact us today to get started on your custom IT solution.

RE ADY TO G E T I T SOLVED ?

Backup & Disaster Recovery solutions Cloud Solutions Email Protection – spam, virus Network Security Managed Services

Let’s get started on the IT solution for your business.

nowitconnects.com 320.558.6300 340 S Walnut St, Clearwater, MN 55320

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NETWORKCENTRAL GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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

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

Network! Waite Park Chamber meetings with hosts… H & S H E AT I N G A N D A /C

Amanda Henry, St. John’s Prep (L) and Carmen Hernandez, Advantage Chiropractic

H & S H E AT I N G A N D A /C

Steven Schack, Beaudry Oil & Propane; Russ Karasch, Companions Forever Pet Cremation Service; Troy Lenarz, Regional Diagnostic Radiology; Stacy Kouril, Gabriel Media

H & S H E AT I N G A N D A /C

Todd Fritz, Intelligent Wireless Management and Julie Forsberg, Forsberg Investments and Insurance

W E ST C E N T R A L T EC H N O LO GY

David Hasbargen, Switchboard (L); Brandon Voit, Falcon National Bank; Taylor Feero, Kinder Coffee Lab

W EST C E N T R A L T EC H N O LO GY

H & S H E AT I N G A N D A /C

Jeremy Salzbrun, H & S Heating and A/C

Bradley McDonald, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MN (L) and Max Bilz, Livea Weight Control

W E ST C E N T R A L T EC H N O LO GY

Kristin Hannon, Minnwest Bank

S E N T RY B A N K

April Diedrich, Proviant Group (L); Sheri Moran, Gabriel Media; Jessica Reiter, College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University

S E N T RY B A N K

Ryan Holthaus (L) and Darren Heying, Sentry Bank

18

S E N T RY B A N K

Alicia Mages, City of Waite Park (L) and Lisa Braun, Sauk Rapids-Rice School District

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


Network! Business After Hours hosted by the Quality Inn and House of Pizza

Kevin Johnson, K. Johnson Construction (L); Connie and Larry Logeman, Executive Express; Erik Johnson, K. Johnson Construction

Ross Olson, City of Sauk Rapids

Jenny and Jamey Maurer, Advanced Repair

Rachel Templin, Tri-County Abstract & Title Guaranty, and Jim Staska, Executive Express

AHEAD OF THE CURVE. Manufacturing Business Advisory Team PATTY PENA-GUERRERO, BUSINESS ADVISOR

BRIDGET HALLSTROM, ACCOUNT MANAGER

JEAN MASSMANN, CPA

IT'S NOT A SERVICE. IT'S A FEELING. bergankdv.com | #STARTHERE

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BUSINESSTOOLS GROW

| NETWORK

|

PROFIT

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

I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E : Entrepreneurism / Management Tool Kit / Economy Central by Falcon Bank ENTREPRENEURISM

Mediation vs. Litigation A mediated agreement can be far more individually tailored than a court order resulting from litigation. By Jonathan Wolf

to mind — mediation is the most widely used in this geographic area. And for good reason, as it is often quite successful. Mediators are usually lawyers and/or former judges who have extra training and experience in ADR processes. During the typical mediation, each party sits in a different room (or in a different Zoom room in the era of COVID and potentially beyond)

Litigation is expensive, unpleasant, and incredibly timeconsuming. Sometimes it is the only way to right a wrong, but take it from someone who litigates all day: You are almost always better off resolving a case some other way than by proceeding through the entire litigation process. Very briefly summarized, the litigation process entails initiation of a lawsuit by service

Realistically, though, even if you can ultimately resolve a case through mediation, you are probably going to have to litigate for a while first.

F

rom time to time, conflicts arise in life. Fortunately, our state and federal governments both provide courtroom forums where you can resolve most of the major ones without violence. But do you really want to litigate? Sometimes you’re left with little choice, but most people (and even most litigators) would Contributor ________

answer with an emphatic “No.” One way to avoid litigation, or to at least shorten it, is mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, which is often referred to as ADR. ADR just means different ways of resolving a case or controversy before dropping it in the lap of a stranger in a black robe to render judgment on it. Although there are other types of ADR — arbitration comes

while a mediator goes back and forth between the rooms to discuss the terms of settlement being offered by both sides. Really good mediators aren’t just well-paid messengers, however. Truly skilled mediators will push each side toward a resolution by pointing out the legal weaknesses in a case, by explaining how a mediated agreement can be far more individually tailored than a court order, and by describing the risks of proceeding to litigation.

Jonathan Wolf is a civil litigator at Rinke Noonan. In addition to his practice, he regularly contributes to a national legal news website, serves as vice president of the Central Minnesota Legal Services Board, and is author of the book "Your Debt-Free JD."

20

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

of a summons and complaint or in some cases a petition; a lengthy discovery period where the parties exchange, or are compelled to exchange, documents and information; motion practice when necessary; a trial or evidentiary hearing depending on the type of case; an appellate period during which either side may ask the Court of Appeals to step in to potentially reset the entire process; and, at times, post-decision motions. It is very expensive and very risky to go through that whole rigamarole. Realistically, though, even if you can ultimately resolve a case


through mediation, you are probably going to have to litigate for a while first. Most people who are suing each other — surprise! — don’t particularly trust one another. It is much rarer to succeed in an earlier mediation as compared to a later one, because once the discovery process has run its course everyone has a better idea of their chances in court, and parties are also less likely to assume the other side is hiding something important. So, the answer to the question, “Mediation or litigation?” Typically, it’s “both.” Good luck out there, and be wary of the lawyers whose advice always gravitates in the direction of the option that involves the most legal fees.

GROWING COMPANIES ENHANCING COMMUNITIES

Granite.com TECH NEWS

Working 9 to 5

A farmer’s workday that lasts 24 hours during the plowing season may soon be as incomprehensible as plowing with oxen. John Deere recently revealed a fully autonomous tractor that’s ready for largescale production. The machine uses computer vision and geofencing to detect obstacles and navigate its environment. Farmers can monitor and operate the machines remotely through a smartphone app. While autonomous tractors aren’t exactly new, the technology has advanced significantly in the past few years. John Deere says its tractor will be available to farmers later this year. Source: John Deere

Simplified banking in a complex world. Learn more:

StearnsBank.com/ BusinessCentral Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

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GROW

BUSINESSTOOLS

MANAGEMENT TOOLKIT

Money or Time?

Video ads cost money. Successful brand video campaigns take time. They both may work, but they’re not the same thing. By Michelle Henderson

Y

ou watch videos online. It might be old episodes of “The Golden Girls” on YouTube (thank you for being a friend, Rose) or it might be the latest TikTok dance (I would reference the current one here, but it will be old news by the time the article prints), but you watch videos online. Many of the videos are professionals and small business owners promoting their products and services. From carpet cleaners Contributor ________ Michelle Henderson is owner of BadCat Digital, a digital marketing firm in St. Cloud.

22

to salon owners to therapists, videos are opening doors for small business owners. There is one common element among the businesses successfully leveraging brand videos online. They’re not making commercials, they’re sharing information. You’re never going to get a marketing or advertising person to dis commercials. We love them. We seek out and watch commercials online, especially the day after the Super Bowl. So what’s the difference? A commercial is trying to get a consumer or a client to do something. Come on down to the latest sale. Click here.

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

Follow us on Facebook. Buy now. Commercials use what the fancy marketing people refer to as “Calls to Action” and commercials get seen via paid media. So if you make a commercial, you need to pay to get it out into the world in a big way, either through social or traditional media. Brand videos don’t ask for anything in return. The video is there for education or entertainment, and in that entertainment is a glimpse into the business. It could be an anecdotal ‘skit’ where a funny customer interaction is (badly) dramatized. It could be a retail shop ‘unboxing’ its latest and greatest shipment. Or it could be a doctor showing X-rays of people during ER visits. Brand videos don’t call us to action. Brand videos get seen because they’re entertaining. They don’t ask for our engagement. They earn our engagement by earning our interest. If you consistently put entertaining or informative brand videos into the world, you will build an audience. Every new video will have a larger audience than the last, without paying for the audience directly. In essence – for a commercial campaign to be successful, you need cash. For a brand video campaign to be successful, you need time. For some businesses, cash is their preferred resource; for others, especially right now, time is more available. The

IN THE KNOW

Successful brand videos typically fall within a few categories: How To. Making lasagna, decorating a cake, changing a tire, defeating the boss, or creating the perfect smoky eye are all How To videos. Insider Tricks. Hacks, tips, and did-you-know are all Insider Tricks. (Hint: This is how I learned the gas gauge on my car shows me which side the gas tank is on. Who knew?!?) Behind the Scenes. Unboxing videos, craft and video game streaming, how something is made. Skits or Anecdotes. Ridiculous things happen at work almost every day. Simple dramatizations of employee or customer interactions. Repetitive Tasks. Carpet cleaning. Pimple popping. Silicon color mixing. Paint color mixing. Very relaxing to watch. Thoughtful Education. Researched discussions of complex topics or ideas. Typically from those in professional or personal services. Think after-school specials, but without the patronizing tone.


mistake comes when you make a commercial and expect it to grow an audience with time. Commercials and brand videos can be successful additions to your marketing plan. They are more accessible than you might think, and it’s easy to get comfortable in front of the camera after a bit of practice. So start recording those conversations you used to have in front of the mirror. Play around with the filters and editing tools on your phone. You never know what your customers or clients might LOVE about you or your business. Or where that campaign could take you.

TECH NEWS

Deep Farming We all know that crops grow in the ground, but how deep can we go? Pretty deep, it turns out. While vertical farming generally has us looking upward, some are taking the opposite approach and heading underground. London’s Zero Carbon Farm has used former bomb shelter bunkers under the city to grow its plants. In the U.S., GreenForges is thinking about integration of vertical farms into the land beneath new high-rises in cities, the rationale being that underground space is otherwise underutilized. Source: Future Today Institute

Educating in the Metaverse A charter school in Florida is embracing new technology to create what it is calling the world’s first virtual classroom. Optima Classical Academy plans to establish a virtual school that will take in pupils tuition-free beginning in August 2022. The school will equip up to 1,300 students with Oculus headsets so they can participate in virtual lessons. Source: euronews.com

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BUSINESSTOOLS

Economy Central presented by

ECONOMY CENTRAL

Geography Matters It turns out that where we live affects how much we are likely to purchase By Allison Bily and Lynn MacDonald

I

n recent years the U.S. has seen increasing differences in income levels across cities. Economically vibrant cities with dynamic labor markets have seen strong, and sometimes fast, increases in household incomes, while other cities, with less dynamic labor markets, have seen either smaller increases or even declines in household income. These differences in incomes by geographic area, as well as differences in local cost of living, have motivated economists Rebecca Diamond and Enrico Moretti to explore how standard of living is affected by the city we live in. To understand standard of living differences, Diamond and

Moretti looked to consumption as a measure of standard of living. In a novel approach, they were able to study both consumption expenditures and the number/ physical units of items purchased for over 3 million households. These household purchases were matched with merchant-level data to offer a granular understanding of consumer choices. For example, they were able to measure the quantity of groceries and the number of each item purchased per household. This level of detail allowed them to look at consumption differences across the largest commuting zones in the U.S. In looking at consumption differences by geographic area,

Contributors ________

they were also able to assess how low- and high-income households were faring. To do so, they looked at variation in local prices. They found that low-income consumers have substantial differences in their consumption depending on where they live. Low-income consumers that live in the most affordable commuting zone (Natchez, Mississippi) have a level of consumption that is 74% higher than those in the least affordable commuting zone (San Jose, California). Notably grocery purchases are less responsive to geographical differences than are purchases of other goods. Both low- and high-income households exhibit more consistency in groceries, which may reflect that groceries are more of a necessity and also less impacted by geographical price variation than are some other goods. To further understand how geographical variation is affecting consumers in different income groups, Diamond and Moretti classify consumers into high- and low-skilled workers based on educational attainment. Highskilled workers are defined as college educated individuals and low-skilled workers are defined as those with less than a high school education. They then used the incomes associated with these classifications of high- and low-skilled workers and found considerable variation in their consumption.

By Allison Bily, MS in economics, SCSU ’19, University of Illinois ’20; Lynn MacDonald, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, SCSU

24

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In Minneapolis, for example, high-skilled workers have an average income level that is higher than 90% of all other high-skilled workers’ incomes across large metropolitan areas in the U.S. However, in contrast to their high incomes, high-skilled workers in Minneapolis are consuming less than their high-skilled counterparts in other areas with an average consumption level that is only higher than 18% of all other high-skilled workers. For low-skilled workers in Minneapolis, the discrepancy between income and consumption levels when compared to the rest of the nation is larger. Low-skilled workers have an average income level that is higher than 88% of all other low-skilled workers’ incomes across large metropolitan areas, but their average consumption is only higher than 6% of their lowskilled counterparts in other areas. Consumption is only one component of standard of living; many factors affect standard of living and individuals’ overall well-being. But, we do know two things: 1. Geography matters in determining consumption 2. Local variation in both price and income affect how much consumers are purchasing. High levels of income do not always align with high levels of consumption as is evidenced by data from Minneapolis. For the sources used in this story, visit Business CentralMagazine.com.


E PARK,

$200M

Residential Building Permits

November

16,523*

621,465

885,721

$80M

E PARK,

1,424*

32,948

24,272

December

Home Sales Closed

October

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

Economy September

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

6 COMMUNITIES - ST. CLOUD

Central presented by ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

COLOR KEY:August

TOTAL: $87,059,406 Compiled by Shelly Imdieke, data current as of 2/1/2022

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

2021

December

November

2021

2020

73 $3,304,271

122 $3,685,577

103 $10,785,739

2019

November

162 $4,529,642

Food and Beverage ST. CLOUD

2020 #/$

August 338

246 2021 $68,749,665

282 $105,238,005

Sartell

July 36 December

309 $15,070,149

153 $18,201,339

$116,566,743 $12,784,000

June

TOTAL: $137,532,948

Sauk Rapids November 55 $24,841,483

28 2020 $30,482,808

56 Food and Beverage $12,310,906

$15,234,330

135 $5,556,423

$10,114,263

7 $271,600

11 2019 $9,754,200

May Waite Park October136

61 $9,026,116

TOTAL: 182*

Mar August Feb July

TOTAL: 1868

St. Joseph

Apr September

TOTAL: 1823

St. Augusta

TOTAL: $151,583,773*

2021* #/$

St. Cloud

1500

TOTAL: $1,287,691

TOTAL: $1,604,677

$1500000

Home Sales Closed in St. Cloud Area

95 $10,023,126

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

73

March $5,979,717

Commercial September 2019 #/$

TOTAL: $151,583,773*

ST. CLOUD 101 11 $2,718,220

2021

51 $7,919,703

44

$3,001,040 $0

$500k

*Total as of 2/1/2022; Aug-December figures for Waite Park were not available Jan

$2000000

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

June at time of print.

2000

$100M

October

September

August

July

2020

10

1000

Data not released at time of print

$1000000

2020

$50M

47 $2,626,805

January 0 not available 500 *Total as of 2/1/2022; Aug-December figures for Waite Park were

500

$500000

$0M

49 $2,336,431

39

April $1,084,477

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

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

2021

252 $9,116,510

October

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

2019

236 $7,739,324

0$28,502,500

at time of print.December

Commercial Building Permits

2020

165 May $8,585,270

February

Commercial Building Permits

2021

336

10

St. Augusta

$100M

777 $31,498,210

2021

500

St. Joseph

$80M

2021* #/$

560 $16,235,353

2019

$60M

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

January$18,954,216 June

0

$40M

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$0 $20M

Home Sales Closed

765 2019 $38,601,654

309

Sauk Rapids

TOTAL: $63,885,721

2020

2020 #/$

607

Waite Park

2019

$0M

2019 March #/$ $25,977,770 February July

Sartell

$80M $100M TOTAL: $78,621,465

September August

St. Cloud

2021

2020

2019

2020

$60M

June

$40M

May

$20M

April

Residential

2021 $0M

May October

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

TOTAL: $87,059,406

2019

June November

March

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

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

Residential Building Permits

2020

TOTAL: $78,621,465

2020

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

TOTAL: $178,724,272

2019

2020-2021

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Jan

April

1.0%

6%

March

1.5%

February

January

$200M

December

$150M

November

October

September

$100M August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

$50M

Source: positivelyminnesota.com $0 $500k

Feb 2.0%

$0M

7%

2020-21 % CHANGE

Source: positivelyminnesota.com

8%

2019

Non-Farm Mar Jobs

Unemployment Rates

0.5% 0.0%

5%

-0.5% 4%

-1.0% -1.5%

3%

-2.0% 2%

S

O

N

D

Total as of 2/1/2022

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

St. Cloud Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota United States

-2.5%

S

O

N

D

Total as of 2/1/2022

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

St. Cloud, MN MetroSA Minnesota United States

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

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GROW

500

1000

E PARK,

0

16,523*

January

621,465

885,721

$200M

$80M

$100M

E PARK,

$80M

1,424*

32,948

24,272

$60M

1500

COLOR KEY:

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

December

September

TOTAL: $1,305,774*

September

TOTAL: 2010*

TOTAL: $151,583,773*

August

August

2021

July

July

2020

2500

O U T LO O K! December

1000

TOTAL: $1,305,774*

August

TOTAL: $1,599,444

May

2000

$2000000

$500k

TOTAL: 31* $1.5M

$1M

$2M

TOTAL: 42

Despite Januarysetbacks from COVID-19, inflation, and worker shortages, manufacturers are finding ways to keep momentum going at their job sites.

0

30

60

90

120

SHERIFF’S FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS Residential

2019

2020

2021

Stearns Co.

102

34

17

Benton Co.

21

8

14

Benton County Sheriff’s Civil Process; Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Office *Total as of 2/1/2022.

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

150

Expect production levels to remain the same or go up

________

90% Expect their number of orders to remain the same or go up

December

91%

November

2019

October

________

September

TOTAL: 123

80% August

Expect employment levels to remain the same or go up.

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

92%

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

2020

March

February

2021

26

April

STEARNS AND BENTON COUNTIES

$0

$2M

Manufacturers Optimistic about 2022

TOTAL: $1,604,677

Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auctions

2019

TOTAL: 182*

$2M

TOTAL: 1868

$1.5M

July June

TOTAL: $1,287,691

2020 Source: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud *Total as of 2/1/2022

October September

1500

TOTAL: $1,287,691

TOTAL: $1,604,677

$1500000

$1M

November

TOTAL: 1823

Data not released at time of print

$1000000

$500k

$1.5M

*Total as of 2/1/2022

TOTAL: $749,418 Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$1M

Source: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud

TOTAL: $964,059*

2021

$500k

January

Home Sales Closed in St. Cloud Area

$0

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

ST. CLOUD

March

500

$500000

Lodging Tax Dollars

TOTAL: $1,604,677

February

Feb

500 1000 1500 2000 Jan $100M $150M $200M Housing/Real Estate sources: St. Cloud Area Association of Realtors, http://stcloudrealtors.com/pages/statistics. *Total as of 2/1/2022

2021

2019

Mar

0

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$0 0

$0

2020

2021

2020

2019

April

TOTAL: 1823

Apr

TOTAL: $178,724,272

2021

2019

May

May

2019

2019

TOTAL: $1,287,691

June

TOTAL: 1868

June

TOTAL: $137,532,948

December

ST. CLOUD

November

Food and Beverage Tax Collection October

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

2021

October

September

August

July

June

November

May

April

March

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

November

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

2020

2500

BUSINESSTOOLS

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

2020

2000

Expect their profits to remain the same or go up

________

50% Expect wages to increase between 3-5%

________

309,000 The number of people who work in manufacturing in Minnesota Source: MN DEED


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COVER STORY

Do

THE LESSONS OF THE GREAT RECESSION ARE STILL WITH THE LEADERSHIP TEAM AT MCI AND CONTINUE TO SHAPE WHO THEY ARE TODAY.

Better

BY GAIL IVERS // PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOEL BUTKOWSKI, BUTKOWSKI DIGITAL IMAGING

N

ot all wounds leave visible scars. Today, Ryan Corrigan, CEO/ CFO of Multiple Concepts Interiors-Carpet One (MCI) can calmly talk about the Great Recession. It’s clear, however, that even 10 years after MCI’s recovery, there’s a lasting pinch of pain. “It was dramatic ... and traumatic,” Corrigan said, “I wouldn’t want to do it again.” In the late 1980s MCI added a commercial location in the Twin Cities metro area. “That grew to be about one-third of our overall business,” Corrigan said. In the mid-2000s as the housing market took off, the Minneapolis condominium market exploded. “That division became very heavily involved in the metro area’s multifamily condo market. When that market crashed in the late 2000s,

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the condo market virtually disappeared and that division — and its one-third of our business — went with it.” In the spring of 2009 MCI closed its metro division. “It was tough,” Corrigan said. “It was more than 30 percent of our overall business that just dropped off. That was kind of our shrinking and our pull-back during the recession, which was an incredibly difficult time.” That experience, and the lessons learned, became a big part of what has shaped the MCI we know today. “We’re not a lot different than other companies,” Corrigan said “In 2009 our bank of 25 years said that they wouldn’t finance us anymore and that we needed to go somewhere else. That was happening to lots of businesses in the construction and housing industries. That was a real blow.”

DID YOU KNOW? Fandel's owned the name Minnesota Commercial Interiors, known as MCI. In order to take advantage of the recognized MCI, Lindmeier and Nicodym named their company Multiple Concepts Interiors.


Ryan’s Advice MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PEOPLE AROUND YOU WHO ARE GOOD AT WHAT YOU ARE NOT. YOU CANNOT BE AN EXPERT AT EVERYTHING, BUT YOU CAN BE SMART ENOUGH TO HAVE A TEAM OF PARTNERS AND PROVIDERS WHO ARE.

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

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COVER STORY

“We were able to fill a gap in the Baxter market and were fortunate enough to have the MVPs in flooring sales come to work for us.” —RYAN CORRIGAN

Fortunately the bank did not call in the loans. Instead, they put MCI into a special division that was handling businesses the bank wanted to move off their books. “Again, it was traumatic,” Corrigan said. “We weren’t dealing with our normal banker; it was people we didn’t know.” During one of the meetings, while Corrigan was explaining the additional financing they needed to make payroll and stay in business, one of the bankers made a suggestion. “I was laying everything out for him, explaining what we needed and the plan to move forward, and he looked at me and said, ‘I think you just need to do your job better.’ Huh. That was kind of an eye-opener for me,” Corrigan said. “I took that to heart. We all think we do a good job. And we were in a real tough spot. But hearing that, at that time, it was probably what we needed to hear for our management team to really dig in.” At the time, MCI was a heavily leveraged company. “We were a bit unique because of the amount of commercial flooring work we do and how much financing that requires,” Corrigan said. “It takes a lot of cash up front to be in that world.” The company also carried debt related to their earlier conversion to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). “The recession couldn’t have come at a worse time for us,” Corrigan said. “Aside from the financial crisis, we were going through a major succession change from the founders to the leadership team that was taking over operations.” The leadership team members took a hard look at their roles — both individually and as a group — and tightened the focus on what needed to be done, Corrigan said. “We were there for each other, but we didn’t get in each other’s way. We ended up having some changes to the leadership team. Those that didn’t have the necessary focus left. Those that stayed are still here today or are recently retired.” The team agreed to close the metro division, lay off

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staff, diversify its customer base, and look for efficiency and profitability in every corner. It took almost five years, and appointments with close to 20 banks, before Corrigan found one that was willing to work with them. “The new bank really hustled for us to get us financing to enable us to remain in business,” he said. “And since then we’ve completely changed our balance sheet from being heavily financed to being heavily liquid with virtually no bank debt.” And they’re a leaner organization. “At our peak we had 83-85 employees. Now we have about 20 fewer employees, but just as much volume as we had at our peak.” Beginnings When Rick Lindmeier and Warren “Nick” Nicodym decided to start a business, the Great Recession was far in the future. The two worked at Fandel’s Department Store running a small division called Minnesota Commercial Interiors, known as MCI. Fandel’s decided to close the division in 1976. Rather than lose the business they had developed, Lindmeier and Nicodym decided to start their own commercial interior company, bringing with them Denny Kurtz as their sole employee, and creating their own MCI - Multiple Concepts Interiors. Originally the new company had only commercial accounts. In addition to flooring, MCI provided almost anything related to office interiors — desks, cabinets, equipment, furniture, even hotel beds and furniture. Commercial interiors is a cash-heavy business with long timelines and slow reimbursements. It became apparent very early on that the company needed better cash flow. Adding residential interiors improved both cash flow and diversity. In 1993 MCI joined the Carpet One cooperative and buying group. This helped boost its residential division, bringing it to about one-third of its business for many years. By the mid-1990s MCI had moved

BUSINESS PROFILE

MCI Carpet One; Multiple Concepts Interiors _______ 26 First Ave N, Waite Park, MN 56387 (home office) 320-253-5078; Fax: 320-253-9458 mcicarpetone.com CEO: Ryan Corrigan Leadership Team: Ryan Corrigan, Peg Fuller, Pat Lemke, Manuel Cuevas, Cody Ferriera, Tim Engel, Harold Loch (retired Board member) Ownership: ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) – 78%; Leadership Team – 22% Business Description: MCI supplies and installs residential and commercial flooring and other interior products, including window treatments, decorative lighting, cabinets and countertops, furniture and wall coverings. MCI serves three regional residential markets: St. Cloud, Brainerd Lakes, and Mankato. The MCI commercial market includes all of Minnesota, and most of the Upper Midwest.


Business mix: 50% commercial; 50% residential St. Cloud based employees: 46 Total number of employees: 70 Other locations: Sioux Falls, Baxter, Mankato, Champlin Previous Year sales: $30.1M Current year projected sales: $33M _______

Ryan’s Advice

FUN FACT: MCI’s original logo/ mascot was a cartoon hippo! The hippo faded away when we joined Carpet One.

PERSONAL PROFILE

Ryan Corrigan, 45 _______ Title: CEO/CFO Hometown: St. Cloud Education: Bachelor of science in accounting Work History: Worked in retail through high school and college at Menard’s; worked as a CPA for LarsonAllen (now CLA) for six years after college; and now MCI since 2003. Family: 3 children: Shane, Jenna, Claire Hobbies: All things outdoors!

away from office system furniture, focusing instead on diversifying the flooring options and eventually adding lighting and window treatments. In 1999 Lindmeier and Nicodym began thinking about succession planning. Knowing they wanted to keep the company local, they began researching options and settled on creating an ESOP. “The founders had identified the people they saw as the next group of leadership,” Corrigan said. “But the company had enough value that those individuals couldn’t afford to buy it outright. We’ve always had a long-tenured employee base — people who look at their jobs with ownership — so it seemed apparent that an ESOP was a good option.” Lindmeier and Nicodym sold 66 percent of the company to the ESOP starting in 2000. The remaining shares went to key individuals who were in leadership at the time. In 2014 another major transaction increased the ESOP ownership to 78 percent with the remaining 22 percent in the

UPON BEING NAMED CEO AT MCI, I WAS TOLD BY RICK LINDMEIER (MCI CO-FOUNDER) THAT “IF YOU WORK HARD FOR MCI YOU’LL BE A GOOD CEO. IF YOU WORK HARD AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN FOR THE MCI EMPLOYEE ESOP MEMBERS, YOU COULD BE GREAT!”

hands of the company’s current leadership team members, who are also part of the ESOP. “We’ve always looked at that minority interest as a ‘skin in the game’ entry into leadership,” Corrigan said. “We use the opportunity to buy into the company as an incentive for those who aspire to be at the leadership level. If you’re willing to take money out of your own pocket and invest it in MCI, that tells us something about your commitment to the company.” Of course, there have been times when people haven’t worked out as planned, Corrigan admitted, “but that happens in any company and you just have to deal with it. That’s what buy-sell agreements are for.”

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COVER STORY

Corrigan joined the company in 2003. At the time he worked for CliftonLarsonAllen where MCI was one of his clients. Lindmeier was targeting his exit from the business for around 2006 and asked Corrigan if he would be interested in joining MCI as the controller. “I really liked Rick and respected him and I’d gotten to know some of the other management team at the time. It was an opportunity for ownership and, while I liked what I was doing, I decided I was ready to focus in on one business.” In 2005 he became CFO and was added to the board of directors. Lindmeier retired in 2006 as planned, remaining as a consultant to the board for a few years. In 2011 Corrigan was named CEO. Recovery Having that committed team with defined roles may be one of the reasons MCI survived the Great Recession. “Once commercial construction came back, it came back in a very healthy way,” Corrigan said, reflecting back on what in many ways still feels like recent events. “We’ve spent these years since, gaining financial health, and gaining market share, and being strategic about our growth.” Some growth has come organically, but in a region where MCI has a strong presence Corrigan recognizes that growth will also need to come through acquisition and expansion. An opportunity for expansion literally knocked on Corrigan’s door in late 2011. “We were just getting on our feet,” Corrigan said, “when a manufacturer’s rep that we worked with asked us if we might be interested in moving into the Baxter market.” The Baxter flooring market had been controlled by one well-run store for decades, according to Corrigan. When the reces-

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sion hit, the business — like so many others — hit a rough patch. The owner had an offer to buy his building and decided to accept it and wind down his business. “This was not a bankruptcy,” Corrigan said. “He just decided he was tired of running a showroom and this was a good opportunity to get out of it.” The Baxter owner told the manufacturer’s rep that he wanted to keep working for a while, but not at the ownership level, and wondered aloud if MCI might be interested in moving into the market. That resulted in the knock on Corrigan’s door. The MCI leadership team discussed it and decided it was worth looking into. In May 2012 they rented half of a building directly across the street from the original Baxter store and opened an MCI-Carpet One retail store front. “We started with the two best flooring people in that region — the owner of the store that closed and another woman who worked in flooring in the Baxter area,” Corrigan said. “It’s gone really well for us.” In 2015 Corrigan and a group of investors bought the building, allowing MCI to double its space. In 2019 MCI added on a 3,000 square foot addition and currently employ seven people. Momentum In 2011 an employee who had worked for MCI before moving to Sioux Falls, contacted Corrigan. “He asked if MCI might want him to do some commercial projects out there. We thought it was worth a try, and it worked out well,” Corrigan said. So well that they have since added an office and a small warehouse. Despite the memories of 2009 and closing its metro division, in 2012 MCI decided to re-enter the metro market. “We’ve been more careful this time,” Corrigan said. “We had an opportunity to hire a couple of people who already lived down there — good people that we wanted to hire. Finding space is easy. Finding the right people is hard.” Having a commercial presence in the metro area is part of the company’s growth strategy, but Corrigan insists that the focus isn’t just on growth. “The old metro division became a silo,” Corrigan said. “We operate as one company now —

TIMELINE JULY 1976 Rick Lindmeier and Nick Nikodym found Multiple Concepts Interiors, calling it MCI

1993 MCI joins the Carpet One cooperative and buying group

1999 MCI creates an ESOP; Founders Lindmeier and Nicodym sell 66% to the ESOP and 34% to various company employees

2002 MCI purchases a 40,000 square foot, off-site distribution center/ warehouse in St. Cloud

2003 Ryan Corrigan is hired at MCI as controller

2004 MCI expands its distribution center

2005 Corrigan is named CFO and added to the board of directors

2006 Lindmeier and Nikodym retire; MCI adds a lighting department

2009 MCI's bank of 25 years tells Corrigan that the bank is no longer interested in working with them

2010 MCI establishes a commercial flooring presence in the Sioux Falls area, adding an office and warehouse in 2011


TIMELINE 2011 Residential construction picks up, providing MCI with much needed business; commercial construction resumes a few years later; Corrigan is named CEO

MAY 2012 MCI opens a new store in Baxter

2014 Corrigan finds a new bank willing to work with MCI

2015 An enormous windstorm brings down the MCI sign, dropping it through the building's roof

2018 MCI purchases a flooring store in Mankato; they move their office from St. Louis Park to Champlin

2019 MCI adds 3,000 square feet to the Baxter store

no silos. The commercial division works as one division, no matter where they’re located. Same with the residential division. Management at each location has to work with company leadership — they meet and collaborate monthly.” Corrigan also stressed the importance of the MCI culture. “This is something we really work on at all the locations. It’s pushed, promoted, and stressed. With all the work at home, it’s harder to focus on that culture, but we still think it’s important to find ways to maintain it.” In the spring of 2018 Corrigan was approached by the owner of a Floor to Ceiling store in Mankato. He wanted to sell the store and retire. Would MCI be interested in buying it? “Again, the owner had been successful, the store was in a good location, Mankato is within a reasonable distance ... so we decided to buy it,” Corrigan said. Corrigan is reluctant to articulate the company’s growth strategy. “We don’t have an acquisition plan,” he said. “Not something like ‘We’re going to buy a company every two years,’ or anything like that. But we are aware of some opportunities that might be a good fit for us. We’re also looking at other kinds of growth — maybe more vertical — ways we can strategically improve our position in our current marketplaces.” They also plan to stay close to a 50-50 commercial to residential sales mix. “And we want to grab the best people who are out there,” he added. “Our goal — like the goal of our founders — is for this company to continue, and we take that seriously.”

But Corrigan knows better than many that growth can come at a cost, so while MCI is looking 5-10 years down the road, it’s doing it carefully. “There are a lot of people in today’s workforce who know about the recession, but didn’t experience it," he said. “They’re probably wondering why I rambled on about something that occurred 10-15 years ago. But it had so much impact on our business. It was such a catalyst of what we are today, the business we are and the team we are.” By team, Corrigan isn’t just talking about the leadership group. “Without the sales and support staff and the warehouse staff that really have hustled and been dedicated — and look at their jobs as a career — we wouldn’t have gotten out of the recession, and we wouldn’t be what we are today,” he said. After all, flooring is flooring and not that different among competitors. What makes the difference is the buyer’s experience. “The experience we give the customer who walks through our door, and the experience and capabilities we bring to the commercial marketplace are different than what just anybody can do.” That doesn’t mean he’s ready for another economic downturn. “I don’t want to go through that again,” Corrigan said. “But it did force us as a management team to focus on what our strengths are, and what we need to improve on to be a healthier company and to emerge and do better, just like that banker told me. And we have.” ” Gail Ivers is vice president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and editor of Business Central Magazine.

TIMBER!

I

t's mid-winter 2015 and Ryan Corrigan, CEO of MCI, and Harold Loch, manager of the company's residential division, are both on vacation. Corrigan arrives at his location and his phone has an emergency text to call the office. The 30-foot steel MCI sign, a virtual billboard marking the retail store's location since day one, has been blown over in an incredible windstorm. Worse, it went through the store's roof into the lighting showroom. "The sign fell on the oldest part of the building," Corrigan said, "which was originally a welding shop." That meant that it fell on the strongest part of the roof, which was reinforced with steel beams. Instead of needing to close the store and have inspectors come in and check for structural integrity of the entire building, they were able to repair only the roof. "If it had fallen anywhere else it would have K-Oed the building and we would have had to shut down the business. But we were able to section off the area that had damage and stay open." In a true act of making lemonade out of lemons, Peg Fuller, vice president of human resources and daily operations, said "It's sure nice to have the sunlight coming in. Maybe we should add a skylight," Corrigan recalled. "I laughed and then I thought, well, maybe we should. Natural light is so important in this kind of business. So we looked into it and that's why we have skylights in that area now."


F E AT U R E

F E AT U R E

TREND WATCHING Tracking and acting on trends is essential to growing your company. ––––––––––––––––– By Jeanine Nistler

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“Anytime anybody tells me the trend is such and such, I go the opposite direction. I hate the idea of trends.”

T

hat philosophy may have worked well for Oscar-winning actor and director Clint Eastwood, to whom that quote has been attributed, but St. Cloud area business leaders know better. They will tell you that tracking and acting on trends is essential to launching, maintaining, and growing a company or organization. OK, you’re thinking, that makes sense. But who has the time or skills to figure out what’s a fad, what’s a trend, and what to do with the answer? And where do you even start?

“It starts with knowing your business well – and your customer even better,” said marketing and communications strategist Dawn Zimmerman, owner of The Write Advantage. “Understand your data and actively analyze it against your past performance and industry benchmarks to make decisions that can drive your business forward.” What if you are so new to trend watching that you do not know where to find analyses of valid, useful data, other than what you or your team have gathered in-house? You are gathering data in-house, right?

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Industry journals, professional associations, online sources such as Forrester, Mintel and Euromonitor are great resources, area leaders say. So are the Harvard Business Review and Wall Street Journal. For information presented in a less formal fashion, scan blogs, general interest publications, and articles of interest on LinkedIn. You may want to periodically check the Google Trends website to get a feel for what fellow humans have been googling, or check out Trend Hunter, self-described as “the world’s #1 largest, most powerful trend platform.”

Do you think Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are frivolous? Think again. Social media provides a window into what people are thinking. You may not see data and analysis there, but you will see what is on people’s minds. Even the occasional random (or overheard) conversation may provide useful insights. Joe Francis, president and CEO of Central McGowan, believes it is important to evaluate what your competitors are doing and why they are doing it. And, he said, “listening to your customers and getting regular feedback from them via surveys and one-on-one discussions are essential and can be extremely powerful, as it’s their pain points that often present the greatest opportunities and

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F E AT U R E

inspiration for innovation.” Zimmerman recommends regular discussions with your team. Ask things like “What do you see impacting us most? What do you see impacting us least? What concerns you? What gets you excited? How do we need to think differently?” Don’t forget to tap into government sources such as the Minnesota State Demographic Center, the United States Census Bureau, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government collects and reports data in the same way across decades, which makes it easy to spot trends. Be cautious if you are studying a mountain of data that various independent organizations have collected and presented in diverse

38

ways. “That has the potential to lead you to faulty conclusions,” said Jon McGee, headmaster at St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville. McGee is a leader who has studied, used, and written about data for nearly 30 years. “You have to be a critical reader and learner,” he said. “The successful business leaders I know are not only avid readers,” Zimmerman said, “but they are also avid conversationalists who are constantly in pursuit of learning.” McGee advises that you pursue learning by paying attention to four Ps: 1 Population data (not just numbers of people, but demographics). –––––––

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

2 Price (not just of products or services like yours, but to the economy). ––––––– 3 Purpose (Are you offering what your customers need? You may be great at doing what you do, but if nobody wants to pay you for it, you are in trouble.) ––––––– 4 Pace (Does your company have the resources and processes to keep up as the world changes around you?) “Just collecting data and admiring it isn’t enough,” McGee said. You must also answer some key questions: What are the basic data? Why does this data matter? What insights can we gain? Now what?

Some businesspeople answer the first two questions, then stop, according to McGee. Others jump right from looking at the data to deciding how to proceed, without asking what it means. “You have to have an open enough mind to go through the sequence,” he said. Joe Hellie, CentraCare’s vice president of strategy and market development, has used data to guide recommendations and decisions throughout his three decades with St. Cloud’s largest employer. “I look at data across a period of time,” he said. “We look at things over multiple years.” In addition to studying data, “we really start to make note when policymakers and insurance companies make changes,” Hellie said.


Because 60 percent of the not-for-profit health system’s revenue comes from the government through Medicare and Medicaid, decisions made at the state and federal levels can mean significant changes in the amount that the clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities are paid. There is still more to keep in mind when considering whether to launch new products or services or expand into new geographic areas, Hellie added. “You always have to make the decision as a business leader, ‘Do you want to lead the market, or do you want to follow?’ ’’ Those decisions are based not just on research, but on knowing your company and your industry well.

“There’s a gut feeling when to jump in,” Hellie said. Having the courage to follow their instincts has led to a longstanding competitive advantage for many an entrepreneur. Central McGowan’s Francis sees yet another consideration. “It’s important to identify each trend and weigh it against the impact it may have internally on your team and externally on your customers, suppliers and markets overall,” he said. The bottom line? “It takes year-over-year data to determine whether something has lasting power and the ability to truly impact markets and business long-term,” Francis said. “Trends provide an answer to a larger issue or relieve pain points. Trends

grow out of necessity, not popular culture, because they fulfill an unmet or emerging need.” An example of necessity being the mother of invention occurred when home construction plummeted during the 2008 real estate crisis. Savvy remodelers and interior designers capitalized by marketing themselves to homeowners who couldn’t upgrade to a new house, but could afford jazzing up their existing home. Another trend that grew out of necessity for countless businesses is the pandemic-induced work-from-home phenomenon. “Before COVID-19, we had a handful of our 12,000 employees working remotely,” CentraCare’s Hellie said. “It wasn’t something

that we thought would apply to our industry. Today, we will probably continue on with several hundred remote workers, if not more than that.” Sometimes what seems like a trend, is a fad. That’s a word that may have a negative connotation for many businesspeople, but not to Francis. “Both trends and fads can play a role,” he said. “Trends are strategic, fads more tactical. Fads can help you stay relevant, whereas trends are what will drive the market and your business forward long term.” Jeanine Nistler is a St. Cloud-based writer who has worked in health care, higher education, state government and as a daily newspaper reporter and editor.

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BECOMING NIMBLE The commercial construction industry is embracing flexibility as businesses deal with workforce and supply challenges. By Alicia Chapman

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few years ago, companies were building massive office buildings with amenities that would encourage collaboration and fun during the workday. Now, many of those buildings are sitting empty as employees continue to work from home - some permanently. “Companies realized that employees can be just as effective at home, and with that, there’s not really a need for a company to take on a lease,” John Waletzko said. Waletzko is president of Bradbury Stamm Construction. That means there’s a lot of office space available for people to get creative. Bradbury Stamm

“We've seen a very strong trend in market-rate housing, apartment-style housing. We've never been so busy with that type of work.” — Corey Gerads, president of Alliance Building Corp.

is currently converting office space for a client into classroom space. And in other cities, office buildings have been remodeled into housing. “The repurposing of that square footage is likely going to be an upcoming trend because, obviously, landlords want these buildings leased,” Waletzko said. “And they realize it might not work as a call center, or something of that nature, anymore.”

Growth While office-building construction has slowed over the past few years, some commercial construction sectors have grown exponentially. Multi-family housing, industrial warehousing, and manufacturing are notable examples. Boutique retail has also been an industry with growth over the last two years. Apartments are attractive to young people struggling to

find affordable homes in the current housing market. And older adults are taking advantage of the market and selling their homes to downsize, sometimes into an apartment without the maintenance and upkeep of a single-family home. “We’ve seen a very strong trend in market-rate housing, apartment-style housing,” Corey Gerads, president of Alliance Building Corp., said. “We’ve

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professionals. Convenience plays a significant factor, especially with modern apartments’ amenities, like in-unit washers and dryers and fitness centers.

never been so busy with that type of work. We’ve got several projects right now that are under contract and others that are in the planning stages.” W. Gohman Construction President Mike Gohman worked with the city of Clearwater to

build an apartment building in town. Families had raised their kids in the city and didn’t have an option to live in town after selling their houses. As a result, roughly one-third of residents in the apartment building are 50plus, and another third are young

Struggles Despite the growth, the commercial construction industry is seeing some of the same struggles many businesses see – supply-chain issues and labor shortages. “So much used to be built around the just-intime delivery method,” Waletzko said. “Everything was always scheduled to show up one hour before we needed it. It comes off the truck, it goes into place. You tried to get things at the exact right time so you didn’t have to store it. Now with the volatility

and unpredictability of things, I want them as soon as I can get my hands on them. I don’t care if I have to store them.” Price increases and supplychain issues have caused people in the construction industry to be more flexible and increase communication with other parties involved in a project. When a product is delayed, or part of the construction isn’t coming along as planned, the parties involved can now do a video chat and quickly receive updated digital blueprints. Before, this process may have taken days. “The pandemic has caused us, as a design industry, to become even more nimble in how we deliver projects to the

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Merger of Minnesota and New Mexico construction firms boosts community impact Today as President, Waletzko says, “What I find most rewarding about my role is the opportunity to not only help projects come to fruition and overcome the individual challenges each one faces but also see how the communities and clients we partner with on these projects increase their own success through them.” Waletzko demonstrates this desire to impact communities through projects he oversees and through organizing construction work for worthy causes, such as the recent, fully donated construction of a storage building for Quiet Oaks Hospice. Cynthia Schultz believes that this is only the beginning of the successes to come from Waletzko and his team. Schultz

Bradbury Stamm Construction’s Midwest Team, based out of St. Cloud, MN

It seemed an unlikely

merger…

Two family-owned companies – one in St. Cloud, MN and one in Albuquerque, NM – joined forces in what turned out to be a powerful union. Winkelman Building Corporation, St. Cloud, and Bradbury Stamm Construction, Albuquerque, each had a reputation in their community for stability, integrity, and a dedication to quality. When Bradbury Stamm CEO, Cynthia Schultz, recognized that their shared strengths and their broad reach could make a multi-state, community-based company possible, she extended to Winkelman Building Co. President, Duane Schultz, an invitation to join forces. In May 2017, Winkelman Building Co. became Bradbury Stamm’s Midwest Office. Today, Bradbury Stamm Construction places over $350 million a year in work, and the Midwest team has grown their office 20%, while the company manages to maintain its roots as a community-centered enterprise. Since her vision of a unified company, CEO Cynthia Schultz has never stopped looking for opportunities to reinforce

Bradbury Stamm’s strength and impact. In 2021, Schultz believed a clear step in that mission was the promotion of John Waletzko to Midwest President. Waletzko had been with Bradbury Stamm (formerly Winkelman) for nearly nine years and was raised in the local Minnesota Construction Community. He had a proven track record of leading projects larger than $90 million and had demonstrated his tenacity in virtually every role in the company – from intern, to field laborer, to project manager, to estimator, to field manager, to VP of Field Operations. Waletzko led numerous projects that shaped the local community including the Sartell-St. Stephen High School, Annandale PK-5 School, Clearview Elementary School, Scheels Athletic Complex, as well as partnering with local companies for expansion like SCR, Beaver Island Brewery, Arctic Cat, and Reach-Up.

John Waletzko, President Bradbury Stamm Construction Midwest Division

tells us, “[Waletzko’s] leadership ability combined with dedication to the company, the construction industry, and the local St. Cloud community will allow him to help our team build Central Minnesota for another 50 years.”

Bradbury Stamm Construction

Since 1923

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construction industry,” Whitney Lougheed, an architect at JLG Architects, said. “It has increased our need to maintain communications with all our team members from owners to contractors. With material lead times uncertain and project schedules being at the mercy of shipping times, we are also seeing more projects creating multiple bid packages to meet deadlines. This requires us to adjust our thinking during design to account for early decision-making so that the construction team can seamlessly pick up the project.” Working around the supplychain issue can be difficult, but there are solutions. On the other hand, the shortage of available workers is harder because you need people on the site and working, in order to complete projects. The trades have seen a labor shortage for years. There just hasn’t been enough new workers to replace the retiring workers and keep up with the industry’s growth. The local high schools and colleges have created programs that introduce students to the trades. Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity also has numerous school-build projects currently underway where students in the local school districts build a Habitat house. Despite these programs and their progress, the trades are still seeing staffing shortages.


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“I’m fortunate to be working with K12 clients and witnessing the shifts in education firsthand that directly impact our construction industry,” JLG’s Lougheed said. “We are continuing to see an increase in promoting technical education within our schools, which will continue to support the trades. We are also seeing local businesses advocating, and even sometimes providing monetary support, to keep these programs front and center. Both of these positively impact our ability to design futureforward spaces that will continue to influence the construction industry.” Commercial construction trends Right now, commercial real estate professionals in Central Minnesota are seeing new buildings with environmental upgrades and better air-filtration systems. And in terms of technology, it’s becoming more common to provide virtual reality walk-throughs and 3D renderings. “Not everyone can pull up a set of construction documents and visualize what it’s going to look like,” Gerads said. “So when you can take those 3D renderings and sit down and walk someone through the building before it’s even drawn, it really helps a customer understand what they’re getting.” These

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processes also allow clients to see potential changes when it’s still easy and cheaper to make adjustments. Flexible living, outdoor spaces, and natural light will probably always be popular. Waletzko calls these “timeless trends.” When companies spend money on large commercial buildings, they don’t want the building to look outdated in just a few years. Many businesses are looking for flexible, open spaces that can be used in a variety of ways. This was popular before the pandemic and continues to be popular because it allows businesses to quickly change the functionality of a room. Outdoor spaces have been a popular feature for many commercial sectors. During the pandemic, multiple commercial properties built new or expanded patio space. Natural light can help a building appear larger and more inviting. Of course, no one wants to work in a dungeon. Glass partitions and walls are also part of this trend. Not only do they make spaces look bigger, but glass is also easily cleaned and disinfected. Looking ahead “If the percentage of school referendums that have recently been passed across Minnesota is any indicator, there is still a healthy appetite for new builds and renovations,” said Lougheed. “At some point, I hope we get back to having a fuller workforce, more consistent material lead times, and schedules that will allow us to better plan and prepare earlier in the design phase. For now, however, we – as an industry – are hitting our stride in learning how to be the most flexible we can be.” Alicia Chapman is a freelance writer and owner of Bluebird Creative LLC, a content writing business specializing in helping small businesses share their stories.

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YOUR VISION OUR EXPERTISE

General Contractor

Construction Boom

Field Services Construction Management

What pandemic recession? Construction jobs maintain during COVID-19.

Architecture + Engineering Maintenance Real Estate + Brokerage

Source: Luke Greiner, MN-DEED

T

he construction industry is booming in Central Minnesota. In fact, in the past five years, construction employers added more jobs than all other industries combined. The reason behind that impressive statistic is that construction firms maintained employment in 2020 while nearly every other industry shed jobs due to the pandemic recession. Construction has been on the rise for years since being pummeled during the Great Recession. Construction firms in Central Minnesota benefit from being able to serve the Twin Cities metro area when times are good, while also having a diverse agriculture economy to help offset economic business cycles. With low mortgage interest rates, home buyers and renovators continued to provide demand for construction projects, which was amplified even more with lots of employees working from home due to the pandemic. Many of these homebound homeowners realized the need to tackle remodeling projects they didn't see before spending so much time at home. In addition, more first-time home buyers wanted a home of their own. While the number of jobs in almost all other industries were falling, construction employment held steady as demand for construction held steady. ”

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COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION DIRECTORY

Alliance Building Corp.

SPECIAL FOCUS

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

Dale Gruber Construction

Thunder Hawk Apartments, Montevideo, MN opening February 2022! New construction, additions, or remodels. Let us build your needs! alliancebuildingcorporation.com

St. Cloud, MN

Dale Gruber Construction designed & built the new Stone Gate Dental in St. Cloud. The state-of-the-art dental clinic is part of the 11,650 sf Stone Gate Plaza building. Project design was healthcare & accessibility focused and features a modern exterior with Nichiha panels & Versetta Stone. Approximately 5,000 sf is available for lease. General Contractor: Dale Gruber Construction

Design Electric, Inc.

When you need commercial electrical work done in St. Cloud, trust the contractor who has been around for over four decades. Design Electricn Inc. is a family-owned electrical contractor established in 1972. We can handle your toughest electrical jobs, including: Electrical service technicians available 24/7 Electrical system design Government electrical projects Industrial-grade installation and electrical repairs Low, medium and high-voltage system installation Commercial lighting retrofitting

GLTArchitects

Behavioral Health Center GLTArchitects worked with Central Minnesota Mental Health Center and Stearns County on this joint venture facility. The Behavioral Health Center includes a 9 bed, 24 hour, residential adult crisis stabilization unit and a 16 bed, 24 hour, detoxification unit. Space is also provided for the Mobile Crisis Response Team who provide an array of community-based mental health crisis services. Location: St. Cloud Architect: GLTArchitects Size: 13,000 sf gltarchitects.com

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St. Cloud, MN

The Stearns County/CMMHC Behavioral Health Center is a new facility in St. Cloud, MN. It will be home to CMMHC’s mobile crisis response team and crisis hotline operators, which will serve Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright counties. An expansion of the residential adult crisis stabilization unit, the new building will also house 15 residential detox beds and 9 residential crisis beds.

Project Completion: Spring 2022

DaleGruberConstruction.com

48

Stearns County/CMMHC Behavioral Health Center

www.bradburystamm.com

Electrical Contractor Stone Gate Dental

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Miller Architects & Builders

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Blattner Energy Expansion 2nd Ave Apartments Long Prairie, MN 41,077 sf. three-story, 37-unit apartment with 6,669 sf. attached 18-stall garage. Large lobby with mail center and managers office. Community room with serving kitchen and access to a large outdoor patio with BBQ grills and kids playground. Apartment homes feature in-unit washer/dryer and a patio or balcony. Contractor: Miller Architects & Builders Architect: Cole Group Architects www.millerab.com

Center for Pain Management Center for Pain Management (CFPM) specializes in individualized treatment for acute, chronic and cancer pain. After leasing space for 15 years, and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners knew they needed to make some major changes. A client for over a decade, CFPM retained Nor-Son Construction for the design and construction of a 12,700 sf new facility in Sartell, MN. Nor-SonConstruction.com

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

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PROFIT

BUSINESSSPOTLIGHT

AIS PLANNING

PERSONAL PROFILES

Heart of a Servant

Cathy L. Juilfs, 55 Hometown: San Jose, California

AIS Planning started with a vision of ‘team’ that remains with the company to this day. By Gail Ivers

Cathy Juilfs and Jason Hallonquist AIS Planning

Education: B.S. in financial planning - behavioral finance Work History: First job: a savings and loan at age 16 and promoted to personal banker before my 18th birthday; 401(k) Compliance & Administration; the last 22 years in financial planning. Family: Married to Darren for 36 years; adult children: David, Amber, and Brittany

Business Central: How did you happen to start AIS Planning? Cathy Julifs: Mike Sipe, our founder, recruited me to work with him at PrimeVest [now Cetera]. Seventeen months later he said he was leaving and he wanted me to go with him. I said “YES!!” Jason Hallonquist: I was working at PrimeVest. I reached a point in 2001 where I needed to do something else, and I decided that would be financial planning. A former

co-worker was at AIS. He was leaving and asked if I was interested, and I said yes. BC: How did you come to own the business? Julifs: In 2008 Mike was looking for a transition. We each owned 10% and we thought he was going to sell to us, but he decided he’d get paid more and faster if he picked someone else. Hallonquist: We had minimal input, but he picked Winona National Bank because they

weren’t in our backyard. We are both fiercely independent so it was a path we could all agree on. We realized pretty quickly that we were different than Winona, so we asked if we could buy ourselves back. They said no, no, no. Julifs: In 2015 we essentially gave them an ultimatum and we finally worked out an agreement in 2016. Our whole purpose in starting AIS was for independence, and it still is to this day. Hallonquist: Cathy is structure and implementation; I’m vision. We share the same personal and core values. We do better when we’re serving the organization and seeing the organization succeed. It comes from having the heart of a servant.

Hobbies: Hiking, travel, new adventures, photography, scrapbooking, custom card making Advice to a would-be entrepreneur: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Prepare for financial challenges well before they happen. Best business advice you’ve received and who gave it to you: Always have both personal and business emergency savings accounts. My oldest brother Ken told me this when he started his own business. It always stuck with me, and if you follow it, it lets you sleep at night. ______________

Jason Hallonquist, 52 Hometown: Eden Prairie, MN Education: B.S. in finance and international business Work History: 10 years at PrimeVest Financial Service (now Cetera) and 20+ years at AIS Planning.

AT A G L A N C E

Family: Married to Ann for 26 years; adult children: Ally, Cameron, and Ryan

50

AIS Planning

CEO: Jason Hallonquist

622 Roosevelt Rd, Suite 160, St Cloud, MN 56301 (320) 252-6552 meet@aisplanning.com aisplanning.com

President: Cathy Juilfs Ownership: Juilfs and Hallonquist (equal partners) Business Description: AIS Planning works with businesses and individuals to help meet their financial goals through wealth management and retirement plan services.

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

Total number of employees: 13 Previous Year sales: $2.84 million Current year projected sales: $3.25 million Opened: March 5, 1999, by Mike Sipe and Cathy Julifs Joined the Chamber: 1999

Hobbies: Spending time at the cabin and enjoying nature. Advice to a would-be entrepreneur: Read the book "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Spencer Johnson, then be prepared to move with the cheese. Best business advice you’ve received and who gave it to you: "Do good things and good things will happen" — Mike Sipe, founder of AIS Planning


Physicians Find Banking Partners with the Same Values After years serving as physicians in central Minnesota, Darin Willardsen and Todd Severnak knew they faced a problem. Communities throughout Minnesota still weren't receiving the proper hospitalist support they deserved. What these critical access hospitals needed was 24/7 support, 365 days a year. So, the idea for Horizon Virtual (HV) was born.

The other half is a value-based relationship. Todd says, “We want to give hospitals more than what's expected. That stuff is irreplaceable.” Having around-the-clock support from telehospitalists delivers that added value. At the same time, Deerwood continues to impress the two physicians.

But, it would take just the right banking partner to bring it to life.

Horizon Virtual plans to expand, with hopes of growing into the surrounding Midwestern states. Through that growth, they're excited to keep teaming up with Denise Rosin at Deerwood Bank.

The future you want for your business? We’ll help you grow into it. Shared Values

“We pride ourselves on providing efficient care to people in their time of need. When we think about our partnerships, we look for the same core values we have. With Denise Rosin and Deerwood Bank, they’ve checked all our boxes. The way I look at it, they are a big bank with small town service—and that’s what we’re looking for,” says Todd.

HV uses multiple screens and communication equipment to treat patients anywhere there's an Internet connection. Quite literally anywhere. And over the last 12 months, healthcare providers have seen a huge increase in this type of virtual treatment. It's already led to safer interactions with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s not just the advice and support we get on the financial side of things. It's also the good that the bank does in the community, especially for those in healthcare. From serving on boards to being well-respected throughout the industry. Denise and Deerwood have done a stellar job in the central Minnesota community.”

“A good banking partner isn’t about the brick-and-mortar buildings, it’s about the people who work there. We started way back in the day with Denise, and she’s been with us ever since. When you find good people, you stick with them.” Image below, from left to right: Todd Severnak, Founder & CMO, Horizon Virtual Denise Rosin, VP of Private Banking, Deerwood Bank Darin Willardson, Founder & CEO, Horizon Virtual

Although things have been hectic, Darin and Todd still place an emphasis on the core values of HV. Providing service and value. “Our company has always been about service first,” says Darin. “That's what sets us apart in our industry.” So going right to Denise five years ago was an obvious choice. Meanwhile, Darin and Todd have relied on Deerwood's customer At Bremer Bank, every partnership starts service for over 20 years. “I think of themwith morelistening and learning, getting to know your business andyou what you want to accomplish. When we as ayou, friend. A friend who gives sound understand can offer ideas and solutions to help you succeed on advice,”that, says we Todd. Darin adds, “I don’t ever mind calling Denise where with anything. I have hercome cell and go in the blink of an your terms. In a world opportunities phone numbermatter in case more something to ever eye, relationships thanwas ever. come up. I don’t know many other banks who offer that kind of support.” Understanding is everything.

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TIM TIM TIM SMITH SMITH SMITH TIM SMITH

Mortgage Mortgage Mortgage Loan Loan Loan Officer Officer Officer Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS# NMLS# NMLS# 533151 533151 533151 NMLS# 533151 (320) (320) (320) 980-0944 980-0944 980-0944 (320) 980-0944 TimS@LogBank.com TimS@LogBank.com TimS@LogBank.com TimS@LogBank.com

MICHAEL MICHAEL MICHAEL LOFTEN LOFTEN LOFTEN MICHAEL LOFTEN Mortgage Mortgage Mortgage Loan Loan Loan Officer Officer Officer Mortgage Loan Officer NMLS# NMLS# NMLS# 1218810 1218810 1218810 NMLS# 1218810 (320) (320) (320) 529-4227 529-4227 529-4227 (320) 529-4227 MichaelL@LogBank.com MichaelL@LogBank.com MichaelL@LogBank.com MichaelL@LogBank.com

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