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Services may not be available everywhere. CenturyLink may change, cancel, or substitute offers and services, or vary them by service area, at its sole discretion without notice. Requires credit approval and deposit may be required. Additional restrictions apply. Terms and Conditions – All products and services listed are governed by tariffs, terms of service, or terms and conditions posted at www.centurylink.com. High-Speed Internet (HSI) – Private, direct connection and speed claims are based on CenturyLink providing High-Speed Internet subscribers with a dedicated, virtual-circuit connection to the CenturyLink central office. The name CenturyLink and the pathways logo are trademarks of CenturyLink. All other marks are property of their respective owners. ©2013 CenturyLink. All Rights Reserved.

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6 President’s Letter

Editor’s Note

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Business Calendar

Top Hats

Network Central

CONTENTS

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25 One-Stop-Shop

A new website helps businesses learn about the Affordable Care Act.

26 Expanding Benefits

Upfront 10 News Reel

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

from around Central Minnesota.

10 Book Review

The Art of Worldly Wisdom; A Pocket Oracle, by Baltasar Gracian, Translated by Christopher Maurer 4

Passage of the Marriage Amendment means employers should review their policies to ensure they are compliant with new regulations.

Keep it Legal. Ten steps every

entrepreneur needs to know to start a business.

15 New at the Top

Tim Hoheisel, Stearns History Museum

17 People to Know 20 The Trouble with Business Building Leadership

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

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This Issue 44 Feature Futurecast

Nobody can predict the future, but following trends in your industry can improve your business options.

48 Special Focus Financial Blunders

Avoiding common financial mistakes will help keep your small business in business.

54 Business Spotlight Anton’s

28 TechStrategies Reaching Out

We all know Facebook has millions of users, but do we know what that means in the St. Cloud area?

30 Tech News 32 Economy Central Cost of Living

14 Getting Going

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Before you sneak a peek at an employment candidate’s Facebook page, make sure you’re not putting your company at risk of legal action.

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In 1982 cousins Mark and Dave Traut were the youngest licensed drillers in Minnesota, struggling to establish themselves. Today their diversified list of services helped them skip the Great Recession.

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The Kids from St. Cloud

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Business Tools

36 Cover Story

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WFSI receives MN Investment Fund loan

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Special Section 49 Financial Services; Retirement Trust & Financial Planning

ONLY ONLINE •• Brainstorming Done Right

•• Writing Compelling Blogs

•• The Interrobang

•• Engaging Employees

www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com


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Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC. U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Each individual’s tax and financial situation is unique. Individuals should consult their tax and/or legal advisor for advice and information concerning their particular situation. ©2013 U.S. Bank. All rights reserved. Investment and Insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED MAY LOSE VALUE NOT GUARANTEED BY THE BANK NOT A DEPOSIT NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES


PRESIDENT’S LETTER NETWORK

Main Phone 320-251-2940 Automated Reservation Line 320-251-2940, ext. 126 Program Hotline 320-251-2940, ext. 125 email: information@StCloudAreaChamber.com www.StCloudAreaChamber.com

WIG-GING OUT!

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trategic planning at our Chamber is an

PIGs gobble up time and don’t necessarily lead

annual undertaking that causes me a

to success. Once you agree on your WIGs,

fair amount of angst. We begin in June

all stakeholders in your organization become

at our annual Board Retreat with a review of

accountable for moving toward them. All

the past year, creating “What Have We Done

the work done in your organization should

For You Lately” reports that summarize the

move you toward your WIGs. If it doesn’t, you

activities in our five Chamber divisions.

shouldn’t be spending time doing it. It’s a PIG.

Can you name all five? It’s akin to naming

We brought the training back to the rest

all seven of Snow White’s dwarfs. Can you do

of our staff and received immediate buy-

that? (But I digress.)

in. We restructured our Board Retreat, and

Three weeks prior to our 2013 Board

quickly had buy-in from Board members

Retreat, Gail, Judy and I attended a three day

and committee chairs and vice-chairs. Our

Leadership Forum offered by the Anderson

Chamber’s three Wildly Important Goals are:

Center. It was quite expensive, especially

1 Membership Growth

to send all three of us, but others who had

2 Membership Retention

attended assured us that the value we would

3 Volunteer Engagement

receive for our members, volunteers and

They seem like no-brainers, but the Volunteer

organization would far offset the cost. We

Engagement WIG was a new one for all of us

headed to Madden’s Resort on a gloomy,

to emphasize. In our discussions, we recognized

misty Tuesday morning, unsure of what was

we are having more and more difficulty

ahead of us.

finding, cultivating and engaging volunteers to

I don’t think any of us were ready for the experience we shared. We entered the world of Stephen Covey, learning about our

lead our Chamber. If we don’t have volunteers to lead us, we will cease to exist. You will definitely hear more about

individual leadership and management styles,

WIGs in the future as we emphasize all the

how they work together, and how we could

right stuff!

be even better at our jobs. In addition to the introspection that was demanded, we were asked to identify our Chamber’s WIGs - Wildly Important Goals. WIGs are the most important things for

Teresa Bohnen President

an individual business to accomplish to stay

PS: The answer is: Membership & Workforce

relevant and successful. They are the things

Development, Government Affairs, Convention

that if you don’t do them, you won’t be

and Visitors Bureau, Sauk Rapids Chamber, and

around very long. Many organizations mix

Waite Park Chamber. (And: Bashful, Doc, Dopey,

up WIGs with PIGs - Pretty Important Goals.

Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy and Sneezy.)

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF President | Teresa Bohnen, ext. 104 Vice President | Gail Ivers, ext. 109 Director of Administration Judy Zetterlund, ext. 106 Special Events Coordinator Virginia Kroll, ext. 105 Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator Whitney Bina, ext.130 Membership Sales Specialist Jaime Buley, ext. 134 Administrative Assistant Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122 Administrative Assistant Cindy Swarthout , ext. 100 Administrative Assistant Sharon Henry, ext. 124 CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF Main Phone: 320-251-4170 Executive Director Julie Lunning, ext. 111 Director of Convention Sales Lori Cates, ext. 113 Director of Sales & Marketing Judy Okerstrom, ext. 112 Director of Sports & Special Events Kelly Sayre, ext. 128 Director of Visitor Services Jean Robbins , ext. 129 Sales & Marketing Coordinator Nikki Fisher, ext. 110 Administrative Assistant Melissa Billig, ext. 100 2013-14 BOARD MEMBERS Jim Beck Minnesota School of Business Gary Berg G.L. Berg Entertainment, Performing Artists & Speakers Jason Bernick Bernick’s - Beverages & Vending Craig Broman St. Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Health, Past Board Chair Neil Franz Neils-Franz-Chirhart, Attorneys at Law Jayne Greeney Schill St. Cloud Area School District #742 Jim Gruenke Mark J. Traut Wells John Herges Falcon National Bank, Board Chair Diane Mendel Playhouse Child Care Kris Nelson Custom Accents, Inc., Board Vice Chair Dr. Earl Potter, III St. Cloud State University Roger Schleper Premier Real Estate Services Jodi Speicher The Good Shepherd Community Bea Winkler Pine Cone Pet Hospital Chriss Wohlleber Le St. Germain Suite Hotel


Health – It’s Our Focus

Norman T. - Andover

After experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath, Norman required four stents for his heart. He then turned to the wellness experts at the CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center. Norman learned how to improve his diet and exercise habits and is living a healthier life.

CentraCare Health — a sharper focus on your health.

centracare.com


EDITOR’S NOTE NETWORK

Publisher Teresa Bohnen Managing Editor Gail Ivers Associate Editor Dawn Zimmerman

Witching Wells

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Whitney Bina St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Kelley Burfeind Doherty Staffing Well drilling is an old industry, using modern technology. Mark and Dave Traut’s newest tool is a tiny, albeit powerful, camera that drops inside a well to help diagnose service problems.

Sharon Henry St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Dr. Fred E. Hill St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Mary MacDonell Belisle WordingForYou.com Jacqueline M. Schuh and Susanne J. Fischer Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A.

It probably qualified as a housing development since we had next door neighbors, but there were only four of them, with the rest of the neighbors scattered far enough apart to require a bike when visiting. There was a slough across the road where we would scare up pheasants and ducks and occasionally a muskrat would cross the road in search of new accommodations. The field next door belonged to a local farmer who planted alfalfa, which smelled heavenly when it was cut. On muggy June nights I’d lean on my bedroom window and watch the fireflies dance in the alfalfa. I could hear the mournful, tantalizing whistles of trains as they passed through town calling me to follow — a sound that still gives me a little thrill 8

when I hear it sing from miles away. Part of country life was having a well. Well water is not my favorite flavor, but living with a well was as normal as riding the school bus. When I moved to my current home in rural St. Joseph I had a well. This seemed perfectly normal to me until I discovered that the water turned everything orange. We have tannin in our water. It’s the result of peaty soil and while it’s not a health hazard, it still turns everything orange. And it’s extremely difficult to remove. We have more water treatment devices than most people have faucets. Several years ago we decided to build a garage and determined that the best place was on top of our existing well. In preparation for drilling a new well, we decided to invest in a little folklore. We hired a water witch. A dowser. Someone who takes a ‘Y’ shaped stick and wanders about your

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

Until next issue,

Gail Ivers

Vice President

Editor

Dawn Zimmerman The Write Advantage ADVERTISING Associate Publisher/Sales Wendy Hendricks, Hendricks Marketing Ad Traffic & Circulation Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media ART Design & Production Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media Sarah Sucansky Cover Photo Joel Butkowski, BDI Photography ACCOUNTING Judy Zetterlund WEBSITE Vicki Lenneman CORPORATE SPONSOR

110 Sixth Avenue South P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 •  Fax (320) 251-0081 www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com For advertising information contact Wendy Hendricks, (320) 656-3808, 110 S. 6th Ave., P.O. Box 487 St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Joel Butkowski, BDI Digital Imaging

I grew up in rural Willmar on a lake with nice big lots and just a few neighbors.

Lawrence Schumacher Wordbender Communications, LLC

property telling you where the best source of ground water is. Our dowser said he could guide us both to a reliable drilling site and to the spot with the best water. We marked the spot, called Traut Wells, and dug our new well. “What do you think about water witching?” I asked Mark and Dave Traut during our recent interview (see the story on page 36). There was a little hesitation, but the two said they find water more often than not when a dowser is involved. “Did we find water?” Mark asked me. “You did,” I said. “Well, there you go,” he said. But we still have a room full of Traut’s water treatment equipment, which, I suspect, doesn’t bother Mark one bit.

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. © Copyright 2013 Business Central LLC Business Central is published six times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 110 Sixth Avenue South; P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 •  Fax (320) 251-0081 Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year


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320.363.7781


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Book Review

Your Voice in Government

Point of View

Getting Going

New at the Top

It Happened When?

The Trouble With Business

UPFRONT

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There are 300 maxims in this volume. ... And the maxims are ageless – at least for 300 plus years.

The Art of Worldly Wisdom was written three hundred years ago by one of Spain’s greatest writers – a worldly Jesuit scholar and keen observer of many positions of power. Gracian’s work draws on careful study of statesmen and potentates who managed to combine ethical behavior with worldly effectiveness. Each of the elegantly crafted maxims in this volume offers valuable insight on the art of living and the practice of achieving. There are 300 maxims in this volume. These maxims

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From the front dust jacket:

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Words to Live By

by Baltasar Gracian, Translated by Christopher Maurer, DoubleDay Currency, New York, 1992 ISBN 0-385-42131-1

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BOOK REVIEW

The Art of Worldly Wisdom; A Pocket Oracle,

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(or aphorisms), can provide pithy advice for all persons, especially for business and other organizational leaders who actively ponder, meditate, and reflect in their professional responsibilities and pursuits. And the maxims are ageless – at least for 300 plus years. In his translation, Christopher Maurer says that the ideal reader of The Art of Worldly Wisdom is someone whose daily occupation involves dealing with others: discovering their intentions, winning their favor and friendship, or (on the other hand) defeating their designs and checkmating their will. Although he is writing for a time when there were statesmen and potentates, the maxims apply to our time, as well — even if we use different terms to describe our power people.

with Machiavellian know-how, only with scruples….The reader today who faithfully follows its precepts will never make a fool of himself or herself and may even go on to become useful and wise.” Now, for some worldly wisdom, shortened by me: 3. Keep matters in suspense; successes that are novel win admiration. 4. Knowledge and courage take turns at greatness. The uninformed person is a dark world unto himself. 8. Not to be swayed by passions is the highest spiritual quality of all. 104. Have a good sense of what each job requires. Some jobs take courage, others subtlety. 210. Know how to handle truth. The truth is dangerous, but a good person cannot fail to speak it. Some use truthsweeteners. This book is a must read! BC

From the back dust jacket:

Dr. Fred E. Hill is a professor of

According to novelist Gail Goodwin, “The Oracle scintillates

Learning Resources Services,

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

at St. Cloud State University.

United Way hires, promotes Kristin Darnall joined United Way of Central Minnesota as the vice president of resource development. Houle Jessica Houle was promoted to workplace campaign manager. Darnall

Daniel joins Metro Bus Ryan Daniel, WSO-CSS, joined Daniel Metro Bus as the new executive director. Daniel, formerly manager of bus service for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority in Washington, D.C., has over 10 years of experience in transit. He also has extensive training in transit safety and security with the United States Department of Transportation.

Rothstein named vice president Harry Rothstein, Mid Central Door Company, was named vice president of business development for both Mid Central Door Company and Overhead Door (St. Cloud, Willmar, Brainerd, and Lakes Area/Alexandria.) In this new role, Rothstein will work to strengthen relationships with current and past customers, and identify products and services to better serve customers.


UPFRONT NETWORK

N E WS R E E L St. Cloud clinics recognized The Minnesota Health Action Group awarded several St. Cloud area clinics the “Minnesota Bridges to Excellence” (MNBTE) designation for outstanding performance in chronic management for 2012. St. Cloud Medical GroupClearwater and St. Cloud Medical Group-Northwest received Improvement Awards for Diabetes Management Care and Vascular Care Management. St. Cloud Medical Group-Cold Spring and St. Cloud Medical Group-South also received Improvement Awards for Vascular Care Management.

HealthPartners receives top ranking; HightowerHughes receives certification The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has again ranked HealthPartners as the top health plan in Minnesota and among the 30 highest performing health plans in the U.S. The group’s 2013-14 report, in which health plans were ranked based on more than 50 measures of clinical performance and member satisfaction, marks the ninth consecutive year that HealthPartners has achieved top honors in the state. Placing 30th of the 484 plans ranked nationally by NCQA puts HealthPartners in the top six percent of health plans in the country. Bernadette HightowerHughes, OB/Gyn at HealthPartners Hightower- Central Minnesota Hughes Clinics, received board certification, which demonstrates her expertise in a specialty of medical practice. Dr. Hightower-Hughes specializes in obstetrics and gynecology.

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YOUR VOICe IN GOVERNMENT

Who’s Working in Central Minn.?

With just over two job seekers per vacancy, employers complain about a lack of qualified workers.

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entral Minnesota employers say their current greatest challenge is finding a supply of workers with appropriate skills to fit their needs. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) regularly collects and shares mountains of information about the workforce that is easily accessed through their website (positivelymn.com) or with a telephone call.

3 The St. Cloud MSA also relies on a younger workforce, and has higher labor force participation rates, especially in younger age groups, than the state as a whole. Participation rates are dropping for teenagers over time, while they are rising for older workers.

Here are a couple of highlights from a recent presentation: 1 There were approximately 108,000 available workers in the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in 2nd quarter of 2013. This was up from about 102,000 workers in 2003. That’s a gain of 5.7 percent for St. Cloud, versus 3.2 percent for the overall state.

2 With 2.4 job seekers per vacancy, employers complain about a lack of qualified workers – a “skills gap.” Many people are over-educated or under-employed for available jobs. The Minnesota State Colleges & University System (MnSCU), the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minn. Department of Employment and Economic Development conducted workforce assessment needs around the state in 2012.

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

4 According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, 65 percent of all jobs nationally will require post-secondary education by 2018. However, in Minnesota 70 percent will require postsecondary education by 2018. Through 2011, 71.7 percent of Minnesota workers already had some college, and 67.8 percent of the St. Cloud MSA workforce had some college or a degree. BC Source: Regional Analysis & Outreach Unit; Communications, Analysis & Research Division; DEED. Cameron Macht, (320) 441-6567; Cameron.macht@state.mn.us

Online now Results are available at www BusinessCentral Magazine.com.


POINT OF View

Business Central asked readers: “What has been your greatest accomplishment in the last two years?”

Building our new office building and expanding our services. It’s been a nice opportunity.”

Dr. Mark Roerick Advantage Chiropractic

“ Mary Yager Holiday Inn & Suites

Coming together as a team and making a difference.”

“ Kristen Berreau St. Cloud Overhead Door Co.

Tanja Goering Pro Staff

We implemented a new sales and marketing software.”

We have already exceeded our budget goals for the year-to-date.”

Our expansion – we doubled our size.”

Leland Smith L. L. Smith Jewelers

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UPFRONT NETWORK

N E WS R E E L Mastellar joins Rinke Noonan Alex Mastellar joined Rinke Mastellar Noonan as an attorney. He concentrates his practice in the areas of general litigation, agricultural law, water law, and environmental law. Prior to joining Rinke Noonan, Mastellar practiced at a law firm he co-founded. Bierwerth joins PineCone Vision Center Dr. Sara Bierwerth Bierwerth joined Pinecone Vision Center as the director of contact lens services. Bierwerth received a bachelor’s degree from the College of Saint Benedict and graduated with honors from Pennsylvania College of Optometry. She completed a Cornea and Specialty Contact Lens residency at the Southern California College of Optometry. She is also trained in pediatric contact lens and ocular prosthetic device fittings. Heartland Glass merges with Brin Northwestern Sullivan Heartland Glass merged with Brin Northwestern Glass Companies in July. Heartland Glass owner Bill Sullivan continues to lead Heartland Glass as president. Sullivan has also assumed the role of executive vice president at Brin. Babcock joins board John Babcock, president of Babcock Rotochopper, Inc., joined the Initiative Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Babcock will serve a three-year term and is eligible for re-appointment for two additional three-year terms.

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Getting Going

Keep it Legal

Ten steps every entrepreneur needs to know to start a business.

D

id you know that home-based businesses are required to hold permits to operate legally in most states? What about incorporation? The truth is, more than 70 percent of small businesses are owned by un-incorporated sole proprietors (although even this group is required to register their businesses). The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has compiled 10 steps that can help you plan, prepare, and manage your business – while taking care of the startup legalities. Not all these steps will apply to all businesses, but working through them will give you a sense of what needs your attention and what you can check off. 1 Write a Business Plan A business plan doesn’t have to be encyclopedic and it doesn’t have to have all the answers. A well-prepared plan – revisited often – will help you steer your business all along its growth curve. 2 Get Help and Training Starting a business can be a lonely endeavor, but there are lots of free in-person and online resources that can help advise you as you get started. Check out what‘s offered at the Small Business Development Center; SCORE; and Chamber of Commerce. 3 Choose Your Business Location Where you locate your business may be the single most important decision you make. Consider proximity to suppliers, the competition, transportation access, demographics, and zoning regulations. 4 Understand your Financing Options You may choose to bootstrap, fall back on savings, or even keep a full-time job until your business is profitable, but if you are looking for an external source of financing your bank can help explain your options.

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

5 Decide on a Business Structure Going it alone or forming a partnership? Thinking of incorporating? What about an LLC? How you structure your business can reduce your personal liability for business losses and debts and give you tax benefits. 6 Register Your Business Name Registering a “Doing Business As” name or “trade name” is only needed if you name your business something other than your personal name, the names of your partners, or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation. 7 Get a Tax ID Not every business needs a tax ID from the IRS (also known as an “Employer Identification Number” or EIN), but if you have employees, run a business partnership, a corporation or meet certain IRS criteria, you must obtain an EIN from the IRS. 8 Register with Tax Authorities Employment, sales, and state income taxes are handled at the state-level. Learn more about your state’s tax requirements and how to comply. 9 Apply for Permits and Licenses All businesses, even home-based businesses, need a license or permit to operate. 10 Hire Employees If you’re hiring employees, talk to an employment attorney. If you’re working with an independent contractor, talk to an employment attorney. BC Source: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Online now For more information, visit www.BusinessCentral Magazine.com


New at the Top

Tim Hoheisel Executive Director, Stearns History Museum www.stearns-musuem.org Age: 39

Previous Position Executive Director, Sioux Falls Arts Council, Sioux Falls, SD Business Central: What will you miss most about your previous position? Tim Hoheisel: Doing “research” for work—getting paid to go to art galleries, concerts, etc. BC: When did you start in your current position? TH: July 1, 2013

I played football in college and if I wasn’t a museum director I probably would be a college football coach.

F un fact

BC: What are you looking forward to most in your new position? TH: Probably unbeknownst to most people in Central Minnesota, the Stearns History Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, which puts it in the top six percent of all museums nationwide. I have never been the director of such a prestigious organization and I am looking forward to sharing with everyone the many wonderful exhibits, programs, and events going on at the museum. The job already is the most interesting one I have ever had. It is also the most challenging, which is part of what makes it interesting.

BC: Where did you grow up? TH: I was born in Little Falls and grew up in Buckman, population 150. My family moved to Onamia in 1984, which is where I graduated from high school. BC: What are your hobbies? TH: Visiting museums, obviously. Other than that? I like to bike— bicycle and motorcycle. I had a sweet Moto Guzzi California years ago that I wish I hadn’t sold. Fitness is also a hobby of mine. I like taking my dog running and I joined Granite City CrossFit in Waite Park (shameless plug) when I moved here in July. BC

Big smiles. Small egos. Bremer business bankers are down-to-earth folks who greet you with a smile, then roll up their sleeves and get to work. No attitude. No ego trip. Just business-savvy bankers with all the financial solutions you could ask for, and the smarts to help you succeed. So talk with a local Bremer banker. It could be the start of something big.

Bremer.com Downtown St. Cloud 251-3300 • West St. Cloud 656-3300 • Sauk Rapids 252-1938 • Sartell 255-7121 • Rice 393-2600 Member FDIC. © 2013 Bremer Financial Corporation. All rights reserved.

BRE2017D8BCM-Big-Smiles-Small-Egos-7pt5x4pt875.indd 1

2/28/13 4:21 PM N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m 15


UPFRONT NETWORK

N E WS R E E L Kjellberg-Nelson receives award Quinlivan & Hughes’ attorney Cally Kjellberg-Nelson KjellbergNelson received the 2013 Deb Oberlander Award from the Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA). The award recognizes the professionalism, service and contribution to excellence in the practice of law by a new lawyer.

BUSINESS CALENDAR Nov/Dec 2013 •• Visit events.StCloudAreaChamber.com for a detailed calendar.

Can’t-miss opportunities to influence, promote and learn Technology & Education Conference Annual conference featuring training in education and technology areas. There is no cost to attend. 8 a.m. – noon.

Marco hires Marco announced the following new hires:

November 5: Holiday Inn & Suites, 75 37th Ave. S, St. Cloud Adams

Ebeling

Gondeck

• Cortez Adams, shipping & receiving • Ryan Ebeling, leasing assistant • Jeff Gondeck, managed IT services helpdesk representative

Janotta

Kleve

Mehr

• Maria Janotta, recruitment coordinator • Scott Kleve, shipping & receiving • Kenneth Mehr, copier setup technician

Nikko

Rolfes

• Josh Nikko, managed IT services helpdesk representative • Allen Rolfes, managed IT services helpdesk representative

SBETC receives grant Stearns-Benton Employment & Training Council received a grant for $190,000 to help veterans and long-term unemployed. Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded the grant to support activities such as job training, job placement and job readiness skills development.

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NOVEMBER 6

Lunchtime Learning Educational networking events that give busy professionals a chance to stay on the cutting edge. Meets the first Wednesday of the month, noon-1 p.m. at the Chamber office, 110 6th Ave. S. Registration is required: $15 for Chamber members, $22 for the general public. November 6: sponsored by Johnson, Carriar, Kruchten, Anderson and Associates with Dr. Bruce Miles, Big River Group, presenting “Succession Planning and Talent Development.” December 4: sponsored by St. Cloud State University’s Center for Continuing Studies with Tara Tollefson, Plaza Park Bank, presenting “Social Media: It Should Not Stand Alone.”

NOV 14 & DEC 5

Business After Hours A complimentary open house for Chamber members and guests. Bring lots of business cards and prepare to grow your network! 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

November 14: hosted by Third Street Brew House, 219 Red River Ave. N, Cold Spring December 5: hosted by St. Cloud Technical and Community College, 1540 Northway Dr., St. Cloud

NOV 8 & DEC 13

Government Affairs A discussion of local government issues on the second Friday of the month, 7:30 - 9 a.m. at the Chamber office, 110 6th Ave. S.

December 18: hosted by Sentry Bank at the Moose Family Lodge, 1300 3rd St. N. Meeting includes entertainment by Tech High School singers, sponsored by Forsberg Investments & Insurance.

NOV 21 & DEC 19

Sauk Rapids Chamber For businesses interested in Sauk Rapids issues. Lunch is provided by the host when you register at least two days in advance. 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. November 21: hosted by CentraCare Health at the Sauk Rapids Government Center, 115 2nd Ave. N., with a presentation by Minn. Representative Tim O’Driscoll. December 19: holiday networking sponsored by the Good Shepherd Community, on-site at 325 11th St. N, Sauk Rapids.

DECEMBER 6

November 8 December 13

NOV 20 & DEC 18

Waite Park Chamber For businesses interested in Waite Park issues. Lunch is provided by the host when you register at least two days in advance. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. November 20: hosted by The College of St. Scholastica, with a presentation by attorney Carol Lewis.

Chamber Connection Birthday Party This fun-filled event celebrates the anniversary of Chamber Connection. 7:30-9 a.m. December 6

For information on these and other business events, call 320-251-2940.


People to know

N E WS R E E L

Three Elected to Chamber Board

The following individuals have been elected to fill three-year terms on the Board of Directors of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jayne Greeney Schill

Jim Gruenke

Bea Winkler

St. Cloud Area School District #742

Mark J. Traut Wells

Pine Cone Pet Hospital

(320) 251-5090 treatwater @trautwells.com

(320) 258-3434 pineconepetvet @gmail.com

(320) 202-6892 jayne.greeney @isd742.org

branding | website design + development | marketing strategy | media campaigns

Microbiologics receives awards; CEO joins board Microbiologics received the Established Company Innovation Award at the 2013 Innovation Summit, hosted by the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation and the Center for Nonprofit Brad Goskowicz, Microbiologics (right) Excellence and Social with Bob Coborn Innovation. The award recognized Microbiologics for creating an annual global event that brought together the industry’s top opinion leaders on the prevention of food borne diseases. The Initiative Foundation awarded Microbiologics the Outstanding Enterprise Award recognizing outstanding leadership, innovation and community impact in Central Minnesota. Brad Goskowicz, CEO of Microbiologics, joined the AOAC International Board of Directors.

gaslightcreative.com 320.257.2242

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UPFRONT NETWORK

IT HAPPENED WHEN?

December 16, 1993

Good Morning St. Cloud Area From left to right: MCs Gail Johnson and Larry Logeman; The Hug Bug visits “Good Morning St. Cloud Area”; Guests share business news in 1993

Fast-paced! Lively! Informative! Educational! Entertaining! Wake up with “Good Morning St. Cloud Area.” “Good Morning St. Cloud Area,” a fun morning program designed to mirror ABCs morning news show Good

Morning America, provided local business news, community updates and entertainment to the St. Cloud Area. The morning event was created by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and held at the Radisson Hotel. Chamber volunteers Larry Logeman and

Gail Johnson acted as Masters of Ceremonies and hosted the event. In 1993, “Good Morning St. Cloud Area” included a legislative preview, an update on the St. Cloud downtown area, and a visit from The Hug Bug. Christmas tales were told and

musical guests performed. Local businesses donated holiday gifts which were distributed to members of the live audience. Chamber volunteers and staff planned the bi-annual event. Although entertaining and informative, “Good Morning St. Cloud Area’s” run was short lived; only three programs occurred between December 1992 and December 1993. BC

Would you rather make excuses or sales? You grow the corn, Sandler Training® utilizes continual reinforcement through ongoing training and individual coaching sessions not only to help you learn but also to ensure your success. With over 200 training centers worldwide to provide support, you won’t fail…because we won’t let you.

Brian Hart 110 Sixth Avenue South, Suite 100 St. Cloud, MN • 320-224-2121 www.brianhart.sandler.com S Sandler Training Finding Power In Reinforcement (with design) and Sandler Training are registered service marks of Sandler Systems, Inc. © 2013 Sandler Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

We’ll count the b3ans. Little Falls 320.632.6311

Albany 320.845.2940

Working with people, not just numb3rs. An Independently Owned Member, McGladrey Alliance

www.swcocpas.com Maple Lake 320.963.5414

Monticello 763.295.5070

St. Cloud 320.251.0286


TOP HATS | New Businesses

TOP HATS | New Members Absolute Outdoor, sporting goods, outdoor and marine, 1209 Franklin Ave. NE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Inese Mehr, David Cook and Bob Lien.

Home Run Propane, home delivery of grill tanks/propane for all your outdoor needs, entertaining, fish houses, campers and commercial, 21819 53rd Ave., St. Augusta. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Ann and Terry Voigt.

Boot Barn, America’s largest western and work wear store, Crossroads Shopping Center, 4201 W Division Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Chris Panek, Laine Wamquist, Brian Rither, Brad Budin and Scott Anderson.

American Family Insurance- David Anfenson, 4170 Thielman Lane, Suite 102, St. Cloud. Pictured: Roger Schleper, David Anfenson, Kris Anfenson and Tauna Quimby.

Charles Allen Agency, an independent insurance agency, 4 13th Ave. N, Waite Park. Pictured: Bob Lien, Mark Gresser, Christine Gresser and Diane Ohmann.

Dakota Mailing & Shipping Equipment, sales and service of mailing and printing equipment, 4141 38th Street S, Suite 1A, Fargo, ND. Pictured: Tauna Quimby, Bruce Puppe, Joe Engh and Jill Magelssen.

Hernandez Law Firm, PLLC, a full service immigration and nationality law firm, 14 7th Ave. N, Suite 106 St. Cloud. Pictured: Diane Ohmann, Edith Hernandez-Fussy and Jayne Greeney Schill.

Manea’s Meats, 114 2nd Ave. N, Sauk Rapids. No photo elected. CentraSota Cooperative, a customer owned company that provides goods and services to both the agriculture market and urban customers, 2168 165th Ave., Santiago. No photo elected.

Mosquito Squad, mosquito and tick control all season long, 3051 36th Ave. SE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Roger Schleper, Cindee (Negaard) Anderson, Ryan Fisher and Bob Lien.

Envision Capital, providing mortgage loans for purchase and refinance of residential real estate, 113 5th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Diane Ohmann, Eileen Theisen and Tauna Quimby.

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UPFRONT NETWORK

The TrOUBLE WITH BUSINESS

Building Leadership Great boards of directors don’t develop by chance.

By mary macdonell belisle

“Boards are like parents: they need to support, encourage, and inspire greatness in their ‘child’ if the organization is to survive and thrive.” –– Association of Fundraising Professionals

T

hey wear the logo t-shirt, speak on its behalf, brave the dunk tank or “jail,” and contribute hours of volunteer time to support the organization. But ‘non-profit’ is a tax status, not a business plan. Not-for-profit organizations, like their

for-profit partners, need strong leadership. Members of a board of directors must be cultivated and nurtured. Great boards don’t develop by chance. Diversity is a consideration, according to the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). Especially important is whether the ethnicity of the board matches the community served by the organization. Kathy Zenzen is vice-president of operations for the United Way of Central Minnesota, an organization whose mission is “to improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of Central Minnesota.” The United Way puts a recipient of its funded services on the board, alongside the director of a grant-recipient agency.

About the writer Mary MacDonell Belisle is the owner of mary macdonell belisle – wording for you, a St. Cloud communications company, producing copy and content for individuals, business, and nonprofits.

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

It’s important to listen to the voices of the area’s programs to understand the needs, Zenzen said. Too, diversity includes age, gender, geographic location, expertise, field of endeavor, giving potential, as well as whether the person is an influencer. All of the above add value to a board, said Steve Joul, president of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation (CMCF). Good, capable people are necessary, said Joul. He observed that every organization is different and should have unique criteria for board participation. The AFP recommends fundraising, planning, financial management, leadership, communication, legal, and certainly, program experience specific to the organization. Zenzen advises boards to determine what they lack in talent and then pursue a prospect with that particular attribute. This practice goes hand-in-hand with a process of self-evaluation. Many organizations operate with a Board Governance or Board Resources Committee that actively identifies top-notch candidates. Zenzen, also on the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and Social Innovation (CNESI) board, explains it uses a matrix for evaluating an individual’s experience with nonprofit management, public speaking, human resources, accounting, grants, and work with emerging nonprofits, among others. CMCF also uses a matrix. Continued Development is essential. The CMCF engages board members in committees where they can become more educated about one facet of the organization. The organization also schedules regular meetings, “the more notice the better,” said Joul. A comprehensive orientation to the organization, explanation of the board member’s role, retreats, and strategic


“Indicators of a well-run board are easily spotted. You’ll see happy organizational staff and committed board members working together toward the mission.” —kathy zenzen, united way of central minnesota

planning activity also ensure board member “buy in.” Passion for the organization is first and foremost, said Jackie Johnson, executive director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota. Zenzen, Joul, and the AFP agree. Community accolades as a respected board member or notations on the resume will follow, observed Johnson. She also

suggested members respect each other’s passion. Sometimes, a member takes a board hostage, feeling that no one takes the mission “as seriously as I do.” A runaway, poorly educated, weak, or conflicted board can damage the organization. Address this issue by following an established Bad Apple Policy. This written

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PROUD OF

policy can retire a member who has a conflict of interest with the organization’s process and/or mission or a personal conflict with another board member. Get rid of the tension and rancor for the board’s wellbeing. Indicators of a well-run board are easily spotted. You’ll see happy organizational staff and committed board members working together toward the mission, said Zenzen. You’ll see trust in the organization by the greater community, said Joul. A commitment toward continuing improvement, teamwork, and a clear sense of priorities will also be apparent within a top-notch board. Most telling will be the positive results in dollars raised and people served. BC

YEARS

ON FOCUSED THE FUTURE

COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION | PROJECT MANAGEMENT | REAL ESTATE SERVICES 320-251-5933 | 888-678-7225 | StrackCompanies.com

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UPFRONT

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NETWORK CENTRAL

Network Central

Grow NETWORK Profıt Business After Hours at Brother’s Bar and Grill

Eric Heipel, Fresh Coat Painters

(from left) Wendi Clark, Express Employment Professionals; Tanja Goering, Pro Staff; Sheri Moran, Gabriel Media; and Julie Fischer and Mary Yager, Holiday Inn & Suites

Ennis Arntson, Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons (L) and Denny Smith, Dennis Smith Training & Development

Diane Ohmann, St. Cloud School District #742 and Dick Anderson, Holiday Inn & Suites

Waite Park Chamber After Hours at St. Cloud Overhead Door

Margaret Kotula, Home Instead Senior Care (L); April Diederich, Johnson, Carriar, Kruchten, Anderson & Associates and Chris Dolney, Facetime Business Resources

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

Jenifer Odette, Brandl Motors (L) and Kristen Berreau, St. Cloud Overhead Door


Network Central

Chamber Connection Gavel Change

Carolyn Bous, MacKenzie’s and John DeOtis, Shop Wise Magazine

Christine Hoffmann, Christine’s Sweet Confections, and Dan Stuttgen, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Jim McAlister, Tell-A-Vision Productions

James and Marcella Gammell, James M. Gammell Ushers

John Malikowski, Blooming Creations and Mary Dingmann, Alphay International

Dr. Bea Winkler, Pine Cone Pet Hospital, says good-by as chair of Chamber Connection.

Mike Nies, Nies Electric (L) and Terry Kritzeck, Andy’s Towing

Rod Oltz, Granite City Tire and Auto (L) and Erik Hanson, Thrivent Financial

Terry Voigt, Home Run Propane (L) and Rick Poganski, Principal Financial Group

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24 25 26 Management Toolkit

Going Green

28 Tech Strategies

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Tech News

Economy Central

BUSINESS TOOLS

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NETWORK

PROFIT

RESOURCES THAT HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW

management toolkit

Social Snooping Before you sneak a peek at an employment candidate’s Facebook page, make sure you’re not putting your company at risk of legal action. leave your company liable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) or various state and federal employment discrimination laws. That said, employers are on firmer ground if a jobseeker voluntarily provides a password than if they scope someone out via other methods, Doyle said.

By Kelley Burfeind

Y

ou likely went through some sort of screening to get your job. Maybe it was a skills test, a personality test, or both. Chances are you also went through a more informal “screening” process before you even made it to the interview: How neatly your resume was written, which questions you asked during your phone interview, or what the receptionist’s neighbor – who you supervised at your last job – remembered about your management style. Now it’s your turn to do some candidate screening, and if you’re like 91 percent of all other hiring managers and recruiters, you’ll use your old pal Google for help. But before you do, make sure you know which kind of social snooping can give you a sneak peek at a candidate’s qualifications, and which kind can put your company at risk for legal action. 24

The D Word In the last year, numerous companies have made headlines for asking employees or jobseekers to hand over Facebook passwords and other social media information. With no federal-level protection of jobseekers’ or employees’ privacy while social networking, technology has been able to outrun the law – so far. However, state legislators from coast to coast have started to take action by introducing legislation that aims to prohibit this type of activity – the main concern being not privacy, but discrimination. “Employers need to be careful because there are discrimination issues if the company selectively asks for information from some candidates, but not from all,” according to job search expert Alison Doyle. This includes any information that would

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

Safe Searching If you are still set on using a little “social snooping” as part of your applicant search, be smart – and be safe. Determine what kind of information you want to find. Do you truly need to poke around candidates’ Facebook profiles to deem them fit – or unfit – for your company? Instead, try looking on LinkedIn, where you can check whether the work experience on the candidate’s profile matches what’s listed on the resume, view recommendations from previous coworkers or supervisors, and even see if you have any professional contacts in common. If you do think a more involved social media search is necessary (read: anything beyond a LinkedIn scan), enlist an outside party, such as an employment attorney, who uses a predetermined set of guidelines to conduct the research. This will help protect you from any possibility of discrimination while also ensuring consistency – which is critical in avoiding any legal issues. BC

Kelley Burfeind is the Marketing Manager at Doherty Staffing.


management toolkit

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N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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BUSINESS TOOLS

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

G R OW

Management toolkit

Expanding Benefıts

Passage of the Marriage Amendment means employers should review their policies to ensure they are compliant with new regulations. By Jacqueline M. Schuh & Susanne J. Fischer

Employers’ obligations are expanded, including:

I

n May 2013, Minnesota became the 12th state to pass same-sex marriage legislation with its “Freedom to Marry Day” effective August 1st. The results is that samesex marriages are now legally recognized and same-sex spouses will be afforded the same legal protections and benefits offered to “traditional married couples.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June 2013, struck down as unconstitutional the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had prohibited the federal government from acknowledging marriages between same-sex couples. Although still early, these significant decisions will have wide impact, affecting hundreds of laws and regulations related to employment policies and employee benefits. For Minnesota employers, this means reviewing policies and practices. Employers should first review the definition of

26

“spouse” in their benefit plans to ensure the definition is compliant with the law and consistent with the employer’s intent. Under the new law, if the employer offers benefits to opposite sex spouses, then spousal provisions must apply to same-sex spouses in the same manner. Employers who currently provide benefits to samesex domestic partners will need to decide whether to continue those benefits or whether same-sex partners will need to marry to receive these benefits. For example, Mayo Clinic announced it will discontinue same-sex domestic partner benefits and partners must marry to get the benefits. Employers who continue to offer benefits only to unmarried same-sex domestic partners are almost certain to face legal claims under discrimination laws from unmarried heterosexual partners. Employers may decide to offer

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

benefits only to the individual employee. Some will likely do so, but most are predicted to review their current benefits to assure that the definitions are inclusive. If employees reside in states where same-sex marriages are not recognized, benefits would not be required. Employers may, however, offer benefits on a consistent basis to all employees, no matter where the employee resides. Remember, employers should not require proof of marriage from same-sex spouses because historically employers have not done so of heterosexual spouses. Although the impact is not crystal clear, employers need to take action to revise policies because employees, if they have not already, will be asking questions soon. BC Jacqueline M. Schuh and Susanne J. Fischer, are partners with Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A.

• Offer same-sex spousal benefits such as health, dental, vision, and life insurance. • Offer COBRA continuation coverage. • Employees will no longer have to pay income taxes on income from an employer’s contribution to a same-sex spouse’s health insurance. • Absences governed by federal law, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (50 or more employees), must be provided to same-sex spouses for job protected leaves. • Same-sex spouses will be protected from marital status discrimination under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. • Same-sex spouses now qualify for survivor and death benefits under IRA’s and pension plans.


going green

BY THE NUMBERS

Recycling may be good for the environment, but it’s not without its hazards.

Recycling is big business

While recycling is good for the environment, it can be dangerous for workers. Certain materials that are recycled or reused, such as scrap metal, electronics, batteries, and used oil and other chemicals, have materials that directly pose hazards to workers. In addition to those hazards, there are other types of hazards that are common across various types of recycling, such as traffic safety, moving machine parts, unexpected machine startup, lifting injuries, and slips, trips, and falls.

250 million tons

the amount of waste generated annually in the U.S.

83 million tons

Annually the U.S. recycles: 2.5 million tons of aluminum

the amount of waste recycled or composted in 2008

87 million tons

the amount of waste recycled or composted in 2011

4.4 pounds

the amount of individual waste per person that is recycled and composted per day

57%

the amount of yard trimmings that are composted per year

10 million tons of automobiles 56 million tons

of iron and steel

DID YOU KNOW? Since 1985 the percentage of waste recycled in the U.S. has doubled, and the trend is likely to continue.

N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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BUSINESS TOOLS

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

G R OW

tech Strategies

Reaching Out

2 Top Age Group With all the talk about Facebook not being “cool” anymore, it may be surprising to learn that the top user age group for the St. Cloud-area is those between 18 and 24 years old, with more than 28,000 in greater St. Cloud and 22,000 within a 10-mile radius of St. Cloud. They are followed by people between the ages of 2534, one of the fastest growing age segments on Facebook.

We all know Facebook has millions of users, but do we know what that means in the St. Cloud area? By Dawn Zimmerman

F

acebook has created one of the most robust and easily accessible online advertising platforms on the Web today. It connects with people where they are and leverages one of the most powerful marketing and communication tools since the beginning of time: word-ofmouth.

Facebook also has gained traction with more than 1 billion active users. Half of them log on every day and spend an average of an hour on the social network. One billion covers the world. The real question becomes how many Facebook users are engaged in our community? Or, more specifically, the question I often answer for businesses is how many

potential customers can I reach? Here’s a look at Facebook’s reach in our community:

1 Total Reach Currently there are nearly 100,000 people over the age of 18 in the St. Cloud area on Facebook. That reach more than doubles to 220,000 for users who have reported living within 50 miles of St. Cloud.

3 Gender Divide No matter the age group, there tends to be more women than men on Facebook. The gap widens with age. But that likely

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28

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

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By The NUMBERs will narrow with time as today’s Facebook users grow older. Women also tend to be more engaged on Facebook and are more likely to like, comment and share posts. That’s good news for businesses that depend on women to make buying decisions in their favor.

4 Keep Slicing Facebook’s system allows businesses to narrowly define a target segment to reach through an advertisement or promoted post. The opportunities extend beyond geographic location, relationship status and education to allow businesses to align their promotions with life

events and interests of users. For example, 1,900 local Facebook users reported becoming engaged in the past year and 3,200 are currently newlyweds who have been married less than a year. From who’s celebrating a birthday in the next week and who’s recently changed homes to who’s interested in sports, television or charity, Facebook gives businesses a glimpse into their targeted market. The good news for businesses is that Facebook then provides the tools to reach those potential customers through ads or sponsored stories to friends connected to current fans. BC

hop, skip,

Facebook’s Reach in the St. Cloud Area Here is the breakdown of St. Cloud-area users by age category and gender, according to an analysis by The Write Advantage in September: Age

Total Users

Women

Men

18-24

28,800

14,400

14,400

25-34

25,000

12,800

12,200

35-44

17,400

9,400

7,800

45-56

15,400

9,400

6,000

57+

13,000

8,200

4,400

About the writer Dawn Zimmerman is CEO of The Write Advantage, a St. Cloud-based communications company that specializes in helping organizations shape and share their stories.

and a

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6/3/13 12:03 PM

N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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BUSINESS TOOLS

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

G R OW

Telepods

It’s not teleportation, but it may be as close as we get. A Canadian researcher has created a Star Trek-like human-scale 3D videoconferencing pod that allows people in different locations to video conference as if they are standing in front of each other. The technology, developed by Dr. Roel Vertegaal and researchers at the Queen’s University Human Media Lab in Kingston, Ontario, is called TeleHuman and looks like something from the Star Trek holodeck.Two people simply stand in front of their own life-size cylindrical pods and talk to 3D hologram-like images of each other. Cameras capture and track 3D video and convert it into the life-size images. Watch a video of TeleHuman and BodiPod at www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com

By The NUMBERs

Bouncing Back

Minnesota’s economy grew at a robust rate in 2012 compared to the rest of the U.S.

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

4.0%

the St. Cloud metro area’s increase in GDP, putting it second in Minnesota and 50th among the 381 metro areas measured in the study

Source: Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

tech NEWS


tech NEWS

84 mpg

Elio Motors is setting out to change the face of motor vehicles A startup called Elio Motors is working to produce a line of three-wheeled cars that seat only two passengers: one in the front seat and one in the back. The sleeker design allows the car to get high gas mileage, according to founder Paul Elio, as high as 84 miles to the gallon on the highway. That means you can go from Detroit to New York City on a tank of gas – or drive from Shreveport LA to Dallas and back – then back to Dallas again – and still have about 110 miles left before a refill.

$253 billion

the total value of Minnesota’s GDP, ranking it 17th nationally

3.5%

Source: http://www.eliomotors.com/

the growth in Minnesota’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, tied for fifth place with California

4.9%

the unemployment rate in the Twin Cities in April 2013, ranking it the second lowest unemployment rate among major U.S. metropolitan areas

13.4%

North Dakota’s GDP growth in 2012, the fastest growing state economy in the U.S. Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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ECONOMY CENTRAL PRESENTED BY FALCON BANK

Economic Development WFSI receives MN Investment Fund loan

S

auk Rapids welding company WFSI, Inc. plans to expand its facility and add 32 new positions. The anticipated growth is due in part to receipt of a $200,000 loan to increase its welding and manufacturing business and buy major pieces of equipment, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

industry with a focus on the oil and gas, energy, and military markets. The company recently relocated from a 14,000 sq. ft. facility to the former Komo Machine building on Industrial Boulevard in Sauk Rapids. The larger 145,000 sq. ft. facility will allow the company to produce larger products, such as pressure vessels used in the oil industry.

The funding was awarded under the agency’s Minnesota Investment Fund – a resource for companies to add new workers and retain high-quality jobs statewide. WFSI currently employs about 45 people and plans to add the new positions over the next two years. Founded in 1983 in Sauk Rapids by William F. Scarince, WFSI is nationally recognized in the critical welding

Source: DEED

By The NUMBERs

Cost of Living The St. Cloud area experienced a below average cost of living during the first quarter of 2013. The “all items” index for St. Cloud was 94.0, or 6 percent below the national average of 100 for the quarter. That compares to an “all items” index of 94.7 in the same quarter a year ago.

First Quarter 2013

116

St. Paul, MN

108.4

Mankato, MN

G Se ood rv s/ ice s

T po ran rta stio n He Ca alt re h

Ut ili tie s

Ho us ing

G Ite roc m ery s

Al l It em s

108.8

97.8

111.8 102.7

111.7 99

105.7

97.7

109.2

113.9

111.5 97.9

106.2

99.2

109.1

92.7

96.5

78.2

94.4

100.1

101.6 98.7

Cedar Rapids, IA

89.8

83.5

78.0

103.1 95.8

96.6

Eau Claire, WI

90.0

90.1

74.0

90.1

108.1 96.3

Wausau, WI

93.6

89.2

81.7

103.4 99.5

101.4

94.8

103.2 98.5

Manhattan NY Brooklyn NY

218.9 173.0

Honolulu HI

174.6

San Francisco CA San Jose CA

250

Minneapolis, MN

93.3

200

75.3

150

101.7

100

94.0

50

St. Cloud, MN

ACCRA Index 0

Minnesota and other Upper Midwest Cities of Comparable Size to St. Cloud

Queens NY

159.5 152.8 153.7

Stamford CT

144.8

Washington, D.C.

140.9

Orange County CA

143.8

Among the 304 urban areas participating in the first quarter report, the after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in Manhattan, NY to almost 18 percent below the national average in Harlingen, TX.

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

32

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

Economy Central presented by


$16,000

N

M

J

J

$0

D

J

F

M

A

47

25

33

44

91 141 143 170 181

A

Economic Indicators Trends Sartell St. & Cloud

S

N

$0 J FA MS

D

AO MN JD

JJ

AF

M

J

J

$0

M

A

44

91 141 143 170 181

No. of 215 18 144 4145 5795 65 47 49 25 50 33 37 12permits 19 13

A

$2,287,838

$2,704,237

$2,054,485

Sartell Sauk Rapids

A

S

O

$0 D

N

AJ

SF

O M

N A

D M

J

permits No. of permits 43 36 No. 34 of16 7 127 3 105 4 97 12 37 16 12 150 19

FJ

M A

13 57

18 40

A

M

J

J

4

57

65

4

Compiled by SharonWaite Henry,Park data current as of 10/16/13 Sauk Rapids

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING RESIDENTIAL PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS

Commercial Building Permits

$2M

$2,021,194

$1.5M

$2,301,210 $2,359,750

$2,071,350 $2,284,500

$1.5M

$2,489,399

$2,434,500

$2,287,838

$2,704,237

$2,054,485

$2M

St. Cloud

St. Cloud

O

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING RESIDENTIAL PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS

Residential Building Permits

Sartell

S

Sauk Rapids Sartell

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING RESIDENTIAL PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS $2M

A

No. of permits 127 105 97

$2M

$1.5M

$1.5M

St. CloudWaite Park Sauk Rapids

Sartell

$2M

$2M

$1.5M

$1.5M

$1,743,345

$2,021,194

O

$2,359,750

S

$2,284,500

A

$2,434,500

$0

No. of permits 215 144 145 95

$1

Sartell St. Augusta Waite P Sauk Rapids

COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDA COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS,RESIDENTIAL CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, RESIDENTIAL CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED RESIDENTIAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL RESIDENTIA RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMIT

91 141 143 170 181

J

J

$.5M

$.5M

$1M $0 J F A MS AO MN J D J J A F

D

44

$1,743,345 S O N

A

D

$1,743,345 $0 J FA MS AO MN JD

JJ

$1.5M

Sauk Rapids Sartell

J

J

$.5M

$.5M

$0 M

18 40

4

$1M

$1M

$1M $0

$1M M J

J

A

57

49

50

65

$0 AO MN JAD

S

O

No. of permits 11 26

14

$.5M

St. Joe

$0 JM FJA

SF

O M

N A

D M

J

$1.5M

$1.5M

DA

SF

3 19of 4permits 0 57 140 12 77 No. 83of permits 54 12 3 16 3150No.

AJ

M N

$2000000 $0 $0 AF M AA SM O J NJ DA AJ

JD

N

JJ

$1500000

$1.5M

Sauk Rapids Sartell St. Augusta Waite Park $1,031,478

AF

M

$1M A M

54

12

16 150 19

$2000000

916

A O

JJ 83

$0

N M

JS

JD 77

916

$.5M

7No. 77 11 312 141 88 3 of81permits

J

315 of 6 72 2 31 No. permits 12 2 33 11

$1500000

St. Joe Waite Park Sauk Rapids

$1,031,478

$

$0 J S FJO M AN AD MJ JAF

$0 N A D MA

O M

J

$30,060

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL O AA

JA

$1M AO MN 34 7

$.5M

St. Joe

$24,200 $1M

$16,000

$6,375 $7,500

$1.5M

$1,031,478 $16,000

$0 N D J FA MS $2M No. 9 of1permits 2 443 36 2

34 722

A

AOF

A

MJS

M

JSJ

$1.5M

$.5M $6,375 $3M$7,500

$.5M

$.5M

$2M $2M $0 $0 FA MS FJ M A AA SM O J NJ DA J

$1.5M $.5M

$2,135,900

$5,412,980

F J $596,300 M A A

J

37 16 150 12 19 57 13

$4M

$17,172,684

$6,476,471

$8,024,900

$17,096,137

$2,021,194

$2,359,750

$6,362,170

$1M N A M D

$0 O N D A J S F M O $2M No. permits 34 of16 7 127 3 105 4 97 12

$1.5M

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL

St. CloudWaite Park Sauk Rapids

Sartell

$16,000 $3M

$1.5M

St. Augusta St. Augusta

$16,000

$0 D

$2,284,500

$0 A S $2M No. of permits 43 36

A

$4M

$.5M

48 39 38 30 No. 35 of40 39 28 38 No. 22 of16 749 of3permits 140 No. 3 of 45 6permits 343 11 716 26 523 14630 No. permits permits 13 18 50 8 43 36 permits 43 36 34 7 127 3 105 4 97 12 37 16 12 150No.19of permits 57 40 124 7 57 8 65 No. 935 of140 2 428 2

F

No. of 215 18 144 4145 5795 65 47No. 25of permits 33 44 4091 4814145143 43 170 16 181 23 37 12permits 19 13 49 50

$3M

91 141 143 170 181

$1M

of permits 127 105 97

$.5M

$1M A M

M

RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL $2M $2M $0 AF M AA SM O J NJ DA J

$4M

$2,434,500

$5,412,980

$6,476,471 $2,287,838

$2,054,485 $6,362,170 $2,704,237 N

$1.5M

No. of 37 12permits 19 13 215 18 144 4145 5795 65 47 4925 50 33

Waite Park Waite Park

TS BUILDING PERMITS AL $0

$17,096,137

$0 A S O $2M No. of permits 127 105 97

A

apids

$3M

$1.5M

$.5M

$2M

$2M

$10,496

$1M A M

44

$4M

$.5M

$5M $1,743,345$1M $596,300

$2M $1M

$2M

$2M

$10,496

$1M

M

$2,021,194

$2,301,210 $2,359,750

$2,071,350 $2,284,500

$1.5M

$2,489,399

$2,434,500

$1.5M

$5M $1M

$5M $1,743,345$1M

$2M

$2M

$1M

$17,172,684

$5M $1M

$2M

$2M

St. Augu

BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS TS,RESIDENTIAL CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING COMMERCIAL PERMITS, RESIDENTIAL CONSOLIDATED BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING COMMERCIAL PERMITS, BUILDING CONSOLIDATED PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING COMMERCIAL PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLID RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL RESIDENTIAL RESIDENTIAL $596,300

$2M $1000000

$2M

$2000000

$1000000$2M

J

A

$0$1M A

S

8

5

No. of permits 12

8

45

2

9

7

150

$4M $1M

$1.5M $.5M

$.5M

$.5M

M D

J

M

A

28

0

1

$2,224,021

$8,024,900

$2M $1M M J 16

9

NM

8

$1.5M $.5M

$30,060

$0

$1M $0 N DA A M

$1M $0 AD MJ JAF

M JS

M N

No. 12 8 12 73 of81permits 77 11 3 141 31 No. 3 15 of permits 62 33 11 72 26 50 1461

916

O M

JS

F JO M AN

S

O

32

33No.22 12 1245 1132 1133 522 1712 of permits 150 $800k

N

$.5M

$30k

St. Joe

$53,545 $24,200

39

28

38

22

No. of permits 3

3

N FA

D M

M AN 16 1 5

150 $.5M

8 $1M $24,200= exceeds $0

M $0

J

J

A

S

No. of permits 3

3

$0 0.6

chart scale

O

$0 D

N

J A

J $1M F

D

M

J

J

31 31 $800k

6

3

7

5

0

A

$0 $1MJ

MA A S MO J N J D A J $0 A S

F

M

A

A

N

D

M J $0 J FA

J

O

MS

AO

N M

No. of permits 16 12

12

No. 7 of 4permits 7 37

34

38

4

6 $800k

$120k

$411,094

3.5

$200k $10,404 $1,200 $90k

ST. CLOUD

ST. CLOUD

XXXX

CLOUD

05

0.0

50

$1.5M

ST. CLOUD

$600k

$350k

$30k 1.5

$.5M

$800k

F S

M O

A N

M D

73

81

7

11 3 141 8

J

-0.4 A -0.6S

J F

31

50

$0

O

A M A -0.8 13 6 -1.0

N

D

J

M

J

J

3

7

5

F A

0

MA A S MO J N J D A J $0 $60k A S No. of permits 16 12

6

F

100 M A

J

A

O

N

MS

AO

MN

12

7 of 4permits 7 No. 37

4 3

8 3

44

F

M

A

M

2

J

J $30k A

S

O

N

D

JD0.5 JJ 31

80

0.0

50

FA

01

03

$250k

J

A

S

O

N

AF

M

A

M

83

1

7

11 141

J

0

DA -0.6 JS J 3

A -0.8 1

$200k

FO MN AD MJ $150k $0

JF

M

M

A

M

31

80 83 $800k

1

7

11 141

3rd Quarter

4th quarter

J

J

A

3

1

FO MN

0$120k 0

0

J

A

2

1

3

A

S

O

0

1

1 of permits 0 0 16 0 120 No.

M A M 2nd Quarter

J

J $30k A

$200k

S

O

JM

A

S

O

No. of permits 1

0

1

M N

D

J J A $0 J AF

No. 1 of permits 0 0 16 0 1

COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMIT COMMERCIA $1M

$1M

$0

A

S

30 No. of permits 4

O

COUNTRY WIDE

$0 J

$600k

2.0% AF

1.5$30k

SM

8%

J

A

S

O

$0 D

N

A O

M N

DJ

JJ

FA

M

A

M

J

0.5J

120

70

24

17

73

4

8

4

3

8

0

0.0

JJ

AF

SM

OA

$200k

N M $0

DJ

JJ

F

M

$1,200

A

S

$150k $0M J O N D J AF S

No. 6% of permits 4

6

11 No.7 of permits 4 1 11 0

A 8

J

1

XXXX 1.1%

$200k

1.0

J

$250k

N/A

$200k

$53,545

10

2.5%

$600k

$350k

OA NM DJ JJ FA M A M $300k $400k 2.0 11 No.7 4 1 4 1 610 116 719 41 18 15 10 $400k of permits 6 19

6

$100k

ST. CLOUD

10%

N $60k D

$800k

3.1% Food & Be Unemployment Rates

2.5

$0

N

$800k

$200k 3.0$90k

20 $50k

No. of permits 1

-1.0 J F 1st Quarter

JF A

$120k

$150k

$.5M

A

AD MJ $0

$800k

3.5

50

$250k

J

M J J A $0 N $60k D J M AF S

$100k

JM

Unemployment Rates Unemployment Non Farm JobsRates $50k

Food & Beverage Collections ax Dollars Food Tax & Beverage Tax Collections St. Augusta Unemployment St. Joe CLOUD ST. CLOUD St. Augusta ST.Rates St. Joe 2012-2013 J

$0

M J $0 J FA

D

-0.4

1.0

0 N $1M DA JS

O

AF

$200k 40

XXXX JJ

$1M A M

$.5M

$300k 2012/13$400k QUARTERLY % CHANGE IN REAL GDP STEARNS $400k COUNTY

$425,000 $150k

2.5%

0.4 $0 O M NJ D J J A AF SM OA NM DJ $300k 0.2 $400k 117 No. 1 1of permits 017 0101 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 02

S A

S

JJ

Lodging Dollars Food & Beverage Tax Tax Collections

0.8 $200k $10,404 ST. $1,200 0.6 100

2.0%

$.5M

1.0

150

3.1%

$1,200

Gross Domestic Product Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions

$2M

UNITED STATES - MONTHLY % CHANGE 2012/13$400k QUARTERLY % CHANGE $400k IN REAL GDP

$1.5M $500000 $53,545

$200k

$600k COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, BUILDING CONSOLIDATED $600k COMMERCIAL PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED $425,000 $350k $150k

200

$1M

$411,094

$1.5M $500000 $53,545

$425,000

Lodging Dollars Food & Beverage Tax Tax Collections St. Joe St. Augu ST. CLOUD ST. CLOUD

Gross Domestic United ProductStates Nonfarm Jobs

$1000000$2M

A

JD

2 -0.2 -0.2 Building departments $53,545 Sources: for the following cities: St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Waite Park, St. Augusta, and St. Joseph. $90k $24,200 1.1% $200k $90k $1,200 0

3 of 4permits 1 412 0 No.

3 141 8 11

N

A

200 $150k 6 2.5 0.4 $0 $0 $0$1M $0 $0$1M A JD JJ AF M AA SM OJ NJ DA J AF SM OA NMA DJ S JJ O FA NM DA JM A F J F A M J S JM OAA N M D J J$60k 0.2 permits No. of 7 of permits 48 74 16 7 12 4 4332 7833 7No. 822 of 1 No. of4$120k permits 92 No. 213 of 8 128 124 45 11 12.0 17 1110 11 128 745 4 permits 3 3211 8 33 85 2217 12 2 0 16 1 12 16 129 No. 21 12permits 150 0.0 50

Employment

A

77

O

M A

$2,224,021 $3,397,262

$30,060

6

100 M A

FJ

Sales Closed3.0- Total Lodging TaxHome Dollars

$.5M 8

100

$0 FA M AJ M JS JAO 10 $2M 1 3 7 12 531 of 12permits 2 141 3permits 411 8141 1 1203 No. 73 11 31 12 80 12 O JJ

81

$1M A S

J

$26,995

12

73

$2,224,021

$8,024,900

$2,135,900

$3M

$.5M 0.8

$10,496

$0

$0 $1M AM D SJ SM OA N

D M

$150k

$1000000$2M

$1M

1.0

150

$4M

$.5M

200

N A

$26,995

$1M

Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions ome Sales Closed - Total

CLOUD

O M

$600k COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED $425,000 $600k COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED

12

United States Nonfarm Jobs

$30,060 BENTON $0 COUNTY

SF

No. 3 of 4permits 1 12 0 $1500000

UNITED STATES - MONTHLY10% CHANGE

$24,200

0 AJ

$343,111.15

200

$5M $1M

$.5M$1.5M

A$2000000 $0 O N D

$25,000

$1500000

$1.5M

COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED $1M $2M

S

Home Sales Closed Sheriff - Total ’s Foreclosure Auctions Lodging TaxHome Dollars Sales Closed - Total Waite Park Sauk Rapids ST. CLOUD St. Augusta Waite Park ST. CLOUD BENTON COUNTY ST. CLOUD $1.5M

$1,031,478

J

A

$1.5M $.5M $0

MS

St. Joe

$3,269,962

40

J

$3,269,962

35

M $0

A

$3,397,262

630

J

$3,269,962

716 523

F$2000000 M A

$2M J D

N J

$3,397,262

343

O

M

$26,995

$1,031,478

45 6

S A

$25,000

$1.5M

A

M

$25,000

No. 7 of3permits 8 140 48 3

0

$2,135,900

8

AF

$2,475,200

$1.5M

JJ

$2,475,200

7

e Auctions Sauk Rapids Sartell

AO MN JD

$2,224,021 $2,475,200

N

$2,135,900

O

$2,135,900

of permits 12

D

$0 J FA MS

S

$2,224,021

$2M

$2M A

J

17

$0 COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS,BUILDING CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL PERMITS, CONSOLIDA

TS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS,BUILDING CONSOLIDATED ESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BUILDING PERMITS AL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS RESIDENTIAL $2M $0

5

50 2

$1,777,934

$0

$2M $1M A M

AM

$1M $0 $0 AO MN A JD S JJ OAF NM DA JMA F JS $400k of permits 127 12 11 78 of 4permits 37No. 34 38 44 45 31 32 80 33No. 83 22 11 of1permits 19 No.21 2 of permits 48 2 167 129 127 No. 5 7 12 14 8

$.5M

$.5M

St. Augusta St. Augusta

St. Joe

$24,200 $1M

$10,496

2

$10,496

$1M

$1M

JF

112 $411,094 1711 1011

$600k

$0 $0 FA M AA SM O J NJ DA J

$2,475,200

Waite Park Waite Park St. Joe

St. Augusta St. Augusta apids

JJ

$500000 $53,545 $24,200

$.5M

100

JJ$60kFA

DJ

50 $.5M

$1M $1000000 FS MO AN MD

$0$1M D JA

A

$90k $6,375 $7,500

A AO

S F

$1M $0

No. of permits 45 $120k

$596,300 A

J 21

6

100

$1M $0 $0 $0 A AA SM O J NJ DA J F A MS AO MN JAD JSJ AOF M

J F

FA

321

$0

$0 $0 $0 DA JM FA J MS J AO A MN JD JJ AF M AA SM O J NJ DA A J $2M 4 permits 16 150 19 57 935 of140 239 443 238 34 722 916 7 7 No. 8 3of permits 54 12 3 16 3150No. 749 of3permits 140 No. 48 3 of 45 6 343 11 716 26 523 14630 No. 28 36 3 19of 4permits 0 permits 37 12 No. 19of permits 13 40 184124 7 57 8 65 No. 50 8 57 140 12 A N

M

JJ

$1.5M $.5M

8

$24,200 $1M

$16,000

$6,375 $3M$7,500

6

$0 $0 S O J F A M A J J A N D A S M O $2M $2M No. permits 34 7 127 3 105 4 97 12 35 of 40 39 43 28 36 38 No. 22 of16 permits

$2M $1M $0 O N D J AF SM OA NM DJ 10 12 No.5 of permits 2$2M3 122 8 0 121 516 29

$1

COMMERCIA COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMIT

$150k

$3,745

$596,300 FA M A

28

$2,135,900

$5,412,980

$5M $1M M J

7

JJ

COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED 200

$1,777,934

17

$1.5M

$10,404

$3,745

8

$1M

99

$411,094 $1500000

$1.5M $500000

$2,135,900

$2M $1M NM DJ

CONSOLIDATED$3M 12

$1,031,478 $0

$30,060

$0

$1.5M $500000

$343,111.15

OA

14 No. 9 of permits 1 $2M 2 114 262 147

$30,060

$1.5M

$2,475,200

SM

$17,172,684

$6,476,471

$8,024,900

$6,362,170

$17,096,137

AF

$6,375 COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, COMMERCIAL PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED $7,500 BUILDING 200

$1.5M

$.5M

$2,224,021

$0 J

D

$1.5M $.5M

$10,496

N

$4M

Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions Sales Closed - Total Home Sales Closed - Total Lodging TaxHome Dollars BENTON COUNTY ST. CLOUD ST. CLOUD Waite Park Sauk Rapids ST. CLOUD St. Augusta Waite P

$8,024,900

$3M

O

$1.5M

$2,135,900

$16,000 $3M

$0 A S $2M 10 11 26 No. of permits

$1.5M

$10,496

$.5M

40

$17,172,684

$.5M

A

$5,412,980

$4M

$4M

J 57

$6,476,471

J

16 150 19

$8,024,900

$5M $1M A M

M

440 12

$6,362,170

FA

$17,096,137

JJ

$.5M

$6,375 $7,500 CONSOLIDATED$3M

12

$5M$1M OA NM DJ

SM

$2,021,194

$.5M

COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED $3M

150 719 357 3612 3416 16

$4M

Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions Sartell BENTON COUNTY Sauk Rapids

St. Cloud

$16,000

$2,359,750

$4M

$2,284,500

Sartell

$1.5M

$2,434,500

$5,412,980

$17,172,684

$411,094 $1.5M

$2M

$1,777,934

$596,300

$2M

$5M $1M $1,743,345

$1M$2M

$2M

$2,475,200

$2M

$5M $1M

$25,000

$5M $1M $1,743,345

$2M

$3,745

$2M

A

$100k

Minnesota Nonfarm Jobs Minnesota Nonfarm Jobs $50k

D

A

S

O

N

D

J 3rd FQuarter M A 4th M quarter J J

1st A Quarter

2nd Quarter

N/A

COUNTRY WIDE MINNESOTA - MONTHLY % CHANGE - MONTHLY % CHANGE COUNTRY WIDE MINNESOTA 2012-2013 % CHANGE COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED 2.0 10% 2.0 10% 0 0 $0 $0 0$1M $0 $0 4% $1M F M A M J J A J J A J J J F M A M J J J A AS A S O N D 10% J $1M F MA A S MO J N J D A J J A S O N $1M DA JS FO MN AD MJ JF JM A M J A S O N D JJ AF SM OA NM DJ JJ F M A M 2.0% 1.5 1.5 $300k NGE 2012/13 QUARTERLY % $300k CHANGE UNITED IN STATES REAL GDP - MONTHLY % CHANGE STEARNS COUNTY2012/13 QUARTERLY % CHANGE IN REAL GDP STEARNS COUNTY MINNESOTA 3.5 3.5 1.5% 1.0 50 50 1.0 $200k 1.0 $800k $800k $800k $800k $250k $250k 3.1% 3.1% 8% 8%1.0% 0.8 0.5 0.5 3.0 3.0 . CLOUD COUNTRY WIDE MINNESOTA - MONTHLY % CHANGE ST. CLOUD ST. CLOUD ST. CLOUD COUNTRY WIDE ST. CLOUD $200k $200k 0.6 40 40 $600k $600k $425,000 $600k $600k $425,000 0.5% 2.0 $350k 2.5% $150k 10% $150k 0.0 $350k 2.5% 200 8% $150k 10% 0.0 2.5 2.5 0.4 $150k $150k 0.0% 1.5 -0.5 2.0% 2.0%MINNESOTA -0.5 $300k $300k COUNTY UNITED STATES - MONTHLY % CHANGE QUARTERLY % CHANGE6% IN STEARNS MINNESOTA /13 QUARTERLY % CHANGE STEARNS BENTON AND STEARNS COUNTY 0.2 30 REAL GDP 30 $400k $400k COUNTY2012/13$400k $400k IN REAL GDP 6% 2.0 2.0 $120k $120k $100k $100k 3.5 1.0 50 3.5 50 $200k 1.0 $100k-1.0 -0.5% $200k 150 0.0 -1.0 $250k $250k 3.1% 3.1% 0.8 1.5 1.5 8% St. Cloud 8% St. Cloud N/A N/A 20 20 $50k $200k $50k -0.21.1% $200k 0.5 $200k $200k -1.0% 3.0 6% $1,200 -1.5 Paul 3.0 -1.5 1.1%Minneapolis/St. Paul Minneapolis/St. $90k $1,200 $90k 0.8 $200k $200k Minnesota Minnesota 0.6 40 40 -0.4 1.0 1.0 $150k $150k 2.5% 4% 2.5% $0 United States United States 0.0 $500k 100 -1.5% 4% -2.0 $0 -2.0 2.5 2.5 F M A M J J J F AM SA OM NJ D J A S O N D M OA NM DJ JJ F M A 0.4 J A S O N D -0.6 J F M A M10 J J J F A M S A O M N J D J M J J JJ AF SM OA NM DJ JJ F M A M J J A S O N 10 J $0 $150k$0 $150k $0 $0 0.6 St. Cloud $60k A S O N D J FA MS AO M A S O N $60k D J FA MS AO M N JD J0.5 J AF M A M J J A N JD JJ AF M A M J 0.5 J A 2.0% 2.0% -0.5 Minneapolis/St. P -2.0% 0.2 30 30 -0.8 No. of permits 6% 6% 2.0 2.0 permits 1 0 1 No. 1 of 0permits 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 3 4 6 11 7 4 1 1 10 6 19 1 8 5 No. of permits 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 3 6 11 7 4 1 1 10 6 19 1 8 5 Rochester $100k $100k $100k $100k 0.0 0.4 -1.0 $0 50 0.0 -1.0 0 0.0-2.5% 0 4% A S O N D J F M A M J J $30k A S O N D J 3rdFQuarter M A 4th M quarter J J 1st A Quarter S AO M N JD JJ AF M A M J J 3rd Quarter 4th quarter 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 2nd Quarter A S O N D J FA M $30k 1.5MA S JO N JD 1.5 St. CloudA A S O N D J F M M J J A N/A A S O N D J F $50k M A A N/A -0.2 20 20 $50k -1.5 Minneapolis/St. Paul 1.1% 1.1% J

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Minnesota Nonfarm JobsNonfarm Jobs Minnesota A

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oss Domestic United ProductStates Nonfarm Jobs

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$343,111.15

$3,397,262

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Gross Domestic United ProductStates Nonfarm Jobs

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arm Jobs

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OMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING $350k PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED $350k

2nd Quarter

$0

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St.Rapids Cloud Sartell Sauk Rapids Waite Park St. Augusta St. Cloud Sauk Sartell Sauk Rapids COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, United States Nonfarm Jobs Gross Domestic Product Product Creation AL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOL COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS,BUILDING CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED COMMERCIAL BUILDING PERMITS, CONSOLIDATED heriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions Median Housing Prices Local Nonfarm Jobs Home Sales Closed Total Lodging Tax Dollars Unemplo Food & Beverage Tax Collections UNITED STATES 2012/13 QUARTERLY % CHANGE IN REAL GDP BUSINESSES CREATING IN LAST YEAR TEARNS COUNTY ST.Lodging MINNESOTA BENTON NEW ANDPRODUCTS STEARNS COUNTY - MONTHLY % CHANGE CLOUD ST. CLOUD COUNTRY WIDE ST. CLOUD Tax Dollars Unemployment Rates Minneso Food & Beverage Tax Collections 3.5 0.8%

$10,496

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$250k

$100k $2M

$4M

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$1.5M BENTON AND STEARNS COUNTY - MONTHLY %0.6% CHANGE

$120k $300k

$1M $90k 100$150k

0.8

Local Nonfarm Jobs $2,135,900 $5,412,980

$3M

$350k

$6,476,471

$17,096,137

$150k

MONTHLY % CHANGE $5M

1.0

$10,496

30

$1.5M

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$3M

$4M

$17,172,684 $6,362,170

150 $120k $200k

$17,096,137

$8,024,900

MINNESOTA

40

$4M

$6,476,471

Median Housing Prices

$6,362,170

$150k

$2M

$5M

ST.$150k CLOUD

$200k

$8,024,900

$5M

$2M

$5M

ST.200CLOUD

50

Sources: Minnesota Compass led4% by Wilder Research; Bureau of Economic Analysis - www.BEA .gov.

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Gross Domestic Product Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions Median Housing Prices Local No QUARTERLY % CHANGE IN REAL GDP STEARNS COUNTY MINNESOTA BENTON AND ’s Foreclosure Auctions Median Housing Local Nonfarm Jobs Sheriff ’s Foreclosure AuctionsPrices Home Sales Closed - Total Lodging TaxRates Dollars les Closed 2012/13 - Sheriff Total Lodging Tax Dollars Unemployment Food & Beverage Tax Collections Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions Home Sales Closed Total Lodging Tax Dollars STEARNS COUNTY MINNESOTA BENTON AND STEARNS COUNTY MONTHLY % CHANGE BENTON COUNTY ST. CLOUD ST. CLOUD 3.5 $200k 2.5 40 2.0

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Cedar Rapids, IA did not make the list. Minneapolis/St. Paul at #23 and Duluth at #115 made the list for Best Large Cities for Business and Careers. Forbes used 12 metrics to create the list including job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income growth over the past five years, educational attainment

10

-0.6

-1.0

0.2 0.0

he St. Cloud area came in at #55 when Forbes released their 2013 list of Best Small Places for Business and Careers. That was behind Mankato at #10 and Rochester at #35. No other mid-sized Minnesota cities were included in the top 200 listing. Of the regional cities included in the Cost of Living survey Eau Claire, WI was #60, and Wausau, WI was #162. 2nd Quarter

D

A S O N D J -0.2 0 A S O N D J F M AJ M F J M J A A M J F AM S A OM N J D J J A F M A M J J

2012/13 QUARTERLYMINNESOTA % CHANGE IN REAL GDP 3.5 3.5 $200k

0.8

0.8

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1st Quarter

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

N

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4th quarterA

Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auc Local Nonfarm Jobs Sheriff ’s Foreclosure Auctions STEARNS COUNTY

STEARNS COUNTY BENTON AND STEARNS COUNTY - MONTHLY % C 50

50

3.1%

3.0

(college and$150k high2.5school) 2.5% 2.5 and projected economic 2.0% 2.0% 2.0 2.0 growth through 2014. $100k 1.5 1.5 gave the most weight They 1.1% to 1.0 business$500k costs1.0and educational attainment in 0.5 0.5 the overall ranking. 0.0 $0 0.0 “Quality of life often is overemphasized compared to operating costs and conditions,” says Jerry Szatan, a site selection consultant based in Chicago. “Education measures are always good. One of the fundamental building blocks in economic development is smart people.” Source: Forbes D

St. Cloud $30k Minneapolis/St. Paul Rochester

$30k

N/A

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Rochester

A N

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United States Gross Domestic Product SheriffNonfarm ’s Foreclosure Auctions Jobs Gross Domestic Median Housing Prices United States Jobs Nonfarm Product UNITED STATES - MONTHLY % CHANGE 2012/13 QUARTERLY % CHANGE IN REAL GDP

St. Cloud makes Forbes annual ranking for Best Small Places for Business and Careers 1.1%

4th quarter

0.0

0.4

Sources: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud Incorporations - MN Secretary of State, Graph courtesy of SCSU

Housing/Real Estate sources: St. Cloud Area Association of Realtors, http://stcloudrealtors.com/pages/statistics; Benton County Sheriff’s Civil Process; Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Office; http://thething.mplsrealtor.com/

ERLY % CHANGE IN REAL GDP

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ST. CLOUD BENTON COUNTY

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3rd Quarter 4th quarter S1st Quarter O N D2ndJQuarter F M

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Overall Ranking

10

35

40

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10 St. Cloud Minneapolis/St. Paul Rochester

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Mankato

Rochester

St. Cloud

Now online

Check out the list and more details about each of the included cities at BusinessCentralMagazine.com.

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M S

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SMALL BUSINESS LOANS BIG BUSINESS AWARD 2013 MBFC SBA Lender of the Year.

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The Kids from st. cloud In 1982 cousins Mark and Dave Traut were the youngest licensed drillers in Minnesota, struggling to establish themselves. Today their diversified list of services helped them skip the Great Recession. By Gail Ivers // Photos by Joel Butkowski

lls Mark J. Traut We

ll in 1998. ir first sonic dri purchased the One of the company’s early drilling rigs.

36

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013


“Dave’s Baby ” Mark Traut (fo reground) refers Dave Traut (ba to their newest ckground) uses technology as this powerful ca well problems “Dave’s Baby.” mera to investig for clients. ate any number of

NNOOVVEEMMBBEERR/ /DDEECCEEMMBBEERR 22001133 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

37


Mark and Dave TRaut had nothing to lose. They were about to be unemployed. The company they worked for was liquidating. If they started their own business and it failed, they would be no worse off.

Mark

Mark Traut grew up in the well drilling business. His father Marvin, and Marvin’s twin brother Melvin, started Traut Well Drilling Inc. in 1959. “I had my first smashed finger from a drill when I was 11 years old,” Mark said. “I used to go out with my dad to jobs —I’ve always liked the business and being out in the field.” In 1976 Mark officially joined the company part time as a rig tender while he was still in high school. When he graduated in 1979 he became a full time employee, taking over his first rig by the age of 19. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Traut Well Drilling was on a fast growth track. In 1976 the company moved from Lincoln Ave. in St. Cloud to a new building in Waite Park. “They bought five...six...seven drill rigs. They had all these employees and kept adding more,” Mark said. Their receivables started to get out of control. And then the economy stopped. The farm economy, the residential building economy, everything that Traut Well Drilling, had been counting on to build their business came to a halt. Mark’s father was forced to liquidate. Mark was 22 years old.

Dave

Dave Traut grew up on a dairy farm, next door to his second cousin, Mark. It was a working farm and Dave was up early every day doing chores. In 1976, after graduating from high school, he did odd jobs to make a little money while

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waiting to start school at the University of Minnesota-Morris to study engineering. Then his dad fell ill. “As the oldest boy I pretty much had to stay home and run the farm,” Dave said. When his father recovered and was able to return to farming, Dave found work at a different dairy farm, essentially doing refrigeration. Then he was contacted by his father’s cousin. Marvin Traut owned a well drilling company and wanted someone to work in water treatment. In Dave’s background of odd jobs, was experience with water treatment. In 1977 Dave started working at Traut Well Drilling, but instead of doing water treatment, he found himself in the field. “That ended up being a good deal,” Dave said. “I learned lots of different things from how to drill a well to how to fix a pump. It was good training.” In 1979 Dave moved into the office as a dispatcher. In 1982, Marvin Traut declared bankruptcy and the company’s assets were sold at auction. Dave was 24 years old.

Too Stupid for College

As the business was shut down, Mark’s dad asked him about his plans. “I told him ‘I don’t know, I suppose I’ll go to college. That’s what all my friends are doing’,” Mark said. “He asked me what I’d study, and I didn’t know. He told me ‘You’re too stupid to go to college. You should be a well driller. That’s what you are.’” Mark and Dave started talking. Maybe they could start their own, small well drilling company. “We won’t have a job tomorrow, anyway,” Mark

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

This hose reel is an example of a piece of equipment the Traut staff built to help reduce workplace injuries.

recalled saying. “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” “The worst thing they could do is take everything I had,” Dave said. “We were young. We didn’t have much. We just felt like ‘Why not give it a try?’” In August 1982 the cousins started Mark J. Traut Wells, Inc. as 50-50 owners. They went to the auction and bought some of the equipment that had belonged to Mark’s dad. They purchased their current property, but waited to put up a building. Instead they rented space in the back of the McKay’s Family Dodge building. “The building right next door to us now, it used to be the Treasure Chest Thrift Store, that was where my dad’s business was,” Mark said. “When the business was liquidated, McKay’s bought it from the bank and turned it into their showroom and dealership. We rented space at the back. We had to wait for them to open every day before we could get into the building.” Watching the demise of Traut Well Drilling had been a good lesson for the cousins. They saw some good business activity, but they saw lots of bad decisions and vowed not to make the same mistakes. They agreed to a set of ground rules. “We never wanted more than one drill rig, three service trucks and 10-12 employees,” Dave said. “We


Water testing is one of the services provided by Traut. Sue Fish, says water testing has increased significantly this year as residential housing sales recover from the recession.

at a glance Mark J. Traut Wells, Inc. address: 141 28th Ave. S Waite Park, MN 56387 320-251-5090 Fax: (320) 259-0594 Website: www.trautwells.com

“We were young. We didn’t have much. We just felt like ‘Why not give it a try?” –Mark Traut, Mark J. Traut Wells, Inc.

Owners: Mark and Dave Traut own the business equally Board of Directors: Mark Traut, Dave Traut, and Controller Joan Ritter Number of employees: 50-55, depending on the season

figured that’s what we could handle.” “And never more than $40,000 or $45,000 in accounts receivable,” Mark said. They both laughed. “And we figured a good revenue number was $1 to $1.5 million. That was it. That’s what we were going to do.” By way of comparison, Mark said, “last year we had one job that was $1.4 million.”

The Kids from St. Cloud

The two struggled to establish themselves as a unique company, separate from the now defunct Traut Well Drilling. “We had worked for my dad,” Mark said. “People didn’t care that he went out of business. They saw me and said you drilled my well, you fix it. So we covered lots of warranty issues that didn’t really belong to us, but it was what we needed to do.” “We were cash only for some vendors for awhile,” Dave added.

“There was a debt with the phone company for the other business,” Mark said. “The phone company said if we would pay the bill they would give us the same phone number. So we did that.” “We worked really hard in the summer, lost money all winter, and hoped we had enough in the spring to start up again,” Dave said. At the time the company provided residential and irrigation wells and water treatment. That was it. “We saw Mark’s dad do only residential drilling – that’s feast or famine and that’s no fun. So we started asking ‘What can we do to be busy in winter?’ The answer was work with municipalities. They shut down in winter for repair and maintenance, which was just what we needed.” In 1982 the Trauts were the youngest licensed drillers in Minnesota. They started pursing municipal bids, particularly in the Twin Cities. The

Business Size: 130 pieces of field equipment; 13,000 square feet and eight overhead doors, plus an out building and a mobile camera unit. Divisions: Commercial/municipal drilling; residential and agricultural drilling; lawn sprinkling; water treatment; environmental/mining drilling; well service 2012 revenue: $11-$13 million

competition did not embrace their efforts. “People would say ‘You can’t trust those young kids from St. Cloud,” Mark said. “That’s how we were known. The kids from St. Cloud. I think it made us more aggressive.”

What Recession?

Following their successful, if challenging, entrance into municipal well work, the

N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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personal profiles

Mark Traut, President, Mark J. Traut Wells AGE: 53

Hometown: Sartell

Education: K-12

Work History: Worked in uncles’ farms, part time jobs during school, summers during school at Traut Well Drilling                                             Family: Parents Marvin and Marcy Traut, four sisters and three brothers Hobbies: Riding motorcycle, 4-wheeling, pontooning, snowmobiling, collecting (especially red wing crocks), auctions, garage sales, playing cards, meeting people

Trauts started looking for another avenue to expand their business. In 1995 they started doing environmental work. This was about the time when concern over ct: a F n u F groundwater safety was beginning to Best advice you’ve received escalate. Many underground gas tanks and who gave it to you: Treat people Traut built how you want to be treated. My Mother that had been in use for years were a water starting to leak and both government pump for the agencies and business owners needed to g in k a m learn the extent of the problem. snow “We would drill down to the water David Traut, industry. and take a sample. Oil floats on water. If Vice president, you take a sample you can do testing,” Mark J. Traut Wells Dave said. “We did this all over the Midwest. There were some other AGE: 57 Hometown: Sartell companies doing it, but it wasn’t as hard Education: K-12 to get into as municipalities were.” Work History: Worked on family dairy and hog farm. After graduation in 1975, installed Their on-going environmental work automated farm equipment and refrigerated bulk milk tanks; also worked for a water led them into the world of fracking. Frac treatment dealer doing water softeners and iron filter installations. Started working for sand is a high-purity quartz sand with Mark‘s dad in 1977 in the trenches installing water lines and hand driving sand point wells.                                       very durable and very round grains that is Family:  Wife Judy, and four children critical to the fracking process. The Trauts Hobbies: Hunting, fishing, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, and hiking in the hills drill for core samples so their customers can evaluate the quality of the sand. Advice to a would-be entrepreneur:  Decide what you like to do that gives you Again, convincing customers that a feeling of accomplishment, and yet challenges you. Then always continue to learn about they could do the job was not easy. A your career choice. You will be a standout in your field and many new doors will open, taking you far beyond your original goal! company that wanted to mine frac sand, but couldn’t get an adequate core sample Best advice you’ve received and who gave it to you: Formal education and for testing, contacted them. The company self-education are great. However, in the end, it will be up to you to open your tool box and make or build your life, your career, and your relationships with these tools. A VERY wise was skeptical that the Trauts could do teacher! better than the other drilling companies they had tried. “I said we’d do it for free, just to show them what we could do. The first day it didn’t go as well as I thought it should Fun Fact: have,” Dave said. “But when we were done the customer was so happy he paid us for that job and we’ve followed them to other states to do their drilling.” An advantage to this type of drilling, according to Mark, is that the companies Advice to a would-be entrepreneur: If you make your career choice something you REALLY enjoy you just increased your odds of success.     

In 1982 A drill rig cost $60,000. Today it costs $600,000, and that’s without equipment

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013


usually want the core samples well in advance of any planned mining operation. That allows the Trauts to schedule drilling in warm states during the slower Minnesota winter. “Was there a recession,” Mark asked with a grin. “We didn’t see much change in gross sales, but we saw changes in where the money came from.” Their residential business went down, but municipalities, fracking, and irrigation all went up. “We did more irrigation drilling in the last two years than in the last 10 years. Now housing is coming back gang-busters.” Their diversity has made all the difference, according to Dave. “If you have the right customer base different segments react differently depending on what’s happening in the economy and we stay busy the whole time.”

Trouble-shooting

“Dave has a good reputation of wanting to trouble-shoot things,” Mark said. “Engineers will call on him to help design a well. Dave will ask them what they want to do and he’ll spend half a day working with them to figure out how to do it.” As a result their customers know they can count on the Trauts to troubleshoot at job sites. Traut employees also fabricate their own equipment. In some cases, it makes the work easier or more efficient as with the Well Vac.

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timeline 1976 Mark Traut starts working part time for his father, Marvin Traut, as a rig tender for Traut Well Drilling Inc.; Melvin Traut sells his shares to his twin brother, Marvin, and moves to California.

1977 Marvin Traut hires his cousin’s son, Dave Traut, to work for Traut Well Drilling.

1979 Dave Traut moves from field work to dispatching; Mark Traut begins working full time in the field.

August 1982 Mark and Dave Traut open the doors to Mark J. Traut Wells, Inc. and begin drilling residential and irrigation wells and providing water treatment services. They work out of the MacKay Family Dodge building for two years.

1982 Summer Marvin Traut is forced to liquidate Traut Well Drilling; cousins Mark and Dave Traut attend the auction and buy the inventory and drilling/ service equipment they can afford.

1983 In their first full year, the company has $1 million in revenue and eight employees.

1984 The Trauts build a 5400 square foot building at 141 28th Ave. S, Waite Park. They have one overhead door.

1995 The company begins doing environmental drilling.

May 1998 Mark and Dave Traut receive the St. Cloud Area Small Business of the Year award.

1999 The Trauts purchase their first dual rotary rig, designed for municipal drilling. The dual rotary can drill as much in one day as a standard rig can do in two weeks.

1987 The Trauts begin working with municipalities.

MAY 1988 Traut adds 3600 feet to their existing building.

1998 The company purchases a sonic drill to gather undisturbed core samples of rock, or other material, for high quality environmental testing; they also purchase a camera for diagnosing well issues.

2000 Traut adds another 4800 feet to their building.

Early 2000s Traut enters the mining industry drilling for frac sand.

2012 Traut Companies upgrades to new camera technology.

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2010 Mark J. Traut Wells begins rebranding to Traut Companies in response to their broadening scope of services.

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

This custom piece of equipment can be used inside a pump house, an important feature in cold climates where wells are usually enclosed in buildings, making it difficult, if not impossible, to maneuver a drilling rig into the building. The Well Vac has created a market niche for the Trauts. “We have a lot of money invested in it,” Mark said. “It would be ugly if there was too much competition.” In many cases they create equipment for safety and to reduce workplace injuries, such as the auxiliary equipment attachment that can be found on the back of their drill trucks. Traut’s employees helped design this attachment, which is now standard on all of their trucks. “We push safety all the time,” Mark said. “If you’re working really hard, you’re doing something wrong. If it looks like you’re struggling, there should be a better way. Let’s use technology to our advantage.” You’ll find technology throughout the business. A current favorite is a camera that Mark refers to as “Dave’s Baby.” This powerful, tiny camera is put down a well to investigate any number of problems. Dave is out 40-50 times a year working with clients. “The owner or engineer can be right there,” Dave said. “We shoot a video with audio and I can talk them through what we’re seeing. We can discuss the problem and come up with a plan.”

Looking Ahead

“They don’t make us work very hard here,” Mark said. “I think I’ll stay. I love this career. I love meeting people. I love solving problems. I’m still having too much fun to think about anything else.” “We’ll continue to try being better,” Dave said. “We might have to grow to do that. I’d rather sacrifice expansion than have someone in the field doing a poor job. If bigger happens, that’s good, but it’ll be managed growth.” “Dave and I are on the same page,” Mark agreed. “We can handle the size company we have. We watched what happened with my dad when there was


“We have a yard full of equipment and a building full of people. You have to use them both in the best possible way.” –Mark Traut, Mark J. Traut Wells, Inc.

uncontrolled growth and we’re not going to make that same mistake.” All the same, there are plans to move from their current location. Stearns County put a road through their property a few years ago when they rerouted County Road 138. As the St. Cloud metro area expands to the west, the roads are getting busier making it harder for Traut’s large trucks to maneuver in and out. “This is becoming a retail area,” Mark said. “We have almost no walk-in traffic — we don’t need a retail space. “ Even though they have some space issue,

they’re reluctant to expand their current footprint. “We could be more efficient. But my dad always said if you have more space you’ll collect more junk.” Expansion also requires more employees, a constant challenge for the Trauts. “If you add a rig you have to add guys,” Mark said. “Finding them is hard. There’s no school for this business. You really have to learn on the job. We look for kids who are mechanically minded. We can teach them the rest.” “You also have to have the right attitude,” Dave said. “You have to

be responsible with customers and equipment. You have to have ownership of the project because we’re not going to be out there on every job site every day. You can tell when employees take this as a career, and not just a job. “If you like what you do you’ll be good at it and you’ll be successful.” BC

Gail Ivers is the vice president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and managing editor of Business Central Magazine.

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FEATURE

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PROFIT

Futurecast

Nobody can predict the future, but following trends in your industry can improve your business options. By Lawrence Schumacher

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ow did a company that made its name selling office furniture become a company that provides “worry-free IT solutions” throughout the Upper Midwest? Ask Jeff Gau of St. Cloud-based Marco and he’ll tell you part of the story was paying attention to trends in technology, becoming a “fast follower” who knows what products and services businesses are going to need, and not being afraid to change course to provide them. “You can’t be afraid of what the market’s telling you,” the company’s CEO said. “The hardest thing to overcome is assessing your current

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state and not being overconfident that you’re doing everything right.” Nobody can predict the future, but following trends in your industry and your community, keeping an open mind about the state of your business and asking the right questions can improve your business options and strengthen your bottom line, said Marty Moran, founder of St. Cloudbased Clear Path Consulting, a strategic problem-solving company. While that’s not secret wisdom, many business owners struggle with information overload, a lack of time to devote to understanding trends, and flying by the

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

seat of their pants in deciding how to respond to trends, he said. Information on trends can come from a wide variety of sources, including customers, peers, industry publications and employees, and can take the shape of both raw data and personal stories. Moran and his partner and wife, Asha Morgan Moran, encourage business owners to make looking ahead to the “next big thing” part of a formal process that gets reviewed on a regular basis.

Separating signal and noise earch for “business trends 2014” on the Internet and you’ll immediately be

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“The hardest thing to overcome is assessing your current state and not being overconfident that you’re doing everything right.” – Jeff Gau, CEO, Macro flooded with links to pieces listing “hottest small business trends” and “global trends shaping the business world.” But spotting, and understanding trends that are important to you is ultimately more of an art than a science, said Pat Edeburn, a partner at Granite Equity Partners in St. Cloud. “It relies somewhat on intuition,” he said. “The most useful thing I find is that understanding the second degree of a trend can be more important than the first, most obvious one.” For example, the Great Recession caused a downturn

in construction almost everywhere. But Granite Equity Partners started looking at the booming oil and gas industries in North Dakota and the resurgent agriculture industry in South Dakota as potential new markets for a window and door business it owns, Edeburn said. “We ended up pulling resources out of Western and Central Minnesota and sending them in that direction. It helped the company get through some tough times.” It takes practice to recognize the significant developments in an industry or

community that can affect the future of a business, Asha Morgan Moran said. But over time, she said, anyone can learn to identify and separate the “big rocks in your jar” that may require you to change your business practices from the “little pebbles” that take up more time but are ultimately meaningless – separating the signal from the noise. One example she shares is that of a banking client who – through a strategic planning process – identified the growing use of mobile phones to

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FEATURE

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PROFIT

Feedback from customers can often identify emerging opportunities to provide new products or modify those already offered that may not be doing the job anymore. —Barry Kirchoff, executive director of the Minnesota Central Region Small Business Development Center. pay for transactions. The company is thinking through the implications of that technology trend for how they provide financial services.

Cultivating sources here are a number of good places for business owners to get information about emerging trends in their industry and community, said Barry Kirchoff, executive director of the Minnesota Central Region Small Business Development Center. The news, trade publications, industry

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associations, trade shows and more are all good places to go to find insights. But none may be more important than honest and open communication with your customers, he said. “They’re oftentimes the best consultants you can have,” he said. “They’ll let you know if your product is meeting their needs, if you’re delivering it to them in the way they want it.” Feedback from customers can often identify emerging opportunities to provide new products or modify those already offered that may not

be doing the job anymore, Kirchoff said. For another good source of intelligence, Gau said he looks inside his company’s walls – and among his newest employees. Young employees are often in the best place to reveal gaps in a company’s understanding about emerging trends. “For example, we’ve found out that the number one search engine for many of the employees from this new generation is not Google or Yahoo, but YouTube,” he said. “So we do a lot of videos on our website and put them on YouTube to make our

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

Be featured at The Central Minnesota

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services more accessible to the IT managers and other customers of that generation.” But there’s no substitute for access to the proprietary information and knowledge that comes from experience in an industry, Edeburn said. “We invest in businesses in different industries, and it’s always easier once we’ve been in that industry to judge the trends than when we’re looking in from the outside. The contacts you develop and the information you have access to are invaluable.”

Learning from mistakes o matter how much information is available and no matter whom you talk with, there’s always a risk involved in changing your business plan in response to an emerging trend, Clear Path’s Marty Moran said. It may prove to be a “flash in

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the pan” that looks solid but leads to a dead end. But there are things business owners can do to minimize the risks, including being ready to frequently reassess the direction your company is headed. “The trend of the day will have you chasing your tail all day long, so it’s important to have a strategy,” Moran said. “We encourage people to work with their team to make a plan and meet regularly to see how it’s going. Not a five-year plan or a three-year plan, but something you can come back to every year or even every six months.” Marco minimizes its risk by being what Gau calls a “fast follower.” Despite being in the technology industry, the company never positions itself on the “bleeding edge” of tech services. “We track market adoption closely,” he said. “Cloud-based services, for

example, have been around a long time, but it’s only in the last 12 months or so that it’s reached a critical point and we’ve gotten into it heavily.” Examining decisions that don’t pan out is a regular part of life at Granite Equity Partners, according to Edeburn. You ultimately decide to double-down and wait to be proven right or call it an experiment and find out why it didn’t work. “It could be you reached a poor conclusion (about the trend) or you just had bad execution, but you have to know which it was if you want to do better next time.” BC Larry Schumacher is the creator and owner of Wordbender Communications, LLC, a communications consulting and freelance writing firm. He lives in St. Cloud with his wife and two children.

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SPECIAL FOCUS

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PROFIT

Financial Blunders Avoiding common financial mistakes will help keep your small business in business. By Whitney Bina

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oney is irrelevant,” said no small business owner ever. Without cash flow, businesses don’t survive. Many small business owners make financial mistakes which lead to harmful outcomes. Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them to keep your small business in business.

Unrealistic Startup Costs Be realistic when starting a small business. “It never hurts to underestimate revenues and overestimate expenses. Be conservative,” said Sonya Dingmann, a CPA with Miller, Welle, Heiser & Co. “Be sure to include all production costs and don’t forget the overhead costs that go hand in hand with running a business.” Understand it’s unlikely you are going to get paid right away. Even when a sale is made quickly, the chances of getting paid immediately are slim. “Be sure to have enough cash on hand to stay operational not only through the startup process, but until payments from the first sales have actually been collected,” Dingmann said. Failure to Budget If you fail to budget, expect to fail. Establish a business plan before going to the bank. Use resources like the Small Business Development Center, Central Minnesota SCORE, and the Better Business Bureau to help create a realistic business strategy. Talk to small business owners in the same industry and professionals in the local business community. “Gather as much information as possible and be prepared to be flexible through change. Understand

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your market, industry, customer and competition,” said Curt Gainsforth, vice president of business banking at Bremer Bank. “You can never budget too conservatively.” Impractical Product Prices Lower product prices lead to more sales and ultimately more money, right? Not always. Setting prices too low may not generate any profit, according to Dingmann. “Selling fewer units at a higher profit allows you to make more money and gives you more time to develop the highest quality product or service possible, which in turn leads to future sales.” On the flip side, don’t set prices too high. If products and services are too costly, customers will find another vendor. Exponential Growth Rapid growth can lead to severe consequences including increased operational, employee and product costs, and decreased profit. “When you see rapid growth, step back, slow down and ensure growth is sustainable,” said Matt Coran, vice president of business banking at American Heritage National Bank. Not every small business is prepared to grow into a larger company, he emphasized. Find Advisors Surround yourself with a team of internal

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

and external professionals, including bankers, accountants, attorneys and human resource specialists. “You don’t have to be great at every aspect of your business,” Coran said. “You can lean on these close professionals for their knowledge and advice. They will be upfront and honest because they want you to succeed.” Gainsforth gave the same advice. “Build partnerships with professionals who understand that different people understand different aspects of every business,” he said. “It’s important to use the right people for the job. Don’t view accountants, bankers and attorneys as unnecessary expenses because they will save you money in the long run.” Be conservative, realistic and cautious throughout the startup process. Use resources to avoid these common financial mistakes and ensure the best possible outcomes for your business. BC

About the writer Whitney Bina is the communications and workforce development coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.


FINANCIAL & Professional SERVICES

FINANCIAL & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

St. Cloud Federal Credit Union

Northwestern Mutual

Jim Arnold

Joshua Longnecker

Mortgage Loan Officer, NMLS:423382 (320) 258-2174 jarnold@stcloudfcu.coop StCloudFCU.coop

Managing Director (320) 223-6639 • joshua.longnecker@nm.com www.joshualongnecker.com

For a stress-free Mortgage Loan, see Jim Arnold at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union. We are here for you from start to finish to make your home-buying experience enjoyable.

Learn more about the variety of financial & professional services available to businesses in Central Minnesota on the following pages.

Our Mission is to educate, support, and encourage our Members to be Financially Fit. Financial Fitness is all about your financial well-being. It involves making healthy financial choices, creating budgets, setting savings goals, and taking advantage of programs that can relieve financial stress or burdens. If you want to talk more about your Financial Fitness, visit us in St. Cloud or Sartell.

Together, we’ll create a blueprint to guide your financial life. Create your financial plan with Northwestern Mutual. From business planning to financial planning and investment strategies, together we’ll help you achieve financial security. Who’s helping you build your financial future?

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) (life and disability insurance, annuities) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual Investment Services LLC (NMIS) (securities), a subsidiary of NM, broker dealer, registered investment adviser, and member of FINRA and SIPC. Joshua Alan Longnecker, District Agent of NM. Managing Directors are not in legal partnership with each other, NM, or its affiliates, Joshua Alan Longencker, Registered Representative of NMIS.

Our Mission is to educate, support, and encourage our Members to be Financially Fit.

Sartell & St. Cloud

stcloudfcu.coop

N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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FINANCIAL & Professional SERVICES

Falcon National Bank

U. S . Bank

Gaslight Creative

Mark Christianson

CFP, Managing Director, Senior Vice President

Kelly Zaske

1015 St. German W. • St. Cloud, MN 320.259.8363 • mark.christianson@usbank.com

John Herges

The Private Client Group of U.S. Bank provides a comprehensive team approach to wealth management. Our team of professionals includes representatives from banking services, investment management, financial planning, trust and estate administration, and more. Our team of professionals will work with you to create a customized plan to help you reach your financial goals. Deposit products offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC. Investment Products are: NOT A DEPOSIT NOT FDIC INSURED MAY LOSE VALUE NOT BANK GUARANTEED NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY

U.S. Bank and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. Each client’s tax and financial situation is unique. Clients should consult their tax and/or legal advisor for advice and information concerning their particular situation.

President and CEO 320-223-6300 jherges@falconnational.com www.falconnational.com A DOOR THAT’S ALWAYS OPEN. Mine. We understand that no two businesses are alike; that’s why we offer a unique, personalized approach to business banking. If you value a dedicated staff, local decision-making, and money to loan when you’re ready to borrow, you’ll appreciate Falcon National Bank. That’s reality. Member FDIC.

©2013 U.S. Bank. All rights reserved.

Marketing Strategist 320-290-5909 •• kelly@gaslightcreative.com Kelly Zaske has been directing the marketing initiatives for Central Minnesota businesses for nearly 20 years. As a principle in Gaslight Creative, she collaborates with businesses to clarify their marketing goals, develop strategies to best meet their needs and implement campaigns to reach these goals – on time and within budget. She and partner Jodie Pundsack assemble their team to bring the full scope of experience and enthusiasm to each project. Gaslight Creative offers an array of services from branding campaigns and public relations to web development and social media.

Central Minnesota Credit Union

People helping people. It’s a simple concept that over 50,000 of your friends and neighbors in Central Minnesota have already discovered. We invite you to see how we can make a difference with your personal or business finances.

Travis Moore

Ryan Davidson, Branch Lender

Branch Manager 888.330.8482 travism@mycmcu.org myCMCU.org Central Minnesota Credit Union is a full-service, not-for-profit financial cooperative. Earnings are returned to members through better rates and lower fees. Our St. Joseph branch features extended drive-up hours: M-T 7:00 am – 6:00 pm Friday 7:00 am – 7:00pm Saturday 8:00 am – Noon 1300 Elm Street East, St. Joseph 888.330.8482 | myCMCU.org | facebook.com/myCMCU Federally Insured by NCUA

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Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013


FINANCIAL & Professional SERVICES

Plaza Park Bank

Bremer Bank

American Heritage Bank

Lisa Scharf Vice President Treasury Management 320-255-7147 lmscharf@bremer.com Bremer.com

Jim Schleper Exec Director of Commercial Lending NMLS #769488 jschleper@plazapark.com 320-257-3305 •• www.plazaparkbank.com

Where more than just money… relationships are our business.

“We are locally owned and managed, which makes a difference—each week we’re making decisions that we feel are best for our clients. Business owners like knowing that the people making the decisions all live and work in our community. Each of us at the bank has a genuine desire to do what is best for you (the client) and I think that comes through in how we conduct business.”

Visit Jim in our Waite Park location today!

Utilizing technology is key to any business, and Treasury Management services from Bremer Bank can help optimize its availability and use. Bremer can help you identify and implement the financial tools your business needs now and in the future.

West St. Cloud – (320) 654-9555 East St. Cloud – (320) 257-5000 Offices also in Long Prairie and Browerville

Member FDIC

Stearns Bank

Make technology work harder for your business…

In addition to Online Banking, Bremer also provides competitive business checking and savings accounts, remote deposit, sweep accounts and more. You can get started with Treasury Management Services by contacting Lisa Scharf at Bremer Bank today. Member FDIC.

g n i c n a n i F t s a F

N.A.

To Advance Your Business.

Jeremy Goltz Assistant VP/Consumer & Business Lending 320-258-5713 jeremyg@stearnsbank.com www.stearnsbank.com Stearns Bank is a local, employee-owned bank dedicated to providing customized banking solutions to fit both your business and personal finance needs. As a Preferred Small Business Lender, we are able to approve your business loan in-house quickly. Originally chartered in 1912, Stearns has grown to more than $1.6 billion in assets with locations in Minnesota, Florida, Arizona and Georgia. Call Jeremy for any of your business or residential financing needs.

Work with a Nationwide Preferred Small Business Lender. u

Fast, local approval & processing

u

Flexible terms with no defined “credit box”

u

Customized loans of all sizes

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Acquisition, expansion, renovation, succession plan, and more

We get the job done!

320.253.6607

Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender

N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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FINANCIAL & Professional SERVICES

Mike Zager Rick Conway CPA CPA Partner Partner

Mike Zager CPA, CSEP™ Partner

Top 25

CPA Firm

in Minnesota

Michael Johnson CPA, CVA, ABV

Brian Chance Hooper

REAP

CPA, CFP®, PFS TM, AAMS®

OF A

TRUSTED Tax ADVISOR

Whether you want to discuss tax planning options for your business, need a strategic plan that improves your profitablity, or would like help analyzing the sale, merger or acquisition of your company, we have a team of trusted advisors to help your business succeed. At CDS, we work with you to understand the "big picture" of your financial situation, both now and in the future, to help you make the right tax choices to achieve your goals. Exceptional service, dedication to detail and technical competence are the foundation of our firm. 2351 Connecticut Avenue, Ste. 110, Sartell Phone: (320) 252-7565 | Toll-free: (800) 862-1337 St. Cloud | Willmar | Benson | Morris | Litchfield

CDS Financial Services, LLC

www.cdscpa.com

Wealth Manager (320) 235-3311 •• chooper@cds-financial.com www.cds-financial.com CDS Financial Services, LLC is an independent firm dedicated to providing experienced guidance on all aspects of wealth plan management. Our experienced team will work with you to identify your personal needs and values, then implement and monitor a plan designed to help you pursue financial independence. Our wealth management strategies include: retirement planning, investment planning, education planning, tax strategies, estate planning, business strategies, insurance, risk management and gifting strategies. Call us at (320) 235-3311 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discover how we can help you pursue your financial goals. Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. • There is no guarantee that an investment strategy will yield positive outcomes. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.

The road to success. Since Larry Logeman bought Executive Express in 2005, the company has been on a fast-track to growth. Larry has grown Executive Express from a small local operation with a few vehicles and employees to a regional transportation enterprise. Along the way, he’s worked with Farmers & Merchants to finance his ambitions. At Farmers & Merchants, we’ve built a reputation for supporting local businesses through fast, local decision-making. And we’re excited to work with entrepreneurs like Larry, whose drive to make a difference is a lot like our own. If you’re ready to start or grow your business, we’re eager to listen.

Sauk Rapids 1301 2nd St N. 320.252.5121

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Because friendly still counts.

Pierz

80 Main St. 320.468.6422

fmpierz.com

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013


Smart Business: Northwestern Mutual

To reach your financial goals, think holistic

A small representation of the over 40 individuals who make up the Saint Cloud district office.

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lot can change in 60 years, especially when it comes to your finances. Nowadays, becoming financially secure is more than Work Hard + Save $$$ = Retire Comfortably. Just as financial planning has changed, so has Northwestern Mutual. “We’re more than life insurance,” says Josh Longnecker, Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual in St. Cloud. Northwestern Mutual is among the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2013,

according to FORTUNE ® magazine, and has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 156 years. It is the nation’s largest direct provider of individual life insurance

(SNL Financial) and ranked among the Top 10 independent brokerdealers, as measured by total revenues (Financial Advisor Magazine, 4/13) And while the company remains the largest direct provider of individual life insurance in the United States, it has always kept an eye on the changing financial picture for customers. That means taking a holistic approach to financial planning, including risk management, wealth accumulation, asset preservation and distribution. “Whether it’s funding a child’s education, their retirement or a family vacation, clients know their money has to work harder than ever before,” says Longnecker. “That’s where we come in.” The Northwestern Mutual office in St. Cloud offers representatives

who concentrate on creating financial security through a strategic financial plan. The process begins with a Personal Planning Analysis that assesses an individual’s unique short- and longterm financial needs. “We consider all your insurance and investment opportunities and use a comprehensive suite of financial products and services to help you achieve your financial goals,” says Longnecker. Northwestern Mutual financial representatives have helped a growing number of clients enhance their lifestyles, support their families and prepare for the future. “We take a holistic approach to financial planning and create a plan strategically designed to work for you,” says Longnecker. “Stop by our office, and see for yourself.”

3315 Roosevelt Rd, Ste. 300, St. Cloud, MN 56301

Managing Director, Joshua Longnecker and Director of Operations, Sarah Noble

As a mutual company with $1.4 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities) (NM), and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Co., Milwaukee, WI, (long-term care insurance), subsidiary of NM. Northwestern Mutual Investment Services LLC, Milwaukee, WI (securities), subsidiary of NM, broker dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA, SIPC. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co.®, Milwaukee, WI, (investment management, trust services, and fee-based planning) subsidiary of NM, limited purpose federal savings bank.

SPONSORED PROFILE

N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 3 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m

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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

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PROFIT

At A Glance Anton’s 2001 Frontage Rd N Waite Park, MN 56387-1070 (320) 253-3611 info@antonsrestaurant.com www.antonsrestaurant.com Ownership: Majority owner is Tony Gaetz, the “Anton” behind Anton’s, 83; minority owners are his five children: David, Nancy, Dan, Toni, and Betzy, several of whom work in the business. Number of employees: 10 full time, about 40 part time

Speak Easy

Tony Gaetz, with his daughter Betzy, two of the owners of Anton’s Restaurant in Waite Park.

Yes, there really is an Anton! By Gail Ivers Business Central: There’s a lot of history in this building. Tony Gaetz: You bet there is. In the 1920s you had to have a horse to get here – it was a long way from town. It used to be a lodge – there were little cabins where people would come and stay for vacation. The bar sold liquor during Prohibition. They didn’t have too much trouble because the local law enforcement didn’t really care, though the feds could be a problem. Almost every thief in the world came by here.

TIMELINE

1920s Cy Brick owns Anton’s, known as the Woodland Lodge and nicknamed ‘Bricky’s.’ The building is a speakeasy and much smaller than today. 1933 Cy adds on to the bar. Bricky’s is known for selling legal beer and homemade liquor.

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Hours: Lunch Monday through Saturday, evenings 7 days a week Chamber member since 1997

BC: How did you happen to buy it? Tony: A friend and I were buying and selling bars. We decided we were going to fix up Anton’s – Bricky’s – and sell it for a friend. I fell in love with the place – the building, the original structure – and decided to buy it and run it.

BC: Why did you stick with it? Tony: I’ve been pretty happy. I met a lot of people. Bob Hope came here. A lot of people who performed in the area came here for dinner. It’s been fun, let me tell you! That’s what people come here for – to be happy. I think we’ve done a pretty good job for them.

BC: What’s been your biggest challenge? Tony: Being short of money, I suppose.

BC: What advice would you give to someone starting out in business? Tony: Treat people honestly, fairly and give them a good product. BC

1940s Cy runs Bricky’s until World War II when he joins the U.S. Navy Seabees. During and after WWII the American Legion Clubhouse is at Bricky’s.

Business Description: Full service independent bar and restaurant. Authentic 1920s log cabin set on the Sauk River, known for their giant popovers.

Late 1940s Mel Steffes buys the Woodland Lodge following WWII; No matter who owns it, it is still called Bricky’s 1960s Darlene and Dale Swanson purchase Bricky’s and add on to the building.

Business Central Magazine  ••  NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013

Fun Fact: All of the signs on the walls are originals from other buildings, none are reproductions.

Fun fact

When Highway 52 was rerouted and the bridge over the Sauk River near Anton’s was closed, Tony purchased the bridge for $1, then paid to have it moved to the entrance to Anton’s parking lot. “I moved it because I wanted it,” he said.

1973 Tony Gaetz, purchases Bricky’s from Bob Eveslage and renames it Anton’s. He is the first owner to run it as a full restaurant and bar. Early 1980s Tony builds the east dining room and the patio overlooking the Sauk River

1993 Tony builds the outdoor deck 1998 Tony decides to cut back and begins spending his winters in Florida; his children take over management of Anton’s.


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9/25/13 9:22 AM


November/December 2013  

Business Central Magazine

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