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Joan Schatz


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CRAFTSMANSHIP IS OUR MIDDLE NAME

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YS ALWA NG I LOOK IG FOR T RS E WELD


SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 2019

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CONTENTS

GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

President’s Letter Top Hats

8 22

Editor’s Note

Network Central

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C E L E B R AT I N G 1 9 Y E A R S I N B U S I N E S S

GROW

34 Cover Story

FULL SPEED AHEAD

Brothers Steve and Jeff Mies have found success by growing their company in tiny Watkins, Minn. PROFIT

40 Feature

LEADERSHIP IS AGELESS Getting involved is key to cultivating leadership skills – at any age.

44 Special Focus GROWTH IS GREAT…USUALLY

Eight common challenges your growing business could face.

50 Special Section CENTRAL MINNESOTA GROWTH GUIDE

34 10 UPFRONT Valuable information designed to guide and educate

Only Online // www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com • Recruitment Strategies • Successful webinars

• Leadership advice to avoid

• Don’t neglect your contact page

24 BUSINESS TOOLS Marketplace intelligence and useful tips on how to continue to grow your business

54 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Brenda Spain, Independent Sr. Sales Director

© Copyright 2019 Business Central, LLC

Business Central is published six times a year

by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487

Phone (320) 251-2940 • Fax (320) 251-0081 Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year.


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President’s Letter

Our Chamber Works... FOR YOU!

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our Chamber’s new fiscal year began on September 1. Budgets are complete, new leadership has taken the helm and we are plowing ahead into another five-star year for our members and volunteers. Membership investments account for about half of our total Chamber revenue. The rest of the revenue comes from special events, programming, and all the other services we provide. Many of you will be receiving a membership dues invoice soon. In fact, you may be considering renewal right now. That makes this an ideal time to talk about what your Chamber provides to you, and to our community. Research has shown that businesses choose to be chamber members for one of two primary motivations. Some members desire to get something from the chamber. Others crave to get something done through the chamber. Our Chamber provides both opportunities in multiple ways. Let’s start with what's included! Our Chamber is helping your bottom line by providing on-going benefits, even when business keeps you in the office. As a Chamber member, you receive the following services – without attending a single meeting! –––––––––– A website link from our site to your home page –––––––––– Website links to your social media –––––––––– Referrals from the Chamber’s website

–––––––––– Job bank listings –––––––––– Online calendar listings for your events –––––––––– Two Membership Directory listings

–––––––––– Phone referrals when individuals call the Chamber office (about 3,200 annually!)

Securing reaccreditation as a Five Star Chamber putting your Chamber in the top two percent of chambers nationwide. –––––––––– Distributing over $25,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors and college students. ––––––––––

Reaching out to area communities through regular meetings of the Sauk Rapids and Waite Park Chambers. –––––––––– Meeting individually with 50 area businesses through our Grow Minnesota! retention/ expansion economic development program.

Teresa Bohnen Publisher

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

StCloudAreaChamber.com ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF President: Teresa Bohnen, ext. 104 Vice President: Gail Ivers, ext. 109 Director of Administration: Judy Zetterlund, ext. 106 Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator: Kelti Lorence, ext. 130 Special Events Coordinator: Laura Wagner, ext. 131 Membership Sales Specialist: Antoinette Valenzuela, ext. 134 Administrative Assistant: Amber Sunder, ext. 124 Administrative Assistant: Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122 Administrative Assistant: Shelly Imdieke, ext. 100 2018-19 BOARD MEMBERS Marilyn Birkland, LocaliQ Ron Brandenburg, Quinlivan & Hughes, Board Vice Chair John Bryant, Geo-Comm

We also organized the 2019 Central MN Farm Show that brought 3,000 visitors to town; organized our annual trip to Washington, D.C., visiting all 10 of Minnesota’s Congressional offices; and booked 75 conventions for an estimated economic impact of $16.2 million. We’re working hard for Central Minnesota businesses. Please renew your membership today!

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Program Hotline: 320-656-3825 information@StCloudAreaChamber.com

Christy Gilleland, Gilleland Chevrolet Cadillac

So, what else have we done for you lately? Consider some of the accomplishments from last year, as well as all that is to come in the year ahead:

Providing training, professional development and networking to over 10,000 participants! –––––––––– Hosting more than 100 people at “St. Cloud Area Evening at the Capital,” showcasing our area and businesses to statewide legislative leaders. ––––––––––

Main Phone: 320-251-2940 Automated Reservation Line: 320-656-3826

Tanja Goering, Pro Staff Jason Hallonquist, AIS Planning, Board Chair Joe Hellie, CentraCare Patrick Hollermann, InteleCONNECT Dennis Host, Coborn’s, Inc. Willie Jett, St. Cloud School District Kevin Johnson, K. Johnson Construction Bernie Omann, St. Cloud State University Mark Osendorf, Xcel Energy Bernie Perryman, Batteries Plus Bulbs Allison Waggoner, DCI, Inc. Chriss Wohlleber, Courtyard by Marriott-St. Cloud, Past Board Chair CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF Main Phone: 320-251-4170 Executive Director: Julie Lunning, ext. 111 Director of Sports & Special Events: Dana Randt, ext. 110 Sales Manager: Nikki Fisher, ext. 112 Sales Manager: Rachel Thompson, ext. 128 Social Media & Marketing Specialist: Emily Bertram, ext. 129 Sales and Services Coordinator: Erin Statz, ext. 113 Administrative Assistant - Information Specialist: Jennifer Schroeder, ext. 170


A BANK THAT STANDS BEHIND US riteSOFT is a small, locally-grown company making a world-wide impact. Founded in 2006, riteSOFT provides software solutions to automate data collection for manufacturers and distributors around the globe. riteSOFT has customers in 10 different countries and deals in five different exchange rates.

“And with every service we use, we continue to be happy and impressed with Deerwood Bank.” On top of the banking services riteSOFT uses, Bruce and Sue say it always comes back to the relationships. “People like to do business with people they like,” Bruce says. “We enjoy the fun and light-hearted relationship with Jim, and have noticed that it’s a way of doing business at Deerwood.”

Located in St. Cloud, MN, riteSOFT boasts smart, simple, and seamless solutions for their clients. They believe their approach to business is very similar to Deerwood Bank’s, which makes the partnership that much stronger.

How Deerwood Bank is different, in riteSOFT’s words: 1. Technology-forward “Deerwood stays on the forefront of technology, and that’s incredibly important to us. The online tools available to us are very helpful and simple to use.”

Different from day one.

“From day one, Jim and the Deerwood team helped us get the business set up seamlessly with checking accounts, business loans, ACH abilities, and remote deposit capabilities,” Bruce says. “Over time, we’ve benefited as the bank continues to evolve and to offer technology services that make our lives easier and save us time.”

Seamless transitions.

There have been transitions within both businesses during the time that riteSOFT has been working with the bank. riteSOFT’s original business loan was initiated in 2006. In 2008, the Great Recession hit and, according to Bruce, things got ugly. “I called Jim, and we secured an SBA loan. It was such a simple process, and another key point in our company’s life that our bank stood behind us.”

As the market changed, riteSOFT evolved in the way they delivered their software. What used to be a software license delivered via a CD is now offered as a cloud-based, monthly subscription. Bruce worked with Jim and Deerwood to navigate automatic payments from their customers as monthly or annual subscriptions—across 10 countries and five currencies. Most recently, riteSOFT experienced a transition from Plaza Park Bank to Deerwood Bank. “We were paying close attention to how it was going to go, but it was incredibly seamless for us,” says Sue Pogatschnik, riteSOFT’s marketing manager. “We’ve been very impressed with who Deerwood is and how they conduct business. Their values align with ours and they’re community-minded like us.”

2. Partner in our success “Deerwood has invested time and resources into ensuring that they have the necessary processes and services that allow us to conduct our international business effectively.” 3. Alignment of values “It’s important to have similar values as your partners (especially your bank). We’re both relationship-oriented, focus on simplicity, and value integrity and trust. Knowing Deerwood has similar values makes banking with them that much better.”

A portfolio of services.

riteSOFT has utilized almost all of Deerwood’s business services at one point or another. “We’ve used traditional business loans, SBA loans, lines of credit, merchant processing, ACH, wire transfers, and even foreign currency exchanges,” Bruce says.

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

&

Bruce Hagberg founded riteSOFT with a mission to provide innovative solutions the “rite” way—through reliability, ingenuity, trust, and experience. When he sought out his initial business loan, he expected the same qualities from his bank.


Editor’s Note

Antarctica taught me (yes, a native Minnesotan) that if I dressed properly for the cold weather, I could be warm.

Joy in the Snow

L

ast November the Waite Park Chamber heard from a member of the Stearns

County Parks Department about ways to

enjoy the parks during the winter. Our speaker ended with the following quote:

“If you choose not to find joy in the snow,

you will have less joy in your life, but the same amount of snow.”

Shortly after that, I left for Antarctica. When I stepped out of the ship at the

Antarctic Peninsula I was stunned. Not because of the cold, but because of the view. Giant cliffs

of black rock, dusted with powdered sugar, shot out of the ocean. Ice-blue bergs from ancient glaciers – some larger than the ship – floated

From left to right: An Antarctic iceberg. Note the blue color and the size – that’s a group of 12 people in a zodiac on the other side of the iceberg; Editor Gail Ivers on the Southern Ocean, Antarctica; Gail’s traveling companion and aunt, Nancy Beck, at Brown Station, Antarctica

waterproof parka, ski mask, insulated water-proof pants, boots and heavy mittens, donned my new

snowshoes, and headed outside. I was surprised to find that being outside in the winter was, well, fun! In fact, I started looking for excuses to stay outside and enjoy the nicer days.

I store my birdseed in the garage, which is

at the top of a slope. The bird feeders are at

the bottom of the slope. Moving 50 pounds of

birdseed from point A to point B is tricky business

in the winter. I load the bags onto a small sled then try to control the descent without tipping the sled or losing my balance. As I stood at the top of the slope one day, anticipating the challenge ahead,

in black, bottomless water. Penguins played on

it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have to

onto the ice then chasing each other back into

the birdseed-laden sled and rode it down the hill.

floating ice, taking turns leaping from the water the water.

Antarctica taught me (yes, a native

walk down that slope. Instead, I climbed on top of Yee-haw! Joy in the snow!

Following our last big snowstorm in April,

Minnesotan) that if I dressed properly for the

I thought of Steve and Jeff Mies, owners of

Department presentation finally made me

interviewed them a few days earlier and they were

cold weather, I could be warm. And the Parks realize that hating the snow didn’t hurt the snow one bit. All it did was make me crabby.

Armed with a new attitude toward winter,

I bought a pair of snowshoes. This was nonetoo-soon as the snow continued to pile up in my backyard, making it harder and harder to

walk through the yard to feed the birds. Instead of complaining about it, I embraced my new

attitude – and Antarctica clothing. I put on my

Mies Outland (see the story on page 34). I had

anticipating a crazy-busy sales day on Saturday, if

the predicted snow arrived, which it did. As I stood at the top of my slope I thought it was probably a

good day for them. Then I hopped on my birdseed sled and flew down the hill. Yee-haw! A good day for me, too. Until next issue, .

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Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9


Publisher Teresa Bohnen Managing Editor Gail Ivers Associate Editor Dawn Zimmerman CONTRIBUTING WRITERS King Banaian and Artatrana Ratha, St. Cloud State University Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Dr. Fred E. Hill, St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Vicki Johnson, St. Cloud Area Planning Organization Kelti Lorence, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Mary MacDonell Belisle, mary macdonell belisle - wordingforyou Steve Penick, Stearns History Museum Paul Radeke, BerganKDV Chad Stahl, Quinlivan & Hughes Amber Sunder, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Dawn Zimmerman, The Write Advantage

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

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

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 //

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Digging the Past • People to Know

Do it Now! • Top Hats • Regional Roundup

UPFRONT GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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NEWS & PEOPLE THAT MAKE UP THE CHAMBER NETWORK

BOOK REVIEW

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Reviewed by Dr. Fred Hill

Insufficient sleep isn’t just about being tired. It’s also about job performance, depression, and quality of life.

Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity by Saundra DaltonSmith, MD FaithWords; Hachette Book Group, NY, 2017 ISBN 978-1-47892167-7

D

r. Saundra DaltonSmith is an international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection. She is a Good Housekeeping Top 100 Medical Expert. In her book, Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity she shares seven types of rest: physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, sensory, social and creative. A deficiency in any one of these types of rest can

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have unfavorable effects on your health, happiness, relationships, creativity, and productivity, according to Dr. Dalton-Smith. Sacred Rest combines the science, spirituality, gifts, and resulting fruit of rest. It shows rest is something “sacred, valuable, and worthy of our respect.” According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily activities at least once a week, the author reports. Finding genuine rest is more than overcoming insomnia. This problem has led to poor job performance, depression, and overall dissatisfaction with quality of life. Sacred Rest is divided into three parts: Part I: Why Rest? Part II: The Gifts of Rest. Part III: The Promises of Rest. Included in the book is a Personal Rest Deficit Assessment Tool, which assesses the seven types of rest one should be experiencing. Dr. DaltonSmith says that sleep is not

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

an option. It is required for health. It is not the foundation of rest, but the by-product of rest. The seven types of rest each require their portion of the whole resting need. As the book explains, the most underused, chemical-free, safe, effective, alternative medicine is REST, as in Recognize your risk, Evaluate your current position, Science and research, and Today’s application. Ideally one would use the REST model to address personal deprivation risks. For example, each of the seven types has a chapter. In the chapter on Sensory Rest, after recognizing risk, evaluating your current position, considering science and research, today’s application could be as simple as unplugging some external stimulation. Turn it off. Take a break. Eat dark chocolate. Dr. Fred E. Hill is an emeritus professor at St. Cloud State University.

NEWS REEL

PERRYMAN IS ATHENA RECIPIENT

Bernie Perryman, owner of Batteries Plus Bulbs, is the 2019 Athena Award recipient. Perryman was chosen for the award because of her leadership and dedication to strengthening our area communities. The award is presented annually by the Women’s Fund of the Central Minn. Community Foundation.

CATHEDRAL HIGH SCHOOL BREAKS GROUND

Cathedral High School received approval to begin building a new academic building this summer. This $16.5 million project includes the first new academic building the school has had in 50 years, a new chapel, and state-of-theart 21st Century programming spaces for the visual arts, sciences and engineering programs. Groundbreaking took place in August.

STEARNS BANK RECOGNIZED

For the third year in a row, Stearns Bank received nationwide recognition for high performance. American Banker magazine and Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) both ranked Stearns Bank in their top ten lists of high performers for 2019.


POINT OF VIEW // BUSINESS CENTRAL ASKS READERS:

What is your greatest professional accomplishment to-date? “I developed a career as a woman in a male dominated industry, and in a field that was not related to my major! I graduated with a political science degree, but now am a project manager for a construction company.” —Shanna Heard, Shingobee Builders, Inc.

“The fact that I have been lucky enough to work a wide variety of jobs that all enabled and encouraged me to promote diversity and cultural inclusion in my community!”

“Owning my own business!” —Marie Lego, UCP of Central Minn.

—Dexter Hanson, BadCat Digital Marketing

“I graduated from SDSU in 2.5 years. I was able to accomplish this by taking college courses in high school, but primarily due to my college advisor. He went above and beyond – before I even arrived at his office he had lined out course options that could have me graduated in less than three years!” — Brandon Gerads, American Family Insurance

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UpFront DIGGING THE PAST

NEWS REEL

STEARNS BANK, BRENNY TRANSPORTATION NAMED TOP WORKPLACES

A Cut Above the Rest The Warehime Family started the St. Cloud Beauty College in 1939. By Steve Penick

The Star Tribune named Stearns Bank and Brenny Transportation two of the state’s Top 150 Places to Work in 2019, based on employee surveys.

SCHLENNER WENNER PROMOTES EMPLOYEES

STEARNS ELECTRIC EMPLOYEES REACH SAFETY MILESTONE

Stearns Electric Association recently celebrated a safety milestone. Company employees have driven one million miles accident-free over the last 22 months.

IIW ELECTS LEAPALDT TO BOARD

IIW re-elected David Leapaldt to its board of directors to provide leadership and guidance on continued growth.

SARTELL RECEIVES DEED GRANT

The City of Sartell received a $513,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to rehabilitate owner-occupied housing and multi-family rentals. More than $24 million in grant funding for 43 infrastructure and rehabilitation projects in Greater Minnesota was awarded.

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Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

D

uring the later decades of the 19th Century, trade schools formed across the country to meet a growing economic demand— specialization. Businesses needed trained specialists in agriculture, building trades, homemaking, and manufacturing to quickly enter the workforce as industrialization spread during the post-Civil War years. St. Cloud resident Mathilda Haug Warehime experienced firsthand how this training worked. Born in 1897, Mathilda grew up in northwestern Minnesota and moved to St. Cloud in 1917. She and her husband Ernest Warehime had four children: Raymond, Ila, Mary, and James. Ernest, a granite worker, developed lung disease from the dusty granite finishing

shops. He jumped around to various companies with hopes of limiting the discomfort, but his health continued to be problematic. Periods of unemployment became common. Mathilda faced a difficult decision. In 1927, she enrolled in a Minneapolis beauty school for hairdressing with the vision of becoming the primary wage earner. Getting this degree would limit family time, but ultimately allow her to earn a steady income. A year later, Mathilda opened a beauty shop in St. Cloud’s Grand Central Hotel on the corner of St. Germain Street and Fifth Avenue South. Over the next 10 years business grew, prompting Mathilda to move her shop to a new, larger location

From left to right: St Cloud Beauty School, St Cloud (Minn.), ca 1965; St Cloud Beauty College, promotional book, back page, St Cloud (Minn.), 1964

on St. Germain. Mathilda’s daughter, Mary, embarked on a similar career path during high school. Her motivation was inspiring. During the summer she traveled to Minneapolis for training and became a licensed beautician by the time she graduated in 1937 from St. Cloud Tech High School. The need for professional training programs in the field became increasing apparent to Mathilda. In

Photos ourtesy of the Stearns History Museum

Schlenner Wenner & Co. named Allison Bardson as firm administrator, and Jill Hoffmann as chief financial officer. Bardson joined the firm in 2016 as an administrative assistant, before moving into their HR department. Hoffmann joined the firm in 2001 as an accountant, before becoming a partner in 2014.


“Mrs. Warehime was a pioneer in the beauty field . . . She was very instrumental in legislative action benefitting the practice of beauty culture.” — Excerpt from her obituary

1939, she started the St. Cloud Beauty School and Culture on 515 St. Germain Street offering training in permanent waving and manicuring. Mary Warehime Sauer, now married, joined the staff full-time as an instructor. Around twenty students were enrolled. Numbers increased over the next decade as programs, additional staff, and the school’s reputation solidified. Then, in 1954, Mathilda unexpectedly passed away.

Her impact on the school and the beauty profession went beyond St. Cloud. Mathilda’s obituary stated, “Mrs. Warehime was a pioneer in the beauty field . . . She was very instrumental in legislative action benefitting the practice of beauty culture.” Like her mother, Mary faced this challenge by picking up the pieces and carrying on. Over the next 30 years, Mary and her husband William, guided the Beauty College.

They tweaked their offerings, drawing students from across the region. Cosmetology, for example, was expanded to a full program that included skin care. By 1960, the college moved again, this time to 912 St. Germain Street. The Beauty College, by decade’s end, became the 7th largest beauty school in the nation with 300 registered students. These milestones continued as staff attempted to meet an

ever-changing marketplace. For Mary and William, their role reached a crossroads as the 1990’s approached. After years of hard work, they sold the college to Regency Beauty Academy and a new chapter in the school began. A void in the St. Cloud market inspired Mathilda Warehime to start a beauty school and train students in an expanding field. Her vision, business savvy, and motivation spread to her daughter and sonin-law in developing a successful operation. Combined, they were all a cut above the rest. Steve Penick is the head archivist at the Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud.

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UpFront PEOPLE TO KNOW

NEWS REEL ROBERT’S FINE JEWELRY PASSES ETHICS EXAM

Bob Lien GG. CGA, Robert’s Fine Jewelry, passed the ethics exam with The American Society of Appraisers. Robert’s Fine Jewelry is celebrating 25 years in business this year.

LESMEISTER COMPLETES LICENSE REQUIREMENTS Jennifer Lesmeister, Laraway Financial, has completed her Series 7 & 66 exams to be a licensed and registered financial advisor.

RAJKOWSKI HANSMEIER ATTORNEYS AMONG MINNESOTA SUPER LAWYERS

Rajkowski Hansmeier Ltd. Attorneys Gordon Hansmeier, Paul Rajkowski, Kevin Gray and Troy Poetz were selected for inclusion in the 2019 Minnesota Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice. Only the top 5 percent of lawyers in the state are named to this list.

CENTRAL MINNESOTA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AWARDS GRANTS

The Central Minnesota Community Foundation awarded $140,000 to a number of local programs, including Career Start at the Boys & Girls Club; Tiger Build program at St. Cloud Technical High School with Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity; Junior Achievement; GREAT Theatre; and Saint John’s University Fine Arts Series.

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Long Term Investment

Jason Hallonquist approaches Chamber membership with the long view in mind.

A

s a financial planner, Jason Hallonquist, AIS Planning, understands the need to make long term commitments. “I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a client because of my Chamber involvement,” Hallonquist said. “But I’ve made great connections. I want this to be a community where I can raise my kids. I want to be part of a greater good. And I want to feel connected. The Chamber gives me that. If you have a strong chamber you most likely have a strong community.” Hallonquist recently started a one-year term as chair of the board of directors for the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. He started his Chamber engagement as a member of the St. Cloud Area Chamber Leadership program. “Mike Sipe was my employer at the time and Len Wohlman [now retired from American Heritage National Bank] was a mentor and they both said ‘Go through this program,’” Hallonquist recalled. “I liked all the diversity of ideas and people. I like how people digest and share information. You can sit back and not say a word and learn a ton.” He went on to chair the Leadership Program and then joined the Chamber’s Board. Since then Hallonquist has participated in the Washington, D.C., trip twice and is now leading the Chamber’s new Business Education Network (BEN). “On the D.C. trip you tend to develop relationships at a different level,” he said. “I think it’s because it’s kind of a random group of people who decide to go and they’re all

outside of their comfort zone. So you start small conversations while you’re waiting to meet with the elected officials and you get past your preconceived notions.” The BEN is all about finding ways to connect students and teachers to businesses. “I want to help kids get exposed to lots of new ideas and job possibilities,” Hallonquist said. “They need to learn what they don’t like, as well as what they do like. The Chamber has a role in this effort, we just need to find it without duplicating what others are already doing.” Like most other business leaders, Hallonquist is cautious about maintaining balance. “Our practice has been growing – both in the number of clients and in their complexity,” he said. But service is one of his core beliefs so involvement in the Chamber feels natural. “You can’t just serve clients, you have to serve the community, too,” he said. “I don’t know what the outcome will be from that service, but I know if I continue to sow opportunities for others, I’ll reap the benefit. Like we tell our clients, you can’t guarantee the timing of the return. Long term I believe there will be a positive return. Right now, I’m just grateful for the opportunity to serve as Board chair and excited about what the year has in store for us.” — GMI

Jason Hallonquist AIS Planning

––––––––––– 3701 12th St N Ste 103 Saint Cloud, MN 56303-2130 (320) 252-6552


DO IT NOW!

Break these habits to be more successful feelings, take away the hidden lessons, and move past them.

ou wouldn’t intentionally sabotage your own success. But if you take a close look, you might be surprised to discover you’ve picked up habits, practices and perspectives that keep you stuck in a rut. Want to be the CEO of your life? Don’t be your own saboteur! Here are five things to stop doing now – and what you should do instead. 1 You listen to your gremlins Instead, thank these voices for looking out for you, but tell them their fears are not welcome and shut them out. 2 You focus on failure or setbacks Instead, confront your

IN THE NEWS

4. You see struggle instead of opportunity Instead, accept that struggle is part of growth and work to better yourself by changing how you perceive these challenges. 5. You focus on tasks over the big picture Instead, make decisions from where you want to be, not where you are. Visualize yourself in the moment after you’ve achieved your goal by aligning actions with your core values. The Bottom Line: Insidious habits could have you stuck in a rut. Break free by celebrating small wins and focusing on the big picture!

Legacy Tree

The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce planted a tree at the Stearns History Museum in July in honor of the Chamber’s 150th Anniversary. The museum selected a sugar maple because it supports their goal of demonstrating the historical use of local resources. As the tree grows it may be used to demonstrate tree tapping for maple syrup. The tree was donated by Central Landscape Supply. (L-R) Gail Ivers, vice president, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce; Carie Essig, executive director, Stearns History Museum; Herman Roerick, owner, Central Landscape Supply; Heather Wenzel, The Good Shepherd Community, 150th Anniversary Committee member

Source: www.entrepreneur.com/article/311657

Y

3 You don’t celebrate success Instead, celebrate and record your achievements! Color code your achievements on your calendar so you can look back and see at a glance how far you’ve come.

LIVE better Orthopedic care is about more than bones, muscles, and joints. It’s about improving your quality of life. We’re here to help patients work toward their goals with today’s best treatment options, like nonoperative therapy, regenerative medicine, and robotic-assisted surgical technology. Let’s work together to help you move with comfort once again.

2 LOCATIONS 1901 Connecticut Ave S, Sartell, MN 56377 3315 Roosevelt Rd. St. Cloud, MN 56301

320.259.4100 StCloudOrthopedics.com

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UpFront TOP HATS

NEWS REEL

CENTRACARE CORRECTIONAL CARE PROGRAM RECEIVES AWARD

The CentraCare Correctional Care program in Stearns County received the Harold E. Hughes – Exceptional Rural Community Award. This award is given annually to a rural community that exemplifies outstanding contribution to the rural alcohol and drug abuse field.

Top Hat Celebration!

Celebrating Chamber membership never looked so good. Cheers to those celebrating membership of 20 years or more!

25-year Chamber Member Edina Realty, real estate sales, 110 Division Street, Waite Park. Pictured: Diane Diego Ohmann, Greg Wojtowicz, Amanda Groethe.

25-year Chamber Member Jennings Insurance, independent insurance agency, 600 25th Ave. S, suite 205, St. Cloud. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Doris Grell, Jeffery Jennings, Sandra Neutzling, Patrick Hollermann.

25-year Chamber Member Crossroads Center/Brookfield Properties, retail shopping center, 4101 W Division Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Sonia Nordmann, Darcy Eigen, Patrick Hollermann.

25-year Chamber Member Cash Wise East, grocery store, 1001 4th Street SE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Brenda Eisenschenk, Phil Rosenberger, Peg Imholte.

30-year Chamber Member Rice Companies, a third generation, design/build commercial/industrial general contracting firm with over six decades of experience, 1019 Industrial Drive S, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Matt Knutson, Jennifer Rice, Rian DeMarais, Rory Cruser.

30-year Chamber Member WACOSA, connecting people with disabilities to businesses and job opportunities that match their skills and interests, 310 Sundial Drive, Waite Park. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Nancy Betts, Steve Howard, Ann Kennedy, Rick Poganski.

30-year Chamber Member Hess Partners Insurance Agency, selling auto, home, life, health, recreational vehicles and business insurance, 31 33rd Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Luke Cesnik, Roger Hess, Bob Hess, Lisa Stoermann, Jeff Hess, Mark Osendorf.

30-year Chamber Member Stearns Electric, electric utility, 29643 Frontage Road, St. Joseph. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Dave Gruenes, Amanda Groethe, James Pachan, Patrick Hollermann.

35-year Chamber Member Franklin Outdoor Advertising Co., advertising indoor/outdoor, 20092 Edison Circle E, Clearwater. Pictured: Luke Cesnik, Brent Mellesmoen, Rick Poganski.

PLEASURELAND RV EARNS HONORS

PleasureLand RV Center earned the Flying W Dealer Excellence Award from Winnebago Industries for their performance between March 2018 and February 2019.

BRENNY TRANSPORTATION HONORED

Redefining the Road magazine, the official magazine of the Women in Trucking Association, named Brenny Transportation, as one of their Top Woman-Owned Businesses in Transportation. The list is comprised of companies from a diverse range of business sectors in the commercial freight transportation marketplace, including motor carriers, third-party logistics companies, and original equipment manufacturers.

CMCF ELECTS LEIGH AS BOARD CHAIR

Debra Leigh has been elected to serve as chair of the board for the Central Minnesota Community Foundation (CMCF). Leigh is a professor at St. Cloud State University.

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Chamber Events LUNCHTIME LEARNING

Star Celebration

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, 1411 W St. Germain Street, Ste 101. Registration is required: $20 for Chamber members, $30 for the general public. –––––––––– September 4: “Minnesota’s New Wage Theft Law – What Every Business Needs to Know,” by Quinlivan & Hughes –––––––––– October 2: “Business on a Budget – Free Tools for Success,” featuring business panel members: Tim Schmidt, Agency 511; Whitney Ditlevson, Stearns Electric; and Emily Bertram, St. Cloud Area Chamber’s Convention & Visitors Bureau.

This celebration honors the many contributions of Chamber volunteers who make the St. Cloud area a better place to live and work. 5-7:30 p.m. The event is open to all Chamber members and their guests. Cost is $25 and registration is required at StCloudAreaChamber.com. Visit Star-Celebration.com for more information. –––––––––– October 3: The Gorecki Center at the College of Saint Benedict, 37 College Ave. S, St. Joseph

NETWORKING SUCCESS

September 19: 8 – 9:30 a.m. at the Chamber office, 1411 W. St. Germain St., Ste. 101, St. Cloud. –––––––––– This educational event will put attendees in front of three successful Chamber members who will answer questions about effective networking, provide their best practices, and guide role-play situations. Cost is $20 for students with a current ID, $30 for Chamber members, and $45 for non-members. A continental breakfast will be available.

Now Scheduling Your

COLONOSCOPY

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

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

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

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 //

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UpFront TOP HATS

NEWS REEL BERGANKDV EARNS NATIONAL AWARD, PROMOTES SHAREHOLDERS

The 2018 BerganKDV recruitment campaign received the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Marketing Achievement Award (AAM-MAA) in the Marketing and PR Campaigns category. Winning entries were recognized for the accomplishment of a specific goal or objective, demonstration of approaching a project strategically, creative execution, and measurable results.

The company promoted Brian Aronson (Waterloo) and John Fossum (St. Cloud) to Shareholders.

The following people were elected to fill three-year terms on the BerganKDV board of directors: Becky Morgan, Cedar Rapids, IA Gene Garrelts, Omaha, NE Russ Sand, St. Cloud Dave Richter, Waterloo, IA Matt Mayer, Bloomington, MN Earl Edeburn, St. Cloud and Dan Roling, Waterloo, IA. Accounting Today named BerganKDV Wealth Management, LLC as the 27th largest wealth management firm ranked by assets under management (AUM) for 2019 with $1.28 billion in assets. Send News Reel items to Gail Ivers, givers@businesscentralmagazine.com for possible inclusion. News Reel is compiled by Kelti Lorence.

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Top Hat Celebration!

Celebrating Chamber membership never looked so good. Cheers to those celebrating membership of 20 years or more!

20-year Chamber Member WSB & Associates, Inc., a design and consulting firm specializing in engineering, community planning, environmental, and construction services, 4140 Thielman Lane suite 204, St. Cloud. Pictured: Mark Osendorf, Chuck Rickart, Andy Brotzler, Mike Nielson, Ron Bray, Mike Rief, Matt Knutson.

20-year Chamber Member CentraCare Health Foundation, engages the philanthropic community to improve health and health care, 3001 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Brad Konkler, Jason Miller.

20-year Chamber Member Ameribuilt Buildings, Inc., provide and erect post frame and steel frame buildings.General contracting services available, 904 W Division Street, Waite Park. Pictured: Kristin Hannon, Pete Andersen, Lon Isaacson, Juleen Wegman, Brian Jarl.

20-year Chamber Member Anderson Center, provides management and leadership development forums for executives across Greater Minnesota. 122 12th Ave. N suite 102, St. Cloud. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Rebecca Gross, Emily Heying, Tanja Goering.

20-year Chamber Member Saint Benedict's Monastery, a religious institution of women offering a spirituality center, museum, gallery and gift shop, 104 Chapel Lane, St. Joseph. Pictured: Jason Miller, Sisters Patricia Ruether, Karen Rose, Nina Lasceski; and Rory Cruser.

20-year Chamber Member K. Johnson Construction, Inc., a commercial concrete and masonry company, 6870 Hwy 10 NW, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Kevin Johnson, Caryn Stadther.

20-year Chamber Member Opportunity Services, a non-profit, accredited agency providing job opportunities and community experiences for adults with disabilities, 1717 W St. Germain Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Jason Miller, Steve Hollingsworth, Craig Zach, Matt Knutson.

20-year Chamber Member Holiday Inn Express, lodging and meeting facilities, 4322 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. Pictured: Matt Knutson, Kerri Welch, Tracy Uttley, Malinda Wicker, Jason Miller.

20-year Chamber Member Miller Companies, Inc., real estate development, land sales, leasing of retail/office space, 3335 W St. Germain Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Sarah Noble, Tom BĂśsl, Mark Osendorf.


TOP HATS TOP HATS: New Members

20-year Chamber Member CWMF Corp, manufacturer of asphalt, aggregate and concrete plant equipment, 701 Julep Road, Waite Park. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Carmie Mick, Travis Mick, Caryn Stadther.

20-year Chamber Member Geo-Comm, Inc., mapping, software development, GIS data management and software solutions to 9-1-1 locations, 601 W St. Germain Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Brenda Eisenschenk, Tom Grones, John Bryant, Jason Miller.

20-year Chamber Member Finken Water Treatment, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, water softening and purifying equipment, drinking water systems, home and office coffee systems, HVAC, 3423 Country Rd 74, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tanja Goering, Chris Blaskowski, Kristin Hannon.

20-year Chamber Member Granite City Food & Brewery, restaurant with onsite brewery, 3945 2nd Street S., St. Cloud. Pictured: Brenda Eisenschenk, Chris Keinz, April Diederich.

25-year Chamber Member Once Upon A Child, buy and sell new and gently used children's items, 110 2nd Street S suite 101, Waite Park. Pictured: Kristin Hannon, Al Dahlgren, Tanja Goering.

25-year Chamber Member GB & Co. Hair-Skin-Spa, full service spa/salon offering personal grooming services for men and women. 80 37th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Diane Diego Ohmann, John Zoffka, Colleen Zoffka, Roger Schleper.

25-year Chamber Member St. Cloud Stamp & Sign, LLC, full service marking products manufacturer for business or personal use, custom hand, self-inking and pre-inked stamps, custom name tags and plates, 601 20th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tanja Goering, Kristina Sippel, Rory Cruser.

30-year Chamber Member GLTArchitects, a full-service architectural firm working with public and private businesses and organizations, 808 Courthouse Square, St. Cloud. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Dan Tideman, Evan Larson, Steve Paasch, Beth Putz.

30-year Chamber Member Dale Gruber Construction, general contracting, design-build, tenant build-out, remodeling and repair service, 120 Osseo Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Peg Imholte, Rachel Gruber, Dale Gruber, Brenda Eisenschenk.

Bell Bank Mortgage, 3051 2nd Street S, suite 101, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tanja Goering, Asha Pollino, Mike Petroske, Lynn Virchow, Brady Allen, Peg Imholte.

Castle Realty, a full-service real estate business working with buyers, sellers and investors in real estate transactions spanning all price ranges and property types, 720 8th Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Sheri Moran, Pennie Lee, Patrick Hollermann.

SaveOn magazine/SaveOn.com, a 34-year-old direct mail/marketing company with experience in print, digital and email and multiplatform marketing programs, 2980 Rice Street, Little Canada. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Bill Warner, Luke Cesnik.

30-year Chamber Member Vacuum Center & Sewing Room, sales, repair, parts and supplies for vacuums, cleaning equipment and sewing machines, 14 21st Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Perry Pierce, Tanja Goering.

35-year Chamber member Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., a full-service engineering, planning and surveying firm, 3717 23rd Street S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Jeremy Mathiasen, Linda Brown, Caryn Stadther.

Andy Tollefson Coaching, fitness plans, coaching and support to make fitness dreams reality, 3685 Plum Creek Drive. St. Cloud. Pictured: Jason Miller, Andrew Tollefson, Inese Mehr.

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UpFront REGIONAL ROUNDUP

Investing in the Future

From investing in fire trucks to paying down debt, the City of Sauk Rapids is all about looking to the future.

I

mproving efficiency of operations and resource opportunities was the focus for the City of Sauk Rapids in 2018, according to Sauk Rapids Mayor, Kurt Hunstiger. The mayor shared a number of accomplishments with the Sauk Rapids Chamber at the State of the City Address earlier this year. The city administration worked hard on their overall budget debt reduction, and all departments pitched in to reduce their daily costs. The Public Works department plans to complete their LED conversion project by the end of 2019, changing all

lightbulbs in City Hall, the fire station, and 250 city-owned street lamps to LED lights. Construction accomplishments in 2018 included completing: • 31 single family dwellings • The 2017 2nd Avenue South improvement project • The 2018 overlay improvements project • Quarry Road infrastructure In 2019, the City set goals to complete: • Plans for Benton Drive, River Avenue, and the CSAH 1 trail • Replacement of the Pleasantview Park

PEOPLE TO KNOW The Sauk Rapids Chamber, a division of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, promotes a healthy business environment in the community of Sauk Rapids, working in cooperation with member businesses, local government, the public-school system, and other community organizations. Programs include the Sauk Rapids State of the City Address.

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Architectural rendering of Lions park and Southside Park Improvements

playground equipment • 4th Street South • Hiring additional staff As the City’s population grows, so does the need for public services. Last year the fire department responded to 239 service calls, a record high for Sauk Rapids. Resources and local businesses expanded by welcoming two firefighters and one police officer in 2018. Three new companies have opened in 2019: St. Cloud Financial Credit Union, Dutch Maid Bakery, and El Loro Mexican Restaurant.

Berni Halaas, Chair

New Century Real Estate ––––––––––– (320) 492-3420 berni@newcenturymn.com

Brenda Sickler, Vice Chair Theisen Dental ––––––––––– (320) 252-7806 Brenda@theisendental.com

GET INVOLVED

Building Business The Sauk Rapids Chamber offers networking, education for local businesses.

Sauk Rapids Mayor Kurt Hunstiger explains the city’s debt reduction plan at the 2019 State of the City address.

T

he Sauk Rapids Chamber meets from 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month, January – October and the third Thursday in November and December. Lunch is provided by the host when you register at least two days in advance. Meetings are generally held at the Sauk Rapids Government Center, but locations can vary so check the website: SaukRapidsChamber.com. All businesses interested in Sauk Rapids business issues are welcome to attend. For details on joining the Chamber, contact Antoinette Valenzuela, 320-656-3834, avalenzuela@StCloud AreaChamber.com If you are interested in hosting a meeting, contact Berni Halaas.


Proposed Lion’s Park Splash Pad

The Police Department began using thermal imagers and ballistic helmets in their squad cars. Imagers will help locate people and property during the night, while helmets will be carried in each car for use during high risk situations. The department has plans to hire two more officers before the end of 2019 and deploy the use of bodyworn cameras

before 2020. A Police Reserve Program was prepared in 2018, with plans to rollout the program into the community in the next few years. The Fire Station put their rescue airboat into service in 2018 and formed a truck committee with the Sartell Fire Department to plan and build two new trucks. This will lessen the cost and make purchasing parts easier.

Liquor sales in 2018 exceeded $3 million. The $160,000 net profit will be used to purchase police cars, fire trucks, and snow plows. City administration continued their accelerated debt reduction plan in 2018 by paying off another bond early. This reduces the total debt from $15.4 million on December 31, 2017, to $10.7 million on December 31, 2018. Total debt is down from $21.2 million in 2009. The City increased its building fund balance to approximately $2.5 million to prepare for the maintenance and improvements needed in the near- and long-term future.

In the past decade, Sauk Rapids has made a tremendous investment in its future, with the following projects: • Water Treatment Plant • Public Works Facility • Water Tower at the high school • Government Center • Fire Hall • New Mississippi River bridge • Benton Drive reconstruction • 2nd Street reconstruction • Golden Spike Road improvements “I’m pleased with where things are going,” Mayor Hunstiger said. “We’ve added staff, we’re trying to add services and do something for everyone.” – Compiled by Kelti Lorence

Grow with us. Personal banking and more. With Farmers & Merchants State Bank, it’s a lot like having a best friend along for your financial journey, every step of the way. We’re close by, loyal, and always up for an adventure.

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FMpierz.com S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 //

MEMBER FDIC

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UpFront

NetworkCentral GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

u

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

Network!

…at Business After Hours Holiday & Suites

Above: Dave Battleson, Rapids Alterations; Christine Stuttgen, Christine’s Sweet Confections; Cindy Battleson, Rapids Alterations

Top Right: Jes Peterson, (L) Annie Peterson, and Margie Otten, Minnwest Bank; Beth Cummings and Deb Paul, CentraCare Foundation; Kristin Hannon, Minnwest Bank Bottom Right: Reggie Vanlonden, (L) SuperGreen Solutions and Muhammad Aslam, Sand Hospitality

Network!

…at Business After Hours Arvig Laura Kangas and Gene Curtis, Arvig

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Pete Helmin, (L) All State Communications and Brian Jarl, Advantage 1 Insurance Agency


Network!

‌at Business After Hours DJ Bitzan Jewelers

The gentlemen from Creative Catering prepare a summer feast at the DJ Bitzan Business After Hours.

Antoinette Valenzuela, (L) St. Cloud Area Chamber; Katie Kunkel, Applebee’s; Rachel Lolmasteymaugh, Sta Fit; Donniel Robinson, Robinson Wellness

Rich Gallus, (L) City of St. Cloud and Patrick Hollermann, InteleCONNECT

Dexter Hanson, BadCat Digital and St. Cloud Pride; Kayla Blunt, Toppers Pizza

Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber and Steve Paasch, GLTArchitects

Luke Cesnik, Freedom Flight; Jane DeAustin, Central Minn. Builders Association; Bennie McWilliams, ECig Lounge; and Inese Mehr, Rengel Printing

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InSIDE THIS ISSUE:

BUSINESS TOOLS GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

u

Entreprenuerism • Tech Strategies Economy Central by Falcon Bank

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

RESOURCES THAT HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW

MANAGEMENT TOOLKIT

Wage Theft

By Chad Staul

Minnesota’s new wage theft law adds to all employers’ wage and hour obligations. for wages for a greater amount than that actually paid to the employee for services rendered ________ Directly or indirectly demanding or receiving from any employee any rebate or refund from the wages owed the employee; or ________

P

erhaps the largest change to Minnesota’s wage and hour law in recent years is now in effect. The law, among other things, imposes criminal penalties for “wage theft,”creates additional administrative requirements for employers, and greatly expands employee protections. What is Wage Theft? Generally speaking, wage theft is when an employer commits actions that adversely affect an employee’s wages.

While such actions have always been deemed civil violations, they may now be considered criminal in nature. Any of the following actions done with the intent to defraud will be considered wage theft: Failing to pay an employee all wages, salary, gratuities, earnings, or commissions as required by federal, state, or local law ________

Directly or indirectly causing any employee to give a receipt

contributor Chad Staul is an attorney with Quinlivan & Hughes. He specializes in employment and labor law.

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Making it appear in any manner that the wages paid to any employee were greater than the amount actually paid to the employee. In addition, the law requires employers to provide employees with an Employee Notice and implement new Earnings Statements. It also gives the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) greater authority to monitor compliance. What is an Employee Notice? Beginning on July 1, 2019, employers must provide each employee at the start of employment a written notice containing a great deal of information regarding the employee’s terms and conditions of employment. You can find a link at BusinessCentralMagazine.com to the DOLI’s sample form for more detailed information on what the form must contain.

Employers must keep a copy of the notice signed by each employee acknowledging receipt. Best practice is to place it in the employee’s personnel file. This will be useful when changes need to be made. When information on the original Employee Notice changes, employers must give the employee written notification of the change prior to the date it takes effect. Best practice would be to document any change in the information and attach it to the Employee Notice so that over time the employee’s personnel file will reflect a chronological history of that employee’s terms and conditions of employment. What is the Earnings Statement? In addition to the information already required by law, the Earnings Statement provided to employees must also include the following new information: ________ The basis for an employee’s pay, including whether the employee is paid by hour, shift, day, week, salary, piece, commission, or other method ________ Allowances, if any, claimed pursuant to permitted meals and lodging


WWW.DESIGNELECT.COM

________

The physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address if different. DOLI’s Authority Expands The law gives the DOLI Commissioner authority to enter an employer’s place of business during work hours to investigate potential wage and hour violations. Much like the authority granted to other state departments (such as the Minnesota Department of Human Rights) the DOLI’s authority includes the ability to collect evidence of potential violations and to interview witnesses. The Wage Theft Law contains a myriad of other provisions that employers should learn and understand. Employers with questions, comments, or concerns regarding Minnesota’s Wage Theft Law should consult with their attorney.

TECH NEWS

Landing on the Future

Many of the internet technologies we use every day have their roots in the Apollo program: telecommunications satellites, GPS, and integrated circuits to name three. The moon landing may be 50 years old, but the resulting societal impact by the visionaries who worked on it is hard to measure.

AWARD WINNING ALCUIN LIBRARY AT ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY

CONTACT US FOR ALL YOUR COMMERCIAL WIRING NEEDS ENERGY EFFICENCY SOLUTIONS FOR ANY FACILITY UNCOMPROMISING CUSTOMER SERVICE

ELECTRIC, INC.

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24-Hour Emergency Service

SOME CALL IT MINNESOTA NICE.

WE CALL IT DOING THE RIGHT THING.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bank that cared less about their pocketbook and more about yours? At American National Bank of Minnesota, we are committed to helping make your dreams come true. Where others only see obstacles, our friendly, down-to-earth staff work hard to find solutions that will help you achieve your goals. Just like mosquitos and potholes, American National Bank’s commitment is also big in Minnesota.

To learn more, visit anbmn.com, stop by our St. Cloud location, or call 320.253.0142.

Source: Forbes.com

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BusinessTools ENTREPRENEURISM

Managing Risk Taking risks is how you grow your business. Learning to minimize your financial risk is how you stay in business. considerations to create a solid 2019 strategy include the Section 199A deduction, new Opportunity Zone tax incentives, and the rescinding of the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). 2 State and Local Tax

(SALT) - The South Dakota v. Wayfair decision means that states are allowed to subject companies to state taxes based on an economic presence within their state. Business owners must now determine their filing obligations in states and localities where compliance was not required in the past. Business owners need to update their reporting tools as they comply with state law changes. 3 Fractional CFO

By Paul Radeke

B

usiness owners are natural risk takers. You have what it takes to step out on a limb to try new things, launch new products and expand your company’s operations. The danger comes when you leap without the information you need to appropriately manage your risk. The number one risk for any business is not managing your finances correctly. Here are five ways you can minimize your financial risk as a business owner:

26

1 Tax reform

With tax season behind us, the last thing most of us want to think about is tax planning. But, the reality is that now is the time to start planning to make sure you are taking advantage of all the changes that have occurred because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 (TCJA). Some key

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

contributor

Consider using a fractional, or outsourced chief financial officer (CFO). This individual, who has CFO experience, helps organizations with their financial needs on a part-time basis, either on retainer or more typically a contracted basis. This can be a great way for a smaller organization to have a seasoned veteran on the team to ensure that the company’s financials are in order and can help leadership work with outside counsel,

financial institutions and/or investors. 4 Human Capital

Management (HCM) As organizations grow, so do the complexities of workforce management. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that employers must report pay data, broken down by race, sex and ethnicity, from 2017 and 2018 payrolls. The reports are due September 30. Using an integrated HCM software helps business owners comply with these types of regulations and more efficiently manage things like payroll and benefits administration. 5 Fraud awareness

and prevention Fraud is something that poses a tremendous threat to organizations of all sizes and types. From cyber fraud to asset misappropriation to financial statement fraud, the median loss per case based on a study done every two years by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners is $130,000. The most common concealment method is the creation of fraudulent or altered physical documents. Lack of internal controls or an employee’s

Paul Radeke is a shareholder with BerganKDV, responsible for market development in the greater St. Cloud area.


ability to override existing controls are the primary system weaknesses that contribute to occupational fraud. Proper monitoring tools and guidance on internal controls can help protect an organization from this threat. Managing financial risk isn’t something that most business owners are particularly excited to tackle. Most would rather spend their time and energy in customerfacing interactions. However, taking the time to address these potential financial risks can help you avoid temporary setbacks, or even worse, irreparable damage to your business.

TECH NEWS

Buy, Buy, Buy

In our sales-mad world, the hints are already out about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Top guesses on what to start planning for now? 2019 iPads, Xbox One, 4K TVs, Amazon Echo devices, Fire TV Sticks…and the list goes on. Source: TechRadar.com

Meet the Tweel

The Michelin Tweel is simultaneously like a zero-profile performance tire, a run-flat, and an off-road balloon tire aired down to 10 psi. This combination tire and wheel combines skinny sidewalls with flexible poly-resin spokes connected to a hub. It’s available – at a price – as an upgrade on some lawn tractors or to retrofit certain mowers. Michelin is also making off-road Tweels for UTVs, small turf-friendly models for golf carts, and even skid-steer Tweels. But, alas, the automotive Tweel is still on the drawing board. To see the Tweel in action, visit BusinessCentralMagazine.com

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27


BusinessTools TECH STRATEGIES

Who’s on Your Social Squad? Getting results on social media takes a team. By Dawn Zimmerman

In business, representatives from marketing and events, sales, customer service, and human resources often are a good place to start. Social squads typically are comprised of 12-20 individuals.

O

rganizations that gain increasing followership and engagement on social media do not rely on one person to do it all. They recruit, train and engage a team of content generators who post, mind the metrics and stay abreast of social media trends. Who’s on your social squad? A social squad isn’t a new concept, but it’s becoming increasingly important to an organization’s overall performance on social media. The goal is to create a crossfunctional team that works closely with key

functions, programs and locations in your organization. This team should include at least one member of the leadership team who provides ongoing strategic direction. Another person often coordinates the team, scheduling meetings and managing the daily operations. Build out the rest of the team by identifying who’s most often where the desired content is generated. In a school for example, it’s important to engage teachers who can capture content in the classroom (in real time).

What are the prerequisites? When selecting squad members, identify those who are already ambassadors for the organization and naturally personable. They should be users of social media, especially the platforms you use. Those who already have a social media followership are best, but not required. What’s most important is that they have a willingness to learn and adapt. Social media will keep changing. You want the members of your squad to welcome that change and see how it provides new opportunities for your organization. What are their responsibilities? Each member of a social squad typically is responsible for posting about once a week and remaining an active participant in helping execute the social media strategy. Depending on the size of the squad and the organization’s strategy, it could be less than that.

contributor Dawn Zimmerman is CEO of The Write Advantage, a St. Cloud-based strategic communications company that specializes in social media. She can be reached at dawn@writeadv.com

28

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

Each member has a few key responsibilities: 1 Post

Each squad member receives some level of administrative permissions to post directly on the organization’s social media channels on behalf of the organization. This includes writing short posts with at least one image in line with the organization’s content strategy, as well as creating and publishing photo galleries and microvideos. ________ 2.Engage

Social media is more than pushing out content. It thrives on engagement. So, each squad member also needs to consider how to pull people in. That includes tagging individuals and organizations, responding to comments on the posts they publish and, as appropriate, sharing content on their personal accounts. It also includes being part of the creative team that brainstorms new ideas for campaigns to achieve the organization’s key goals. ________ 3 Learn

The power of a social squad comes as members collectively review analytic reports, learn about best practices, and talk about next steps. Effective social media combines storytelling with a metricsdriven approach. Each month, squad members can gain insights by comparing their performance to the prior month and year, as well as industry benchmarks


How do you get started? Get started by hosting a kick-off training session where all the squad members learn the best practices for the social media tools they will be using, as well as your organization’s social media strategy and their role in achieving it.

Then set a monthly meeting schedule where everyone will come together to review analytics, receive ongoing training and develop campaigns and action plans to use social media to accomplish key goals for your organization. It’s common for these meetings to be facilitated by an outside social media specialist who can provide training, a best practices approach based on benchmarks, and accountability to stay on track.

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29


BusinessTools

Economy Central presented by

ECONOMY CENTRAL

Think Global U.S. tariff policy hits St. Cloud harder than other parts of the country.

By King Banaian and Artatrana Ratha

Those retaliatory tariffs against food products, like soybeans, could hurt the St. Cloud economy by a similar amount to the aluminum tariffs that hit our fabricated metal products.

M

any news reports on U.S. policy regarding tariffs and trade relations show strain with many partners in the last two years. Some have focused on the St. Cloud area by addressing specific firms. Here we widen the lens to consider the area more generally. Sometimes tariffs are applied on a specific good regardless of its origin, such as solar panels, aluminum and steel. The latter two are key industrial inputs for local businesses. A tariff on steel induces some -- but not all -- producers to switch suppliers from foreign to domestic sources. The cost of the input rises. Some of this is passed on to customers, but not all of it can be, forcing the producer of that product to lose profits. While tariffs add to the government revenue and producers of the intermediate

30

goods gain, the losses to consumers and producers of the final good are greater. By one recent estimate, the net loss to the U.S. is $7.8 billion, about 0.04% of GDP. It’s possible that Chinese firms may accept a lower price to prevent falling sales and loss of market share to the domestic competitors, who would see higher profits and greater employment. However researchers at the New York Federal Reserve suggest that prices have not fallen. Price increases have been completely passed on to American consumers. According to one estimate, manufacturing goods were 1.1% more expensive in 2018 due to tariffs. Let’s focus on the manufacturing sector of St. Cloud, which is the area most directly impacted by tariffs. In 2016 this sector accounted for $1.46 billion in area output

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

(16.9% of all area GDP) and $923 million in labor income (15.5% of all worker compensation). St. Cloud exports $266 million of goods and services (3% of area GDP). Like much of America, St. Cloud is an economy somewhat sheltered from foreign competition. Three quarters of our exports come in four manufacturing subsectors: transportation equipment; machinery; electrical equipment and appliances, and food. Data limitations prevent us from saying too much about some of these subsectors. One we can address is fabricated metal product manufacturing that produces $158.2 million in output and $124 million in labor income. For sheet aluminum that might be purchased by one of these firms, the cost of the aluminum itself is 55% of the sheet. Thus a rise in the price of aluminum due to a tariff of 10% should increase the cost of these fabricated products by about 5%. Based on our calculations, manufacturers of fabricated metal products lose competitiveness by 12.2%. A back-of-the-envelope calculation says sales fall by $8-$11 million or about 0.1% of area GDP.

While this does not sound like very much, this is only one industry. St. Cloud exported $28 million of food products, which have been hit by retaliatory tariffs of 23% applied by other countries after our tariff increases. Those retaliatory tariffs against food products, like soybeans, could hurt the St. Cloud economy by a similar amount to the aluminum tariffs that hit our fabricated metal products. Overall, the impact of tariffs is significantly higher on St. Cloud area companies than many other parts of the country. While we only export 3% of area GDP this includes 14% of our manufacturing product, the source of many good-paying jobs. Tariffs not only hit area sales, but slow the growth of those jobs. Thus business owners should keep a close eye on the state of negotiations between the U.S. and China, as well as ratification of the U.S.-MexicoCanada agreement in the U.S. Congress. King Banaian is Dean, School of Public Affairs and Artatrana Ratha is a professor in the Department of Economics, both at St. Cloud State University.


$80M

TOTAL: $66,467,193

$40M

$50M

$80M

$900000

TOTAL: $105,916,270*

TOTAL: $288,822,542

TOTAL: $288,822,542

341 $89,192,774 July

2018

St. Augusta

13 September Mar $2,107,200

7 $1,587,313

2017 2

$10,100

August St. Joseph 56 70 30 2019 Feb $0 $19,525,262 $18,129,160 $5,578,760

June

2018

Apr

Source: www.positivelyminnesota.com

2018�19 % CHANGE

F

M

December

October

J

$0

November

September

Jan

August

July

June

May

April

Feb

March

1.0%

February

$300M

January

$250M

2017

Non FarmMarJobs 1.5%

December

November

October

September

$200M

$500k

July *Total as of 8/2/19; St.Jan Augusta data is only available quarterly.

Source: www.positivelyminnesota.com

$150M

Food and Be

ST. CLOUD Waite Park 73 83 57 October Apr $6,403,398 $7,260,629 $10,479,000

TOTAL: $221,316,488

August

$100M

July

June

$50M

May

April

March

$0M

February

January

5%

ST. CLOUD

Sauk Rapids 32 34 22 November May $14,128,688 $16,509,793 $13,944,082

May

2018�2019

Food and Be

178 $70,239,428

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

Unemployment Rates

500

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

2018

2017

383 $231,596,447

TOTAL: 1789

$300M

St. Cloud

TOTAL: 1752

$250M

0

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

2000

$200M

25 $1,476,190

November

TOTAL: 1655

TOTAL: $221,316,488

TOTAL: $105,916,270*

$150M

2017

98 $6,043,519

January *Total as of 8/2/19; St.December Augusta data is only available quarterly.

1500

TOTAL: $133,773*

$1500000

TOTAL: $1,272,176*

TOTAL: $1,333,423

$1200000

$100M

140 February $4,433,502

BUILDING PERMITS BY COMMUNITY September

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

$50M

St. Joseph

October

Commercial Building Permits

$0M

St. Augusta 88 72 8 March $6,116,630 $6,469,120 $338,495

1000

$600000

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

2017 2019

$70M

Commercial Building Permits

2019

2018

$60M

2018

Waite Park 70 46 14 April $4,244,281 $1,509,887 $422,016

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

$30M

500

Sauk Rapids 199 174 84 May $7,908,010 $8,409,293 $4,461,826

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

$20M

0

January

Sartell 299 380 157 June $15,947,945 $20,426,812 $10,019,380

2017

$10M

622 597 303 July 2019 $32,230,127 $25,555,950 $13,047,509

500

$300000

$0M

February

St. Cloud

2016

2017

March

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

0

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

$0

TOTAL:$70,880,396

6 COMMUNITIES � ST. C ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSE

September BUILDING PERMITS BY COMMUNITY

2015

2018

2017

2016

2018

December

$70M

November

$60M

Home Sales C

2018 October

$50M

September

$40M

August

$30M

880,396

$20M

July

$10M

June

$0M

October April

May

2019

TOTAL: $29,765,415*

April

2017

March

TOTAL:$70,880,396

November May

February

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

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

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

2018

2019

July December June

TOTAL: $66,467,193

Residential Building Permits

6 COMMUNITIES � ST. ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOS

Economy Central presented by August COLOR KEY:

2019 Compiled by Amber Sunder, data current as of 8/2/19

Home Sales C

September

TOTAL: $29,765,415*

ECONOMIC INDICATORS & TRENDS

908,072

October

$100M

$250M

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

832,866

316,488

669,534

111,110

Residential Building Permits

A

M

$500k

0.5%

4%

0.0% -0.5%

3%

-1.0% -1.5%

2%

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

-2.0%

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

St. Cloud Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota United States

J

St. Cloud, MN MetroSA Minnesota United States

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 //

www.businesscentralmagazine.com

31


396

072

866

COLOR KEY: December

ECONOMIC INDICATORS & TRENDS

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

November

$2M

entral Minnesota entrepreneurs, and those in the rest of the August

Midwest, have reason to smile. Great North Labs, an early-

stage venture fund focused on cultivating the next generation of

TOTAL: $1,523,946

$23.7 million May in committed capital. The fund is based in St. Cloud and Minneapolis, with a partner in Silicon Valley. April

Great North Labs invests in consumer or enterprise startups

that have potential to reach a $1 billion market, show early signs of March

2000

$1500000

Residential 2017 2018 2019 2017 Stearns Co. 84 31 52

tech startupsJune across the Upper Midwest, closed its first fund with TOTAL: 1789

120

July

TOTAL: 1752

100

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

TOTAL: 111

C

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

November

Local venture October capital fund is investing in early-stage tech startups. September

TOTAL: 125

October

September

August

2017

Funding New Tech

TOTAL: 1655

SHERIFF’S FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS

July

December

TOTAL: 61*

TOTAL: $1,566,952

80

$1.5M

1500

60

TOTAL: $133,773*

40

TOTAL: $1,272,176*

TOTAL: $1,333,423

$1200000

20

June

$900000

2018 0

$1M

1000

$600000

2019

$500k

DID YOU KNOW?

TOTAL: $655,466 *

2017

January

500

$300000

2018

February

*Total as of 8/2/19

Food and Beverage Tax Collection ST. CLOUD

TOTAL: $1,523,946

Sources: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud

Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auctions

2019

May

$0

2016

2000

Jan $200M $250M $300M Housing/Real Estate sources: St. Cloud Area Association of Realtors, http://stcloudrealtors.com/pages/statistics. *Total as of 8/2/19

STEARNS AND BENTON COUNTIES

April

2017

Feb 1500

March

March

0

1000

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

500

ST. CLOUD

$0 0

April

TOTAL: 1789

Mar

TOTAL: $1,566,952

May

2015

2018

2017

2016

TOTAL: $221,316,488

June

2018

Apr

February

June

TOTAL: $655,466 *

July

TOTAL:1815

May

2017

August

2019

August

TOTAL: $288,822,542

2018

January

TOTAL: 833* September

July

October

ST. CLOUD September

October

TOTAL: $105,916,270*

2019

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK,

$150M

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

November 6 COMMUNITIES � ST. CLOUD, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK,

February product-market fit, and leverage new technology. Startups must

Benton Co. 27 94 9 $0 $500k $1M $1.5M

Benton County Sheriff’s Civil Process; Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Office *Total as of 8/2/19

$2M

be based in, or significantly tied to, the Upper Midwest. January

Great North Labs has also committed 10 percent of the fund

($2.37 million) to investments in pre-seed startups with founders from under-represented groups, or startups located in underserved markets, such as St. Cloud, Sioux Falls, and Fargo.

Lodging Tax Dollars

86%

Expect sales to grow or remain stable in 2020

82%

Expect profits to grow or remain the same

95%

Expect productivity to grow or remain the same

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

Economy Central presented by

December

Minnesota business service firms are feeling positive about the economy.

*Total as of 8/2/19

32

November

$2M

October

Sources: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud

$1.5M

September

$1M

Stable in 2020

August

$500k

July

$0

June

2017

May

TOTAL: $1,623,035

April

2018

March

TOTAL: $1,748,626

February

TOTAL: $679,341*

January

December

November

October

2019

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

ST. CLOUD

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

December

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

ding Permits ST. AUGUSTA, ST. JOSEPH

M

$100M

488

534

110

$250M

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Full Speed Ahead B R OT H E R S ST E V E A N D J E F F M I E S H AV E F O U N D S U C C E S S B Y G R O W I N G T H E I R C O M PA N Y I N T I N Y W AT K I N S , M I N N . COVER STORY By Gail Ivers

_______

Photos by Joel Butkowski, Butkowski Digital Imaging

34

I

n the 22 years that Steve and Jeff Mies have owned Mies Outland, they have undergone six significant construction projects. In each case, the two say, the investment has been a catalyst for growth. But their most recent renovation, though good for the company, is tinged with sadness. After 72 years as a John Deere dealership, Mies Outland is no longer selling John Deere. “I think in the early 2000s we made the conscious decision that instead of going down the John Deere line, John Deere forever, buying more John Deere stores, we were going to go the powersports route,” Steve Mies said. The decision was driven in part by the manufacturer, which

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

has gravitated toward multi-store dealerships – fewer dealerowners with more locations. “We were a single-store John Deere dealer,” Steve said. “That didn’t bode well long term. So we knew, and have known for a long time, that at some point we would exit the John Deere market.” That time has come. “Leaving John Deere is difficult,” Steve said. “There’s so much history with us. That’s where we started, my grandpa, my dad, that’s what we did for a long time – for 72 years that’s what we did. But the economic realities of being a single John Deere store just don’t work long term.” Though the change is bittersweet, the brothers are philosophical. They’re helping their John Deere customers transition to neighboring dealerships, and turning their focus to their first love: powersports. For them, it’s full speed ahead.


d B u s i n e s s P ro f i l e Mies Outland // Watkins and St. Cloud _______

Business Description: Powersports dealership Watkins: 720 Highway 55, Watkins, MN // 320-764-1000 St. Cloud: 3653 32nd Street SE, St. Cloud, MN // 320-253-7878 Mies@miesoutland.com // miesoutland.com Ownership: Jeff and Steve Mies are 50/50 partners St. Cloud based employees: 35 // Total number of employees: 103


COVER STORY

Getting Started

I Personal Profile Steve Mies, 57

_______

Co-owner, Mies Outland Hometown: Watkins Education: Graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1984 Work History: Served in the Army for three years; Mies Outland for 32 years Family: Married 28 years to Roberta; two children: Nicholas, 25 and Abby, 22 Hobbies: Running, reading, hunting _______

Fun Fact:

Steve has run a marathon in all 50 states.

36

n 1947 Mike Mies started the John Deere dealership in Watkins, Minn. In 1955 Mike’s sons, Tony and Verlin, returned from the service and wanted to join the business. Mike realized it would take more than just John Deere to support everyone, so he added a Ford dealership to the company. In 1965, Tony brought in Polaris, unknowingly creating the foundation for the future Mies Outland. Mike retired in 1972 and in 1978 Tony and Verlin divided the Tony and Alvina Mies celebrate the company. Verlin took _______ of the new Mies Equipment opening grand the Ford dealership STEVE 55 in November 1981. Highway on building and moved it down Advice to a Highway 55 where he would-be entrepreneur: built a new facility. when he was young, but had never seriously The best way to predict Tony kept the John considered making it a career. “Living in the future is to invent it. Deere and Polaris Europe was an interesting experience,” _______ dealerships staying in Steve said. “It was during that time I realized Best advice the existing location that maybe I would want to come home and you’ve received: in downtown Watkins. take a stab at the business.” You must be good Three years later he, In 1987 Steve joined Mies Equipment. to survive and excellent too, built a new facility The company had 13 employees and was to prevail. on Highway 55 at the primarily an ag dealership that also sold current site of Mies Polaris snowmobiles. “My interest was more Outland. on Polaris,” Steve said. “I think because that was really my Both Steve and Jeff grew up in the focus at the time, our Polaris sales started to increase and just business, but neither of them seriously continued to gain momentum over the years.” considered taking it over. “I remember Steve’s return from Europe and entry into the family one day when I was a senior in high business got Jeff’s attention. Jeff and his wife were living in school, my parents had lunch with Alabama when he started thinking that perhaps the family me. I knew something was coming,” business did have more appeal than he realized. “I think you Jeff said. “They asked, ‘As the last of grow up a bit, you realize life’s a long thing and you want to the kids are you interested in taking do something you’re going to enjoy,” Jeff said. “And it really over the business?’ I felt kind of bad! helped that Steve came back and was excited to be in the I said, ‘Aww, Mom and Dad, I’m not business. That made it more interesting to me as well.” The going to live in Watkins, Minnesota. brothers talked about what they might be able to do with the I’m going to finish college and go business. “For two young adults who were ready to jump in and live somewhere else.’ They were really make something of a family-owned business, it was a fun and good about it. They said, ‘Great. Go do interesting challenge.” what you want to do.’ It turns out, that Those early days of ownership were intense, according it wasn’t that many years later and here to the brothers. “When it was just Jeff and me selling in the comes Steve.” beginning…Saturdays were so busy,” Steve recalled. “We would Steve Mies went through ROTC meet at the restaurant in Watkins at 7 a.m., have breakfast, and spent 3 years in the army after and talk about how the day would go. We’d start at 8 a.m. and college, much of it in Europe. He had in many cases we would not stop until we closed at 4:30 p.m. always enjoyed working in the business Those were tough times and we really worked hard.”

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

WORDS OF ADVICE


WORDS OF ADVICE

their biggest challenge as well. Customers recognize it as the change from Mies Equipment to Mies Outland. _______ “In 2003 when we put on JEFF the Outland addition, which Advice to a would-be was our biggest addition out entrepreneur: of six, it changed everything,” Do something that you Steve said. will enjoy, surround The goal was to create yourself with people you an easy buying experience respect and want to work Taking the Reins for customers. They wanted with, and think long term. he transition from one generation a clean, modern dealership, _______ to the next was a smooth one. “I with plenty of inventory, and Best advice think the greatest thing our dad accessories that would help you’ve received and who did was he made the transition all about customers visualize owning gave it to you: us,” Steve said. “He would guide us, but the products. When Cabela’s “Be thankful for every not get in the way. When we wanted to in Owatonna opened, they customer, it’s their choice try something different he would always drove down to take a look. to do business with you.” stand back with caution, but he wouldn’t “We thought if we could Quote from my father. stand in the way.” somehow adapt a theme “I think the most important thing similar to that, but make was that our parents really wanted to provide a nice opportunity it more in tune with powersports, it for us to take the reins and go,” Jeff said. “When we started might make a store in little Watkins, to do that, they weren’t second guessing us all the time. They Minnesota more intriguing,” Jeff said. weren’t trying to keep us in our place. They just let us go. “We wanted to create an environment When we had new ideas it was maybe a little uncomfortable where people would drive to our store for them or something they wouldn’t have thought of doing, in Watkins because it was different or maybe appreciated us doing, but they let us do it anyhow.” than anywhere else they had been.” Of course, it helped that many of those new ideas were Neither of them thought of the successes, Jeff laughed. “Not all successes, but we had mostly expansion as particularly risky. “We’d successes. That gave us a great spring board to make the look at each other once in a while business grow.” during construction and say, ‘We’re The brothers agree that one of those earlier successes was doing the right thing, right?’ But we also the most innovate thing they have done, and probably were pretty convinced that this is what we wanted to do,” Jeff said. Only once did he feel some apprehension. Right after the Outland addition opened a group of retail executives from a similar powersports company visited to see what the brothers had done. “I overheard one of them saying If he has any regrets, Steve said, they are about the time away from family. “We live in Cold Spring and the store is in Watkins. Our kids can’t just ride their bikes over or walk across the street and hang out for a while on a Saturday like we were able to do. I always felt bad that we spent a lot of time working and building in the early days and were away from our families.”

T

1997 The Mies family celebrates 50 years in business: Jeff Mies (L); Steve Mies with his son Nicholas; Albina Mies, one of the original owners of Mies Implement with her husband Mike; Tony and Alvina Mies.

Personal Profile Jeff Mies, 50 _______

Co – owner, Mies Outland Hometown: Watkins Education: Graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1991 Work History: Glacier National Park 1990, 1991; Leonard Co., an Alabama car dealership 1992; Mies Outland for 27 years Family: Married for 27 years to Susan; three children: Regan, 19; Alton, 17; Anson, 15 Hobbies: Snowmobiling, hunting _______

Fun Fact:

Jeff’s wife is from Alabama. The two met while working at a lodge in Glacier National Park, Montana.

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COVER STORY

Timeline 1947 Mike Mies establishes a John Deere dealership in Watkins, Minn. 1955 Mike’s sons, Tony and Verlin, join the company. They add a Ford dealership. 1965 Mies Implement and Motors adds Polaris snowmobiles.

‘This will never work. They went way too far,’” Jeff said. “I remember when they left that I thought ‘I hope they’re not smarter than I think they are.’ And in a way it was a bit of a motivator, too. It just made me that much more determined to make sure we had done the right thing.” “It brought in so many people and created a different experience for all of our customers,” Steve said. “It was so successful that I think that was the big jump for us, the Outland addition.” One of those less successful ventures, “a bigger challenge than we thought it would be,” Jeff said, was the purchase of John’s Cat House in Paynesville.

1972 Mike Mies retires.

1978 Tony and Verlin divide the business. Tony takes the John Deere and Polaris dealerships. Verlin takes the Ford dealership, relocating to a new building on Highway 55 in Watkins. Mies Implement rebrands as Mies Equipment. 1981 Mies Equipment relocates to their current location, a newly constructed building on Highway 55. 1987 Steve Mies, Tony’s son, returns from Europe after three years in the army and joins the family business. The company has 13 employees.

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They renamed the business Paynesville Sports Center, sold marine products, Polaris, and Arctic Cat, and put a local manager in place while they kept an eye on the business from Watkins. “We were pretty young at the time,” Jeff said, “and we learned a lot. We went from a larger dealership and purchased a smaller one in not as good of a facility. And we were trying to run it remotely. It just always did ok.” After about ten years, the brothers decided to liquidate the business and sell the building. “It ended up being a fantastic move in hindsight,” Jeff said, “because it was just before the financial crisis hit. But it never really felt like a success to us. Maybe the success was in the way we exited.”

Next Steps

S

uccess may also have been in the lessons learned. “We knew if we were ever going to acquire another business or expand again, we were going to make sure it was not just a distraction,” Jeff said. “It was going to be something that was a worthwhile venture that could grow and be a better future location and business than what we had.” Enter, Bristow’s Kawasaki. Mike Bristow, owner of Bristow’s Kawasaki, had been a competitor of Mies Outland for years. Steve and Jeff had approached Mike Bristow, saying they would be interested in purchasing the business if it came up for sale. “We were excited one day when Mike called and said ‘Maybe it’s time,’” Jeff said.

AWARD WINNER

Celebrating Success

Family-owned business, Mies Outland, receives Business Central Mark of Excellence.

S

teve and Jeff Mies are the third generation owners of Mies Outland, based in Watkins, Minn., with a second location in St. Cloud. Neither of them intended to join the family business, but since 1997, when their father retired, the brothers have shared ownership and leadership of the company. Selection of the Mies brothers as the 2019 Business Central Mark of Excellence:

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

Family Owned Business is as much about their approach to business as it is about their success. When asked about adversity the two look at each other with puzzled expressions. It turns out adversity is not part of their vocabulary. “We’ve had no real dark days,” Steve Mies said. “When things happen we look at them as opportunities. There might be risk, but it’s always a way for us to grow.”


Timeline, continued Applying the lessons learned from their Paynesville Sports Center experience, Bristow’s checked off all the boxes. “It’s a fantastic location, right on Highway 10, right in St. Cloud,” Jeff said. “Mike ran a good business and did some things really well. We believed it had the potential to grow and expand and be relevant for a long time.” “That store has been such a success,” Steve said. “We’re very proud of that store and the people running it.”

Keeping it Fun

T

hough they won’t admit to having anything in the works, the brothers agree that they have talked about purchasing additional powersports dealerships. “We’ve probably had more fun sitting on a deck somewhere over a beer talking about what we should do with our business or what we should do next,” Jeff said. “It’s rewarding to come up with these fun ideas, talk them through, see them to fruition…and then the really rewarding part is seeing them work. It’s fun for us and for our employees. It makes it an exciting place to work…everyone likes to win.” “Many a beer has been drunk talking about what we can do to better the customer experience,” Steve agreed. But even more rewarding than running a successful business, is running it together. “We’ve been working together now for 27 years,” Steve said. “I have to say that’s been one of the most rewarding aspects of the business. We’ve never had a real fight. We can always talk our way through a problem. Some people say the hardest part of a family business is doing it with family. I have to say that one of the things I like best about being in business is that I get to do it with my brother.”

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

This from a company that has endured recession, survived the vagaries of the weather, experienced multiple expansions, and changed product lines. Currently Mies Outland is transitioning away from its agricultural roots and will no longer sell its foundational John Deere products. “We’ve known for ten years that this was coming,” Steve said. “We’ve been managing and planning for the transition so that both customers and employees are taken care of.” The brothers point to their purchase of St. Cloud’s Bristow’s in July 2016 as part of their

1992 Jeff Mies, Tony’s youngest son, decides to join Steve in the business, establishing a succession plan with their parents. 1993 Steve and Jeff Mies begin the first of six expansions at Mies Equipment. 1994 The Mies brothers purchase John’s Cat House in Paynesville, renaming it Paynesville Sports Center. 1997 Tony Mies retires. 1998 Mies Equipment expands a second time. 2003 Steve and Jeff Mies build a major expansion and rebrand as Mies Outland. 2007 Steve and Jeff Mies close Paynesville Sports Center, liquidating the inventory and selling the building.

2013 Mies Outland expands; adding Indian motorcycles to their product line. 2016 Mies Outland acquires Bristow’s Kawasaki in St. Cloud, adding 35 employees to the company. 2019 Steve and Jeff Mies decide to stop selling John Deere products in order to focus on powersports. They undertake a major renovation to accommodate the newly acquired line of Toro yard care products and the BRP line of powersports, including Can-Am, Ski-Doo, and Sea-Doo. Mies Outland is selected as the 2019 St. Cloud Area Chamber’s Business Central Mark of Excellence FamilyOwned Business of the Year. The company now has 103 employees in two locations.

strategic planning. After a complete remodel and change of product line, the two are happy with the result. “We didn’t know how much work it was going to be,” Jeff said. “But the St. Cloud store is showing us what can be done with powersports.” Steve and Jeff Mies, along with other award winners: Doug and Carol Severson, Handyman’s Hardware; and Brenda Eisenschenk, InteleCONNECT, were honored at the 2019 St. Cloud Area Chamber’s Business Awards Luncheon in April. S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9 //

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Feature

LEADERSHIP IS AGELESS

Getting involved is key to cultivating leadership skills – at any age. By Vicki Ikeogu Johnson

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T

he ultimate clash of civilizations for the 21st Century workplace: the senior manager and the rookie. Or, put another way, the Baby Boomer/ Gen Xer versus the Millennial. As the newest generation of individuals to enter the workplace, Millennials – those born typically from the mid-1980s through around 2000 – have borne their share of stereotypes when it comes to work ethic, management and leadership styles. While their skill set may be young and still in the process of development, Central Minnesota leaders – both up and coming and seasoned – feel the similarities far outweigh the dramatic differences many would have you believe. “I think being a leader almost has to do with the environment and where you grew up,” said Marie Lego, UCP of Central Minnesota. “I was the oldest of three so it was just natural to be leading siblings and

helping out at home. And I think you take that with you.” And mentors help. “I think every place you work has some type of mentor. Whether it’s your boss or your supervisor or like a really good employee,” she said. “And I guess I really sought out those people. Whether I shadowed them or asked them questions, it was probably a mixture of both. You know, I guess, learning from other people and learning from my own mistakes. That’s what definitely makes good leaders, learning from your own mistakes.” It’s a similar statement to how Leighton Broadcasting Account Executive Kalie Schuster approaches her ideas on leadership. “I don’t think that you are ever like, ‘Oh, I was born to be this way,’” she said. “I think you have to constantly develop new skills that will hone your leadership. And having a mentor will kind of help with that, too.” Prior to her current role at

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Leighton Broadcasting, Schuster, 27, said she began to learn some tips for leadership success while working in retail. “It’s just assumed that when you are somewhere long enough you’re bound to move up in management or leadership. And so that’s always what I assumed – if you were there for 20 years you were going to be the assistant manager. It’s just the next step that you take,” she said. “And then I found that wasn’t true because there are so many managers that I saw fail that way in the retail world. I’ve been made aware of what leaders look like and how they act. Are you actually here to help people reach their goals? Are you actually helping them and aiding them? Or are you restricting them from learning more and developing more?” It’s a common pitfall Bruce Miles, owner of St. Cloud-based workplace consulting firm Big River Group LLC, finds among hiring managers and supervisors. Especially

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Feature when it comes to onboarding a younger – oftentimes Millennial-aged – staffer. “I just don’t understand why you would paint over an entire generation,” Miles said. Miles, 64, has hosted many workshops and talks over the years where working with and hiring Millennials has had bad connotations. “They wouldn’t say those things if we were talking about hiring minorities or women or people who are disabled,” Miles said. “So why are we OK with saying it about Millennials? If they aren’t performing well, it’s on you (the manager) not them.” Former Sauk Rapids-Rice School District Superintendent Greg Vandal agrees. “Kids today are not any different than they were 40 years ago,” he said. During a recent three-year stint as a board member for Lutheran Social Services, Vandal said he worked side-by-side with a younger colleague and found similar

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results. “Yeah, we would tease each other on being a Boomer or a Millennial,” Vandal said. “But at our core, we had a similar motivation. Just because we were born in a certain time doesn’t mean we don’t share those same values.” Vandal has seen many younger people eager to step up and take on more responsibility in both their careers and other nonprofit organizations. “Young people are very mindful and inquisitive,” he said, “and I think there are a lot of folks out there who are hungry to serve.” Those individuals have a similar mindset to a younger Larry Logeman. “When I was young, when I was in my late 20s and early 30s, I immersed myself in leadership roles. Anything I could get my hands on. And I was really busy,” Logeman, 56, said. “But I really feel that when you are young in your career that’s what you need to do to get the respect of the elders

in the community, to become important, to become somebody who can say you were a part of things in a community.” Logeman said the key to becoming a successful leader is stepping up, getting out of your comfort zone, and being willing to try. “I think God gives every human being different abilities,” he said. “It’s the blend of all of those abilities that makes the world beautiful. But when someone says, ‘I can’t get involved in the community because I’m not a natural leader’ that’s the person who is copping out.” Boy Scouts of America-Central Minnesota Council’s Development Director Paul Ravenberg – a self-proclaimed Gen Xer at age 39 – said getting involved is a key way to help cultivate leadership skills, especially in new and emerging leaders. “Usually something good comes of getting involved in something,” Ravenberg said. “You stretch your boundaries. You get out


of your comfort zone. You learn something new. Meet new people.” There may be a lot of talk about how Baby Boomers need to accommodate the new, younger workforce, but Miles said that street goes both ways. “To be a good leader you have to go seek out other leaders,” he said. “For instance, the Chamber Leadership Program. As a young person you are given an unbelievably cool green card to grab a cup of coffee with some really great leaders in the community and pick their brains.” Miles, Vandal and Logeman said an effective strategy they learned early in their careers that helped develop their leadership skills was leading with a servant mentality. “The best leaders look at both aspects of leadership,” Vandal said. “They know how to take control, but they are always looking out for their

“The best leaders look at both aspects of leadership, they know how to take control, but they are always looking out for their team. Capable leaders are able to adapt and balance these skills.” — Greg Vandal , Former

Sauk Rapids-Rice School District Superintendent team. Capable leaders are able to adapt and balance these skills.” It’s been a lesson Ravenberg has used already in his career. “I think one of the key lessons learned in scouting is, as the leader, you’re not the boss,” he said. “You are there to serve the other people in your troop and in your patrol. Watch out for their concerns and make sure everyone is taken care of.” Lego and Schuster have long careers ahead of them. The one thing both ask for from their more experienced peers is understanding.

“Please have patience,” Lego said. “And for all leaders, come down to the level of your employees or team members. At the end of the day, we’re all just people. I don’t care if you are the president of your group or not, you’re still just part of the group. You may have a fancy title, but what does that title get you if you are not respectful?” Vicki Ikeogu Johnson is a planner with the St. Cloud Area Planning Organization and a freelance writer in St. Cloud.

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SPECIAL FOCUS

Growth is GREAT‌usually Eight common challenges your growing business could face. By Mary MacDonell Belisle

Y

ou’re in business! Things are going great. In fact, the experience of growth is exhilarating and a bit scary. Here are eight challenges to consider as your business experiences growing pains.

1 Managing cash flow

Three years ago, Michelle Henderson was working at a home-based enterprise. BadCat Digital Marketing grew quickly into something else, according to Henderson, who hired six employees and made three office moves over the past three years. New people brought additional skills to the company and ensured staff could keep up with

PEOPLE TO KNOW

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QUOTEABLE customer requests. “The biggest challenge is that you need to balance the timing of bringing somebody onboard and training them with the need for money to pay them.” Henderson said. Watch and manage your cash carefully as you grow.

2 Fitting new team members

Don’t “panic hire.” Take time to find the right people. New hires should have the hard skills necessary for the position, but also have the soft skills conducive to the development of a harmonious, productive working unit. “The biggest struggle we deal with is finding qualified candidates,” Jenny Maurer said. Maurer and her husband Jamey own Advanced Repair, Inc., St. Cloud, and want to hire another ASE Master Certified Technician. “Automakers are putting a lot of

high-tech computers and such into their vehicles. This requires the skill and training to use special diagnostic equipment to analyze a faulty engine.” The Maurers are tapping their business network and relationships with technical college instructors in their ongoing search.

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3 Keeping your culture intact

My business colleagues were embracing, welcoming, and willing to help me, as was the executive dialogue group I belong to.

A growing company risks losing sight of what originally made it successful and unique. This vision should be front and center. Employees should be hired, trained in, reminded of, and accountable to that vision. “The EOS guidelines have been very helpful for riteSOFT,” Founder and CEO Bruce Hagberg said. “Over the last three years we’ve used it to establish our core values, culture, priorities, visibility, accountability, and consistency

— MICHELLE HENDERSON, BADCAT DIGITAL, LLC

“It’s important to have the right

people on the bus. They want to be here. It’s more than just a job; it’s ownership in a small business. We’re growing together.

— BRUCE HAGBERG, RITESOFT, LLC

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as a key part of our growth strategy.” riteSOFT provides software solutions for streamlining company operations. The Entrepreneurial Operating System offers common sense concepts and practical tools that help leadership teams of growth-oriented companies systematically improve. “Every day counts, and every person counts with this system,” Hagberg said.

4 Delegating the work

A business owner is the force behind the product or service, top salesperson, relationship builder, and key to success. Clone yourself or you risk burnout, leaving the business with too little direction and inspiration. “It became clear last year that the business would not continue to grow if the work of leadership was done only by me,” BadCat’s Henderson said. It took her six months to define the skillset, envision the position, and hire an account manager. “Our lead technician has been with us six years now. He’s our ‘go-to’ guy when we can’t be here,” said Maurer. “Joe has been taught the ropes and knows how we want things done.”

5 Responding to competition

Your growth may propel you into a new arena of competition with similar businesses that see you as a growing threat. Stay focused on your unique value proposition. “We think of ourselves as being the best female-friendly shop in town, family owned and operated,” Maurer said. “We know that our competition is not the other small guy down the street. It is the big box shops. Therefore, we [small shops] help each other succeed.”

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6 Keeping up with market changes

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If you snooze, you lose, especially with technology innovation. Microsoft will soon exit the warehouse management side of its business––bar coding and Story contiuned on page 48.


Spotlight: “Opportunity Zones” in St. Cloud

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Where are St. Cloud’s Opportunity Zones? St. Cloud has three of Minnesota’s 128 Opportunity Zones, What is an Opportunity Fund? one census tract in each county. There are 8,700 across This is an investment vehicle that is organized as a the country. corporation or a partnership for investing in Opportunity The City of St. Cloud has three census tracts designated as Zone projects or sites. To qualify for these incentives, “Federal Opportunity Zones”. • Stearns zone includes the former Herberger’s space capital gains must be invested through a qualified Opportunity Zones are an economic anddevelopment other partstool of that Downtown, west of the Mississippi was Opportunity Fund. (The U.S. Treasury providesestablished rules and by Congress in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act ofThis 2017 to River, near SCSU. zone offers investment guidelines on how to become certified as a qualified encourage long-term investments in low-income communities opportunity in multiple catalyst sites for office and nationwide. Opportunity Fund.) hotel development. For more information, The three federal opportunity zones in St. Cloud include: or any questions, contact: Why invest in Opportunity Funds? • Benton County - CT27009021200 • Benton zone includes the former ShopKo space nearMehelich Cathy • Sherburne County - CT27141031500 Economic Development Director Highways 10 & 23, and industrial land in the Airport • Stearns County - CT2745011600 • Defer the payment of your capital gains until cathy.mehelich@ci.stcloud.mn.us Business Park. This zone offers commercial investment (320) 650-3111 December 31, 2026. More details available at opportunity in the east side of St. Cloud’s downtown. www.ci.stcloud.mn.us/1622/Federa www.ci.stcloud.mn.us l-Opportunity-Zones. • Reduce the capital gains tax you owe by up to 15% • Sherburne zone includes housing and commercial/ after 7 years. industrial opportunities along the U.S. Highway • Pay zero tax on capital gains earned from the 10 corridor. Opportunity Fund investment. “We see real opportunity with this tool to direct Will Opportunity Zones Work For You? investment to areas with high development potential, Detailed information about Opportunity Zones can be like downtown, highway corridors, and business parks,” found at IRS.gov. We also recommend you consult with said Cathy Mehelich, Director of St. Cloud’s Economic your tax, legal, and financial advisors. Development Authority. Interested? To explore development potential in these zones, contact Cathy Mehelich at the City of St. Cloud’s Economic Development Authority: CALL 320.650.3111 EMAIL cathy.mehelich@ci.stcloud.mn.us VISIT ci.stcloud.mn.us/economicdevelopment


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“gun” reader technology, according to Hagberg. A new system – Android based – offers an opportunity to compete in the market, at additional expense. The market also wants more mobile applications and software in the cloud. “We need to understand, anticipate, and adapt to play the game and be nimble . . . a speedboat versus a battleship,” Hagberg said.

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7 Learning to say ‘no’

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If a business tries to be all things to all people, it loses focus and often, the quality of the product suffers. Be disciplined. riteSOFT’s business model was packaged software, but a prospective client wanted an expensive, customized software solution. Hagberg and his team resisted the temptation. “We could have used the money, but needed to stay focused to meet the needs of hundreds of people.” Today, riteSOFT boasts 7,000 end users in 12 different countries, served by 13 staff.

8 Getting overwhelmed

Too much growth, too fast can put owners in a reactive mode where the pace of activity controls and too little time is given to growth management. “To properly manage company growth, successful, experienced entrepreneurs recommend the ‘gas pedal’ approach,” according to Prof. Edward D. Hess in his book Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases. “When you start to feel overwhelmed, let up on the gas to allow processes, controls, and people to catch up.” Mary MacDonell Belisle is a St. Cloud freelance writer doing business as mary macdonell belisle — wordingforyou.com.

For a list of sources

used in this story, visit

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QUOTEABLE

Growth Control

Excerpted advice from Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases How often have you read that entrepreneurs must

business. We know that the pace of growth has to be

business school have you discussed the challenges

processes, and controls. Many entrepreneurs learned

manage the risks of growth? How many times in

of growth? Almost everyone in business has heard of

managed so growth does not outstrip capabilities,

this the hard way, having to put the brakes on growth

the axiom “grow or die,” but how many of you have

in order to play process catch-up. Several in my

a business. Too much growth too quickly can create

entrepreneurial venture. Growth creates risks that

heard of "grow and die?" Mismanaged growth can kill serious quality, people, and financial problems for a

study learned this through the failure of their first need to be managed.

READ THE BOOK –––––––––––––––– Prof. Edward D. Hess, Darden School of Business – University of Virginia, Growing an Entrepreneurial Business: Concepts & Cases, Chapter 4: The 4Ps of Growth Planning, Prioritization, Processes, and Pace. (Stanford University Press, 2011)

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SPECIAL SECTION

Employment Relief

High demand jobs are receiving support in the form of scholarships for students pursuing targeted fields.

H

undreds of college-bound students across Minnesota now have the opportunity to receive workforce development scholarships worth $2,500 or more that will help them launch a career in a high-demand occupation in Minnesota. Twenty-five of these scholarships are available to students attending the St. Cloud Technical and Community College this fall. The fields include manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and information technology. These scholarships were made possible by a $7 million appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature after a successful pilot program stemming from the 2017 legislative session that initially awarded $1 million in scholarships in the 20182019 academic year. The pilot program

PEOPLE TO KNOW

50

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Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra visits the St. Cloud Technical and Community College to announce availability of scholarships for students entering high-demand fields.

attracted students into the high demand fields, and generated support from employers and industry associations to leverage the funds. For example, the

Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association (MPMA) Education Foundation contributed $30,000 for scholarships for students in advanced manufacturing programs at Minnesota State colleges. After the success of the pilot program, the 2019 legislature and the governor approved significant expansion of the program. Annual funding will double to $2 million in 2020, and $6 million in 2021. The number of available scholarships statewide will increase from 400 in 2019 to approximately 668 in 2020 and 2,400 in 2021. Every college in the Minnesota State system has at least 25 of these scholarships available for the 2019 fall semester. Preliminary data shows that this scholarship program may encourage


students to continue and complete their programs. Of the students receiving a fall 2018 scholarship, over 90 percent re-enrolled in spring 2019. The Minnesota State system includes St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and the St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC). To apply for one of these scholarships, inquire at the Minnesota State College of your choice.

BY THE NUMBERS

Growth Industries Minnesota’s fastest growing industries may surprise you.

M

innesota’s fastest growing industry is warehousing and storage for general merchandise and refrigerated goods, and other products. But just because it’s the fastest growing industry, at 43.6 percent projected growth, doesn’t mean it will be adding the most jobs in the next several years. That honor goes to ambulatory health care services, with a projected growth rate of 26.1 percent and just over 3,800 jobs.

Here are Minnesota’s top five growth industries and their projected job openings between now and 2026. Industry

% Projected Growth

Warehousing and Storage Other Info. Services Ambulatory Health Care Services

Social Assistance

Agriculture & Forestry Support Activity

43.6%

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

Projected Annual Openings

364

38.6% 92 26.1% 3,831 21.5% 1,949

SINCE 1874

20.1% 49 800.772.1758 / www.millerab.com

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SPECIAL SECTION

2019 Growth Guide

–––––––––––– Central Minnesota is constantly expanding. Here is a snapshot of some of the area businesses and new projects. –––––––––––– Dale Gruber Construction

Stone Gate Plaza

St. Cloud, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– General Contractor:

Dale Gruber Construction

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

Dale Gruber Construction is building Stone Gate Plaza - a new construction commercial development in south St. Cloud. The 11,760 sqft building will be the future home of Stone Gate Dental Associates. Approximately 5,000 sqft is available for lease.

dalegruberconstruction.com

Alliance Building Corp.

City of St. Cloud

First Presbyterian Church

City of St. Cloud: Economic Development Authority

St. Cloud, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– Website:

alliancebuildingcorporation.com

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

City Hall - St. Cloud, MN ––––––––––––––––––––––

The St. Cloud Economic Development Authority (EDA) stands ready to work with you as your first-stop for business development assistance.

This project consisted of a 2100 SF addition to the building as well as improvements to the HVAC/Electrical, parking lot, driveway, and sidewalks. The space features a new west entrance with an elevator. Beautiful masonry and polished concrete are a few of the highlights in this addition.

or small business; Business start-up, expansion & relocation resources & financing; City development & permit assistance

New construction, additions, or remodels. Let us build your needs!

www.ci.stcloud.mn.us/ economicdevelopment

Donlar Construction

GLTArchitects

Toppan Merrill Expansion

Independent Senior Living Apartments and Memory Care Apartments

Sartell, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– General Contractor: Donlar Construction

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

70,000 square foot addition to Toppan Merrill’s Sartell Facility. The expansion includes 13,500 square feet of office space and 56,375 square feet of warehouse space added to the existing 100,000 square foot building.

www.donlarcorp.com

–––––––––––––––––––––– Services offered: Site selection for large

Woodcrest of Country Manor St. Joseph, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– Architect: GLTArchitects

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

Woodcrest of Country Manor consists of an upscale 60-unit senior apartment bldg and a 24-unit memory care apartment facility. The commons area includes dining & lounge spaces, commercial kitchen, community room, chapel, fitness room, beauty shop & convenience store/coffee shop.

gltarchitects.com

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HMA Architects

Eich Motors New Mazda Facility

Miller Architects & Builders

Premier Real Estate Services

Finding innovative solutions to challenges that face our clients.

St. Cloud, MN Development –––––––––––––––––––––– Architect: HMA Architects Construction Manager: BCI Construction –––––––––––––––––––––– About the project: HMA is working with Eich Motors on the design and construction of a new 20,000 SF dealership facility. The building will include a Mazda brand retail show room, delivery studio, offices, and state-of-the-art vehicle service drop-off and maintenance and repair shop. The project will be begin construction late summer of 2019 with a spring 2020 completion.

www.hma-archs.com

Life Lobby Expansion and Kid’s Area Addition

/ Architectural Design / Construction Services

St. Cloud, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– General Contractor & Architect Miller Architects & Builders

–––––––––––––––––––––– Completion Date:

Kristyn Nelson, Roger Schleper, Jeremy Forsell Saint Cloud, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– What we do:

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

Life Assembly of God lobby expansion with coffee bar, overflow seating and family restrooms along with a new children’s wing.

Our value statement is simple; we treat every transaction as an opportunity to display the characteristics and standards that we would want if we were in your shoes. We’re committed to excellence through honesty and integrity. We face every challenge, every success, every situation along side our clients and we face it head on.

millerab.com

www.premierhomesale.com

Spring 2020

SINCE 1874

800.772.1758 / www.millerab.com

Rice Companies

Trobec’s Bus

St. Joseph, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– General Contractor & Architect Rice Companies

–––––––––––––––––––––– Completion Date Winter 2019

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

New 105,000 square foot headquarters includes space for motor coach storage; school bus storage; office and conference areas; a mechanic garage and wash bay; parts and inventory; and a showroom.

ricecompanies.com

Strack Companies

Sartell Fire and Police Departments

W Gohman Construction

Sartell, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– Architect

Park Industries Expansion

–––––––––––––––––––––– Completion Date // Cost to complete

W. Gohman Construction

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

W. Gohman seamlessly expanded and remodeled Park Industries while keeping their production and office operations up and running with minimal interruptions. The expansion created 40,000 sf of new production space, while remodeling an additional 8,000 sf of existing production space. A new 6,200 sf office addition was also created along with remodeling 6,500 of existing office space.

HMA Architects, St. Cloud, MN

July 2020 // $11 million

This project consists of a 50,000 square foot single story facility with meazzanine levels. The new facility will be home to the Sartell Fire and Police departments and will contain offices, training areas, holding facilities, vehicle and equipment storage for both departments.

strackcompanies.com

St. Cloud, MN –––––––––––––––––––––– General Contractor

–––––––––––––––––––––– About the project:

wgohman.com

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53


Business Spotlight

Empowering Women

Senior Sales Director Brenda Spain says Mary Kay Cosmetics is as much about helping women reach their potential as it is about skin care. By Gail Ivers Definitions

––––––

BC: What do you like best about your work? Spain: It’s fun to take people from bummed-out to feeling good about themselves – how their skin feels or how a particular color perks them up. That personalized service – that’s what keeps me going. BC: What is your biggest challenge? Spain: Keeping the unit size and team size together. Women used to sell Mary Kay as a job, not something they did on the side. Everyone used to attend events, meet each other. It was like a family. Now people choose

AT A GLANCE Brenda Spain, 63

––––––

Mary Kay Cosmetics Independent Sr. Sales Director 320-252-8537 spainbrenda@gmail.com 54

marykay.com/bspain Number of consultants in Unit: 185 Top Unit production: $500,000 in 2017 Family: Husband Bill; daughters Danielle, a title

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 9

Summer 1981

Brenda Spain goes on maternity leave from her position as a legal assistant. During this time she is invited to her first Mary Kay home party.

August 1981

Unit: A minimum of 24 consultants who work under a Sales Director and achieve a minimum level of production.

Sr. Sales Director Konie Slipy Jestus contacts Spain and encourages her to become a Mary Kay consultant. Spain says no.

Sales Director: A Mary Kay consultant who establishes and maintains a unit.

Spain contacts Slipy Jestus and says she has changed her mind. Spain begins working as a sales consultant part time on January 29.

Sr. Sales Director: A Sales Director who builds a unit and then has offspring units that develop; as a group they must maintain a minimum level of production.

Business Central: Why did you finally decide to sell Mary Kay products? Spain: It got me out of the house and meeting people. It was my entertainment. I didn’t care if I made money initially. I remember my first party. There were three or four St. Augusta farm ladies there and I showed them the products and then I started to pack up. One of the ladies said, “Well, can we buy some?” I said, “Oh! You want to buy?! Sure!” I realized it wasn’t about being pushy. It was about sharing information and educating people.

Timeline ––––––

to go on the Internet and they don’t make the personal connections that help keep them involved. Even though I say it’s a challenge, working with the consultants can be so rewarding. Mary Kay empowers women. It enriches their lives and helps them become more confident and skilled...to dream big dreams and know they can achieve them. We see women who really grow and blossom. They aren’t always successful in Mary Kay, but they are successful in their lives and they credit that to their experience with Mary Kay.

attorney in Indianapolis; Janine, a physician in Madison; two grandchildren Hobbies: Travel, reading, time at the lake, and time with family and friends

January 1982

Oct. 1, 1982

Spain’s income for her part time work as a Mary Kay consultant now matches her income as a full time legal assistant. She quits her work as a legal assistant and starts selling Mary Kay full time.

1986

Spain receives her first car

1989

Spain develops her own unit and becomes a Sales Director for Mary Kay

1994

Product sales for Spain’s unit reach $400,000 for the first time; Spain becomes a Sr. Sales Director when one of her consultants establishes her own unit, called an ‘offspring’ unit

1995, 1996, 2001

Spain’s consultants establish offspring units

July 2019

Spain receives her fourth pink Cadillac; she has 185 people in her unit across 13-15 states.

Fun Fact ––––––

Spain has been awarded 19 cars by Mary Kay Cosmetics, four of which have been the iconic pink Cadillac


SPONSORED PROFILE

THE PROACTIVE APPROACH: QUINLIVAN & HUGHES

Employment Issues to tackle today. Whether you are just starting your business or have grown to a size you only dreamed about, your business experiences things that can keep you awake at night. Keeping up with the ever changing regulatory environment for your business, and properly managing your employees, is a never ending task. “Too often I work with business leaders who have waited too long to tackle an issue that has now turned into a costly litigation fight with another business, an employee, or a fellow owner,” said Ron Brandenburg, a Business and Employment attorney at Quinlivan & Hughes.

Hoping a complaint from an employee or the EEOC will just go away. WHY: Employers always need to

take complaints seriously, and promptly respond to them. Partnering with an experienced attorney to help you investigate and respond to the complaint will help you manage the concern and minimize the disruption to your organization.

- Melinda Gau

At Quinlivan, we believe that the best approach is a proactive approach. We work with our clients to offer solutions, not just opinions.

“Spending a few hours reviewing and updating an employee handbook or training your employees and managers on anti-harassment and conflict resolution strategies can go a long way,” said Melinda Gau, an Employment attorney at Quinlivan & Hughes.

The team of Business and Employment attorneys at Quinlivan & Hughes shares their top items to take action on today and why:

Not reviewing employment policies until it is too late. WHY: Employers spend time up-front

creating and implementing employment policies and procedures. Unfortunately, employers often fail to regularly revisit those policies. The policies become outdated or worse, unlawful, due to the ever changing employment law landscape. Please work with experienced legal counsel to review handbooks, policies, and procedures on an annual basis.

- Chad Staul

Established more than 95 years ago, Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A. ranks among the oldest and largest law practices in Central Minnesota. The firm’s legal teams are known as leaders in both their industries and the community. QUINLIVAN.COM (320) 251-1414 1740 WEST ST. GERMAIN STREET, ST. CLOUD, MN 56301

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Learn more at Quinlivan.com or by calling (320) 251-1414.


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Profile for St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce

September/October 2019 Issue  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine

September/October 2019 Issue  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine