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6 President’s Letter

Editor’s Note




Network Central

Top Hats



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Business Tools


24 TechStrategies Green Computing

Replacing physical computers with virtual ones can save money and reduces energy use.



For Drs. Paul Heath and Jim Smith success has been defined by creating an environment in which patients and employees can flourish.

25 Tech News 28 Entrepreneurism: Does Turning 21 Make You a Grownup?


12 Your Voice In Government

10 News Reel

Be Heard When making your case to elected officials, remember these five essential commandments of lobbying.

Business news from around Central Minnesota.

13 People to Know 14 The China Experience

What’s happening and who’s moving.

10 Book Review Mandela’s Way by Richard Stengel

Ding-dong … China calling


The Trouble with Business Profit!

This Issue 40 Feature

Data Crunching

29 Going Green Cord-less

30 Economic Review Cost of Living

Special Sections

26 Business Profile N E T WO R K


45 Central Minn. Growth Guide

Using reliable data can help shape good decision-making.

44 Special Focus Buyer’s Market

If you’re thinking about making a move, now is a great time to shop for new office space.

50 Business Spotlight East Side Glass and Thermo-Tech Windows

ONLY ONLINE •• Free sample business plans •• Traits entrepreneurs share

•• Tips for boosting customer loyalty •• The best industries for starting a business in 2010


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Main Phone | 320-251-2940

On a Bus to Dubuque, Iowa


f I listed all the places in the United States I want to visit before I die, I’m pretty sure Dubuque, Iowa would not have made the list. As the “Advancing a New Regional Economic Development Strategy” Task Force pursues its work of analyzing what our community has and what we need (in terms of economic development), field trips to communities that seem to be doing it right topped the list of things to do. So early one bright July morning, 40 hearty souls (including me) boarded a motor coach for a six-hour bus ride to Dubuque. It’s a thriving city on the Mississippi River, whose claim to fame in the 1980’s was the highest unemployment rate in the nation (24 percent). The riverfront was populated by “raccoons, possums, skunks and an assortment of other critters” (a direct quote from the city manager). Empty grain bins and rundown buildings abounded. It’s amazing what $400 million can do. The Port of Dubuque now boasts a new Grand River Center for conventions and meetings, a multi-phase National Mississippi River Museum averaging 1,800 visitors a day, a large new convention hotel and (drum roll here) a casino that helps fund it all. When we drove into town, this is where our bus driver dropped us off to meet the community leaders of Dubuque. Mayor Roy Buol greeted us heartily and told us the story of the Port of Dubuque before introducing us to our Dubuque counterparts. Molly Grove, president of the Dubuque Area Chamber of Commerce, is a fireball of blonde energy with a ready smile and quick wit. She loves her volunteers, her community, her staff, and, of course, her chamber. Sound familiar? Naturally, we hit it off.


Automated Reservation Line | 320-251-2940, ext. 126 Program Hotline | 320-251-2940, ext. 125 email:

St. Cloud is the only 5-Star Accredited Chamber in Minnesota.

ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF President | Teresa Bohnen, ext. 104 Vice President | Gail Ivers, ext. 109 Director of Administration | Judy Zetterlund, ext. 106 Special Events Coordinator | Virginia Kroll, ext. 105 Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator | Jill Copeland, ext. 130

Dubuque is the only 5-Star Accredited Chamber in Iowa. St. Cloud is the only 5-Star Accredited Chamber in Minnesota. It is clear the Dubuque Area Chamber is leading their business community in many of the same ways we strive to lead ours. So what did I learn from this whirlwind trip? •• First, a pro-growth focus will provide broad based benefits for our entire community, including all our Chamber members. Everyone wins. •• Second, partnerships are absolutely critical to success, and focusing on the same set of community goals will keep everyone moving in the same direction. (Dubuque has ten goals and they’ve accomplished almost all of them.) •• Third, we need a casino. Major funding in Dubuque flows to city infrastructure projects and economic development efforts directly from the two casinos and dog track, which are big tourism draws. I hope to return to Dubuque to ride on the bicycle paths and more fully experience the city. I’d like to visit Molly Grove and all the new friends I have there. However, I would try and avoid the rotten blackjack player who parked himself in the seat ahead of me at the Mystique Casino. Yes, I admit I contributed a little bit to the economic growth of Dubuque, Iowa.

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Membership Sales Specialist | Wendy Franzwa, ext. 134 Administrative Assistant | Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122 Administrative Assistant | Cindy Swarthout , ext. 100 Administrative Assistant | Sharon Henry, ext. 124 CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF Executive Director | Julie Lunning, ext. 111 Sales Manager | Lori Cates, ext. 113 Director of Sales & Marketing | Judy Okerstrom, ext. 112 Director of Sports & Special Events | Kelly Filla, ext. 128 Director of Visitor Services | Jean Robbins , ext. 129 Receptionist | Nikki Fisher, ext. 100 2010-11 BOARD MEMBERS Jim Beck | Minnesota School of Business Craig Broman | St. Cloud Hospital/ CentraCare Health System Linda Feuling | Westside Liquor Todd Fritz | InteleCONNECT, Inc. Jayne Greeney Schill | St. Cloud Area School District #742 Lyn Golly | EBSC, Inc. Steve Hahn | HahnMark, LLC John Herges | Falcon National Bank Joy Hornung | LarsonAllen LLP Dolora Musech | Batteries Plus Kris Nelson | Custom Accents, Inc. Bernadette Perryman | C & L Distributing, Board Chair Rick Poganski | Principal Financial Group Dr. Earl Potter, III | St. Cloud State University Dr. Mark Roerick | Advantage Chiropractic Melinda Sanders | Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A., Past Board Chair Jodi Speicher | The Good Shepherd Community

Teresa Bohnen President

Bill Winter | St. Cloud Federal Credit Union, Board Vice Chair

Patience. Let’s wait a second. And think for a minute. As fast as business moves, patience plays a big role, too. Growth takes care and effort. But most of all, time. Bremer Bank is here for the long haul. We’ve helped businesses flourish for generations. Let’s get to know each other. Let’s grow together.

Call 1-800-908-BANK or visit Member FDIC. ©2010 Bremer Financial Corporation. All rights reserved.


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NETWORK Publisher Teresa Bohnen

Memory Lane

Managing Editor Gail Ivers CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Gary Berg GL Berg Entertainment

Business Central Editor Gail Ivers got her start writing for St. Cloud Hospital’s newsletter, The Beacon Light.


n July 1983 I was hired as the junior publications coordinator at the St. Cloud Hospital. I had been working in Willmar, filling a temporary communications position that was set to end in a few weeks. My parents were traveling in Africa and for some reason called home shortly after I received the job offer. “I got the job,” I sobbed into the phone, overcome with joy, relief, and the anxiety of making a change. This was a plum job. It covered all the aspects of communications – public relations, news writing, publication development, story creation, poster construction, event planning – all the things a newly minted communications degree is designed to do. One of the rewarding things about a career in communications – both then and now – is the opportunity to meet interesting people and participate in little slices of their lives. While working at the hospital, I sat in on a heart catheterization with Dr. John Mahowald for a story on what was then a relatively new procedure. What I remember most about that experience was how caring everyone was about the patient and his comfort level. Years later, when my mother was scheduled to meet with Dr. Mahowald, I could say with confidence that she was in excellent hands. Drs. Brad Currier and Scot Hutton and their patient allowed me to watch an

endoscopy procedure, which at that time was considered “one of the most significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of gall stones.” Again, I was struck by the medical team’s care and concern that the patient be as comfortable as possible. When it was my turn for a similar procedure, though the doctor was different, I still had confidence that I would be treated with the same respect and compassion that I had once witnessed. I was reminded of this recently while meeting with Drs. Jim Smith and Paul Heath from Midsota Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. (See the cover story on page 32) They pulled out their scrapbook to share information about their early years with our Business Awards Selection Committee. As I looked at the documents, I felt my memory stir. As they turned the pages I saw my own history unfold. “I wrote that!” I said, pointing to a story in what was then the hospital newsletter, The Beacon Light. “I knew you looked familiar,” Dr. Smith said. “Doesn’t she look familiar?” he queried Dr. Heath. “Yes, I recognized her, too,” he answered. Now that’s just scary. It’s been 27 years and our paths have had no reason to cross. “I can’t remember names, but I never forget a face,” Dr. Smith said. As a comment about 27 years of wear and tear formed on my lips, he quickly added, “And you’re still a ten.” That would have been more flattering if everyone hadn’t laughed. Until next issue,

Jill Copeland St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Lisa Gambrino sbaSTRATEGIES Fred Hill St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Kent D. Kedl Technomic Asia Rolf Lundberg US Chamber of Commerce mary macdonell belisle-writer for hire ADVERTISING Associate Publisher/Sales Wendy Hendricks, Hendricks Marketing

Ad Traffic & Circulation Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media ART Design & Production Yola Hartmann, Hazel Tree Media

Cover Photo Joel Butkowski, BDI Photography ACCOUNTING

Accountant Judy Zetterlund

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

Gail Ivers

Vice President


© Copyright 2010 Business Central LLC Business Central is published six times a year by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, 110 Sixth Avenue South P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 •  Fax (320) 251-0081 Subscription rate: $18 for 1 year.


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Trace Roller

A major car accident left Trace’s legs mangled in metal. He was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital where he spent the next three months healing and rehabilitating. To Trace, receiving care at a Top 100 Hospital means a second chance to coach his sons’ hockey team. To us, achieving Top 100 status means we score among the nation’s best for quality and efficiency.

Top 100 Hospital five years running—nice for us, but it’s all for you.

Quality care—it’s our passion.

1406 Sixth Avenue North | St. Cloud, Minnesota 56303 |







Book Review

Point of View

It’s Made Where?

Your Voice in Government

People to Know

The China Experience

16 The Trouble with Business


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A Place Apart

Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage by Richard Stengel, Crown Publishers New York, 2009 ISBN 978-0-307-46068-4 Reviewed by Fred Hill


n Mandela’s Way, author Richard Stengel recounts the moments in which ‘the grandfather of South Africa’ was tested and shares the wisdom he learned: ••Why courage is more than the absence of fear. ••Why we should keep our rivals close. ••Why the answer is not always either/or but often ‘both.’

••How important it is for each of us to find something away from the world that gives us pleasure and satisfaction – our own garden. Nelson Mandela personifies refinement and patience through goals, experiences, and adversity. He is a mixture of African royalty and British aristocracy. He is a Victorian gentleman. He has had many teachers in his life, but the most important of all was prison. Prison molded the man we see today. His period in prison was the crucible that hardened him and burned away the extraneous. “Prison taught him selfcontrol, discipline, and focus – the things he considers essential to leadership…” writes Stengel. Mandela learned that in prison there was only one thing he could control and he had to control it: it was himself. In learning to control himself he came out of prison 27 years after entering it - mature. The 15 lessons in this book were learned by Nelson Mandela in prison and over a lifetime of striving. They start with

(1) Courage Is Not the Absence of Fear and end with (15) Find Your Own Garden. “In a world that he could not control, that defied and punished him, that seemed hostile to his values and his dreams, [his garden] had been a place of beauty and regularity and renewal. Effort was rewarded…” It was a place apart from everything he could not control. Although Mandela’s garden was a reality for him, it could serve as a metaphor for others. The challenge is to find a place apart. A place where we can lose our self to find our self. Mandela’s garden became his private island. It quieted his mind. It brought him pleasure. It distracted him from worries. I have a garden – I am at peace. BC Dr. Fred E. Hill is a professor of Learning Resources and Technology Services, at St. Cloud State University


WESTERN PRODUCTS IN REMODELING BIG50 Western Products, Inc. has been selected as one of the Remodeling Big50. Nominees went through a rigorous selection process and are featured in the May issue of Remodeling Magazine, a national trade publication read by more than 80,000 remodeling contractors. 10

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Olson earns certification Brian Olson, lawn irrigation manager at Olson Traut Companies in Waite Park, recently became a Certified Irrigation Contractor (C.I.C.) and Water Sense Partner. He has over 14 years of irrigation-related experience and education. Palmer Printing, Speedy Print merge Palmer Printing Company and Speedy Print have merged, naming the newly combined company Palmer Printing Company. McDowall reaches milestone McDowall Company received its 500th Perfect 10 installation rating from Carlisle SynTec, a leading manufacturer of commercial roofing systems. McDowall is one of 49 authorized applicators in North America attaining this high level achievement through Carlisle’s quality recognition program. A rating of ten represents flawless installation. Community Foundation awards arts grants The Central Minnesota Community Foundation distributed nine arts grants totaling over $29,000. The Foundation seeks to support arts organizations and activities in Stearns, Sherburne, Benton and Morrison counties. Among those receiving grants are Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota, College of Saint Benedict, GREAT Theatre, and Paramount Arts Resource Trust.

Remodeling Magazine’s cover visit



Business Central asked readers: “How do you stay organized?”

Wendy Haus Catholic Charities

Ryan Ott A Simple Design

Kris Hellickson Times Media

Gary Osberg Minnesota Public Radio

“My to-do lists are categorized, and I delegate responsibilities to others.” “I have a knack for remembering all those little things. But we’re mobile, we use QuickBooks and Google Calendar so we can sync and share with each other.” “I keep everything as an Outlook task. I write it down right away or else it’s gone forever.” “The most important thing for me is my contact manager. I use Act!, but there are many major contact managers in the world.”

Don’t miss this opportunity!

Corporate Education & Outreach has a great Fall workshop line up you don’t want to miss!


Whether you are new to project management or need to know the project management processes, this course is right for you. This course offers 16 hours of Project Management education. Project Management education is required to sit for various certification exams such as the CAPM® or PMP®.


This course, based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge, will provide participants hands-on experience with MS Project software and will equip the individuals with an insight to create, update, and control projects.

MANAGEMENT & SUPERVISION CERTIFICATE September 15 - November 10, 2010

This program will develop basic supervisory skills or prepare employees for supervisory positions. It centers on skill development through self-assessment, descriptions and demonstrations of correct behavior/actions, role-playing, observation models of correct behavior and skills used correctly, feedback and assignments that can be employed on the job.

CORONARY HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (CHIP) Concerned about weight, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol or heart disease? Learn to make healthy lifestyle choices and reduce the risk of disease with the Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP). Free informational sessions coming in September, check out website for details.

Don’t see a training you need? CEO is able to develop training specific to your needs! Contact:

Gail Ruhland 320-308-5759

Tammy Anhalt-Warner 320-308-4252


Corporate Education & Outreach S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



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N E WS R E E L William Cashman appointed to bench William J. Cashman, a Cashman shareholder in Rajkowski Hansmeier, was recently appointed to the Seventh Judicial District trial court bench in Stearns County. He is the third shareholder from Rajkowski Hansmeier in the past eight years to be appointed to the bench. Frank J. Rajkowski, Gordon H. Hansmeier, Paul A. Rajkowski, and Kevin F. Gray of Rajkowski Hansmeier were selected as 2010 Minnesota Super Lawyers. Only the top five percent of lawyers in the state make the list. Wine event nets $35,000 for YMCA The seventh annual Promenade raised more than $35,000 to support St. Cloud Area Family YMCA’s community outreach. Programs supported by the earnings include supervised visitations, parental exchanges, health and wellness programs for individuals, families, and those with special needs, and youth programming. James Beste achieves Platinum status James. J. Beste, senior financial advisor, is an Ameriprise Platinum Financial Services advisor based on the success of his financial services practice in 2009. Beste, with an office in St. Cloud, is one of approximately 15 percent of the 10,000 Ameriprise financial advisors to achieve this status. St. Cloud Hospital, staff recognized Jeffrey Bushman, RN in the Oncology Unit at St. Cloud Hospital, was selected as Nurse Teacher of the Year by the University of Minnesota/St. Cloud Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program.



Be Heard When making your case to elected officials, remember these five essential commandments of lobbying. THOU SHALT TELL THE TRUTH. Lobbying is simply the political management of information. If you want to be taken seriously, you must always tell the truth. THOU SHALT NOT PROMISE MORE THAN THOU CANST DELIVER. The best lobbyists always deliver on their promises. If you promise phone calls will be generated, that another business will sign on, that you’ll get media coverage, you’d better do it. No excuses. Otherwise don’t promise it. Far better to under promise and over deliver. THOU SHALT PROMISE TO LISTEN SO THAT THOU SHALT UNDERSTAND WHAT THOU IS HEARING. Do not jump to conclusions. Do not assume

By Rolf Lundberg

something is being said that is not actually being said. If you don’t hear the words “I’m with you,” don’t assume it is implied … no matter how much someone tells you “I understand your position.” THOU SHALT NOT CIRCUMVENT STAFF. Staff are there to be worked with. Winning the confidence and trust of staff is the first step to success. Meeting with staff is almost as good – and in some cases better – than meeting with the member of Congress. Unless you work with staff you will not succeed. THOU SHALT SPRING NO SURPRISES. Politicians hate the unexpected. They want to act upon information rather

The best lobbyists always deliver on their promises. than react to it. They are keenly interested in what is going on in their home states and districts and are especially interested in information and events that affect their own constituents. They want to know what is happening at home before someone asks them about it. To be successful, share information, don’t sit back to see what happens when they find out by surprise. BC Rolf Lundberg is the Senior Vice President of Congressional & Public Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce.


Made in St. Cloud, Minn.


armelkorn started in 1929 when Bill O’Sullivan, popcorn company owner from Casper, WY, experimented with candy-coated popcorn. In 1986 Karmelkorn Shoppes became part of IDQ, which also owns the Dairy Queen and Orange Julius franchise systems. There are 25 Karmelkorn stores in 12 states, including seven stores in Minnesota. •• Popcorn samples and discounts for gift canister orders are available.

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Popped fresh daily in the St. Cloud, Minn. store, Karmelkorn flavors vary and include: •• Original Karmelkorn •• Karmelkorn with Peanuts •• Cheesekorn (Yellow/White Cheddar)

•• Ranch •• Chocolate Drizzled Popcorn •• Sour Cream and Onion •• Kettlekorn •• Twisterkorn (Cheese and Carmel) •• Cinnamon •• Vanilla

KARMELKORN DQ/ORANGE JULIUS Crossroads Center 4101 West Division St. St. Cloud, MN 56301 (320) 252-5347


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

St. Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Health System (320) 251-2700

Jayne Greeney Schill

St. Cloud Area School District #742 (320) 202-6892, ext. 1271

John Herges

Falcon National Bank (320) 968-6300

Kris Nelson

Custom Accents, Inc. (320) 654-9600

Rick Poganski

Principal Financial Group (320) 253-2730

Imagine never having to worry about servicing a printer or ordering another toner cartridge. Marco’s Managed Print Services offer a simple and productive way to manage your print environment. From providing printers and tracking toner usage and document supporting your applications, Marco’s Managed Print Services team can help you manage your print environment so you can focus on managing your business.

Read our case studies at IN THE NEWS

ST. CLOUD VA RECEIVES NEW VAN The St. Cloud VA Medical Center recently received a 2010 Passenger Club Van from the Minnesota Department of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). The van, part of DAV’s partnership with the Ford Motor Company, was purchased using a combination of grant money from the DAV’s Columbia Trust and funds generated by the Old Glory Run, held annually in Cold Spring, MN.  In the last year, the DAV transportation network in St. Cloud drove over 160,000 miles delivering veterans to their appointments at the St. Cloud VA. 

320.259.3000 • S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



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St. Cloud Hospital, staff recognized McCaffrey Terri McCaffrey,

RN, CNS, and coordinator of the Cleft & Craniofacial Center, Perinatal and Pediatric Bereavement Program and the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at the St. Cloud Hospital has been named national winner of the 2010 Spirit of Women Healthcare Hero Award. St. Cloud Hospital has been verified as a Level II Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee, of the American College of Surgeons. Thomas McNanley, M.D., joins the St. Cloud Hospital Medical Staff, expanding the Perinatology Clinic to a full-time, locally based program and will provide inpatient consultations at St. Cloud Hospital. He is board certified in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology. CentraCare Clinics, staff honored Thomas Schrup, M.D., a pediatrician at CentraCare Clinic – Women and Children and the medical director of emergency preparedness, was honored with the St. Cloud Hospital Physician of Excellence Award. He was nominated by peers in the medical community. CentraCare Clinic – Heartland’s laboratory has received the Laboratory Excellence Award from the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation. Minnesota HealthScores named CentraCare Clinic – River Campus fifth in the state for diabetes care. In 2009, CentraCare Clinic had a year-long initiative to improve diabetes care. Compiled by Jill Copeland



Ding-dong …

China calling The combination of entrepreneurial sellers and adventuresome consumers makes China fertile ground for direct selling business models. By Kent D. Kedl


or those not familiar with it, “direct sales” is when individuals are recruited by a company to sell their products directly to consumers who are, typically, their friends and family. There are many well-known companies that have used this model such as Mary Kay, Amway and Avon (those of a certain age will remember the old commercials in the U.S. whose tagline was “Ding-dong, Avon calling!”). Direct sales have not always had smooth sailing in China as the government has been wary of allowing individuals to start up their own businesses (because, as we know, once people have money-power, they want all sorts of other power). I think that the combination of entrepreneurial sellers and adventuresome consumers are fertile ground in China for direct selling business models for two main reasons: first, direct-selling can leverage relationship-based sales, which have a long history and solid cultural foundation in China; and second, direct-selling goes around the modern sales channels in China, which, although growing in strength,

are still very immature and often very difficult to work with. One of the main reasons that China’s distribution networks have been so fragmented is that they have been based on guanxi or relationships that are simultaneously personal and professional. In a traditional distribution model, this guanxi holds you back because you are limited in the amount of personal relationships that you can maintain at any one time. In other words, if my hometown is in Wuhan, all of my guanxi will likely be from that place because I grew up with many of these people, our families know each other, we went to school together, etc.

However, if I try to expand that guanxi network out to, say, a city like Chengdu (probably over 620 miles away from Wuhan) it will not be possible to develop the same depth of relationships in that region. Historically, sales in China have been based on this guanxi … I get the sale, not necessarily because I have the best price or the best quality product, but because I have good guanxi with you. However, this is rapidly changing in China. While good guanxi is a necessary condition to successful sales, it is by no means a sufficient one — I now have to bring good products to the market at good prices. And for most

About the writer Kent D. Kedl is general manager of Technomic Asia. A native of Minnesota, Kedl has worked in Asia for over 25 years. He can be reached at

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

industrial and consumer products companies, this is a good thing because it means that they can develop more “professional” distribution channels and get a broader sales footprint in China. So let’s go back to the direct-sales model. This is a model that leverages (and even celebrates) guanxi-based sales. Sales most often are made to friends and family (or the friends and family of other friends) and, while these product suppliers are certainly concerned to bring good quality products to market, I would argue that they are relying even more on the strength of their sales teams’ guanxi in their local area.

The strength of the directselling model is that it goes with the flow of traditional Chinese culture, not against it, by making each sale personal. And all you have to do is multiply the large number of people in China by their growing disposable income and you understand why executives at companies such as Mary Kay, Amway and Avon are having a hard time controlling their excessive drooling. Next time I’ll explain why I think side-stepping traditional retail outlets may help direct sales grow in China … and to establish yourself as the no-B.S. market leader. BC


MARCO EXPANDS, NAMED TOP WORKPLACE Marco, Inc. has been named one of the Top Workplaces in the Twin Cities regional metro area. Data was based on the Star Tribune’s report of the most progressive companies judged by employee opinions about company leadership, career opportunities, workplace flexibility, compensation and benefits. The analysis included responses from over 33,000 employees at all different organizations. Marco continues to grow with the recent acquisition of Tony Dorn, Inc.’s copier and printer business. President Tony Dorn Jr. and his employees will become part of the Marco team. Acquired locations are in Thief River Falls and Grand Forks. Marco also purchased the copier business of Davis Typewriter Co., Inc. and Ed Davis Business Machines, with locations in Worthington, Marshall and Willmar. The two companies will continue to operate and provide their other office supply, furniture, and related office products at their current locations. The employees that support their copier business have become part of the Marco team. In September, Marco will open a new location in Worthington.

Very proficient with care and service. Dr. Engelking is an excellent doctor and I recommend her toMulti-Specialty all of my family and Friends. She is Primary Care and Services kind and understands my concerns and listens to my thoughts. The staff is very efficient and friendly. Front desk does a great job explaining questions regarding insurance. Everyone is friendly and helpful. Nurses & doctors answer all questions. We really like it here. Good job of making me feel comfortable and at ease. Everyone is very friendly and makes you feel comfortable when performing exams and tests. Knowledgeable doctors Kind & friendly. A general concern for patients. The nursing staff in the lab are great with needles. Well everything I go through here I think you are doing very well. Very efficient, friendly and time conscious. The staff are very kind and helpful. I was new to this clinic in spring of 2005. From the first day I saw Dr. Zook, he was the best. I’ve never had the care anywhere else as I’ve gotten here and I have multiple health problems. You are always friendly when I come in. They remember you, you don’t just feel like you are just another patient. Easy access to appointments I’m a new patient and have only seen Dr. Duckworth once, but my visit with her was very comfortable. She is easy to talk to & will listen to your concerns. This is very important to women! Everything is so wonderful. The staff/facility is always so clean & friendly. Great customer service J Taking care of this patient very well. Answering the phone. Giving me plenty of time for my appointment. Great staff- very friendly. Up to date facilities. Consideration for patient. I was greeted- awesome. Listening to patient’s concerns and follow up is excellent. Maintaining a culture of care, concern & respect for patient as people. Taking time to find appointments to work with your schedule. Finding someone that can help you (like foot doctor or other health problems). Love the doctor and nurse. Very caring and supportive.Genuinely care for patients. Very comfortable environment. All things were done well. Your nurses and other staff are second to none. I very much appreciate knowing my doctor and nurse & that I ‘m able to call & get help over the phone at times.Friendliness, professional , know their jobs I have confidence in staff members. They know me- I’m not just a number on a patient file. I appreciate the care I receive from them and know I can call Your choice of Pediatrician can be one of the most when I have questions and they’ll have the answer. Everything is done important decisions you make on your child’s well here! From the decorations in the office to the personality of all behalf. At St Cloud Medical Group, our Pediatric the workersI love it here! It is great that the staff know us when we staff will take thetotime to listen to your concerns, call & are always willing answer questions. The nurses & doctors know and love their sure patients. personable staff. Quick to call me and make yourVery needs are addressed. You’ll back with concerns/results, I am treated an equal, intelligent know that your childetc. is receiving the as highest quality human being. Friendly. Listening to patient concerns and helping. You medical care, with a personal touch. took care of all problems and didn’t make me come back another day. You listen and care. They go the extra mile and we appreciate that. Great doctors who are caring and knowledgeable that explain what is happening and how to make it better… Getting reminder card when leaving for next appointment. Getting in same day. I love the personal calls from my doctor. It makes me feel like a person and not a number. This is a very good clinic- always tries to meet the patient’s needs. Have seen Dr. Lemke for 27 years- very highly respected! He is a good example for other doctors. I have even called him at his home when I was in Hawaii and he was willing to help meet the need immediately. Shocked the people in Hawaii. However, that is just an example of the quality and caring doctor he is. Everything! We so appreciate all the great service we always receive here. Everyone is so professional. Friendly and helpful, all the time. This clinic & its’ staff is a very real South& this community. Thank Northwest blessing to my family you all for a great job, 1301Best 33rdclinic Street South I have 251ever County Road 120I really well done! & physician had in my life! appreciate (320) the way I was greeted, instead (320) of being looked at like I was 251-8181 202-8949 incapable of being here because I’m only 17. I thought all staff was friendly. That’s really nice to seen when you don’t feel good. Thank you very much for the great visit. You continually maintain a small town/ home town feel. You know all our family by first name and are genuinely interested in and concerned for our health. Staff is helpful & works well with me to get an appointment when needed. My visits are

You took care of all my problems and didn’t make me come back another day.

healthcare personally r u o y g Takin

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



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Business Profit Booster!

There’s more than one way to keep a business profitable and suddenly the remaining divisions’ performance dramatically improved! A business or product line that brings marginal profits is draining resources, time and focus. Outsource It has never been more important than now to determine the one thing that your business does well. Become even better at it, and outsource everything else. It may be beneficial to take a careful look at the different functions of your business and look at the possibility of outsourcing them. Use some caution and take a hard look at the numbers before you make the final decision to outsource.


By Lisa Gambrino

ften in business we equate sales with profits. There are many other ways you can dramatically impact your profitability. Here are some things to consider: Is Your Marketing Working? If you have a strong suspicion that at least one of your marketing expenses isn’t doing the job – cut it and see what happens! Often by eliminating the marketing that your business previously considered to be vital, you can gain the most. For example, some businesses have stopped participating in annual trade shows; it simply was costing too much for too little return. Easy Way to Profits Let’s assume your overall profit margin is 10 percent (not uncommon for many smaller

businesses). If you can cut your costs by five percent, your profit margin will increase to 15 percent. On the other hand, in order to get the same increase from boosting sales, you would have to increase sales by 50 percent. Chances are that cutting costs just a bit would be much easier. When reviewing your costs take a look at every single expense item starting with the biggest expense items first. Work on getting bids for every product and every service that you buy. You will be surprised what you can come up with. There is no such thing as fixed costs. Assess Your Product Mix We have worked with a company with several highly profitable divisions and one marginally profitable division. The company sold the marginally profitable division,

About the writer Lisa Gambrino is a business consultant with the Small Business Development Center and owns sbaSTRATEGIES, a certified SBA lender service provider.


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Be a Penny-Pincher One of the behaviors of a successful business is price consciousness. In almost any business, if your cost structure is just a couple of percentage points lower than your competition, it can give you a huge advantage. As you hire people it is important to get them to adapt to the same frugal mindset. Incent them for finding cost savings for the company. Watch Wasteful Spending We have watched start up businesses go through money that should have been set aside for future working capital needs. They projected a reasonable amount for their projects, but instead of staying within the budget they bought the best equipment, the best location, the best furniture, more supplies than necessary, and often too much inventory and they ended up losing everything because they couldn’t make payroll, or pay vendors, their landlord or taxes. Keep your eye on your profits, manage your expenses, stick to the plan and guard your cash. BC


Plastic Surgeons receive

Entrepreneurial Success Award


t isn’t always ambition that grows a business. Sometimes it’s dedication to a career and creating an environment in which employees and clients can flourish. Such is

the case with Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons, the 2010 St. Cloud Area Entrepreneurial Success Award recipient. The award is presented annually by the

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and honors a business that starts out small and becomes large under the same leadership. Founded in 1983 by Drs. Paul Heath and Jim Smith, Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons had two employees and cleared about $400,000 in sales its first year. Today the company has six physicians, four locations, 50 staff, and about $12 million in sales.

“We didn’t have any big ambitions to become large,” says Dr. Heath. “We just wanted to create a good place for people to work and to give good care.” (See cover story beginning on page 32) BC

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



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DJ Bitzan Jewelers hosts Business After Hours in July

Steve & Michelle Hahn, HahnMark, LLC

Summer Hagy, Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity

Steve Paasch (L) and Evan Larson, GLTArchitects; Don Larsen, SJA Architects; Lynn Christiansen, Shingobee Builders

Inese Mehr, 912 Regency Plaza/ Mi Famiglia Ristorante

DJ Bitzan’s Laura Nickila (L) and Roseanna Ross, St. Cloud State University (Courtesy of DJ Bitzan)

(Courtesy of DJ Bitzan)


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Colleen Zoffka, GB & Co. Hair-Skin-Spa (L) and Wendy Hendricks, Hendricks Marketing

Andy Jacobs, Jacobs Financial

Chamber volunteer Top Hatter Kris Hellickson, Times Media,

Erin Bitzan, DJ Bitzan Jewelers (L) & Noreen Dunnells, United Way of Central Minnesota

Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce (Courtesy of DJ Bitzan)

(Courtesy of DJ Bitzan)



Country Inn & Suites – East hosts Business After Hours last winter

Kay Welters, St. Cloud Surgical Center (L) and Jan Zitzow, Granite City Appraisal

Joel Ylinen, American Heritage National Bank (L) and John Bruns, Wright Aero

Alex Vigil, Finken Water Centers (L); Rick Poganski, Principal Financial Group; Rod Oltz; Al Karasch, TDS

Jayne Greeney Schill, St. Cloud Area School District #742 (L) and Lyn Kaczmarek, Country Inn & Suites - East

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



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TOP HATS | New Members

Northstar Tire & Auto, 650 30th Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Mike Schoenecker, Todd Schlangen, Bill Scherr and Chris Panek.

Road Rite, LLC, used truck sales, service and leasing, 3759 31st St. SE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Jill Magelssen, Tim Roberts and Dan Bates.

Rose City Sign Company, one stop sign service, 31208 County Rd 71, Eagle Bend. Pictured: Kris Nelson, Mike Hornung and Shannon Templin.

St. Cloud Hyundai, auto sales, 900 2nd St. S, Waite Park. Pictured: Shannon Templin, Jim McClelland, Sonia Hessler and Kris Nelson.

Taco John’s, 29 Division St., Waite Park. Pictured: Diane Kodet, Miguel Campa and Jason Bernick.

Taco John’s, 25 9th Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Diane Kodet, Kim Sullivan, Eric Alf, Frany Baurke and Jason Bernick.

Rotochopper, manufacturer of heavy wood grinders, 217 West St., St. Martin. Pictured: Jason Bernick, Jill Magelssen, Barb Peltz, Angie Brick, Steven Mehr, Patrick Burg, Monte Hight, and Brenda Eisenschenk. Not pictured: John Babcock

Young Life, an international organization reaching out to youth, 725 27th Ave. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tauna Quimby, Todd Myra and Mike Schoenecker.

The Trusted Leader in Commercial Real Estate Since 1971

Serving Central MN & the Twin Cities



rce A Single Sou Solution n, Inc. Construction

Photo by Joel


Douglas Boser,

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Black Ink

to run a company hat does it take has tripled 40 plus and that employs Douglas in three years? in business hustle and that that he must are Boser has learned sweat and missing lunch” in and “elbow grease of the company As founder part of the deal. up to the nine-point Hustle lives when he 1996, Doug assignment for a school in yourself credo he wrote is believing old. “Hustle he hustles to was 12 years you’re in.” Today business business and the systems, anticipate create operational performance, implement job climate, perfect and “pay it forward.”helps the lity, accountabi that technology point Doug believes “Ninety-nine and flourish. come our industry company grow problems in all of Computer nine percent ation” says Doug. and from poor communic estimating, job costing stay integrate of the team systems that nt help all parts access project manageme the same track. Staff can on computers and connected and anytime. Mobile efficiency project status and increase e. reduce errors and performanc phones help communication stay one step therefore bettering helps Doug Analyzing details n and the economy. competitio notes ahead of the marketplace” kills in this “Complacency extensive experience “Our team’s the most the contractor. coordinate even effectively as schools, medical allows us to buildings such or remodels.” complex new office build-outs methodical facilities and employs a on process Boser Constructi accelerate the building to result control. The delivery system and budget and ensure quality their customers. and value for contractors,” is efficiency not just paper “We’re carpenters, s a single source who implement he controls explains Doug, means solution. This construction end including beginning to and a project from increasing continuitywho design and drawings,is important to Doug, This bridges.” accountability. folks or burn games with plus his doesn’t “play s Doug builds, their relationship to The personal contributed have sense, natural business wife Tanya. his success, notes company’s success attribute the led Others may , which has ard philosophy to its pay-it-forw the YMCA, Holly Ball, of and to their support Habitat for Humanity March of Dimes, organizations. see Boser other community years will likely regional The next five becoming a focusing on of Construction firm. The passion come contracting is a dream commercial building structures he will people that designing and and he reminds is living each true for Doug “Hustle carpenter first. always be a center of a happening.” being in the moment by

W www.bosercons MARCH/

w w w. B u 010  ••  APRIL 2





A close-up look at business leaders, their companies, and the contributions they are making to Central Minnesota. 1

Deadline for advertising is Sept 20, 2010











For more information, please contact Wendy Hendricks at 320-656-3808 or at

RECORDS. 2010 ONLY e, Mar/Apr AD FOR YOUR FOR PROOF APPROVED Business Central Magazin This is your Ad will run: 10.75” E x Z I N Magazine(s) piece. page - 8.25” M A Gn,A 952-393-1598 final printed Ad Size: Full : Yola Hartman quality of the the image Proofing Contact does not reflect format of this file. email to Yola. ONLY and low-res on a return due to the is FOR PROOF send all changes This copy appear fuzzy changes. Please images may Photos or to send back this proof receipt of hours upon 2/10/10 You have 24 on@BusinessCentralMaga Date emailed: email: producti com oserconstruction. - tboser@b Boser to: Tanya Email proof


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

NOT A MEMBER YET? Call Wendy Franzwa, Membership Sales Specialist at (320) 656-3834 for more information.

Quality | Dedication | Integrity Accounting Auditing Business Valuations Employee Benefits Administration Estate Planning Payroll Services Petroleum Industry Services QuickBooks® Consulting Strategic Planning Tax Planning & Preparation

TOP HATS | New Members

RetroGreen Energy, building performance energy contractor, 1722 Perennial Lane NE, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Kris Nelson, Chris Froelke, Jake Froelke and Tauna Quimby.

Performance Design Training Center, improve business performance through software training, 1411 West Saint Germain St., Suite 2, St. Cloud. Pictured: Shannon Templin, Dara Westra, Brie Westra and Kris Nelson.

NO PHOTO – Lyon Contracting & Development, Inc., design build, general contracting, construction management, 3601 18th St. S, Suite 103, St. Cloud. NO PHOTO – Twin Pines Catering, catering, wedding banquets, reunions, family gatherings, PO Box 602, Albany. Whitehorse, casual dining with a global flair offering wine and spirits, 809 Saint Germain St. W, St. Cloud. Pictured: Kris Nelson, Dave Copa and Shannon Templin.

Michael A. Johnson, CPA, CVA, ABV Partner

Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing, PLLP offers a full range of accounting, tax, administrative and consulting services tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients. Our goal is to help them reach their maximum potential. Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing, PLLP was recognized by Twin Cities Business B.I.G. Book as one of the top 25 CPA firms in Minnesota. St. Cloud 2351 Connecticut Avenue, Ste. 110, Sartell Phone: (320) 252-7565 | Toll-free: (800) 862-1337 St. Cloud | Willmar | Benson | Morris | Litchfield

TOP HATS | New Locations & New Businesses

New location - United Entertainment Corp., movie theatres and video stores, 3601 18th St. S, Suite 104, St. Cloud. Pictured: Dan Bates, Mike Ross and Jill Magelssen.

New business - Compound Profit, financial services and marketing solutions to businesses, 953 Hamlet Drive N, Avon. Pictured: Diane Kodet, Jeff Manthe and Kris Nelson.

TOP HATS | Milestones

150 years in business - Times Media, a multi-media company, 3000 7th St. N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Owen Peterson, Bill Albrecht and Mike Schoenecker.

100 years in business - Plaza Park Bank, 131 6th Ave. S, Waite Park. Pictured: Tauna Quimby, David Eickhoff, Bill Eickhoff, Tom Eickhoff and Owen Peterson.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



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We are here when you need us! ~Including Overnight Recovery Unit ~

Celebrating 39 Years of Excellence in Caring for You! Accredited by Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc.

St. Cloud Surgical Center 1526 Northway Drive • St. Cloud • 251-8385 • 800-349-7272


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Chamber of Commerce* Sponsor: Liquid Assets Speaker: Scott Schlecht, Crafts Direct • Topic: “Crafts Direct: A Social Media Success Story” Cost: $15 for members; $22 for the general public, includes lunch


10 CHAMBER CONNECTION 7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program

15 WAITE PARK CHAMBER 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Host: Rasmussen College, 226 Park Ave. S • Speaker: Dennis Kern, Stearns County Sheriff Dept Topic: “Developing Community and Private Partnerships”

17 CHAMBER CONNECTION 7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program Host: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN • Location: TBD Cost: $1

23 SAUK RAPIDS CHAMBER 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Host: St. Benedict’s Senior Community • Location: Benedict Village, 2000 – 15th Ave. SE, St. Cloud • Cost: $1

Hosts: AgStar Financial Services & Northstar Visitor Guides Location: C & L Distributing, 1020 Industrial Dr. S Program: Candidates Forum for House District 14A (Sauk Rapids)



7:30-9:30 a.m. • Location:


Chamber of Commerce*

4:30-6:30 p.m. • Hosts: Plaza Park

14 NEXT ST. CLOUD Noon-1 p.m. • Peer dialogues and

Bank & Principal Financial Group Location: 131 6th Ave. S, Waite Park Open to Chamber members and guests.

professional development for next generation leaders • Location: TBD



7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program

4:30-6:30 p.m. • Host: St. Cloud Orthopedic Sports Center, 1901 Connecticut Ave. S, Sartell Open to Chamber members and guests.

Host: Mongo’s Grill, LLC Location: 3701 W Division St. Suite 103 • Cost: $1


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12 NEXT ST. CLOUD Noon-1 p.m. • Peer dialogues and professional development for next generation leaders • Location: TBD

15 CHAMBER CONNECTION 7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program Host: Brenny Transportation, 8505 Ridgewood Rd, St. Joseph Cost: $1

OCTOBER EVENTS 1 CHAMBER CONNECTION 7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program Host: Birthline Inc. • Location: TBD Cost: $1


20 WAITE PARK CHAMBER 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Host: Bremer Bank Location: Waite Park City Hall Program: Insurance coverage updates for business owners


4:30-6:30 p.m. • Host: BankVista,

7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program

125 Twin Rivers Court, Sartell • Open to Chamber members and guests.

Hosts: Lucky 7 • Location: TBD • Cost: $1



Noon-1 p.m. • Location:

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Chamber of Commerce* Sponsor: Dropp’s Unique Portrait Design • Speaker: Christa Halonen, owner of National Karate Topic: “Hands-On Networking” Cost: $15 for members; $22 for the general public, includes lunch

Host: CentraCare Health System “Smoke Free Communities” Location: C & L Distributing, 1020 Industrial Dr. S Program: Five Things You May Not Know About the Chamber


7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program

7-7:30 a.m. networking 7:30-8:45 a.m. program Host: St. Cloud State University Micro Loan Program • Location: TBD • Cost: $1

8 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS 7:30-9:30 a.m. • Location: Chamber of Commerce*

29 CHAMBER CONNECTION Host: Advantage Chiropractic • Location: TBD • Cost: $1

30 STAR-STUDDED CELEBRATION • 5-8 p.m. Networking, Entertainment, Grand hors d’oeuvres • Location: Best Western Kelly Inn, 100 4th Ave. S Cost: $25 for members; $38 for the general public * The Chamber of Commerce is located at

We’ll make sure your meeting hits the jackpot. Let us make your next meeting, banquet, or special event truly memorable. With two spacious casino hotels, 24-hour gaming action and award-winning dining, we offer the perfect setting for your guests. Grand Casino Mille Lacs Events & Convention Center

Grand Casino Hinckley Events & Convention Center

For more details, call 800-626-5825, ext. 8515

For more details, call 877-447-2631

110 S 6th Avenue in downtown St. Cloud.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m







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Going Green

Economic Review


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Green Computing

Replacing physical computers with virtual ones can save money and reduce energy use. By Jill Copeland


oftware is made to save companies time and money by taking care of simple tasks. When it comes to your computers, why not use software to combine the work of multiple machines, eliminating maintenance and space? It’s called virtualization and it combines servers that are normally incompatible because they are designed to run a single operating system and application. Many large companies have started using virtualization in the last few years to save space and labor costs. Virtualization is basically software taking the place of physical equipment, managing RAM (memory), hard disks and network controllers (for computers that function as servers) to create a virtual machine to run its own operating systems and applications. It is more efficient to work this way because less power is needed to run the same functions. The software program also self-manages, keeping the ‘virtual server’


separate from the physical server, so it is less work for a department employee. James Koenig, director of Information Technology Services at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, explains virtualization as using memory in place of server space. Instead of having a physical server taking up room and not using all of the power available due to compatibility, businesses can run a ‘virtual computer,’ with its own operating system and applications, on another server. Not only a matter of storage, virtualization software keeps the virtual server secure, and if one box fails, it takes power from another. Cost Savings Businesses save money using software because fewer people are needed to keep the system organized. Companies also use less power because servers are accomplishing more than they used to.

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

The server is no longer constrained to one operating system, and new servers are not needed whenever more computer power is drawn to run specific applications. “We have higher efficiency and a greater proportion of time that is spent on other projects,” says Koenig. He says some applications use more power than others. Through virtualization, companies can organize and couple smaller applications that are not using power at all times. In addition, less electricity is needed to run the servers, and less heat is generated, which means less electricity to cool them. “It is a savings in capital and also environmentally friendly,” says Koenig. Out of 221 total servers on campus 134 are virtual, with more to come in future years. When starting the transition to the virtual servers in 2004, the colleges ran into a few issues simply because of the sophistication of the software. “We did a test implementation with less critical servers before we started to transition to virtualization,” says Koenig. One of the first issues they ran into was the immediate automatic data flow from one server to the next when power was lost. “One of our employees shut off one of the server legs briefly, and triggered the process, where all of the information moved from one server to the next.” They had to put safety checks in place similar to pop-ups asking, “Do you really wish to initiate this process?” Koenig suggests businesses go to their computer provider to have questions answered. They should be able to tell you what software will work best, and troubleshoot those issues prior to installation. BC Jill Copeland is the Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

It must be true, I Googled it


smartphone app will deliver the beer to your seat and accurately predict

Northwestern University researchers say college students have a decided lack of Web savvy, especially when it comes to search engines and the ability to determine the credibility of search results. A new study shows that students favor search engine rankings above all other factors. The only thing that matters is that something is the top search result, not that it's legit. Only 10 percent of the students in the study made mention of the web site’s author or that author’s credentials while completing tasks. And of that small percent, none actually followed through to verify the identification or qualifications of the site’s authors.

whether or not Brett Favre will really retire for good. Source: The New York Times

Sources:; International Journal of Communication

MULTITASKING MEETS SPORTS FANATIC Football fans who want instant replays while attending games at the new Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey will get their wish. According to a New York Times report, New York Giants and New York Jets fans attending a home game will be able to download a free smartphone application that will allow them to watch instant replays, see statistics, and even view live feeds of other games. Fans also will get real-time updates on which concession lines are the shortest and receive traffic updates. By the time the Minnesota Vikings get their new stadium, no doubt the

Simply Effortless. Winter is just around the corner, and its time to begin planning your corporate holiday party. Large or small, Blackberry Ridge has seating, accommodations, and food and beverage packages to fit your needs. Our team will help plan all aspects of your party, making your experience at Blackberry one to remember. Reserve your date today by calling 320-257-4653.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



Regional Diagnostic Radiology

Regional Diagnostic Radiology’s Vein Center offers beautiful results


egional Diagnostic Radiology in Sartell most enthusiastically believes you don’t have to hide your legs or tolerate painful varicose veins or unsightly spider veins. Enter the new world of technologically advanced treatments for skin and body at the newly constructed Vein Center and the Skinfitnessmd Medical Spa. ACCOMPLISHED: •• Rochelle Wolfe, MD, Interventional Radiologist •• Danielle Leighton, MD, Interventional Radiologist •• Jody Bolton Smith, MD, Diagnostic Radiologist

The Vein Center A trio of lovely, intelligent and expert interventional radiologists assist patients with cosmetic and medical treatment for veinous disease. Doctors Rochelle Wolfe, Jody Bolton Smith and Danielle Leighton treat both men and women and have seen patients ages 17 to 86. They specialize in treating women with vein problems in the pelvis, groin and legs. The three are the only female vein doctors in St. Cloud. “A woman is often more comfortable consulting with a female doctor,” says Dr. Bolton Smith. The relationships they build with all patients are rewarding. “Being interventional radiologists allows us to help people from initial diagnosis through the image-guided treatment and recovery,” says Dr. Wolfe. By using image guidance, patients remain awake, and recovery is faster because of the non-invasive nature of the procedures. They’re seen as outpatients for laser vein ablation, which uses a laser to “zap” unsightly veins at their source,


and for sclerotherapy, where an injection causes absorption of the vein, naturally. Phlebectomy, a minor surgical procedure, removes large varicose veins through pinhole punctures under local anesthesia. Procedures may be difficult to pronounce, but patients talk about the beautiful results. If Dr. Wolfe, Dr. Bolton Smith, and Dr. Leighton have their wish, patients will keep talking about their comprehensive, painless experience at central Minnesota’s leading vein center. Skinfitnessmd spa, located in The Vein Center Skinfitnessmd takes medically assisted cosmetic augmentation and body refinement – including botox, fills, peels – to a high level of excellence. Skinfitnessmd is a partnership between Regional Diagnostic Radiology and plastic surgeon

Dr. John Ness, Medical Director. Maretta Johannes, a certified clinical aesthetician, is a leader in her field and the expert who provides services in permanent cosmetics, laser skin treatments, laser hair removal, and medical strength peels and products.   Patients can confidently place themselves in Maretta’s experienced hands – 20 plus years.  So, get your skin fit by tapping the skills of the professionals at The Vein Center and Skinfitnessmd. You’ll see beautiful results!

Regional Diagnostic Radiology, Sartell 30+ years in operation •• 24/7 service •• Partnerships: CentraCare, VA Hospital, central Minnesota hospitals •• Sub-specialties: MRI, CT, Breast Health, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine, Interventional Radiology •• Locations: Paynesville, Crosby, Aitkin, Melrose, Sauk Centre, Albany, Little Falls, Long Prairie

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

Photos by Studio D; Portraits by Design

•• John Ness, MD, Plastic Surgeon



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Does turning 21 make you a Grownup?


By Gary Berg

uly 1, 2010, was a date marked on my calendar. It was a special birthday that needed to include a happy hour and big celebration. Finally, the big 21st birthday was happening! A business started in a little 10’ X 10’ incubator office in Marketplace in Waite Park, MN, was turning 21. We had made it to adulthood! Time for a beer! As our company turned 21, I had to reflect on what that means in terms of the life cycle of an organization. When I started out, I was the only employee and I had

virtually no clients and very little product. I was a baby in the business world - a person with a ton of optimism and energy and very little experience. I had a vision, I had a work ethic . . . and I needed customers. The early years I learned to walk. Every day I learned more about what I needed to do to be successful. Some of that learning came from discussions, workshops, books and articles. Most of it came from actually doing the work needed to move things forward. A lot of adult companies smiled at me and thought “what a cute little company.” Over the next decade, just like a child, we continued to grow. The excitement continued and opportunities seem to grow as well. So did the challenges and responsibilities. I needed to add employees - and all the costs and issues that come with that decision. We had to expand our product line and grow our sales and markets. About the time we turned 18 I realized the newborn company had almost grown into an adult. With sales growing to $2.5 million annually, there was definite growth. Then 2008 came and this little thing called a recession. Over the next three years, we did a lot more maturing and growing. We dealt with reduced sales, worries from clients in virtually all our markets and an overall concern that what we had worked so hard to build was showing signs of stagnation. Over the past three years, we did become an adult organization. We took a relatively bleak national economic scenario and made sound, thoughtful decisions. We reorganized our staffing, products,

Growing a company, like raising children, is not always easy. marketing and sales plans. Those who were not fully on board were replaced by those who were. We consciously did not climb into a shell. We did just the opposite. We increased advertising, made more calls, improved our website and even added staff. We all took less pay because there was less to take. And we survived just fine and have come out better than ever. As this past quarter ended we saw a jump in sales that we have not seen in many years. As we celebrated our 21st birthday we determined we have earned our place as an official adult company with all the growth and development that includes. Growing a company, like raising children, is not always easy. There is an immense amount of time, responsibility, emotion and money that goes into helping it grow and develop into an adult that can flourish and support itself. When your children turn 21 and step out on their own, you are proud that you have successfully helped them develop into who they are as young adults. Same with a company, I guess. BC

About the writer

Gary Berg is CEO of G.L. Berg Entertainment in St. Cloud, Minn.



Launched in 2008, Gazelle buys electronics ranging from camcorders to LCD monitors. The company bills itself as an easy, fast and environmentally responsible way for people to sell or recycle their phones. Sellers search for their model on the website, answer four questions about the item’s condition and then get a price for it. They say they can’t keep up with the demand. Sources: Reuters;


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010



If you have a store in Central Minnesota, you probably have cords, cables and wiring. WACOSA, a non profit organization serving disabled adults, offers a new program called “Recycle Your Holidays” to encourage businesses and individuals to recycle their old electrical cords and holiday bulbs all year long. Holiday lights, electrical cords, electrical wiring, telephone cords and cabling are recycled and help provide jobs for the disabled. Drop-off boxes are located at:

•• Girl Scouts of MN & WI Lakes & Pines

•• Wenner’s Hardware

•• Denny & Kathy’s Ace Hardware (both locations)

•• SCSU Maintenance Building

Visit to learn more.

•• DocuShred

•• Tri-County Solid Waste Management Commission

•• St. Cloud Area Chamber

•• Waite Park City Hall

• Relationships that last for years • Good instincts • Deep insight and a solid plan We can’t predict the future, but we can help you create it.

•• Foley Hardware & Appliance

Talkin’ Trash A newly patented reactor uses infrared technology to melt

Assurance | Accounting Tax | Consulting | Advisory

waste plastic and convert it into usable, renewable fuel for cars and airplanes. Based in Washington, D.C., Envion says it can produce up to 5,000 barrels of oil annually through this “reverse engineering” process. Source: PBS

Noticeably Different. ©2010 LarsonAllen LLP

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Corner of 2nd St S & Waite Ave - St. Cloud Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender . S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



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them. BC


St. Cloud, MN

T po ran rta stio n







M G isc Se ood . rv s/ ice s


H Ca ealt re h

Ut ili tie s

2009 Annual Average

Ho us ing


ou can make numbers say just about anything you want them to. So when you hear that the cost of living in the St. Cloud area is slightly below average, that sounds good, right? The index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures, for professional and managerial households in the top income quintile. It is based on more than 90,000 prices covering almost 60 different items for which prices are collected quarterly by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. Small differences should not be interpreted as showing any measurable difference, according to C2ER - The Council for Community and Economic Research, which publishes the index. During the first quarter of 2010, the St. Cloud area experienced an all items index of 98.9, or 1.1 percent below the national average of 100. Even with a margin of error of four percent, the regional cost of living hovers around average. But look closer. The composite index is based on six components – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services. Certainly 100.7 for grocery items or 101.8 for transportation can be called average. But 81.9 for housing? Or 120.9 for utilities? Sure, if you combine them, they are average, but individually they are both well outside the average of 100 and outside the margin of error. The cost of living in Central Minnesota may have been average for the first quarter of 2010, but remember numbers, like looks, can be deceiving until you get to know

Minnesota and other Upper Midwest Cities of Comparable Size to St. Cloud G Ite roc m ery s

St. Cloud’s cost of living starts out year slightly below average.

First Quarter 2010

Al l It em s

Cost of Living

First Quarter 2010

St. Cloud, MN





101.8 102.6


Minneapolis, MN








St. Paul, MN








Rochester, MN








Dubuque, IA








Eau Claire, WI








Wausau, WI








Among the 308 urban areas participating in the first quarter report, the after-tax cost for a professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York (Manhattan), NY to almost 16 percent below the national average in Pryor, OK. CITY


New York (Manhattan), NY New York (Brooklyn), NY Honolulu, HI


San Francisco, CA


New York (Queens), NY


Truckee-Nevada County, CA Nassau County, NY


Orange County, CA Stamford, CT Fairbanks, AK



147.2 146.5 145.9 139.9



That’s what a recent poll by SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs showed. The online newsletter’s readers prefer community banks by only a slim margin: 40 percent for small community banks, 36.74 percent for big national/international banks; and 23.26 percent for mid-sized regional banks. While big banks may be perceived as more convenient and less risky, community bankers say they have money available right now for small-business loans. Source: SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010



Companies looking for skilled, low-cost labor have come up with a radical new concept…seeking workers in rural communities in the U.S. Some companies are starting to eye job-hungry areas of the country as prime candidates for the kind of outsourced work that once would have gone overseas. It’s working right here in Minnesota — CrossUSA in Burnsville, MN, recruits experienced, older IT workers who are nearing retirement for its 100-employee operations in Sebeka, MN, (population 700) and Eveleth, MN, (population 3,000). Source:

Thank you Canada!

Minnesota manufactured exports climbed 17 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from the same quarter a year ago. The state’s strongest trade partner is Canada, which imported $994 million worth of Minnesotamade products during the quarter, an increase of 19 percent from a year ago. Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Source: Federal Reserve



the percent of businesses that used small business cards


the percent of small businesses that used credit cards, as of the end of 2009


the total maximum amount individual firms reported borrowing on their credit cards at any one time


the percent of businesses that used personal cards


the percent of small businesses that reported borrowing on credit cards

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



TWODOCS For Drs. Jim Smith and Paul Heath success means creating an environment in which patients and employees can flourish. BUSINESS PROFILE B y G ai l Iv er s P ho to gr ap hy by Jo el B ut ko w sk i, B D I P ho to


Once upon a time –

not so very long ago – there were two young

men who decided to go to medical school.

Paul Heath was intense, thoughtful and wore a large mustache. He grew up in Olean, NY. He went to Greenville College in Greenville, IL, and graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1976. He decided to specialize in surgery


and in 1983 completed a plastic surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Jim Smith was gregarious, quick with a come-back, and wore a large grin. He grew up in Waverly, Minn. He went to the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1974. He decided to specialize in surgery and in 1983 completed a plastic surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

It was at the Mayo Clinic that our freshly minted surgeons met and developed a friendship. As their training wound to a close, the two determined that their medical philosophies and goals were similar and that they would like to develop their private practice together. Starting with the entire United States as a possible market, they gradually narrowed their options to California and St. Cloud, Minn. “My mother, and a breast implant salesman named

Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons, PA 3701 12th St. N, Ste 100 St. Cloud, MN 56303 (320) 253-7257 Fax: (320) 251-2938 WWW.MIDSOTA.COM NUMBER OF PHYSICIAN-OWNERS: Six NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 50 NUMBER OF LOCATIONS:

Main clinic in St. Cloud, outreach clinics in Alexandria, Brainerd, Maple Grove and Pequot Lakes. JOINED THE CHAMBER: 1987

Dr. John Houle

Dr. Paul Heath

Dr. Thomas Satterberg

Dr. Paul Schultz

Dr. Evelyn Erickson Dr. Jim Smith


2008 The outreach clinic in Alexandria starts up again.

JUNE 1983 Dr. Paul Heath and Dr. Jim Smith complete their plastic surgery fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. AUGUST 1, 1983 Heath and Smith begin their plastic surgery practice in St. Cloud in the office of Dr. E.J. Schmitz. They hire their first employee on Aug. 1 and perform their first operating room surgery (a breast reconstruction) as independent physicians on Aug. 5. NOVEMBER 1983 Heath and Smith move to their own offices, the third floor at 3400 1st St. N, St. Cloud. They have about 1,500 square feet, hire their second employee and have about $400,000 in sales the first year.

2009 Midsota opens an outreach clinic in Maple Grove. MAY 7, 2010 Midsota opens an outreach clinic in Pequot Lakes.

1984 Heath and Smith open an outreach clinic in Brainerd. 1985 Heath and Smith open an outreach clinic in Alexandria. This is later closed. 1987 Dr. Paul Schultz joins the practice. 1988 The Midsota physicians and staff begin an outreach practice in Guatemala

1990 Dr. Tom Satterberg joins the practice. 1994 Dr. Evelyn Erickson joins the practice. 1998 Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons moves to its current location at 3701 12th St. N, Ste. 100, St. Cloud. 2006 Dr. John Houle joins the practice.

1983 - 1998 The office space is remodeled and expanded three times, eventually taking over half of the third floor with additional office space on the fourth floor.


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

2010 Midsota is selected as the 2010 St. Cloud Area Entrepreneurial Success Award recipient. The organization occupies almost 14,000 square feet, has six physicians, four locations, 50 staff and about $12 million in annual sales.

Daryl Bautsch both suggested, rather spontaneously, that we check out the St. Cloud area,” says Smith. “Daryl felt this was an under-served region.” Smith’s mother suggested calling Dr. Joe Zeleny, an orthopedic surgeon she knew, for his input. “He said ‘There aren’t any damn facelifts being done in St. Cloud,’” Smith recalls with a chuckle. All the same, Zeleny suggested calling Dr. E.J. Schmitz who was considered the prominent general surgeon in the area. “From a political point of view, Dr. Schmitz was very influential in introducing new physicians to the community.” Smith and Heath, along with their wives, Kris Smith and Joan Heath, made several trips to California to search out options. On Super Bowl Sunday, 1982, they arrived in St. Cloud. “What really tipped us over,” according to Smith, “was when we went to Crossroads Shopping Center. It was like the day before Christmas. It was packed with activity. Normally Super Bowl Sunday is a quiet shopping day. The malls in California had been empty.” “St. Cloud was one of just 12 places in the country with a population of 50,000 or more that didn’t have a plastic surgeon,” says Heath. “It fit the bill for us.” The two couples stopped at a local restaurant for dinner and there made the decision to move to St. Cloud. They wrote their first business plan on the restaurant placemat. Following the suggested protocol, Smith and Heath contacted Dr. Schmitz and asked for a meeting. “Apparently

The original business plan drawn up for Midsota Plastic Surgeons. It was created on the back of a restaurant placemat. PERSONAL PROFILE

Dr. Jim Smith

we passed the personal interview,” says Smith, “because after some scrutiny he invited us to be part of his practice along with his existing partners.”

SETTING OUT Fresh out of their fellowships, Smith and Heath began their practice in Dr. Schmitz’s office on Aug. 1, 1983. For the record, says Smith, “We had one patient the first day, no patients the second day, and one patient the third day. We did, however, have one surgery in the operating room at the St. Cloud Hospital that first Friday,

AGE: 61

HOME TOWN: Waverly, MN JOINED MIDSOTA: Founder, 1983

Aug. 5, 1983, so we never did go a week without at least one major surgery. “When we started out we did everything from feet to scalp and everything in between,” says Smith. “One of the nice things about plastic surgery is that we treat the whole person – birth to death, male and female – it’s a very interesting specialty.” But it also means long hours and lots of on-call time. In 1983 the hospital’s

emergency room did not have a dedicated physician. “We were in there every other night,” says Smith. “We still do lots of trauma – we have someone on call every night.” Working out of Dr. Schmitz’s office was a temporary plan for our two new physicians, who were anxious to be on their own. Joan and Kris started investigating financing options. “Zapp Bank was the only bank that would even talk to us,” says Smith. “We borrowed

EDUCATION: Undergraduate: College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, 1971 Medical School: University of Minnesota,1974 General Surgery Residency: University of Minnesota, 1974-81 Plastic Surgery Residency: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 1981-83 SPECIALTY: Breast augmentations, reductions and lifts; thigh liposuctions and lifts; tummy tucks, with and without liposuction FAMILY: Wife, Kris; son D.J., daughter Vicki


Dr. Paul Heath AGE: 58

HOME TOWN: Olean, NY JOINED MIDSOTA: Founder, 1983

EDUCATION: Undergraduate: Greenville College, Greenville, IL, 1972 Medical School: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1976 General Surgery Residency: Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, 1976-81 Plastic Surgery Residency: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 1981-83 Business: MBA St. Thomas University, 1999 SPECIALTY: Abdominoplasty, breast augmentation and reduction, facial rejuvenation, rhinoplasty

FAMILY: Wife Joan; daughters Joline, Janelle, Julianne, Jacqueline HOBBIES: Family activities, computers, skiing, woodworking SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL CAREER THAT HAS HAPPENED THAT YOU DIDN’T ANTICIPATE: I had always imagined serving people simply in the role of a surgeon. I had no idea of the opportunities that lay ahead to extend that role of servanthood to leadership in business and mission outreach activities, especially on the scale that we have experienced.

HOBBIES: Travel, computers/technology, golf SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL CAREER THAT HAS HAPPENED THAT YOU DIDN’T ANTICIPATE: I never imagined our practice would become as large as it has.

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Making it work


Dr. Paul Schultz

“I always tell people Dr. Heath is the brains of the outfit, Dr. Schultz is the hands, and I’m the mouth… so it’s worked out very well.” – DR. JIM SMITH

AGE: 60

HOME TOWN: Rochester, MN JOINED MIDSOTA: 1987 EDUCATION: Undergraduate: University of Minnesota, 1972 Medical School: Mayo School of Medicine, 1976 General Surgery Residency: University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, 1976-81 Plastic Surgery Residency: Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, MN, 1982-83 Hand Surgery Fellow: Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, MN, 1984 Clinic Staff: Div. Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Carle Clinic Association, Urbana, IL, 1984-87

everything for the first year or two.” They hired their first two staff, built some of their office furniture and moved out on their own in November 1983. It wasn’t until they were in business that our two doctors realized that they were in business. “In medical school and residency and all those years you’re in school you get no business training at all,” says Heath. “Starting a business with no training is rather formidable.”

SPECIALTY: Hand surgery, with special interest in highly detailed areas of body reconstruction and hand surgery

There was a retired physician in Rockford, Ill., who took the pair under his wing, giving them some of the basic advice regarding how to start a practice. But still, they had no business training. “Kris Smith had her MBA,” Heath continued, “so she gave us some help in that regard. But starting a business is kind of a worrisome thing if you haven’t done it before and have no training.” Eventually Heath went back to school for his MBA. Smith had a different take on business ownership. “Being a business owner for me has been very easy,” he says, “because I have Dr.

Heath. He manages all the business stuff. I know very little about that. He has an MBA, which has come in handy. I always tell people he’s the brains of the outfit, Dr. Schultz is the hands, and I’m the mouth…so it’s worked out very well.”

SLAYING DRAGONS Plastic surgery has seen many changes since our duo began their journey. “There are things we’re doing now that weren’t even dreamed of in our residency,” says Heath. “Laser was just coming on the forefront when we were finishing our residency and now it’s a frequently used modality. Micro

FAMILY: Daughter Meredith EDUCATION:

HOBBIES: Golf, church activities SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL CAREER THAT HAS HAPPENED THAT YOU DIDN’T ANTICIPATE: The impact of our surgical work in Central America on the practice, the volunteers of Central Minnesota, and on is beyond anything I imagined.


Dr. John Houle AGE: 40



Undergraduate: University of Minnesota – Duluth, 1996 Medical School: Medical College of Wisconsin, 2000 Plastic Surgery Residency: Southern Illinois University, 2006

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

SPECIALTY: The only surgeon in the area that offers the DIEP flap, a muscle-sparing microsurgical breast reconstruction using abdominal tissue.

FAMILY: Wife Kourtney; son Will HOBBIES: Traveling, outdoor recreation SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL CAREER THAT HAS HAPPENED THAT YOU DIDN’T ANTICIPATE: The demand that would develop in my practice for micro surgery. It’s far beyond anything I could have imagined.

vascular surgery was used in some areas when we were in training but now it’s the most common way we use to reconstruct women’s breasts after mastectomy.” The newest member of the Midsota team, John Houle, has done more micro vascular breast reconstructions than anyone else in this part of the country, including the Mayo Clinic, according to Heath. Houle has perfected a technique of taking tissue from the abdomen and transplanting it under the microscope to vessels in the chest and has been very successful at using the patient’s own tissue for reconstruction of the breast. “The results are quite fantastic

and patients don’t have to worry about implants or other problems down the road,” says Heath. Though many years have passed, our champions still remember their roots. “Our basic focus and primary goal for being in medicine is to help the patient,” says Smith. “I think that was ingrained in us during our training and especially during our time at Mayo.” “There are plastic surgery practices that won’t take call,” says Heath. “They won’t go to the ER; they only do cosmetic surgery. It’s more challenging to do everything. Some practices won’t do Medicare patients. The payment is very bad and doesn’t cover your costs. We’re not like that. We consider trauma services and taking care of the elderly to be part of our mission.” Typical plastic and general surgery groups tend to be small, one or two person practices, says Smith. Midsota is one of the bigger private plastic surgery groups in the country. Smith credits this to


Dr. Thomas Satterberg AGE: 56


EDUCATION: Undergraduate: St. Olaf College, 1975 Medical School: University of Minnesota, 1981 Internship: University of Minnesota, 1981-82 General Surgery Residency: University of Minnesota, 1982-88

a business decision he and Heath made early on … again based on their early training at Mayo Clinic. “We all share equally,” he said. “So whatever the youngest partner, or Dr. Heath, or I do, we all share equally in whatever profit is left over. I guess that’s unusual for the industry, but not unusual for us – we started out that way and we’ve kept it that way.” “As a result we want to help each other be successful,” says Heath. “I think the patient benefits as well because you have the benefit of the combined expertise of many people working together rather than competing against one another. I think that has translated not only to good patient care but also a good working relationship for the physicians as well as to the staff. It really transmits to all of the people who work here.” “People who buy into the group have to buy into this philosophy, too,” Smith added. “I think that’s the

On the cover

Drs. Paul Heath and Jim Smith were featured on the cover of St. Clouds Hospital’s newsletter,

The Beacon Light, in March 1984.

major reason we’re still together after 27 years. We’re all on the same page as far as that’s concerned. We’ve had some people join the group who have tried unsuccessfully to change our culture, and they end up leaving. If

Plastic Surgery Residency: University of California, Los Angeles, 1988-90

HOBBIES: Fishing, camping, Scandinavian culture and heritage

SPECIALTY: Breast lifts, breast reduction, hand surgery

SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL CAREER THAT HAS HAPPENED THAT YOU DIDN’T ANTICIPATE: Nothing. I anticipated it would be different every day and it is.

FAMILY: Wife Bonnie; son Ryan

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Perfect Practice


Dr. Evelyn Erickson AGE: 50

“I am at the twilight of my career, I always tell my partners that I can’t imagine a better practice…I just wouldn’t change anything.” – DR. JIM SMITH

HOME TOWN: Salt Lake City, UT JOINED MIDSOTA: 1994 EDUCATION: Undergraduate: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 1982 Medical School: University of California, Los Angeles, 1986 General Surgery Residency: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 1986-92 Plastic Surgery Residency: University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 1992-94 SPECIALTY: Surgery of the breasts and body, breast reduction, young women with developmental breast issues; introduced autogenous tissue breast reconstruction to Central Minnesota FAMILY: Husband Bruce Broman, MD; 11-year-old twins Amelia and Nathan HOBBIES: Reading, traveling, family activities out west SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL CAREER THAT HAS HAPPENED THAT YOU DIDN’T ANTICIPATE: Out of all the practice opportunities I considered, I didn’t expect the best one to be in Minnesota. I had always lived in the west.


someone is only interested in cosmetic surgery – it pays better – they’re probably not a good fit for us.”

EVER FAITHFUL Though the physicians do not have a traditional fiveyear business plan, they do think about and anticipate how to respond to changes in the industry. “We want to expand to meet the needs of the community,” Heath says. “We want to continue to provide excellent care and I think part of that involves reaching out beyond St. Cloud.” Currently Midsota has outreach clinics in Brainerd, Alexandria, Maple Grove, and Pequot Lakes. They continue to determine how and where they should expand based on providing care where the patients are located. “We had no idea when we started that there would be six of us,” says Smith. “I guess I always thought there would be Dr. Heath and me. Then Dr. Schultz joined us a few years after we came up here. I thought that would be

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

it. We’d sort of putter along until we turned 60-65, then we’d all sort of disappear. But things moved along and sort of mushroomed. Sometimes I look at our staff and think ‘Where did all these people come from? How did we do this?’” Heath and Smith also apply the best business practice of succession planning, but as they both point out repeatedly, they think about it in terms of patient care. “Providing the best care means bringing in new people who will take over our places as we move on,” says Heath. Smith has already alerted the group to his retirement plans. Heath says he probably won’t be far behind. “We want to have good qualified people coming on so we can continue to provide the kind of care that we think is appropriate.” In fact the group is currently interviewing candidates with plans over the next year or two to add two physicians, bringing their number to eight. “We want this to be an ongoing

organization,” Smith said. “It shouldn’t end with us.” As our heroes begin their ride into the sunset, they can’t help but be nostalgic. “I am at the twilight of my career,” says Smith. “I always tell my partners that I can’t imagine a better practice. Even if I had everything to do all over again, I don’t think I would change anything. I’ve had great partners, great staff, a wonderful community, great place to raise a family …. I just wouldn’t change anything.”

THE MORAL OF OUR STORY “We’re not really about being in business,” Heath emphasizes one last time. “We’re about taking care of patients. We’ve found that if we keep that foremost in our minds and foremost in our mission, then everything else follows.” BC Gail Ivers is vice president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and managing editor of Business Central.

perience The Guatemala Ex

Reaching Out

Dr. Paul Schultz


n 1987 Midsota Plastic Surgeons was contacted by HELPS International, an organization that had started doing medical outreach during the Guatemalan civil war. They asked the physicians to start an outreach practice in Central America. In 1988 a team of seven people – four from Midsota – embarked on their first outreach effort into rural Guatemala. “We were really overwhelmed by the extent of human need and the trouble that occurred during their civil war,” says Dr. Paul Schultz, one of the original Midsota team members and medical director for HELPS International. “We were convinced we needed to return with more help.” From those humble beginnings was born a nationwide medical effort that helps thousands of Guatemalans each year. Midsota leads a multidisciplinary medical team to the area at least three times a year.

THE ORIGINAL TEAM The following individuals comprised the first medical team, led by Midsota, to visit Guatemala.

Dr. Jim Smith

The teams are large, according to Schultz, 60-80 people, because the need is so great. They often include nurses, pharmacists, engineers, cooks, as well as a broad range of physicians from around Central Minnesota. “I sort of look at it as a cross between MASH and Animal House,” says Dr. Jim Smith, one of the medical staff at Midsota Plastic Surgeons. “You actually go down there and do what you’re trained to do. You take care of people, you don’t have to worry about paperwork, insurance forms, legal issues, etc. You can tell they’re very appreciative just for seeing them, let alone doing anything for them.” The plastic surgeons primarily provide care for burns and facial deformities. “There’s a large population of children who have minimal access to care for cleft facial deformities,” says Schultz. There are also problems in the Guatemalan highlands with open fires in the homes that create respiratory problems and cause terrible burns to young children who fall in the fires. “We’re particularly moved by the individuals who have significant burns and burned hands. In that environment the hand is important for agricultural work. A number of these children have closed fists or closed fingers because of their burn scars.” The physicians are able to free the scar tissue, allowing for a functional hand.

•• Paul Heath, MD, Midsota Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons •• Paul Schultz, MD, Midsota Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons •• Bernie Lindmeier, RN, Midsota Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons

“It’s wonderful to be able to give in that way,” Schultz said. “The Guatemala trip is the high point of the year for us,” according to Midsota’s Dr. Paul Heath. “We’re able to give to those who really have no other options. As a result we receive so much in return – just the knowledge that you’ve done something for someone who has no other possibilities.” A typical team sees about 1000 patients and performs 100-130 operations over one week. Since Midsota first began its outreach efforts in 1988, other medical teams from around the country have joined the effort. There are now 10 medical teams with outreach clinics in Guatemala, according to Schultz. Schultz has personally participated on 40 teams. Over the 20-plus years that the teams have been in the area, they have seen over 150,000 patients in clinics and performed over 10,000 operations. It’s impossible to participate on a medical team without experiencing a longer-term impact, according to Schultz. “As we see the extent of poverty that exists in many areas of Central America the volunteers return recognizing that they have much, much more than they realize. Perhaps my garage door doesn’t go up, but what if I barely had a house to live in? I like to think if we can go a second mile in Guatemala, we can go a second mile in Central Minnesota.” BC

•• Mary Susan Schultz, RN •• Gary Boeke, MD, Anesthesia Associates •• Bill Reay, pharmacist •• Jerry Chisolm, CRNA

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DATA CRUNCHING Using reliable data can help shape good decision-making.

By Mary MacDonell Belisle

about what direction to take after your research is done, advises Johnson.

GATHER THE INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS Business owners can gorge themselves on the abundance of data available. Instead,

CREATING A SURVEY Identify a survey method based on target audience and subject: •• Phone •• Personal (one-on-one) •• Focus Group •• Electronic •• Postal Service


experts recommend that you take a systematic approach. “Analysis is tricky for small business,” says Murdoch Johnson of UpFront Consulting in St. Joseph. He suggests that your data analysis plan should be driven backwards. Ask yourself “What decisions need to be made?” “What two or three pieces of data do I need to mine?” (“Mining” is the act of uncovering patterns by working with both qualitative data — attributes and qualities, and quantitative data — measures and numbers.) Act on the really big, useful, and makesa-difference revelation if you’re confused

The following are tips for creating an effective survey: •• Keep questions short •• No jargon, acronyms, or confusing language •• Don’t assume anything •• Organize questions logically •• Test the survey on someone besides yourself •• Follow-up with non-respondents •• If possible, make the results available to those who take the survey

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010


Bad surveys could make a difference in your success. Try avoiding these most common mistakes: Lengthy •• Missing links Results not reviewed •• Repetitive No purpose statement

So how do you convince people to take the survey? There are five main factors to consider for higher survey response rates: 1 Perceived importance of the survey 2 Level of interest in the topic 3 Creation of respondent trust 4 Increasing perception of rewards for participation 5 Decreasing perception of respondent burden

Source: Dillman, D.A. (2007) Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method.


ou chew on data as a business owner: labor, land, capital, employment. Long-term goals, research and development, production and distribution, marketing – the use of solid data can shape good decision-making in all of these areas so you’re not operating in a void, or acting on anecdotal evidence or gut feeling. However, the “how to” of data consumption can be daunting.

PRIMARY DATA IS PRIMO Businesses often fail to collect customer information. Do it. This primary data is important because it offers insights about your customers, products, and performance. Use direct contact, focus groups, questionnaires, secret shopper techniques, online surveys, telemarketing, etc. “The cheapest way to conduct survey research is via the Internet, but many businesses don’t have customer email addresses,” says Johnson. By conducting basic research, your business can create a baseline picture of what’s happening today, strategize and implement change, and then, measure

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SURVEY FOR HIRE Pre-employment surveys are used at many large companies, including Target and Neiman Marcus. In 2005 a survey found 30 percent of all companies use some kind of personality tests in hiring. An estimated 2500 U.S. firms offered hiring surveys, rating job applicants on:

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SINK YOUR TEETH INTO SECONDARY DATA Data has been compiled and interpreted on almost any topic you’d want to research. About 90 percent of what you might require is available from secondary resources, according to Johnson. Trade associations offer industry-specific data and assist with sample survey tools. Businesses should belong to an association where the most relevant data is often available at no charge. Ditto for your area chamber of commerce and public library.

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again to gauge improvement, says Tara Tollefson of the Buzz Company, a St. Joseph marketing company. “Be careful to think things through and not jump to conclusions based on one indicator,” cautions Tollefson. The most important data a business should know about itself, Tollefson adds, is its customer attrition or retention rate. Johnson also recommends businesses enlist professionals when they craft a survey or tap a sample population. A single word in a survey question can dramatically change customer response, and the wrong strategic decision can be made from a sampling that doesn’t truly represent a group.

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Tollefson suggests the J.J. Hill Business Library, which offers online access, IM chat, and phone access to helpful librarians. “We’re blessed with lowcost or no-cost help from local universities, and the Small Business Development Center is a great resource,” says Johnson, noting interns are also a wonderful resource. And, of course, the U.S. government and Small Business Administration offer business

owners free statistical information about the current economic market. Filling your already full plate, and consuming and digesting data, might be unappetizing. However, once you get a taste for the positive results of data, “crunching” to assist your business planning, you’ll want to keep it on the menu. BC Mary MacDonell Belisle owns mary macdonell belisle-writer for hire in St. Cloud.

Online Now There are many survey tools available online. You can find links to some of them at

WHAT COMES NEXT? How do you turn survey responses into actionable items? According to marketer Andrea Scarnecchia, there are five ways to turn data into dollars for your business: •• Establish meaningful parameters. Identify the data that matters most to your business and focus on those items. Do not try to address all elements of the survey at one time. •• Simplify and dig deeper. You already know more than you think, so look through the data and pull out the things you did not know. Explore that data further. •• Discover the “why.” What happened is not as important as the reasons behind it. The reasons will tell you where the company needs to go next. •• Draw conclusions. Data in itself is not helpful. It is the conclusions and distillations that come from the data that are important. Discuss the implications, not results. •• Get moving! Use what you have learned to act with confidence.


Financial & Professional Services Featuring: Banking • Insurance • Mortgage • Brokerage • Black Ink • Attorneys • Consultants • Training

Central Minnesota’s Best Business-to-Business Media Choice An industry leader and a proven product currently in its tenth year of publication. Highly visible in the Central Minnesota Regional business community.

Act Fast!

Deadline is Sept 20, 2010

Bremer Bank Troy Cameron, along with Bremer’s Business Banking team, knows the important role business plays in our communities’ prosperity and progress. Bremer’s Business Banking team understands the unique challenges business owners face. We are committed to learning about your business, driving your growth and fueling your success with tools and banking privileges that can make all the difference to your future. Talk to Troy Cameron or one of the Business Bankers at Bremer today to learn how our solutions can work for you.



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FOR PROOF ONLY This is your APPROVED AD FOR YOUR RECORDS. Magazine(s) Ad will run: Business Central Magazine, Nov/Dec 09 Ad Size: Special Section - Financial Services M A G A Z I N E Proofing Contact: Yola Hartmann, 952-393-1598 email:

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Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010


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Renting space?

Consider this before you sign on the dotted line.

Buyer’s Market

If you’re thinking about making a move, now is a great time to shop for new office space. By Jill Copeland


ay attention, bargain hunters. Whether you have outgrown your current office space, are unhappy with your lease situation, or simply want to upgrade, this is a great time to shop around for new office space. First, decide if you are ready to buy a building. Generally, businesses lease because it costs less up front, says Scott Anderson at Statewide Property Inspections. “If a building is $300,000, a buyer would have to put down about $120,000. Someone leasing the space might pay around $3,000 a month.” Of course, says Anderson, it all comes down to the costs. If owning the building will allow

the business to succeed and be profitable, then it should be seriously considered. “If you buy a building, the costs are relatively fixed,” he says. But there are the occasional fixes and building maintenance issues a buyer must cover. “Consider the growth rate of your business,” Anderson advises, “and remember that you are paying for other costs such as appraisals, title checks, and inspections.” If you are not in the market to buy a building, leasing is the default option. “Leasing is going to be a good deal for the first few years, but due to economic changes or how the lease is written, monthly costs could change significantly down the road,” warns

Mike Schmitt, Broker/ Owner with Coldwell Banker Commercial Orion Real Estate, encourages business owners to keep a few items in mind when looking at new spaces to lease. •• SIZE – Think about storage and growth plans.

•• VISIBILITY – Do you really need

it? How much of your business is generated by walk-ins? If you need it, pay for it, otherwise don’t.

•• ACCESSIBILITY – Is it all one level or is there an elevator? Is there a ramp?

•• NEIGHBORS – Assess the noise level throughout the day, and beware of odors. Competitors or similar businesses next door can sometimes prove beneficial to your bottom line. •• TESTIMONIALS - Ask the

other businesses how they rate management of the building.

•• FIRE/DISASTER – What kinds of safety features does the building provide?

•• COMMON AREA MAINTENANCE – What expenses are included in the rent?




If you’re signing a lease, be sure you know and understand these terms.

sure you understand the contract, and negotiate contract language if necessary.

GROSS LEASE: A gross lease favors the tenant because the landlord pays the usual costs associated with owning and maintaining the space, including utilities and insurance.

Schmitt advises business owners to have a budget in mind and make sure they stay within it even after fees and expenses. “Using a good commercial real estate agent can save time and money in the long run – but make sure they are listening carefully to what your needs are.”


MODIFIED LEASE: Under a modified lease the tenant only pays base rent during the first calendar year, then in subsequent years pays a percentage of increases in taxes, insurance and utilities.

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

TRIPLE NET LEASE: Triple net means the tenant is solely responsible for all costs related to the space, including net real estate taxes, net insurance, and net common area maintenance.

Anderson. Perhaps your leasing costs have climbed slowly over time and there are more affordable options out there. Maybe your landlord is not keeping up his end of the bargain. Brian Musech, Granite City Real Estate, has experience negotiating leases for his own businesses and typically looks for spaces six to 12 months before planning to move. “Negotiations, remodeling, and

tenant improvements can take some time,” he says. Musech says business owners who are comfortable in their business model today should be securing a longer term lease with favorable options. “Always include renewal options on a contract.”. BC Jill Copeland is the Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

Coborn’s Grocery Store Rice Building Systems, Inc. LOCATION 1010 Enterprise Drive E. Belle Plaine, MN 56011 NAME OF GENERAL CONTRACTOR Rice Building Systems, Inc.



Buying, renting or growing where you’re at, there’s lots happening in Central Minnesota. Learn more in the annual Central Minnesota Growth Guide found on the following pages.

COMPLETION DATE November 17, 2010 DESCRIPTION New 42,000 square-foot prototype grocery store with a fast-tracked completion date of 120 days.


A Tradition of Building Success for More Than 50 Years.


We invite you to experience the Rice difference. Our unique in-house capabilities, knowledge of municipal processes, timetested subcontractors and expansive client list prove Rice Building Systems to be the leader in design/build construction.

You can depend on Rice Building Systems to handle everything from concept and design through to the completion of your project. We also provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing your project is guaranteed for years to come.

Building Relationships Since 1953 Business Central Ad.indd 1

1019 Industrial Drive S. • Sauk Rapids, MN 56379 • 320.252.0404 AM S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a6/9/10 z i n e . c10:30:17 o m 45


Miller Architects & Builders Schluchter Investment Advisors Office building lobby LOCATION 622 Roosevelt Road, Suite 160 St. Cloud, MN 56301 GENERAL CONTRACTOR Miller Architects & Builders ARCHITECT Miller Architects & Builders COMPLETION DATE October 2009 WEBSITE DESCRIPTION District Square Professional Office Building tenant fitup.

St. Cloud Civic Center Expansion LOCATION Downtown St. Cloud COMPANY City of St. Cloud CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Strack Companies ARCHITECT Hagemeister & Mack Architects COST $22 million COMPLETION DATE December 2011 WEBSITE DESCRIPTION 80,000 square-foot expansion to the existing St. Cloud Civic Center to include new entrance, pre-function area and exhibit halls.


Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010


St. Cloud Orthopedics The Vein Center and SFNmd Regional Diagnostic Radiology

LOCATION 1990 Connecticut Ave. S., Sartell, MN 56377 

HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinics - New Clinic Building LOCATION 2251 Connecticut Ave. S., Sartell, MN 56377

New 60,000 sq. ft. LEED Certified Medical Facility LOCATION 1901 Connecticut Avenue South, Sartell, MN 56377 NAME OF GENERAL CONTRACTOR Winkleman Building Corp

PHONE (320) 257-VEIN (8346) (320) 230-NESS (6377)


NAME OF ARCHITECT Medical Design International



COST $9 million - $9.5 million

DESCRIPTION Regional Diagnostic Radiology (RDR) is a private practice physician group of 21 Radiologists. We have been serving the St. Cloud Hospital and rural hospitals in Central Minnesota for more than 30 years. RDR physicians provide the highest quality imaging services to you and your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, whether you are an inpatient in the hospital, an outpatient, or coming through the Emergency Room. The physicians of RDR are specialists in MRI, CT, Breast Imaging, PET, Nuclear Medicine, and Interventional Radiology. At The Vein Center, our Interventional Radiologists provide you with the latest technology in non-surgical, image guided laser treatment of varicose veins and also cosmetic vein treatment.




COMPLETION DATE Opened June 2010 DESCRIPTION New 60,000 square-foot, three-story clinic building with state-of-the-art technology to enhance patient care.

DESCRIPTION St Cloud Orthopedics is now in their new 60,000 sq.ft. LEED certified medical facility. The LEED certification, essentially a green building, promotes environmentally friendly design and construction practices. Most materials were purchased locally and they hired a local contractor to do the work.


Our new building puts the patient’s needs first. It’s easier to get to, easier to get around in, and even better for the environment. With more space for our rehab and sports medicine areas, and fewer stairs and elevators to navigate, we considered the details that make the difference in quality of care. What hasn’t changed? Nationally recognized care available locally. Come see us at 1901 Connecticut Ave. S., Sartell, MN

General Orthopedics • Sports Medicine • Joint Replacement • Trauma Knee & Shoulder • Hand Center • Spine Center • Foot & Ankle

1901 Connecticut Avenue South, Sartell • 320.259.4100 S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 0 • •   w w w. B u s i n e s s C e n t r a l M a g a z i n e . c o m



New Location Now Open!

D.J. Bitzan Jewelers’ New Location Now Open LOCATION Across the Street from Scheels & Crossroads Center 203 Waite Avenue North, Waite Park NAME OF GENERAL CONTRACTOR Shingobee Builders, Inc NAME OF ARCHITECT GLT Architects SIZE OF LOCATION 4,250 square feet COMPLETION DATE December 31, 2009

Across the street from Scheels & Crossroads Center ||


ADVERTISER INDEX ADVERTISER NAME Bernick’s - Beverages & Vending............................... 49 Blackberry Ridge........................................................... 25 Bremer...............................................................................7 Central Minnesota Federal Credit Union.................... 20 Charter Communications................................................2 Coldwell Banker Commercial - Orion........................ 20 Conway, Deuth & Schmiesing, PLLP.......................... 21 D.J. Bitzan Jewelers, Inc............................................... 48 Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Hinckley....................... 23 HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinics...................5 Jennings Insurance....................................................... 41 JDB Associates.............................................................. 41 LarsonAllen LLP............................................................ 29 Marco, Inc....................................................................... 13 Mi Famiglia Ristorante at 912 Regency Plaza............ 49 Miller Architects & Builders, Inc................................. 46 Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons, PA....... 21 Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons, PA....... 22 Midsota Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons, PA....... 31


Nolan Campaign Committee....................................... 43 Regional Diagnostic Radiology & The Vein Center.... 17 Regional Diagnostic Radiology & The Vein Center.... 26 Regional Diagnostic Radiology & The Vein Center.... 27 Rice Building Systems, Inc........................................... 45 St. Cloud Hospital / CentraCare Health System...........9 St. Cloud Medical Group............................................... 15 St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates, Ltd.......................... 47 St. Cloud Refrigeration, Inc.......................................... 41 St. Cloud State University............................................. 11 St. Cloud Surgical Center............................................. 22 Sam’s Club..................................................................... 51 Schlenner Wenner & Co., CPA’s................................. 29 Short Stop Custom Catering........................................ 49 Stearns Bank.................................................................. 29 Strack Construction Co. Inc......................................... 46 Tri-County Abstract & Title Guaranty, Inc.................. 23 Wells Fargo.................................................................... 52 Westside Liquor............................................................. 49 Xcel Energy........................................................................3

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

CENTRAL MINNESOTA GROWTH GUIDE LISTINGS HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinics................ 47 Miller Architects & Builders, Inc................................. 46 Regional Diagnostic Radiology & The Vein Center.... 47 Rice Building Systems, Inc........................................... 45 Shingobee Builders, Inc................................................ 48 St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates, Ltd.......................... 47 Strack Construction Co. Inc......................................... 46

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WHAT’S NEW? In May 2001 Thermo-Tech Windows was

Originally part of East Side Glass, Thermo-Tech Windows’ separation from the parent company has resulted in multi-digit growth. By Gail Ivers

a division of East Side Glass. The business was owned by brothers Dave, John and Lyle Ferkinhoff. In 2002 they reorganized


the business into two separate entities

East Side Glass

with Dave retaining full ownership of East Side Glass and minority ownership in Thermo-Tech Windows. FEATURED ON THE COVER IN MAY 2001

305 Franklin Ave. NE St. Cloud, MN 56304 (320) 251-1900


Business Description: Commercial and residential glass and glazing company

Owners: Dave Ferkinhoff and his son Luke

Employee Count: 23 3-5 year plan: Survival, it’s tough out there. Chamber member since 1970 Thermo-Tech Windows 1120 38th Ave NE Sauk Rapids MN 56379 (320) 529-4012


Lyle: Dealing with government mandates has been a challenge. Dave: We need to meet more regulations, performance requirements…there’s more bureaucracy and administration when you deal with the government. John: We spent all of 2009 chasing government regulations. We had to scramble to see that all of our products met regulations. But there are also state and federal programs we can take advantage of, except they come up unexpectedly and you need to react immediately to benefit. And even if you qualify, it still takes capital investment – which can be another challenge. BC: Separating the businesses seems like a big change. Dave: That was a good decision. It helped us focus on the businesses

Business Central Magazine  ••  SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010

separately and gave us some definition of what each business should and can do. John: Separating the businesses opened up opportunities for [Thermo-Tech]. We hired a CEO. We’ve introduced new products. We built a new building. We got away from Dave. (Laughter) We’re still small enough we can respond to changes, but large enough that we have the resources to respond and a product that’s positioned to adapt when needed. BC


Business Description: Manufacturer of highend vinyl windows; 90 percent residential

Owners: Brothers John, Lyle and Dave Ferkinhoff

3-5 year plan: Expect tremendous growth with expansion into North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, and eastern Wisconsin. Chamber member since 2003

DOING THE MATH About Thermo - Tech Employees Windows manufactured per day Space Revenue

2002 2009 80 123 300 500 750,000 sf 137,000 sf 75% increase over 2002

Photo by Joel Butkowski, BDI PHOTO

Business Central: What have been some challenges since 2001? John: The economy. The housing market just dropped off from 2005 to 2007. [Thermo-Tech] had to refocus our sales on the renovation market. Most of our sales come from rural markets and there are pockets where rural lumber yards are still doing well. Dave: East Side Glass had a record year in 2008. 2009 was down 15-20 percent and we’re down that much on a three year average. Competition is coming out of the metro area and everything is much more price competitive. We used to cover about 100 square miles, but now we have to go 500 miles. With the over-expansion of retail and office markets in this area, we’ve had to do more government work.

We’re moving to better serve you! St. Cloud Sam’s Club® Exclusive Preview Wednesday, September 8 • 5 - 8:30 pm

You’re invited to enjoy a sneak peek of your new convenient location in St. Cloud. Discover even more ways to lower your business costs while sampling delicious food and quality products. You can even shop and start saving that night!

Not a Member?

Use this pass to discover savings for business and home.

Grand Opening Celebration Thursday, September 9 • 8:30 am

Where: Your new St. Cloud Sam’s Club® When: Valid through September 30, 2010 How: Present this pass to the Associate at the register during checkout. This pass is good for one day only. Only original passes will be accepted. A 10% service fee applies on all purchases made with one-day passes (not applicable in CA, SC or Elmsford, NY). No other conditions or privileges of annual Membership apply. You must pay for your purchases with cash, debit card (see Club for qualifying networks), Walmart® Credit, MasterCard® or Discover® cards only (no checks). You may apply for annual Membership, subject to qualifications, while visiting any Sam’s Club location or online at To view our privacy policy, visit Valid through September 30, 2010


Heritage Dr.

1 Rd. Co.

One-Day Pass


Co. Rd. 120

207 County Rd. 120 St. Cloud, MN


7.5x10 4C

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*2009 SBA data. **2008 CRA data. © 2010 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. (130267)

130267 7.5x10 4C 1

7/30/10 12:48 PM

September/October 2011  

Business Central Magazine

September/October 2011  

Business Central Magazine