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Joan Schatz


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SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 2017

6 16

CONTENTS

GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

President’s Letter Business Calendar

8 24

Editor’s Note

Network Central

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C E L E B R AT I N G 1 7 Y E A R S I N B U S I N E S S

GROW

34 Cover Story HEART AND SOUL

For someone who entered his profession against his will, Doug Bischoff does a surprisingly good imitation of a contented man. PROFIT

40 Feature TAPPED OUT?

Area manufacturers are optimistic about their futures, with a caveat: they need to find more effective ways to attract quality people in this seller’s market of low unemployment.

46 Special Focus

ADVANCING COMMUNITY Major road projects, commercial development mark growth in Central Minnesota.

Special Sections 28 TECH STRATEGIES 52 CENTRAL MINNESOTA GROWTH GUIDE

34 10 UPFRONT Valuable information designed to guide and educate

26 BUSINESS TOOLS

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

54 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Michael Hornung, Valley Green

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by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce,

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Healthy moms. Healthy kids. Life’s greatest journeys begin with a little bump. Before you know it, that little bump will be Throughout your journey, you can find warm, expert mom and baby care at HealthPartners Central Minnesota Clinic. From little bumps to BFFs and maybe back again. Visit hpcmc.com or call 320-253-5220 to make an appointment today.

We welcome most insurance plans.

telling you about their day at school, their thoughts on peanut butter and their new best friend.


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President’s Letter

Making it Happen

W

hen I worked at United Way more than 20 years ago, the organization was (and still is, I’m happy to say!) a Chamber member. But, I admit, when the membership invoice came each year, I looked at it and pondered, “I wonder what all those staff members do at the Chamber every day.” Granted, I did not know very much about the Chamber of Commerce at that time. I had only taken part in the occasional Chamber Connection or Business After Hours. I’ll bet we currently have members who can say the same thing. So, especially for them, I want to give you a glimpse of the work that happens inside our organization, and the people who make it happen. Gail Ivers, Judy Zetterlund and Julie Lunning are our top management team. Gail is our VP of Everything. She oversees networking events, programming, training, communications, membership, special events, our affiliates — the Waite Park and Sauk Rapids Chambers — and everything in between. She also spends about a quarter of her time as editor of Business Central Magazine. Judy is our Director of Administration. She makes sure our office runs smoothly and manages our financial and personnel functions. She keeps all the equipment running and holds down the fort so the rest of us can attend to business outside of the office. She also takes the lead on dealing with our database and IT meltdowns, tasks no one envies. Julie is our Executive Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. She manages a team of six sales and support staff who work to bring conferences, events and leisure travelers to our community. Nikki, Lori, Dana, Emily, Rachel and Lucas sell and fulfill great adventures so visitors spend their money here and keep our economy purring.

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

Shelly, Kellie and Vicki are our front office administrative staff who greet visitors, respond to phone inquiries and take care of the administrative needs generated by all the work of our volunteers and committees. They also support the staff who work with those committees, and they are responsible for internal office operations. Whitney is our communications officer, creating brochures and flyers, writing multiple member newsletters, public news releases, and Business Central articles. She coordinates our workforce development efforts, working with our Chamber Foundation, area schools, our internship program and other training programs. She also administers NEXT-Chamber’s Emerging Leaders. Sheri works with volunteers to orchestrate five major events and multiple other events throughout the year. She has generated and implemented some great new ideas this year. Special events raise about a quarter of our Chamber’s revenues every year, which go back to support activities that help YOU be more successful. And, of course, Rhonda is our Membership Sales Specialist, calling on potential members every day, helping your Chamber grow and flourish. That’s our team. Together, we annually manage and coordinate the work of more than 500 volunteers working on 17 committees. Now, if you still wonder what we do all day, check out "By the Numbers” on page 13. And give me a call, I’m happy to share more information with you. That’s one of the things I do to keep our Chamber the premier representative of the business community.

Teresa Bohnen Publisher 6

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Program Hotline: 320-656-3825 information@StCloudAreaChamber.com www.StCloudAreaChamber.com ST. CLOUD AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE STAFF President: Teresa Bohnen, ext. 104 Vice President: Gail Ivers, ext. 109 Director of Administration: Judy Zetterlund, ext. 106 Communications & Workforce Development Coordinator: Whitney Ditlevson, ext.130 Special Events Coordinator: Sheri Wegner, ext. 131 Membership Sales Specialist: Rhonda Dahlgren, ext. 134 Administrative Assistant: Kellie Libert, ext. 124 Administrative Assistant: Vicki Lenneman, ext. 122 Administrative Assistant: Shelly Imdieke, ext. 100 CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU STAFF Main Phone: 320-251-4170 Executive Director: Julie Lunning, ext. 111 Director of Convention Sales: Lori Cates, ext. 113 Director of Sports & Special Events: Dana Randt, ext. 110 Sales Manager: Nikki Fisher, ext. 112 Social Media & Marketing Specialist: Emily Bertram, ext. 129 Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Rachel Thompson, ext. 128 Information Specialist - Administrative Assistant: Lucas Anderson, ext. 100 2016-17 BOARD MEMBERS Jason Bernick, Bernick’s, Past Board Chair Marilyn Birkland, Times Media David Borgert, CentraCare Health Christy Gilleland, Gilleland Chevrolet Cadillac Jim Gruenke, Traut Companies Jason Hallonquist, AIS Planning Dennis Host, Coborn’s, Inc. Willie Jett, St. Cloud School District Kevin Johnson, K. Johnson Construction Diane Mendel, Playhouse Child Care Bernie Omann, St. Cloud State University Mark Osendorf, Xcel Energy Bernie Perryman, Batteries Plus Bulbs Roger Schleper, Premier Real Estate Services, Board Chair Allison Waggoner, DCI, Inc. Chriss Wohlleber, Courtyard by Marriott-St.Cloud, Board Vice Chair


OUR BEST

FOR YOU IS A

NATIONAL

BEST Truven Health Analytics recognized CentraCare’s St. Cloud Hospital as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals—our 11th appearance on this prestigious list. St. Cloud Hospital has received this recognition more times than any other Minnesota hospital. Each day, CentraCare employees and physicians offer their best to every patient. We are privileged to do so on behalf of this great community.

centracare.com


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Editor’s Note

Flutter-byes M

any years ago I read a vignette about a family that was walking in a meadow. A cloud of butterflies rose up around them, drifted on the wind and flew away. One of the walkers, a little girl, said, “Mommy! Look at the flutter-byes!” Ever since, when I see a butterfly, I think how flutter-bye is the perfect word to describe these fragile insects. Most gardeners have some interest in butterflies. While visiting my Aunt Nancy several years ago, I noticed one of her potted plants was covered, and I mean covered, by yellow swallowtails. In my yard, a yellow swallowtail is a rare Correction sighting, worthy of dropping what I’m doing to trail it around. “That’s lantana,” she said. “It’s like ambrosia to butterflies.” Lantana is now a standard in my summer flower pots. The following photograph was I have always wanted to see incorrectly identified the monarch migration in Mexico. in the July issue of Apparently they roost by the Business Central. The millions in huge groups in the correct caption is: Shelly Bauerly-Koppell, (L) trees. (Check out the video at Granite Equity Partners; BusinessCentralMagazine.com) Jerry Bauerly, retired, Those who study the monarch The Bauerly Companies, migration say that the numbers have 2001 Entrepreneurial decreased over the last several Success Award; Hub Levandowski, retired, years. Some believe that this is due Wells Fargo Bank; Alice to natural disasters in the butterflies’ Coudron, Catholic Mexican wintering grounds, and also Foundation – Diocese of by reduced acreage of milkweed St. Cloud. plants in their summer home.

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Their summer home includes Minnesota. Monarchs require milkweed in order to complete their lifecycle. That is the only place where they will lay eggs; the only place where their caterpillars can feed. Without milkweed, there are no monarch butterflies. Milkweed comes by its common name for a reason. When I first started gardening, I had two milkweed plants in my garden, planted there by nature. I thought that was pretty cool, so I left them knowing they would attract butterflies. The next year I had 30 milkweed plants. They grow both by seed and by sending out shoots from their roots. In a garden, where the soil is loose and the roots have little competition, they will take advantage. For farmers, this can be a serious problem and they reasonably try to control their milkweed populations. Urban sprawl and rural developments destroy milkweed habitat…and as a result monarch butterflies, too. “I miss the butterflies,” Doug Bischoff, owner of Design Electric, told me. (See the story on page 34) “Don’t you? When I was a kid there were lots of butterflies. Now it seems like you hardly ever see them.” Doug is trying to change that. He’s planted and tends 5.5 acres of milkweed and wildflowers. This fall he expects to plant another five acres. I hope I have the opportunity to see Doug’s wildflower acres in bloom some day. If he’s successful, perhaps a cloud of monarchs will rise up around us, drift on the wind, and start their migration to Mexico. Until next issue,

Joel Butkowski, Butkowski Digital Imaging

Above: Yellow Swallowtail; Left: Editor Gail Ivers with Doug Bischoff on location during the September/October photo shoot.


Publisher Teresa Bohnen Managing Editor Gail Ivers Associate Editor Dawn Zimmerman

Jacqueline M. Schuh, Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A. Greg Vandal, Vox Liberi Dawn Zimmerman, The Write Advantage

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Teresa Bohnen, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Whitney Ditlevson, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Dr. Fred E. Hill, St. Cloud State University Gail Ivers, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Doug Loon, Minnesota Chamber Kellie Libert, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Mary MacDonell Belisle, mary macdonell belisle – wording for you

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 Judy Zetterlund WEBSITE Vicki Lenneman

WHEN YOUR BUSINESS SAVES ENERGY, THAT’S NOT ALL YOU’RE SAVING.

1411 West St. Germain Street, Suite 101, P.O. Box 487, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0487 Phone (320) 251-2940 Fax (320) 251-0081 www.BusinessCentralMagazine.com For advertising information contact Wendy Hendricks, (320)656-3808 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.

Xcel Energy has lots of ways to help you save energy and cut your operational costs. We offer programs and rebates to help you save when you upgrade your lighting or HVAC system, or install VFDs to increase operating effictiency. Truth is, saving energy can be a competitive advantage. Savings. Just another thing Xcel Energy is always delivering. Visit xcelenergy.com/Business.

© 2017 Xcel Energy Inc.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Do it Now!

UPFRONT GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

• Your Voice in Government • New in Town

People to Know • Business Calendar • Getting Going • Top Hat Photos uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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NEWS & PEOPLE THAT MAKE UP THE CHAMBER NETWORK

BOOK REVIEW

The Emotional Bid

Mastering this basic concept will help repair any troubled relationship – at home or work. Reviewed by Dr. Fred Hill

The Relationship Cure; A 5 Step Guide for Building Better Connections with Family, Friends, and Lovers by John Gottman, Ph.D. and Joan DeClaire Crown Publishers, New York • 2001

J

ohn Gottman has written extensively on families, communication, emotions, and relationships – including those with co-workers. From the dust jacket: “…his groundbreaking research, presents a revolutionary five-step program for repairing troubled relationships – with spouses and lovers, children and other family members, friends, and even your boss or colleagues at work…. Introducing the empowering concept of the ‘emotional bid,’

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which he calls the fundamental unit of emotional connection, Gottman shows that all good relationships are built through a process of making and receiving successful bids. These bids range from such subtle gestures as a quick question, a look, or a comment to the most probing and intimate ways we communicate.” His work will also help us deal with “the rolling of eyes!” Gottman’s book is old, really old, but the concept of mastering the “bid” – the fundamental unit of emotional communication -- seems imperative if we need or desire improved relationships. Here are his five steps to the mysterious mastery: 1.Analyze the way you bid and the way you respond to others’ bids. 2.Discover how your emotional command systems affect your bidding process. 3.Examine how your emotional heritage impacts your ability to connect with others and your style of bidding. 4.Develop your emotional communication skills.

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

5. Find shared meaning with others. A bid can be a question, a gesture, a look, a touch – any single expression that says, “I want to feel connected to you.” A response to a bid is just that – a positive or negative answer to somebody’s request for emotional connection. Here’s a research example: Husbands headed for divorce disregard their wives’ bids for connection 82 percent of the time, while husbands in stable relationships disregard their wives’ bids just 19 percent of the time. With respect to coworker relationships step five is key: find shared meaning in your work. As Stephen R. Covey taught, people are spiritual beings. They want meaning, a sense of doing something that matters. Emotional connection is productive, and that matters!

NEWS REEL METRO BUS HIRES; DRIVERS WIN ACCOLADES Sunny Hesse joined Metro Bus as its director of human resources. Metro Bus Dial-a-Ride drivers Todd DeZurik and David Peacock took first and second respectively in the small bus division, at the Minnesota Bus Roadeo in July, sponsored by the Minnesota Public Transit Association. Fixed Route drivers Jerry Schmitz and Mike Keller placed fourth and fifth in the large bus division. Because DeZurik placed first at the state level, he earned a chance to represent Metro Bus at the national level in 2018. He placed first in the nation last month at the National Community Transit Roadeo.

PROCESSPRO RECOGNIZED CIO Review recognized ProcessPro on the annual 20 Most Promising Chemical Tech Solution Providers of 2017 list. This is the second year in a row ProcessPro has been recognized for its experience working with a wide variety of batch process manufacturers in the chemical and specialty chemical industry.

Dr. Fred E. Hill is an emeritus

WHITNEY JOINS BREMER

professor of Learning

Julie Whitney joined Bremer Bank as a business banker. Whitney formerly served as finance manager at Marco Technologies.

Resources and Services, at St. Cloud State University


DO IT NOW!

Make Your Workweek Less Stressful

S

ometimes increasing productivity doesn’t mean you have to work faster. Instead try to better organize your week so you can do more in less time. As a bonus, your stress level will also decrease. Follow these six tips provided by Linda Quast, The Seattle Times, to save time and stay organized: 1.Determine your key

activities for the week. Sit down for 15-20 minutes at the start of your workweek (or the end of the previous week) to plan ahead. Determine your key projects, tasks and meetings for the week ahead and consider all the prep time you will need to make every meeting, project and task successful.

2.Block your calendar. Schedule out the time you need to complete your tasks. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to some requests or delegate tasks to others if they do not fit into your weekly schedule.

3.Carve out email time. Schedule specific times to check email during the day – when you wake up, right after lunch, right before you leave work, etc. Avoid checking email outside of your scheduled email time,

especially when you’re in a meeting or working on a project.

4.Switch from multitasking to singletasking. Although multitasking seems efficient, it is not. “Many studies show that multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40 percent,” Quast said. 5.Prep your attire. Choose your work attire ahead of time based on your meetings and activities. Hang your chosen outfits in the closet in the order you will wear them. This will save you time and reduce stress as you prepare for work every morning.

6.Plan your breakfast food. “For many people, one of the most stressful times during the workweek is getting ready for work,” Quast said. Plan out breakfast ahead of time. Grocery shop on the weekends to increase your chances of having healthy food to eat on the go. You should also plan a few healthy lunches to take to work– you’ll save time and money, and feel better! —WD Source: “6 Tips to Make Your Week Less Stressful,” by Linda Quast, The Seattle Times

Other banks looked

at me as someone

small and likely insignificant. Dan

never treated me that way. Daniel Nygaard Vice President / Manager Small Business Division Sartell, MN

Roy Dodds Owner, Urban Lodge Brewery & Restaurant Sauk Rapids, MN

bankvista.com

2016 Minnesota SBA Lender of the Year Medium Market

Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender

125 Twin Rivers Court | Sartell, MN 56377 | (320) 257-1600

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UpFront PEOPLE TO KNOW

NEWS REEL BOSER CONSTRUCTION CHANGES OWNERSHIP A small group of individuals, led by Ryan Cross and Dustin Vaverek, purchased Boser Construction, Inc. from founder Douglas J. Boser. Cross led the day-to-day operations for the last two years and will continue to manage the company. Vaverek spent 20 years at Boser and was “Doug’s first employee.” He continues to serve as the senior project manager. Boser sold the company to shift his focus to Inventure Properties, a St. Cloud based commercial real estate development company.

PARAMOUNT RECEIVES DONATION, GRANT Paramount Center for the Arts received a donation from Burt and Cheri Dubow. The collection includes paintings from local artists Bela Petheo and Charles Kapsner, a Margaret Hluch weaving, and an Ainslie Roberts print. A wall sized Kapsner will remain permanently mounted at the Paramount. CentraCare Health Foundation awarded Paramount Center for the Arts a grant for $6,852 to sustain the Education and Outreach’s Art Sparks! program. Art Sparks! offers exploration classes for individuals and their caregivers who are living with memory loss and still reside in their homes. Trained teaching-artists encourage participants to look at and make art through courses that are also designed to provide social interaction.

DAYTA MARKETING MOVES DOWNTOWN DAYTA Marketing plans a return to downtown in September. The social media company found a stand-alone building just east of Mathew Hall Lumber at Henkemeyer Corners. The building’s interior will be redesigned to focus on technology and team collaboration.

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Learning and Sharing Chamber Board Chair Roger Schleper spent a year sharing his talents and gaining a few insights in the process.

P

olitics has never been high on Roger Schleper’s list of priorities. As the 2016-17 chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, he felt obligated to participate. He now has a new perspective. “I didn’t realize how many connections you can make with our elected officials through the Chamber,” he said. “And what I really didn’t realize was that it was

going to be so much fun.” Schleper was specifically referring to the Chamber’s trip to Washington, D.C., but he said it applies to all the government affairs programming. “I went to Evening at the Capital and it was a great way to talk with Minnesota’s legislators in a more informal setting.” What is he looking forward to in 2017-18?

Roger Schleper, (R) Premier Real Estate Services, discusses CentraCare Health’s new wellness initiative at Evening at the Capital with Jodi Gertken, CentraCare Health and Luke Cesnik, Dijital Majik.

More of the same, he says. “I’m proud to be chair of this great, Five-Star Chamber. It doesn’t matter if I’m attending a meeting, presenting an award, or listening in the audience, every experience is a chance to learn something, to meet new people, and to build on those existing relationships. I couldn’t be more honored to fill this role.”

During St. Cloud Goes to Washington, D.C., Schleper (R) had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (L). In addition to being chair of the Chamber’s Board, Schleper is also past chair of the Chamber’s Leadership program. “Watching how class members grow and change during that year is nothing short of amazing,” he said. Here he presents the graduation gift to Anne Pressnall, Ben's Structural Fabrication.

Squeezing in a little time for fun, Chamber Top Hat Ambassadors help out at Business After Hours in June. From left: Sheri Moran, Gabriel Media; Liz Kellner, Odor Eliminators; Diane Diego Ohmann, St. Cloud School District; and Schleper.

Celebrating history and success with Automotive Parts Headquarters. From left: Mark Osendorf, Xcel Energy, Teresa Bohnen, Roger Schleper, and Tim Feddema, Automotive Parts Headquarters.


BY THE NUMBERS

150 Amanda Henry, (L) High Impact Training with Schleper.

Average number of people who attend our weekly Friday morning Chamber Connection meetings.

135

Number of visits our volunteer Top Hat Ambassadors did this year.

6,000 Matt Studer and Nick Barth, founders of Beaver Island Brewing Company, accept the Emerging Entrepreneurs of the Year award from Schleper.

Estimated cumulative attendance during 2016-17 at our eight special events.

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20

Number of meetings we organized for NEXT-Chamber’s Emerging Leaders.

Number of people who joined us in Washington, D.C., to advocate for business-friendly legislation.

$19,000+

$5.2 million

Amount of money our members donated to the Chamber’s Unite for Success High School Scholarship program.

400

Number of people who participated in our various training programs last year.

Estimated amount of money 21,000 visitors spend in Central Minnesota because of the 59 conventions that were booked by our CVB in 2016.

Keeping you on the job. Midwest Occupational Medicine (MOM) is a department of St. Cloud Medical Group located at St. Cloud Medical Group South. So while we focus on workplace health and safety, you also get access to our full clinic services, including imaging, lab, and specialty providers. From DOT physicals, rapid drug testing, and hearing conservation programs to full worker’s compensation treatment, MOM is the answer to keeping both employees and their employers well cared for.

MidwestOccupationalMedicine.com 320-251-WORK (9675) 1301 33rd Street South, St. Cloud, MN

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UpFront YOUR VOICE IN GOVERNMENT

NEWS REEL BRUCE NAMED SENIOR VP AT RICE COMPANIES Tom Bruce, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), joined Rice Companies as senior vice president of business development. He brings 32 years of experience in architecture, development and construction to Rice Companies. Bruce is involved in many community organizations including St. Cloud Diocese Building Commission, St. Cloud Builders Exchange, Catholic Charities, Anna Marie’s Alliance, and coaches hockey at Cathedral High School.

CENTRACARE PLANS HEALTH FAIR CentraCare Health hosts “Our Best for You Health Fair” Wednesday, October 4 from 1-4 p.m. at River's Edge Convention Center. The event will include a walk-through giant colon exhibit, Virtual Dementia Tours®, lifting video analysis, distracted driving simulation, and screenings for memory, balance, cholesterol, carpal tunnel, osteoporosis and more. Animal-assisted therapy teams will also be on hand.

Make the Match

Helping companies find solutions to everyday business problems is fundamental to retaining and creating jobs in Minnesota. By Doug Loon

A

re you frustrated by the inability to get permits for new signage or to find the requirements for shipping your product to customers abroad? Are you looking for a supplier of inputs or services for a manufacturing process? Are you searching for potential buildings and sites to expand within your community or elsewhere in Minnesota? Are you looking for skilled workers? Grow Minnesota!, a private-sector program spearheaded by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, is here to help. Launched in 2003, the program has a primary focus to retain Minnesota businesses and encourage them to expand in the state. Many visits are carried out by our 70+ local

partners, including the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce. The aggregate information gleaned from these visits also helps strengthen the Minnesota Chamber’s public policy agenda on behalf of the statewide business community at the Capitol. Our findings are different from what you might see in a typical survey. What we deliver to policy-makers is not based on mounds of statistics, but on what businesses throughout the state are actually saying. Volunteers conduct one-on-one confidential conversations with owners and/or top management of businesses. The St. Cloud Area Chamber completes at least 50 visits a year. Statewide, between 750 and

1,000 visits are completed annually, bringing the 13-year total to more than 10,000. On average, one in three visits has concluded with a request for some kind of assistance. We provide the answers directly or match the business with the appropriate public or private resources. The premise of Grow Minnesota! is simple: We link businesses to resources that can help them stay and grow in Minnesota.

If you would like to receive a Grow Minnesota visit, contact St. Cloud Area Chamber president Teresa Bohnen at 320-656-3804.

contributor Doug Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce www.mchamber.com. STEARNS BANK EARNS RECOGNITION Stearns Bank received the Silver Award in the large company category at the Minnesota Business Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” The annual awards recognize companies that earn high marks in work environment, employee benefits and overall employee happiness. The large company category consists of companies that employ 250 individuals or more.

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SPOTLIGHT

ATS HAULS CIVIL WAR ARTIFACT

Anderson Trucking Service Inc. (ATS) recently transported a restored Civil War artifact from the North Carolina Transportation Museum to the Atlanta History Center. The restored 1856 locomotive, known as Texas, is a remnant of Atlanta’s early railroad era. In 1862, Texas was used by Confederate forces in The Great Locomotive Chase to stop Union soldiers in northern Georgia from damaging the Western and Atlantic Railroad. The train stretches 26 feet and stands over 12 feet to the steam dome. It weighs 53,000 pounds. ATS helped with another transport earlier this year.


TOP HATS: MILESTONES

25-year Chamber member Heartland Glass, Inc., serves home owners, builders, commercial and general contractors with customized glass and aluminum needs, 401 Sundial Drive, Waite Park. Pictured: Erik Hanson, Ryan Torgerson, Roger Schleper

20-year Chamber member Granite City Dental Lab, fabricating crowns and bridges for dentists, 1109 7th Street SE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Peg Imholte, Jane Packert, Kayla Peterson, Sara Alden, Rory Cruser.

20-year Chamber member AmericInn St. Cloud, with free wireless internet, continental breakfast, pool, and a meeting room for up to 35 people, 4385 Clearwater Road, St. Cloud. Pictured: Bernie Perryman, Kathy Hage, Mary Messer, Peg Imholte.

25-year Chamber member Minnesota Secured Title, title insurance, abstract and closing, 1031 exchanges, construction disbursing, refinancing, commercial and residential title services, 24 8th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Jayne Greeney Schill, Angela Anderson, Molly Sobania, Ashley Crabtree, Bridget Conwell, Sheri Moran.

25-year Chamber member Pro Staff, temporary and permanent staffing services, 1400 W St. Germain Street, suite 102, St. Cloud. Pictured: Brian Jarl, Tanja Goering, Olivia Gruber, Diane Diego Ohmann.

25-year Chamber member Initiative Foundation, provides grants, investments, leadership training, and donor services with a focus on workforce and economic development, 405 1st Street SE, Little Falls. Pictured: Roger Schleper, Bob McClintick, Matt Varilek, Dan Bullert, Peg Imholte

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UpFront

NEWS REEL

BCCalendar GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

PRIMERICA MOVES LOCATIONS Joyce Linn’s Primerica office moved to a new location in Sauk Rapids. Linn is regional vice president of Primerica, Inc., the largest independent financial services marketing company in North America. The new location is 2 2nd Ave. S Suite 150, Sauk Rapids.

REGIONAL DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY HIRES Thomas W. Bowden, MD, joined Regional Diagnostic Radiology in June. He received his doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and completed residencies in musculoskeletal radiology at Mayo Clinic Arizona, and diagnostic radiology at UNMC. Additionally, he has 14 years of active and reserve service with the U.S. Air Force and previously served as the team physician for the Air Force Thunderbirds and flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force. Certified Physician Assistant Angela Schuster also joined the company. Schuster earned a Master of Physician Assistant degree in 2016 from University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks. She brings 18 years experience as a registered radiologic technologist to her position.

HINTON SELECTED AS CHAIR Mary Dana Hinton, president of the College of Saint Benedict, was elected chair of the board of the Minnesota Private College Council and the Minnesota Private College Fund.

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SEPT/OCT 2017

CAN’ T M IS S O PPO RT U NIT IES TO INF LU E NC E , PRO M OT E , A ND L E AR N . Visit StCloudAreaChamber.com for the most current and detailed calendar. SPOTLIGHT

OCTOBER 5

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

SEPT 6 & OCT 4

SEPT 8 & OCT 13

Lunchtime Learning

Government Affairs

Educational networking events that give busy professionals a chance to stay on the cutting edge. Meets the first Wednesday of the month, noon-1 p.m., at the Chamber office*. Registration is required: $20 for Chamber members, $30 for the general public.

A discussion of local government issues on the second Friday of the month, 7:30 - 9 a.m. at the Chamber office*.

September 6: Sponsored by CMSHRM with Melinda Sanders, Quinlivan & Hughes, presenting “Lawful Background Checks.” October 4: “The Habits of Creative and Innovative Companies” presented by Matthew Vorell, St. Cloud State University, sponsored by Batteries Plus Bulbs.

September 8: Regional public construction projects update October 13: Former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty presents "The Future of Work in the 4th Industrial Revolution."

and prepare to grow your network! 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. September 12: Hosted by Schlenner Wenner & Co., 630 Roosevelt Rd., suite 201, St. Cloud September 28: Waite Park Chamber After Hours, hosted by DanTree Court Shops: Stems and Vines, Gruber’s Quilt Shop, Robert's Fine Jewelry, and Legacy Video Services, 310 4th Ave. NE, Waite Park

SEPT 12 & 28

October 26: Hosted by Urban Lodge Brewery & Restaurant, 415 N Benton Dr., Sauk Rapids

Business After Hours

SEPT 12 & OCT 10

A complimentary open house for Chamber members and guests. Bring lots of business cards

NEXT – Chamber’s Emerging Leaders Offers professional development, leadership


and networking opportunities for emerging leaders in Central Minnesota. Meets the second Tuesday of every month, noon-1 p.m. Cost is $195 for an annual membership. Register to Whitney, wditlevson@ StCloudAreaChamber.com. September 12: Presentation by Ryan Schepp, Cream City Tattoo, location The Olde Brick House, 102 6th Ave S, St Cloud. October 10: Networking and professional development at Beaver Island Brewing Co., 216 6th Ave. S, St. Cloud.

SEPT 20 & OCT 18

Waite Park Chamber For businesses interested in Waite Park community issues.

Lunch is provided by the host when you register at least two days in advance. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. September 20: Hosted by H & S Heating & A/C at Parkwood Theater, 1533 Frontage Rd. N, Waite Park. The meeting includes a presentation on “Creative Hiring and Retention Techniques” by Tanja Goering, Pro Staff. October 18: Hosted by St. Cloud Hospital Bone & Joint Center and St. Cloud Orthopedics at The Moose Family Center, 1300 3rd St. N, Waite Park. The meeting includes a presentation on the regional economy by King Banaian, St. Cloud State University.

SEPT 28 & OCT 26

Sauk Rapids Chamber For businesses interested in Sauk Rapids community issues. Lunch is provided by the host when you register by noon at least two days in advance. Meetings are held at the Sauk Rapids Government Center, 250 Summit Ave. N, Sauk Rapids, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. September 28: Hosted by CentraCare Health with a presentation on “Business Fire Safety and Fire Prevention” by Jason Fleming, Sauk Rapids Fire Chief. October 26: Hosted by Falcon National Bank, which includes a presentation on “Why be Ordinary When You Can be

Original?” by Donella Westphal, Your Creative.

OCT 20

See the City Bus Tour History-Mystery October 20: Learn about the history of the St. Cloud area, including some of the area’s greatest mysteries and ghost stories. 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Cost is $49 and includes lunch and transportation for the day. Visit SeetheCity-Chamber.com for more information or to register. *The Chamber office is located at 1411 W St. Germain Street, ste 101, St. Cloud; For information on these or their business events, call 320-251-2940.

Looking for part-time work? Enjoy helping others? With a non-education bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, you could work as a limited, short-call substitute teacher. Training in Sept., Nov., & Feb. Learn more or register online today! www.resourcetraining.com | (320) 255-3236

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UpFront NEW IN TOWN

NEWS REEL

Meet Caryl Turnow

Executive Director, Central Minnesota Community Foundation

BLATTNER ENERGY RECEIVES AWARD Blattner Energy received the Seven Seals Award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a program of the U.S. Department of Defense. The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organization nominated Blattner for this award for the company's annual Giveback Event, which created 3,400 care packages and 170 blankets for National Guard units.

BERGANKDV HIRES, PROMOTES The following individuals joined BerganKDV’s St. Cloud office: Jordan Smith, network infrastructure technician; Crystal Jonas, payroll support specialist; Kari Durheim, payroll specialist. Additionally, Lee Roberts, sales and business development leader for outsourced services, was promoted to partner at BerganKDV.

Age: 59 Previous employer: Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) What do you miss most about your previous position? The people. I had an opportunity to get to

know so many wonderful donors, volunteers, partners, and business owners, in addition to my co-workers in my various roles at NMF. When did you start in your current position? June 2016 What are you looking forward to the most in your current position? I look forward to continuing our legacy of strengthening our nonprofits and the community at large through the resources with which we have been entrusted. I admire that

the community focuses on celebrating what is going well and working hard to address areas that need improvement. On a personal note, I am happy to have moved to an area that maintains its small town feel while offering so many options, whether it is shopping, fitness or the arts. Where did you grow up? Pemberville, Ohio What are your hobbies? In my free time I love to create with glass -stained glass, mosaics and most recently glass fusing.

Fun fact about yourself: I can spend hours designing projects, whether they are my artwork, landscaping, or repurposing furniture. I love the planning. I have to admit the implementation does not always go as smoothly, but that’s half the adventure!

TOP HATS: NEW LOCATIONS, OWNERSHIP AND EXPANSIONS

Newsreel compiled by Whitney Ditlevson

LOCAL COMPANIES NAMED TOP WORKPLACES

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Star Tribune named St. Cloud Federal Credit Union and Brenny Transportation, Inc. as one of the 2017 Top Workplaces in Minnesota. Rankings are based on survey information collected by WorkplaceDynamics, an independent company specializing in employee engagement and retention. Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction.

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

NEW LOCATION Inventure Properties LLC, provides full-service real estate acquisition and development services; logistics, facilities management and maintenance services for clients and tenants, 17-1/2 5th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tanja Goering, Lee Stevens, Jim Schleper, Douglas Boser, Caryn Stadther.

NEW LOCATION InteleCONNECT, providing telecommunications consulting for businesses on local, long distance, wireless, internet and cable TV services, 24 7th Street N, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Tanja Goering, Todd Fritz, Brenda Eisenschenk, Roger Schleper.

NEW LOCATION Image Builders, promotional products and apparel, 2611 Clearwater Road, suite 100, St. Cloud. Pictured: Amber Cruser, Lisa Landowski, Andi Bobick, Julie Zniewski, Traci Aschenbrenner, Mark Kadlec, Kris Hellickson


POINT OF VIEW

Business Central asks readers:

"What is one skill you didn’t learn in school that has been helpful in your career?”

Development of personal brand. When we are younger, it’s easy to get sucked into trends and cliques and not really know the ‘real you.’ By developing your personal brand and being confident, there’s no stopping you.” Cortney Voigt-Ely • Voigt’s Bus Service

Signe Miller • The Village Family Service Center

Networking.” Matt Perkins • Times Media

Upward communication. I learned a lot on APA formatting, but not on upward communication.”

Negotiation skills, especially when mixed in with conflict resolution.”

Bridget Pauna • Preferred Credit, Inc.

[

Grant Pulliam • REM Central Lakes

In November Business Central asks:

What are three things in your office you can't live without?

[

Assertiveness.”

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UpFront GETTING GOING

TOP HATS: MILESTONES

It’s Not Just What

The questions of leadership should also address who, when, where, why and how. By Greg Vandal

A 25-year Chamber member Arnold A. Kahara, Ltd., accounting, payroll services, QuickBooks consulting and tax planning and preparation, 2854 7th Street N, St. Cloud. Pictured: Peg Imholte, Arnold Kahara, Rich Gallus.

25-year Chamber member Adelman Advertising, specializing in senior housing and health care, 29846 180th Ave., Avon. Pictured: Kris Hellickson, Mary Adelman, Rich Gallus.

30-year Chamber member City of Sartell, delivers municipal services to a city of approximately 17,000, 125 Pine Cone Road N, Sartell. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Mayor Sarah Jane Nicoll, Anita Archambeau, Julie Forsberg.

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Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

ny journalist – indeed, most any researcher – can discern the essential elements of a story with “who, what, when, where, why, and how.” As I’ve led organizations – in professional service as well as in volunteer efforts – I’ve tried to apply these same questions to important decisions that need to be made. When faced with a critical choice, the “what” that must be decided is often easiest. However, effective leadership takes the other factors into account as well. The answer to “who” should be involved in a decision not only reveals much about the leadership style of the person at the top, but it also displays the power structures at play within an organization. Some systems are inherently autocratic in nature: the boss decides. Others are more collaborative environments where mutual acceptance of direction is secured through shared responsibility with those affected. The very type of decision to be made often provides clues as to who should be involved. For instance, an emergency

might require single-source leadership, where a major remodeling project could call for more collaboration. The old saying that “timing is everything” would suggest that the “when” of decision-making is also important. There are many things to consider: How long should information be gathered and processed? In what ways will this decision be impacted by other factors currently at play or on the horizon? When is a resolution actually required? While procrastination can create a kind of paralysis, thinking about when best to decide – and an openness to delay – can lead to a stronger result. The “where” of deciding might seem to lend itself more fully to communicating that decision, but it is related to everything else. Leaders who choose to deliberate in open and transparent settings, who bring discussions to the persons impacted, can find better support for whatever “decree” that must be made. The “why” of the decision process is not merely related to asking about one alternative as opposed to another. It

How” is, “perhaps, the

question central to the entire decision-making process.

is connected to the very reason that a decision must be made. A good leader should not only have good justification for a given course of action, that person should also be able to make a strong case that a decision must be made in the first place. “How” is, perhaps, the question central to the entire decision-making process. “How will I make this particular decision?,” the wise leader asks at the start. Will this involve command and control or can others be involved? Will the decision require a rapidfire approach or is more deliberation permitted? Will this take place at my desk, in the board room, at an employee meeting, or in some more public setting? The “how” question sets the stage because it is not just deciding “what” to decide that is important. Determining how best to decide is critical, too.

contributor Greg Vandal is the sole proprietor of Vox Liberi, a consulting business that delivers planning and project management services to clients in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. He can be reached at greg.vandal@voxliberi.com.


TOP HATS: NEW MEMBERS

Jaymar Painting, high quality, insured residential and commercial painting team for repaint, remodel and updates, 1276 Stone Ridge Road, Sauk Rapids. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Mary Carlson, Jay Carlson, Julie Forsberg.

Priority Investigation and Protection Services, a full service private investigation agency designed to help with many varied needs, 11709 85th Ave. NE, Foley. Pictured: Matt Knutson, Michael Lewandowski, Bernie Perryman.

Planet Fitness, home of the ''Judgment Free Zone!'' for your fitness experience, fully staffed, open 24 hours, 2540 W Division Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Sheri Moran, Lauren Flaa, AJ Hart, Rory Cruser.

The Hop Shop, a retailer of supplies for home brewers: beer, wine, cider and mead, 3415 W Division Street, St. Cloud. Pictured: Matt Knutson, Desi Hall, Luke Cesnik.

New American Funding, offering a variety of mortgages, including VA, FHA, MHFA, conventional mortgages, and rural development, 4150 2nd Street S, suite 325, St. Cloud. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Patricia Seykora-Dahl, Amy Gotvald, Aimee Okerstrom, Lindsey Thompson, Roger Schleper.

Hageman Communications is a communications consulting business specializing in media relations, project management and content writing for publications/social media/websites/ advertising, 6213 Cape East Court, St. Cloud. Pictured: Roger Schleper, Diane Hageman, Rory Cruser.

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Your vision, brought to life. Visit our showroom at: 8646 Ridgewood Rd., St. Joseph, MN 56374 | For more information or for a FREE Borgert catalog call 320.363.4671 | borgertproducts.com

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

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UpFront TOP HATS: NEW MEMBERS

Midsota Granite and Quartz, custom fabrication and installation of granite and quartz counter tops for residential and commercial kitchens and baths, 3344 Southway Drive, St. Cloud. Pictured: Brian Jarl, Joe Peters, Ann Peters, Diane Diego Ohmann.

Dubow Textile, Inc., wholesale manufacturer of decorated apparel and other promotional items, 455 Lincoln Ave. NE, St. Cloud. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Rob Dubow, Rory Cruser.

INH Commercial Brokerage, Inc., a full service commercial real estate firm, 175 7th Ave. S, Waite Park. Pictured: Inese Mehr, Nate Meyer, Terrie Schramel, Kevin Brink, Tammy Buttweiler.

Loan Simple, Inc., simple process of obtaining a home loan, 540 Greenhaven Road, suite 101, Anoka. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Gabriel Krump, Luke Cesnik.

Franciscan Community Volunteers is an 11-month ecumenical program for young adults ages 21-30, matching young adults' passions to the community needs, located in St. Cloud. Pictured: Julie Forsberg, Sister Michelle L’Allier, Pat Flicker, Luke Cesnik.

Athlos Academy of St. Cloud, a charter school focusing on three foundational pillars: prepared mind, healthy body, and performance character, 3701 33rd Street S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Courtney Hiemenz, Kirstie Sundquist, Dan Burrer, Kathy Mortensen, Matt Knutson.

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122 12th Ave. N / St. Cloud, MN 56303 / 320-253-2096 208 Red River Ave. S. / Cold Spring, MN 56320 / 320-685-4280 2015

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TOP HATS: NEW BUSINESS

GTX Garage-Tech X-Treme, custom and professional garage floors, 1100 8th Street S, Waite Park. Pictured: Peg Imholte, Trevor Stewart, Liz Kellner.

Modern Barnyard, repurposed, reimagined furniture, home decor and gift store. 7285 County Road 75, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, John Malikowski, Jim Beck, Julie Forsberg.

Soldner Business Solutions, LLC, assists businesses in the confidential sale of their business and connects people looking to buy a franchise, 1109 1st Street S, Cold Spring. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Marv Soldner, Peg Imholte.

Olde Brick House, St. Cloud's only authentic Irish pub offering a great selection of food and signature cocktails, 102 6th Ave. S, St. Cloud. Pictured: Tammy Buttweiler, Jolene Chatfield, Roger Schleper.

TOP HATS: NEW MEMEBERS Waffles, Inc. dba Waffle-It and Dad's Belgian Waffles, breakfast cafe with sweet and savory waffle creations, catering for fundraisers and special events, 2104 Veterans Drive, St. Cloud. Pictured: Luke Cesnik, Chris Botz, Julie Forsberg.

Wellness for Life Physical Therapy, LLC, a clinic specializing in health promotion using evidence-based health assessments and fitness testing to develop customized programs, 600 25th Ave. S, suite 210, St. Cloud. Pictured: Rory Cruser, Cindy Staiger, Tammy Buttweiler.

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UpFront

NetworkCentral GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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

NETWORK

Interconnecting

Photography by Yuppy Photography

A perfect day for Business After Hours and growing your network at D. J. Bitzan Jewelers in Waite Park.

The team from Woods Seed and Nursery

Ryan Daniel, Metro Bus, and Eunice Adjei-Bosompem

Mary Yager, Holiday Inn & Suites

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Erin, (L) Dick and Mimi Bitzan, D.J. Bitzan Jewelers

Shirley Funk, (L) St. Cloud Hospital, retired; Ashley Nieland, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Minn.; and Kelly Troska, Profile by Sanford

Chris Thoemke, (L) D.J. Bitzan Jewelers, and Jim Gruenke, Traut Companies

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

Myles Bous (L), DAYTA Marketing, and Jeff Udy, Infinite Eye Care

Colleen Zoffka, GB & Co.

Top Hat Ambassador Kris Hellickson, Sheets Galore


Angie Jacobs, D.J. Bitzan Jewelers, and Jim McAlister, Tell-A-Vision Productions

Todd Myra, Todd Myra Photography

Mark Larson, Creative Catering

Linda Feuling, Westside Liquor

Dan Wolgamott, Century 21 Realty

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InSIDE THIS ISSUE: Entreprenuerism • Tech Strategies

BUSINESS TOOLS GROW | NETWORK | PROFIT

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RESOURCES THAT HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Business Basics

If you’re thinking of starting a business, putting together a team of professional advisors now will pay dividends well into the future. By Jacqueline M. Schuh services you want to provide, and you have identified your target population, the best step is to locate an experienced business attorney. A good attorney will listen to your ideas, provide an overview of business ownership, and confer with your accountant about business entity choices best suited to you. Your attorney will discuss, among other things: • risks and liabilities • entity insurance • financing options • current lending practices • common documentation required by lenders • creating a timeline and business plan

S

tarting a business is both an exciting and a scary prospect. If you can find a niche in the marketplace, you can anticipate a 50/50 chance for success. These odds may not sound welcoming, but they really are -- compared to taking on a new job, getting married, or most other ventures. Also,

successful entrepreneurs often admit to struggles and failure during their very first business venture. Most see it as a learning opportunity and go on to create successful businesses, and many times, even multiple successful businesses. Once you have a solid idea of what you want to create or what

You can also expect your attorney to remind you that as a business owner, you will put in more hours and work harder than any employee you hire, face many daily decisions, and come across occasional stumbling blocks that will try your patience. And if that hasn’t discouraged you, you can also expect to be told that on average, it takes three to five years to build a solid client base before you start

contributor Jacqueline M. Schuh is an attorney with Engelmeier & Umanah, P.A. She has been assisting clients with creating companies in many shapes and forms for almost 27 years. 26

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

seeing the financial profit light at the end of the tunnel. One of the reasons you want to bring on your attorney early in the process is to help you consider what to do if things go awry. An experienced business attorney will have a wealth of knowledge from working with other small and large business owners. That experience can save you multiple headaches, time, money, and worries related to business issues such as contracts, employment, and collections. Perhaps, though, the best tip I can give is that there is no substitute for an excellent legal and business team from the getgo. You need a knowledgeable accountant, business attorney, trusted banker, and financial advisor. And, as your business grows, you will also need another essential team member, a trusted “No. 2” who works with you closely on everything. No matter how brilliant your idea may be, if you don’t have a good business team at the outset, you can easily fail because of inexperience and legal and financial minefields you had no idea existed. You and your team must be able to candidly discuss and work through issues, both business and personal, which arise from time to time.


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Typically, your advisors will communicate by telephone and email, but I strongly recommend an initial meeting with your entire team together in one room—or at the very least, by teleconference, both after you have chosen your team and then annually. This will help ensure that everyone continues to understand your vision and goals, has all the necessary information to give you the best advice to assist with your success, and is well positioned to assess and advise you on any preventive measures needed to avoid catastrophes. An excellent team, and its coordinated efforts, will pay many dividends to you and your business as you develop and execute your business plan and build your business.

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| stearnsbank.com | Member FDIC

*Based on 3-year ROAA, “The Superstar 75.” Independent Banker, May 2017; Based on 3-year ROAE, “Metrics & Measures, Midtier Rankings.” American Banker, June 2017.

Getting Paid There are a number of free- and low-cost services to help small businesses invoice promptly and get paid on time. For instance, DUE is a payments solution company that offers time tracking, customizable estimates, and invoice templates, plus a free digital wallet feature and ACH payments. CITRUSDB is an open source customer service and billing software. XERO is an online account software alternative to QuickBooks. For more information on these and others, visit BusinessCentral Magazine.com Source: Mashable.com

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27


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BusinessTools TECH STRATEGIES

Content Creators Some of the best content on social media comes from the users. consuming User Generated Content. Whether you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, User Generated Content drives better results overall. While it increases overall engagement, it also has a bottom line benefit. It is perceived as more trustworthy, is more memorable than other media, and has been more influential in purchase decisions. Here’s a look at five of the ways organizations foster results with User Generated Content on social media:

By Dawn Zimmerman

group of people can show their involvement. Start by engaging your insiders through an ask at an event or by email. They can create the energy to engage others. 3 Survey It’s common for organizations to conduct surveys. But how often is all of the data shown? Start with even one question for your users to answer and post the results in real-time. This type of User Generated Content can take the place of traditional testimonials or even case studies. These also could tie back to contests.

1 Contests

W

e can spend a lot of time developing content to engage our users on social media. We want it to be fresh, relatable and leave an impression. Yet, some of the best content on social media is not created by the administrators. It comes from users. Social media thrives on User Generated Content. This is any form of content that is created by users of a system or service and made publicly available on

that system. On social media, a comment on a post is the simplistic version of this. With the help of tools and creative applications, organizations can accelerate the creation and volume of this content to further engage users and turn them into raving fans. User Generated Content is increasingly popular and preferred, especially among millennials. Studies show that millennials spend about 30 percent of their “media time”

Use contests as an opportunity to gain more User Generated Content. Go beyond having them comment, like or submit their email. Engage users in telling your story by having them submit selfies related to your organization, product or service with a hashtag to enter to a win a prize. Apps like Short Stack make it easier and are designed to help turn your followers into customers. 2 Hashtag Campaigns Not just any hashtag will do. They need to be purposeful, clever and easy for someone to use. They should tie back to a specific activity in which a large

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

28

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

4 Bloggers Does your organization have a blog? Consider having readers – customers or someone else outside of your organization – write a post and share their perspectives. 5 Forum Create a place where your customers can connect and even help each other by giving one another ideas or applications for using your product or service. You can establish this on your website or through groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. What content will your users create for you? Staying relevant and effective on social media requires organizations to continue to engage their users in meaningful ways. Often the best place to start is with the users themselves.


TECH NEWS

The lack of age diversity at tech companies doesn't often command attention. Data indicate the average age of employees at leading tech companies is 29. Recruiters are using language like “looking for people with their best work ahead of them” and “older (over 35) entrepreneurs fail to innovate because they fall back on old habits.” No wonder workers as young as 26 are lining up to get Botox. Source: Fast Company

Diet Goggles Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Cyber Interface Lab say that virtual reality headsets can hack our senses in ways that reduce appetite, make low-fat foods taste delicious and trick our brains into thinking we're eating more than we really are. While wearing the headset users may reduce the amount of food they eat by up to 10 percent.

Source: CNN

Ageism

Tech company expands

Marco has assumed responsibility for the copier/printer sales and service previously provided by Dakota Business Center, a Rapid City, South Dakota based company. The 15 employees that previously supported Dakota’s copier/ printer solutions have joined the Marco team. This is the 16th acquisition the company has completed over the past three years. They have six locations throughout South Dakota.

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29


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BusinessTools

Economy Central presented by

ECONOMY CENTRAL

Cost of Living Housing keeps Central Minnesota’s cost of living below average.

RANKINGS

No. 3!

T

he St. Cloud area experienced a below average cost of living during the first quarter for 2017, according to the Cost of Living Index of 265 urban areas. The composite index is based on six components – housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. The "all items" index for St. Cloud was 96.1, 3.9 percent below the national average (100.0) for the quarter. The Cost of Living Index, which is compiled and published quarterly by C2ER, The Council

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

COST OF LIVING

Accra Index

COMPILATION FOR FIRST QUARTER DATA FOR 2017 FOR MINNESOTA AND OTHER UPPER MIDWEST CITIES COST OF LIVING INDEX CITY

All Items

St. Cloud MN

96.1

Grocery Housing Utilities Transpo- Health Misc. Goods Items rtation Care & Services

117.4

74.5

87.7

101.9

120.8

Minnesota is America’s Third Best State for Business in 2017, according to the most recent CNBC report. Minnesota moved into the third spot this year, after placing fourth in 2016 and coming in first as America’s Top State for Business in 2015. Minnesota received the third highest overall score this year, according to CNBC’s analysis, and scored second in both education and quality of life. The CNBC study notes that Minnesota has some of the best K–12 test scores in the nation. The study also cites Minnesota’s strong economy – the sixth best in the nation – with statewide unemployment at a low 3.7 percent, which is well below the national average.

102.7

Among the 265 urban areas participating in the first quarter of 2017, the after-tax cost for professional/managerial standard of living ranged from more than twice the national average in New York (Manhattan) NY to more than 20 percent below the national average in McAllen, TX.

Most Expensive U.S. Cities in Which to Live

Least Expensive U.S. Cities in Which to Live

New York (Manhattan) NY 230.8 San Francisco CA 188.5

McAllen TX

Mankato, MN 93.2 101.2 73.5 88.7 98.1 117.2 102.8

Kalamazoo MI

78.5

Cedar Rapids, IA 97.6

97.9

Eau Claire, WI

96.6

Pierre SD

100.2

Minneapolis, MN 104.8 109.4 106.2 92.2 108.6 104.6 104.5 St. Paul, MN

104.5

107.6

108.1

90.5

103.3

105.5

104.8

76.1

88.0

102.6

117.2

106.1

97.4

Honolulu HI

187.7

Harlingen TX

78.5

101.5

79.3

104.6

108.1

110.4

101.2

New York (Brooklyn) NY

180.9

Conway AR

79.1

103.2

113.1

96.0

91.4

99.1

92.5

Washington DC

153.3

Tupelo MS

80.7

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

30

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7


83,093*

November

December

Home Sales C

2016 October

September

August

March

July

$100M

June

$80M

October April

May

Residential St. Cloud

April

TOTAL:$29,383,093* $60M

March

$40M

February

January

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

September BUILDING PERMITS BY COMMUNITY

TOTAL:$64,832,866

TOTAL:$84,908,072

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

2015

2016

2017*

1,151

986

242

2015 August #/$ #/$ #/$ February July $21,854,833 $32,774,443 $12,301,094 2017 January 0

500

Sauk Rapids 321 345 127 June $15,843,450 $22,647,287.40 $7,792,475

$80M

$100M

$600k

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

BUILDING PERMITS BY COMMUNITY September

Commercial

$900k

500

Food and Be ST. CLOUD

2017*

St. Cloud 444 464 129 2017 $94,320,804 $138,751,046 $37,017,765 July

Sauk Rapids 567 555 14 December $16,890,519 $15,684,403.00 $4,931,790 June

TOTAL: $150,360,393

5 66 September $871,000 $0 Mar

St. Joseph

151 August Feb $8,057,329

7 $304,700

TOTAL: 878

St. Augusta

TOTAL: 1752

140 October $18,735,131 Apr

2015

71 19 $32,698,175.09 $8,282,503

2017

July Total as of 8/9/17 Jan *St. Cloud totals are not final for 2017 at time of print June

2000

$200M

ST. CLOUD 106 33 $3,9550,295.02 $2,794,778

Waite Park

TOTAL: 1655

TOTAL: $79,916,621

$150M

Food and Bev

Sartell 35 33 14 November $11,485,611 $13,013,812.00 $1,335,210 May 2016

TOTAL: $54,625,158*

$100M

2016

1500

TOTAL: $633,780

$1.5M

TOTAL: $1,333,423

TOTAL: $1,326,730

$1.2M

$50M

2015

0

#/$ #/$ #/$ August

1000

TOTAL: $54,625,158*

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

$0M

November October

Commercial Building Permits

2015

2015

December Total as of 8/9/17 January *St. Cloud totals are not final for 2017 at time of print.

Commercial Building Permits

2016

102 43 $9,180,779.85 $3,696,196

St. Joseph 142 186 61 February $2,293,565 $4,796,650.51 $1,856,590

$60M

2017

79 $4,720,246

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

March

78 26 $2,197,512.66 $346,749

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

$40M

St. Augusta

2016

2017

$20M

April $1,552,641

500

$300k

$0M

Waite Park

0

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

ST. CLOUD

2015

113

2016

2017

2016

2015

$0

TOTAL:$64,832,866

2015

Sartell 329 252 99 May $18,168,133 $13,311,388.85 $3,389,689

2016

2017

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

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

$20M

2017

July December June

November May

Residential Building Permits

$0M

908,072

COLOR KEY:

Compiled by Kellie Libert, data current as of 8/9/17

2015 2017

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

Economy Central presented by August

TOTAL:$84,908,072 2016

Home Sales C

September

TOTAL:$29,383,093*

ECONOMIC INDICATORS & TRENDS 2017

October

$100M

$250M

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

832,866

25,158*

360,393

916,621

Residential Building Permits

$250M

$0

$300k

TOTAL: $150,360,393 Sources: Building departments for the following cities: St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Waite Park, St. Augusta, and St. Joseph.

2016

May

2016

Unemployment Rates 2016-2017

2015

Apr

TOTAL: $79,916,621

Non FarmMarJobs

Source: www.positivelyminnesota.com

$0

December

November

October

Jan

September

August

July

June

1.5%

May

$250M

Feb

April

$200M

March

December

$150M

November

October

$100M

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

$50M

2.0%

February

2.5%

January

6%

$0M

Source: www.positivelyminnesota.com 2015

2016 - 2017 % CHANGE

$300k

M

J

1.0%

5%

0.5% 0.0% -0.5%

4%

-1.0% -1.5% -2.0%

3% J

A

S

O

N

D

J

F

M

A

M

J

-2.5% J

A

S

O

N

D

J

St. Cloud Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota United States

F

M

A

St. Cloud, MN MetroSA Minnesota United States

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

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31


3,093*

BusinessTools

08,072

32,866

$100M

5,158*

0,393

6,621

$250M

uuuuuuu uuuuuuu uuuuuuu uuuuuuu uuuuuuu

COLOR KEY: December

ECONOMIC INDICATORS & TRENDS

November

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

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

December

October

December

November

October

August

September

August

July

June

May

TOTAL: 878

April

September

ST. CLOUD

October

March

February

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

January

December

November

October

D, SAUK RAPIDS, SARTELL, WAITE PARK,

September

August

July

June

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

lding Permits

May

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

September

2017

TOTAL: $633,780

July

TOTAL: $54,625,158*

August July

TOTAL: 1752

June

2017

May

2016

TOTAL: $1,333,423

June

TOTAL: $150,360,393

April May

TOTAL: 61

JOB GROWTH December

November

1000

$900k

TOTAL: $633,780

2016

2017 TOTAL: $1,326,730

Benton County Sheriff’s Civil Process; Stearn’s County Sheriff’s Office $0 $300k $600k $900k $1.2M Total as of 8/9/17.

Lodging Tax Dollars

Number of businesses that were sold nationally in the first quarter of 2016 December

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

November

2,368

Number of businesses that were sold nationally in the first quarter of 2017 Source: BizBuySell.com

$2M

Learn more at BusinessCentralMagazine.com

Total as of 8/9/17.

32

October

September

VS.

August

$1.5M

1,840

July

$1M

Minnesota ranked sixth on WalletHub's list of the 10 Best States for Jobs. The consumer financial website examined 24 metrics, such as job-market strength, economic vitality and opportunity.

June

$500k

Sources: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud

January

No. 6!

May

2015

$1.5M

April

TOTAL: $1,454,374

February

DID YOU KNOW?

March

2016

March

February

December

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January

TOTAL: $650,174

TOTAL: $1,508,301

$0

unemployment at or below 4 percent. April

January

ST. CLOUD

2017

Minnesota has now seen 35 straight months of May

2000

$1.5M

Stearns Co. 181 158 49 2015 Benton Co. 54 39 12

that have June announced expansions within the state. TOTAL: 878

2015

250

TOTAL: 1752

Residential

200

TOTAL: 1655

2016 SHERIFF’S FORECLOSURE AUCTIONS

been added by the growing number of businesses August relocating to Minnesota, in addition to companies July

TOTAL: $1,333,423

150

$1.5M

more September than 277,500 new jobs. These new jobs have

1500

100

TOTAL: $633,780

50

TOTAL: $1,333,423

TOTAL: $1,326,730

$1.2M

0

$1.2M

SinceOctober 2011, the Minnesota economy has added

TOTAL: 221

2017 2015

$900k

500

$600k

ST. CLOUD

$600k

Total as of 8/9/17.

Food and Beverage Tax Collection TOTAL: 235

2016

$300k

Sources: Tax Collections – City of St. Cloud

Sheriff’s Foreclosure Auctions

2017

January

$0

Housing/Real Estate St. Cloud Area AssociationJan of Realtors, $150M $200Msources:$250M http://stcloudrealtors.com/pages/statistics. Total as of 8/9/17.

STEARNS AND BENTON COUNTIES

2015

Home Sales Closed in St.Cloud

2000

Feb

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

1500

TOTAL: $1,326,730

0

$300k

Food and Beverage Tax Collection

1000

2017

February

ST. CLOUD

500

2016

2015

2017

March

TOTAL: $79,916,621

0

2016

Apr Mar

$0

$100M

2016

2015

2015

TOTAL: 1655

Economy Central presented by


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Duane Koepp

Doug Bischoff

34

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7


HEART and BUSINESS PROFILE

SOUL

Design Electric, Inc. 4807 Heatherwood Rd PO Box 1252 St. Cloud, MN 56302 (320) 252-1658 contact@ designelect.com Website: designelect.com Key players: Douglas Bischoff, CEO Duane Koepp, president Other officers: Nicholas Bischoff, corporate secretary; Sam Myers, vice president of finance and administration; Jim School, vice president of commercial construction Primary ownership: Doug Bischoff Business description: Commercial, industrial and transportation electrical contractor Employees: 100+ 2016 sales: $30 million 2017 estimated sales: $32 million

Fun Fact:

Design Electric maintains the traffic cameras on the roadways

Photos by BDI photography

By Gail Ivers

For someone who entered his profession against his will, Doug Bischoff does a surprisingly good imitation of a contented man.

D

oug Bischoff, owner of Design Electric, said that in his heart he wanted to be a lawyer. “But my father had a heart attack and kind of bullied me into hanging around for a year until he got better. Well guess what, he got better, but never wanted back in the business. He kind of tricked me into taking over…that’s the facts,” Bischoff said.

However grudgingly he started out, by any standard Bischoff has done pretty well for himself. He owns Design Electric, a commercial/industrial/ transportation electrical contracting company with over 100 employees and revenue in the $30 million range. But that’s not what it looked like when Bischoff took over as president in 1986. At that time the company had 10 employees and about $2 million in sales.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

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35


Although he was only 34 when he took over, Bischoff claims he had already put in 25 years as an electrician. A lifetime, he says, of working with his dad. “Back then the Bischoffs wired houses. That’s what we did,” Bischoff said. “My dad worked full time at Cold Spring Electric and then in the evenings we would all go out and wire houses. I was wiring houses at 10 years old. My mother wired just as much as my dad.”

PERSONAL PROFILE

Doug Bischoff, 65 CEO, Design Electric Hometown: St. Cloud Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from St. Cloud State University; St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Maury The Bischoffs worked for residential development contractors. When the development work started to slow down, they transitioned to commercial electrical work. In 1962, Doug Bischoff’s father, Maury, left Cold Spring Electric to start MJB Electric. The new company started out doing small commercial projects. It wasn’t long before MJB Electric was taking on larger projects, such as the Education Building at St. Cloud State University and the Sartell and Albany high schools. In 1972 Maury purchased an electric company in Litchfield, establishing it as Design Electric. He ran the two businesses, MJB Electric and

Work history: Worked in the family electrical business since the age of 10 – MJB Electric and then Design Electric Family: Sally Klein, spouse and better half; daughter Kate Bischoff, son Nicholas Bischoff Hobbies: Hunting, hunting, hunting Advice to a would-be entrepreneur: Use your common sense, work hard

Fun Fact:

Bischoff is putting in butterfly gardens by the acres. “You don’t see butterflies anymore. I want to help change that.”

Design Electric, as two separate companies, each with its own workforce. MJB focused on power plant work, while Design Electric dabbled in residential and apartment buildings before turning its primary focus to commercial projects. The two companies were also divided between Maury’s sons, with Harry taking leadership of MJB Electric and Doug focused on Design Electric. It was under Maury’s leadership that Design Electric began their apprenticeship program through the State of Minnesota. Already alert to the looming challenges of finding a skilled workforce, the apprenticeship program opened up opportunities for both employees and government contracts. In 1985, as power plant construction dwindled and commercial contracting work continued to grow, MJB Electric and Design Electric merged, with Doug Bischoff taking over as CEO and keeping the Design Electric name.

Doug About 25 percent of Design’s work is in the transportation arena. It started in the early 1970s, according to Doug Bischoff, with the construction

of I-94. “The contractors were looking for someone to put lights on the Interstate so I stepped in,” he said. “The work was in my backyard. Other local contractors had been hired to do the road work and I was able to break in because I knew them from building projects we had worked on together.” From there it was high towers on Highway 15 and lamps from Avon to Rogers. While Bischoff particularly enjoys the transportation work, it can be intense. “Our construction season is very short. A lot has to get done in seven-and-a-half-months to make all the improvements. It’s so concentrated.” The downside is that during transportation season, Bischoff is immersed in work. “There’s no time,” he said. “When my children were young it was growth time for the company and I chose to do the business. My children have given up a lot for this company. They worked here because I was here, but I missed a lot.” Another challenge is keeping track of the books. Everything that goes into a job has to be tracked and billed back to the customer, often several months after the job is done. “It takes a lot of money

Timeline

36

1945

1962

1972

Maury Bischoff receives his journeyman electrician’s license from the State of Minnesota.

Maury leaves his job at Cold Spring Electric to start MJB Electric.

Maury purchases Berquist Electric in Litchfield, Minn. He renames the company Design Electric and moves it to 739 18th Ave. S

Business Central Magazine // S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

in St. Cloud. Maury continues to run MJB Electric as a separate company.

1974

1975

Design Electric moves to a larger facility at 4211 Roosevelt Road, St. Cloud.

Design Electric establishes an apprenticeship program through the State of Minnesota. Duane Koepp joins the company.


for contracting,” Bischoff said. “As a layperson you can’t understand that. I have to keep track of everything that goes into a job – a unit of wire, a unit of tubing. I don’t have time during construction season to figure that out. I put up a light pole in April and don’t get paid until October. And I still have to make payroll during all that time.” Design Electric works with 17 counties across the center of the state. “We picked that up mostly because nobody else wanted it,” Bischoff said. The company does everything from traffic signals to weather stations to auto-traffic recording. “We count all the axels on all the state highways. The weather cameras along the highways that you see when you watch TV? We maintain those.” A big portion of Design’s transportation work involves weigh scales. “We have 16 in Wisconsin that we maintain,” he said. “You’d be surprised – there’s a lot of new technology in weigh scales and trucking scales.” In fact, you’d be surprised at the technology involved in almost all of Design Electric’s work. Take water treatment, for instance. Or healthcare.

“The City of St. Cloud is very innovative on all aspects of water and sewer,” Bischoff said. “They look at every new thing that comes on the market to try and save themselves money and make the plant more efficient. Since we do a lot of work for the city, we get to try out this new technology.” Design’s real growth spurt, according to Bischoff, started with the winning bid to work on the CentraCare Health Plaza, another technology-laden industry. “That took 60-plus electricians back in the early 2000s and got us a foot in the door as far as doing large-scale work with large-scale general contractors," Bischoff said. Wiring the building wasn’t the end of the work as far as Bischoff was concerned. “We educated our people about healthcare electricity. It’s very specialized. We wanted to understand it well so we could do what was needed and be able to grow with the St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare,” he said. It turns out one-third of the electrical code is related to hospitals. “There are so many people who look over your work in healthcare – inspectors, regulators, the hospital staff. You really have to know what’s needed for the industry.”

1985

1986

Design Electric and MJB Electric merge.

Maury’s son, Doug Bischoff, takes over as CEO of Design Electric. He moves the company away from residential and focuses

NEXT BEST THING //

LEARNING BY DOING

Solar fields are coming and Doug Bischoff plans to be ready When you pull into the Design Electric parking lot you can’t miss the windmill. An early experiment in alternative energy sources, Doug Bischoff says he wanted to try it because it was in his area of interest. “Wind. Up high. Lots of power. I focus on the transportation side of the business. Think traffic signals.” Energy efficiency has become a major focus for the company, which is currently working on a full scale LED retrofit for the City of St. Cloud, changing 3,500 signal lights and 3,000 street lights to LED fixtures. The next big thing, according to Bischoff, is low and medium voltage electrical offerings and solar energy. “Solar is more handy than wind,” he said. The company plans to attempt its own solar projects in December: a permanent roof mount on their office and sun-tracking panels on a nearby earth berm. “In two to three years all customers will want a solar field,” Bischoff said. “We know it’s coming, we want to be ready, and the way we learn is hands-on. We put ourselves through the hard knocks first before we sell the service to anyone.”

1988 on commercial, transportation and industrial work.

Design Electric sees transportation electrical installation as an opportunity for large scale growth and wins bids to

1989 erect traffic signals and street lighting in Central Minnesota.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

Design Electric receives its largest government contract to-date: the Stearns County Law Enforcement Center.

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Design-Spring

PERSONAL PROFILE

Duane Koepp, 66 President of Design Electric Hometown: St. Cloud Education: St. Cloud State University graduated 1971; St. Cloud Technical and Community College graduated 1975 Work history: Design Electric 1975 to present; Tenvoorde Motors (mechanic) 1973-1975 Family: Wife Kim; daughter Wendy; grandchildren Landon (20), Bennet (4), and Allie (6) Hobbies: Traveling, hockey, yard work, and grandkids Advice to a would-be entrepreneur: Don’t be afraid to take chances. Learn from your setbacks – do not let them define you. Listen to others around you – don’t believe what you ‘think.’ Best advice you’ve received and who gave it to you: What may be your biggest worry today may not amount to a hill of beans tomorrow. Local businessman Ed Zapp.

The Plaza was important for another reason. It was the beginning of a collaboration between Design Electric and Cold Spring Electric. Dubbed Design-Spring Electric, the two local companies teamed up for years to complete projects that were too large for either to handle independently, such as the Plaza, the St. Cloud Water Treatment Plant and the Miller Center Library at St. Cloud State University. “By combining with Cold Spring on these projects, we both got a shot in the arm,” Bischoff said. “That was the fertilizer for the bigger jobs that came down the road.” That relationship also opened doors that might otherwise have remained shuttered to Bischoff. “Cold Spring Electric had been doing commercial construction for a long time,” he said. “They had deep relationships with their customers.” One of those significant relationships was with the St. Cloud Hospital. The Design-Spring collaboration not only helped win the bid at CentraCare Plaza, it was critical to securing the work for the east addition to the St. Cloud Hospital in 2008.

“Cold Spring Electric had the relationship with the St. Cloud Hospital,” Bischoff said. “To get that east wing job we basically had to partner with Cold Spring – not that that guaranteed we’d get the job.” “We were told we weren’t going to get the job because we weren’t a big Twin Cities contractor and they needed 100 electricians to do the work,” Duane Koepp, president of Design Electric, said. “We didn’t think we had a chance. As Design-Spring we had eight people working on the bid for two months. When we went to the final interview and got the job, we were pretty surprised.” “We have CentraCare to thank for that,” Bischoff said. “They really went to bat to put local contractors on the job.” Not only did that project put local contractors to work, it helped many of them survive the recession of 20082010. “The St. Cloud Hospital east addition was the largest thing going in Minnesota at the time,” Bischoff said. “It meant $14 million in electrical work for us and carried us through 20 months of recession. We hired during the recession.”

Duane Koepp met Bischoff at the St. Cloud Technical and Community College and joined Design Electric in 1975 after graduation. While Bischoff headed into outdoor, high voltage transportation projects, Koepp gravitated into indoor work, first residential, then transitioning along with the company into commercial/ industrial projects. “We both became pretty confident in our little areas that we like to do,” Koepp said. “I have to give Doug credit. I don’t know anyone who is more willing to invest money back into the company. He kept buying equipment and we started bidding larger jobs. Doug and I would figure out our work – we’d bid it, manage it, buy the material, and be out in the field actually doing the work.” “Duane has been my right-hand man always. My confidant,” Bischoff said. “He helped build this company as much as I did. I may own most of the company, but in our world we’re equal. We don’t make a business decision without each other.” “As we grew we had a hard time letting go,”

Timeline

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1996

1998

Design Electric and Cold Spring Electric form Design-Spring Electric to collaborate on large electrical projects that neither can do alone.

Design Electric begins bidding on construction projects at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System. For the next 17 years,

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EARLY 2000s Design Electric is the contractor with the longest continuous presence at the VAHCS.

Design-Spring wins bids for the CentraCare Health Plaza, St. Cloud Water Treatment Plant and the Miller Center Library

2008 at St. Cloud State University.

Design-Spring wins the bid for the St. Cloud Hospital east expansion. The $14 million electrical project is the largest single


Koepp recalled. “We liked to micromanage everything. After a few painful years we realized we just needed to tell the employees the end result and let them go – they could do work in the field better than we could. Once we mastered that, we spent more time building the company and getting more work and that helped us grow even more.” When the east addition to the hospital came up, the owner of Cold Spring Electric was ready to retire. He approached Koepp about taking over the business. “I took him up on that offer,” Koepp said, “to get both companies together so we’d have a big enough workforce to do the job.” In 2012 Design Electric and Cold Spring Electric officially merged. With 75 field electricians, the merged company, called Design Electric, was large enough to take on major projects once handled by Design-Spring, including the national Hockey Center expansion, the First District Association dairy processing plant in Litchfield, and additional CentraCare Health projects. They’ve also added schools back into their mix.

“We’ve kind of avoided schools for years because the competition was so fierce,” Bischoff said. “But they’re so big and expensive and on such tight timelines that it takes a larger shop like ours to get them done.” Back in the day, Bischoff said, you had a year to build a school. “Now they want it done in three months.” And it’s not just schools that are on a faster timeline. “Everybody is so intense about getting it done faster, better, quicker,” Bischoff added. “That’s the biggest change I’ve seen in this industry. There’s no patience anymore.”

The Team Design Electric covers a wide range of projects including hospital, government, transportation, heavy industry, medium voltage, and projects that are often complicated and have to be done in a hurry. “We’ve never been afraid to tackle anything,” Koepp said. “Not every shop is willing to put that much effort into a project like Doug and I have over the years. And our employees in the field are probably the most talented, innovative people that I know.”

MARK OF EXCELLENCE //

DOUG BISCHOFF RECEIVES HONOR Doug Bischoff’s selection as the 2017 Business Central Mark of Excellence: Entrepreneurial Success Award recipient recognizes Design Electric’s growth under his leadership. The Entrepreneurial Success Award, presented by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, is given to an individual who took over leadership of a company when it was small, based on Small Business Administration guidelines, and has since grown to be a large company. The Business Central Mark of Excellence is sponsored by Business Central Magazine and Gilleland Chevrolet Cadillac. Gilleland’s Bill Knoblach (R) presented the award to Bischoff in May.

“Duane and I have enjoyed a fantastic group of people to work with over the years,” Bischoff agreed. “Our greatest asset is our employees.” “The thing that makes me the proudest to work for Design Electric,” Koepp said, “has been the employees we’ve been able to attract and keep. I’m not sure what Doug and I did to attract such quality people, but we have a great number of people that

2012 electrical project in the state at this time.

Design Electric and Cold Spring Electric merge. Doug Bischoff becomes CEO and Duane Koepp is named president. The

take a lot of pride in their work, do a great job, and seem to want to come to work every day with a better idea of how to get it done.” “To be successful at the contracting business you have to have your heart and soul in it,” Bischoff said. “We do that.” Gail Ivers is vice president of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and managing editor of Business Central Magazine.

2013 merged company is large enough to win bids for the National Hockey Center expansion, the First District Association dairy processing

plant in Litchfield, and several CentraCare Health projects.

Design Electric purchases Zapp Electric.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

2017

Bischoff receives the 2017 St. Cloud Area Entrepreneurial Success Award from the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Feature

TAPPED OUT? Area manufacturers are optimistic about their futures, with a caveat: they need to find more effective ways to attract quality people in this seller’s market of low unemployment.

By Mary MacDonell Belisle

S

mall- and medium-size Minnesota manufacturers are encouraged. The timing appears right for steady growth and prosperity, according to the 2017 State of Manufacturing survey, conducted by Enterprise Minnesota. Fifty-eight percent of 400 manufacturing CEOs anticipate economic expansion in 2017. However, manufacturers face a potential impediment to progress––lack

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of proper skills or education (according to 51 percent of respondents), and lack of applicants, or lack of interest in the work (42 percent). Attracting and retaining employees is a huge concern, behind healthcare and government regulation, according to the survey results. Eight and nine years ago, applicants walked unsolicited into Starrett Tru-Stone

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Technologies for work, according to General Manager Carlo Schwinn. Recruiting now takes more effort and advertising dollars. Two skilled vacancies have been wanting for over seven months. Midsota Manufacturing is behind on production because it doesn’t have the manpower to get items out the door, an urgent need, President Joel Bauer said.

Cold Spring Brewing Company is having difficulty filling the night shift and matching “bulk and brain” for batching jobs, said Nichole Holthaus, human resource manager. “The unemployment rate is very low right now, so there are fewer active job seekers in general,” according to Katlyn Weisert, human resource generalist for ProcessPro.


“Many employers are already ramping up their training efforts, either providing in-house training or contracting with a vendor to come in and provide their employees with the necessary skills.” – LUKE GREINER

A tight labor market The U.S. unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in May, with Minnesota at 3.7 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Region 7W (Benton, Stearns, Sherburne, and Wright counties) has 73.4 percent of residents 16 years or older working or looking for work. The region is pretty well tapped out, DEED Regional Analyst Luke Greiner said. “Because the highlyskilled and trained workforce is largely already working, many workers who are still unemployed likely need more training and skills to get the available jobs,” according to Greiner. “The tighter the labor market, the more training and skills employers will provide in order to fill the same job.” The state’s total manufacturing jobs numbered 24,992 in fourth quarter 2016, or 14.7 percent of 170,160 total jobs. There were 379 manufacturing industry vacancies in region 7W, compared with 4,782 in the Twin Cities region and a statewide total of 6,637, according to DEED. Most vacancies do not require the most education, Greiner said. Looking at the job vacancy survey for

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those 379 openings, 28 percent require a high school diploma/GED, 31 percent vocational training, three percent an associate degree, and 10 percent a B.A. None require an advanced degree. “Many employers are already ramping up their training efforts, either providing in-house training or contracting with a vendor to come in and provide their employees with the necessary skills,” Greiner said. Starrett Tru-Stone Technologies Starrett Tru-Stone Technologies, Waite Park, manufactures precision granite solutions, employing 70 full-time individuals to supply domestic and international clients with components. Business is “rock steady,” Schwinn said. However, the company is relaxing hiring criteria, sweetening postings with signing bonuses, spending more to advertise, offering a generous benefit package, and providing more on-thejob training. Recent openings have included entry-level jobs like insert setter, production finisher, and saw machine operator. These require a high school education and start at $13/hour, a recent increase. Engineering specialist positions require

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Feature a B.A. with three to five years experience. Starrett Tru-Stone's HR Manager June Whidman advertises on the company website, internet job sites, social media, and job boards at technical colleges and universities. Ads appear in local newspapers, costing the company thousands of dollars. Staff host student tours, participate in the Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association’s annual “Tour of Manufacturing,” and attend job fairs. Schwinn and Whidman agree that early engagement is key because there seems to be less emphasis on the non-college bound student in schools.

“A student should find out in high school that he or she could be a machinist, and in two years make $25 per hour,” Schwinn said. Midsota Manufacturing, Inc. Midsota Manufacturing, Inc., has built trailers for over 40 years. The company, with 90 fulltime employees, offers a full line of commercial and off-road dump trailers, skid loader trailers, and an extensive line of attachments. Customers cover the five-state area, with additional clients in Alaska, Connecticut, and Florida. “We’re a growing company and have room for additional positions,” Bauer said. The

company has two facilities, totaling 85,000 square feet, and is planning a 30,000 square foot addition. Recent job postings included parts manufacturing supervisor and production welder, both full-time with benefits. It’s been difficult finding candidates willing to put in the time. Or they lack a work ethic, according to Bauer. Like Starrett, Midsota advertises across the internet. However, many employees are internal referrals. Plus, the company is comfortable working with walk-in applicants with high school education, work ethic, and willingness to learn through an apprenticeship training program.

“Schools could be more help,” Bauer said. “But it shouldn’t be their responsibility. I’m afraid we’ll have to take that on as part of our educational process.” Cold Spring Brewing Company For over 125 years, Cold Spring Brewing Company has produced award-winning beers and grown into the nation’s No. 1 specialty drink producer. As a process manufacturer and co-packer, Cold Spring Brewing is also able to make other companies’ products to their recipes, then package and ship them.

TRY THE ALL NEW

EL LY JO L I B NEY OHN TON J CE JOUR L E A KSON LES PRIN C DONN D A J A L M G E A A E D AR MICH R BAN DEF LEPP N BO ATES E O L L & I M A K HALL STEVE N AT WOR URAN DUR LAU S R CA H ME RT U2 D IS CYNDY T I M S EW EA AERO EGER ES H IE HUEY L S N B O O T B ING S LOND mac AMS B D d A o N o N w ROLL BRYA WAGO fleet o SPEED REIGNER t To FO ney o M river967.com Eddie 42

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The company recently added 43 temps-to-hire for a total of 343 employees. An additional dozen jobs are being advertised––batcher (nights), brewery/line maintenance technician (nights), brewer, machine operator, forklift operator, etc. Entry-level positions begin at $12.25, with a dollar more for night shift, according to Holthaus. The new hires and open positions are signs that Cold Spring Brewing is doing well. So well, in fact, that they are adding on a 300,000-squarefoot building to house a fourth production line. “We need to staff-up for this facility,” Holthaus said. “We

get awesome candidates, and the temp employment service is a good resource for us.” In addition to internet advertising, Holthaus receives many inside referrals by employees for their family members and friends. The company works with interns. Technical roles are more competitive and require more educational and industry background. Most automated systems are handled with onthe-job training. “If candidates have good attendance, attitude, and attention to detail, we can teach them,” she said. ProcessPro ERP ProcessPro is a mid-market enterprise resource planning

(ERP) software provider for the process manufacturing industry in the nation. The company has 48 employees, plus a team of developers in Costa Rica. Recent job openings include IT data specialist, client support advisor, and entry-level accounting software trainer, all requiring a B.A. “We seek a unique blend of qualifications as many positions require an understanding of manufacturing concepts, basic accounting principles, and technical skills,” Weisert said. “We have many business initiatives going on right now that position us for continued growth. Adding to our team will be critical in supporting

that growth in the years to come.” Weisert has been surprised to find that few of her applicants are from the local colleges. She believes that establishing stronger marketing on university job boards may allow her to bridge a gap that exists today. Mary MacDonell Belisle is a copy and content writer, located in St. Cloud. Her business is called mary macdonell belisle–wording for you. She’s been in business since 2007.

You can find the sources used in this story and links to additional information at BusinessCentral Magazine.com

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

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ecome a resident of a vibrant, upscale neighborhood in downtown St. Cloud—The Lofts. The 10,560-square-foot lot, located at 5th Avenue West and St. Germain, has been transformed into a 47-loft condominium building of studio, one-bedroom, and twobedroom units. Makenda Development, LLC understands the interest in market-priced housing downtown. The Lofts’ condominium units sell for $175,000 to $365,000. Premier Real Estate Services will reserve your place for as little as $1,000. And, because condominium financing is new to the area, One Mortgage can provide you loan options, including a portfolio loan of 10% down, something many banks don’t handle. HMA Architects designed The Lofts’ space to give you the optimum in condo living. The inside architecture features 11 ft. ceilings, generous windows and patio doors, and open floor spaces that encourage natural light. A contemporary, somewhat industrial feel is created by the exposed

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“Located in the heart of the region, The Lofts are within the financial district, government district, legal district, historic district, and arts and entertainment district.” —Pegg Gustafson, former President/CEO of the Downtown Council. beams, ductwork, and fixtures. Of note is the uniqueness of the east-facing second and third floor apartments, which overlook an interior courtyard. The rooftop patio further encourages you to live outdoors and observe downtown activity. The exterior of the building compliments nearby architecture but adds a modern flair to its six-story elevations. Warm umber bricks and a stucco-like finish of light ochre contrast with the dark bronze window frames and balconies. A welcoming main floor entrance leads to the interior common area, community room, and fitness room. Parking, water, sewer, cable TV, internet, recycling/refuse collection are included in your homeowner’s association fees.

Living at The Lofts is exciting and so convenient, if you work and socialize! And if you like to balance your concrete with greenery, the Mississippi River Beaver Island Trail is out your back door, and Lake George is a short walking distance away. Both are on the trail system. Parties to The Lofts project hope it sparks additional office, retail, residential, and city-owned redevelopment downtown. • Presented by: Makenda LLC, HMA Architects, Cornerstone Construction, Premier Real Estate Services, One Mortgage LLC, City of St. Cloud, St. Cloud Downtown Council, St. Cloud Economic Development Authority

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SPOTLIGHT: CITY OF ST. CLOUD

GREATER DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTH ST. CLOUD

Mayor Dave Kleis, Director Cathy Mehelich and the EDA team stand ready to support your business development needs.

Funding and other resources to local business (maybe yours!) Public Improvements in Midst ofavailable Natural Setting Spark St. Cloud Growth When the City of St. Cloud Economic Development Authority (EDA) helps attract new businesses and more jobs to our community, it’s exciting, front page news. Understandably so. The EDA has been part of many such announcements in its short, four-year history. But what might be bigger news to you is the wealth of support the EDA provides to help existing local businesses grow. In fact, there may be services you are unaware of from which your business can benefit right now.

The resources are based on the type of development project and needs.INTERESTED? “We realize each business is unique,Anyone and can quickly match interested in resources and make connections these opportunities without wasting precious time.”

GREATER Revitalization

Builder: Boser Construction / Quinlivan & Hughes Location: West St. Germain St in St. Cloud.

should contact Matt

Glaesman, Community The EDA also assists with redevelopment of high profile Development Director, vacantorlocations. When Boser Cathy Mehelich, Construction invested Director of the over $400,000 to redevelop the former Economic Development Granite Bowl on Hwy 23/Division Authority, by calling Street, the EDA facilitated 320-255-7218. financing from the state and city to support the extraordinary costs. The new 13,000sf Class-A office and day care were recently building provided much needed approved for 33rd Street South. space for Quinlivan & Hughes Another office complex of Law Firm. started at more than“We 20,000 squarelooking feet different locations and there is just is under consideration, while the city controls something aboutadditional being a part of parcels suited commercialthe downtown andfor continuing development. redevelopment and expansion of “After years of planning, St.we’re Cloud,” says Quinlivan & excited for this Hughes CEO Schwegman. amazing area Steve to develop and

Before

“We want the business community to think of us as their first stop for business development,” says EDA Director Cathy Mehelich. “If you’re After looking for where to start with t. Cloud has thrived providing quick access to I-94 room for 1,800 students when your business expansion for 161 years based onor start-up and all Minnesota. time development it opens in 2019. A 40,000 millionDrive in private and more idea, we point youand in the right its can natural setting to the core of the 300,000 Minneapolischarter school was than square square feet offoot new direction convenientwith accessconnections to rail, water, to St. Paul metropolitan area is opened in 2016, while another construction. Projects include smaller road, and air less than an hour. The City will was expanded in 2015 to resources to transportation. make the process easier.” like Arctic accommodate Cold Storage, Frieszdemand Many think of St. Cloud for expand the businesses 33rd Street South growing Dentistry, Executive Express and Dubow Since the EDA’s inception the endless retail, service, and in 2011, corridor in next three years for educational opportunities. A entertainment complement the natural setting. — regional park and athletic $5.6 million inopportunities combined public to handle increasing Textile -traffic in addition tonew larger businesses “We’re fortunate in this along Division Street and We anticipate residential projected to quadruple to more complex is planned adjacent to investment has led to over $54 like New Flyer and Park Industries. community to of have anthan abundance within the historic downtown. development more than 12,000 trips - within south the school sites. of business development However, south St. Cloud is 2,000 units within 1 mile ofresources the St. Cloud. Retail, office, and service Among the services provided by the EDA are: emerging as Minnesota’s next school site with more available A new state-of-the-art developments are already under and partners,” adds Mehelich. great opportunity. acreage justwe beyond,” St. Cloud Tech High School review to coincide with the “That’s why exist –said to serve as Assisting with site was selection forwill large or116 small business A new interchange Matt Glaesman, St. Cloud’s sit on acres one mile public investments. A 45,000 one centralized location for doing Administering business expansion redevelopment resources opened in 2015 at 33rd Community Development northand of I-94 and just east offinancing square foot grocery store,18,000 Street and Trunk Highwaysource 15 Director.with new TH15 interchange withskill square foot retail complex, bank, business • the City and improve Serving as a referral forthe business start-up and job training services to businesses who want to Guiding businesses through the city permitting process prosper here.”

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Contact: cathy.mehelich@ci.stcloud.mn.us Direct: 320.650.3111 Url: ci.stcloud.mn.us/economicdevelopment

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Special Focus

Advancing Community Major road projects, commercial development mark growth in Central Minnesota. CITY OF ST. CLOUD “The City of St. Cloud saw a tremendous increase in the number of permits for construction over the last year,” St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said. He predicts continued growth over the next few years. Major projects completed recently include the River’s Edge Convention Center parking ramp, the St. Cloud

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Family YMCA, and the St. Cloud River Walk. Downtown remains a major focus of the city at this time. “We are in the midst of a major resurfacing of Fifth Avenue, which will serve as a significant complement to downtown businesses, the new ramp and the city’s streetscape,” he said. The location planned for the new Tech High School

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has also led to positive development along the corridor of Highway 15 and 33rd Street. “This location is set up perfectly for both commercial and residential,” Kleis said. CITY OF SARTELL “It’s fair to say growth has been steady in Sartell over the last year,” said Anita Archambeau,

By Whitney Ditlevson

planning and community development director, City of Sartell. “At this time, we are nearing completion of the Sartell Community Center and believe growth will continue in the town square area of Sartell,” she said. A few new projects are in the works, including a 20,000-square-foot facility on Highway 15 next to


Architecural drawing of the Sartell Community Center

Resource Training and Solutions. Sartell is heavy in residential, but office development has increased throughout the city, especially now that road construction projects along Highway 15 are completed, Archambeau said. CITY OF WAITE PARK “Waite Park continues to see increased growth in commercial construction,� said Shauna Johnson, administrator, City of Waite Park. With 10 new commercial buildings starting construction, the total

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Special Focus

Proposed Waite Park Amphitheater

investment exceeded $27 million in 2016. Notable Waite Park projects include Luther Honda, Ms. Melinda’s Dance Studio, Granite City Family and

Cosmetic Dentistry, and the 25,000-square-foot conference center development which includes two new hotels. “We are excited about the development we have seen with

these projects,” Johnson said. Waite Park faces a constant state of growth and change. A recent annexation of St. Joseph Township, part of an orderly annexation agreement, has extended the City of Waite Park to I-94 on Highway 23. The city’s diverse population offers new opportunities. “In Waite Park we have four Mexican restaurants, two Mexican grocery stores, a Somali grocery store and the Viet-Tien Market,” Johnson said. “These are unique assets that will only help our community continue to grow.” CITY OF SAUK RAPIDS Over the last year, Sauk Rapids has completed several projects

related to roads, public safety and economic development. Perhaps most prominent, the 2nd Street North project wrapped up in July. This nearly three year project turned 2nd Street North from a two-lane road to four lanes, which now features two roundabouts and a new traffic light. Additionally, commercial construction projects included new twin homes at The Good Shepherd Community, completion of Urban Lodge Brewery and Restaurant, a new Kwik Trip, and a project completion for Focal Point Fixtures.

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CITY OF ST. JOSEPH The City of St. Joseph continues to see community growth and development. Over the last year, the city opened a new government center and the Serenity on Seventh senior living facility. Future projects include a new O’Reilly Auto Parts store, community center, the Woodcrest of Country Manor senior living facility and a second location for Kwik Trip, Therese Haffner, community development director, said. Whitney Ditlevson is the communications and workforce development coordinator at the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

CITY GROWTH

MOVE TOWARD LIVABILITY “For the first time in our planet’s history there are more people who live in the city than rural areas,” St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said. Therefore, the City of St. Cloud continues to refocus its marketing efforts though the campaign St. Cloud GREATER, which concentrates on promoting the city’s overall livability, not just its plentiful career opportunities. “Area employers want to have a place where employees can live, not just work,” he said. “We are focusing on improving and promoting the city’s trails, transportation, parks, recreation, arts, music, entertainment and restaurants. To accomplish this, it’s a matter of encouraging and partnering with many different entities to increase the vitality of this community. We have a lot of organizations, businesses and individuals stepping up to make great things happen.”

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Archway underneath the Bridge of Hope in Sauk Rapids.

AT A GLANCE

BENTON COUNTY AG RESEARCH In 2017 Benton County became one of the primary sites for the Industrial Hemp Pilot Project through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The average hemp grain yield in Minnesota in 2016 was 1,334 pounds of grain per acre, making the crop a potentially lucrative and environmentally friendly alternative for small land holders in rural parts of Benton County. DID YOU KNOW? Benton County was one of the original nine counties established by the territorial legislature in 1849 and was one of the three which were

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declared organized. The county was named in honor of Thomas Hart Benton, a senator from Missouri, who worked diligently to have Congress enact the Homestead Act. It is one of nine counties named after Mr. Benton in the United States.

BY THE NUMBERS

1,500 Manufacturing jobs lost in Benton County since 2006. However, manufacturing remains the county’s industry with the highest employment.

55.7% Increase in construction jobs in Benton County since 2006. That’s an increase of 653, of which 495 are in heavy and civil engineering construction jobs.

Fresenius Kidney Care – Mora

533 Jobs that have been added in Benton County in Education and Health Services since 2006. Almost 400 of these jobs were added in nursing and residential care facilities. Source: DEED

Enjoy the Experience! Integrity.

The Cornerstone.

Commercial Construction | Project Management | Real Estate Development

St. Cloud

Twin Cities

320.202.1300

Williston ND

shingobee.com S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

www.businesscentralmagazine.com

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CENTRAL MN GROWTH GUIDE

Design. Build. Solutions.

Development • Architectural Design • Construction Services • River of Life, Cold Spring, MN

Single source. Superior service. Remarkable results.

320.251.4109 | 800.772.1758 | millerab.com

SeptOct.indd 1

Central MN Growth Guide:

Central Minnesota is expanding. Here is a snapshot of some of the area businesses and new projects.

8/3/17 8:50 AM

CITY OF ST. CLOUD Economic Development Authority LOCATION: City Hall - St. Cloud, MN CONTACT US FOR: • Site selection for large or small business • Business start-up, expansion & relocation resources & financing • City development & permit assistance PHONE: 320-650-3111 WEBSITE: www.ci.stcloud.mn.us/economicdevelopment DESCRIPTION: The St. Cloud Economic Development Authority (EDA) stands ready to work with you as your first-stop for business development assistance.

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MISSISSIPPI LOFT APARTMENTS Downtown Sauk Rapids, MN along the Mississippi River GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Torborg Builders ARCHITECT: HMA Architects

MILLER ARCHITECTS & BUILDERS River of Life Phase III, Kid’s Center & Gathering Space Expansion - River of Life Church LOCATION: Cold Spring MN

PROJECT COMPLETION: December 2017

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Miller Architects & Builders

WEBSITE: www.hma-archs.com

ARCHITECT: Miller Architects & Builders

DESCRIPTION: The 57 Unit Mississippi Loft Apartments is a unique development located in the downtown area of Sauk Rapids and near the Mississippi River. This 4 story building features underground parking, exterior decks with views of the downtown and river, and a roof top terrace. An urban character and a variety of unit types will be attractive to the discerning tenant interested in this development.

PROJECT COMPLETION: Spring 2018 WEBSITE: millerab.com DESCRIPTION: 18,000 sf. addition specifically designed for their children’s ministry and to also provide additional space to accommodate growth in their congregation.


SHINGOBEE BUILDERS, INC. Minnesota National Bank

WINKELMAN BUILDING CO. LLC

LOCATION: Sauk Centre, MN

Microbiologics Inc.

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Shingobee Builders, Inc. ARCHITECT: HTG Architects

LOCATION: St. Cloud, MN GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Winkelman Building Co. LLC ARCHITECT: Negen Architects

PROJECT COMPLETION: March 2017

PROJECT COMPLETION: October 2017

DESCRIPTION: New 21,000 square foot, two-story facility with open central atrium replaces Minnesota National Bank’s main office in Sauk Centre. In addition to the bank, the new facility includes Investment and Insurance offices, a Community Meeting area, and additional tenant spaces.

WEBSITE: winkbuild.com DESCRIPTION: With a mix of new and renovation, this project incorporates 35,000 sf of new labs, research and development space, production and offices along with 9,000 sf of remodeling.

RICE COMPANIES MADELIA MAIN STREET LOCATION: Madelia, MN

LOCATION: St. Joseph, MN ARCHITECT: GLTArchitects

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Alliance Building Corporation

SIZE OF BUILDING: ~162,000 SQ FT.

COST: $16-19 Million

PROJECT COMPLETION: November, 2017 WEBSITE: gltarchitects.com DESCRIPTION: Woodcrest of Country Manor will consist of an upscale 60-unit senior apartment bldg and a 24-unit memory care apartment facility. The commons area will include dining & lounge spaces, commercial kitchen, community room, chapel, fitness room, beauty shop & convenience store/coffee shop.

PACE INDUSTRIES LOCATION: Maple Lake, MN SIZE: 65,000 Square Feet COMPLETION DATE: April 2017 WEBSITE: StrackCompanies.com

COST: $7 million

WEBSITE: shingobee.com

WOODCREST OF COUNTRY MANOR INDEPENDENT SENIOR LIVING APARTMENTS AND MEMORY CARE APARTMENTS

STRACK COMPANIES

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Rice Companies

SUMMARY: Pace Industries is an integrated tool and die company that provides quality die-casting, manufacturing, and engineering solutions worldwide.The facility includes manufacturing & shipping areas, a 2-story office area which will include dedicated employee welfare areas, management and sales offices, engineering offices, and a board room.

W GOHMAN CONSTRUCTION ST. CLOUD AREA YMCA & AQUATICS CENTER LOCATION: St. Cloud, MN

WEBSITE: ricecompanies.com

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: W Gohman Construction

COMPLETION DATE: December 2016

ARCHITECT: HMA Architects

DESCRIPTION: Reconstruction of five businesses destroyed by massive fire February 2016. The five new buildings totaled 38,400 SF and were designed and constructed to fit between 100 year old storefronts on either end. The Main Street facades include brick with cast concrete accents, aluminum storefronts and awnings/signage to fit with historical downtown. Businesses include Culligan, Hope & Faith Floral & Gifts, American Family Insurance and La Plaza Fiesta restaurant.

COMPLETION DATE: May 2017 COST: $25 Million WEBSITE: wgohman.com DESCRIPTION: 106,000 total square feet, 8,100 sf of aquatics, 3 gyms, 2 racquetball courts, walking track, Kids Zone with indoor and outdoor play areas.

S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7 //

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Business Spotlight

Friends

Timeline

For Michael Hornung service doesn’t just mean taking care of customers, it means treating customers like friends. By Gail Ivers

1993 Michael and Joy Hornung purchase the Nitro Green of St. Cloud franchise from Nitro Green of Fargo

Fun Fact: “After college I planned to move home and run the family farm. When I told my mom I was going to do this she said ‘No.’ It was the best decision she ever made for me.”

Michael Hornung, 50 Hometown: Walhalla, ND. “100 miles NW of Grand Forks and three miles from the Canadian border, God's Country!” Education: A degree in business administration and minor in agronomy from NDSU Family: Wife Joy; 21-year-old twin sons Chris and Al who are both pre-med students at St. Thomas Hobbies: Hunting, snowmobiling, summers at their cabin on Grand Lake

54

Business Central: What happened in 1995 that caused you to move to Fargo? Hornung: I guess I just wanted to do my own thing. Fargo was closer to home and family. We started Valley Green from scratch and I didn’t realize how hard that would be. Six months and three days was all we spent there. We came back to St. Cloud with $750 in our pockets and the Valley Green truck. We couldn’t afford to paint the truck so we kept the name. BC: Why was starting Valley Green in St. Cloud easier than doing it in Fargo? Hornung: We knew St. Cloud. We had former customers to call on. All Green sued us for breaching the non-compete

AT A GLANCE

valleygreen.net

Valley Green Companies 1325 Scenic Drive NW Sauk Rapids, MN 56379 PO Box 263 Sartell, MN 56377 (320) 259-5959 michaelh@ valleygreen.net

Business Description: Lawn care, tree care, mosquito control, and Christmas lighting Owner: Michael Hornung Number of Employees: 4 full time, 13 part time

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clause, but when we went to court the judge said since they hadn’t paid us so they had already breached the contract. Six months later that company was gone. We’re past that. You remember how hard it was, but you remember more how good things are now. BC: What do you like best about your work? Hornung: Seeing happy customers. Helping employees grow in potential. Knowing you’re making a difference. There’s nothing more rewarding. Being in business for 27 years is an accomplishment, but to enjoy what I do for 27 years is truly a blessing.

Started: Opened Valley Green in St. Cloud in 1997 Joined the Chamber in 1997

1995 The Hornungs sell Nitro Green of St. Cloud to All Green Corporation and move to Fargo to start Valley Green June 1996 All Green falls short on their contract to purchase Nitro Green of St. Cloud October 1996 The Hornungs sell Valley Green/Fargo and move back to St. Cloud, starting Valley GreenSt. Cloud in January 1997. 2000 Valley Green purchases the Christmas Décor and Nite Time Décor franchises for Stearns, Sherburne, and Benton counties. 2003 Valley Green purchases the Christmas Décor franchise for St. Michael, Elk River, Buffalo, and Maple Grove 2008 Valley Green sells the irrigation and maintenance division to two employees 2009 Valley Green sells its landscape and lighting division to G & H Irrigation 2010 Valley Green acquires the Christmas Décor territory for the Brainerd area 2015 Valley Green acquires the customer base for Turf Pro’s Lawn Care of Richmond, Minn.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

1994 Best of the Best Award

Nitro Green 1991 Rookie Franchise of the Year

Christmas Décor 2003 Brightest Star Franchise

1992 President’s Award

2010 and 2015 Regional Franchise of the Year

1993 Top 5 Franchise


A tradition of COMMERCIAL BUILDING American Heritage Bank offers a full service line of business banking products and commercial real estate loans. Because getting a mortgage loan doesn’t have to be difficult. That’s why American Heritage Bank helps you find the right financing with the right lender. Whether this is your start-up loan or expanding your growing business, you will be prepared with us!

Call for a FREE CONSULTATION LET US HELP YOUR FUTURE

ST CL OUD 2915 SE CO ND ST S | 320.654.955 5 5 25 H W Y 10 S | 320.257.5000


Business solutions centered on you.

Central Minnesota Credit Union can help your find a checking, lending, or electronic solution to your business financial needs today! CMCU offers a full array of financial products and services including business accounts and loans. CMCU is a top agricultural-lending credit union in Minnesota. CMCU business lenders visit your business to discuss the best financial solutions to help raise your bottom line.

Talk to a lender today or apply online! 888.330.8482 | mycmcu.org |

Centered on you.

Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Opportunity Lender.

September/October 2017  

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Central Magazine

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