A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO THE OCTOBER 24, 2010 becker county record
WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
Drive for success, work ethic leads to top BY PIPPI MAYFIELD
A strong work ethic has been instilled in Breanna Adams since Day 1. She grew up in Perham, where her mom, Connie, works as a registered nurse at the hospital and her dad, Steve, owns Richter’s Men’s Wear in downtown Perham. Adams says she always knew she wanted to go into business, so she ended up combining her parents’ careers into her own. She is the regional clinic coordinator for Sanford Health (formerly MeritCare) in Detroit Lakes.
she was only 23 with a Master of Science degree in public, human and health services administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Back at Concordia, when she needed to pick the concentration for her business degree, it wasn’t a scientific process at all. She opened up the book of degree options, didn’t know anything about the healthcare field, so decided, “let’s learn about it.” “Luckily, it stuck. I like to get my hands dirty with all the aspects” of her job. After graduation, she got a job in the Twin Cities with a private healthcare facility, HealthLink Minnesota Management Group Inc., and she and her husband moved there. “That started my love affair of physicians and acute care.” She said she enjoyed learning ways to provide better services to patients. And then an opening came at what was then MeritCare in Detroit Lakes, she applied for the job “to get closer to our own families” back in the Perham area, especially now that they were starting a family of their own. The summer after she completed her master’s, she married Curt, who is an electrician. They now have a son, Isaac, 2½, and a baby on the way, due in March. “I like to add more chaos,” she said with a laugh.
““Being a woman and being younger, it brings its own challenges, but I haven’t let that stop me.” Breanna Adams “My father obviously guided me, and I wanted to go into business,” she said. It just wasn’t the business of healthcare she realized until she was in college. She attended Concordia College in Moorhead and graduated in three years with a Bachelor of Arts degree in healthcare administration and longterm care administration. “I was 21 years old and decided I might as well get my master’s.” When she finished up her master’s,
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Besides her parents, Adams said she has had four main mentors that have guided her along her professional way — Jon Riewer, who is now at Eventide in Moorhead but worked with Adams at St. Mary’s, Chuck Hofius at the Perham Hospital, and two bosses at Health Link. In her first year with Sanford, she’s been in the midst of quite a few major happenings. She’s worked on implanting the merger of MeritCare into Sanford Health, getting started on the multi-million dollar building project that’s expanding the Detroit Lakes location, plus her basic management function. Her job though, is “definitely” what she had hoped it would be. When she applied and accepted. “My days are never the same.” When Adams worked for a private company, she was the go-to person for everything. Now, working for a much larger corporation, she has resources to tap into, which is nice, she said. Finding the right job and being successful at it, plus being a success at home is a balancing act, she admits. “I’ve always had that need for work. That’s extremely important. There’s a lot of sacrifice. My husband is a very good man in that he takes on roles I should — like cooking,” she said with a laugh. “Being a woman and being younger, it brings its own challenges, but I haven’t let that stop me.” Adams is also a part of the Breakfast Rotary Club, and she stays active with softball, volleyball, basketball and golf. As for her future, Adams said she wants to “strive and grow. Again, it
Breanna Adams serves as the regional clinic coordinator for Sanford Health in Detroit Lakes. has to do with my family life — the satisfaction level I try to achieve.” She’s always wanted to be a leader — played shortstop, setter, etc., but, that doesn’t mean she’s not a team player as well, she said. “I like to do things as a team. Two heads are better than one.” But, “competitiveness is part of me.”
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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
Helping others get healthy, step by step BY VICKI GERDES
Though she started out her professional career in the world of banking and finance, it wasn’t until Frazee native Nancy Hebert became a personal fitness trainer that she felt she had found her true calling. Hebert began full-time duties as a personal trainer at the Detroit Lakes Community & Cultural Center in 2003. Prior to that, she had taught aerobics, fitness and circuit training classes at Ultimate Health & Fitness in Detroit Lakes, the Perham Area Community Center and Detroit Lakes Community Education for several years on a parttime basis. Hebert was working at United Community Bank in Frazee as a loan assistant when she first started taking fitness classes at Ultimate Health & Fitness. “One of the instructors approached
cular and muscle strengthening exercises to improve overall fitness. By this time, Hebert had realized that she would rather be teaching fitness classes full-time, so when former PACC colleague Kim Bettcher approached her about taking a job at the new DLCCC as a full-time personal trainer, she jumped at it. “It was an easy decision,” Hebert said. “There had never really been an opportunity for a full-time fitness position in this area before that.” In 2004, Hebert decided to go back to college at Minnesota State University Moorhead to get a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. “I had gone to MSUM after high school, for an associate degree in business,” Hebert said. Because she was able to apply some of her credits from her earlier college experience toward her bachelor’s degree, Hebert managed to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in December 2006, while still continuing her work at the DLCCC. As a personal trainer, Hebert works one-on-one with DLCCC members to meet their fitness goals, motivating them to stay on target with their diet and exercise. “Some (clients) say I hold them accountable — they’re less likely to skip the gym if we have an appointment,” Hebert trainer said. “I also make people push a little harder, so their results are sometimes more effective.” “I still teach some fitness classes as well,” Hebert said. “Strength training, step aerobics, foam roller classes … about three classes a week, and I sub for others here and there.” She also supervises the other fitness instructors at the DLCCC — about a dozen in all. “I also lead a weight loss group, Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge,” Hebert added. “It’s a 10-week course that usually runs in the fall and winter.” Since starting that program in 2004, Hebert has seen 18 classes go through her class. “I work with anyone from teenagers to those in their mid-80s, men and women,” Hebert said of her clientele. Altogether, she has about 26 year-
“Start with one small change — one thing that can make you healthier and feel better about yourself. If these changes become part of their lives, they’ll feel better. You only have one body.” Nancy Hebert, DLCCC personal me and asked if I’d ever considered teaching,” she said. Hebert said yes, and soon was teaching step-aerobics classes at the Detroit Lakes gym on a part-time basis. When that facility closed, she became a fitness instructor at the PACC, commuting back and forth from Frazee. She continued doing that on a part-time basis until she got married in 1996. When she and her husband Jonathan moved to their new home on Little Cormorant Lake, the drive to teach evening classes in Perham didn’t fit her daily schedule. So Hebert accepted an offer from Mark Greenig, then the director of Detroit Lakes Community Education, to start teaching some classes there — first step aerobics, and later, circuit training, which combines cardiovas-
nancy hebert feels her true calling is being a personal trainer. She has served in that capacity at the Detroit Lakes Community and Cultural Center since 2003. round clients, with six to eight more added during the summer months. “Most people work with a trainer 30 minutes at a time, mostly on strength training,” Hebert said. “A few have one-hour sessions, where we add some cardiovascular.” A poster that sits on the wall of Hebert’s office in the DLCCC features a thank you from her youngest clients. “The school asked me to come do a demonstration on exercise with their kindergarten classes — I showed them some easy exercises you can do at home, watching TV,” she explained. “It’s fun for me to go out into the community, visit with people who have never really been exposed to the gym, and give them some ideas on what to do (for exercise).” Hebert has a passion for helping people to get healthy — but only if they’re ready to meet her halfway. “Everyone wants a quick, easy fix,” she said, “but it’s really about a lifestyle change. You have to be mentally ready to change yourself. “It’s not as hard as people think it’s going to be. They just don’t know where to start.” One thing that Hebert doesn’t be-
lieve in, however, is diets. The only way to take weight off and keep it off, she feels, is with a long term change in both eating and exercise habits — but those changes don’t need to come all at once. “Start with one small change — one thing that can make you healthier and feel better about yourself,” she said. “If these changes become part of their lives, they’ll feel better. “You only have one body,” she continued. People need to take better care of the body they’re given. Everybody can make small changes … a lot of people give up before they even try. “It’s simply moving your body and making smart choices when it comes to food. Being healthy, being active, getting control of your weight … it’s not easy, but it’s doable.” Having a personal trainer can help, by providing someone to listen to your struggles, provide you with answers, encourage and motivate you to work harder, reach farther than you thought you could. “If you come to the gym feeling out of sorts, it (working with a trainer) can help you leave feeling way better.”
WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
Helping others get through tough times BY RIHAM FESHIR
The American Cancer Society is committed to saving lives, and if there is anything Lori Bachmann can do to help that cause, she’s on it. Bachmann is a community relations coordinator for the American Cancer Society, who helps promote awareness and coordinate volunteers in Becker, Norman, Clay, Wilkins, Traverse and Wadena counties. Through research, education, advocacy and patient services, ACS is able to provide the necessary support to cancer patients all over the nation. But on a local level, Bachmann has more than 150 volunteers under her guidance, and is responsible for recruiting more and more volunteers every day to help with the ultimate mission. “We’re fighting cancer.”
ago, he wouldn’t have had a very good chance of surviving,” Bachmann said. But it’s not just by advancing research and new developments that volunteers and community coordinators help out ACS. Bachmann’s role in recruiting volunteers adds people who are passionate about the cause to the organization, and they also are there for support. She recalls a time when a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer called the ACS hotline after hearing the terrifying news. She just wanted somebody to talk to. The conversation ended up being a four and a half-hour talk about what to do when life springs something like that on a person. “What do you do in the middle of the night when you’re frightened and need answers,” Bachmann said. Sometimes when people get sick, scared and confused, they’re unsure of where to find information. And that’s where Bachmann comes in by recruiting and educating volunteers who then relay the ACS resources throughout their communities. She makes sure all participants have the training, materials and information they need to carry out their roles. Bachmann’s day-today work varies, which she said is part of the reason why her job is enjoyable. She’s constantly on the road traveling to all the communities she oversees volunteers. She’s their go-to person. The businesswoman also stays busy during the holidays and in the months leading up to them. As the holiday coordinator for the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce, she works on various promotions and events that attract visitors to the area in November and December. This year, she’s planning slay rides, a holiday parade, promotional advertising billboards, a girls’ getaway during the hunting season and sales specials at Detroit Lakes businesses, hotels and restaurants. “There is a lot going on here,” she said. “The businesses are anxious to get people here.” Both of Bachmann’s roles allow her to establish numerous relationships
Lori Bachmann’s role in recruiting volunteers adds people who are passionate about the cause to the organization, and they also are there for support. When she was offered the position about seven years ago, she couldn’t turn it down. “It was a good fit because the position is really about building relationships,” she said. Major fundraising events like Daffodil Days and Relay for Life that take place in various communities contribute to the “lofty goal to eliminate cancer,” Bachmann said. It’s the dedication and commitment by the various participants, especially those who’ve gone through the battle themselves, that gets researchers a few steps closer to finding the cure. When one of Bachmann’s closest friends was diagnosed with leukemia and his doctors recommended “Gleevec” as a treatment option, he thought he’d give it a shot. Gleevec is a drug that was funded by ACS and approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2001. “Had he been diagnosed 10 years
Lori Bachmann is the community relations coordinator for the American Cancer Society. She coordinates 150 volunteers in six counties. with various people all over the region. They keep her busy, but with her passion for keeping her community vital, as well as informed about cancer
research and findings, she’s not complaining. “I feel very blessed,” she said.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
Humor and teamwork get the job done BY NATHAN BOWE
With 280 full- and part-time employees to oversee, and a $20 million annual budget, it’s no small potatoes to be Becker County’s top administrator. Acting County Administrator Nancy Grabanski, 44, uses a little humor and a lot of teamwork to keep the county humming along on all eight cylinders. Since former Becker County Administrator Brian Berg resigned in July to take the top Clay County position, Grabanski has been serving both as interim county administrator and as county human resources director — a position she has held since 1999. She and her husband, Alex Bishop, live near Osage, where he farms edible beans and wheat. They have two children at home, Danielle, 7, and Jake, 8. Her stepson, Cole, 18, lives with his mother in the Fargo area. They moved to the Osage area in 1998, because the sandy-type soil there was good for farming carrots. She commutes to work down scenic Highway 34, and Danielle and Jake attend Detroit Lakes public schools. Grabanski grew up in Casselton, N.D., and graduated from high school before going on to obtain a licensed practical nursing degree in Wahpeton. “I worked in home health care for six years in Fargo,” she said, “and got my business degree in long-term care administration (from Moorhead State) at the same time.” She then worked for ManorCare — a leading provider of short- and longterm medical and rehabilitation care — in Wisconsin, Illinois and Fargo until 1998. She and Alex married in December of that year. Her leadership style focuses on a teamwork approach, but she isn’t afraid to make the difficult decisions when necessary. “I’m pretty much participant-style,” she said. “I really believe in a team approach. But at times you have to make a decision. There are times you don’t have time for a team approach. There are times you have to make those hard decision.” Leading through changing times is always the most difficult challenge, she said. ‘Anytime you get into a complex issue that has to do with implementing a while process and how it’s going to im-
pact the whole organization, it’s challenging,” she said. “They don’t always know and understand what you have researched.” Getting information out to people is key, and one of the best ways to do that is through the team approach, she said. Grabanski said the county commissioners and department heads have been supportive of her while a committee searches for a replacement for Berg. “They’ve been patient — they’re all focused on what is best for the county,” she said. For several years now the county has used a needs-based budget and has kept tax levy increases to a minimum. “Department heads are always looking to be effective and efficient ... they must be able to come in with increases of 1 percent or less,” Grabanski said. That could mean combining positions or leaving a position unfilled. “They’re always looking for opportunities to decrease expenses and find new sources of revenue,” she added. Grabanski said she hasn’t had to maneuver past too many roadblocks in the working world because of her gender. “I can’t say that I have ever really felt that being a woman in the business world has been challenging — I have worked with a lot of great people — male and female — and learned a lot from both.” Her philosophy is “you can learn a lot from anybody, it doesn’t matter what their position is in an organization, from new technology to perception about yourself and how others might perceive you.” She enjoyed working with Berg, who shares her attitude that a sense of humor makes work a lot more enjoyable. “He had that light approach, he liked coming to work — so do I. He was very open to people — he’d ask ‘what do you think about this?’ He did a lot of good things for the county — he brought the team approach to the county, and that was a style of mine already. It just reinforces that you can accomplish things through that style.” Her advice to youngsters in the workplace is to join professional organizations and tap into the wealth of expertise that they contain. She belongs to several human resources organizations, and “they are very valuable,” she said. “It’s impor-
nancy grabanski is serving as becker County’s Administrator until a new one is hired. She is also the county’s human resources director. tant to network — you get to know who those other people are that are out there. They can provide you support and feedback that can help you get through various situations — good, bad or indifferent.” It can also be a way to find out what
works best in other places. ‘You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” she said. “If someone is doing something well out there, you can model after that.”
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WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2010
Getting involved, making a difference BY VICKI GERDES
She may be a native of Detroit, Michigan, but it is in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, that Sue Braun has made her mark as a part of the community. Braun and her husband, Gerald Schumacher, have called Detroit Lakes home since 1989. For roughly 11 years of that time, she commuted back and forth from Fargo, where she had served as executive director of the Downtown Business Association since 1984. It was in Fargo that she first became involved as a volunteer with the United Way, and helped to establish the Downtown Street Fair, which is still going strong. But since taking the position of senior living counselor at St. Mary’s Regional Health Center (now Essentia Health-St. Mary’s) in Detroit Lakes al-
Daughters group at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. “I’m very involved with that (Catholic Daughters),” Braun said, noting that she is currently helping to plan the organization’s statewide convention, which will be held in Detroit Lakes next year. At Holy Rosary, Braun helps to coordinate the church’s annual parish festival in August, and Thanksgiving feast in October. But it is perhaps in her work with the United Way of Becker County that Braun has made the biggest impact of all. She is a past president of the United Way board of directors, where she served for eight years, and has helped chair its various fund-raising drives and other committees. “I totally believe in the United Way’s philosophy,” she said, “and the generosity of the people in Becker County with their talent, time and money is amazing.” The United Way Day of Caring community service program is “a particular favorite of mine,” she added. Braun believes that the United Way’s support of more than 30 different non-profit agencies is the reason for its continued success, because the money given through its various fund-raising efforts “can cover many, many more needs than if you give individually to each agency. That’s the reason I became involved.” A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Braun worked for CFS Continental, an institutional food distribution service, for 20 years before being named as the executive director of the Downtown Business Association in Fargo. In 2001, Braun left that position for a new career as a senior living counselor at St. Mary’s. “I answered a blind ad,” she said of her career change. At Essentia Health-St. Mary’s, Braun works with area seniors to find suitable housing alternatives; answers questions about senior services offered at EHSM; and coordinates the Healthy Alternatives wellness program, which includes foot care and provider discounts for dentists, pharmacists, eye doctors and chiropractors.
She may be a native of Detroit, Michigan, but it is in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, that Sue Braun has made her mark as a part of the community. most a decade ago, Braun has focused her energies a little closer to home. In 2001, she was one of the co-founders of the Street Faire at the Lakes, which has become a popular local tradition every year on the first weekend after Memorial Day. “It brings an excitement to the downtown, with its meet-and-greet atmosphere … especially with it being the first outdoor weekend event for the community,” she said. She also feels the high quality of the exhibits is another big draw for people throughout the lakes area and Fargo-Moorhead. Because it is a juried show, the street fair brings in only the best quality merchandise, with exhibitors coming from as far away as California, Texas, Missouri, New York and Florida as well as from all over Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Braun has also been a dedicated volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes as well as the Morning Rotary Club and the Catholic
sue braun not only serves as senior living counselor at St. Mary’s, she also is the co-founder of Street Faire at the Lakes and is heavily involved in United Way. The foot care program is a relatively inexpensive and important aspect of Healthy Alternatives, Braun noted. “Diabetics need to get their feet checked frequently, to prevent infection and disease,” she said, adding that foot care is also important for those who have had surgical procedures that restrict their movement. Braun also believes she can make a difference in the lives of seniors through her work with the Becker
County Senior Network and Becker County Council on Aging. “I’m also the secretary for the District Council of Aging Services of Minnesota,” she added. “You can make a difference, make their lives easier by providing information and things to help them in their daily journey,” Braun said of her work with seniors. “And they give back as much as you give to them — I learn something every day.”
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