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ALEXANDRIA LAKES AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE A look back at 2019 – A look ahead to 2020!


The Top 5 Under 40 Young Professionals in the Alexandria Lakes Area

”Put the problem solving people to work for you!”




M ILTONA 218-943-5551



P ARKERS P RAIRIE 218-338-4755



A LEXANDRIA 320-762-9400


2 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020





Robyn Snyder, President.......................................................................................................4 Tara Bitzan, Executive Director.........................................................................................5 Greg Bowen, Past President...............................................................................................6


Relocation Packets....................................................................................................................6 Chamber Pillars of Operation............................................................................................7 Ambassador Committee........................................................................................................8 Business and Industrial Appreciation Day.............................................................9 Brett Paradis honored as 2019 Friend of the Chamber..............................10 Alexandria Area Young Professionals......................................................................12 Membership Team...................................................................................................................13 The Visitor Center.....................................................................................................................14 Grow Minnesota........................................................................................................................15 Personnel Committee...........................................................................................................15 Leadership Alexandria.........................................................................................................16 Finance Committee/Chamber Bucks.......................................................................17 Duffer’s Delight...........................................................................................................................18 Government Affairs Team...................................................................................................19 Wake Up Alexandria, Off the Clock and Pot of Gold....................................20 Pride of the Lakes...................................................................................................................22 Lakes Area Marketing, Inc...............................................................................................24


Melissa Amundson................................................................................................................25 Josh Lustila.................................................................................................................................. 26 Jillian Reiner................................................................................................................................27 Katelyn Steffel Spangrud................................................................................................. 28 Stu Wood....................................................................................................................................... 29

Who we are:

The Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1907. For more than 110 years it has served as a network of business, organization and individual members working together to improve the economic wellbeing of the entire community.

What we do:

Our core purpose is to: Lead, connect and collaborate for a thriving community. We do this by providing our members with: Opportunities to network and build relationships. Assistance with marketing and gaining visibility. Educational and event opportunities. Connections with local residents, visitors and resources.

Our Mission:

“To promote the Alexandria Lakes Area as the ultimate destination to live, work, play and prosper through public promotion and member and information services.”

CHAMBER BOARD AND STAFF..........................30 Cover and select interior art elements by Winning Edge

A Publication of the Echo Press and the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce www.echopress.com | (320) 763-3133 Jody Hanson, Publisher | Lori Mork, Designer

Promoting the Alexandria Lakes Area as the ultimate destination to “live, work, play and prosper.” Join our network of ! bers 620+ mem

We are here to serve you! info o@alexandriamn.org | 206 Broadway St. Alexandria, MN| (320) 763-3161 | www.alexandriamn.org

2020 Committed to Excellence 3

Message from the President ...

Be Positive, Do Positive! T hank you for joining us in our Chamber mission to be the ultimate destination to live, work, play, and prosper. Our membership is at an all-time high and that speaks to the strength of our community! My theme for 2020 is Be Positive, Do Positive. To keep our community strong and vibrant, we all need to Be Positive and Do Positive. As we connect and collaborate, we need to do it with positivity. I encourage you to Robyn Snyder bring positive action into Chamber President your life, your businesses, and our community. There is so much negativity in our world day today. Social media puts it in front of us all the time. Did you know our brains are wired for negativity to have a greater impact on us than positive events?

I have worked hard to focus on positivity within my own life and the environment of my company. I have seen firsthand how being positive and doing positive can have an effect. As Chamber president, I want to encourage positivity and have my theme serve as a reminder for all of us to Be Positive, Do Positive. It starts in our personal lives, spreads to our business roles and impacts our community as a whole. I challenge you to start and end your day by thinking of something you are grateful for. I chal-

Positive thinking is more than a tagline. It changes the way we behave.

4 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Robyn Snyder

lenge you to smile more – smiling sends a message to our brains that we are happy and research shows smiling is contagious! Praise others, show appreciation and have a positive attitude. Let the positivity start with you. Work hard, smile, keep things light, bring up issues as they arise – don’t let it build up. Practice honesty, admit mistakes, be appreciative, speak well of your company and coworkers. Be respectful, inclusive, and supportive of others. Don’t gossip. Below is a positivity “cheat sheet.” Read it with your family, post it on your bulletin board at work, email it to anyone who needs a positivity boost! I am proud of the community where I live. We truly are an ultimate destination for people to live, work, play, and prosper. If we can focus on positivity, we can impact our community. What you send out, you get back! Positive thinking is more than a tagline. It changes the way we behave. When we are positive it not only makes us better, but it makes those around us better!

Message from the Executive Director ...

A ‘supportive and cohesive’ community



t’s an exciting time to be living/working in the Alexandria Lakes Area. Our community is vibrant, growing, thriving. Another Minnesota Chamber director recently said: “Your community seems so supportive and cohesive.” What a great compliment! There is a cohesive, collaborative, supportive atmosphere in our community. Businesses and organizations of all sizes work together to make Alexandria the “ultimate destination to live, work, play and prosper.” The Chamber’s theme in 2019 under the leadership of board president Greg Bowen, owner of Brophy Lake Resort and Bowen Contracting, supports this concept. The theme was “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” I previously noted that Greg has a passion for this community that rivals someone who has lived here their entire life, and his main focus is always on “what’s best for everyone.” That was extremely evident throughout the year.

Greg wants the entire community to thrive, and his theme was a perfect fit for the Chamber’s strategic plan that puts collaborations and relationships and at its core. Below are a few highlights from 2019, but the most exciting highlights are difficult to quantitate – they are the examples of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” we witnessed; businesses helping nonprofits, Tara Bitzan businesses supporting Executive Director new businesses, locals stepping up to the Pride of the Lakes challenge and pledging to spend locally, various entities joining for initiatives to tackle issues on childcare, housing, workforce, resiliency, and more – all things that build a stronger community.

•Alexandria named Best MN Town by Minnesota Monthly magazine!

local. Have you? PrideoftheLakes. com!

•59 new Chamber members.

•485 people gathered to celebrate Business and Industrial Appreciation Day honoree Geneva Capital.

•$38,000+ kept local through Chamber Bucks program. •Alexandria Area High School students created a Do Business Local campaign called Pride of the Lakes to educate residents on the importance of supporting local. •84 businesses and 206 individuals have pledged to do more business

It was a great year to be part of the Alexandria Lakes Area. But there’s more to come! 2020 Chamber President Robyn Snyder’s theme builds on the helping hand concept and turns our attention to attitudes. Robyn has great plans for her theme “Be Positive, Do Positive.” I can’t wait to report on all the great things that came from this in next year’s tab. Until then, thank you for your support of the Chamber and our community!

There is a cohesive, collaborative, supportive atmosphere in our community. Tara Bitzan

•738 individuals learned something new by attending one or more Chamber luncheon. •$5,286 was donated to local nonprofits through Chamber events.

•For the 27th year, Leadership Alexandria filled to capacity with an incredible group of community leaders.

•45,000 Visitor Guides were distributed to 45 states and Canada.

•Chamber Membership and Ambassador Teams visited 90 businesses.

•The Alexandria Area Young Professionals grew to 96 members (up 16 from 2018)!

•3,301 convention bags were distributed.

Where the Pros Go! 1802 Fillmore St. | Alexandria, MN 320-763-5143 2020 Committed to Excellence 5

Message from the Past President ...

2019 was a year of Neighbors helping Neighbors


he Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce continued its dedicated run of supporting and helping our wonderful community shine in 2019. “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” was the selected theme for the year, and the local Greg Bowen businesses 2019 President responded by collaborating and helping one another thrive. Minnesota Monthly named Alexandria the “2019 Best MN Town,” one that “best embodies the spirit of the state.” The Chamber of Commerce has fulfilled a supporting role for an amazing 113 years, and deserves

some credit for all the advantages and opportunities that Alexandria sees today. I am proud to live in such a community, and it was an honor to serve as Board President for the past year. The President for 2020 is Robyn Snyder, owner of Winning Edge. She is a dedicated community member and will be a fantastic leader for the Chamber. Robyn’s theme for 2020 is “Be Positive, Do Positive”, a theme that embodies the character and passion of the residents and businesses in Alexandria. Under Robyn’s leadership, the Board of Directors and staff of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to uphold its pattern of excellence. Our community is in good hands! Again, thank you for helping make 2019 a great year, and I wish you all continued success in 2020.


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Relocation Packets


he Chamber offers Relocation Packets to anyone moving or considering a move to the area. The packets include valuable information about local education, health care, law enforcement, transportation, dining, shopping, entertainment, activities, services and a variety of other opportunities in the area. The packet also includes the community economic development profile and a copy of the Alexandria Visitor and Livability Guide.

These packets are sent out upon request and also made available free of charge for all Chamber members to use when recruiting or hiring people from outside of the area. In 2019, 237 relocation packets were distributed through the Chamber office, through local employers and through the mail. To obtain copies of this packet to have in your business to distribute to new residents, please call the Chamber at 320-763-3161.

DID YOU KNOW ... All Alexandria Chamber members have access to free notary services.

Call (320) 763-3161 for details! UPSCALE 1, 2 & 3 BEDROOM APARTMENT HOMES

THE LEGACY & BRIDGEWATER ESTATES HAVE SEVERAL GREAT AMENITIES. Theatre • Community Rooms Elevator • On-site Management Fitness Center • Business Center Tuck Under & Detached Garage Beautiful Nature Views


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701 34th Avenue East, Alexandria

6 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020


720 22nd Avenue East, Alexandria

Chamber Pillars of Operation In 2016, the Chamber Board established four key focus areas for the Chamber and created a threeyear strategic plan under the umbrella of those areas. With that plan coming to an end at the end of 2019, the board focused on setting new goals and visions. It was decided that the previously identified focus areas stand as the Chamber’s “pillars of operation,” because they are key in not only building and maintaining a strong Chamber, but also a strong community. Those pillars are listed here. The Chamber Board has established an action plan to accomplish tasks under the umbrella of each of these pillars for the next three years. You will hear more about these in the months to come!

» Effective Collaborations

Establish rapport, reduce duplication and join resources to best serve the community.

» Operational Excellence

Be committed to excellence in every task, service, program and relationship.

» Satisfied, Engaged Members

Members understand the value the Chamber brings to their business.

» Strategic Events/ Programs

Quality events and programming that benefit members and strengthen the community.

Great Food. Great People. Great Prices. WE DELIVER




2020 Committed to Excellence 7

Ambassador Committee


he Ambassadors serve as an active communication link to cultivate and promote positive relationships between the Chamber and the business community. The Ambassadors welcome new businesses to the community; recognize new owners, locations and remodels for existing businesses; and attend ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings. The group includes 20 community leaders from a variety of business sectors who have demonstrated outstanding interest and ability in

Ambassador of the Year: Scott Teaser, Massman, LLC

promoting the business interests of the Alexandria Lakes Area. The Ambassadors visit businesses the second Wednesday of each month from 3 to 5 p.m. For more information, call Lauren Johnson at (320) 763-3163.

2019 Ambassadors

Lynn Arnquist Alexandria Technical & Community College

In July, Chamber Ambassadors visited a new secondary location for Steinbring Motorcoach at 304 Irving Street in Alexandria.

41 visits in 2019!

Todd Emmons Innovative Builders, Inc.

Lynn Jenc Alexandria Public Schools

Kathy Patton Anderson Funeral Home

Scott Teaser Massman, LLC

Katie Cass Knute Nelson

Nicole Fernholz Alexandria Economic Development Commission

Yvonne Kinney Consulting Solutions, LLC

Kathy Pesta Pro Staff

Tasha West RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty

Crystal Christianson Studio C Salon

Charley Good Pemberton Law Firm

Mike Loge Henry’s Foods, Inc.

Del Mari Runck Neighborhood National Bank

Bob Wolfe Indigo Signworks

Diann Drew Echo Press Newspaper

Mark Grandgenett Viking Bank

Andy Mellgren Alexandria’s Downtown & Plaza Liquor

Jon Steinbring Steinbring Motorcoach, Inc.

Anthony Zimny Zimny Insurance Agency

Lakeland Mental Health Center 702 34th Ave. East Alexandria MN

Billmarks Lakes Area Insurance

320.763.9022 913 Broadway Alexandria


105 Central • PO Box 567 • Brandon

Billmarks Insurance Services


512 Main St S Suite #2 • Sauk Centre

8 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020




Geneva Capital was the recipient of the 2019 Business and Industrial Appreciation Day honor.

Business and Industrial Appreciation Day


ore than 480 people attended the annual Business and Industrial Appreciation Day (BIAD) luncheon in October to honor the 2019 honoree – Geneva Capital. The honor, bestowed annually since 1984, is co-sponsored by the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission and

Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce with the purpose of saying “thank you for being a vital part of our community.” Recipients are selected based on the following factors: •Growth in number of employees and impact of the business on the job market. •Increase in sales and/or unit

volume – an indication of continued growth. •Capital investment – an indication of commitment by the business to increase community capacity. •Community contributions – evidence of the investment of time, skills and resources to assist in community-oriented projects.

Geneva Capital is a rapidly growing national equipment finance company. Formed by Mark Watkins in Alexandria in 2000, the company’s mission is to be a leading provider of financing solutions to the graphic arts, fitness, sign, and municipal marketplaces.

Here for life. As the destination hospital and clinics within central Minnesota, we are committed to providing award-winning care. That is why we have invested more than $90 million over the past 10 years to ensure that our facilities and equipment are on the leading edge. It is why we built our $15 million surgical center and clinic, and added robotic-assisted surgery.

To meet the needs of our growing community, we’ve hired more than 40 new providers in recent years, expanded Express Care to 7 days a week, added a virtual clinic, fulltime dermatology, cardiovascular, and now Lakes E.N.T. and Hearing Clinic. And we will continue to expand our access, providers and quality to serve more people in more ways.

Here for Life

2020 Committed to Excellence 9

Brett Paradis, Paradis Broadcasting, honored as 2019 Friend of the Chamber

Previous Winners 2018: Shari Laven (Viking Bank)

2004: Carol Meyer (Garden Center)

he Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce honors Brett Paradis and Paradis Broadcasting with the 2019 “Friend of the Chamber” award. Paradis Broadcasting consists of three Alexandria radio stations: KXRA-AM, KXRA-FM, and KXRZ-FM, as well as VoiceofAlexandria.com. B r e t t started full-time in broadcasting at age 19 working for his father, Mel Paradis, who is a member of Brett Paradis Friend of the Chamber the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame. For the past 31 years, Brett and his wife Barb have lived in Alexandria operating the stations, which currently employ 20+ people.

2017: Carol Wenner (Local Level Marketing)

2003: Rose Virnig Shorma (American Business Solutions)


Brett has served on the boards of the Unity Foundation and ALP Utilities and was the 2009 Ernie Unruh Christian Service Award recipient. He has been a strong supporter of the Chamber through membership, allowing employees time to serve on the board and committees, and most notably, through the generous donation of radio airtime to promote Chamber and community happenings. Paradis recently announced the sale of Paradis Broadcasting to Leighton Enterprises. Paradis plans to stay on as general manager for the next several years. The Friend of the Chamber Award was established in 1990 to recognize an individual who has gone beyond expectations in giving of time, money or influence to benefit the Chamber and its members. The award was presented to Paradis at the Chamber’s Annual Celebration on January 27 at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria.

2016: Todd Emmons (Innovative Builders, Inc.) 2015: Kathy Pesta and Carla Spaeth (Pro Staff) 2013: Kevin Kopischke (Alexandria Technical and Community College)

2002: Kyle Diekman (Diekman Jewelry) 2001: Vicki Jodsaas (Alexandria Technical and Community College) 2000: Jody Hanson (Echo Press)

2012: Mark Proudfoot (MJ Communications)

1999: Blake Evert (Target Alexandria)

2011: Marie Rutten (Bremer Bank)

1998: Chamber Ambassadors Group

2010: Tom Jacobson (Swenson Lervick Trosvig Jacobson PA)

1997: Sue Davidson

2009: Tim Aarsvold (Geneva Beach Resort & Viking Motel)

1995: Janet Thorkelson

2008: Jill Blashack-Strahan & Joani Nielson (Tastefully Simple) 2007: Bruce Wiitanen (Juettner Motors) 2006: Lynette Kluver (Alexandria Extrusion)

1996: Al Quam 1994: Leroy Meyer 1993: Jim Karn, John Carlberg, Chuck Pugh & Ken Martinson 1992: Governor’s Fishing Opener Committee 1990: Jerry Jensen

2005: Susan Skoglund Boerhave (Viking Savings Bank)

CONGRATULATIONS to Brett Paradis for being named the Friend of the Chamber.

2308 South Broadway Phone (320) 763-6644 • Fax (320) 763-6637

Account Collections • Credit Reporting • Check Recovery & Verification Serving Alexandria & Surrounding Lakes Area since 1950

Mike Peck, Mgr.


Downtown Alexandria 406 Broadway • 763-5200 10 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020



CREDIT BUREAU of Alexandria

Randy Paul Izzy






Dave Shelly


Proud Member of Alan




Mary Lou





Eric Marcia

Echo PrEss TEam 320-763-3133 I Echopress.com





Since 1945




2020 Committed to Excellence 11

Alexandria Area Young Professionals


he Alexandria Area Young Professionals (AAYP) was established to “enrich the lives of the area young professionals in their 20s and 30s through networking, education and community involvement.� The group offers opportunities for young professionals to meet other people in their age demographic, get involved in the community, learn more about the local area and enjoy social and networking opportunities.

While it falls under the umbrella of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, a person does not have to be a member of a Chamber member business to join this organization. The group hosts luncheons the first Thursday of every month. Other social, networking and community service opportunities are also held throughout the year. Members of the Alexandria Area Young Professionals participated in a community service project cleaning up area road ditches in June 2019.

Current membership:


2019 Leadership Team Melissa Amundson, President KXRA-KX92-Z99 Radio & VoiceOfAlexandria.com

Dani Peterson, Events Coordinator Dental Health Associates

Missy Doebber-Brever, Vice President/Treasurer Alexandria Technical & Community College Foundation

John Thill, Marketing Coordinator Country Financial Insurance Agency

Danielle Andersen, Secretary Knute Nelson

Everyday Life

Deserves an Exceptional Team

bl a c k r i d g e b a n k . c o m 320.763.7700


3313 Hwy 29 South


Jess Ptacek, Chamber Liaison Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce


12 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Membership Team


he Membership Team provides a solid foundation for the growth of the Chamber by recruiting, welcoming, supporting and mentoring new members and supporting the local business community by attending ribbon cutting and groundbreaking ceremonies. The team serves as a resource to new members by providing support through conversations and introductions that will cultivate and promote positive ongoing relationships between Chamber members.

2019 Team

Sue Jung, Chamber Board Liaison Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Heidi Bruns BlackRidgeBANK Amy Christopherson State Farm Insurance

Team Member of the Year: Jeff Meland, Databae Systems The team is made up of community leaders from a variety of sectors of Chamber-member businesses, as well as all Chamber staff members. The Membership Team visits businesses the first Wednesday of each month. For more information, call Katie DeGier at (320) 763-3161.

Pictured are members of the 2019 Membership Team.

Todd Emmons Innovative Builders, Inc.

Jeff Meland Databae Systems

Cheryl Graham/Shelly Beaulieu Echo Press

Ashley Rambow Real Estate by Jo

Mickey Larson Larson Insurance of Alexandria

Donna Ryan Bell Bank

49 visits in 2019! Amanda Seim Runestone Museum Foundation

Bruce Strandskov Rose City Sign

Sara Stadtherr City of Alexandria

Irene Vagle Hubbard Radio KIKV-FM & COOL-FM

Greg Steele Viking Bank

Carol Wenner Local Level Marketing, LLC

The Tradesmen Advantage Complete. Professional. Experience.





The Tradesmen Construction possess over 20 years of experience as a full service general contractor. We provide professional and competitive pricing from complete design build services to working with your established construction team throughout completion of your project. By having our own project managers, site superintendents, excavating and site work crews, concrete crews, steel erectors and carpenters is what allows us to control the schedule, budget and quality of every project.

4015 Minnesota St, Alexandria, MN • 320-762-1143 2020 Committed to Excellence 13

The Visitor Center


he Alexandria Visitor Center is located at 206 Broadway in the Chamber of Commerce/ Runestone Museum building. The Visitor Center offers an abundance of information for people visiting the area as well as for local residents, including local, regional and state maps; trail maps, lodging and dining information, arts and

entertainment activities, business and personal services, housing and real estate information, medical and senior services, education services, economic development information and more. To find out more about getting your information into the Visitor Center, call (320) 763-3161.

2019 numbers

Contacts (phone, email, visitors): 10,692 Chamber member referrals: 4,266

The Visitor Center is located in the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Runestone Museum building at 206 Broadway St. All Chamber member businesses may display marketing materials in the Visitor Center.


410 - 18th Avenue East Room 712 Alexandria, MN 56308 Phone 320-762-3312

Thinking of going back to school but not sure if you have the necessary skills? Looking for a new job? Want that job promotion but need to beef up your resume and skills? We can help with one on one tutoring and classes through our partner Alexandria Area Adult



Basic Education. Your future is waiting. We are here to help you get there. Interested in volunteering? We are also looking for volunteers to expand our program.

u t l a a r tion s g n o C to those selected as the

Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s

Top p 5 Under 40! From your friends at Alexandria Technical & Community College www.alextech.edu • info@alextech.edu 320-762-0221 • 888-234-1222 A Member of Minnesota State An Equal Opportunity Employer/Educator This document is available in alternative formats by calling 888-234-1222 ext. 4673 or 320-762-4673.

14 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Grow Minnesota!


row Minnesota was founded by the Minnesota Chamber in 2003 and is the premier private-sector-led statewide business retention, assistance, and expansion program in Minnesota. The program operates in partnership with more than 70 local chambers and economic development organizations to provide valuable resources that can be accessed by any Minnesota business, as well as by individuals interested in starting or relocating a business in Minnesota. Resources include confidential one-to-one

2019 Committee Deb Moorman, Chair Alexandria Industries Wendy Steidl Tastefully Simple Rachel Jahner Glenwood State Bank

visits to identify business expansion plans, workforce recruitment and development needs, exporting opportunities, and relevant business financing services, including discovering grants/loans that could result in a major capital investment in Minnesota. The purpose of the Alexandria Chamber’s Grow Minnesota Team is to support the Minnesota State Chamber in its goal to retain and grow Minnesota’s businesses.

2019 Grow Minnesota Team Nicole Fernholz Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission

Laura Urban Alexandria Technical and Community College

Shari Laven Viking Bank Sue Lundeen Runestone Electric Association


Tara Bitzan Andrea Dwyer Lauren Johnson Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

Grow Minnesota visits were conducted in Douglas County in 2019

Personnel Committee


he purpose of the Chamber’s Personnel Committee is to provide guidance and support to the Executive Director and Executive Board of the Chamber by serving as a resource and providing parameters/guidelines in the areas of human resources, benefits and compensation, policies and procedures.

The committee assists with and/or offers guidance in the areas of hiring/terminating, employee handbook, human resource forms, evaluations and benefits, and serves as a liaison to Chamber staff.

We are faster to any disaster


Restoration: • Fire, Smoke, and Soot • Water Removal and Dehumidification • Mold Mitigation and Remediation • Catastrophic Storm response • Move-Outs and Contents Restoration • Electronics and Equipment • Document Drying • Contents Claim Inventory Service

•Commercial •Industrial •Residential

Electrical Contractor

620 Oak Street S, Alexandria • DESIGN/BUILD Since 1945


Independently Owned and Operated

Career Solutions for Companies and Job Seekers



Cleaning: • Air Ducts and HVAC • Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism • Carpet, Upholstry, Drapes and Blinds • Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors • Deodorization *Services vary by location


Helping You

ELECTRIFY Your Everyday


2020 Committed to Excellence 15

Leadership Alexandria


he Chamber offers two programs to build and support community leaders – Leadership Alexandria (LA) and Leadership Alexandria 2.0.

LA is currently in its 28th year of building a stronger community one leader at a time. The program is for individuals of any age serving in a leadership role or hoping to transition into a leadership role. Key takeaways

of the nine-month program include insight into local history, business, education and government; personal growth and wellness; connections with other business professionals and more.

For many years, Leadership Alexandria graduates have been asking, “What’s next?” So Leadership Alexandria 2.0 was created. This program is classroom style and focuses completely on leadership skills. The program, which strives to build a stronger community by building stronger leaders, is only open to graduates of Leadership Alexandria. Both programs are made possible by support from West Central Initiative. For more information, call Tara Bitzan at (320) 763-3161.

More than


leaders have graduated from Leadership Alexandria Pictured is the 2019-20 Leadership Alexandria class during the October Retreat. The program runs nine months, September through May.

with Locations in

Invested In Your Journey 16 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020



4277 Dakota St. Alexandria, MN 320.762.0236

110 Main St. P.O. Box 10, Ashby, MN 218.747.2235

Bank from Anywhere At www.vikingbankmn.com

2019-20 Leadership Alexandria Class Mallory Arnold Explore Alexandria Tourism

Lauren Johnson Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

Amy Christopherson Amy Christopherson State Farm Insurance

Maggie Johnson Horizon Public Health

Jamie DeBoer Geneva Capital, LLC

Brian Kakach Alexandria Police Department

Dave Gibbons Copper Trail Brewing Co

Mariah Lysfjord Studio C Salon

Natalie Goodwin Massage by Natalie

Mark Malingen Glenwood State Bank

Ted Haar Thrivent Financial

Brooke Mess Alomere Health

Lisa Heathman Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center

Lucas Mogenson Coldwell Banker Crown Realtors

Brooke Hellerman Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management

KaLee Mohrman Knute Nelson

Derek Holt Bremer Bank

Elizabeth Paul Aflac Kirsten Plath Widseth Smith Nolting and Associates, Inc. Jillian Reiner Hagstrom Engineering Joel Seela Alexandria Technical and Community College Katelyn Spangrud Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Cass PA Lance Spychalla ITW Heartland Matthew Stier Alexandria Industries

Jennifer Olson Rainbow Rider

Finance Committee


he purpose of the Chamber’s Finance Committee is to establish financial parameters and guidelines for the Chamber to ensure its financial sustainability. The committee reviews financial statements, develops and evaluates the annual budget, develops new financial policies as needed, and reviews existing financial and internal controls, policies and procedures.

2019 Committee Nicole Klimek, Chair Hilltop Lumber Del Mari Runck Neighborhood National Bank Dave Bjelland Alexandria Technical & Community College Shari Laven/Matt Gilbertson Viking Bank Dave Kent 3M

Chamber Bucks


he Chamber Bucks program is designed to keep dollars local. Anybody can purchase Chamber Bucks, however, they can only be spent at participating

Chamber member businesses. Currently, 236 local businesses accept Chamber Bucks! It is a great incentive or reward for employees, or a great gift for anyone!

In 2019

$38,477 in Chamber Bucks were given out.

Garfield • Alexandria, MN

2020 Committed to Excellence 17

Duffer’s Delight


he Duffer’s Delight, held annually the first Monday in June, is the Chamber’s largest fundraiser. The 2019 event was held on June 3, a beautiful sunny Monday, at the Alexandria Golf Club. The sold out tournament featured 37 teams/148 golfers and 40 sponsoring businesses and generated more than $20,000 for Chamber operating expenses. 2019 winners included: •Champion and Skins Winner: CliftonLarsonAllen – Craig Haukom, Ben Vangsness, Casey Vangsness, Nick Paulsen.

•2nd Place: Larson Insurance – Mickey Larson, Jamie Larson, Jeff Dunn, Ken Lauer. •3rd Place: Knute Nelson – Mark Anderson, Angie Urman, Katie Perry, Marnie Gugisberg. •Putting Contest winners: 1st – Glen Navratil, Brophy Bay Mart; 2nd – David Kent, 3M; 3rd – Josh Meyers, Bethany On the Lake. •Red Ball Game Winner: KXRA – Jana Horstman, Chris Uhde, Shawn Stiras, Kathleen Kaley.

The 2020 event is Monday, June 1. For information, visit www.alexandriamn.org/ duffersdelightgolftournament or call (320) 763-3161.

2019 Duffer’s Delight Committee Brad Anderson ITW Heartland

Kyle Lee Alexandria Golf Club

Kayla Wacholz KXRA-KX92-Z99 Radio

Kathy Pesta Pro Staff

Lindsey Fluegel Alexandria Golf Club

Donna Ryan Bell Bank

Craig Buysse Anderson Funeral Home

Carla Spaeth Pro Staff

Todd Emmons Innovative Builders, Inc.

The 2019 Duffers Delight Golf Tournament Champion team was CliftonLarsonAllen. Team members include (left to right) Craig Haukom, CliftonLarsonAllen; Ben Vangsness, CliftonLarsonAllen; Casey Vangsness, Dilley Insurance Brokers. Not pictured: Nick Paulsen, CliftonLarsonAllen.

2019 Sponsors Title sponsor: Innovative Builders, Inc. Associate sponsors: Massman Automation Designs, H Boyd Nelson, Inc., Budweiser, Winning Edge, Gate City Bank, Alexandria Golf Club. Hole-in-One Sponsors: Juettner Motors, Diamond Buick GMC, Alexandria Motors, Glenwood State Bank, Alomere Health.


Social Media Sponsor: CYBERsprout Strings Sponsor: Manpower Red Ball Sponsor: Alex Rubbish and Recycling 30+ tee and green sponsors!

To support healthy, active living for people over 50 by providing social, educational, nutritional and informational services.

senior@rea-alp.com • alexandriaseniorcenter.com 414 Hawthorne St., Alexandria, MN 56308

4298 State Highway 114 SW, Alexandria • 320-886-5319 “We Top Them All”

18 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020


Government Affairs Team

•Supporting a more competitive, pro-growth, simplified tax system and lower tax rates to cultivate innovation, attract investment and foster job growth and retention; •Ensuring access to quality, affordable health care in the commercial market by reducing taxes and mandates, expanding product and coverage options,

Shari Laven, Chair

Julie Critz

Laura Urban

increasing market competition and Viking Bank Alexandria Alexandria Technical Public Schools & Community College stability, encouraging outcomeCarl Vaagenes based payment and delivery Alomere Health Kris Dolan Angie Urman reform, and improving consumer Runestone Electric Knute Nelson Nicole Fernholz engagement and transparency of Association Alexandria Area Steve Vrchota cost and quality; Economic Development Dave Kent Pope Douglas Solid •Advancing statewide preCommission 3M Waste Management emption of local mandates, protecting employer efforts to Mike Doyle Tom Jacobson Owen Miller Heartland Orthopedic Swenson Lervick Douglas County develop distinctive approaches to Specialists Syverson Trosvig competitive employee benefits and Tara Bitzan Jacobson Cass, PA opposing attempts by policymakers Mark Anderson Alexandria Chamber to implement state mandates Knute Nelson Marty Schultz of Commerce without reasonable exceptions City of Alexandria for the variety and nuances of •Accelerating private sector solutions visiting with elected officials to workplaces; •Advocating for full dedication of to help employers attract and retain convey local priorities. If you are interested in serving on transportation-related General skilled workers. The committee is currently the Government Affairs Team, contact Fund resources to transportation discussing 2020 priorities, reviewing Tara Bitzan at (320) 763-3161. infrastructure and services; pending legislative initiatives, and DIV DE A N




he Government Affairs Team researches and formulates legislative positions on issues that impact our area. Upon Chamber Board approval, those positions are presented to government officials. The committee promotes legislation that benefits Chamber membership and the area as a whole. 2019 priorities included:

2019 Team

Proud to work with the Chamber in making Alexandria a great place to...

• ANTIQUES • COLLECTIBLES • REPURPOSED TREASURES • FURNITURE • DÉCOR 320.759.2300 619 Broadway St, Alexandria www.pastandpresenthomegallery.com

Live, Work, Play and Prosper.

316 Fillmore Street Alexandria, MN 56308 320-763-6501 www.alputilities.com




2209 Jefferson St, Easton Place II, Alexandria • www.IntegrityTitleInc.net • 320-763-3311 Jill R. (Esala) Wagner, Owner 2020 Committed to Excellence 19

Wake Up Alexandria, Off the Clock and Pot of Gold


ake Up Alexandria and Off the Clock are two popular Chamber events that offer monthly networking and business promotion opportunities.

The events are hosted at different member locations, offering an opportunity for hosts to showcase their facility, products, services and staff.

The events are open to everyone. A dollar gets you in the door – all dollars raised go to Nonprofit of the Day. Chamber members can give

45-second announcements to share promotions or information. Off the Clock ends with a $100 value drawing, while Wake Up Alexandria ends with the Pot of Gold drawing. The Pot of Gold is sponsored by Chamber members who donate items, coupons, discounted services and gift certificates to add to its value. Every Chamber member is included in the drawing. If the member drawn is present, the business wins the Pot. Those employees utilize the prizes, with the hope that a business connection is made and a new customer/client is “won”! If a representative is not present, the Pot continues to grow. Visit www.alexandriamn.org/ chamber-eventsprograms for a schedule of 2020 events, or for more information call Jess Ptacek at (320) 763-3161.

Ollie’s Service hosted Wake Up Alexandria on Friday, February 15, 2019.


was given to nonprofit members at Wake Up and Off the Clock events in 2019!

410 - 18th Avenue East Room 712 Alexandria, MN 56308 Phone 320 762-3312 Need a GED or Diploma? Want to improve your reading and writing skills? Want to improve your English language skills or prepare for US Citizenship? We can help by providing free, confidential, one-on-one tutoring for adults over 17 years old and not enrolled in high school. We can help with improving reading, writing, math, and English language skills. Interested in volunteering? We are also looking for volunteers to expand our program. 20 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Serving Douglas County for 48 years!

Med Sync Prescription Program • Vaccinations Online Prescription Refills • Specialty Pharmacy

503 Third Avenue E Alexandria, MN (320) 762-1531 Store Hours: M-F: 9am - 8pm Sat: 9am - 4pm•Sun: 10am - 2pm

In 2019

The Pot of Gold was won 3 times by Business Network International (BNI), Knute Nelson and Vital Fit Club. Total value of prizes given out:


Wake Up Alexandria 1st and 3rd Friday, 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Off the Clock 4th Thursday, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Business Network International (BNI) Runestone Chapter won the Pot of Gold at the March 1, 2019 Wake Up Alexandria event at Lake Community Church in Alexandria.


...for the feeling you can Trust For the personal touch.

Our full service title company is committed to:

• Fast, Quality Service • Unbiased Representation for any of your Title Needs • Staying Current with Title Technology & Information


Liquidation Center!

30,000 sq. ft. of Great Deals!

• Insurance Losses • Factory Direct Merchandise • Salesman Samples • Truck Upsets & Container Damage • Unclaimed Freight • Furniture Closeouts • Complete Mattress Center • Clothing, Groceries, Hardware & So Much More!

Everyday savings of

30-70% off

regular retail merchandise!

“Your full service title company serving Douglas & Pope Counties for over 40 years.”

Expertise you can believe in.

There’s always a good deal Co. Rd 82 E, Alexandria • 320-763-5555 • www.ronswarehouse.com

117 7th Avenue East, Alexandria, MN • 320-763-3426 • Fax: 320-762-2455

DCAbstract.com 001819984r1


2020 Committed to Excellence 21

DID YOU KNOW? •There are nearly 30,000 adults living in Douglas County. If every one of them would shift $20 a month from online spending to local spending, it would add $600,000 per month ($7+ million a year) to our local economy! •There are more than 4,600 businesses operating in Douglas County. If each one would pledge to shift $500 a year in non-local purchases to local purchases, it would equate to $2+ million to our local economy. •For every $1 spent locally, 68 cents is reinvested into the community. •This is not a “Shop Local” initiative, but rather a “Do Business Local” initiative. Every business is important to our community, and we want people to realize the importance of supporting service businesses as well, such as banks, insurance agents, auto repair shops, health and wellness businesses, cosmetologists and everything in between. •This is not an “Alexandria” initiative, but rather a “Douglas County” initiative. Alexandria is the county seat, but it simply wouldn’t be what it is without the residents and businesses throughout all of Douglas County. It’s important that the entire county thrives.

Pride of the Lakes Do business local


ith more than 4,600 businesses, high ranking health care and educational facilities and opportunities, quality infrastructure and abundant natural resources, Douglas County, MN is an amazing community! The community progressed to where it is today through the commitment and dedication of the people who live and work here. And that is the only way it will continue to thrive. In 2018, conversations were shared about the impacts of online business, which takes millions of dollars from rural communities each year – dollars needed to support local services, infrastructure and the economic vitality of these communities. After numerous conversations and hours researching what other communities were doing to deal with this issue, it was evident that successful communities have community pride at their core.

Peace of Mind

When people are proud of their community, they are willing to do more to support it. A community branding campaign was created to boost pride for our area, and to simply educate people on things they can do to make our community even greater. A brainstorming session was held with some of the top marketing minds from businesses and organizations throughout Douglas County, and from that stemmed the campaign name, “Pride of the Lakes.” Knowing young people play a major role in the future success of the community,

Proud to be a strong supporter of the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber!

PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS & YOUR FAMILY by having your affairs in order

• Wills - Trusts • Power of Attorney • Legacy Planning • Business Succession Planning

Del Mari Runck Paul Martinek COO/Market Manager/ VP Business Director Banker

Jean Feigum Mortgage Lender

Vic Dale Retail Manager

Dawn Thorstad Sr Universal Banker

The Bank That Feels Like Home

121 5th Ave. West (5th & Fillmore) Alexandria, MN 320-763-7838 www.doebbertlaw.com

Past Chair Probate and Trust Law Section, Minnesota State Bar Association

JoEllen Doebbert Attorney at Law

22 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

320.763.8366 neighborhood.bank 803 N Nokomis NE | Alexandria | Member FDIC

WHAT CAN YOU DO? ... •Take the pledge! We need EVERYONE to commit to supporting Douglas County – residents young and old, owners of businesses large or small, employees, students, nonprofits, service organizations, and everyone who lives, works, and plays here. •If your business has pledged, display your window cling, spread the message and educate your employees. a partnership was formed with students at Alexandria Area High School, who created a campaign that places community pride at its foundation, and builds upon it with education and awareness of the impact of keeping dollars local. The campaign includes a website, social media platforms, window clings, and print, radio and movie theater marketing. It launched in mid-May, with funding provided by the Alexandria Chamber and Downtown Merchants Association, as well as Alexandria Area Economic

•Follow the Pride of the Lakes website, social media, and sign up for the newsletters. •THINK about your purchases and service needs and when possible, do business local. Going out of town? Fill your gas tank before you go. Recently move here? Switch to a local hairstylist, bank, insurance agent, etc. Simple changes make a big impact!

Development Commission, Explore Alexandria Tourism, City of Alexandria and Douglas County. In-kind support was provided by CYBERsprout, Echo Press, KIKV, KXRA and US Bank, and additional funds come in through online pledges. Phase I of the campaign ran May through October and involved repeat educational messages targeted at all ages through a variety of marketing avenues. Phase II ran November and December and focused on doing business local during the

holidays. A giveaway was created that randomly “rewarded” 10 people for shopping locally at businesses throughout the county during the holiday season. Each of the 10 winners received $100 in Chamber Bucks to spend locally. Phase III is now in the works and will run through April, and will focus on reminding people to support local businesses during what is often the most challenging time of the year – the winter season after the holidays.


to the Top 5 Under 40! Business Planning Commercial Tax Incentives Demographic Information Financial Packaging Revolving Loan Fund Site Selection Assistance Workforce Development Business & Community Development Promoting prosperity and optimizing opportunity in the Alexandria Region

Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission livingalexarea.org | 320.763.4545

2020 Committed to Excellence 23

Lakes Area Marketing, Inc.


akes Area Marketing, Inc. (LAMI) is a division of the Chamber. It is governed by Chamber lodging members and serves to promote the Alexandria Lakes Area as a tourist destination. This is done through print, online and social media advertising, attendance at sport shows in surrounding states, participation in a variety of other shows statewide and in surrounding states, a tourism website, marketing partnerships with Explore Alexandria Tourism, and publication of an annual visitor’s guide. Funding is generated from advertising sales in the guide, a grant from Explore Minnesota Tourism and from the Chamber. Any Chamber lodging member is a member of LAMI and may be active on the committee, which meets six to eight times a year. The chair is Greg Bowen, owner of Brophy Lake Resort. For more information on LAMI or the Visitor and Livability Guide, contact Lauren Johnson at (320) 7633163.


VisitAlexandriaMN VisitAlexandriaMN

The 2020 Visitor and Livability Guide is now available! 44,000 copies are distributed each year at shorts shows, job fairs, visitor centers, through individual requests, and on local newsstands. The “flip book” includes information about visiting the Alexandria Lakes Area on one side, and relocating to the area on the other side.

Thank You to All of the Lakes Area for your business the past 33 years

Insuring the Past; Protecting the Future Abstracting Title Insurance Closings

Locally owned and operated providing quality services since 1987.

Back: Jody Schimek Center: Kate Aslagson and Layne Roeder Front: Lacey Fultz


1804 Broadway, Suite 140 • Alexandria Mon.-Fri. 8am-4:30pm

24 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020


he Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and the Echo Press are pleased to bring you the Top 5 Under 40, recognizing five outstanding professionals younger than age 40 in the Alexandria Lakes Area. Nominees were judged on their professional achievements, community involvement and overall depth of qualities. They were honored at the Chamber’s Annual Celebration on January 27.

Account Executive/Voice of Alexandria Operations Manager

Melissa Amundson Age: 36

Summarize your career path.

I began my career in Minneapolis at Petry Media Corporation selling national television station airtime to local advertising agencies. I completed a two-month training program through corporate headquarters in New York City and was placed in our Philadelphia headquarters to work with political advertising agencies. When political season was over, I moved back to Minneapolis and continued to work for Petry. I married in 2010 and after having two children we decided to move back to my husband’s hometown of Alexandria. Thankfully, KXRA had an open position! I have been with KXRA for six years, and currently hold the record for biggest sales growth in one year. In addition to Account Executive, I became the Voice of Alexandria Operations Manager in January of 2019.

Community and volunteer efforts.

•Alexandria Area Young Professionals (AAYP) member and former Leadership Team president. As a group, we adopt a highway to clean up and hold annual coat and food drives benefitting United Way and Outreach Food Shelf. •2018 graduate of Leadership Alexandria. •2020 Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build planning committee member. •Member and Secretary of Friends of the Magnet (Miltona Elementary School PTA) committee that does fundraising for the school, aids during school events, and serves teachers/students as needed. •Member and volunteer at Grace Christian Church – I assist in the nursery, teach children’s church, assist with the children’s Christmas program, bring treats and help in the kitchen.

with KXRA, KX92, Z99 and Voice of Alexandria

•Our family adopts children during the holidays through United Way and I also lead this effort at KXRA.

Leadership philosophy.

I am a “yes” person! I love to get involved when I can and give back to the community that I live, work and play in! Every day I strive to make other people’s lives easier or happier. My hope is that inspires them to do the same for others.

Family and interests.

I have been married to Evan for 10 years. We have an 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. We live in the country near Miltona. Our favorite things to do mostly involve being outside! In the winter, we snowmobile and play lots of board games and cards. During the summer, we are often found on the lake swimming, tubing or fishing, or out for a hike in the woods. We also love to travel.

Melissa is a bright, focused, enthusiastic optimist who is committed to excellence in all that she does! Brett Paradis, Employer

CONGRATULATIONS Melissa Amundson on being named

Top 5 Under 40.

715 Victor St, Alexandria 320-759-2132 • VistaPrairie.org 2020 Committed to Excellence 25

Josh Lustila Age: 29 Summarize your career path.

Upon graduation from Bertha-Hewitt High School, I was drawn to the building trades. Plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) piqued my interest due to the variety of work and challenges. I attended the Plumbing Technology program at Minnesota State Technical and Community College – Wadena and joined the residential installation team at Ellingson Plumbing, Heating, A/C and Electrical in January 2018 as a Journeyman Plumber. I have enjoyed working with the public as I progressed through my Apprenticeship, Journeyman’s and now Master’s licenses in plumbing. I also acquired my HVAC Installer certification. I am now advancing into residential sales. (NOTE: Josh’s love for his profession and his job satisfaction led his brother and three cousins to also join the team at Ellingson’s.)

Master Plumber and Journeyman HVAC Installer

Ellingson Plumbing, Heating, A/C and Electrical

•Take part in local parades, often driving an Ellingson truck to show appreciation to the communities for their support. •Build cars and drive in Demolition Derbies to raise funds for charities

Leadership philosophy.

I believe good leadership begins with patience and dedication to helping others. I lead by example by showing respect for my co-workers and assist them in strengthening their skills. I also believe good leadership starts with loving what you do!

Family and interests.

I am newly married to my wife, Amanda. We have a black lab named Roxy. We like to spend our free time together hunting, fishing, woodworking, fourwheeling and working on projects.

Community and volunteer efforts.

•Member, Grant County Lion’s Club •Volunteer, Douglas County Relay for Life, raising money, assisting with luminaria, assisting with event clean-up •Volunteer, Make a Wish Foundation Splash Pad project for a young boy in a wheelchair •Build custom chairs, benches, dog dish stands and wall decorations to donate to silent auctions for benefit events •Active participant in church mission drives and school fundraisers

Josh takes the time to make sure every job he completes is perfect. The accomplishment of his high quality of skilled work in both plumbing and HVAC is next to none. He is also the most polite, compassionate, courteous person I have ever met. His positive attitude is contagious. Josh takes great pride in his customer service. Mike Weber, Supervisor

CONGRATULATIONS JOSH LUSTILA! Top 5 Under 40 Young Professional

"Josh's high quality of skilled work in plumbing and HVAC trades is second to none. He's the most polite, compassionate, courteous person – his positive attitude is contagious!"

2510 S Broadway St, Alexandria MN | 320-762-8645 | ellingsons.com 26 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Jillian Reiner Age: 37 Summarize your career path.

My decision to purse Landscape Architecture came out of my love of golf and the outdoors. Golf course architecture was not a growing field at the time, so my focus shifted to parks and recreation during graduate school. I love to design places people use and enjoy every day and that connect them to nature. After finishing my Master’s Degree, I married and took a job in Wenatchee, WA in 2011 to begin my career. I was able to work on designing shoreline parks and trail systems up and down the Columbia River Valley and in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. In addition, I operated as my firm’s GIS analyst, doing mapping and analysis of bike and pedestrian trail systems and potential corridors. Being at a small firm allowed me to get a variety of experience quickly and inspired me to be part of something that was doing great things for a small community. In 2017 we decided to move home to Minnesota to be closer to family. I was so fortunate to get this opportunity at Hagstrom Engineering and to continue to move forward with making a difference in the wonderful community and design spaces and corridors we can be proud of.

Community and volunteer efforts.

Member and board member of Kiwanis Club of Alexandria. Volunteer for Alexandria Literacy Project, Bike Rodeo, Awake the Grapes, Craft Fair Committee Fundraiser, Brainerd/Baxter Triathlon and Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County Build Day. Currently enrolled in Leadership Alexandria.

Professional Landscape Architect

Hagstrom Engineering

Actively organizing at Brophy Park to benefit the community in August of 2020.

Leadership philosophy.

I believe being a leader is a privilege and it is my responsibility to inspire others and to keep everyone focused on the goals of the organization. I value being approachable and taking a genuine interest in the people I work with. My actions speak louder than my words and I believe it is important to lead by example to help empower others to make good decisions for the future of our organization.

Family and interests.

I am originally from the Minneapolis area. I enjoy spending time with my husband and our three children and was drawn to my profession because of my love for the outdoors where I enjoy golf, fishing, skiing and triathlons.

“Jillian’s dedication to designing meaningful places as a Landscape Architect and her leadership roles in the community makes her a solid asset to Hagstrom Engineering and our region.” Matt Hagstrom, Employer

We would like to congratulate

Jillian Reiner A Top 5 Under 40 Professional

No Job too BIG or SMALL!

• Residential or Commercial • Local & Statewide Moving • Disposal Available • Licensed & Insured - #374895 Many • Locally Owned & Operated References • Skidloader Available Available! • Your items will be safe with us • 100% Customer Satisfaction • Call for Rates Today! • Need Help Rearranging the House?

PO Box 24 • Nelson, MN 56355

Serving the Alexandria Area for Over 15 Years


We are so proud of you and all CLIENT VISION your FOCUSED accomplishments in your profession and community. MORE THAN ENGINEERING


Hagstrom Engineering would like to say Congratulations to Jillian Reiner our Resident Landscape Architect for being one of this years top 5 under 40. Jillian brings her passion for creating meaningful places to our team and her clients. We are fortunate to have her assisting us in listening to our clients needs and helping us make their vision become a reality.

GLEN REINER Realtor/Owner 320-491-9069


DOROTHY REINER Broker/Owner 320-491-9055

www.exitminnesotalakesrealty.com red@rea-alp.com • 320-491-9069

2020 Committed to Excellence 27

Katelyn Steffel Spangrud Age: 27 Summarize your career path.

I graduated from Jefferson High School in Alexandria in 2011. I participated in the Douglas County Teen Court Program where I developed a love for the court room. I earned a BA in Criminal Justice and Philosophy with a minor in Communication Studies from the University of South Dakota. In 2018, I received my juris doctorate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, with a focus on Trial Advocacy and Health Care Compliance. I volunteered with the Minnesota Justice Foundation and was awarded the Law School Public Service Award for 150+ hours of service. I was selected as a Fellow for the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Law Literacy Project where I taught Constitutional Law at Harding High School in St. Paul. I worked in the legal departments of ACIST Medical Systems, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and the St. Paul City Attorney’s office. After graduation, I served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Cynthia L. McCollum and Thomas W. Pugh. I joined Swenson Lervick Law Firm in 2018. I primarily serve as an Assistant Alexandria City Attorney doing prosecution work.

Assistant Alexandria City Attorney

The Law Firm of Swenson Lervick Syverson Trosvig Jacobson Cass, P.A.

•Minnesota State Bar Association High School Mock Trial Judge •Mock Trial Volunteer, Human Services Career Class Speaker and Career Mentor for AAHS

Leadership philosophy.

To be a great leader… isn’t about managing others, but rather being a role model. Leadership is living each day genuinely, authentically, and unapologetically, sometimes showing the human side … the side of ourselves that makes mistakes, fears the future and cares deeply about others is our greatest superpower.

Family and interests.

I grew up in Alexandria. My parents, Todd and Kris Steffel, are my biggest cheerleaders and encouraged me to go after everything with determination, compassion and kindness. My husband, Erik Spangrud, works as a paraprofessional at Voyager Elementary. You can find us at the bowling alley, hanging out with friends, spending time with family at the cabin, or working at Cinema 9! I love interacting with people and it helps fund our movie obsession!

Community and volunteer efforts.

•Member, Alexandria Area Young Professionals •Member, Lakes Area Professional Women •Member, Domestic Violence Taskforce Subcommittee •Member, Douglas County Bar Association •Member, Leadership Alexandria Class of 2019-2020 •Speaker, West Central Minnesota SHRM and Alexandria Technical & Community College



EXCAVATING • • • • • • • •




• • • •


(320) 763-5410 • (320) 763-9343 • Alexandria, MN


28 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Katelyn is never afraid to share her ideas for how to get things done. With energy, positivity and enthusiasm, she dives in to get them done.

Tom Jacobson, Supervisor

Congratulations, Katelyn Steffel Spangrud! Guiding our community as: • Assistant City Attorney for the City of Alexandria • Leadership Alexandria Class of 2019-2020 • AAHS Career Mentor • Volunteer - AAHS Mock Trial and MSBA Mock Trial • Speaker - West Central Minnesota SHRM, ATC and AAHS Human Services Career Class • Member - Alexandria Area Young Professionals, Lakes Area Professional Women, Douglas County Bar Association, Domestic Violence Taskforce Subcommittee 710 Broadway Alexandria, MN 320-763-3141 www.alexandriamnlaw.com

Stu Wood

Broker Associate,

Age: 33

Summarize your career path.

A family friend was a successful real estate broker in this area for many years. He became a mentor to me and a love for real estate started as a teenager. I pursued an engineering degree but realized this was not the path I wanted. The real estate dream was still alive but I learned you needed a healthy cash reserve to start and be successful so I explored business opportunities. I purchased a locker plant and built it up over three years before selling it and diving fulltime into real estate. I started with Edina Realty seven years ago. My first year I was voted Rookie of the Year by the Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors; a few years later I was Realtor of the Year. I became a broker in 2016. 2019 was my fourth year as #1 producer in sales volume in the Greater Alexandria Area. I’ve received the Chairman’s Circle Award from Edina Realty the last four years, placing me in the top 5% of producers.

Edina Realty

Leadership philosophy.

I think you can be born a leader but I also believe most leaders are a product of the many people that have influence on them as they mature. Surround yourself with ‘good’ successful people and you will become a great and successful person. A good friend said, “Don’t ever waste a good crisis,” meaning don’t dwell on mistakes or a bad situation but get up, dust off, learn and become better! Leaders never stop learning and reading.

Family and interests.

My wonderful wife of six years, Maggie, is my #1 supporter. She was a teacher before I convinced her to come work for me. She also has a successful photography business. We have two kids: Dierks (2) and Reeve (10 months). Hunting is my favorite hobby. I also enjoy being on the lake, reading and exploring God’s amazing creation.

Community and volunteer efforts.

•2 terms on Greater Alexandria Association of Realtors (GAAAR) Board of Directors; PR Chair for several years. •In second term and currently Vice Chair of Mount Carmel Board of Trustees. •Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, local Food Drops and Alexandria School DECA. •Member of local Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation committee for 7 years, volunteer at Youth Outdoor Day and participate in many local outdoor groups.

Stu has excellent work habits and is very organized. He exemplifies the Real Estate profession and sets a high standard of ethics and customer service.

Gloria Iverson, Co-worker

CONGRATULATIONS STU WOOD Top 5 Professionals Under 40

Alexandria Office | 2919 Hwy 29 S #140 320-762-8181 | alexandria.edinarealty.com



CLIENT FOCUSED VISION Hagstrom Engineering would like to say Congratulations to Jillian Reiner our Resident Landscape Architect for being one of this years top 5 under 40. Jillian brings her passion for creating meaningful places to our team and her clients. We are fortunate to have her assisting us in listening to our clients needs and helping us make their vision become a reality.

2020 Committed to Excellence 29


Robin Snyder, President Winning Edge Graphics

Kreg Anderson

Alexandria Aviation

Tara Bitzan


ntroducing the 2020 Chamber Board of Directors! The board is comprised of business owners and employees representing all major business sectors in the community. They are elected to a three-year term, and may serve two consecutive terms. The Board meets the third Thursday of every month from 7:30 to 9 a.m. If you are interested in serving on the board of directors, contact Tara Bitzan at the Chamber, (320) 763-3161.

Greg Bowen, Past President LAMI Representative

Brophy Lake Resort Bowen Contracting

Craig Buysse

Lynn Jenc, President Elect Alexandria Public Schools

Molly Comer

Anderson Funeral Home

First Lutheran Church

Sue Jung

Patrick Kalina

Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton

Executive Director


Jess Ptacek

Program and Events Coordinator


LGC, Biosearch Technologies

Lauren Johnson Marketing and Communications Coordinator

marketing@alexandria mn.org

30 Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce 2020

Matt Gilbertson, Treasurer Viking Bank

Mike Doyle Heartland Orthopedic Specialists

David Kent

3M Abrasive Systems Division Plant

Katie DeGier

Visitor and Member Relations Specialist


Tyler Notch, Secretary

Grand Arbor by Knute Nelson

Tyler Golberg CYBERsprout

Matt Hagstrom Hagstrom Engineering

Jeff Lanoue

Past & Present Home Gallery

Chamber STAFF

Let us serve you! 320-763-3161 alexandriamn.org | info@alexandriamn.org

Be Positive - Do Positive Because We Care… As an independent supermarket owner we are proud to have a personal stake in the community we serve. We are very aware of our responsibilities to our community, our customers and our associates and pledge to be good stewards of your trust.

Because We Care...

We are committed to offering our customers the best value for their food dollar.

Because We Care...

We are dedicated to offering our customers friendly, hometown service.

Because We Care...

We will offer only the highest quality product at the best possible price.

Because We Care...

We stand behind our fresh food with a “Double Your Money Back” guarantee.

Because We Care...

We promise to be good neighbors and actively support our community’s growth and strengthen our community’s values.

Thank you for making us your hometown supermarket of choice. Sincerely, Elliot, Jr & Dennis Christensen

Open 6am - Midnight 7 days a week! 320-763-3446 • www.ELDENS.com Corner of 3rd & Nokomis, Alexandria

Only store in town that is LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED.

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Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce: A look back at 2019 – A look ahead to 2020  

Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce: A look back at 2019 – A look ahead to 2020  

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