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April 2017

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Reinforcing local retail By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President

Inside This Issue Page 2 - Ambassador Visits Page 3 - Shop Local Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs Page 5 - Individual Chamber Membership Page 6 - Deadra Stanton Returning to Area Page 7 - Lake Outings to Begin Page 7 - MCAF Grants Available Page 7 - Fluorescent Bulb Recycling

With express checkout online options, it’s so easy to buy almost anything from the comfort of your couch. In fact, many consumers mute the television while listening to tunes and both may have messages that contribute to online sales. Brick and mortar stores around the world are feeling the pinch. E-commerce was the star this past Christmas. The trend has come home for all of Minnesota with Minneapolis and Mankato losing multiple retailers, and sadly it has come to greatly affect us with the announcement that the Fa i rm o n t (Continued on page 3)

ABOVE: JCPenney Fairmont, a long-standing staple of our local retail economy, shocked area residents when plans to close the store were announced.

Chamber Golf Outing scheduled

323 East Blue Earth Avenue • Fairmont, MN 56031 • 507-235-5547 • •

The annual Chamber Golf Outing has always been one of the earliest golf outings of the season. Now in it's 20th year, this much anticipated event is on the move from a Monday outing to a FRIDAY event at the Rose Lake Golf Club. Gather up your foursome and plan to join us on Friday, May 19th for a 1:00 pm Shotgun start. Hole challenges and door prizes will keep (Continued on page 6) FairmontChamber

Mission Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce exists to promote a healthy business cli

Board of Directors Officers: Chair Kerry Nagel Allen MRCI-WorkSource Vice Chair Les Anderson Martin County Farm Bureau

Past Chair Ron Kopischke Profinium, Inc.

Treasurer Sara Pierce Pierce Accounting and Tax Services

Board of Directors: Deb Barnes Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center

Dave Cone Kahler Automation Corporation

Chris Carstensen Carstensen Cabinetry and Woodworking

Mandi Kosbab Edward Jones

Stephanie Busiahn Visit Fairmont

Zephanie Cole Align Chiropractic & Acupuncture, PLC

Brandon Edmundson Krahmer and Shaffer, Ltd

Ann Terfehr Dan’s Appliance


Margaret Dillard President Kandi Menne Office Manager/ Director of Communications

Curt Foster Director of Finance and Operations Benjamin Landsteiner Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Ambassadors are on the move HY-VEE, INC. - FAIRMONT Chamber Ambassadors welcome Luke Long as Store Director of Hy-Vee in Fairmont. Luke was also admitted as a new ambassador and will help the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce in congratulating, welcoming, and celebrating the successes and achievements of businesses in the Fairmont area. INGLESIDE ASSISTED LIVING OF FAIRMONT Ambassadors received a guided tour of the recently completed memory care addition at Ingleside Assisted Living in Fairmont. The addition includes 21 new units for advanced memory care and boasts the latest innovations in technology, providing residents with a safe and comfortable living environment. AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE Jillian Vortherms and Associates held a ribbon cutting commemorating their office expansion and remodeling. Jillian's office has grown to include a new staff member and has been remodeled to provide a friendly and welcoming experience for new and existing clients alike.


imate through leadership, communication and education for its members in the greater Fairmont area.

Reinforcing local retail (Continued from page 1) JCPenney Store will close in June. Employees and consumers alike are stunned. Community government, organizations and agencies here are good at responding to needs such as these. The workforce center has programs to help dislocated workers and help employees find other work. The City of Fairmont EDA is already collecting valuable information that will aid in the search for businesses interested in leasing the space. Fairmont Area Chamber Board of Directors turned their sights to helping with the petition at Change. org (Once on the site, search Fairmont to find the petition). Shop Martin County! For a while now, Ignite, the economic development arm of Martin County has sponsored a shop local campaign on KSUM. Both local newspapers support several efforts throughout the year and our monthly publication contains educational blurbs about how dollars spent locally support local infrastructure.

In the coming months, we’ll beef up our efforts to support local businesses. One change you’ll notice as soon as we get the wrinkles ironed out concerns Chamber Bucks. For decades, business people and residents have purchased these certificates which are honored in almost every store throughout Martin County. Once turned in to stores, they were delivered to our office to be exchanged for a check of face value. Soon, retailers will be able to redeem them by including them in their bank deposits. Chamber Bucks are good for business because they are valid only at Martin County businesses. The new design will sport a shop local logo. We will participate in two national programs. SBA sponsors a push in April and American Express rolls out an invitation to shop at home in November. Last year, Chamber staff helped downtown merchants organize and promote a game where shoppers could win prizes. Some stores advertised specials and hosted refreshments to encourage sales.

You can voice your concerns to JCPenney regarding their decision to close the Fairmont store by calling their customer service line toll-free at:


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Fisher Group JEFF GREISCHAR CCIM Sales & Leasing Agent

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Volunteers are needed to pull together a Retail Task Force to brainstorm and address the state of local retail. Volunteers are needed, but more success will be had if a champion for Scan the QR code to sign retail in Martin the online petition to save JCPenney Fairmont County will join forces with the staff and board of the Fairmont Area Chamber. If this call to action is tugging at you, contact me at the Chamber office to discuss. We will stand with you to create a more dynamic local retail environment!

DID YOU KNOW? Local retailers are engines of economic activity, spending their revenue at a wide variety of other businesses in the community, but online retailers like Amazon effectively extract money, leaving little behind.

Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber member business briefs

Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab (507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC April is National Stress Awareness Month. And if you’re in the Sandwich Generation, caring for aging parents while still supporting your own children, you may have your share of stress. What can you do about it? To begin with, learn as much as you can about your parents’ financial situation. Are they maximizing their Social Security payments? Are they following a smart withdrawal strategy for their 401(k), IRA and other retirement accounts? To help them in these areas, you may want to suggest they work with a financial professional. Also, find out about their estate plans and health care arrangements. You don’t want to face unpleasant – and costly – surprises. Just as importantly, though, don’t forget about yourself. Contribute as much as you afford to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan. You won’t get a “do-over” when it comes to saving for retirement. By understanding your parents’ needs, and taking care of your own, you should be able to reduce some of the stress of being a “Sandwicher.”


US Bank (507) 238-8300 Judy Gustafson, vice president and personal banking officer for U.S. Bank in Fairmont, Minnesota, has been named a U.S. Bank Annual Star of Excellence award honoree, the company’s highest employee achievement honor for bankers. “Judy has done an excellent job in making sure our customers’ expectations are not only met, but exceeded,” said Denise Mosloski, U.S. Bank Branch Manager for the Fairmont branch. Gustafson was among the top performing U.S. Bank employees nationwide to receive the award. Gustafson has been with U.S. Bank for 40 years. This is her 12th consecutive year of qualifying for the award.

Century 21 - Gillian Tunnell (507) 399-9211 What’s in your garage? Can you park in there easily? Or, like many, do you have to park outside because Interlaken Heritage Days there’s no room for your car? If you are thinking of putting your home on the (507) 848-4664 market, a clean and organized garage can be a great selling point. A garage The Interlaken Heritage Days committee has several upstuffed with assorted household items can look cluttered and small, and also coming events in support of the annual summer celebragives a negative impression to prospective buyers in two ways: Is the actual tion. We will be hosting our Spring Vendor Show on April house so small that the garage has to be used as storage? And if the garage is 22nd from 10am-3pm at Five Lakes Centre with the crownthis disorganized, what must the actual house be like! A bit of spring cleaning of Little Miss & Mr. of Fairmont at 11am. April also kicks off Holy Hot dish ing before putting your house up for sale could pay big dividends in terms of events, keep an eye out for the schedule! Duck Race tickets are on sale, avail- time on market and price! able from any committee member. Parade registration is open. Additional information is available on our website at, or via email at Edward Jones Investments - Drew Schellpeper, or by phone at 507-848-4664. (507) 238-4244 - Member SIPC Drew Schellpeper Qualifies for Edward Jones' Financial AdviSTEP, Inc. sor Leaders Conference. This conference recognizes financial (507) 238-4341 advisors who are among the leaders in the financial-services STEP Inc. is pleased to announce that Dominique Berg firm. The conference also will provide additional training to has accepted a position as the Employment Service help them serve more individual investors in their communiManager. Dominique currently commutes from Saint ties. Schellpeper was among the only 821 financial advisors James, MN. “I am excited to work in Fairmont and in the last week have met who qualified out of the firm's 14,000 financial advisors in the U.S. and Canada. many wonderful employers. I look forward in the future (to) meeting many The 2017 conference will be held in May at the firm's headquarters in St. Louis, more people and business.” Welcome Dominique! Mo. "Qualifying for this conference shows a tremendous amount of discipline, commitment and work ethic," says Alan Kindsvater, an Edward Jones partner Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab responsible for Advanced Branch Training, and host of the conference. Edward (507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual invesWe are pleased to announce that our Edward Jones office is tors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the now officially open at its new location: 116 North State Street firm's business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of - Fairmont. We're planning an open house to celebrate our branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities new office. Please join us April 19th from 3pm-6pm for the in which they live and work. The firm's 15,000-plus financial advisors work festivities. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will kick off our open directly with more than 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 5 house celebration. Refreshments will be served, and you are on Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, is headquarwelcome to bring a friend. We hope you'll join us! tered in St. Louis.

e r e c o g n i z e d a s t h e l e a d e r i n a s s i s t i n g a r e a b u s i n e s s e s t o p r o s p e r.

Chamber member business briefs Dulcimer Medical Center (507) 238-4968 April 2017 marks the 10 year anniversary of Dulcimer Medical Center. Beginning with 3 providers and 6 support staff in rented space we have grown to 10 providers and 25 support staff in a beautiful new clinic. During that time we have had the privilege to serve thousands of patients. We seek to provide health care that is thorough and competent keeping a respectful and compassionate attitude towards every one we see. Dulcimer provide a full spectrum of primary care including pediatrics, obstetrics, acute care for urgent needs, expert management for chronic illnesses, geriatrics, minor surgery and simple orthopedics. Interlaken Golf Club (507) 235-5145 The driving range of our course is now open for walking. We will not be allowing carts on the course at this time, but members will be notified when they are permitted.

Red Rock Center for the Arts (507) 235-9262 Experience a unique one-of-a-kind Murder Mystery dinner and silent auction fundraiser. Murder: Grease Gone Bad starring the area’s finest and funniest actors appearing two nights April 21 & April 22. Gather your friends for an evening of great food and laughter. Doors open at 5:30 for social hour (wine & beer available) dinner and play begins at 6:30. All proceeds benefit Red Rock Center’s upcoming season of opportunities. Get your tickets early – this has been a sold out event 5 years in the running. Tickets available for Friday night ONLY at Red Rock Center or

Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont (507) 238-8100 Thank you to the community of Fairmont; I have been welcomed by many over my first two months as the administrator at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont. Not only have I felt welcomed, but I am energized and impressed by the many initiatives taking place, the desire for collaboration and, ultimately, people’s engagement with one another to enhance the quality of life for all Fairmont residents, workers and visitors. At the medical center, we too have a focus on collaboration and engagement, and we are proud to be ongoing collaborators with community activities and initiatives. Sincerely, Amy Long, Administrator

Yes, you can join the Chamber!



Please return this form to the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce: 323 E. Blue Earth Ave | PO Box 826 | Fairmont, MN 56031 Call 507-235-5547 or email with any questions regarding this form or individual chamber membership.

“Business Briefs” is a complimentary service provided by the Chamber for chamber members. Please limit your information to one paragraph of about 100 words. Example: expansion, new employees, awards, monumental anniversary, etc… A photo or logo can be included. NO Direct Advertising.


The Fairmont Area Community Events Calendar has a Mobile App! AS Mobile Apple/Android


You can access information for all the great events going on in Martin County directly from your iOS or Android-based mobile device using the free mobile app "AS Mobile" published by rSchoolToday! Of course, you can still view upcoming community events on your desktop or laptop computer by visiting the community calendar website at If you have any questions or concerns about updating your events to the Fairmont Area Community Calendar, please email the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce at

Calendar Funding Partners: Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Fairmont, Fairmont Area Schools, and Blandin Community Broadband Grant. Other Partners: Fairmont Community Education and Recreation.

Core Values: We value for our members, employees and community: integrity in all we do, collaboration with all our stakeholders, growth and develop

Chamber Events

Wednesday, April 5th - 7:30 a.m. Leadership Martin County Thursday, April 6th - 5:00 p.m. PM Exchange

Tuesday, April 11th - 6:00 p.m. Agri-Business Meeting Wednesday, April 12th Area Career Exploration (ACE)

Wednesday, April 12th - 6:00 p.m. Bureau 14 Meeting

Wednesday, April 19th - 3:00 p.m. Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings

Golf Outing (Continued from page 1) you on top of your game. Get out of your shell and express some personality with the new taco bar dinner and local business networking opportunities to finish up the day. Hole sponsorships are currently available to all chamber members.

Friday, April 28th - 6:00 p.m. Deadra Stanton (Motivational Humorist)


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For more information on how you can register to golf, sponsor a hole, or donate a door prize, contact Kandi at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached by phone at (507) 235-5547 or by email at info@

Deadra Stanton to entertain

Tuesday, April 25th - 9:00 a.m. Social Media Breakfast

Wednesday, April 26th - 7:30 a.m. Chamber Board Meeting


ABOVE: Deadra Stanton, Midwest Speakers Bureau

The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that we have scheduled the return of Deadra Stanton to our area with an event beginning at 6:00 pm on Friday, April 28 at the Holiday Inn of Fairmont. Deadra is an accomplished speaker with the Midwest Speakers Bureau whose message has been described as fun, enter-

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taining and uplifting. She is sure to make you laugh until you cry with her message of humor and inspiration, which has been enjoyed by thousands of people across the United States. As she shares her stories of "life lessons", she will inspire you to enjoy life and laugh at life's situations. Deadra has been a teacher of English, Speech, and Theatre for over 31 years. With majors in Speech Communications, Theatre Arts, and Business Administration, she brings a diverse background to the podium. Bring a guest and enjoy hot and cold Hors D ‘Oeuvres and a night of great entertainment. Tickets are available for $20 and are open to the community. If you attended our Annual Banquet on February 23, you will receive an exclusive discounted rate. Call the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce with your questions at 507-235-5547. Visit our website or find us on facebook for the online registration link.

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pment for our members, recognition of accomplishments, effective communication, and doing all things efficiently and in a fiscally responsible manner.


Outings to begin soon Apply for grants! The Martin County Area Foundation is accepting grant applications. Non-profits interested in starting a project to enhance the quality of life in Martin County are encouraged to apply for a grant. Application forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce and online at www.MCAreaFoun- Eligibility and other grant information can be found by contacting a board member, or by visiting the website. Please return completed applications by May 31st to MCAF, P.O. Box 704, Fairmont, MN 56031, or drop off at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, 323 East Blue Earth Avenue.



Chamber member "Let's Go Fishing" is getting ready to launch their 2017 season of outings. Contact them by phone at (507) 848-5069 to schedule a fishing or boating excursion! For more information, visit


Fluorescent bulb and ballast recycling Fluorescent lamps contain mercury and are considered a hazardous waste product. It is against the law to dispose of


fluorescent bulbs and ballasts with your regular garbage. Fluorescent bulb recycling will be held in the former Kmart parking lot on Thursday, May 4th, from 9 am-1 pm. This recycling event serves the residents and businesses of Martin and Faribault Counties. When transporting the lamps, be careful not to break them. There will be a charge

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at the time of disposal. Fairmont Public Utilities Customers are eligible for total reimbursement for bulb recycling costs. When dropping bulbs off for recycling, ask for a rebate coupon, keep your receipt, and turn both in to Fairmont Public Utilities for reimbursement of recycling costs. Contact the Chamber with any questions at (507) 235-5547.

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March programs at CER Did you receive your new CER Spring/Summer Catalog of learning opportunities and youthadult activities? Please contact CER (507-235-3141) Fairmont for a copy and plan your spring/summer activities. Community Education “Putting STEAM into STEM” Expo is an excitand Recreation ing new event for families with elementary age chilLife dren to see the value of learning Science, TechnolLong ogy, Engineering, Arts and Math as it relates to the Learning future. This free Expo open to the public on Friday, April 7, 4:30-6:30 pm, at the Fairmont Elementary April-September 2017 School. SAVE FREE Do you have a child interested in playing T507-235-3141 ball, Girls Softball, or Flag Football? Plan to attend the CER Youth Instructional Sports Information Nite Catalog Cover Art by for T-ball (7:00 pm,) Girls Softball (6:30 pm,) and Hannah Ammann Flag Football (7:30 pm) on Tuesday, April 25, at the Fairmont Elementary School Cafeteria. The Youth Activities Expo on April 20, 5-7 pm, at Fairmont Elementary School, sponsored by Fairmont CER and Healthy Youth Coalition, is also an excellent opportunity to learn more about activities and sports available to youth in our area. Summer Adult Co-Ed Leagues are forming. Co-Ed Softball and Sand Volleyball League organizational meetings will be held on Monday, April 10 (Volleyball 7 pm, Softball 7:30 pm) at the Fairmont Elementary School Cafeteria.



Volunteers are needed as youth sports coaches, literacy tutors and more-call 235-3141 to find out how you can help!

A SAMPLING OF UPCOMING ACTIVITIES Red Rock – TP Roll Wall Art Zumba Flair Dog Obedience Putting STEAM into STEM Expo Cake Decorating – Bunny Cake Youth Activities Expo (register for youth sports) Over 55 Defensive Driver Refresher CER Youth Sports Information Nite …and much more!

April 1 April 3,5 April 4 April 7 April 13 April 20 April 20 April 25

For an up-to date list of activities, see the CER Web Store at Register online with MC/Visa. For more information, contact CER in the Fairmont Elementary School Door 15A, 714 Victoria Street, Fairmont Call 507-235-3141 or Email

Digital photography & Social Media - April 25th The next Social Media Breakfast will be held on April 25 from 9 to 10 am at Southern Minnesota Educational Campus, 115 S. Park St., in Fairmont.

During this month's seminar, a presentation will be given by instructor Jen Kahler covering tips on using digital photography to create dynamic social media content. Visit our website at www.fairmontchamber. org to register for this event or to find out how you can sponsor a future Social Media Breakfast event.

Thank you to instructor Liz Wheeler for presenting a case study on the social media strategies of Bowlmor Lanes & Lounge at our March session! Fairmont Area Social Media Breakfast is made possible in part by a technology grant from the Blandin Foundation. VISION CARE CONTACT LENS


410 Downtown Plaza | Fairmont, MN 56031 800.795.1215 |

1307 ALBION AVE., SUITE 102 FAIRMONT, MN PH: (507) 238-4228

James Busche, O.D. 111 E. 6TH ST. BLUE EARTH, MN PH: (507) 526-2020

April 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  
April 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter