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August 2015

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Ambassadors Scholarship Awarded

Inside This Issue

One Year Ago - Pg. 2 Pork Masters- Pg. 3 Blue Ribbon Pork Cook Off - Pg. 3 Chamber Announcements- Pg. 4 Announcements Cont.- Pg. 5 Fairmont Concert Association- Pg. Business Seminars - Pg. 6 Video Contest - Pg. 6 Employee Handbook - Pg. 6 Ambassador Visits - Pg. 8

The Ambassador Committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce awarded a $1,000 Scholarship to Cayce Lynn Craig. Cayce was also the Ambassador Scholarship Recipient for 2014. Cayce is the daughter of Ken and Jill Craig of Fairmont, MN. She is a graduate of Fairmont High School and currently is a student at Minnesota State University-Mankato majoring in Business Management and Finance. The scholarship is offered to a Martin County student in a business related field entering their junior or senior year in a fouryear college or their final year in a technical college. They also had to confirm achievement of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Congratulations Cayce and best of luck on your future endeavors!

2014-2015 Scholarship Recipient Cayce Lynn Craig

Top 20 Training Initiative

Since 2000, Top 20 Training has worked with over 500,000 parents, teachers, students, coaches, and businesses throughout the United States. Top 20’s mission is to empower both youth and adults to amke a positive difference in the quality of their lives, relationships and experiences. Top 20 Training Initiative will put on five sessions on Thursday, August 27th and Friday, August 28th. Top 20 Schools Faculty & Staff Members: “Being an Effective Teacher for 21st Century Students” When: Thursday, August 27th 8:00a.m.-11:30am Where: Fairmont High School Auditorium Top 20 Businesses: “Creating an Effective & Healthy Workplace” When: Thursday, August 27th, 1:00p.m.-5:00p.m. Where: Knights of Columbus Hall-920 East 10th Street Fee: $50 per person Register online at: Top 20 Families: “Guiding Our Children Through Life’s Challenges”

When: Thursday, August 27th 5:00p.m.-6:00p.m.-Light meal provided. 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m. - Presentation Where: Fairmont High School Auditorium Free child care 5 years and up provided during event. Top 20 Community Leaders: “Leading from the Inside Out” When: Friday, August 28th, 8:00a.m.-11:30a.m. Where: Knights of Columbus Hall-920 East 10th Street By InvitationOnly - RSVP at Top 20 Seniors & Retirees: “Now What: A Legacy for My Community” When: August 28th 1:00p.m.-4:00p.m. Where: Knights of Columbus Hall-920 East 10th Street Thank you to the Top 20 Sponsors: Martin County Youth Foundation, Fairmont Area Schools, Mayo Clinic Health System, Culligan, Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Ignite, Fairmont Economic and Development Authority.

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


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

MEET the

Almost One Year Ago Today By: Margaret Dillard

Board Of�icers: Chair Doug Hoffmann 3M Vice Chair Ron Kopischke Profinium, Inc.

Past Chair Jeff Schlomann Farm Bureau Financial Services


Treasurer Sara Cyphers D&S Trophies - Embroidery and Screen Printing

Stephanie Busiahn Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau

Joe Melsha Iberdrola Renewables

Chris Carstensen Carstensen Cabinetry and Woodworking Mae DeWar-Aust Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center

Dr. Kerri Henderson Optimal Health and Chiropractic Center Rich Johnson Culligan Water Conditioning

Kerry Nagel Allen MRCI-WorkSource Ryan Nicholson Fareway Stores, Inc. Bonnie Vetter Fleet and Farm Supply


President Margaret Dillard Of�ice Manager/ Director of Communications Krystal Hill


Director of Finance and Operations Curt Foster

Margaret Dillard President of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce

Almost one year ago, I signed an agreement that plucked me from the military-focused city of Sier ra Vista, Arizona and transported me here. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with Southern Minnesota, in particular, the community of Fairmont, my job at the chamber and my new home near the lakes! Anyone who has listened to me speak has heard about economic opportunities, indicators of success and local quality of life. It’s easy for me to see the very best of places that I live. I suppose I am an optimist at heart. Hear me out. I don’t have my head in the clouds. I’m not seeing my world through rosecolored glasses. I am also a realist. When trouble becomes apparent, my nature urges me to find a plan, a tool, a person or group of people and attempt to eliminate the problem.

Let me emphasize, I love Fairmont. I believe there are dynamic people here who within their professional roles and through volunteering work to keep Fairmont the wonderful place to live that is like no other, but trouble lurks. Sinc e 2009, meth seizures in the state have almost tripled and according to local safety officers, our town is falling under the stress of drugs as well. (Here’s the link to an article from that sum up the situation much better than I am able: ) Frankly, I have a real hard time seeing it and even when the evidence is presented, I really want to turn my head. There are two main reasons for the reaction: • At this point, I don’t have a plan. What do we as a community need to do? What do I need to do? • I don’t want to see the effects. It’s more desirable to go on with my life. But, meth is hurting our community and, in time the effects will be impossible to ignore. In a few years, if progress is not made to combat meth, my job, our community, our quality of life will buckle under the invasion of this epidemic. A few years ago, several organizations came together to write a grant that created Fairmont Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition or FSAP that reinvigorated the local non-profit organization, Service for Challenging Youth. It is a five-year program that focus-

es on preventing underage drinking and substance abuse and other drug use among Fairmont’s youth by empowering and supporting them. The FSAP program will conclude next summer. Now, there is an effort underway by Youth First to create another program that will prevent further deterioration from the effects of substance abuse in Martin County. What can we do? • Awareness of the effects of meth on our town is a good start. • Make a commitment to support those who have chosen jobs and careers that come face to face with the problem every day. Their jobs are difficult and they will tell you and be able to show you the problems that meth will cause if left to further invade. • Volunteer. Fairmont Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Youth First and Services for Challenging Youth can be contacted through the Chamber office by calling 235-5547. A strong corps of volunteers strengthens social fabric and has been shown to lower crime rates in rural communities. • Report known substance abuse. Fairmont Police Department offers rewards up to $2,000 that leads to arrests of persons selling meth. If you suspect someone you love is using drugs, the police department can help. For information visit: http://www. One Year Ago Continued Page 7

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

Pork Masters Thank You The Martin County Pork Producers and the Agri-Business and Ambassador Committees of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce joined together to host the 23rd Annual Minnesota State Pork Masters Golf Outing on July 27, 2015 at Interlaken Golf Club. The event recognizes the importance of the pork industry to Martin County and the state of Minnesota while raising funds for Ag-Scholarships and Ag-Awareness. Lunch and dinner was provided for the participants at Interlaken Golf Club. There were games and prizes on every hole. Most games, like “Putting For Pork” and “Makin’Bacon” rewarded skill while other games like “Ham Slice” rewarded those with lack of skills. Pork producers throughout the region came to participate in the day-long event. Over 300 golfers, sponsors, and volunteers enjoyed a beautiful day of golf, fun, food and networking. Lynch Livestock/Iowa Protein Transport won the morning session. Western Minnestoa Pork Producers won the afternoon session. The event was organized by the Martin County Pork Producers and the Agri-Business and Ambassadors Committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Com-

merce. Proceeds will go toward Ag-Awareness and Ag-Scholarships in Martin County. Thank you to the more than 40 sponsors who made the event possible and recognize the importance of the pork industry in Martin County and the state of Minnesota. Make sure to mark your calendars for the 24th Annual Minnesota State Pork Masters - July 25, 2015!

AM Winners: Lynch Livestock & Iowa Protein Transport

PM Winners: Western MN Pork Producers

18th Annual Blue Ribbon Pork Cook Off

The 18th Annaul Blue Ribbon Pork Cook Off will be held Wednesday August 19th from 5:00p.m. - 7:00p.m. in the Martin County Arena at the Martin County Fairgrounds. Come and enjoy the Martin County’s finest cuisine from Cup ‘N Saucer Restaurant in Sherburn, Green Mill Restaurant in Fairmont, Marina Lodge in Fairmont, Bailey’s Restaurant & Bar in Ormsby, JoJo’s BBQ in Fairmont, Pillar’s Pub & Eatery in Jackson, VFW Post #1222 in Fairmont.

Proceeds from the event help support our Agri-Business Scholarships. Thank you to our sponsors: The Agri-Business committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, AgStar Financial Services, Bank Midwest, Cargill Inc., Devnish Nutrition, Dutch Creek Farms, Fairmont Vet Clinic/Preferred Capital Management, Kahler Automation, Martin County Pork Producers, Martin County Corn and Soybean Growers, Profinium Financial, Valero Renewables, WFS, and Zoetis.


Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber Member Announcements


Email if you would like to have your announcement in the newsletter

Dan’s Applicance 507-238-2333 Dan’s Appliance Sleepsource and TV sent three people to Whirlpool training on July 14 and July 15. Todd Barrick, Eva Wagner and Ann Terfehr attended the 2015 Whirlpool Corporation On Tour. By attending these classes, we stay up to date on the new features offered by the Whirlpool family of appliances including washers, dryers, refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers.

Partners Funding, Inc. 507-235-3456 As follow up to articles in previous Business Briefs, a third example of the benefit of Invoice Factoring, with growth being the first and assimilating a large customer the second, involves seasonal business fluctuations. As many industries have this component within their business model, seasonal business fluctuations may make it difficult to manage cash flow. To cite an example: a consulting firm has a large seasonal customer providing 40% of revenue during a certain time of year. Under this seasonal model, a spike in payables resulting in increased cash flow needs occurs while waiting for receivables to be paid. By simply factoring those specific invoices the consulting firm is allowed to continue smooth day to day operations. Contact Brad with questions at 507-235-3456 or by email at Edward Jones - Mandi Kosbab 507-235-8524 Many people seek the “secrets” to investment success. Is it timing the market just right when making “buy” or “sell” decisions? Is it finding “hot” stocks? Actually, these types of moves have little relevance to most investors — even the successful ones. Instead of looking for secret winning formulas, follow tried-and-true investment moves. For example, rather than jumping in and out of the market in a vain attempt to “buy low and sell high,” simply stay invested. By doing so, you can ease the impact of short-term price volatility — and you’ll always be prepared to take advantage of the next market rally. Also, don’t waste time looking for “the ground floor” of the next big thing. The vast majority of new companies won’t achieve that level of success. You’re better off forgetting about the ground floor and instead building a strong foundation of quality investments suitable for your risk tolerance and time horizon.

Century 21 Northland Realty - Gillian Tunnell 507-399-9211 Do you know the difference between an inspection and an appraisal? When buying a home, you will probably encounter both! An inspection is a written report of the property’s condition, and can be requested by the buyer of a home, with the sale being contingent upon a satisfactory report. A licensed inspection professional (of buyer’s choice) examines the building from basement to rooftop, describes fully any problems or potential issues, and the report is given to the buyer. An inspection costs $400 or more. An appraisal is ordered by the lender in order to ascertain that the subject property is worth at least the loan amount. It is usually performed towards the end of the mortgage loan process, and is charged to the buyer in the closing costs statement. As a licensed Century 21 Realtor, I can guide you through all the steps involved with home buying/selling, so give me a call!

Red Rock Center For the Arts 507-235-9262 The Martin County Preservation Association (MCPA) which manages the Red Rock Center for the Arts and the Chubb House is holding the annual membership drive through the August. MCPA, a non-profit organization, depends on the generosity of its members and donors to support the many fine exhibits, performing arts events and educational opportunities at the historic Red Rock Center for the Arts, along with the stew dinner and tea parties at the historic Chubb House. Join MCPA and help support our commitment to arts and culture. Membership dues are single-$15, household-$35, friend - $100. More information can be found at or by calling the Red Rock Center at (507) 235-9262.

Mayo Clinic Health System - Fairmont 507-238-8100 Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont is excited to be participating in this year’s Martin County Fair Aug. 18-23. We’ll be handing out future doctor hats, appointment line magnets and Mayo Clinic Health System bags. Additionally, we’ll be showcasing interactive display boards from many of our departments. The distracted driving simulator will be available at the fair Tuesday, Aug. 18 and Thursday, Aug. 20 from noon to 8 p.m. The simulator includes a portable computer screen, gaming system, projector and goggles that mimic impaired vision. Other details are being finalized. Visit to learn more about Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont.

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.

Announcements Cont.

Fairmont Substance Abuse Prevention 507-848-4516 Steph Johnson, Ruth Cyphers, and Sara Edmundson represented the FSAP (Fairmont Substance Abuse Prevention) Coalition at the Positive Community Norms Conference in Big Sky, MT, July 7 -10th. The PCN framework seeks to improve the health and safety of our communities by recognizing the positive that already exists there and ensuring its continued growth. Based on years of extensive research, PCN proves to be the most effective substance abuse prevention strateg y. For more information on how you can join our Coalition, contact Steph Johnson at 507-848-4516 or

Walmart Vision Center 507-235-2523 Walmart is your Bakc to School headquarers. A visit to the Vision Center should be on that list of things to do before school starts. Did you know that 80% of a child’s learning occurs through the eyes? Have your kids had their eye examinations? Exams at Walmart are $64 and our kid’s glasses are very affordable. Polycarbonate lenses are only $29 per pair; add anti-reflective (noglare) coating for $20 more. A second pair of glasses, even for a different family member, is 20% off our already low price.

What we offer your business.

We know injuries sometimes happen at the workplace. Our philosophy at The Center For Specialty Care is to get the injured worker feeling better fast. We call it Fast Trac. We will work with employers to develop a partial return to work program while we get the worker to their maximum function in the work place. The Center For Specialty Care offers pre-employment services including: • Medical Physical • Drug Testing • Spirometry (Functional Lung Capacity) • Pure Tone Hearing • Pre-Employment Physical Therapy Evaluation • Functional Capacity Evaluations

Community Concert

Courtesy of: Fairmont Concert Association The Fall Membership Drive for the 2015-16 Fairmont Community Concert Association will start on August 13th. If you would like to become a member, please contact Joan Engquist at 235-6991, Pat Burns at 235-9276, or any Concert Association member. Concerts for this season: • The Piano Man - Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 7 p.m. • The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra - Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 2 p.m. • California Dreamin - Saturday, February 6, 2016 at 7 p.m. • Mack Bailey - Thursday, April 7, 2016 at 7 p.m. • Brassfire-Monday, April 18 2016 at 7 p.m.

As a member, you may attend five additional concerts in Blue Earth as we share reciprocity with them. There are many membership options available: Adult membership is $45; Student - $10; Family - $100; Patron - $110; Sponsor - $150; and Benefactor - $250 +. Fairmont’s concerts are held at the Fairmont High School Auditorium and Bl ue Earth’s at their High School (with the exception of one which will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Blue Earth). The concerts provide a wide variety of entertainment and are an exceptional value. We urge everyone to become a member and find out what you’ve been missing!




Fine Jewelry

Sovell Jewelry

Your Professional Jeweler For 60 Years Full Service-In House Repair

717 S. State St. • Fairmont, MN • (507) 238-4949 435 S. Grove St., Suite 3 • Blue Earth, MN • (507) 526-5191


Professional Window Cleaning Insured Residential & Commercial Cleaning

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the windows of your home sparkling clean! Jessica & Steve Sovell Gemologist • Goldsmith

Please allow us to give you a free estimate. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Call Now! Brian Nelson (507) 525-3588 or (507) 526-7281

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

Business Seminars

Today, business demands that owners, managers and employees learn a variety of skills to market effectively pursue current strategies to stay up to date. The Fairmont Area Chamber is launching a series of seminars that will feature marketing strategies, focusing on online, website, and social media skills, tips and tricks. Don’t miss out on the last two of the Business Seminar series! Best Practices for Facebook Marketing August 13th, 2015 You will learn: • how to attract more views, clicks, shares and fans • reputation management • integrating Facebook with traditional media Social Media and website management in 15 Minutes a Day September 17th, 2015 • tips to develop your marketing strategy • ideal website and social media platforms • learn to time posts on your site and social media All seminars will take place from noon to 1:00 p.m. at Southern Minnesota Educational Campus (SMEC) 115 South Park Street, Room 116, Fairmont. Feel free to bring your lunch, laptop and mobile devices. Free to Chamber members. $20 for prospective chamber members. The first two seminar participants who ask will get a one-on-one follow-up consultation at their place of business. Call Krystal 507-235-5547 to reserve your seat.

Video Contest-Win $$

Submit your 2-minute video to the Summer of Fun in Fairmont & Martin County Video Contest. • Dust off your video cam or grab your smart phone and start recording for a chance to win 1 of 5 prizes of up to $250 by August 31, 2015. Upload to YouTube and send in the URL (location of your video). • Be creative and include some or all of the following highlights its of our communities in Martin County: the lakes, parks, culture schools, shopping and restaurants, country living, etc. • 1st Prize: $250, 2nd Prize: $ 100, 3rd Prize: $50, 4th and 5th Prizes: $25. Prizes will be Chamber Bucks and accepted in locations county wide. • Anyone can enter. For more information and to submit your video, visit or contact Margaret at the Fairmont Chamber by emailing or call 507-235-5547. Sponsored by:

Six Reasons For An Employee Handbook

By: Wes Pruett, HR Advisors LLC Managing employees is becoming increasingly more challenging and laws regularly change. For example the National Labor Relations Board recently released new legal interpretations that outdates many handbooks. Employee handbooks are an important tool that supports business objectives and employee interests. A good handbook not only is a great communication tool with employees but it also protects the company’s interests in legal disputes. A handbook sets expectations, encourages employees to behave in certain ways, helps ensure employees are treated consistently, publicizes employee benefits and helps win unemployment claims and lawsuits. Here are 6 reasons to have an upto-date handbook. 1. Eliminate confusion and misunderstanding by providing a consistent message to all employees about expectations, rules, and procedures. 2. Protect the company by complying with state and federal laws and regulations. 3. Provide a uniform standard for employee behavior.


4. Answer questions about benefits and policies. 5. Supports the company in unemployment disputes, charges of discrimination and harassment, wrongful discharge, etc. 6. Gives guidance to managers and supervisors to consistently deal with employee issues including discipline. A well-written employee handbook provides much more good than harm and is a sign of a organized and well-run company. Also, laws and situations constantly change and handbooks should be reviewed every 2-3 years to keep them current. A well-written employee handbook provides much more good than harm and is a sign of a organized and well-run company. Also, laws and situations constantly change and handbooks should be reviewed every 2-3 years to keep them current. Wes Pruett is the owner of HR Advisors LLC a consulting firm that provides human resources, training, and coaching to small and medium sized businesses in the upper Midwest. Contact: or 507-399-1240.

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

Summer isn’t over yet! See what’s happening in Martin County with a visit to the Martin County and Fairmont Area Community Calendar site www. If you have events from your community/club/organization/church, etc, that you would like on the calendar, please contact the CER Office, 714 Victoria Street, Fairmont (507-235-3141) for more information. This site is brought to you by the City of Fairmont, Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau and Fairmont Public Schools-CER. A Sampling of Upcoming Activities: Aug. 3-5: Junior Sports Clinic Aug. 3-7: Camp Invention Aug. 3- 21: Summer Meals (Free to youth 18 & under) (High School) Aug. 5: Over 55 Defensive Driving Refresher

Aug. 6: Microsoft PowerPoint Aug. 8, 27: Microsoft Excel Aug. 10: Flag Football Parent Informa tion Nite Aug. 12: Flag Football Registration w/o late fee Aug. 31- Sept. 29: Flag Football Begins Aug. 11, 25: Beginning Sewing Aug. 11: Invasive Plant ID Aug. 18-23: Martin County Fair Aug. 22: Microsoft Publisher Aug. 24: Microsoft Word Basic Aug. 27, 28: Top 20 Trainings Aug. 29: Art Fun for Youth

One Year Ago Cont.


Continued from Page 2

Sept. 2-Oct. 21: Gymnastics (Age 3-6) …and much more!

See the CER Web Store located at www. Register online with your MasterCard/ Visa. Call 507-235-3141 or Email

A significant reason that I have so quickly fallen in love with this community is the strong positive (rather miraculous) results of collaboration among people and groups. I believe that if the people of Fairmont choose to band together to prevent and seek to eliminate drugs from our community that, once again the results can be amazing!

To view upcoming Community events please visit www.fairmontareacalendar. com . If you have questions or concerns about adding events to the Fairmont Area Community Calendar please contact or CER Office, 507-235-3141. Also, please like our Facebook page: facebook. com/fairmontareacalendar . 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.

Over 26 years of experience, and ready to help you with that important decision.

Dale Splinter 1304 Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont, MN


Correction: Correction from July’s Community Connections article Leadership and Life’s Purpose. Among the 2014-15 Leadership Martin County graduates, we would like to add Sara Garvick, MRCI WorkSource. Again, congratulations to all the graduates.

Ambassador Visits


Email if you would like to set up a visit at your business

Edward Jones- Christy Selbrade 73 Downtown Plaza Christy Selbrade, Financial Advisor

About the Ambassadors:

Walmart Re-Grand Opening 1250 Goemann Road Renae Behrends, Store Manager

• • • •

Chamber Ambassadors attend ground breakings, ribbon cuttings and grand openings. Co-Sponsor the Minnesota State Pork Masters Golf Outing Award a $1,000 post-secondary scholarship to a business student Events are typically on the 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m following a brief committee meeting.

Martin County & MN State Fair Tickets Available The 150th Martin County Fair is Monday, August 17th - Sunday, August 23rd. Season Passes are available for $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Daily Admission Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday will be $6 and Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday will be $9. Children, age 9 and under, are FREE. Friday August 21st, Seniors, age 62 years and up receive 1/2 price admission- $3.00. Advance wristbands are $18. (good only on wristband day; Wednesday - 5:00p.m.-10:00pm or Friday 1:00p.m.5:00pm) Visit for more information. Martin County Pre-Season Passes are also being sold at First Farmers and

Merchants, Fareway, Weigh-Tronix, Wells Federal, Profinium- Fairmont and Truman, Hy-vee, State Bank, Bank Midwest Fairmont and Sherburn. The Minnesota State Fair is August 27th - September 7th. Pre-fair admission tickets are available for $10, during the fair the cost will be $13 for adults, $11 for seniors (65+), and $11 for youth (ages 5-12) Pre-fair ride tickets can be purchased 25 for $15, at the fair the cost will be 30 tickets for $25 or 54 tickets for $40. The Blue Ribbon Bargain Book is availabe for $5. We will be selling state fair items until August 26th. Visit for more information.

August 2015 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  

August 2015 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter

August 2015 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  

August 2015 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter