Page 1

December 2016

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Making spirits bright!

Inside This Issue Page 2 - Building Positive, Healthy, Successful Communities Page 3 - MCYF Awards Grants Page 3 - Small Business Success

The 27th annual Glows Festival is in the books and the joy of the holiday season is upon us once again. This festive celebration continues to brighten our spirits as we prepare to celebrate the holidays with friends and loved ones in the weeks ahead. Children lined up with excitement to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus as they arrived at the Fairmont Airport aboard the North Pole Express. Area residents came out to witness the spectacular parade and celebrate together along Downtown Plaza and throughout our community with pre and post-parade festivities carrying on well into the night. Our local businesses and organizations put their (Continued on page 6) holiday

ABOVE: Area residents gather to kick off the holiday season at the 27th annual Glows Parade on Friday, November 18th on Downtown Plaza in Fairmont.

Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs Page 5 - Community Christ- mas Decoration Page 7 - Ambassador Visits Page 7 - Thank You Retiring Board Members

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

Board of Directors Officers: Chair Ron Kopischke Profinium, Inc.

Vice Chair Kerry Nagel Allen MRCI-WorkSource

Past Chair Doug Hoffmann 3M Treasurer Les Anderson Martin County Farm Bureau

Board of Directors: Stephanie Busiahn Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau Chris Carstensen Carstensen Cabinetry and Woodworking Sara Cyphers D& S Trophies, Embroidery & Screen Printing Andy Mueller Hy-Vee, Inc.

Rich Johnson Culligan Water Conditioning

Mandi Kosbab Edward Jones

Ann Terfehr Dan’s Appliance

Bob Bartingale Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont

Dr. Kerri Henderson Optimal Health and Chiropractic Center


Margaret Dillard President Kandi Menne Office Manager/ Director of Communications

Curt Foster

Director of Finance and Operations

Benjamin Landsteiner

Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Bring on 2017

Building Positive, Healthy and Successful Communities

By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President Live Above the Line When I “live above the line” it is effective and serves me well, it is positive and hopeful and I am focused on what is important. Culturally, it seems that we Minnesotans inherently lean to a rather grim coffee shop chatter. Out of the gate, weather gets a bum rap. Though recent winters have been mild, storms few and we enjoy seasonal beauty that is difficult to match anywhere in the world, the coffee shop chatter talk will define the weather as currently horrid or that the coming storm or season will bring ruin. Conversation can turn even more depressing when we talk casually about local economy. Though Martin County has more job openings than bodies to fill them and we currently record an unemployment rate of just over 4 percent, the assumption is that people are out of work. The reality is that local companies report the single greatest challenge is a lack of qualified workforce. It’s easy to repeat what we hear, but pursuit of fact may lead to being part of the solution. Help Others Succeed If you asked most chambers' executives, you might hear an answer that singles out business interests, but my “go to” reply is that we strengthen the fabric of our local communities. Don’t be misled, our mission is: ”The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce exists to promote a healthy business climate through leadership, communication and education for its members in the greater Fairmont area." We focus on the business environment. Because this chamber takes a holistic view of our mission, our programs, support and collaborative aim reach far into aspects of our community and we are confident that board and staff make a difference, but there is a certain electricity that does not come from a single entity, business or organization. Communicate “You Matter” The real mo-


mentum and energy comes through people working together to make the world a better place! Community successes have come through many individuals tirelessly working on behalf of many organizations or who shared their voice for positive results. Thank you to those in our region who keep working for the benefit of many. Honor the Absent As we close out 2016, gather families and count our blessings, the absence of champions is evident. The emptiness we feel may be because of sickness, relocation or death. It may be because the person lost their vision or passion. The deal is that they made a difference while they were here. Remember their positive efforts, forget the difficulties, treasure the good times and move on. See the Problem, Own the Problem Perhaps the biggest challenge we as Americans face today is divisiveness. The media is flooded with conflict and seemingly insurmountable challenges between people who have surrendered all hope of commonality and focus on all things negative. It’s easy to get caught up in the rhetoric. These five principles may have a familiarity about them. They are the borrowed from the Top 20 Training team. Top 20 helps bring out the best in individuals, families, teams and organizations, so that all can reach their highest potential and make a positive difference in the quality of their lives, relationships and experiences. Curriculum is in place throughout local schools, businesses and organizations, in fact Fairmont is the first community in the nation to be named a “Top 20 Community.” For more information about Top 20 Thinking, visit To ask about the many local volunteer opportunities or find out more about Fairmont Area Chamber, call or stop by the Chamber office or visit us online at If you or someone you know would like to move to our area, visit

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in”. -Author Unknown

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

MCYF Awards Grants

The Martin County Youth Foundation held its Donor Recognition and Awards Presentation on Monday, November 14, 2016 at the Red Rock Center for the Arts. Grants totaling $10,850 were awarded to help fund six area organizations/projects during the Fall 2016 Award cycle. As of November 2016, the foundation has awarded more than $372,000 to assist in funding over 280 local youth-oriented projects. The foundation awarded grants in the following amounts to local organizations and projects: Fairmont Opera House, Inc. $3,000 Artrageous Event

IS NOW ONLINE! Visit and check out our Facebook page @porkmasters

DID YOU KNOW? Studies show that a community’s level of social capital, civic engagement, and well-being is positively related to the share of its economy held by local businesses.

Sentinel 64 Downtown Plaza


Martin County West CER $3,000 Preschool Scholarships Fairmont CER (ISD #2752) $1,550 After School Eco Club Snowshoe Adventure Martin County Preservation Assoc. $800 High School Art Exhibit and Workshop Martin County Historical Society $1,000 MCHS Annual School Visitation Program Fairmont Area Kinship $1,500 Scholarships for Mentees The Martin County Youth Foundation was founded in 2000. The organization is committed to

Tri-County Implement St. James

Martin County Implement Truman

Tri-County Implement Jackson

FAX (507) 235-3718

acquire, manage and distribute funds to enhance the lives of youth in Martin County, c o nt r i b u t i n g over $30,000 each year in grants to support youth related programs and activities in Martin County. For more information, visit

Small Business Success On the morning of Saturday, November 26, as we sought to recover from the anxiety and exhaustion that gripped us in the aftermath of our frantic excursions into the chaos of the modern phenomenon known as "Black Friday," many of us were unaware that a lesser known, but perhaps friendlier version of this notorious shopping holiday was go-


ing on right outside our doorsteps. Awareness and participation in the event, known as Small Business Saturday, has grown in recent years, with many local businesses offering their own special promotions and discounts. This year, ten local businesses collaborated in a cross-promotional initiative led by the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce to encourage community engagement and to raise awareness of the benefits of shopping small. Customers came out to show their support and local small businesses rewarded them by stamping their passports and offering a free gift, exclusive discount or gift certificate in exchange for their completed passport. Small businesses are an essential part of a vibrant local economy and we extend our thanks to everyone who has supported our local small business sector throughout the years.

Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber member business briefs Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab (507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC We’ve almost turned the calendar to 2017 – so it’s a good time to make some New Year’s financial resolutions. For starters, resolve to build an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This fund, held in a liquid, low-risk account, can help you avoid dipping into long-term investments to pay for unexpected costs, such as a major car repair. Here’s another resolution: When your salary goes up, increase your contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement plan at work. The more you put away, the better off you will be when your working days are over. One more resolution: Review your portfolio to make sure it’s still helping you make progress toward your goals. If not, you may need to adjust your investment mix. And here’s a final New Year’s resolution: Avoid investment mistakes. For example, don’t jump out of the market during periods of volatility. If you do, you might miss out on the beginning of the next rally. By following these resolutions, you may be able to make 2017 a year to remember.


Shoe Sensation (507) 238-9211 Shoe Sensation, a regional chain of name brand family shoe stores, is sponsoring Socks For Troops company wide. Each store will be collecting socks for active duty military or local veterans in or around the community. Shoe Sensation will have military approved socks in store and customers will be able to receive 20% off the socks donated. Customers will also be able to bring in new socks to be donated. Socks for Troops will be going on now until December 24, 2016. Please visit Shoe Sensation at the Five Lakes Centre in Fairmont for details on where the socks will be delivered.

Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont (507) 238-8100 Gold Cross Ambulance — Mayo Clinic Medical Transport opened its new facility on the Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont campus Monday, Nov. 14. This new facility consolidates all ambulance operations under one roof, as well as improves efficiency and response time. Previously, office space, crew quarters and the ambulance garage were Fairmont Area Kinship all located in different locations within the city of Fairmont. Some of the fea(507) 238-4440 tures include direct connections to Mayo Clinic IT networks, in-floor heat, Kinship is a local non-profit organization seeking energy efficiencies and LED lighting throughout the building. This is an into better the lives of children in the Fairmont area vestment in Gold Cross’ staff and its long-term presence in the community. by developing meaningful mentoring relationships. This is accomplished by The cost of the project is estimated at $1.6 million. matching children with caring adult mentors who share similar interests, activities, and hobbies. Mentoring empowers and encourages children who need a little more support in their lives. Kinship has a great need for new Sweet Financial Services mentors as there are currently 19 wonderful children on the waiting list. Our (507) 235-5587 mentors represent a wide array of people with a huge range of ages, work Sweet Financial Services will be featured on the experiences, and family lives. YOU can be a mentor! Kinship is blessed by KEYC Mankato News 12 Midday Newscast each funding through grants and donations from local businesses, organizations, month! Tune in for our next segment on December and individuals. 28th at 12pm on KEYC to watch the Sweet team help you be successful with your 2017 New Year’s Financial Resolutions! Watch or share this Midday interview with your friends to help keep yourself accountable for your New Year’s goals, then let us know what you thought of the segment! If you missed Century 21 - Gillian Tunnell November’s Black Friday Tips and tricks, you can catch it on our website or (507) 399-9211 find it on the KEYC website! Waiting till spring to sell your home? It is generally accepted that spring is the best time to sell, but actually winter provides some unique opportunities for home sales that other seasons don’t have. Although inventory of listed homes is generally lower, Green Mill Restaurant - Holiday Inn Fairmont and there are less buyers, those who are out looking in winter are probably (507) 238-4771 more motivated than their counterparts in other seasons. With less homes Green Mill in Fairmont will be hosting a Holiday Bufon the market, your house could get more attention than it might otherwise fet on December 25th from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Call in a crowded market. In winter you can showcase your home as a cosy fam- 507-238-4700 to make your reservations. We continily retreat – a fire in the fireplace and some seasonal decorations, the smell ue to offer our Green Mill for Good Fundraiser program, allowing any sports of apple cider on the stove! So don’t wait – get a jump on the market and list team, organization or association to receive 20% of the evening's total sales in support of their mission or cause. your home now!

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

Erpelding, Voigt & Co., LLP (507) 235-3377 Erpelding, Voigt & Co., L.L.P., Certified Public Accountants, is pleased to announce the purchase of accounting firm Roessler, Nuss & Co., P.A. located in Fairmont, MN effective November 1, 2016. Erpelding, Voigt & Co. L.L.P. will continue to provide tax and accounting services at the firm’s current location on Highway 15 South while retaining a majority of the existing staff. Sarah Gerhard, the senior accountant managing the office stated, “We are very excited to carry on the strong reputation that Jerry Jorgenson and the team at Roessler, Nuss & Co. have established in Fairmont, and we look forward to continuing the firm’s involvement in the community.”


Fairmont Opera House, Inc. (507) 238-4900 The Fairmont Opera House offers some amazing entertainment options in the coming months! Rhythmic Circus – the Red & Green Show will take place on Friday, December 9! This event will be followed by a Led Zeppelin tribute band, "Zeppelin Experience" on Friday, January 13. On Saturday, January 21, we'll feature two performances of the local classic, "A Martin County Hornpipe" starring Warren Nelson. Visit or call 507238-4900 for details and tickets for all shows. Ask about Chamber Member Discounts on tickets. The Fairmont Opera House also provides a beautiful, historic space to meet, gather, and entertain. Call to book your special events!

“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.


Minnesota Weatherguide Environment™ calendars (compiled by the Freshwater Society) are now available at the chamber office! They include information on meteorology, phenology, astronomy, weather, conservation, and gardening, along with water facts, amazing local photography and much more! Stop by the chamber office to get your copy today!

Donations needed

We are still in need of donations to replenish our designated Community Christmas Decoration Fund for 2016. It costs approximately $1,500 per year to refurbish the street pole decorations which are provided by the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce for the enhancement of our community. We are hoping to purchase new decorations in the coming years as our current ones continue to age and deteriorate. The replacement costs, however, are significant. We appreciate all donations from local citizens, businesses and organizations in any amount which help us keep our community shining bright during the holiday season. If you would like to donate, you can contact us by phone at (507) 2355547, or reach us by email at


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, December 7th - 7:30 a.m. Leadership Martin County

Friday, December 9th - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Open House Wednesday, December 14th - 6:00 p.m. Bureau 14 & Agri-Business Combined Meeting (Interlaken Golf Club) Wednesday, December 21st - 3:00 p.m. Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings Friday, December 23rd Christmas Eve Observed (Offices Closed)


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spirit on display by decorating floats and trailers, buses and bucket trucks with holiday lights and decor as they spread good cheer and candy to the eager children, devoted parents and dutiful residents in attendance. Our panel of judges made their selections for top float in each of three categories (Commercial, Non-Commercial and Glowing). After careful consideration for each of the amazing entries, the following award winners were chosen.

Monday, December 26th Christmas Day Observed (Offices Closed) Tuesday, December 27th - 9:00 a.m. Social Media Breakfast

Wednesday, December 28th - 7:30 a.m. Chamber Board Meeting

Monday, January 2nd New Year's Day Observed (Offices Closed)

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Habilitative Services, Inc. Ronald J. Arens, CPA Fairmont Rotary Club

Energy rebates for your business. The smart move for your bottom line.



The Commercial Float Award was given to Profinium Financial for their "Profinium-ville' float complete with Grinch and sleigh.

The Non-Commercial Float Award was re-

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ceived by Mayo Clinic Health System - Fairmont and their group of synchronized performers following a choreographed routine with lights in hand to the sound of favorite holiday tunes.

The Glowing Float Award went to the City of Fairmont for their intricately decorated bucket truck with strings of color-coordinated lights which outlined the profile and features of the impressive city service vehicle. We would like to congratulate each of our 2016 Glows Parade Float Award winners! We would also like to thank each of the businesses and organizations who entered the parade for their hard work and contribution in helping to make Fairmont glow this holiday season! We would like to thank the City of Fairmont Streets and Police Departments, the Fairmont Airport, the Chamber Board of Directors, Guest Judges Kim and Joseph Kreiss and all of the volunteers and spectators who help to make this a memorable and enjoyable event year after year! The Glows Festival would not be possible without the support we receive from each of you and from the members of our great community.

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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! Matt Petrowiak at (507) 236-5207

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

Chamber Ambassadors keeping busy COMMODITY SERVICES, INC.

Commodity Services, Inc. is celebrating the completion of their new office building at 1501 S. State Street in Fairmont across the street from Graffiti Corner.


Building Blocks Learning Center and Child Care is now open in the former Lincoln School building at 1200 N Park St, Suite #114 in Fairmont.



Pierce Accounting and Tax Services celebrates their official name change, 40 years of business, and the addition of their newest staff member, Sue Gunther!

Thank You Retiring Board Members

We would like to thank the four board members who will be finishing their three-year terms on the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors at the end of 2016. Our outgoing board members include Past Chair, Doug Hoffmann (3M - Fairmont); Dr. Kerri Henderson (Optimal Health & Chiropractic); Sara Cyphers (D&S Trophies and Embroidery); and Rich Johnson (Culligan Water Conditioning of Fairmont). We are truly grateful for your contributions to your chamber and for your devotion toward improving our business climate and our community through your service on the Chamber's Board of Directors. Thank you!

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.

Doug Hoffmann

Dr. Kerri Henderson

Sara Cyphers

Rich Johnson

Providing specialized financial guidance...a crucial part of your vehicle purchase.


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

Tabitha Bicknase Finance Manager 1304 Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont, MN


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

December programs at CER The CER Staff would like to wish you and yours a very joyous and safe holiday season. Remember that a gift of yourself to special people in your life by sharing your time and talents with them may be the most cherished gift of all. Looking for a unique gift? Give a CER Gift Certificate to be used for activity of their choice. Go Roller Skating with your family on New Year’s Eve. Roller Skating at the Fairmont Elementary School (Door 17) will be open 1:00 – 3:00 pm on December 31. Admission of $5 includes skates and safety equipment. You could also Rent Snowshoes for the holiday or weekends from CER and create your own family adventure. Call CER for more ideas! Adult Winter Leagues are forming for Basketball and Volleyball in December. Play begins on Monday, January 9, for Basketball and Thursday, January 5, for Co-Ed Volleyball. Informational meetings are held in December. Contact the CER Office for more information. Special thanks to Fairmont Fire Fighters for supporting CER’s Elementary Basketball program and to the Martin County Youth Foundation for supporting the Prairie Ecology Bus Center Eco-Club and February Snowshoe adventure.

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



Youth Ceramics Winter Co-Ed Volleyball League Meeting Microsoft Excel Basic Christmas Scrapbook (Red Rock Center) ECFE Super Seasonal Saturdays (ages 3-5) PEBC Snow & Ice Science (ages 3-5/parent) PEBC Oh Knots Eco Club (Grades 2-6) Storytime and Crafts (Grades 1-2) Planning for Long Term Care Adult League Winter Basketball Meeting Deadline to register for Winter Volleyball New Year’s Eve Family Roller Skating (1-3 pm) Zumba Flair Begins Snowmobile Safety Saturday Boys Basketball (Ages 4-Grade 3) Family Snowshoe Adventure at Cedar Park

…and much more!

December 6 December 8 December 9 December 10 December 10 December 12 December 12 December 14 December 15 December 19 December 29 December 31 January 2, 4 January 7 January 7 February 4

Social Media Breakfast - December 27th The next Social Media Breakfast will be held on December 27 from 9 to 10 am at Southern Minnesota Educational Campus, 115 S. Park St., in Fairmont.

During this free seminar sponsored by TPI Hospitality, instructor Ali Subbert will give a presentation covering SnapChat techniques for your business. 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 all of our past speakers, sponsors and participants for supporting these events. Fairmont Area Social Media Breakfast is made possible in part by a technology grant from the Blandin Foundation. VISION CARE CONTACT LENS

Feature your business ad in full color for only $60 per month

with your annual contract or $75 per month. Paul Seibert, O.D.

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

Profile for Fairmont Chamber

December 2016 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  

December 2016 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter