Page 1

January 2017

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Community Calendar's New Look

Inside This Issue Page 2 - Build Business Page 3 - MCYF Accepting Grant Applications Page 4 - Visit Fairmont Rebranding Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs Page 5 - Individual Chamber Membership Page 6 - Thank You to our Chamber Members Page 7 - Ambassador Visits Page 7 - Christmas Tree Recycling

The Fairmont Area Community Calendar website will be getting a facelift in the coming months! rSchoolToday is preparing to roll out their updated interface allowing for a more customized and intuitive browsing experience. Upgrades will include formatting to improve legibility and organization of content. Customized tabs will also be integrated, granting greater flexibility in adapting the calendar to fit the needs of the local community. Check out the calendar online at www.fairmontareacalendar. com or download the app "AS Mobile" to access the calendar on your mobile device.

ABOVE: An example of the updated look and features of the web interface developed by rSchoolToday which powers the Fairmont Area Calendar website.

Agri-business Scholarships Graduating Seniors of Martin County high schools that plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or an area of study that services agriculture, may apply for up to $8,400 in scholarships. In

partnership with the Agriculture Future of America (AFA), the AgriBusiness Committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce is offering two $4,200 scholarships, which includes registration for the Fall 2017 AFA Leaders Conference. To be considered for a scholarship, please visit www. Here, you can read more about the AFA Community Scholarships, as well as other scholarships AFA offers.

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

Click on the "Apply Now" button to access the application. You will be asked to write a 300-500 word essay on your personal vision for agriculture and how you plan to contribute through your chosen career in the agriculture and food industry. We encourage you to draft this essay in a separate word processing program and then copy/paste it into the application. Please note that your application is not complete un(Continued on page 3) 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

Past Chair Ron Kopischke Profinium, Inc.

Board of Directors: Les Anderson Martin County Farm Bureau

Dave Cone Kahler Automation Corporation

Bob Bartingale Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont

Mandi Kosbab Edward Jones

Deb Barnes Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center

Stephanie Busiahn Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau Chris Carstensen Carstensen Cabinetry and Woodworking

Brandon Edmundson Krahmer and Shaffer, Ltd

Andy Mueller Hy-Vee, Inc.

Sara Pierce Pierce Accounting and Tax Services 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

Build Community, Build Business By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President

Lack of qualified workforce continues to be the number one concern of businesses locally and in the region. An aging population in our nation promises that this will be an increasing issue for the next decade and beyond. University of Minnesota Extension researcher, Benjamin Winchester has studied the dynamics of rural America’s changing population thoroughly. One message, simply put: 30-49 yearolds seek affordable housing, safe communities, good schools and recreational opportunities versus the hustle and bustle lifestyle. As Chamber board of directors and staff gathered in October to determine the focus of the organization for 2017, the group decided that the Fairmont Area Life Project, a strategy to encourage families to relocate to Martin County, will be an integral part of our work. Over the past year and one half, a website was created, social media platforms developed, printed materials created, alumni outreach program set up, newcomers bags packed and much more. A committee created several years ago, comprised of local business people, city and chamber representatives will strategize how to best grow local workforce. is a comprehensive online resource representing of the very best that Martin County has to offer! It serves to be an independent outreach to those who consider relocation and a support to businesses, realtors and recruiters who are experts when showcasing the benefits of working and living in the area. Video testimonials from those who have recently come to call Fairmont and the surrounding


area home are increasingly popular and effective. We will continue to seek new candidates who are willing to share their stories. The videos and photo gallery can be seen by clicking on a menu tab labeled “Experience”. Other tabs display verbs, “Play”, “Learn”, “Work”, “Create” and “Build”, relaying to our audience that the site is constantly changing. local page is embedded into the site under the “Work” page offers a one-click option to career options throughout the county while the “Events” tab opens while inside the framework. Viewers are invited to join the conversation by hovering over the “Create” tab that reveals an invitation to “Submit Video” and “Submit Testimonial.” Shaping up the foundation of the project has been a journey that has played out differently than originally projected. We thought that we would engage with people looking to relocate early in their planning through outreach on social media, but, in reality, those wishing to make a move tended to research online before making personal contact. That realization, led to more website development, ease of site navigation and attention to search engine optimization. Besides the online outreach, the committee identified two other areas to bring and keep new Martin County residents. There has been a long-standing dialogue with alumni inviting former students to return. Direct mail and class reunion campaigns have been done in the past and proven to be successful. The other avenue the committee is supporting is making newcomers welcome and supporting their transition through several programs. Newcomers and Neighbors meets the fifth Thursdays throughout the year. Also, new residents receive a welcome bag when they go to city hall to have utilities turned on. Fairmont Area Chamber serves as the day-today managers of this project, however we pursue a holistic approach to strengthen our community. Projects range from educating local students about business to leading the long-standing Glows Parade. We are grateful to loyal members who share our mission (Continued on page 6) to promote a healthy

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

Apply for MCYF Grants Fareway bags hunger

The Martin County Youth Foundation grant applications are now available. Grants will be awarded twice during the year, in the spring and fall. The mission of the Martin County Youth Foundation is to acquire, manage, and distribute funds to enhance the lives of youth in Martin County. Grants will be made to qualified non-profit organizations including those with 501(c)3 status, public agencies, units of government, and churches that will address important community youth needs. Funds received can be used for youth program costs and support materials. Interested groups may pick up grant applications and guidelines at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, 323 East Blue Earth Avenue, or visit: www. The deadline for submitting the grant applications is March 15, 2017. Return completed grants to Martin County Youth Foundation, P.O. Box 826, Fairmont, MN 56031 or drop off at the Fairmont Area Chamber of

Commerce. Consider making a Contribution. Citizens interested in creating a permanent endowment to serve the evolving needs of our area youth established the Fairmont Area Youth Foundation in 2000. In 2005, the name was changed to the Martin County Youth Foundation to better reflect the area we serve. What is distinctive about this foundation? The Martin County Youth Foundation is an area endowment fund dedicated solely to serving youth needs. It has the ability to provide funding for youth programs and their support. Why should you support the Martin County Youth Foundation? Youth are our greatest natural resource. Investing in our youth is investing in our future. Who oversees the investment? Contributions are invested and managed by Minnesota Community Foundation. Earnings are then made available through a grant process to respond to area youth needs. A local committee of adults and youth serve as the Advisory Committee.

ABOVE: Cory Hallberg, grocery manager and Troy Smock, assistant manager of Fareway Stores, Inc. proudly present a check for $900 and 400 plus pounds of food to Greta Lintleman, representative for Heaven's Table Food Shelf in Fairmont, MN. This fundraiser was a part of the MN Grocers Bag Hunger Campaign.

Scholarships (Continued from page 1)

til you continue through the last page of the application and receive an email confirmation. Applying for an AFA Community Scholarship online also makes you eligible for an AFA National Leader and Academic Scholarship; however you may only receive either a local or national award.

Tri-County Implement St. James

Fisher Group JEFF GREISCHAR CCIM Sales & Leasing Agent

1961 Premier Drive Suite 404 Mankato, MN 56001 (507) 236-4980


Martin County Implement Truman

Tri-County Implement Jackson

The Martin County application deadline is March 17, 2017. If you have any questions about the scholarship, please contact Margaret at margaret@fairmontchamber. org or call 507-235-5547. Questions regarding the online application can be directed to Johnna Wallingford on AFA staff at

Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber member business briefs Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab (507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC If you are a “millennial” – born anywhere from the early 1980s to the late 1990s – then you’re still in the early stages of your career. And that means you’ve got the luxury of putting time on your side as you save and plan for retirement. So, here are a few tips for making the most of that time: First, invest early and often. Even if you are at the very beginning of your career, make investing a priority. At first, you might only be able to contribute a small amount each month, but at least you’ve got a start. Also, take full advantage of your 401(k) or similar plan. At a minimum, contribute enough to earn your employer’s match, if one is offered. Finally, invest more as your earnings increase. Every time your salary goes up, boost your contributions to your 401(k) plan. You might also want to open a traditional or Roth IRA. Keep on investing throughout your life. As a millennial, you’ve got plenty of the one asset that can never be replaced: time. Use it wisely.

Presentation College (507) 235-4658 Presentation’s 10th annual Marti Gras Scholarship Gala, February 4th, 2017. Our 2017 Marti Gras scholarship celebration will be held on Saturday, February 4th at the Holiday Inn in Fairmont. The social hour will begin at 6pm and formal greetings and dinner at 7pm. A dance will follow the dinner. Because of the communities support over the years, hundreds of students have received needed financial assistance! ALL the funds raised are divided among the scholarships recipients. Please call and ask for Dawn, Susan or Billy if you would like to be a sponsor this year and attend a really fun event!! Ask for sponsorship levels available: corporate, business, table and individual donation. Numerous donated gifts will be auctioned during the event!

AdMfg, Inc. (507) 238-1243 AdMfg, Inc. welcomes Social Media and Shelly Larsen, Social Media Director to provide area businesses and organizations with social media marketing management. It’s important for your business to get the best results with social media marketing. It takes time and effort, but it’s worth it! Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers; and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video or comment you share is a chance for someone to react; and every reaction could lead to a site visit and eventually a conversation. Contact AdMfg for your Social Media Marketing! AdMfg is a full-service advertising agency excelling in creative and graphic design, promotional products, silk-screened and embroidered apparel, and website development and hosting. Visit our website at, stop by our office at 100 N State Street or give us a call at 507-238-1243.


Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont (507) 238-8100 The past year has been marked by several substantial investments into the community and the future of health care in Fairmont. The Emergency Department expansion project and the new Gold Cross facility are two facility projects that stand out. Additionally, we added a total of seven new providers to Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont in 2016. These providers work in Cardiology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Hospital Medicine and Physical Therapy. Thank you for your support, input and trust in 2016 — it’s made Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont stronger and the care we provide better.


NEW LOOK. NEW LOGO. NEW YEAR. The Fairmont Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the implementation of our new logo and brand identity as “Visit Fairmont”. The brand will be employed in our future advertising efforts and represent the essence of our city to prospective visitors. We believe our new look will continue to signify the strength and legacy of our community while expressing the growth and vibrancy of our area in a way that is intriguing and compelling. We hope you enjoy the new look and we look forward to what the future will hold for both our residents and our visitors. @VISITFAIRMONTMN

ASK HOW WE CAN ASSIST YOU WITH: • Event Marketing • Wedding Resources • Family or Class Reunion Resources • Individual or Group Itineraries • Visitor Materials and Handouts

Stephanie Busiahn Executive Director Visit 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.

Chamber member business briefs

Partners Funding, Inc. (507) 235-3456 When presenting Partners Funding, Inc. "Invoice Factoring: A Tool for Growth" to a group of small businesses, all agree reducing the time it takes to get paid will generate more sales and cash flow. Partners Funding, Inc. takes great pride in our Clients success stories. As one Partners Funding, Inc. Client stated, by simply getting funds the next day for product invoiced and received by their customer, the Client was able to keep on top of buying the raw materials needed to fill their ever increasing orders. Contact Brad to learn more at 507-235-3456,, or find out more at

Cavers Realty, Inc - Morgan Marushin (507) 848-1304 Hi everyone! I am a proud new member of the Cavers Realty team! I graduated from Southwest Minnesota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance while always having an interest in real estate. Upon graduating college, I decided to act on that interest and become a real estate agent, beginning my career in Fairmont. I was born and raised here and I love this community and all it has to offer! After a short 3 years of living in Marshall, I knew I wanted to come back to Fairmont. There really is no place like home! I look forward to working with you and giving you the exceptional service, honesty, and dedication you deserve whether you are buying or selling. Contact me today. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Kahler Automation (507) 235-6648 In early December, Kahler Automation employees launched a fundraiser within the company toward the purchase of Christmas gifts for Fairmont kids in need. In just two weeks Kahler employees raised more than $1000, which was then doubled by a dollar-for-dollar match from the company’s board of directors. Meanwhile, at a year-end review meeting Dec. 9, founder Wayne Kahler and CEO Dave Cone presented service awards to Bruce Gemmill and Steve Swift (25 years), Jeremy Evans and Gene Justice (10 years), and Scott Gemmill, Jordan Honnette, Garett Jagodzinske, Matt Laack, Timothy Sanders and Norma Seibert (5 years). You can find more information at

Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce (507) 235-5547 - Contact Kandi at the Fairmont Area Chamber for information on how you can get your advertisement placed in the 2017 Martin County Visitor & Relocation Guide or the 2017 Fairmont City Map. Ask about your Chamber Member Discount!

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

Monday, January 2nd New Years Day Observed (Offices Closed) Wednesday, January 4th - 7:30 a.m. Leadership Martin County Wednesday, January 11th - 6:00 p.m. Bureau 14 Meeting Tuesday, January 17th - 6:00 p.m. Agri-Business Meeting Wednesday, January 18th - 3:00 p.m. Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings Tuesday, January 24th - 9:00 a.m. Social Media Breakfast Wednesday, January 25th - 7:30 a.m. Chamber Board Meeting


Visit and check out our Facebook page @porkmasters

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! The Marina Lodge S.M.I.L.E.S. Lets Go Fishing - Fairmont Area

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



Thank You Members! We would like to thank each of our 2016 member businesses for their continued support of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce and for enabling us to serve our business community. In the past year, your support has allowed us to bring you seminars and events, news and networking opportunities, community visibility and other valuable benefits that have helped to strengthen our local businesses environment. We are tackling our members' concerns like attracting skilled labor and improving online presence. We keep you informed on relevant issues that impact your business from understanding unemployment law to managing your digital footprint. We provide ongoing networking opportunities and exclusive advertising channels to increase your visibility. We coordinate members-only discounts for your business and employees. We promote the patronage of local retail and support new business

Build Business (Continued from page 2)

business climate through focused leadership and communication. If you have an interest to be involved with Fairmont Area Life or other projects through your chamber, feel free to contact me. Here’s to a prosperous and exciting new year in 2017!

Fine Jewelry

Sovell Jewelry

Your Professional Jeweler Since 1954 Full Service-In House Repair

endeavors. These are just a few examples of the many ways we are working to help your business succeed. We want you to take full advantage of your chamber membership in the coming year! Ask us how we can help you reach your customers, fill job openings, inform the community, expand your network, get your business online or have a voice in government. Visit our website at, contact us by phone at 507-2355547, or email us at to find out more about all the benefits available to you through your chamber membership! The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce staff and board of directors thanks each of you for your help in making 2016 a great year for our local business community. We look forward to helping you and your business achieve even greater success in the years to come!

DID YOU KNOW? Studies find that local businesses recirculate a greater share of every dollar in the local economy, as they create locally owned supply chains and invest in their employees.

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! 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 celebrate growth


Erpelding, Voigt & Co. held a ribbon cutting to announce the opening of their new Fairmont location and the acquisition of local CPA, Roessler & Nuss.


The Martin County Veteran Service office celebrates the relocation of their offices to 2423 Albion Ave. Suite 11, improving accessibility for area veterans.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree

Christmas is over, and all your decorations are packed away for another year. Now, what do you do with your Christmas Tree? Look no further, Prairieland Solid Waste will recycle your tree for FREE! Drop-sites will be open


through January 7th. Only trees will be accepted, NO wreathes, roping, tree stands, or metal ornaments on the trees. Drop-site Locations: Fairmont City Shop - 417 East Margaret Street (across from the Humane Society), Fairmont; Sherburn Nursery, Sherburn; and Trimont Greenhouse, Trimont. Curb Side Collection - January 7th: Trimont, Truman, Sherburn, Dunnell and Welcome. For more information, contact Billeye Rabbe, Prairieland Solid Waste Coordinator at 507-776-3232.

Over a decade of helping my customers make good choices.


Fairmont Hearing Aid Service recently completed an extensive remodeling of their office located at 230 S. Grant Street. (Not Pictured: Paul D. Nelson, Au. D.)

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

Troy Sunken 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

January programs at CER Let your New Year’s resolutions include becoming a Lifelong Learning Champion! CER offers new opportunities to learn such skills as Sign Language, Zumba, Snowshoeing, Shadow Embroidery, Scuba Diving, Dog Obedience or improve your computer skills. Did you know? All residents of Minnesota born after December 31, 1976 MUST have a snowmobile safety certificate to operate a snowmobile in Minnesota. Snowmobile Safety Review class Students must complete one of the online courses: or before signing up for the January 7 class. Contact the CER (235-3141) for more registration information.

Stay active this winter with Zumba, Walking, Snowshoeing, Youth Soccer, or Adult Volleyball/Pickleball Open Gyms. Snowshoes are also available for weekend rental from CER. Join an adult Volleyball or Basketball league- Co-Ed Volleyball begins January 5 and Basketball begins January 9. Contact the CER Office for more information.

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



Zumba Flair Begins Adult Co-Ed Volleyball League Begins Snowmobile Safety Saturday Elementary Boys Basketball (Ages 4-Grade 3) Indoor Soccer Adult Basketball League Begins Lights On For Kids Afterschool Enrichment Begins Phenology Fun with Prairie Ecology Bus Center Scuba Diving Advanced Dog Obedience Over 55 Defensive Driving Refresher English Smocking Fab Friday for Grades 3-6 Introduction to Ice Hockey 2 or Learn to Skate Begins Red Rock Children’s Theatre Workshop Lego Design Senior Surf (Basic Computer) Shadow Embroidery Microsoft Publisher Rick Pauly Girls Softball Pitching Clinics Family Snowshoe Adventure at Cedar Park Intro to Sign Language …and much more!

Social Media Breakfast - January 24th The next Social Media Breakfast will be held on January 24 from 9 to 10 am at Southern Minnesota Educational Campus, 115 S. Park St., in Fairmont.

During this free seminar sponsored by Fairmont Area Schools, ISD 2752, a panel of local business owners will host a session providing insights into how their businesses leverage social media. 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.

January 2 , 4 January 6 January 7 January 7 January 8 January 9 January 9 January 9 January 10 January 10 January 12 January 19 January 20 January 21 January 21 January 23 January 23 January 24 January 28 January 28 February 4 February 7

Thank you to TPI Hospitality for sponsoring our December seminar with instructor Ali Subbert! 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

Profile for Fairmont Chamber

January 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  

January 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter