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July 2016

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Fireworks Spectacular

Fairmont City Band Concert Before the fireworks, stop out to Sylvania Park Bandshell to enjoy a musical performance by the Fairmont City Band. Rehearsals are from 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm and the concert goes from 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm.

Inside This Issue Page 2 - Update from the President Page 2 - Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off Page 3 - Leadership Martin County Page 3 - Pork Masters Golf Outing Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs Page 5 - MCYF Grants Page 5 - Google Business Page 7 - Ambassador Visits Page 7 - Ambassador Scholarship

Fireworks over the Martin County Courthouse Photo Courtesy of Roger Neist

The fireworks display in Fairmont has gained the reputation of being the biggest and best in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Join us as we shoot fireworks from the west side of Sisseton Lake, July 4th at approximately 10:00 pm. KSUM (1370 AM) & KFMC (106.5 FM) will be coordinating patriotic music through out the display and will be providing updates prior to the start of the display. The fireworks committee continues to accept donations by mail to help fund this event at P.O. Box 427, Fairmont, MN 56031.

Chamber Turns 90! The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce Members, Board of Directors and Staff are excited to announce our 90th anniversary filing as a business entity with the Minnesota Secretary of State. Journey along with us as we explore the history of the Fairmont Area Chamber as well as the business happenings of yesteryear in this publication throughout the coming months.

Remember to mark your calendars for August 23, 2016 and plan to join us in celebration. Look for more details in next month’s issue of “Community Connections.”

Welcome Chamber Intern, Ali! We are pleased to welcome Ali Subbert to our staff for the summer! Ali came to us through the intern program facilitated by Minnesota Valley Action Council and funded in-part by Martin County. Ali is a senior at St. Cloud State University where she is pursuing a degree in Mass Communications

and Public Relations. When asked about why she applied to be an intern, she wrote: “ I have lived in Fairmont my whole life and I enjoy the community. I want to be a intern in the program because I will get the chance to work with people in my community and overall help to advance it.” She is a great addition to our staff! Feel free to stop by the office and say hi. Ali will be here Mondays through Thursdays until mid-August.

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

Dr. Kerri Henderson Optimal Health and Chiropractic Center

Rich Johnson Culligan Water Conditioning

Mandi Kosbab Edward Jones

Ann Terfehr Dan’s Appliance

Bob Bartingale Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont


Margaret Dillard President Kandi Menne Office Manager/ Director of Communications

Curt Foster

Director of Finance and Operations

Benjamin Landsteiner

Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Addressing Workforce Challenges


By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President

Recently, I attended a conference with 140 others who work with chambers and associations. Information included governance, budget and finance, communication and leadership skills. I wasn’t alone when expressing an abundance of processes that could be implemented when returning home. However, each time I gather with peers, I come back to Martin County with a keen realization that we are blessed to live in an outstanding community! Our core programs address the challenges of local business by working with community members across generations. Hiring skilled labor is the number one concern voiced by the business community in Martin County. As I studied the challenge and talked with others, I was pleased to be able to say that we do have programs in place to stimulate our workforce. Each school year, approximately 37 dedicated volunteers teach 5 1-hour sessions about business to students in 55 classrooms, grades kindergarten through 8th. Junior Achievement curriculum shows kindergartners how they are consumers, then by the time students are in 6th grade, they are learning about global economics. The program begins each September, with a staggered schedule that ends in April. Area Career Exploration began nine years ago as an innovative way to encourage youth to pursue local career paths. Last April, 750 high school sophomores descended upon Fairmont High School. In the gym, approximately 90 businesses engaged attendees at their booths through interactive games and demonstrations

that showcased their industry. In the school’s Performing Arts Center, a dozen or so young professionals offered guidance through a game show where students were asked career-related questions that highlighted soft skills and knowledge of local business.

Larissa Becker and Seth Melson

Recipients of the 2016 Agri-Business Scholarships

Agriculture is the lifeblood of our economics. The Agri-business Committee implemented a pathway to provide two $4,200 scholarships to Martin County high school graduates who will pursue four-year degrees in agriculture-related fields. If you have tasted the pork dishes served up by local eateries at the Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-off held each year at Martin County Fair, you have helped youths enter the professional world of ag. Tickets sell out each year and are now available at the Chamber office. Continued on page 6

Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off

The 19th Annual Blue Ribbon Pork Cook Off will be held Wednesday, August 15th from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm in the Martin County Arena. Tickets are $8 and available from area Pork Producers and at the Chamber office. Come and enjoy the finest in cuisine from our area restaurants and caterers. Proceeds from this 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., Devenish 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.

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

Leadership Martin County What: A leadership program designed to enable candidates to learn about Martin County resources, values, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. A learning experience geared toward providing an indepth look at eight key elements of our community; education, economic development, government, healthcare, public safety, quality of life, agriculture, and culture & diversity. This program will provide opportunities for candidates to exchange ideas, build networks and begin the process of identifying and solving important community issues. Who: A pool of candidates who are current or prospective leaders in the Martin County community. Candidates are drawn from business, industry, education, public and private agencies, civic groups, non-profit and virtually all other facet of the professional community. Class size will be limited.

Program Development: A Martin County Chamber-designated “Leadership Advisory Committee” oversees the development of the LEADERSHIP Program. Riverland Community College and the Cham-

ber will assist with individual seminar curriculum development in cooperation with designated dayleaders.

Where: This localized program was designed by the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with Riverland Community College and its Training and Development Division. All sessions are facilitated locally and focus on topics directly affecting our community. Seminars are held at a different location each session. Why: To develop candidate knowledge and understanding of our community, its assets, complexities and potential. To provide an opportunity for participants to meet and exchange ideas with each other and current community leaders. To develop leadership skills through classroom instruction, interactive exercises and small group discussion.

How: A series of topical seminars held over a nine month period and conducted by local and regional professionals. Area leaders volunteer their time

Pork Masters Golf Outing

The Martin County Pork Producers and the AgriBusiness and Ambassador Committees of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce have joined together to host the 24th

Sentinel 64 Downtown Plaza

507-235-3303 FAX (507) 235-3718

Annual Minnesota State Pork Masters Golf Outing on Monday, July 25, 2016 at Interlaken Golf Club. Martin County is Minnesota’s leading pork producing county. This event is open to area pork producers and recognizes the importance of the pork industry to Martin County and the state of Minnesota while





to raise awareness to the assets and opportunities of our community by providing an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at eight key elements of our community. Peggy Young, Business Consultant with Riverland Community College’s Training and Development Department will nurture leadership development by leading discussions that integrate community information through dialogue, interactive exercise and small group discussion. Cost: $650 - Tuition is payable at the time a participant is accepted to candidacy. Scholarship opportunities are available.

When: Monthly sessions run September - May on the first Wednesday of each month. LEADERSHIP requires a serious commitment of time and energy. Candidates meet the FIRST WEDNESDAY, a full day each month. Attendance at the work sessions and all day program meetings is imperative. Class participants are expected to attend all sessions with the exception of an extreme emergency or illness.

raising funds for Ag Scholarships and Ag Awareness. Lunch and dinner is provided for the participants at Interlaken Golf Club. There will be games and prizes on every hole with 250 golfers expected to participate. For golf or sponsorship information, call Curt at the Chamber office at 235-5547.

Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber Member Business Briefs

Century 21 - Gillian Tunnell (507) 399-9211 Putting your home on the market? A deep cleaning, inside and out, before it is listed will help it shine and make it easier to maintain between showings, and be more attractive to buyers. Start with the outside and think curb appeal: Give the front door a good wipe down, and check the condition of the door mat. If a wipe down doesn’t improve the door’s appearance, consider a coat or two of fresh paint - quick, easy and inexpensive! Hose down outside furniture and the patio, driveway and deck. Garage floor a little worse for wear? The acidity of dark cola drinks can help remove oil, rust, and grease stains, with a little scrubbing. Clean windows make a huge difference – Remove screens, lay them on a tarp, clean with some all-purpose cleaner and a soft brush, and rinse off with a hose. For the window glass, try a mixture of one part vinegar to 8 parts water, and a few drops of dish detergent. Clean with crumpled newspaper to avoid streaks. These are just a few of the many ways you can improve your home’s saleability. So roll up your sleeves and get busy!

Fairmont Public Utilities Fairmont Public Utilities offers various rebate programs to make energy efficient equipment more affordable & shorten the payback period for our business electric customers. In fact, we paid our customers over $220,000 last year to help them use energy wisely! Want to get in on the action and save energy and money this year? It’s easy! To learn more about how our energy efficiency programs can help you minimize your costs, visit us online at Rebate forms & a summary of our 2016 rebate programs are also available.

Heritage Acres International Heritage Acres July 4th, 36th annual Music Festival will be held starting at 11:00 AM. Gates will open at 10:00 AM. There will be no gate fee. All buildings will be open, including our new display building located west of the Prairieville building. Food stand available with a variety of foods & homemade pies. Kids tractor pull at 11:00 with registration at 10:30. Steve Lang will play at 11:00 & Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen will entertain after that. Wagon rides & train rides and many other activities going on.

Green Mill Restaurant - Holiday Inn Fairmont (507) 238-4771 We are having Acoustic Nights every Thursday on the Patio from 6pm to 9 pm. We feature live acoustic music & singing from artists like Michael Shynes, MoeDell, and Brian Ott. We will also be offering food specials including our new burger menu and drink specials like Henry’s Hard Sodas, Blue Ocean Lemonade and our famous Coronarita!


Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab (507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC Have you and your spouse communicated about how you’ll finance your retirements? And have you shared your estate plans with your grown children? If not, now is a good time to start. You and your spouse might have talked about the big picture, such as when you both plan to retire. But you need to be on the same page with regard to the specifics, such as when you both will take Social Security and how soon you’ll start tapping into your 401(k), IRA and other retirement accounts. As for your grown children, you need to clearly communicate your estate plans to them because they may well play active roles within those plans. So, discuss whom you’d like to provide with a durable power of attorney and whom you’ve chosen as executor of your estate. And talk about what went into your thinking when you created your will and other important documents, such as a living trust. Your hopes for the future are bound up with your loved ones – so make sure they know your plans. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.

Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont - 507-238-8100 Effective Monday, June 27, the Emergency Department (ED) entrance at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont has been temporarily relocated to the Lutz Wing main entrance on the south side of the medical center. The relocation will be necessary for approximately one month as a new canopy is installed above the permanent ED entrance. Internal and external signage will be clearly displayed to ensure patients and visitors can easily find the temporary entrance and the ED admissions desk. A volunteer and security officer will be located inside the temporary entrance when available.

Fairmont Area Kinship (507) 238-4440 Fairmont Area Kinship is a local non-profit organization seeking to better the lives of children in the Fairmont area by developing meaningful mentoring relationships. This is accomplished by matching children with caring adult mentors who share similar interests, activities, and hobbies. Mentoring empowers and encourages children who are at-risk. Kinship has a great need for new mentors as there are currently 13 wonderful children on the waiting list. Our mentors represent a wide array of people with a huge range of ages, work experiences, and family lives. YOU can be a mentor! Kinship is blessed by funding through grants and donations from local businesses, organizations, and individuals.


August 15-21, 2016 •

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

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


Chain of Lakes Yacht Club (507) 23 Chain of Lakes Yacht Club will be holding a Beach Bash on Saturday, July 9th starting at 4:00pm. Open to Yacht Club Members and Non-members (Adults only). Gerhardt’s Catering will be serving food and drinks, so please no outside coolers after 4pm. Games will include Yard games beginning at 4:00pm as well as the first ever Yacht Club Scavenger Hunt from 4:30-6:00pm. The hunt will be done by boat (no cars allowed)! Decadence Inc. will be providing musical entertainment beginning at 8:00pm. Cost is $15 to cover food, games, and entertainment for the night. Pre-register online at

Red Rock Center for the Arts (507) 235-9262 Membership Drive going on now! Embrace arts and culture and support your community art center. Become a member of the Martin County Preservation Association, a 501c3, non-profit organization, operating the Red Rock Center for the Arts and the Chubb House. Basic Membership: Single $15, Couple $30, Household $35 Friend $100. Premier Memberships starting at $250.00. Preserving our past to ensure our future. Promoting the visual and performing arts and adding value to the life our community. Please make checks payable to the MCPA, 222 E. Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont. All donation are tax deductible.

MCYF Grants

Google #OnTheMap

“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.

By: The Martin County Youth Foundation The Martin County Youth Foundation grant applications are now available. 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 Chamber of Commerce, 323 East Blue Earth Avenue or fill out the application online at The deadline for submitting the grant applications is September 15th. Return completed grants to Martin County Youth Foundation, P.O. Box 826, Fairmont, MN 56031 or drop off at the Fairmont Chamber.

Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce is helping small businesses grow their presence online with a Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map workshop, which will feature a lesson about the “Get Found on Google Search and Maps” program. The workshop will be hosted on July 14th, 2016 at Southern Minnesota Educational Campus - Room 012 beginning at 9:00 am.

Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map is a program designed to empower communities to support their local businesses and encourage them to get on the map. Businesses that have complete business information online are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. When people can find info about local dentists, dry cleaners, and your business, our community becomes even stronger. Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map is part of Google’s Get Your Business Online program and aims to bring community members, business owners, and civic leaders together to help small businesses succeed on the web.

To view upcoming community events please visit . If you have any questions or concerns about updating your events to the Fairmont Area Community Calendar please contact me at Calendar Funding Partners: Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Fairmont, Fairmont Area Schools, and Blandin Community Broadband Grand. 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, July 11th - Noon Pork Masters Meeting

Tuesday, July 12th - 4:00 p.m. Pork Cook-Off Meeting

Thursday, July 14th - 9:00 a.m. Get Found on Google Seminar

Wednesday, July 20th - 3:30 p.m. Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings Monday, July 25th Pork Masters Golf Outing

Tuesday, July 26th - 9:00 a.m. Social Media Breakfast

Wednesday, July 27th - 7:30 a.m. Board Meeting

Thursday, July 28th - Noon Fairmont Area Life (Brain Gain) Meeting


Prairie Lakes Transportation

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



WORKFORCE CHALLENGES (Continued from page 2) The benefits of The Annual Pork Masters Golf Outing, a joint venture between the Chamber’s Agri-business Committee and Pork Producers of Martin County, may go largely unnoticed. Pork producers and suppliers from three states are brought together to network and form alliances. They eat at restaurants, stay in our hotels and shop in area stores while visiting the county that ranks among the top ten in the nation in Pork Production. This event also helps fund the Ag Scholarships.. Emerging leaders in are invited to attend Leadership Martin County, a program that highlights personal strengths and extends knowledge about local services, organizations and businesses. Participants are asked to make a commitment to attend a daylong session every month September through May. An instructor from Riverland College leads the morning session that precedes themed tours that stretch into late afternoon. In-depth lessons with guest speakers from specialized fields focus on government, economic development, education, healthcare, quality of life and more. The City of Fairmont brought to life a committee that encourages people to relocate to Martin County to live, work and raise their families. Recently they were awarded a grant to employ platforms, both online and through traditional means to attract new residents. The Fairmont

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Area Life program, otherwise known as Brain Gain identified paths to reach candidates who would entertain a notion to move to the area, they are: • Communication with alumni • Connecting with those who are here, whether visiting or looking for career opportunity • Reaching out online through social media strategies, personal connections and through a dedicated website that showcases our area using videos, photos, testimonials, job offerings, etc. The above snapshot is a mere fraction of the ways that our board and staff engage with others to strengthen Martin County. Our world here at the Chamber is constantly changing to meet the needs of local business. We are not perfect and our work will never be finished. Though our strengths lie in education and workforce, the only way our staff is able to make a difference is with the support of businesses, volunteers and valued partners. Many of you contribute your time, talent, resources or dollars and for that we are truly grateful. Please accept our thank you! For those who are curious about YOUR Chamber of Commerce, I invite you to correspond with me! I am willing to listen and to work with you. One last note to those in business. Please join us for the next Social Media Breakfast. During this hourlong, free seminar, instructor Randy Martinson to be held July 26th at 9 am you will learn how to drive traffic to your store. Call the office or visit and click on “Social Media Breakfast” in the menu to register.

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.

Member Celebrations with Ambassadors

RIBBON CUTTING AT UHD CLINIC IN FAIRMONT United Hospital District (UHD) has opened a new clinic in Fairmont. The extensively remodeled building will accommodate primary care and orthopedic services for residents of Fairmont and surrounding areas.

RIBBON CUTTING AT PRESENTATION COLLEGE Presentation College announces the addition of William (Billy) Potter as the Fairmont Campus Director. Billy is working to expand program offerings and provide more flexible class schedules in Fairmont.


RIBBON CUTTING AT PC JANITORIAL PC Janitorial is now under new ownership. Congratulations to Kyle Muklebust and family of R&S Cleaning! PC Janitorial will continue to offer great products and services for the janitorial industry.

Last Chance for 2016 Ambassador Scholarship!

ness related field entering their Junior or Senior post secondary year in a four year college or their final year in a technical college. The scholarship will be awarded after a review of grades to confirm achievement of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Scholarship applications may be picked up at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce office located at 323 East Blue Earth Avenue or fill out The Ambassador Committee of the Fairmont the application online at the Chambers website at Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a $1,000 Applications are due scholarship to a Martin County student in a Busi- at the Chamber office by July 8, 2016. Specializing in searching for the vehicle you want.


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

Mark Hawkins 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

Fairmont Summer Playground Program


Community Education & Recreation

Join this new, FREE, Summer Playground Program this summer for arts, crafts, games, creative play, and more! The program, sponsored by the City of Fair-

mont and ISD 2752 Community Education and Recreation, will be held at several parks in Fairmont under the supervision of Kayley Shoen and Allison Moeller from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday starting June 14th till August 11th. Parents are encouraged to pre-register at CER and/ or on the first day at the park to fill out the registration form. Grades 1–6. Youth 6 and under should be accompanied by parent or older sibling. For more information, please contact CER at 235-3141.

Program Schedule & Locations. 1ST AND 3RD WEEK OF MONTH

Tuesday - Gomsrud Park Wednesday - Lincoln Park Thursday - Veterans Park


Tuesday - Sylvania Park Wednesday - Ward Park Thursday - Amber Lake Park

For complete list, 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

Helping Kindergartners Succeed! “Stuff for School” provides new school supplies for all students entering Kindergarten, whether attending private, parochial or public classes, in Martin County. Thank you to all of our sponsors and invite you to join contribute to local families. As we enter our 18th year we invite your tax deductible contribution made

payable to Youth First-Stuff for School. Youth First is a local 501(c)3 organization. Your tax deductible donation stays in Martin County. You may drop off your contribution to Fairmont Chamber of Commerce, 323 East Blue Earth Avenue or mail to the Fairmont Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 826, Fairmont, MN

56031. Thank you for your consideration from the Stuff for School Committee: Neil Benschoter, Diane Hendricks, Sue Hinz, Dave and Jo Kropp, Sue Moore and Michelle Rosen.

Social Media Breakfast - July 26th The next Social Media Breakfast will be held on July 26 from 9 to 10 am at Southern Minnesota Educational Campus, 115 S. Park St., in Fairmont.

During this free seminar, instructor, Randy Martinson will show you how to drive traffic to your store. Marketing is changing and it is more important than ever to embrace the tools that are available for businesses. Are you leaving money on the table by not embracing social media?

Visit our website at to register. Thank you Lakeview Methodist Healthcare for sponsoring our June seminar!

Event sponsorships are being accepted for July, August and September events. 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.

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

July 2016 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  

July 2016 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter