Page 1

June 2017

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Cultivating local leadership

Inside This Issue Page 2 - Five Things to Know Page 2 - Blue Ribbon Pork Cook Off Page 3 - MCYF Award Page 3 - Ag Scholarship Winners Page 3 - Pork Masters Golf Outing Approaches Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs Page 5 - Ambassador Scholarship

Last month marked the end of the 2016-2017 Leadership Martin County program. The nine month program saw 18 local participants graduate, armed with a greater knowledge and understanding of the assets, complexities and potential of our community. The Leadership Martin County program began in the Fairmont area in 2010 with the mission “To develop community leaders to ensure the future vitality of our area.” Over 90 participants have now graduated the program with candidates drawn from business, industry, education, public and private agencies, (Continued on page 6)

ABOVE: Graduates of the 2016-2017 Leadership Martin County program line up for a photo op in front of the Martin County Courthouse in Fairmont.

Chamber rolls out new certificates

Page 7 - Ambassador Visits ABOVE: Watch for these counter cards at Martin County businesses indicating their support for the Chamber Gift Certificate program.

The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce made the transition to the newly upgraded Chamber Gift Certificates (or Chamber Bucks) last month in an effort to boost their effectiveness in keeping dollars circulating within our local economy. The program has accounted for over a quarter million dollars of local spending in our area in the last five years alone. This is just one of many ways in which the Fairmont Area

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

Chamber is working to strengthen local retail and support Martin County businesses. Business owners and store managers are showing great enthusiasm for the improved certificates and updated processing system. We encourage every business in Martin County to support our local economy by honoring these certificates. The former "green" certificates remain valid and will continue to be (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 Vice Chair Les Anderson Martin County Farm Bureau

Past Chair Ron Kopischke Profinium, Inc.

Treasurer Sara Pierce Pierce Accounting and Tax Services

Board of Directors: Deb Barnes Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center

Dave Cone Kahler Automation Corporation

Chris Carstensen Carstensen Cabinetry and Woodworking

Mandi Kosbab Edward Jones

Stephanie Busiahn Visit Fairmont

Zephanie Cole Align Chiropractic & Acupuncture, PLC

Brandon Edmundson Krahmer and Shaffer, Ltd

Ann Terfehr Dan’s Appliance


Margaret Dillard President Kandi Menne Office Manager/ Director of Communications

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

5 things to know about your Chamber


By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President 1. We're a community nonprofit organization funded by our members and program sponsorships. Chambers of commerce are 501c6 non-profit organizations made up of local business members. According to Wikipedia, the first chamber of commerce, or board of trade was founded in 1599 in Marseille, France. New York City boasts the first in our nation, created in 1789. Chambers are not government institutions and have no direct role in the making of laws, but may act to influence local and state representation. Our goal is to support, create and strengthen local business. 2. We collaborate but are separate from city & county governments, Economic Development Authorities and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Autonomy allows us to concentrate on business interests while working closely with other agencies without duplicating efforts. Funding comes from business and individual membership and from program sponsors who value what we do for our communities in Martin County. 3. Programs, projects and activities are guided by our board of directors. All chambers must elect a board of directors, file articles of incorporation, follow bylaws and hold member meetings annually. The team of professionals who make up our Board of Directors meet monthly to guide staff in carrying out Chamber initiatives. Each Fall the group sets goals and initiatives for the coming year. See current board members at: 4. The voice of local business is amplified through your chamber. Virtually every business

population in the nation falls within the region of a chamber of commerce, we are the "go to" source for information about local business stats and environment. 5. Advocacy, networking, education and leadership are our strengths. Legislative webinars and direct lines of communication with legislators help us stay informed about state and national business happenings. We participate in the Minnesota Chamber's statewide tour where they gather information about rural areas. Staff visits with area business people daily. Chamber-led networking events allow business people, local government, education leaders and entrepreneurs to be "in the know" about local happenings, events and plans. While Bureau 14 offers a platform for general business information from agencies and individuals at large, the Ambassadors Committee is our direct link to business creation and expansion. Our Agri-business Committee strengthens agriculture through providing scholarships and industry awareness and education. Through Junior Achievement, a group of dedicated volunteers, organized by the chamber and local educational facilities, teach five one-hour classes to students in kindergarten through grade six about business. Junior Achievement prepares young people to think of themselves as contributors (whether in the role of consumer, entrepreneur, employer or employee) in the world of business. Leadership Martin County is a program designed to enable candidates to learn about Martin County resources, values, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. A learning experience geared toward providing an in-depth look at eight key elements of our community; (Continued on page 6)

Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off tickets are now available at the Fairmont Area Chamber office! The 20th Annual Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off will be held Wednesday, August 16, 2017 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm in

the Martin County Arena at the Fairgrounds. Tickets are $8. Contact the Fairmont Area Chamber at 507-2355547 to get your tickets!

Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off

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

Thank you!

ABOVE: Chamber President Margaret Dillard and Board Treasurer Sara Pierce accept a $2,000 grant award from the Martin County Youth Foundation to help fund the Jr. Achievement program in our area. We want to thank the MCYF for their support!

2017 Ag Scholarship Winners

Each year, the Chamber’s Agri-Business Committee awards two $4,200 scholarships to Martin County High School students bound for a four-year degree in agriculture or an agriculturerelated industry. This program is made possible by sponsorships and in cooperation with Agriculture Future of America. The committee and sponsors are also responsible for the Blue Ribbon Pork Cook Off held annually at the Martin County Fair. Thank you to our 2017 sponsors: AgStar Financial Services, Bank Midwest, Cargill, Inc., Dutch Creek Farms, Fairmont Veterinary Clinic, Kahler Automation, Martin Co. Corn & Soybean Growers, Martin Co. Pork Producers, Preferred Capital Management, Profinium Financial, Valero Renewable Fuels Company LLC, CFS and Zoetis.

25 years of Pork Masters

The Martin County Pork Producers and the Agri-Business and Ambassadors Committees of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce have joined together to host the 25th Annual Minnesota State Pork Masters Golf Outing on Monday, July 24, 2017 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 to the state of Minnesota while raising funds for Ag Scholarships and increasing ag awareness in our local business climate. Lunch and dinner are provided for participants at the Interlaken Golf Club. There will be games and prizes on every hole and 250 golfers are expected to participate. For golf or sponsorship information, call Curt at the Fairmont Area Chamber office at 507-235-5547 or visit

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


Congratulations to Leyton Becker (Left) of Fairmont and Sierra Williamson (Right) of MCW, who were awarded Ag Scholarships by the Agri-Business Committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber.

Certificates (Cont'd)

accepted at local establishments, but the new, easier to process "pink" certificates are showing signs of early success by being honored at increasingly more businesses throughout Martin County. If you have experienced any difficulty in redeeming your "green" certificates at a Martin County business, you can exchange them for the new pink certificates by visiting the Fairmont Area Chamber office at 323 E. Blue Earth Avenue in Fairmont. Please contact the Fairmont Area Chamber for additional information about the Chamber Gift Certificate program.

Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber member business briefs

Kahler Automation (507) 235-6648 Two new employees recently joined the staff of Kahler Automation: Jonathan Dahlin is working in the Service Department helping load software, and testing equipment. Nick Arp is working as a Field Technician; he is a recent graduate from Minnesota West Community & Technical College. In addition, Kahler has four great summer interns working with us this summer: Austin Philipp (Service), Lucas Jedlicka (Software), Zach Dewitt (IT) and Logyn Cone (Marketing). Finally, congratulations to HR Director Courtney Cutler, who recently became a certified facilitator of Everything DiSC, a workplace communication and relationship-building tool.

Interlaken Heritage Days (507) 848-4664 Interlaken Heritage Days, June 9th-11th - FREE community meal, 5 pm Friday at Heritage Acres, entertainment by Heartsong. Saturday at Heritage Acres starts at 10 am with the Kid's Pedal Pull. Other events: Hypnotist Gabriel Holmes, Caricatures by Casey, Murphy Bros Band. Parade through downtown starts at 6pm! We’ve teamed up with Fairmont Legion Post 36 to bring you Tugboat Rampage for the street dance Saturday, 8 pm to midnight. Sunday we move to Gomsrud Park for Bouncefest, the Duck Race, Graffiti Art Demo and community mural project sponsored by Red Rock Center for the Arts. FREE canoe rides brought to you by Smiles and more!

JL Computers (507) 235-9418 JL Computers is celebrating five years of service to the Fairmont area this June! Our goal is to provide quality products and services, with friendly customer relationships built on honesty and integrity. We want to thank our amazing customers for helping us to achieve this important milestone, and we look forward to serving you again in the future!


Perkins Restaurant (507) 238-4500 Perkins in Fairmont has great deals all week long! Every Monday is FREE Pie Day, Tuesday, Kids Eat Free from 4 pm to 10 pm. Wednesdays special is omelets! Thursday is burger day, Fridays, All you can eat fish. Don’t forget the Great Plates menu available all the time. Stop in for pricing. Sign up for Perkins E-Club and get exclusive coupons and offers. Try something tasty today! See you soon!

House of Hope, Inc. (507) 399-0794 It is estimated that only 10 % of individuals seeking access funding for chemical dependency treatment services receive the service. Knowledge of this unfortunate reality was the inspiration in creating the House of Hope Scholarship Fund. This fund offers clients who are no longer eligible for funding (while receiving residential treatment services at the House of Hope) to remain in treatment until successful completion. It also provides the opportunity for individuals who are appropriate to enter our Out-Patient Program but are not able to afford the annual insurance deductible cost to be admitted to treatment due as the fund would offset the deductible cost. This fund is operational due to monetary donations. Should you be interested in support it please email;

Red Rock Center for the Arts (507) 235-9262 Annual Membership Drive: The Martin County Preservation Association operating the Red Rock Center for the Arts and Chubb House is hosting their annual membership drive now through August 31st. With a focus of preserving these two prominent facilities and providing quality performing, visual and educational opportunities to enhance the community in which we live, work Smarter Business of Sweet Financial and play your support is greatly needed. Individual, family, friends of the (507) 235-5587 MCPA and business memberships are available and used to assist in the day Join Today and Get More Out of Your Business! Smartto day operating expenses. Interested in serving on the Board of Directors er Business provides small-business assistance and and being a positive influence within the organization? Several positions are training for business owners who want to shift their focus from running day-to-day operations to big-picture opportunities for available please contact the Red Rock Center for more information. growth and success. Sign up today to receive our insights, tips and exclusive invitations to Smarter Business events. You don’t need an account with their Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont advisors in order to benefit from Smarter Business. Visit: www.sweetfinancial. (507) 238-8100 com/smarter-business/join-smarter-business/ or call our office to sign up! Starting in May, Mayo Clinic Health System (507) 235-5587. If you want to be helpful to someone that could benefit from in Fairmont began partnering with the Connected Care Department at Mayo Clinic in Rochester to remotely monitor COPD patients. The Connected Care Smarter Business, we encourage you to share this information! Disclosure: Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. team uses remote technology to monitor these patients and intervene if any Sweet Financial Services is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Ser- clinical concerns are noted. This effort provides better, more timely care for vices. Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Raymond James people with COPD, as well as prevents unnecessary hospitalizations. is not affiliated with and does not endorses the Smarter Business Program.

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

Century 21 - Gillian Tunnell (507) 399-9211 Are you buying a house and wondering whether to order a home inspection before you finalize the deal? It may cost you from $300-$500 up front to have the inspection, but not having one could end up costing you a lot more if there are hidden problems. If major issues come to light, you have three options: negotiate with the seller, who may agree to pay all or part of the repairs; take the property as is; or you may be able to withdraw from the deal if your purchase agreement has an Inspection Contingency. Whichever option you take, it’s smart to have the inspection before you finalize the purchase.

Martin County Veteran Services (507) 238-3220 The Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans invites you to participate in a FREE Drop-In Legal Clinic for veterans. Topics covered will include housing, employment, benefits, debt collection, expungement, and family law including child support. The clinic will take place on Wednesday, June 7 at the Fairmont Armory from 8:00 am until 12:00 pm. Attorneys, MACV staff, Martin County Veterans Service Officers, and child support officers will be available throughout the day to assist veterans with questions, legal forms and counsel. For more information, contact Vetlaw Program – MACV at 507-345-8258.

“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.

Local scholarship The Ambassador Committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a Martin County student in a Business 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 filled out online at the Chambers website at www. Applications must be submitted to the Chamber office by July 14, 2017.

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.


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

Friday, June 2nd Chamber Golf Outing

Wednesday, June 21st - 3:00 p.m. Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings Wednesday, June 28th - 7:30 a.m. Chamber Board Meeting

Tuesday, July 4th Independence Day (Offices Closed)

WELCOME NEW MEMBER! Kenway Engineering, Inc.


Unlike most local businesses, Amazon is disengaged from our local communities. They do not support local charities or community programs and do not invest resources into solving local problems.

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


5 things to know

(Continued from page 2)


education, economic development, government, healthcare, public safety, quality of life, agriculture, and culture & diversity. This program provides opportunities for candidates to exchange ideas, build networks and begin the process of identifying and solving important community issues. A series of topical seminars are held over a nine month period and conducted by local and regional professionals. Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 program. Tuition is $650 but scholarships may be available. We invite you to get involved: Volun-

teers help with events like the Pork Masters Golf Outing held in July and the Glows Parade that kicks off the holiday season each November. Through membership investments, approximately 300 businesses and individuals keep our mission and goals alive. On behalf of the Board and staff of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, we are truly blessed and grateful to be entrusted with providing a healthy business environment. If you would like to know more or have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or drop by the office.

civic groups, non-profit organizations and virtually every other corner of the professional community. The Leadership Martin County program was designed to enable candidates to learn about Martin County resources, values, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. It is an unparalleled learning experience in our area and is geared toward providing an in-depth look at eight key elements of our community. Focus topics include education, economic development, government, healthcare, public safety, quality of life, agriculture, and culture & diversity. The program has been a cooperative effort between the Fairmont Area Chamber of

Commerce and Riverland Community College with additional funding provided by Fairmont EDA, Martin County EDA (Ignite), Mayo Clinic Health Systems and Rosen’s Diversified, Inc. We are now accepting applications for the Leadership Martin County program for 2018-2019. Be sure to submit your applications soon as class sizes are limited to around 20 participants on a first come, first serve basis. Additional information is available on our website at You can reach the Fairmont Area Chamber by phone at 507-235-5547 or by email at with any questions regarding the program or the application process.

Leadership (Continued from page 1)

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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 are on the move





Groundbreaking ceremony with chamber member Krueger Realty recognizes progress on new residential development at the corner of E 1st St. and N Prairie Ave.

Chamber member CREST commemorates their relocation to Lakeview Health Center (610 Summit Drive, Suite 102) with an Ambassador ribbon cutting.

Chamber Ambassadors celebrate new staff and a new location with chamber member SMILES CIL. Their new office is located at 301 Downtown Plaza, Suite 3.

Chamber member Baywood Home Care cuts a ribbon with Chamber Ambassadors in recognition of their recent relocation to 1001 Blue Earth Ave in Fairmont.

Over 32 years of experience, and ready to help you with that important decision.



Dale Splinter 1304 Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont, MN


(507) 238-4949

June programs at CER

Staycation in Fairmont with your family or grandchildren! Our community offers a wide variety of opportunities for summer fun. Stay here and enjoy the Lakes, Aquatic Park, Summer Reading Opportunities, Youth Sports Camps, Technology Camps, Summer Camps, Park and Playground programs and much more – check them out at CER! Special thanks to the Martin County Youth Foundation for their support of the Youth Activity Scholarship program and the Summer Discovery Camps at Cedar Park. Contact CER for more information. Be sure to thank your City of Fairmont representatives for their support to offer the free Fairmont Park and Playground program this summer. The program is open to youth in Grades 1-6. Younger youth may attend with an adult. Contact CER for the schedule. This program also includes MakerSpace Monday afternoon activities.

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


A SAMPLING OF UPCOMING ACTIVITIES MS Publisher – Computer June 7 College Level Girls Basketball Skills Camp June 8 Minecraft World Creation Technology Camp June 9 MS PowerPoint – Computer June 10 Girls Basketball Camps June 12 I-90 Boys Basketball Camps June 12 & 26 Dog Obedience June 13 Amazing Race Summer Camp (Grades 4-7) June 12-15 PEBC Survivor Camp (Grades 4-7) June 19-22 Fishing on the Hobo Trail June 13 Cupcake Decorating for Father’s Day June 16 Book Club at Fairmont Elementary School June 19 Baton Twirling June 19 Summer Reads VISTA June 21 PEBC Wild Trekkers Camp (Grades 1-3) June 19 Red Rock 4th of July Themed Art June 26 Cake Decorating-Patriotic Cake June 29 Newcomers and Neighbors June 29 …and much more!

Chamber programs to return in September Three monthly programs at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will be taking a brief hiatus during the coming summer months before starting up again this fall. Many of you know Bureau 14 as the premiere professional networking event in our area, open to all Chamber Members and their guests. These meetings offer discussion on current business trends, governmental affairs and

local community happenings. The Agri-Business Committee is another great networking group geared toward farmers and businessmen. This committee helps to promote the importance of agriculture in Fairmont and Martin County. The committee awards ag scholarships to Martin County high school seniors, co-sponsors the Pork Masters Golf Outing, supports Ag Related courses and FFA, and

helps with the Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off. Social Media Breakfasts are one-hour monthly sessions that provide insight and instruction into how online resources and social media platforms can be leveraged to help businesses and organizations to grow and succeed. All three programs will return after the summer break and will begin to take place again starting in September. 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

June 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  
June 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter