Page 1

May 2017

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Event gives students perspective

Inside This Issue Page 2 - Writing the "Story of America" Page 3 - MCAF Grants Page 3 - Ambassador Scholarship Page 3 - Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off Tickets Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs Page 6 - Chamber Golf Outing Page 7 - Ambassador Visits Page 7 - Fluorescent Bulb Recycling

Who knew so many individuals could come together; volunteers, students, counselors and business professionals, all under one roof, for a few short hours and make such an impact? Nine years ago, a collaboration with the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Center, ISEEK, and other area organizations and volunteers, put together the ACE event with this mission in mind: to raise career awareness for area students so they are knowledgeable of the opportunities awaiting them in our communities when they finish their education. The Area Career Exploration (otherwise known as ACE) took place at Fairmont High School. More than six hundred and fifty area sophomores from Blue Earth, Butterfield-Odin, Fairmont, Granada Huntley East Chain, Martin County West, Martin Luther, Mountain Lake, North Union, Southern Plains, St. James, Jackson and Truman attended the career fair where approximately 100 businesses featured local professional information and opportunities. Fairmont High School’s Performing Arts Center accomm o d a t e d (Continued on page 6)

ABOVE: Sophomore students from twelve area schools gather in the PAC at the Fairmont Jr./Sr. High School for the Career Game Show during ACE. BELOW: Students visit with representatives from roughly one hundred different area businesses to learn more about local career options.

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 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

Writing the "Story of America" By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President My earliest memories were near our family farm in Truman where my mom and dad knew the town’s business owners, bankers and farmers by their first names and many of them often gathered early mornings at the local diner. They spent time together and they bought and sold items and services from each other. I cherish those memories and, until recently returning to the area, I thought some of those memories were of a time past. Fairmont has that hometown “story of America” ambiance that brings my memories to life and it’s what people look to when asked what “quality of life” means to them. The wide streets and lantern-lit sidewalks of Downtown Plaza invite visitors and locals alike to stay, shop and enjoy the experience. Your shopping dollars spent locally have a significant impact! Not only do they support entrepreneurs, pay staff, purchase inventory but your tax dollars improve community infrastructure like roads, parks and water which provide more quality of life. Those dollars are circulated in our area an average of seven times before leaving town. Each purchase that you make locally enhances the quality of life for you, your family, friends and neighbors.


As you are greeted by the early signs of spring, take a moment to think about what “quality of life” means. Time spent with family and friends, great home-cooked meals and access to a variety of entertainment, family picnics in the park, water sports at the lake. All of that is close to home! Think about what makes the Fairmont area special and why you choose to live here. Know that you have the opportunity to contribute with each local purchase that you make every day “Each purchase that you throughout the year. make locally enhances “The story of America is written in every small business. It’s the quality of life for you, written in the cafes where we our first loves. And in the your family, friends and meet boutiques where we buy our neighbors.” babies’ clothes. Be there for the businesses that are there for you to help write the next chapter.” Think local first! ROAD CONSTRUCTION ROLLS THROUGH Pay attention to signage. Interstate 90 construction has started and Hwy 15 construction is slated for this season. While Hwy 15 will remain open during the process, both Exits 99 and 102 on-ramps and off-ramps will require closures at some point. Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau, Martin County, the city of Fairmont and Fairmont Chamber are working with MNDot to provide adequate signage and community engagement for the best outcome for our community during this construction.

Road construction underway Detour route for closed ramps

Detour route for closed ramps

Detour route for closed ramps

ABOVE: Four stages of construction will occur on Interstate 90 between Sherburn and Granada in 2017. For more details about this and the Hwy 15 construction project, visit our website at

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

Apply for grants!

The Martin County Area Foundation is accepting grant applications. Non-profits interested in starting a project to enhance the quality of life in Martin County are encouraged to apply for a grant. Application forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce and online at www.MCAreaFoun- Eligibility and other grant information can be found by contacting a board member, or by visiting the website. Please return completed applications by May 31st to MCAF, P.O. Box 704, Fairmont, MN 56031, or drop off at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, 323 East Blue Earth Avenue.



Visit and get signed up!

Pork Cook-Off tickets It's the moment you've been waiting for! Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off tickets are now available at the Fairmont Area Chamber office! The 20th Annual Blue Ribbon Pork CookOff 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 507235-5547 and get your tickets before they're gone!

Scholarship available

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




Call 507-235-5547 or email with any questions regarding this form or individual chamber membership.

St. James

JEFF GREISCHAR CCIM Sales & Leasing Agent

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


Please return this form to the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce: 323 E. Blue Earth Ave | PO Box 826 | Fairmont, MN 56031

Tri-County Implement

Fisher Group

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 at the Chamber office by July 14, 2017.

Yes, you can join the Chamber!


Martin County Implement Truman

Tri-County Implement Jackson


Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber member business briefs

Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab (507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC It’s Graduation Season again. If you have a child who recently graduated, you’re probably thinking about what sort of present to give. Here’s a suggestion: Consider offering a combination of financial gifts and tips. For example, you could give your child some shares of stock. Young people enjoy owning a piece of a company that makes the products and services they like – and the act of ownership can inspire them to learn more about investing. You might also encourage your child to consider opening an IRA. If your child has earned income, he or she can contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA in 2017. Finally, you could make an appointment with your child to meet a financial professional who can explain how borrowing, budgeting, saving and investing all fit together to help individuals stay in control of their finances. By providing your children with some appropriate financial gifts and valuable advice upon graduation, you’ll help prepare them to make smart choices throughout their life.

Century 21 - Gillian Tunnell (507) 399-9211 What is a Realtor? Only real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) can call themselves Realtor. We have pledged to adhere to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and the protection of home buyers and sellers. That’s why all real estate licensees aren’t the same! Realtors provide valuable services to sellers, helping you decide how to market your property, assisting with price setting, giving you objective guidance when evaluating offers, and will be there for you throughout the selling/ closing process. We also have many resources to help buyers in their home search. We help you find a home according to your specifications and buying power, and provide guidance throughout the purchase process, all the way through closing. As a licensed REALTOR, I am happy to help you with buying and selling a home – just give me a call!

House of Hope, Inc. (507) 399-0794 We are in the process of developing a Scholarship Fund for individuals who cannot afford to receive chemical dependency/mental health treatment services at the House of Hope. As many of you know, we provide residential and non-residential treatment. We have found that there are times in which an individual may want to attend non-residential treatment but is unable to afford the annual insurance deductible. Also, at times, an insurance company will discontinue funding residential treatment services, forcing the client to leave treatment early. The House of Hope Scholarship Fund would reduce barriers preventing access to treatment. We invite businesses and individuals who are supportive of the services we provide to make a monetary donation in support of this fund. Donations are being accepted by check or via PayPal.


Aventure Staffing - Brandon DeClercq (507) 399-2027 I have a Bachelors from South Dakota State University and have worn many hats since graduating. I have 5+ years of teaching experience in the state of Iowa. After living in Northwest Iowa for a little over a year, I accepted a position with Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon as an Enrollment Management Specialist (Recruiter). In that position, I was a part of a team working with traditional students, transfer students and nontraditional students helping increase NCC's enrollment. I resigned from this position as Amber (wife) accepted a position as the Quality Assurance Manager with Devenish Nutrition. With my teaching and recruiting experience, I was able to earn the Fairmont Branch Manager position with Aventure. I am excited to begin assisting various businesses in the Fairmont area with staffing needs and helping job seekers find employment! On a personal note, Amber and I have a daughter named Meekah (1 year 2 months) and 2 dogs (Daisy and Duke). We are all excited about our relocation to Fairmont! Optimal Health & Chiropractic (507) 235-5505 Now available at Optimal Health & Chiropractic: Cold Laser Therapy: Cold laser therapy can stimulate all cell types including muscle, ligament, cartilage, nerves, etc., so a number of conditions can be treated by cold laser therapy. Some of conditions that may typically be treated by cold laser therapy include: Arthritis pain, Neck/Back pain, Carpal tunnel syndrome, Tendonitis, Knee pain Decompression Therapy: Patients are reporting that our new state of the art decompression table is making difference in their back pain! Decompression may be the pain relieving solution to your back pain, sciatica, stenosis or bulging disc pain that you've been searching for! Call Optimal Health and Chiropractic for your next chiropractic appointment, and ask Dr. Henderson if cold laser or spinal decompression could help you today. Available at both our Fairmont and Jackson locations! Fairmont Area Let’s Go Fishing (507) 848-5069 The Fairmont Area Chapter of Let’s Go Fishing with Seniors is preparing for the 10th season of taking area Senior Citizens, Veteran and the disabled out fishing and boating free of charge. Our 2017 season begins on Monday June 5th and will continue throughout the summer with outings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, fishing from 9:30am to 11:30am and boating from 12:00pm to about 1:30pm. The Fairmont Chapter volunteers are looking forward to another awesome summer of fishing and boating with area seniors, veterans and the disabled. To book and outing, visit our website, or call 507-848-5069. Hope to see you on the LGFWS pontoon this summer.

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 Fairmont Public Utilities Fairmont Public Utilities offers various rebate programs to make energy efficient equipment more affordable and shorten the payback period for our business electric customers. 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 and a summary of our 2017 rebate programs are also available.

Interlaken Heritage Days (507) 848-4664 Interlaken Heritage Day’s Holy Hotdish series: Serving from 5-7 pm each night. May 9 at Immanuel Lutheran, May 16 at St. John’s UCC, May 23 at Grace Lutheran, May 30 IHD committee serving at Grace Lutheran. Duck Race tickets available for purchase, the race is Sunday, June 11 at noon at Gomsrud Park Channel. Lip Sync registration is still open, register your acts as soon as possible to assist with planning for the event. Parade registration is under way as well. Interlaken Heritage Days is June 9-11, 2017, make plans now to join us! We have something planned for everyone! Additional information can be found on our website at, via email at, on our Facebook page or call Laura at 507-848-4664.


Martin County Veterans Memorial Project (507) 238-3220 The Martin County Veterans Memorial Committee will be holding a ground breaking dedication ceremony for the Martin County Veterans Memorial on May 6 at 1:00 pm. The dedication site will be adjacent to the Winnebago Softball Diamonds on Winnebago Avenue in Fairmont. All Martin County veterans, their families, civic groups and the public are invited to attend. Details regarding specific design of the memorial will be reviewed after the ceremony.

MCSAP Coalition (507) 236-4118 Students from MCSAP (Martin County Substance Abuse Prevention) Coalition's County wide YOCO (Youth Coalition) group conducted a "Sticker Shock" campaign in Martin County reminding people to keep alcohol out of the hands of our youth as we move into a busy time of year with Proms and graduations. Students, coalition members and Fairmont Police Department started at Fairmont liquor Store, placing stickers, bottle hangers and posters thanking people who purchase Visit Fairmont the alcohol to keep our youth safe and reminding them it is a crime to give al(507) 235-8585 cohol to minors. From there they went to Kortes in Welcome, The liquor store We would like to thank the "Sunlight of the Spirin Sherburn and Trimont. It was a fun way for YOCO members to help spread it Weekend" for choosing Fairmont to host their annual event! If your group awareness through out Martin County. If you would like more information or organization is looking for the perfect place to host an event, seminar or about YOCO or MCSAP Coalition, please visit our website. www.MCSAPCoaliannual meeting, consider Fairmont. Contact us to find out more! “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

Tuesday, May 2nd - 10:30 a.m. Grow your Business Online Workshop Wednesday, May 3rd - 7:30 a.m. Leadership Martin County

Thursday, May 4th - 10:00 a.m. Ambassadors Groundbreaking Ceremony Wednesday, May 10th - 6:00 p.m. Bureau 14 Meeting Tuesday, May 16th - 6:00 p.m. Agri-Business Meeting

Wednesday, May 17th - 3:00 p.m. Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings Tuesday, May 23rd - 9:00 a.m. Social Media Breakfast

Wednesday, May 24th - 7:30 a.m. Chamber Board Meeting Monday, May 29th Memorial Day (Offices Closed)

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Neil DeVries Becker Storage Fairmont Butcher Block Bob Gunther

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



Golf Outing approaches

The annual Chamber Golf Outing has always been one of the earliest golf outings of the season. Now in it's 20th year, this much anticipated event is on the move from a Monday outing to a FRIDAY event at the Rose Lake Golf Club. Gather up your foursome and plan to join us on Friday, May 19th for a 1:00 pm Shotgun start. Hole challenges and door prizes will keep you on top of your game. Get out of your shell

and express some personality with the new taco bar dinner and local business networking opportunities to finish up the day. Hole sponsorships are available to chamber members. For more information on how you can register to golf, sponsor a hole, or donate a door prize, contact Kandi at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached by phone at (507) 235-5547 or by email at info@ Thank you to our 2017 Golf Outing sponsors: Wireless World, Fairmont Ford, Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center, Minnesota Energy Resources, Peterson-Anthony Insurance, Optimal Health & Chiropractic, Rose Lake Golf Club, Culligan Water of Fairmont, Johnson Brothers & Phillips Wine Company, Mayo Clinic Health System of Fairmont and Bolton & Menk.

a game show where local young professionals shared their career path and words of wisdom with the students. Two winning schools, Granada Huntley East Chain (GHEC) and Blue Earth Area (BEA) took home trophies. Thank you to all of our sponsors for helping to make ACE possible: AgStar Financial Services, Bank Midwest, Center for Specialty Care, Fairmont Economic Development Author-

ity, First Farmers and Merchants Bank, Fareway, Hy-Vee, Kahler Automation, Martin County IGNITE, Riverland Community College, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, SW/WC Service Cooperation (Perkins Grant). If you would like to know more about this annual event, scheduled for Wednesday, April 11th, 2018, contact Kandi at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce.

ACE Event (Continued from page 1) Fine Jewelry

Sovell Jewelry

Your Professional Jeweler Since 1954 Full Service-In House Repair

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 recognize progress


Chamber Ambassadors join Executive Director Stephanie Busiahn of Visit Fairmont in celebration of their recent name change and rebranding.


Mandi Kosbab of Edward Jones Investments cuts a ribbon commemorating their office relocation. Her office is now located at 116 N. State Street in Fairmont.

Fluorescent bulb recycling

Do you have old fluorescent bulbs building up and are unsure of how to dispose of them? Or worse, perhaps you have made the mistake of throwing them out with the trash. Fluorescent lamps contain mercury and are considered a hazardous waste product. It is against the law to dispose of fluorescent bulbs and ballasts with your regular garbage. Fluorescent bulb recycling will be held in the former Kmart parking lot on Thursday, May 4th, from 9 am-1 pm. This recycling event serves the residents and busi-


nesses of Martin and Faribault Counties. When transporting the lamps, be careful not to break them. There will be a charge at the time of disposal. Fairmont Public Utilities Customers are eligible for total reimbursement for bulb recycling costs. When dropping bulbs off for recycling, ask for a rebate coupon, keep your receipt, and turn both in to Fairmont Public Utilities for reimbursement of recycling costs. Contact the Chamber with any questions at (507) 235-5547.

Over a decade of helping my customers make good choices.

Troy Sunken


Ambassadors congratulate Troy and Jadee Menke, proud owners of Ambiance on Albion. The pub and grill is one of Fairmont's newest dining establishments.


In most communities, Amazon has no facilities and therefore pays no property taxes. In many states, they do not collect state and local sales taxes, increasing the tax burden on local households.

The Best Specialty Care ... Close to Home

1304 Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont, MN



(507) 238-4949

May programs at CER

A Free Bike Rodeo will be conducted on Wednesday, May 10, 3:304:30 pm, at the Fairmont Elementary School West Entrance in conjunction with International Walk/Bike to School Day. ABEC Bike checks and helmet fitting will be provided along with a bike handling and safety skills course. Hot Dogs will be served by Superintendent Joe Brown and Principal Jim Davison. Bike helmets will also be available for purchase. This event is sponsored by Kiwanis, Safe Routes to School, Fairmont CER and Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont. Be aware of our youth bikers and walkers! Summer Adult Co-Ed Leagues are forming. Co-Ed Softball is played on Wednesday evenings beginning May 10 (Team Registration Deadline May 1) and Co-Ed Sand Volleyball is played on Monday evenings beginning June 5 (Registration Deadline May 19.) Youth Sports, Technology Camps, Park and Playground programs and much more are available for summer – check them out at CER! Spend some quality time with youth. Adult Volunteers are needed as youth sports coaches, mentors, literacy tutors and more-call 235-3141 to find out how you can help this summer!

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 Digital Photography May 2 Savvy Social Security Planning May 4 Cake Decorating May 6 Color Abstract Art May 6 Microsoft Word Basic May 6 Tomato Garden May 9, 13 Over 55 Driver Refresher May 15 Fairmont Elementary Track Meet May 16 Miniature Gardens May 11, 16 or 18 Microsoft Excel Basic May 18 Microsoft Publisher May 22 Gymnastics June 5 Fairmont Hurdle, Speed & Endurance Camps June 5 Girls Softball Begins (Pre-register by May 12) June 5 T-ball Begins (Pre-register by May 12) June 6 College Level Girls Basketball Skills Camp June 8 Minecraft World Creation Technology Camp June 9 Newcomers and Neighbors June 29 ‌and much more!

What's your story? - May 23rd The next Social Media Breakfast will be held on May 23 from 9 am to 10 am at the Southern Minnesota Educational Campus, 115 S. Park St., in Fairmont.

During this month's seminar, a presentation will be given by instructor Julie Wright entitled "What's Your Story? The art of storytelling using 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.

Thank you to instructor Jen Kahler for presenting tips on using digital photography to create dynamic content during our April session! 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

May 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  
May 2017 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter