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September 2016

Community Connections “Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Ambassador Scholarship Awarded Right: Andrea Carstensen receives 2016 Ambassador Scholarship Award from Chamber President Margaret Dillard.

Inside This Issue Page 2 - Presidential Potpourri Page 3 - Junior Achievement Page 3 - Fmt. Area Schools Fall Pepfest Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs Page 5 - Chamber's 90th PM Exchange Page 6 - Election Candidate Forums Page 7 - Ambassador Visits Page 7 - Fluorescent Bulb Recycling

in Sioux Falls, SD. The Ambassador Scholarship is awarded annually to one Martin County student in a business related field who is entering their junior or senior year in a fouryear college or their final year in a technical college. Candidates must be able to confirm achievement of at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Congratulations Andrea and best of luck on your future endeavors!

The Ambassador Committee of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce awarded a $1,000 Scholarship to Andrea Carstensen. Andrea is the daughter of Chris and Brenda Carstensen of Fairmont, MN. She is a student at Augustana University

Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-Off The 19th Annual Blue Ribbon Pork Cook Off was held Wednesday, August 17th from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at the Martin County Fairgrounds with approximately 400 people in attendance. Proceeds from this event help support two $4,200 Agri-Business Scholarships. The judges and the public agreed on the top entries for the first time in Blue Ribbon Pork history with the winning contestants taking home their respective ribbons in both the Connoisseur's Choice and People's Choice categories. Thank you to all of 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, CFS, and Zoetis. We would also like to thank this year's contestants: Cup ‘N Saucer Restaurant in Sher-

burn, Green Mill Restaurant in Fairmont, Marina Lodge in Fairmont, Blazer Bar in Fairmont, JoJo’s BBQ in Fairmont, Pillar’s Pub & Eatery in Jackson and VFW Post #1222 in Fairmont. Congratulations to this year's winners!

19TH ANNUAL BLUE RIBBON PORK COOK-OFF WINNERS 1st Place - Cup N’ Saucer of Sherburn, MN 2nd Place - The Marina Lodge of Fairmont, MN 3rd Place - JoJo's BBQ of Fairmont, MN

The Board of Directors of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce unanimously supports a half-cent sales tax in the City of Fairmont that could fund recreational amenities, trails and a Regional Wellness Center/Fairmont Community Center. We feel that the tax will support local and potential business by assisting to create more excellent quality of life options in which to work, live and raise families.

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


Mission Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce exists to promote a healthy business cli

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

Vice Chair Kerry Nagel Allen MRCI-WorkSource

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

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

Rich Johnson Culligan Water Conditioning

Mandi Kosbab Edward Jones

Ann Terfehr Dan’s Appliance

Bob Bartingale Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont

Dr. Kerri Henderson Optimal Health and Chiropractic Center


Margaret Dillard President Kandi Menne Office Manager/ Director of Communications

Curt Foster

Director of Finance and Operations

Benjamin Landsteiner

Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Presidential potpourri

By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President At our office, the summer is a time to plan, train, revise materials, and to prepare etc. Committees are on hiatus. We’re grateful for the opportunity to get ready for busier times. As the fall approaches, momentum picks up and we stare into a rather daunting mass of events, programs and activities. A flurry of items came to mind as I considered this month’s article. Since I couldn’t select one idea or even pare down to focus on a couple that could be neatly segued, this column is a mishmash… a potpourri. While reviewing long and short term member benefits. I came across this factoid that shows that Chambers of Commerce have a dramatic effect on how the consumer views businesses: A national survey of 2,000 adults reveals that being active in a local chamber of commerce is an effective business strategy because two-thirds of consumers believe that such companies use good business practices, are reputable, care about their customers, and are involved in the community.

excellent quality of life options in which to work, live and raise families.” Keep in mind that this tax is applied to purchases made in the city of Fairmont and does NOT affect property taxes. Televised Candidate Forums to be held in October help voters by disbursing information directly from candidates. These dates are not yet set but we will keep you informed through local television, this publication and social media. Lack of qualified workforce, healthcare affordability/timely accessibility and a shortage of affordable housing are top business challenges throughout the country and Martin County. Annually, board and staff come together to create strategies that align with concerns of our business community. The activities this fall are indicative of those strategies. That being noted, it takes dozens of volunteers to carry out our mission.

"...two-thirds of consumers believe that [chamber members] use good business practices, are reputable, care about their customers, and are involved in the community."

The education committee of the Chamber, Bureau 14, meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month from September through May. The first of the season will be at 6 pm on September 14 at Interlaken Golf Club. Martin County Area Foundation will talk about their 25th anniversary and plans to fund even more projects in the future. Members will want to set aside time to attend Bureau 14 on October 12 to be held at Holiday Inn. Attendees will hear perspectives from the city, chamber board and Project 1590 concerning the sales tax referendum. The Chamber Board of Directors voted to support the referendum. The official statement reads: “The Board of Directors of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce unanimously supports a halfcent sales tax in the City of Fairmont that could fund recreational amenities, trails and a Regional Wellness Center/ Fairmont Community Center. We feel that the tax will support local and potential business by assisting to create more


Four happenings to occur in the next few months address education. The Teachers Banquet will welcome new teachers and honor those who have served for 25 years. This also addresses the need to connect new residents/employees to the community. We ask businesses to sponsor a teacher’s dinner and sit with them during the event. The banquet is slated to be held at 6:00 pm, October 25th at Holiday Inn.

Digital Responsibility Seminars will take place October 17th and 18th at Fairmont High School’s Performing Arts Center Speaker Jerry Ackerman will seek to inform students, parents and community members about the consequences of your online presence and that of those in your family and workplace. We will have more details soon. The Chamber is the community’s coordinator with Junior Achievement. The program focuses on teaching business skills to those in grades kindergarten through 6th grades. More than 35 volunteers devote 5 hours to teach in 55 classrooms each year. This would (Continued on page 6)

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

Workforce development for K-6 students Grades and subjects are: Kindergarten - Ourselves 1st Grade - Our Families 2nd Grade - Our Communities 3rd Grade - Our City 4th Grade - Our Region 5th Grade - Our Nation 6th Grade - Global MarketPlace All materials are provided along with a training man-

Junior Achievement program is again being offered in both public and private schools. Junior Achievement has proven to be engaging and fun while stressing the importance of an education as economic concepts and information about the world of work are introduced to students. Thanks to the generous donations area businesses have made, we were able to hold Junior Achievement last year. Whether or not we will be able to offer these classes again will depend on your generosity. For the future of our community, it is essential for businesses to work with the schools so our children are aware of the opportunities here in virtually any occupation in which they may be interested. Junior Achievement is an ideal way to start this process. The Junior Achievement program has included grades K-6. We are seeking volunteer teachers for the following sessions that run for five weeks, one hour each week, during the school day.

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Martin County Implement Truman

Tri-County Implement Jackson

FAX (507) 235-3718


ual. If you or anyone in your business is interested in volunteering, please call the Chamber at (507) 2355547. Please consider helping the Junior Achievement program any way you can. Your future workforce depends on such initiatives. Please send your donation to the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 826, Fairmont, MN 56031 We appreciate your past involvement and hope you can help again this year. We cannot do it without you!

Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Chamber member business briefs Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont (507) 238-8100 Ladies, gather your girlfriends for a fun and enjoyable evening at one of Fairmont’s premier fundraising events, Ladies First. The event (hosted by Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont)takes place Thursday, Sept. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Fairmont. All proceeds from the event benefit hospice services at Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont. Ladies will laugh until they cry with special guest speaker Deadra Stanton’s upbeat and humorous message, as well as enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a chance to win prizes at a raffle and silent auction. Tickets are $50. Register by calling 507-385-2932.


Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab (507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC It’s Open Enrollment Season, so you may need to make some choices regarding your employee benefits — and these choices can have a big impact on your financial situation. For starters, look at your health insurance options. Companies regularly change plans and providers, so the coverage you had last year may not be the same this year. When comparing plans, look at premiums, deductibles, co-pays and total out-of-pocket limits. Also, review the life and disability insurance offered by your employer. These can be valuable benefits, but the coverage may not be sufficient for your needs. So you might need to supplement your employer’s policies with some of your own. Finally, examine your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored retireThe Meadows ment plan. Are you contributing as much as you can afford? Are you spreading (507) 238-7102 your dollars among the different investments within your 401(k) in a way that We have a new name! The Village Cooperative is reflects your risk tolerance and time horizon? If not, consider making some now The Meadows! We are celebrating our 10th changes. Open enrollment isn’t just a time to fill out a bunch of papers. It’s also Anniversary, can you believe it? It seems like just a chance to reconsider – and maybe even upgrade – many areas of your finanyesterday the concept of a Senior Housing Cooperative was being introduced cial outlook. as an alternative for seniors in our area. The Meadows has 36 units, all of which have been occupied for all 10 years. We have had several units change Women Forward of Sweet Financial hands, but have remained at 100% occupancy. There is a strong Wait List of (507) 235-5587 23. This September we have several events planned to celebrate this mileHave you heard that SmarterWomen’s name is stone. If you or your parents are looking for an alternative to home ownerchanging? It’s true! Sweet Financial is dedicated to ship, please give Jodie a call to find out more about the cooperative lifestyle. helping women move forward through life’s transiFairmont Concert Association tions. That is why we believe the name Women Forward is perfect. Women Pat Burns at 235-9276; Jennifer Tow at 236-2892 Forward helps inspire each woman to confidently pursue bigger dreams Fairmont Concert Association Kick-off Dinner & Membership Drive for the while providing the financial education to help her navigate the path to her 2016-17 season begins September 8th! The Concert Association will be best life. When SmarterWomen was founded in 2013, its mission was to conpresenting 5 great concerts for an amazingly low price! The Willis Clan on tinuously help educate women and inspire them to make better decisions for Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 pm; Glenn Henricksen on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 pm; themselves and their families. Women Forward will continue on that misA Band Called Honalee on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 pm; Dallas Brass on Tuesday, sion. Be on the lookout for our updated new look and website coming soon. April 18 at 7 pm; The Concord Singers on Saturday, May 6 at 7 pm. The sea- Disclosure: Sweet Financial is an Independent Firm and Securities offered through Raymond James Financial son tickets will get you into all of the concerts plus 4 concerts in Blue Earth. Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Raymond James is not affiliated with Smarter Women/Women Forward. If you would like to become a Sponsor or a Patron or would like more information, please contact any Concert Association member or call the numbers Smarter Business of Sweet Financial (507) 235-5587 listed above. New members are always welcome and encouraged to join! Over the years Sweet Financial Services has had the Green Mill Restaurant - Holiday Inn Fairmont pleasure of working with many successful business (507) 238-4771 owners. With every business there are challenges September “Throw a Great Office Party” on Green and obstacles to overcome. That is why we decided to create a program called Mill. Anyone can bring their business card into the Smarter Business. Smarter business will help provide insights and support Sales Office at Green Mill/ Holiday Inn or give a busito business owners who are ready to shift their focus from managing a business card to a delivery driver when they order take out, to win the chance ness to achieving bigger results. We are excited to provide this program to to have an office party lunch from and paid for by Green Mill! Green Mill for help address the pains that come with owning a business, so you can spend good campaign through the end of October. Sports teams, organizations, ath- your time doing things you enjoy. Stay tuned for our new website and more letic associations, call to pick a date for their team or association to dine in, updates from Smarter Business! we will total the receipts accumulated that night and give %20 back to the Disclosure: Sweet Financial is an Independent Firm and Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Raymond James is not affiliated or endorses the Smarter Business Program. team! Call for complete details.

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 Opera House (507) 238-4900 On September 16th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Fairmont Opera House will host an Open House to recognize and celebrate the 35th anniversary of the renovation and rededication of the building. It’s been 35 years since “the Big Dig” in which so many area residents pulled together to save the historic building and create the performing arts center that still functions today. The public is invited to tour the Opera House and partake in entertainment, snacks and a cash bar to commemorate all the people who have contributed to Fairmont Opera House Inc. over the past 35 years. Kahler Automation (507) 235-6648 They’re back to college now – or off for the first time – but Kahler Automation would like to recognize three terrific Fairmont area interns it hosted this summer: Lucas Jedlicka, a computer engineering major at Iowa State University; Nick Hilgendorf, an electrical engineering major at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology; and Logyn Cone, a business major attending North Dakota State University. Watch videos of them discussing their summer projects on our YouTube channel.

Fraternal Order of Eagles - Aerie 3394 (507) 238-2555 The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 3394 of Fairmont is actively looking for new members. We now have an on-sale liquor license and open bar. We have donated the facilities and hosted benefits for Don Oeschle, Moby Whitman, Ty Kotewa, and Michal Olson this year as part of our mission of “People Helping People.” In addition we serve Friday night burgers, Saturday night fish suppers and Sunday morning breakfasts twice a month and we rent the hall out for wedding receptions, dances, and weekly bingo. Feel free to come and visit our fine facility which is open to the public.

Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce (507) 235-5547 Take advantage of all the publicity and networking opportunities your chamber offers to members! A PM Exchange (Business After Hours) is a great way to engage the public and network with local business professionals. Your chamber will invite all current members and encourage them to attend your event. Member to Member discounts are weekly emails that allow your business to offer Chamber Members and their employees an exclusive discount. Call Kandi today for more information!

“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.

PM Exchange celebrates 90 years of Chamber The Chamber's 90th Anniversary PM Exchange was a huge success with approximately 100 people in attendance! The Fairmont Area Chamber Staff and Board of Directors would like to thank our members and all those who came out to our event despite the rainy weather! We would also like to thank all of our sponsors for their generous donations, the Fairmont Opera House for hosting, and Steve Lang and Bob Petrowiak for providing entertainment for the evening!


SPONSORS FOR THIS EVENT: Jakes Pizza, Fareway, HyVee, Culligan Water, Tami's on the Ave, Perkins, Green Mill, The Ranch, The Channel Inn, Interlaken Golf Club, Cup n' Saucer, MRCI, Rick DeBoer Signs, Edward Jones - Mandi Kosbab, Dan's Appliance, Align Chiropractic - Zephanie Cole, AgStar, D&S Trophies

Core Values: We value for our members, employees and community: integrity in all we do, collaboration with all our stakeholders, growth and develop

Chamber Events

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

Wednesday, September 14th - 6:00 p.m. Bureau 14 Meeting (Interlaken Golf Club) Wednesday, September 21st - 3:00 p.m. Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings Tuesday, September 27th - 9:00 a.m. Social Media Breakfast

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

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! Aventure Staffing

Farm Bureau - Megan Schwab MSU - Mankato Royalty Rides Subway - State Street United Hospital District Clinic

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be a great volunteer opportunity for anyone who has limited hours to contribute. Eighteen participants have enrolled in Leadership Martin County, a program that highlights government, education, economic development, healthcare, safety, culture and quality of life. Professional and personal strengths are defined and then related to community themes. Participants will attend day-long classes September through May. My very favorite part of working in the community is that entities and organizations come together to accomplish what would otherwise be impossible. In that light, I am honored to serve on the city’s Planning Commission. This position allows me to be informed about our local housing environment. The local economic environment has motivated city, schools and local business to create new housing units.

(Continued from page 2)

I could go on… This time of year is almost overwhelming because the next few months hold so many events. When I look at my calendar between now and December, it is easy to become overwhelmed. I remind myself and my staff of the age-old adage: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

DID YOU KNOW? Money spent at a local business generates 3.5x more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent at a chain-owned business.

Local election candidate forums

Election season 2016 is drawing to a close and it's time for each of us to begin weighing our options before we reach the ballot box on November 8. We at the Chamber will be doing our best to help make your decisions more informed by assisting in Election Candidate Forums for our local election cycle. The 2016 election will cover a wide range of offices representing the citizens of Martin County, including U.S. Representative for District 1, State Senator for District 23, and State Representative

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for District 23A, as well as five Fairmont Area School Board seats and the County Commissioner positions for First, Third, and Fifth Districts. The City of Fairmont will be electing a new Mayor, and City Council persons will be chosen to fill Ward 2, Ward 4 and At-Large seats. The Candidate Forums will be broadcast live, helping you to get to know your local and regional candidates before election day arrives. Watch the chamber website for candidate information, ward map, and forum details!

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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.

Ambassadors celebrate local businesses RIBBON CUTTING AT GRAFFITI CORNER

Chamber Ambassadors welcome Graffiti Corner owners John and Patti Kasper back to their hometown of Fairmont and celebrate the opening of their new business. Graffiti Corner offers gourmet coffee, fresh baked pastries and cookies, frozen yogurt and soft serve treats in a relaxed environment steeped in local legacy.


Weathered & Worn is now in a new location! Owner Pam Olson has relocated her business from it's former Downtown location to it's current home at 214 N. State Street. With an expanded display floor and integrated workshop, Weathered & Worn will be able to offer even more unique repurposed antiques and home decor items.

Fluorescent bulb and ballast recycling

Fluorescent lamps contain mercury and are c o n s i d e re d 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, October 3rd, from 9 am-1 pm. This recycling event serves the residents and businesses 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.

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

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

September programs at CER

Program Planning for Fall and Winter is happening at the Fairmont CER Program. Sharing your special talent with others as a CER instructor or joining an activity to learn something new are great ways to get acquainted. Watch for our new catalog of opportunities and activities for all ages in mid-September. Contact CER (235-3141) for more information or to be placed on our mailing list. Adult Basic Education and English Language activities begin the week of September 12 at the CER Office, 714 Victoria Street, Fairmont Elementary School-enter Door 15A on the south side of the school. Free Evening classes to prepare for GED, improve math/reading or prepare a resume will be held on Monday & Thursday evenings, 7-9 pm. Quiere aprender ingles? Encuentre clases gratis para adultos. Adults wishing to learn English can attend free classes on Mondays and Fridays, 10-12 noon, Wednesdays 1-3 pm, Tuesdays, 7-9 pm. Contact CER to inquire about child care or transportation needs for the daytime classes. Remember to use the Community Calendar (www.FairmontAreaCalendar. com) to find out what is happening in our community and county on a daily/ weekly/monthly basis. For information on how to get your community event in Martin County on the calendar, contact CER (235-3141) or the Fairmont Chamber of Commerce.


CER wishes to extend a special thank you to the volunteers and sponsors of the 38th Annual Fairmont Summer Run including Mayo Health Systems Fairmont, Carlson’s Dental, Fairmont Chiropractic and Acupuncture Health Care, Fairmont Family Dentistry, Center for Specialty Care, Culligan, Hy-Vee Foods and Fareway Foods.

A SAMPLING OF UPCOMING ACTIVITIES ISD 2752 Fairmont Area School Begins September 6 Gymnastics (Ages 3-6) September 7 Defensive Driving Refresher September 8 CER Citizens Advisory Council Meets September 8 ABE & English Classes Begin September 12 Fairmont Early Childhood Initiative Meets September 12 Safe Routes to School (Tuesday mornings) September 13 Hy-Vee Dish (Dinner is Solved) September 18 Early Childhood Dental Network Meets September 19 Lights On For Kids Afterschool Begins September 26 ‌and much more!

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

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. VISION CARE CONTACT LENS

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September 2016 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter  
September 2016 - Fairmont Area Chamber Newsletter