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2ND QUARTER 2013

ECONOMY

Liquidity—Water clarity affects local economies. Pg. 41

COMMUNITY

Rural Recruiting—Small towns market their natural advantages. Pg. 34

PHILANTHROPY

Shades of Goodness—Charitable goals blend with brands and values. Pg. 14

Enlisting the Skills of Our Veteran Workforce

PAGE 22

SPECIAL ANNUAL REPORT ISSUE


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MINTO PORTER, MD

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Ear, Nose & Throat

MARK WITTE, MD

Endocrinology

THOMAS MORAGHAN, MD

Gastroenterology

JOHN BERG, MD WILLIAM SACHS, MD MELONEE RUHL, RN, CNP

Neurology

JARED RUSTAD, MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology

HAL LELAND MD ALICIA PRAHM MD PAMELA RICE MD STEVEN SENICA MD JORDAN BENSON RN, CNP LORI GUTIERREZ RN, CNP SUE HADLAND RN, CNP JANE SUSKA RN, CNP

Oncology

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Orthopedics*

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Podiatry

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Psychiatry

STEPHEN GRANDT, MD PETER NEIFERT, MD ANDREA NELSEN, MD HEIDI SORENSON, MD THERESA STEELE, RN, CNP

Pulmonology

GREG DAVIS, MD

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Improve your quality of life. You don’t notice what your glands and hormones do to support your health, until they are not working properly. Dr. Moraghan, the area’s only full-time endocrinologist, works with patients and their doctors to help explain sometimes baffling symptoms or to find different ways to approach conditions that aren’t responding to other treatments. For appointments call: 218.828.2880

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Initiative Foundation Quarterly 2ND QUARTER 2013

Contents FEATURES

22 Heroes for Hire

Enlisting the skills of our veteran workforce.

30 Growing Home

Local foods fuel health, wealth and wellness.

34 Rural Recruiting

To attract top talent, small town companies market their natural advantages.

41 Liquidity

The clearer the water, the stronger the economy.

54 2012 Annual Report

The Initiative Foundation Year in Review

DEPARTMENTS

8

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Business

Talent Rising – What are you doing to support workforce development for the next generation?

12 Community

The Same Page – St. Cloud is pioneering a simple system to keep its priorities straight.

14 Philanthropy

Shades of Goodness – In the palette of corporate giving, charitable goals blend with brands and values.

18 Economy

Inspired Spaces – Can an office spark innovation?

50 Home Made

Piñata Project Cold Spring, Minn. – Products made right here in central Minnesota.

64 Where is IQ?

Nationally, over 200,000 servicemen and women are transitioning back into civilian life each year.

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IQ ad w bleeds FINAL.pdf

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TO OUR VETERANS AND HEROES OF TODAY WHO SACRIFICE SO WE CAN ALL LIVE FREE...

THANK YOU!


Dear Friends, We heard the story from the other side of the globe, and now there we were. Staring at it. I’d say we both felt a strange tangle of emotions—awe, sadness, pride and regret. They shifted by the moment. The monument was simple, solemn and elegant, a bare cross next to a pair of wings made of iron and stone. Josef Turek, a historian from the Czech Republic Army, had taken the day off to guide Neal, me and our friends, Paul and Dixie, on a tour near his hometown. We drove through rain on bumpy dirt roads to the village of Mucov, a very special place as it turned out. Not unlike many of the hometowns in Central Minnesota, the people of Mucov had come together around a project that was important to them. Just three years ago, they erected a memorial in honor of American soldiers who gave their lives in a pivotal World War II flight in 1944 titled The Final Approach. They were part of a strategic campaign “The Final Approach” Memorial, to target German fuel plants and shorten the war. Czech Republic These were young men the Mucov residents never met but who impacted their lives, their community and their future. It was important to remember. As we stood with Josef, our own connection to these men faded into focus and became more than a story. One of those soldiers was Flight Engineer Tunis Gaalswyk, my father-in-law’s cousin. He gave his life for freedom, and it happened right where we were standing. And now my son, Luke, carries on his legacy as a U.S. Air Force Captain. Of course, there are countless stories of military service and ultimate sacrifice, but perhaps what matters most is the one that is currently being written. As thousands of troops return to Minnesota after deployments, they arrive to a new reality with new challenges. Among their highest priorities is finding a good job. In this special issue of IQ, we examine soldiers’ challenges of returning to the civilian workforce and also the uniquely valuable skills they bring to their new jobs. Our message to employers: Consider hiring a hero.

VO LU M E 1 2 , 2 QUA RTE R 2 0 1 3 nd

IN ITI ATI V E FOUNDA TION President | Kathy Gaalswyk Vice President for External Relations | Matt Kilian Marketing & Communications Manager | Anita Hollenhorst ED ITO RI A L Managing Editor | Elizabeth Foy Larsen Writer | Laura Billings Coleman Writer | Sarah Colburn Writer | Gene Rebeck Writer | Britta Reque-Dragicevic Writer | Lawrence Schumacher Writer | Laurie Stern Writer | Maria Surma Manka AR T Art Director | Andrea Baumann Photographer | John Linn Photographer | Justin Wohlrabe AD VER T I S I NG / S UBS CR I PTIO NS Advertising Director | Brian Lehman Advertising Manager | Lois Head Advertiser Services | Nikki Lyter Subscriber Services | Katie Riitters

Kathy Gaalswyk President

405 First Street SE Little Falls, MN 56345 320.632.9255 | www.ifound.org IQ Magazine unlocks the power of central Minnesota leaders to understand and take action on regional issues.

P.S. Yes, another one! Lincoln Arthur Gaalswyk was born May 25 to Mark and Melissa. Photo courtesy of inspired design, inspireddesignandphotography.com

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In addition to being the second-largest public university in Minnesota, St. Cloud State is also a living laboratory that connects students with the real world. It’s a launch pad for life. And that’s not just talk. Connect at www.StCloudState.edu/ForLife to see all we have to offer.

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2ND QUARTER 2013

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Business

Talent Raising What are you doing to support workforce development for the next generation? By Sarah Colburn | Photography by John Linn

Everyone knows today’s teens and young adults are tomorrow’s workforce. Many central Minnesota businesses and nonprofits are working with high schools, local colleges and universities to raise their public profile in hopes of creating a welcoming atmosphere that will usher the next generation through their doors. What these organizations often find is that they learn as much as they teach. We asked three central Minnesota organizations to share their results from this intergenerational give-and-take.

JOHN MCDOWALL

President and CEO – McDowall Company, Waite Park

We’re a 118-year-old family-owned company. We’ve been in the St. Cloud area since 1948 and today we have four divisions: commercial flat roofing, architectural sheet metal, commercial HVAC fabrication and installation and comfort management. Learn & Earn We’re a union shop and unions have apprenticeship programs that let you learn as you earn. It’s on-the-job training coupled with training in a school setting. Apprentices work on an hourly basis and their compensation grows as they move forward in the program. They’re employed by us and once they put in enough hours to become a journeyperson, they continue on with the business. Trade Missions We have good relationships with the high schools in Holdingford, Melrose, Royalton and Albany and we talk to students about apprenticeships. Even though we’re with McDowall, we’re not just pushing for us. We want to educate the next generation about what’s out there as far as actual trades. This gives students an option other than college.

8 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

Out of the Shadows Workplace shortage is always a concern, but if you are always looking for new talent and offer competitive wages and good training, you should be able to find the people you need to complete the work. We stay connected by offering scholarships to high school and technical school students and internships to technical and community college students who need to fulfill a two-week job shadow requirement. That combination of programs gets our name out there. We want students to feel comfortable coming here and applying.

LYNNETTE DIRKS

Executive Director – H.O.W.A. (Hackensack, Onigum, Walker, Akeley) Family Center, Walker

We create leaders of the future by following our mission: to enrich the lives of children, families and our community through mentoring. The center is also as an Initiative Foundation grantee and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) host site. Friend Raising We reach out to high school kids through our Lunch Buddies mentoring program, which pairs older students with elementary school kids who have been identified by the school as needing a role model, an extra boost of confidence and someone to teach them how to build friendships. The high school students learn


compassion and the skills to believe that they can make a difference in a child’s life and their community. Succession Plans A lot of the mentors in the program were at one time mentees themselves and they became leaders through their experiences with our Kinship program. They jumped at the opportunity to give back to the younger kids. Professional Preparation We interview all the mentors at the start of the project and talk all the time with them about what it means to be a role model in someone’s life. We also have a young VISTA member who’s building her leadership and management skills and is looking to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. It’s exciting to see her grow with the program and gain skills for a future job.

JEFF SCHOESS

CEO – Eden Medical, Howard Lake

We’re a research and development firm that creates new imaging and wound care technologies. We’re funded through federal Small Business Innovation Research grants and have received support from the Initiative Foundation as well.

Reverse Mentoring We hire interns who work alongside our engineers to do computer analysis and lab research. We look for students with skills related to mechanical design, engineering, computer-aided design, graphic arts and physics. They have experienced less in life, and are open to new ideas. I think of it as “reverse mentoring,” where they mentor us from a youthful and fresh mindset. Research & Develop We make connections by going into area high school physics and science classes to tell students more about the nature of our research. We also served as industry consultants to help develop a master’s engineering program for students at St. Cloud State University. Supply Chain We’re not worried about a future workforce shortage because there are a significant number of new graduates available to hire. Our young people have used our company as a stepping stone to the industry. One of our high school students with an interest in engineering worked here summers through college and has gone on to a job with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Another received a chemical engineering degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth and has been working as a contractor in Minneapolis.

2ND QUARTER 2013

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Community

PRIORITY PLANNERS: St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis (left), Central Minnesota Community Foundation President Steve Joul and Initiative Foundation President Kathy Gaalswyk.

The Same Page St. Cloud is pioneering a simple system to keep its priorities straight By Lawrence Schumacher | Photography by John Linn

It all started with a road trip to Dubuque in 2010. St. Cloud area leaders, driven by a desire to build a stronger partnership to bolster the area’s success, traveled down to see what the successful Iowa community had been up to in the previous decade. “We’d heard of Dubuque’s great success in achieving shared goals that put people back to work, beautified their town and engaged lots of citizens,” said Kathy Gaalswyk, Initiative Foundation president. That trip resulted in a community visioning process and the development of the first Greater St. Cloud Community Priorities. Guided by leadership from the Initiative Foundation, the Central Minnesota Community Foundation and Times Media, a St. Cloudarea news provider, the priorities list included several wishes that that have turned into hard-won realities. Scheduled air service has returned to St. Cloud Regional Airport, a boon to a corporate community that feels a working airport signals the region’s readiness to do business. The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, which steers economic 12 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

development efforts for the region, was responsible for successfully courting German implement manufacturer Geringhoff—and over 100 jobs—to St. Cloud. And there’s now a plan in place to connect St. Cloud and surrounding communities more closely to the river that runs through them. “The Mississippi River is an economic and recreational gem that needs to be celebrated, protected and accessible for all,” said Gaalswyk. It’s a formula that civic leaders believe will lead to success. “With the work of the GSDC and the other groups we hope to build a community that is innovative and ready for the future,” said Brian Myres, managing vice president of Capital One and a Greater St. Cloud Community Priorities leader. “We can then form a regional brand that can drive economic growth, which in turn increases wages, employment and our overall quality of life.” This year, the coalition that put together those initial priorities has broadened and deepened its commitment to the St. Cloud area and its future. “Our challenge for this year was to revisit the


priorities, create action steps under each category and make sure they’re achievable,” said Steve Joul, Central Minnesota Community Foundation president. For 2013, the coalition chose to add efforts aimed at assisting those facing poverty, empowering youth and supporting the needs of aging residents. The “cradle to career” effort is working to develop a network of pre-school and out-of-school initiatives that will build

student success and career readiness, said Dr. Earl Potter, St. Cloud State University president and Initiative Foundation trustee. “We are always seeking the optimal mix that will make a difference,” said Potter. “If we find gaps that we cannot afford to fill, we seek new resources together with a stronger case. Not only do we have the data to show need, we have the evidence to show that we can maximize investments.”

The 2013 GREATER ST. CLOUD COMMUNITY PRIORITIES 1

Retain, expand and attract businesses

2

Support student success through a “cradle to career” approach for education and workforce development

3

Enhance recreational amenities and natural resources

4

Invest in regional transportation and infrastructure

5

Elevate culture, arts and a “sense of place”

6

Assist those facing poverty

7

Support aging in place

8

Expand inclusive participation and engagement of people of color in community leadership To learn more about the priorities and how to get involved visit: www.ifound.org.

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2ND QUARTER 2013

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Philanthropy

Shades of Goodness In the palette of corporate giving, charitable goals blend with brands and values By Maria Surma Manka | Photography by John Linn

Mark Goldman, Valspar: “We can help revitalize communities in greater Minnesota.”

On a color wheel, hues are organized to show relationships between primary, secondary and complementary colors. When complementary colors are placed together, their contrasts reinforce each other. Those pairings—a small nonprofit and a multinational corporation, for example—happen in the philanthropy world, too. Take Minnesota Beautiful, a program administered by the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations. Nonprofit organizations across the state may apply to the Valspar Corporation, a global paint and coatings company headquartered in Minneapolis, for a donation of paint and coatings for restoration and beautification projects. The results complement Valspar’s core painting and coating business. Minnesota Beautiful is a powerful 14 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

example of how formalizing a company’s philanthropy strategy can have a major impact in the communities in which it operates, as well as on the company’s reputation. “Corporate philanthropy should be an extension of the company’s brand,” said Dan Frank, senior program manager for community and economic development at the Initiative Foundation. “When a company can take its core business— what it knows and does really well— and turn that into a deliberate, philanthropic endeavor that helps the community, that’s when it has the ultimate impact.” And not just on the community. A recent study by Reputation Institute, a global reputation management

consultancy, found that corporate citizenship initiatives directly impact overall business value. A 10 percent improvement


“When a company can take its core business—what it knows and does really well—and turn that into a deliberate, philanthropic endeavor that helps the community, that’s when it has the ultimate impact.” in perceived corporate citizenship, for example, can translate to up to a 14 percent rise in a company’s market value. The benefits to the recipients can be profound. When Little Falls-based nonprofit Oasis Central Minnesota began their annual Paint-A-Thon event nearly 20 years ago, it needed a donation of paint for their ambitious effort. Through the Initiative Foundation, it found a complementary partner in Valspar. Today, the annual PaintA-Thon of Morrison County mobilizes 300 volunteers to coordinate, organize and paint homes of seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-income families. “If we didn’t have this donation, I don’t

MAKE A

think the Paint-A-Thon would be able to happen,” said Tim Poland, the executive director of Oasis Central Minnesota. In addition to Oasis, this year’s grant awardees, which were initially evaluated by the Initiative Foundation then chosen by Valspar, include a historic library preservation project in Taylors Falls, the Mora Teen Center, the North Branch Teen Center, the Hallett Community Center, and One Heartland’s camps for youth and families facing severe health challenges. Involving employees—whether as consultants or on-the-ground volunteers— can build teamwork and boost morale in ways that reach beyond writing a check.

1 VIBRANT IMPACT 2 3 How to align your company’s giving

Valspar employees offer technical assistance to ensure the coatings last as long as possible. When the Paint-A-Thon needed to paint a handicap ramp, for instance, Valspar chose a textured paint that wouldn’t become slippery when it rained. Valspar clearly believes their corporate philanthropy promotes the company’s core business. “Minnesota Beautiful is an important program because we can help revitalize communities in greater Minnesota,” said Mark Goldman, vice president of corporate communications at Valspar. “And the benefits are continuously reinforced by the residents who take such great pride in their communities.”

Connect your giving to your core product or service. Whether your company is donating money or goods and services, aligning your giving with what your company does will help make more of an impact—your good deeds reinforce your company’s expertise.

Develop initiatives that can have multiple business objectives. A group volunteer activity, for example, may be a team-building event and build brand recognition among a key audience.

Leverage vendor, supplier and other business relationships. They may be able to contribute additional volunteers, products or services to increase the impact of your giving.

strategy with your brand.

Based on “Giving Officer Quick Tips” from CECP, a group for senior executives interested in creating social change while driving business performance.

2ND QUARTER 2013

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2ND QUARTER 2013

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Economy

Inspired Spaces

By Laurie Stern | Photography by John Linn

Can office design spark innovation?

Although it has 35 offices across the Midwest, Marco wanted its new 80,000 square foot headquarters in St. Cloud to proclaim its identity as a leader in technology solutions: high-tech yet down-to-earth; growing but intimate; professional yet fun. Jeff Gau, Marco’s chief executive officer, wanted those messages to get through to his company’s employees and clients, not to mention people driving past on I-94. That commitment to design is also good business sense. Now that work is more collaborative and mobile, organizations are beginning to redesign the workplace to facilitate teamwork and innovation. In 2007, Business Week described a trend toward very open workplaces “with spaces enabling people to see each other and connect easily during the day.” This openness also encourages the kind of chance interactions that Where Good Ideas Come From author Steven Johnson says can turn one person’s “slow hunch” into an actual eureka moment. Completed last year, Marco’s new 18 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

Now that work is more collaborative and mobile, organizations are beginning to redesign the workplace to facilitate teamwork and innovation. building wins awards and admiration, but is always a work in progress. It’s given Gau and his design team a lab to consider the workplaces of the future. Here’s what they learned so far: Put the cube in its place. In the ’50s and ’60s, office cubicals themselves were radical, designed to promote flexibility. But the quest for efficiency in the ’80s and ’90s squeezed cubes closer and closer together. Office space was assigned according to pay and company status. Now, companies like

Marco use cubes strategically to maximize collaboration and innovation. Form follows function. How people use each space is key to the Marco design. Employees who come and go throughout the day, work on the lower level. Workers in the accounting department spend the majority of their day at their desks, so they have more space. And because the company specializes in data networking and video conferencing, the conference rooms reflect the brand with oversized, state-of-theart monitors used for connecting with colleagues and clients around the world. Encourage privacy and togetherness. Cognitive research shows physical interaction between people is essential, especially as they have more options to communicate digitally. “The positive effects of a human moment can last long after people walk away,” wrote psychiatrist Edward Hallowell in Harvard Business Review. Marco made sure that common spaces are places you want to go, with more energy and fun than personal cubes.


It’s a joy to come to work: Jeff Gau, CEO of Marco, a long-time Initiative Foundation donor and partner.

Be millennial. Marco employs young systems engineers who grew up interacting with screens more than humans. To get them mingling, there’s a casual break room with a fireplace and a game room with ping-pong and pool tables. The outdoor patio boasts barbecue grills and sitting areas, as well as a convenient half-mile walking track. “It gets used all the time,” said Gau.

Build in flexibility. At Marco, both the lobby and the casual break room can turn into formal reception areas for parties and events. The company also chose to build a mezzanine instead of an aesthetic fountain because it wanted more potential office space; already utilizing 6,000 square feet of that extra space in June to support their growth. “With each decision, we considered

our needs and the costs of doing something now versus later,” Gau said. Marco’s just-completed 2013 employee survey showed another benefit to great office design: company-wide pride in the new workplace. “That totally validated our decision to invest in the building,” Gau said, quoting one response: “It’s a joy to come to work.”

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Ann Hoshal: “Just let us know what the expectation is and we’ll get you there.”

22 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org


By Britta Reque-Dragicevic Photography by John Linn

Enlisting the Skills of Our Veteran Workforce Being a ballroom dance instructor wasn’t exactly what Ann Hoshal had planned on doing after she returned from a two-year extended tour to Iraq with the Red Bulls in 2007.

“My children were six months and two years old when I left,” said the 38 year-old divorced mother, who is also an 18-year member of the Minnesota National Guard. “I was outside the wire for much of my tour, on a gun truck and part of a security detail for the battalion commander.” Hoshal had originally joined the military to take a break from pre-med courses at St. Scholastica without losing college credits. Unfortunately, jobs were scarce when she got back—a situation that only worsened as the recession took hold. For many central Minnesotans, the

military has provided a path to education and both military and civilian careers. For employers, hiring veterans can not only be an act of patriotism, but also a sound business practice. The military provides leadership training that can take decades to learn in the civilian world, including the ability to be team-oriented, work well under pressure and think outside the box. Many employers agree. “My veteran employees are not my complainers, said Tammy Biery, the director of administrative services at Resource Training & Solutions in St. Cloud. “They have great camaraderie

2ND QUARTER 2013

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Captain Ronald Jarvi, Jr., a driving force behind veteran reintegration efforts, assists other Minnesota National Guard members at Camp Ripley near Little Falls.

amongst them, they’re not gossipers, and they’re here to do their jobs. They have a ‘can do’ attitude.” Still, reentering the workforce isn’t always easy. “The reality is that for most vets, finding work after they get out is their greatest challenge,” said Captain Ronald Jarvi, Jr., the employment outreach liaison officer for the Minnesota National Guard. Jarvi deployed to Iraq in 2009, and has a deep understanding of how important it is to support veterans in their transition to the civilian workforce. “For so many veterans, coming home and being able to provide for their families is a huge stressor,” he said. “Some don’t always understand how to effectively translate their specialized training and skill sets to civilian employers. Others come back to selfemployment and their businesses may have taken a huge hit during their absence. Many discover that they need to go back to school.” Veteran advocates and employment experts would like to see that change. “Helping our veterans use their skills and experience to secure good paying jobs or start their own business will be key to economic growth and success,” said Kathy Gaalswyk, president of the Initiative Foundation. “If we don’t support them in every way possible, it will be a huge missed opportunity for our entire region.”

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BACK HOME Despite veterans’ unique skill sets and the strong initiatives across Minnesota to help connect them to employment opportunities, many continue to face barriers that impede their efforts to find work. “When I got out of the Army in 1975, they told me my skills would translate to being a parachute rigger,” said Dan Frank, senior program manager for community and economic development at the Initiative Foundation. “Well, there weren’t too many job openings for that. It’s not any different today. Many things in the military just don’t directly translate to the civilian world.” Returning to life back at home is definitely an adjustment. “The military is its own culture,” said Hoshal. “We speak our own language and use a ton of acronyms and jargon for things that make sense to us, but aren’t something civilians are familiar with.” For combat veterans especially, returning to work or college can be a major transition. “All who have been deployed in war zones come back with combat stress,” said Betsy Huston, a licensed social worker. With funding from the Initiative Foundation, which supports veteran reintegration, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Veterans Project at the Northern Pines Mental Health Center in Brainerd. “But we also know if they had no serious


mental health issues or traumas prior to deployment, have a strong and extensive support system, earn money doing something they like, are able to financially manage their lives and are connected to the community, then staying positive and productive when they come home is the outcome,” she said. The idea that everyone who returns from a war is somehow damaged goods is another obstacle many veterans need to overcome. “There is a myth among employers that everyone who comes back from deployment has PTSD or is mentally unstable,” said Major John Donovan, the public affairs officer at Camp Ripley, a 53,000acre training facility north of Little Falls. Donovan points out that there is a plethora of services for people who do suffer from PTSD through the Veteran’s Affairs Bureau (VA), the Guard, hotlines, MilitaryOnesource.com and local counselors.

CIVILIAN SPEAK Thankfully for employers and veterans alike, Minnesota has been at the forefront in recognizing the importance of getting veterans reintegrated into civilian life. Under the “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” program, pioneered by the Minnesota National Guard and replicated by other states, returning soldiers undergo reintegration events at 30, 60 and 90 days post-deployment. Camp Ripley is the training and reintegration point for thousands of Minnesota Guard members each year. Thanks to the guidance of Major General Richard Nash, adjutant general for the Minnesota National Guard, Minnesota established the Interagency Employment Working Group (IEWG). It brings together 20 different federal, state and local resource providers dedicated to providing employment support to veterans in Minnesota. This includes the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the VA and major civilian employers in Minnesota, such as Target and Best Buy. In March 2012, representatives of the IEWG made an unprecedented trip to Kuwait, where they met with deployed troops from the First Brigade Combat team. They provided assistance with resume writing, translating military skillsets to “civilian speak,” and mock interview training. Delegates from the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, BestBuy, Target, US Bank and others attended the 10-day event. “It was remarkable to see how appreciative the troops were for this kind of support from their fellow Minnesotans,” said Jarvi, who has been instrumental in leveraging the impact of the Group across the State. The Guard took the employment curricula used in Kuwait and applied it to their reintegration events. Last year, Minnesota’s Small Business Administration reached out to 5,000 veterans—more than they had connected with in the last five years combined, according to Tom Osborne, the SBA’s veterans business development officer for the district office. “When the First Combat Brigade came home, they returned to 86 of Minnesota’s 87 counties—DEED has a presence in every county,” said Jim Finley, the director of DEED’s Veterans Employment Services. “We’re there to help.” Translating skills has been one of the primary tasks Kathy Marshik, veterans resource coordinator at Central Lakes College,

“GIVE US A DIRECTION AND DON’T MICROMANAGE US. JUST LET US KNOW WHAT THE EXPECTATION IS AND WE’LL GET YOU THERE. IT MAY NOT BE IN THE WAY YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD, BUT THAT’S BECAUSE WE’RE CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS.”

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SOFT SKILLS

HARD JOBS Employment experts who specialize in helping veterans find work say that military experiences provide excellent skills. Here’s how those skills translate in the civilian workplace:

Loyalty

Positive attitude

Discipline

Respect for authority

Innovation

Creative problem solving

Leadership Punctuality Decisiveness

Work well under pressure

has focused on since coming onboard in 2011. She assists 296 veteran students and recently retired from 21 years in the MN Army National Guard. Central Lakes College is working to translate military training into college transcripts. They’re also looking at developing a military science associate’s degree so that classes will match what service members do in the military. “My task is to help students navigate their options and maximize those benefits to achieve their educational goals,” said Marshik.

CAN DO Potential employers need to know that another challenge some veterans face is that civilian work doesn’t seem as fulfilling or exciting as what they experienced in the military. “Combat veterans also face the reality that much of civilian life and work simply can’t compare to the adrenaline and fast pace of being deployed,” said Jarvi. “I used to work for a company and, after deployment, I went back and just couldn’t do it anymore. I needed something more. What I experienced as a 27-year-old during deployment had so much more responsibility.” Jarvi said the responsibility and leadership skills service members gain is a natural jumping off point for becoming an entrepreneur. The SBA and other organizations have loans and business development support programs for veterans. 26 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

Collaboration and teamwork Willingness to go the extra mile Get along well with diverse populations

For other veterans, military experience has been nothing but beneficial to their transition to civilian work. “The military is all about adapting and finding innovative solutions,” said Tim Johnson, who is a graphics and communications specialist at Resource Training & Solutions. “You learn great leadership skills, you learn how to get along with all kinds of people, and the stress that gets to most employees doesn’t faze you.” His colleague and fellow veteran Brian Scott agrees. “Once you’ve had a drill sergeant yell at you for not having your boot tied right, nothing else shakes you.” That description strikes a chord with Mike Callahan. “I started college in 2010,” he said. “I was 21—a lot of the students in my class were high school post-secondary options. They would sit in the back and just talk, talk, talk.” Being enlisted in the Army and deployed to Iraq from 2008 to 2009, Callahan came to school with a much different attitude. Callahan has wanted to be a conservation officer since he was young and knew that the military could help him prepare for his future career. “People said conservation law enforcement agencies like to see military experience on resumes,” he said. The 24-year-old came back from war, stayed in the Army Reserve until 2010, married and then started school. Callahan graduated from Central Lakes College in Brainerd this past May with his associates’ degree in natural resources law enforcement and plans


Trusted Trio: Brian Scott (left), Julie Toole and Tim Johnson are all veterans employed by Resource Training & Solutions, St. Cloud.

“THERE IS A MYTH AMONG EMPLOYERS THAT EVERYONE WHO COMES BACK FROM DEPLOYMENT HAS PTSD OR IS MENTALLY UNSTABLE.”

to pursue his bachelor’s degree once he gets back from another deployment that begins in January. “I missed being in the military; missed the action, the high pay, the high drive. When I got out, everything was really slow,” he said. Still, Callahan is confident he’ll find a job when he returns. His career goal is to be employed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, where his military service will count toward retirement benefits. “Law enforcement is looking for military personnel, because they don’t have to break us in. We show up for work early, we do our best, we get along with everyone and we’re confident that we can make a difference.” After Hoshal’s stint as a ballroom dance instructor and then teaching at Camp Ripley, she enrolled at Central Lakes College to pursue her goal to be a flight nurse—an in-demand job with solid opportunities. Through her journey, she’s acquired some words of advice for employers. “Give us a direction and don’t micromanage us. Just let us know what the expectation is and we’ll get you there,” said Hoshal. “It may not be in the way you thought it would, but that’s because we’re creative problem solvers.” All qualities today’s employers desire as innovation and the ability to be agile and adapt to a changing, competitive business environment take priority.

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HEROES FOR HIRE Data and Resources for Veterans and Veteran-Minded Businesses National Guard NUMBERS

1,886

National Guard members reside in Central Minnesota

8,178

Central Minnesota Army Guard members have been deloyed in the last five years

29

Average age of recent deployments

9

:

For VETERANS Dedication, smart planning and strategic networking

can lead to a job. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) suggests this three-step process:

1 Visit your nearest MINNESOTA WORKFORCE CENTER and contact a veteran employment representative.

2 Use the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities’ “MY MILITARYGPS LIFEPLAN” to create a career plan.

3 Post your resume on WWW.MINNESOTAWORKS.NET.

For EMPLOYERS Hiring a veteran is good business.

1

Male to female ratio

557

National Guard members returning to Minnesota in the next 18 months

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The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) suggests this three-step process:

1 Post your available job on MINNESOTAWORKS.NET, and label it “veteran-friendly.”

2 Visit your nearest MINNESOTA WORKFORCE CENTER and contact a veterans employment representative. Let them know you want to hire vets.

3 Connect with your local YELLOW RIBBON NETWORK to find service members who may be looking for a new opportunity.


21

st

Minneapolis /St. Paul

area ranks 21st in the nation as being a military-friendly city, taking into consideration the quality of schools, number of vet-owned businesses, cost of living and unemployment.

EDUCATION

Central Minnesota’s post-secondary options include:

GI Bill Basics

Veterans and members of the military are entitled to educational benefits. There are a variety of GI Bill programs that pay for tuition, living expenses and school supplies for 36 to 45 months of education after the last active day of duty. GI Bill benefits are available for use 10 – 20 years after discharge from active duty. Connect with your County Veteran’s Service Officer, then visit a Veteran Resource Coordinator (VRC) at a local college or university campus.

• Anoka-Ramsey Community College (Cambridge) • Central Lakes College (Staples & Brainerd) • College of St. Benedict/ St. John’s University • College of St. Scholastica (St. Cloud) • Minnesota School of Business (St. Cloud)

• Minnesota State Community & Technical College (Wadena) • Pine Technical College (Pine City) • Rasmussen College (St. Cloud) • St. Cloud State University • St. Cloud Technical & Community College

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

9%

of all U.S. firms are veteran-owned, representing 2.45 million companies and nearly 6 million employees.

5th in Nation

There are 119 verified veteran-owned small businesses in Minnesota, placing it 5th in the nation.

RESOURCES:

FOR VETERANS • Beyond the Yellow Ribbon: beyondtheyellowribbon.org/ employment-search-programs • Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans:mac-v.org/ • Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA): http://mn.gov/mdva/, 888.LINK.VET (546.5838) • MN DEED (with links to area Minnesota Workforce Centers) positivelyminnesota.com/veterans • My Military GPS Lifeplan: gpslifeplan.org/mnscumilitary • National Resource Directory’s Veterans Job Bank: nrd.gov/home/veterans_job_bank • Translating Military Skills into Civilian Jobs Tool: mynextmove.org/vets/

ENTREPRENEURSHIP • National Veteran-Owned Business Association: navoba.com • Small Business Development Centers (through the Small Business Administration) offer a variety of services and loans to veterans. sba.gov/content/veteran-service-disabled-veteran-owned • VetBiz Central: /vetbizcentral.org/

1 of 17

Minnesota is one of only 17 states to offer some type of preference to veteran-owned businesses in procuring state contracts .

EDUCATION • Department of Veterans Affairs GI bill: gibill.va.gov • Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs Higher Education Coordinators: mnveteranservice.org/documents/Veterans_Coordinators.html • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system: mnscu.edu/military • My Military Education: mymilitaryeducation.org/ • Veterans Retraining Assistance Program: benefits.va.gov/vow/education.htm

FOR EMPLOYEER • American Jobs for America’s Heroes: centerforamerica.org • Beyond the Yellow Ribbon: BeyondTheYellowRibbon.org • Hire Heroes USA: hireheroesusa.org Data Sources: Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, International Economic Development Council, Minnesota National Guard, National Veteran-Owned Business Association, Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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By Gene Rebeck | Photography by John Linn

he surroundings are far more urban than rural, but the people diligently working in their vegetable plots at the Dr. James H. Kelly Community Garden at CentraCare Health Plaza in St. Cloud are returning to their roots in more ways than one. With medical center buildings in the background and downtown in the near distance, immigrants from Ghana, Somalia and other African nations are growing their own food, just as many of them did in their homeland. Locally grown folks have been joining them, too. They’re digging and planting not just to shrink their grocery bills but also to lead healthier, happier lives. Although we live in an agricultural state, central Minnesota is not exactly the nation’s breadbasket. The growing season tends to be short, and in some parts of the region, the soil doesn’t have the richness that makes raising certain crops as profitable as in other

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areas. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a market for foods that are grown locally. In fact, a growing understanding of how essential local food is to the economy and the earth is taking hold across the region. Among its many benefits, locally grown food requires less energy to transport. “Buying food produced locally reduces the fuel and expense of transportation while decreasing our negative impact on the environment,” said Don Hickman, vice president for community and economic development for the Initiative Foundation. It’s also more profitable to the local economy. “Every dollar spent at a locally owned business generates two to four times the income, wealth, jobs, than the equivalent nonlocal business would generate,” said Molly Zins, executive director of the Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, a University of Minnesota-run organization in Brainerd that promotes and funds food production and other local-development programs.


Food Hub: The Farm on St. Mathias, located south of Brainerd, works with other local growers to supply fresh produce to the area school district and other organizations.

Digging the Dollar: Autumn Brown, director of the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project, often cites a National Gardening Association statistic: at average market prices, a well-maintained garden produces a half pound of produce and returns about $1 per square foot.

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Have Food, Will Travel: Chefs Nick Miller and Matt Annand support the use of locally grown produce by using it at Prairie Bay restaurant and its Side Dish food truck. Sustainable Support: Molly Zins promotes local food production through the Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, based in Brainerd.

Locally grown food initiatives can also strengthen community relationships by offering delicious and nutritious ways for eaters to become more actively involved in the economic and ecological issues of their region. Area schools and hospitals are seeking connections with local growers for supplies of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables, which have the added benefit of educating people about the importance that fresh fruits and vegetables play in a healthy lifestyle. Restaurants also have an appetite for locally grown food as a way to reduce shipping costs, know where (and by whom) their ingredients are grown and offer fresher, better tasting menu items. Jules’ Bistro, located in downtown St. Cloud and established in 2005, strives to put an emphasis on locally produced food and goods. “We hope that we can contribute to St Cloud’s sustainability and to the overall benefits of consuming locally grown items,” said Julie Mische, owner of Jules’. Besides offering breads, baked goods, produce, meats, coffee, wine and beer from local businesses, they make a point to display 32 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

local art; even helping to start the downtown art crawl. “We want our customers to know that we care and take pride in what we offer on our menu and the ambiance of our bistro,” continues Mische.

GROWING DEMAND

In the vanguard of the movement are community-sponsored agriculture farms (CSAs), which sell shares of their harvests before the season and offer a variety of locally grown fruits and vegetables. Brian DeVore of the Land Stewardship Project in Minneapolis estimates that there are at least 75 CSA farms in Minnesota, up from six 20 years ago. Much of this growth, according to DeVore, has occurred in the past five years. One of the oldest CSAs in central Minnesota is Amador Hill Farm, which has been operating since 2004. It sits on the grounds of the Women’s Environmental Institute near North Branch, a nonprofit that has received grant and training support from the Initiative Foundation. The land not only includes growing plots but also an apple orchard whose crop appears in members’ shares in the fall. In addition to its CSA, the institute also teaches people in both urban and rural areas to grow their own food, which can provide a sense of empowerment for those communities, according to Karen Clark, its executive director. Many are from

disadvantaged communities, such as the Little Earth of United Tribes, a Minneapolis Native American housing community. Clark noted that while many of the students are growing just for themselves and their families, “others have made entrepreneurial farming part of what they want to do.” Logically, a great number of farmers sell their produce at farmers’ markets, which have become increasingly familiar parts of the landscape. The Initiative Foundation has helped seed several farmers’ markets in central Minnesota. “Markets are a magnet for residents and visitors alike,” said Hickman. “Getting those people to a community’s downtown or commercial center means they’re more likely to shop at nearby locally-owned stores. Plus, people get to know their neighbors and where their food comes from—keys to a healthy community.” The Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership is helping fund several other types of local-food initiatives, including Side Dish food truck, which Prairie Bay restaurant in Baxter began running this year. In addition to take-out items that feature local produce and meats, Side Dish also offers educational events throughout the area, particularly in “food deserts,” areas where fresh food is difficult to find. The Prairie Bay truck also connects residents with CSAs and other sources. Another project, which has received funding from both the Initiative Foundation


VERY DOLLAR SPENT AT A LOCALLY OWNED BUSINESS GENERATES TWO TO FOUR TIMES THE INCOME, WEALTH AND JOBS THAN THE EQUIVALENT NONLOCAL BUSINESS WOULD GENERATE.” and Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, is Sprout MN, a “food hub” that gathers farmers’ offerings and distributes them to institutions seeking to provide healthier meals. Rather than having to negotiate with many different farms, these buyers can work with a central supplier. Sprout MN grew out of the work of Arlene and Bob Jones of the Farm on St. Mathias near Brainerd, which began as a CSA in 2005. Within a few years, the Joneses discovered that the demand for their organic produce extended beyond the households who signed up for CSA shares. Area school districts also wanted to offer fresher food to their students; in 2010, they began selling produce to the Brainerd school district. When it became clear that they couldn’t meet demand, the Farm on St. Mathias reached out to other small farmers in the region to augment their supply. Their networking with other farms inspired them to start Sprout MN, which was officially up and running this season.

A COMMON TABLE

Like the Women’s Environmental Institute, the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project (CMSP) in St. Cloud, a grantee of the Initiative Foundation, also sees a link between food production and economic access. CMSP’s mission is to facilitate local and

sustainable food production and markets through education and community building. One aspect of their work is partnering with immigrant and refugee communities who are traditionally economically marginalized, primarily by offering land on which to grow. CMSP’s flagship project is the Maine Prairie Garden, a 20,000-square-foot community garden on city-owned land that accommodates plots for 75 families. Other community gardens are located at CentraCare Health System plaza in St. Cloud; the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph; and the Children’s Home Environmental Center in Cold Spring. The organization provides guidance, supplies, seeds and transportation to gardeners, some of whom are selling their produce to local businesses including restaurants and the Good Earth food cooperative in St. Cloud. Besides building entrepreneurial skills and economic self-sufficiency, the gardens provide social and nutritional benefits to those that tend them. A recent University of Utah study found that people who participated in community gardens were less likely than their nongardening counterparts to be overweight or obese—women 46 percent less likely and men 62 percent less likely. Many of the immigrants that

Surveys conducted by the Chisago City Farmers Market revealed a disturbing trend. “The average age of the person who came to the farmers’ market was 49,” said Cecilia Coulter, the market’s manager. “We decided we needed an incentive to get the kids to taste the food.” The solution? Sell pizza made with healthy ingredients. That’s how the farmers’ market became home to a wood-fired brick oven—and a pizza-making business run by a group of local teens. The young people not only learn how to make pizza; they discover the flavors and attributes of fresh, locally grown vegetables. (Meats, cheeses and sauces also are locally sourced.) They also learn business and customer service skills while instilling in them a sense that they can contribute to the economic vitality of the community. When applying for future jobs, hopefully in the Chisago Lakes area, the young workers can point to the experience and training they’ve received. Coulter also expects that some of the chefs will develop the confidence and inspiration to start businesses of their own. Although started with funding from the Initiative Foundation, the project hopes to be self-sustaining by having proceeds pay for equipment, signage, events and other promotions. Coulter said that as of late June, pizza revenues have been higher than anticipated. —G.R.

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Beginning of caption: caption text goes right here

34 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org


By Laura Billings Coleman | Illustration by Chris McAllister | Photography by John Linn

To attract top talent, small town companies market their natural advantages. LIKE ANY WELL-PREPARED JOB CANDIDATE, Stephanie Ubl had quick answers for the expected roster of interview questions. But she had to think hard about her response when the hiring team from Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) in Brainerd threw her the following curveball: Do you like to fish? “I wasn’t expecting that,” said Ubl, a 27-year-old Gustavus Adolphus College graduate who grew up in Blaine, Minntesota. “But it was a good question, because it helped me start thinking about what’s outside of work, and where I might want to be in the long-term.” Like many millennials, Ubl knew she wanted to create the right balance of work and play after she finished up two years of officers’ training with the Army Reserve. Traffic and the high cost of housing in the Twin Cities made her think twice about returning. With both parents relocated to the region, Ubl decided to give central Minnesota a look, landing an interview with CTC via Skype. Ubl moved north for an internship with the telecommunications company last November. She started a full-time job in February, working as a central office engineer technician—a high-skill job that she finds both challenging and fun. “I really feel like I found all of the things I was looking for,” Ubl said about her new job and community.

Fishing Lines

Fishing experience may not be high on most recruiters’ list of sought-after job skills, but for Kristi Westbrock, CTC’s director of operations and human resources, finding out what potential employees want after 5 p.m. can cut through a long list of pro forma questions. “It’s a good way of grounding people, in making clear what the region is about and what we have to offer, but also showing them that it might not be for everyone,” she said. Brad Erickson, the human resources director at Landis+Gyr in Pequot Lakes, said he’s tried the “fishing line” himself, along with more pointed questions like “Have you looked at where we are on the map?” and “Have you ever lived outside of a city?” Craig Wolhowe, the vice president for clinic and hospital services with Lakewood Health System, asks the most promising medical students and residents, who cycle through Staples as part the University of Minnesota’s Rural Physician Associate Program, if they could see themselves living in a small town. 2ND QUARTER 2013

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WELCOME

WAGON How can rural communities

make themselves more attractive to newcomers? Ben Winchester, a University of Minnesota extension research fellow who has uncovered a surprising “Brain Gain” in rural Minnesota, offers these tips >

Perfect Fit: Consolidated Telecommunications Company’s Stephanie Ubl says that her work as an engineer technician and life in Brainerd offer everything she was hoping to find after college and a stint with the Army Reserve.

“You have to be really honest about what you’ve got, and let’s just say the movie ‘Fargo’ didn’t do us any favors.” How the next generation of job candidates answers those questions could prove important to the economy of central Minnesota, which is poised to grow by 18 percent by 2020—the most of any region in the state, according to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. In fact, the workforce in the region is set to expand by more than 52,000 jobs, while an additional 67,000 replacement workers will be needed to fill the gaps caused by attrition and Baby Boomer retirements. About four in 10 of those jobs will be in the education and health services industries, which will require nearly 17,000 new physicians, teachers, administrators, nurses and other specialists in central Minnesota. The trade, 36 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

transportation and utilities sector will call on nearly 8,500 new workers, while even the construction trades—unlikely to see the same pre-recession surge—will need more than 6,000 new workers. Recruiting these professional and highly skilled employees to central Minnesota requires more than posting a job and waiting for the applications to pile in. “It’s going to take time, patience and creativity but we hope that challenge is seen as an opportunity for rural companies and smaller towns,” said Kathy Gaalswyk, president of the Initiative Foundation. “There are resources out there to help retrain an already-existing workforce or think of innovative ways to entice young people to stay or move back. Connecting businesses and communities

with those resources is going to be vital to seeing our region grow.” Several central Minnesota communities are developing websites that will link students, job seekers, employers, schools (high school and post-secondary) and workforce development resources in one easy-to-access localized format. The goal of these online portals is to attract, retain and develop talent for the region, especially reaching out to the younger tech-minded generations. And by covering all industries, the portals will help two-career couples find opportunities for both spouses, eliminating a major hurdle for families looking to relocate. However, until more resources like these are in place, the reality is that in a recovering economy, businesses are finding it common


Make sure you’re on the map.

One of the first places people go to find out about your community is Google, not always the most reliable source for rural areas. For instance, Morris, Minnesota discovered a hotel in the center of town was listed as three miles away. Hiring a university graduate student to plot the town’s online assets was all it took to fix the misinformation.

Break out of your shell.

Though the Greatest Generation made connections through community-oriented organizations like Rotary and Kiwanis, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers tend to prefer more interest-driven pursuits, including book clubs, sporting organizations and cooking parties. Winchester says employers need to get out of their old comfort zones to find leads.

Get creative.

The influx of thirty- and forty-somethings in rural areas has not been fueled by any recruitment effort or policy. Offbeat community marketing, favorable financing and fresh flowers on the curbs could all help make your town more attractive to talent.

for positions to go unfilled for four to six months. Finding the right specialists and primary care providers to serve the region’s health needs can take even longer, with job openings that can last for two years or more.

It Takes a Village

With a long-standing primary care shortage in rural areas, health care organizations have learned many lessons when it comes to recruiting the right workers to rural communities. “You have to be really honest about what you’ve got, and let’s just say the movie Fargo didn’t do us any favors,” said Kristine Olson, the vice president for physician and professional services for Essentia in Fargo, Brainerd and Duluth. Before she flies physicians into a community, she often walks them through the winter coat options on LandsEnd.com. “I point to the jacket that’s built for 40 below, and I tell them that’s the one you need.” Though the full spectrum of the four seasons can be an early deal-breaker, many

Gary Shaw, Cambridge Medical Center: “You’ve got to get the whole community engaged in the recruiting process. You can’t have a 20 minute interview and say, ‘Here’s a real estate agent. Go look at some houses.’’’

people considering a move away from urban life are drawn by the great outdoors and what Gary Shaw, president of Cambridge Medical Center, describes as “boutique attractions” like skiing, cycling, snowmobiling and having a hobby farm. With three decades of experience recruiting physicians to rural facilities in Wyoming, Montana and Alaska, Shaw says he’s found that another important attraction of rural communities is the deep sense of place they provide newcomers, with a population small enough to make clear how individual contributions add up. “That’s why you’ve got to get the whole community engaged in the process,” he said. “You can’t have a 20 minute interview and say, ‘Here’s a real estate agent. Go look at some houses.’” Instead, successful recruiting efforts often include dozens of “meet and greets,” introducing candidates not just to clinic staff, but also to other stakeholders in community health such as dentists, pharmacists, social workers and school teachers.

Age and State

While conventional wisdom says rural communities have been losing population for decades (the often mentioned “brain drain”), statistics show that some areas have actually gained residents, according to Ben Winchester, a research fellow for the University of Minnesota’s Extension Center for Community Vitality. Winchester has uncovered a surprising “Brain Gain” in rural Minnesota, most notably an influx of 30- to 49-year olds who have moved or returned to small towns. The mid-career years are a ripe time for families looking to get back to their roots. That’s what happened when Brent and Jenny Gunsbury moved to Baxter in 2000. “We hadn’t planned on coming back, so I think it surprised us both,” said Jenny, a registered nurse, adding that the chance to buy into her family’s business, Bercher Design & Construction, while living within babysitting distance of two sets of

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Many people considering a move away from urban life are drawn by the great outdoors and “boutique attractions” like skiing, cycling, snowmobiling and having a hobby farm. Brain Gain: Brent and Jenny Gunsbury moved their family back to Baxter to buy into her family’s business and spend more time with grandparents.

grandparents was “too good to pass up.” Couples in their 30s and 40s aren’t the only demographic that may be drawn to rural areas in years to come. Research says millennial workers value work-life balance, access to the outdoors and budget-friendly living. “There’s tremendous potential in attracting that generation, especially as the Baby Boomers start turning over housing in landlocked rural areas,” said Winchester. Fifty-something employees only flirting with the idea of retirement may also be a growth market as they weigh the benefits of moving to more rural areas that allow them to start assembling the pieces of a comfortable second act, with a house by the lake, or downsized mortgage converted to cash. “There’s a whole pool of people who are starting to say I don’t want to work six days a week, but I wouldn’t mind three,” said Cambridge Hospital’s Gary Shaw, who believes that more flexible workplaces, accessible Wi-Fi and growing acceptance of “telehealth” could help small communities meet their health care needs.

Growing our Own

CTC’s Westbrock says she finds many of the best leads for her telecommunication needs in smaller markets across the country, advertising her positions in Des Moines and 38 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

Fargo. “We used to try to recruit people to come up from the Twin Cities, but we’ve found we have a lot more success recruiting from other smaller cities,” she said. “They’ve had the experience of living outside of a city, and they already know the benefits.” But few job prospects know those benefits as well as the region’s native sons and daughters, according to Mary Gottsch, the director of Bridges Workplace Connection, a Brainerd Lakes Chamber program that introduces students from the region’s 23 school districts to career opportunities in central Minnesota by organizing job shadowing at hospitals and high-tech companies, workplace immersion camps and other efforts to get students thinking about their future careers. With support from the Initiative Foundation from the beginning through present day, Bridges Workplace Connection used to reach out to high school students, but now they start as early as middle school so that students see what professions are needed in the area and can stay on track with the academic skills they’ll need to earn high-demand jobs. That’s not to say the goal is simply to keep the best and the brightest from leaving the region. “I always encourage my own students to go out and flap their wings a little,” said Betsy Picciano, Central Lakes

College director of secondary relations, which oversees Bridges’ Careers Academies programs. “And then when you’re ready to come home you can make a difference,” she said. That message clearly got through to Tyler Dunphy, a 1999 Brainerd High School graduate who went on to medical school at the University of Minnesota. After finishing a residency at Hennepin County Medical Center, he looked to his father Peter Dunphy, M.D., a family medicine practitioner in Baxter with more than 3,000 patients. “He’s had a lot of fulfillment in his career, and I started to wonder if it would be a good spot for me as well,” said Tyler. After exploring a few other opportunities in outstate Minnesota, he started at Essentia St. Joseph’s–Brainerd Clinic in July 2011. Though he and his wife and young children looked forward to having extended family in the area, the younger Dr. Dunphy says he hadn’t counted on what it would mean to serve an extended community he’s known for years—teachers, classmates, coaches and neighbors. “I think I underestimated the value of that initially, but being part of the community has made it even better,” he said. “I can’t predict the future. But I can see staying here for the length of my career.”


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gl w Initiative Awards

2013

friday, october 11

5:00pm Social, Dinner & Awards RIVER’S EDGE CONVENTION CENTER, ST. CLOUD

Since 2000, the Initiative Awards has become the premiere event honoring outstanding leadership and community service in central Minnesota. Join us as we illuminate the path of possibilities and showcase the inspirational work of our award recipients:

Outstanding NONPROFIT

Outstanding GENEROSITY

Outstanding ENTERPRISE

Outstanding COMMUNITY

Bridges Career Academies & Workplace Connection

Jim & Linnea Anderson

Microbiologics, Inc.

Braham, Minnesota

STORIES, SPONSORSHIP AND TICKETS AT:

www.ifound.org/awards EVENT SPONSORS


By Gene Rebeck | Photography by John Linn

Each year, Gull Chain of Lakes Association volunteers lower a white secchi disk from their boat and measure the depth at which it disappears “into the” darkness. This single measurement, the point where the lake swallows the light, reveals a deeper story. It not only indicates the health of the lake. It’s also a remarkable indicator of the economy surrounding it. Bob Goff has been coming to Gull Lake near Nisswa since he was eight years old. It’s a tradition his wife, Rosemary, happily embraced, driving there on weekends from the Twin Cities and eventually buying property in 1991. Today, their cabin is more than a summer place–the Goffs retired in 2002 and now live in the three-bedroom house year-round. This is home. “Nice neighbors and a nice place to live,” said Rosemary. That deep attachment to the lake inspired Rosemary to become a leader with the Gull Chain of Lakes Association, which has been working on shoreline restoration projects designed to reduce runoff from lakeside frontages. The group spent five years testing water in the five streams that come in to the Gull Chain of Lakes to establish a baseline for water quality. So it was a crushing blow when one day last fall Bob pulled buoys out of the lake and discovered they were encrusted with zebra mussels, an invasive species. Central Minnesota lake associations have been on the forefront (or shoreline, if you prefer) of water quality for years. That’s thanks in part to a program the Initiative Foundation introduced in 1999 called the Healthy Lakes and Rivers Partnership (HLRP), which has provided leadership training, strategic planning and grants to lake associations. Nearly 250 lake and river organizations and over 1,500 individuals throughout Minnesota have participated in the program. “Good stewardship of a lake protects not only an individual’s property values, but also the economy of the county and region,” said Don Hickman, vice president for community and economic development for the Initiative Foundation and a former water biologist. High-quality shoreland property attracts retirees,

2ND QUARTER 2013

41


Lake Legacy: Bob & Rosemary Goff are actively involved in the Gull Chain Preservation Endowment Fund, a charitable fund hosted by the Initiative Foundation.

tourists and skilled workers to an area. Throughout central Minnesota, forward-thinking lake associations like that on Gull Lake have been testing their water quality, measured by using a tool called a Secchi disk that shows the lake’s clarity. Many counties have also been involved in drawing up plans designed to help shoreline property owners reduce stormwater runoff and plant buffer zones along the water’s edge, which filter pollutants and help protect shorelines from erosion. Even with lakeshores becoming more crowded and modest old cabins giving way to massive new houses, there are signs that these strategies are improving or at least maintaining water quality.

Search for a Cure Keeping local waters as clean as possible isn’t just about the environment. “There’s a great deal of economic value attached to property values due to lake quality,” 42 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

said Patrick Welle, Ph.D., an economics professor at Bemidji State University. In 2003, Welle co-authored a report with BSU colleague Charles Parson, Ph.D. that studied Minnesota lakeshore property in eight counties along the Mississippi River, looking as far south as Morrison County. The report concluded that “lakes with better water clarity are getting more economic value because people are willing to pay more for the lakeshore property,” Welle said. “That, of course, carries into a stronger economy and also affects units of government, because higher value property generates more property taxes.” The Bemidji State research team calculated how property prices would change if water clarity decreased by one meter (or about three feet). Brainerd’s Gull Lake, for example, would decrease nearly $53 per frontage foot for a total change of more than $8.8 million across the entire lakefront. By improving water quality, Gull’s property prices could increase more than

$39 per frontage foot for a lake-wide total of more than $6.5 million. Considering a lakehome as an asset, that’s a serious capital investment to protect. Welle has been following up on the study, based on a smaller number of lakes. Though it’s a work in progress, the early findings are similar to those of the 2003 report. “Those main economic forces are still operating,” he said. “Lakes with better water quality are commanding higher property values, all else being equal.” Has the report heralded a new era of higher water quality? “It has raised awareness of enough local government officials and—in partnership with lake associations—a trend towards degradation of water quality has been prevented,” Welle said. He’s not sure that overall, lakes and streams in the region are clearer. “There are some lakes that have lost a yard or meter of water clarity in the last 15 years,” he said. Still, the practices of counties and lake association “are helping.”


“Good stewardship of a lake protects not only an individual’s property values, but also the economy of the county and region. High-quality shoreland property attracts retirees, tourists and skilled workers to an area.” Unfortunately, these practices won’t have much effect against aquatic invasive species, as many lake residents have already discovered. Where water quality was once the top concern among Long Lake owners in Longville, former president of the propertyowners association, Jerry Lerom, said that invasives are now “the hot-button issue.” Long Lake has been training volunteers to be present at launches, asking boat owners where they’ve come from and doing quick inspections for signs of invasive stowaways. The great challenge in battling zebra mussels and other species, Lerom noted, is that on many lakes there are numerous launches, often overseen by a variety of entities, including municipalities, the DNR, resorts, campgrounds and private property owners.

Cass County, Lerom’s home county, is now developing an invasives management plan. He’s also heartened by the new Aquatic Invasive Species Cooperative Research Center at the University of Minnesota, which is focusing on zebra mussels and Asian carp. Lerom said that this is where a real solution needs to be found: “It’s like coming up with a cure for cancer.”

Seeking Clarity While news about invasive species is unsettling, the work of ordinary citizens does make a difference when it comes to water quality. The legacy of the Initiative Foundation’s HLRP program lives on in the activities of many lake-property owners. Lerom, now the president of the Association

of Cass County Lakes (which represents 60 associations) credits the initiative with persuading many associations to become serious about something more than how the fish are biting. On Long Lake, Lerom and other trained volunteers took water samples and Secchi disk readings, and developed lake management plans based on the data they gathered. “We took a look at those things we have control of that influence the quality of water,” Lerom said, referring to shoreline vegetation buffers and septic-system inspection and improvements. Because the association is a voluntary organization that can’t dictate its member’s decisions, the group focuses primarily on education. Sometimes, those efforts have gone beyond the information. A few years ago, the Long

IMPACT OF WATER CLARITY ON PROPERTY VALUES + $424.00

Frontage Foot Increase Per One Meter of IMPROVED WATER CLARITY

+ $326.00

+

+

$218.00

Leech Lake

Cass Lake

Big Sandy Lake

$193.00

Lake Bemidji $278.00

– $420.00 $594.00

$516.00

Frontage Foot Decrease Per One Meter of REDUCED WATER CLARITY

Source: Bemidji State University 2ND QUARTER 2013

43


Lake association offered property owners free native plants for planting inside the 20-foot buffer zone along their shorelines. About 250 property owners took part. Lerom said that recent water samplings show minimal quantities of phosphorus, a fertilizer component that can stimulate destructive algae blooms, in Long Lake: “I think we’re feeling good that we’re maintaining a good water quality level,” he said. What’s more, water testing and lake association activism to maintain water quality are now “the norm” throughout Cass County. In many counties, local governments have joined ranks with lake associations. This June, the National Association of Counties recognized Crow Wing County with an innovation award for its study of lakeshore impervious surface research conducted in 2012. The study grew out of revisions to the county land ordinances that became effective in April 2011 and have clearer, consistent “performance standards” for septic systems and shoreline buffers. “We knew we needed

more local data about our lakes,” said Chris Pence, the county’s land services supervisor. The ordinances state that the standards become in force when impervious coverage takes up 15 percent of the property’s surface. But one thing the county didn’t know— which properties had such coverage, or might be in danger of crossing that line with new construction? Aided by grants from the Initiative Foundation and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Regional and Urban Affairs, Crow Wing County began to inventory the impervious coverage on property along lakes of 500 acres or greater in size. County staff collected information about what portion of a property is covered with buildings, driveways and other impervious surfaces. Simply stated, the more that lakeside property is covered, the more likely the lake is to have problems with water quality, since there will be more runoff. The data gives the county a much clearer sense of which lakes are at risk and also allows quicker permit turnaround for, say, adding a garage. The county’s ordinances have the force

Jerry Lerom, Association of Cass County Lakes: Invasives are now “the hot-button issue.”

44 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

Lakes with better water quality are commanding higher property values, which raises the tide of the local economy. of law only on unincorporated land in the county, or on new development or additions where the landowner applies for construction permits. If a proposed improvement pushes the property “over 20 percent impervious, they’re going to have to have a stormwater plan and a buffer down by the lake at the same time,” Pence said. The ordinance doesn’t enforce its requirements on existing coverage, but “we provide incentives and education so that [property owners] choose” to make improvements. In May 2012, the Crow Wing County board authorized an update of its water plan, which Pence said will soon be completed. The plan has two goals: to help drive local policy on keeping lakes, rivers and groundwater clean; and to better position the county when applying for improvement grants from the state’s Legacy Fund. “The county is putting together the water plan, but it’s not just the county’s water plan,” Pence noted. The different groups can use the information and help garner some grant dollars to encourage property owners to make needed property improvements. Group efforts like this are what will ultimately lead to higher shoreline property values and cleaner lakes for everyone to enjoy—current and future generations. And that’s something the Goffs are onboard with as their kids and grandkids frequent the lakehome. “We want to make Gull Lake nicer for future generations, so that they can enjoy the lake as much as we have,” said Rosemary.


The

The Friends of Nisswa Lake Park are raising funds to build the infrastructure for our lakeside park on Nisswa Lake in the City of Nisswa. • 2.3 Acre Park Area • Located across 371 from Downtown Nisswa Square • Swimming Area • Fishing Pier • Boat Slips for Boat Docking

B usiness DOCTOR • Marketing & Advertising

• Walking & Biking Trail connecting to the Paul Bunyan Trail • Pavilion area for weddings and special events • Picnic area • Overlooking Nisswa Lake

• Business Reviews & Assessments • Business Planning & Development • Management Services & Strategizing

For more information contact the Friends of Nisswa Lake Park at lehmanconsulting@nisswa.net; or contact Brian Lehman, Nisswa Mayor, 218-838-4158; Lee Seipp, Co-Chair; 218-821-0362; Erin Herman, Nisswa Elementary School Principal, 218-821-3760; Eric Wiltrout, BlackRidge Bank, 218-892-0532; or Jan Pierce, Nisswa P&Z Commission, 218-963-7394.

Checks should be made payable to “BLA CommunityFoundation” with a notation of “Friends of Nisswa Lake Park.” Send your tax-deductible donation to The Friends of Nisswa Lake Park, PO Box 262, Nisswa MN 56468.

• Public Relations & Communications

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CONSULTING, INC.

Keeping Your Business Healthy

BRIAN LEHMAN . a Legacy for Future Generations. Leaving

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Nisswa Community Center | 218-963-4444

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2ND QUARTER 2013

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Project2_Layout 1 1/23/13 4:10 PM Page 1

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At Thrivent Financial, we value integrity, being wise with money and living generously—which help to keep our organization strong and stable for our members. Lead Financial Consultant Brent Fassett, FIC, has business opportunities for those who share these values, with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for helping others reach their goals. Contact Brent at 218-270-2703 or brent.fassett@thrivent.com.

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46 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

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Market Mania: Residents enjoy the bountiful offerings at the Chisago City Farmers’ Market held at Moberg Park every Friday. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33 CMSP works with came from “purely rural environments where many of them had a lot of experience growing their own food,” said Autumn Brown, the organization’s executive director. When they arrived in Minnesota, they were astonished by the supermarkets and the “apparent abundance of food options.” But after a year or two, many developed nutritionbased health problems, including diabetes and hypertension. “They realized that these problems were connected to the foods that they were buying in the store,” Brown said—in particular, packaged and highly processed foods with extremely high amounts of sugar and fat.

MARKET DRIVEN

Today, supermarkets aren’t the only option for grocery shopping in many communities. Towns such as Rockford and St. Joseph’s have used grant funding from the Initiative Foundation to explore creating food cooperatives. These grocery stores are cooperatively owned; members pay a fee and then participate in the store’s business decisions. Food co-ops typically specialize in organic or minimally processed food, offering many items in bulk. Once small, often scruffy places, co-ops now occupy inviting modern spaces with takeout items and other amenities.

There are several established co-ops throughout central Minnesota. Case in point: The City Center Market in Cambridge, which has grown from modest beginnings in 1979 into a full-service market—indeed, the only one in the city’s downtown. “We’re now known to a great deal more people in the community than we were before,” said Gayle Cupit, general manager at the City Center Market. “It’s always been true that people have seen the co-op as a place to go to with questions about alternatives for their health care, and also questions about food.” These questions, she adds, can include how to cook quinoa or what to eat to get more vitamin C in one’s diet: “We want to be a resource for the community for all of those types of questions.” Cupit added that one of the market’s policies is to offer as much locally provided produce and products as possible. That local-centricity is essential to the market’s role in Cambridge. Being a cooperative, “we are owned by our members, we are owned by our community,” she said. “All of the economic benefits of this business stay right here in this community.” That’s something that could be said about most of the local-food businesses sprouting up in the region.

Feeding the Economy

Why locally grown food makes cents. 1. IT SAVES GAS. “Buying food produced locally reduces the fuel and expense of transportation while decreasing our negative impact on the environment, said Don Hickman, vice president for community and economic development at the Initiative Foundation. 2. IT KEEPS MONEY IN THE COMMUNITY. Every dollar spent at a locally owned business generates two to four times the income, wealth, and jobs than the equivalent nonlocal business. 3. IT STRENGTHENS CONNECTIONS. Locally grown food initiatives—including farmers markets and partnerships between schools, hospitals and local growers—build community relationships. They offer nutritious and delicious ways for eaters to become more actively involved in the economic and ecological issues of their regions. 4. IT’S JUST PLAIN GOOD. Food tastes better when it’s fresher and it’s often more nutritious.

2ND QUARTER 2013

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48 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org


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Home Made

Piñata Project COLD SPRING, MINNESOTA By Maria Surma Manka | Photography by John Linn

CHINESE ROOTS The colorful piñatas that are on display at Casa Guadalupe Multicultural Community in Cold Spring are filled with more than candy. Each also tells a story of entrepreneurship and empowerment. Casa Guadalupe, a nonprofit that’s benefited from the Initiative Foundation’s programs and grants, serves the Latino community with programs that address financial literacy, language, academics and health services. As the Latino population has grown, so too has the number of mothers who stay home with their children and wish to financially contribute to their families. “Casa Guadalupe is about self-empowerment,” said Mayuli Bales, the organization’s executive director. “We provide the opportunities for our resourceful, creative immigrant population to become even stronger.” That’s where the Piñata Project comes in. With supplies provided by Casa Guadalupe, anyone can create a piñata that will be sold in the community. For instance, when a $35 piñata is sold, $28 is paid to the person who made it. The remaining $7 goes back to Casa Guadalupe to purchase more supplies and support the mission of the organization. The Piñata Project has received microloans and support from area organizations, including the Small Business Development Center at St. Cloud State University. The social enterprise began in 2010 and has benefits that extend beyond money. “I remember watching my aunts and grandmother in Mexico making very creative, intricate piñatas,” said Yajayra Lopez, coordinator of the project. “My work here makes me feel connected to that tradition and proud that it can help support my family.” We visited Cold Spring to learn more about the power of Piñata Project.

50 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

The piñata originated in China and eventually made its way to Europe. The Spanish brought the tradition to Mexico in the 16th century. According to Mexican Catholic traditions, the creation represents the struggle of man against temptation.

ANYTIME, ANYWHERE

Workers can create piñatas at Casa Guadalupe or take a kit home. Once completed, the piñata is sold at area markets, festivals and on Etsy.com. The worker receives payment once the item is sold.

ON THE JOB TRAINING

Experienced piñata makers are ready to help those who need lessons. The women also exchange the different techniques they learned from family members. Typically the process includes using a balloon or cardboard to create the shape of the piñata, then it’s covered in strips of newspaper dipped in a glue mix. After multiple layers are applied, tissue paper, stickers, ribbons and other crafts adorn it.


MADE TO LAST

The workers are often mothers, who understand that kids want the fun to last. A special mix of glue, water and flour is used to make the piñata more durable. They also wrap each piñata in several layers of newspaper to ensure it withstands hit after hit. Each layer must be fully dry before the next can be applied. From start to finish, a typical star-shaped piñata takes several days to create.

HAVE IT YOUR WAY

Commonly-made piñatas include stars, cacti and burros but they can be customized for nearly any shape, item or character. Customer requests have included a guitar and a tequila bottle.

ON DEMAND

Most piñatas are currently made at the Casa Guadalupe offices, and the organization hopes to secure a dedicated space to keep up with the growing demand. Approximately 30 piñatas were sold in 2012; the goal is to increase sales by more than 20 percent this year. 2ND QUARTER 2013

51


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2012

Annual Report

FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 2012 – DECEMBER 31, 2012

MISSION STATEMENT Unlock the power of central Minnesota people to build and sustain thriving communities.

Initiative Foundation 405 First Street SE | Little Falls, MN 56345 | 877-632-9255

54 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

www.ifound.org


years of IMPACT 1986-2012

SECURED

RETURNED $6

to the region through our grant and lending 1 investments for every $1 that’s given to the Foundation.

Made

in Central Minnesota

26 OUR RESULTS

11,600

JOBS

1

(That’s 1.25 jobs for every day that the Foundation has been in existence.)

3,928 GRANTS totaling $23 MILION

loans and investments in locally owned businesses

Provided training and assistance to

6,300 COMMUNITY LEADERS

84%

883

through

Experienced asset growth of

$ 41 MILLION

in the last 10 years

Invested

Awarded SCHOLARSHIPS

totaling $574,000

2ND QUARTER 2013

55


OUR COMMITMENT

GOAL!

$1,270,000

Total:

$519,310

40.9%

{

who we are

}

Created in 1986 by local leaders and The McKnight Foundation, we are one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations serving the unique needs of Greater Minnesota. Through leadership programs, grants and business investments powered by local generosity, the Initiative Foundation helps people to create the best future for central Minnesota.

key tools • Provide loans to businesses that create quality jobs • Award grants to nonprofits, governments and schools • Build public-private partnerships that lead to action • Help generous people give back to their communities • Publish information on local trends and solutions

56 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

THANKS TO

1,032 generous donors, over the past 18 months we have raised

over $500,000

in contributions for our endowment—representing

40% of our fundraising goal over

for the current phase (2012-2016).


OUR PEOPLE

Board of Trustees Our heartfelt gratitude to the following trustees whose terms ended in 2012

Ismail Ali St. Cloud Schools

JR Spalj Spalj Construction Company

Barbara Anderson Essentia Health

Gene Waldorf Retired, 3M Former Minnesota Legislator

Linda Eich DesJardins, Chair Eich Motor Company

Larry Korf, Vice-Chair DeZURIK

John E. Babcock The Bank of Elk River

Mayuli Bales Casa Guadalupe & Catholic Charities

Charles Black Lance Central Lakes College

Reggie Clow Clow Stamping

Pat Gorham Gorham Companies

Lee Hanson Gray Plant Mooty

Dan Meyer Atomic Learning

Earl Potter St. Cloud State University

Traci Tapani Wyoming Machine

Wayne Wolden City of Wadena

Foundation Staff Kathy Gaalswyk President Kristi Ackley Program Assistant for Organizational Development Mary Bauer Development Officer Dan Bullert Business Finance Manager Lynn Bushinger Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer

Chris Fastner Program Manager for VISTA & Organizational Development

Don Hickman Vice President for Community & Economic Development

Jolene Howard Information Systems Coordinator & Program Assistant

Tammy Fillippi Early Childhood Associate

Tricia Holig Program Specialist for Organizational Development

Lois Kallsen Office & Facilities Coordinator

Dan Frank Senior Program Manager for Community & Economic Development Sharon Gottwalt Business Finance Assistant

Anita Hollenhorst Marketing & Communications Manager Linda Holliday Vice President for Organizational Development

Matt Kilian Vice President for External Relations Kris Kowalzek Finance Assistant

MaryAnn Lindell Executive Assistant Katie Riitters External Relations Assistant Julie Schueller Finance Assistant Sandy Voigt Development Officer

2ND QUARTER 2013

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HIGHLIGHT S from the F

oundation ’s Leaders

hip Team

Linda Eich DesJardins Board President

Our Board of Trustees is enthusiastically dedicated to Central Minnesota. We know that community, economy and philanthropy are interwoven, and we strive to maintain an effective balance of the Foundation’s investments in each area for maximum ROI. We are proud of the role the Initiative Foundation plays in enhancing the lives of individuals, businesses, and nonprofits in the 14 county area we serve.

Don Hickman Vice President for Community & Economic Development We supported many outstanding regional workforce development projects and business investments that are critical for economic recovery. Among our highest priorities is helping businesses and communities attract and retain skilled workers, especially our young talent. Our “cradle to career” approach includes linking schools to business needs and providing financing to create quality jobs. It’s exciting work!

Lynn bushinger Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer We strive to provide exceptional customer service to our donors and charitable fund leaders. Over the past year, we’ve been working to enhance our technology systems in order to provide clients with online access to financial data and reporting tools. Watch our website and other communication as the results of this recent work unfold!

58 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org


KATHY GAALSWYK PRESIDENT

This past year we welcomed Tammy Fillippi to our staff as well as Charles Black Lance, Tracy Tapani and Wayne Wolden to our Board of Trustees. Their experience and expertise has been invaluable. With input from partners, our team has developed an innovative approach to community development and a fresh new brand to be unveiled at our October 11 Initiative Awards event. As always, I’m excited!

MATT KILIAN Vice President for External Relations It’s always rewarding to help people leave a legacy and make our good work possible, but that was especially true in 2012. We added several new charitable funds and exceeded goals to support the Foundation’s endowment and programs that fuel economic success in central Minnesota. Of course, IQ Magazine is a source of great pride for all of us.

LINDA HOLLIDAY Vice President for Organizational Development More than 150 nonprofit leaders attended our “Purpose & Prosperity” conference, officially launching our new Thriving Organizations Partnership (TOP). TOP is designed to help our nonprofit partners stay financially healthy and viable while also encouraging social enterprises. Besides providing critical services, our region’s nonprofits contribute to the well-being of our economy. It’s an honor to be a part of this initiative.

2ND QUARTER 2013

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Giving to and through

the Foundation in 2012

TURN KEY CHARITABLE FUNDS

The Foundation currently hosts 66 Turn Key Funds, through which donors create legacies of charitable support for current and future generations. The following Turn Key Funds were established in 2012:

Delano Area Community Foundation Big Birch Lake Endowment Fund Fish Trap Lake Endowment Land and Waters Preservation Trust Barrett L. Colombo Family Legacy Fund Edeburn Family Fund Quiet Oaks Hospice House Endowment Fund Pillager Education Foundation Manufacturing Fund of Central Minnesota Sartell Wheel Park Fund Milaca Bandshell Project Fund Wadena Regional Wellness Center Fund

BUSINESS LOANS

In 2012, the Initiative Foundation invested $1.5 million in 15 locally owned businesses. Through those loans, the Foundation helped to secure 347 quality jobs.

A Clean Plate, Inc. – Menahga Advanced Extrusion, Inc. – Becker Automotive Parts Solutions, Inc. – Rockville HealthNorth Medical Supply – Sartell JenTra Tools, LLC – Backus K&G Property Partners, LLC – St. Cloud Lake Superior Laundry, Inc. – Pine City Little Saints Academy II, LLC – St. Cloud MCI / Carpet One, Inc. – Waite Park Noble Wear, LTD – Onamia Orange Oak Advertising – St. Cloud Roden Iron, Inc. – Milaca Stern Companies, Inc. – Baxter WF Scarince, Inc. – Sauk Rapids Wooded River, Inc. – Pequot Lakes

GRANT AWARDS

In 2012, the Foundation awarded over $1 million to 114 organizations serving our region, in support of their critical services and social enterprise activities.

A Place for You – Pine City AccountAbility Minnesota – St. Paul Amherst Wilder Foundation – St. Paul Anderson Center – St. Cloud Anoka-Ramsey Community College Foundation – Coon Rapids Arc United Inc – St. Cloud Becker School District Benton County – Foley BestPrep – Brooklyn Park Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota – St. Cloud Blue Sky Support Services – Brainerd

60 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org

Boy Scouts of America – Sartell Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp Brainerd School District Bridges of Hope – Brainerd Buffalo Housing Redevelopment Authority Cascade United Methodist Church – Deerwood Cass County Economic Development Corporation – Backus Catholic Community Foundation – St. Cloud Center for Nonprofit Excellence & Social Innovation – St. Cloud Central Lakes College – Brainerd Central Lakes College Foundation – Brainerd Central Minnesota Community Foundation – St. Cloud Central Minnesota Housing Partnership – St. Cloud Central Minnesota Jobs & Training – Monticello Child Care Choices Inc. – St. Cloud Chisago County EDA – North Branch City of Big Lake City of Clearwater City of Cokato City of Cold Spring City of Eden Valley City of Elk River EDA City of Holdingford City of Howard Lake City of Longville City of Montrose City of Onamia City of Paynesville City of Princeton – Park & Recreation Advisory Board City of Rockford City of Royalton City of Saint Cloud City of Sandstone City of Sebeka City of St. Joseph City of Wadena Community Aid of Elk River Dreams United/Sueños Unidos – Long Prairie East Central Regional Development Commission – Mora East Central School District – Finlayson Eastern Minnesota Deacon’s Association – Inver Grove Heights Family Pathways – Cambridge FamilyWise Services – Minneapolis First American Financial Services on behalf of WCEDA – Sebeka Freshwater Education District – Staples Funders Network for Smart Growth & Livable Communities – Brainerd Lakes Great River Regional Library – St. Cloud Greater Minnesota Housing Fund – St. Paul Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation – St. Cloud Hands Across the World – St. Cloud Happy Dancing Turtle – Pine River HOME Line – Minneapolis Horizon Health Inc. – Pierz HOWA Family Center – Walker Howard Lake Watershed Alliance

Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District Isanti County – Cambridge JFHML Friends Foundation – Crosby Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest – Maplewood Kanabec County – Mora Lakes & Pines Community Action Council Inc. – Mora Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity – Brainerd Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers – Baxter LegalCORPS of Saint Cloud – Minneapolis Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota – Moorhead Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits, Inc. – St. Paul Mental Health Network of Minnesota – St. Paul Mille Lacs Health System – Onamia Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans – St. Paul Minnesota Council of Nonprofits – St. Paul Minnesota Council on Foundations – Minneapolis Minnesota Fathers & Families Network – Plymouth Monticello Chamber of Commerce and Industry New Pathways Inc – Cambridge Northern Pines Mental Health Center – Brainerd Pequot Lakes School District Pillager Family Council Region Five Development Commission – Staples RESOURCE – Minneapolis ROCORI School District – Cold Spring Royalton School District Rural Renewable Energy Alliance – Pine River St. Cloud Area Family YMCA St. Cloud Area School District St. Cloud Neighborhood Coalition St. Cloud State University St. Croix Valley Foundation – Hudson Salem Lutheran Church – Deerwood Sauk Rapids-Rice School District Second Harvest North Central Food Bank Inc. – Grand Rapids Somali American Heritage and Education Center – St. Cloud Southwest Initiative Foundation – Hutchinson St. Cloud Downtown Alliance Foundation Swanville School District The Refuge Network – Cambridge Tri-County Action Program Inc. – Waite Park United Way of Central Minnesota – St. Cloud Visual Arts Minnesota – St. Cloud Volunteers of America of Minnesota – Minneapolis William T. Lewis American Legion Post 12 – Long Prairie Wright County Economic Development Partnership – Rockford YMCA of Greater Twin Cities – Minneapolis NOTE: This list does not include the 113 grants that were awarded through the Foundation’s Turn Key Funds. These grants represent an additional $264,000 contributed to other charitable activities throughout central Minnesota.


OUR NUMBERS

2012

Financial Summary

8%

Sources of Funds: $13,045,109 Grants & Contributions Investment Income Business Financing Revenue & Repayments Other Operating Revenue

$ 5,699,452 $ 4,708,818 $ 2,455,603 $ 181,236

| | | |

44% 36% 19% 1%

16% Local Ownership, QUALITY JOBS

Uses of Funds: $5,750,040 Grants, Scholarships & Training Programs Business Investments Foundation Operations Special Projects & Other Training Programs Volunteers in Service to America Thriving Communities Initiative Thriving Organizations Partnership Healthy Lakes & Rivers Partnership Early Childhood TOTAL

$ 2,067,283 $ 1,985,287 $ 1,420,289 $ 277,181

| | | |

36% 35% 25% 5%

Expenses Incurred* $ 340,041 $ 249,195 $ 185,812 $ 106,354 $ 91,099 $972,502

Business Financing Investment Total

*Excludes grants & scholarships

Manufacturing Retail/Wholesale Service Environment/Agriculture

4% 3% 7% 35%

8%

38%

37%

$1,517,122 38% 37% 16% 8%

Grants & Scholarships Investment Total

Unlocking the POWER OF PEOPLE

15%

28% A complete audit report prepared by CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP is available upon request.

Innovation Fund Community & Donor Funds Community Improvement Early Childhood Economic Opportunity Organizational Effectiveness Scholarships

| | | |

$582,435 $565,000 $244,687 $125,000

$1,129,331 35% 28% 15% 8% 7% 4% 3%

| | | | | | |

$390,758 $319,628 $163,995 $93,000 $77,400 $50,000 $34,550

Total Endowment Value .......$37 million Total Assets..................................$54.9 million 2ND QUARTER 2013

61


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62 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org


Heartland Hospice Services salutes all our veterans and their families for making our freedom possible. We thank you for your sacrifices, dedication and unwavering commitment. You are what make our country great. At Heartland, we celebrate the courage and patriotism of all who have served our country.

We are always here for you. Call any time day or night. 888.650.1136 • Brainerd and St. Cloud

2ND QUARTER 2013

63


Where is IQ?

Think you know?

Send your best guess to IQ@ifound.org by September 30, 2013. Three winners will be chosen, at random, to receive a $25 GiveMN.org gift card to support the charity of their choice. Hint: The state record walleye was caught 245 miles from this one’s resting spot. Congratulations to everyone who correctly recognized the What Next Art Studio in Waverly in the previous issue. Deb Fischer, Kevin Dietrich and Cathy Mortensen were the lucky winners of GiveMN.org gift cards.

64 Initiative Foundation Quarterly ifound.org


WHY DO WE

CARE SO MUCH? We know the success of Range is tied unbreakably to the success of our clients. Our heritage as a family-owned business burned that into the Range DNA, and also made us a flexible, nimble force for getting things done. The paradox: The way Range has grown older as a business is by constantly trying new things. EVERYTHING IN ONE PLACE. Marketing, cross-media services, design, print, fulfillment, mailing and more. Business leaders say, “Synergy.” Aristotle says, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” We say having control of the entire process helps us deliver more return on clients’ marketing investments.

ENOUGH ABOUT US. LET’S TALK ABOUT YOU. All you have to do is contact Range and say, “Here’s my challenge.” We look forward to helping you succeed.

RANGEDELIVERS.COM 218.829.5982


Profile for Initiative Foundation

IQ Magazine - Q2 2013  

Published by the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls, Minnesota, IQ Magazine boils down regional leadership issues to their very essence....

IQ Magazine - Q2 2013  

Published by the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls, Minnesota, IQ Magazine boils down regional leadership issues to their very essence....

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