Advantage Magazine | April 2023

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Area Chamber


The TSP team brings together the expertise, talent, and abilities to result in a successful project - and a rewarding experience for those with whom we collaborate. We share a passion for creating community spaces that are cost-effective, enduring, and responsive to your needs.

| Advantage Magazine 2 April 2023 April 2023 Feature A CAUTIOUS TALE Meet the Member DEWITZ HOME BUILDERS Chamber News • LEADERSHIP GREATER ROCHESTER APPLICATIONS • ADVOCACY UPDATE • NOMINATING COMMITTEE • NEW AMBASSADORS • EVENTS Community News • STATE JOB GROWTH • TASK FORCE UPDATE • BIKE SHARE PROGRAM Newsreel NEW ROLES & CELEBRATIONS Ribbon Cuttings New Members What’s Inside Advertising Information: Brent Ackerman Advantage Information and Questions: Sophia van Oss 4 22 8 29 10 30 31 ARCHITECTURE • ENGINEERING • PLANNING

Ryan Parsons 507-288-1122

Chamber President Director of Member Engagement Todd McIlrath 507-424-5662

Membership Development Director Brent Ackerman 507-424-5666

Membership Director Kali Aldrich 507-424-5665

Director of Operations Cheryl Krage

Public Affairs & Leadership Development Director

Jonathon Krull 507-424-5677

Membership Director Tim Shea 507-424-5663

Events & Program Director Ally Sheehan 507-424-5687

Administrative Assistant Communications & Design Director


Chair of the Board Treasurer John Eckerman RSP Architects

Vice Chair Scott Eggert Broadway Plaza

At Large Steve Dunn Taco JED


Cherie Thurlow 507-288-1122

Sophia van Oss 507-424-5661

Jessica Eidem IBM Corporation

Secretary Dr. Christine Beech Copiavia

Santhi Arunachalam

Chad Behnken

Christy Blade

Dr. Jeffrey Boyd

Dr. Lori Carrell

Heather Donovan

Abel Garcia

Doug Holtan

Xylo Technologies Inc.

Jarett Jones

Merchants Bank


Rochester Community & Tech. College

Hamilton Real Estate University of Minnesota - Rochester

Sterling State Bank

Remodeling D.L, LLC

Mayo Clinic

The Chamber promotes business success which supports a thriving community.

Marge Kelley

Omar Nur

Sylwia Bujak Oliver

David Pederson

Jack Priggen

Nikki Mensing

Gwen Stevens

Gillette Pepsi of Rochester

125 Live Somali American Social Service Assoc.

Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.

Cardinal of MN, LTD.

Olmsted Medical Center

People’s Energy Cooperative



collaborative climate.

Advantage Magazine | 3 April 2023 Chamber Advantage USPS 446-900 is published monthly by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce at 220 S Broadway Ste 100 | Rochester, MN 55904 | Phone: 507-288-1122 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) | John Eckerman, Chair of the Board | Editor: Sophia van Oss Postmaster: Send address changes to: Chamber Advantage, 220 S Broadway Ste 100, Rochester, MN 55904 or email: VISION
businesses are
to succeed in a diverse and


For the first time in many years, Rochester’s real estate professionals are not gearing up for a redhot year of real estate transactions and property development. Instead, economic uncertainty, rising interest rates, and low inventory has weakened the local outlook for 2023, and although few are preparing for the worst, most experts say caution will rule the residential real estate market.

For the past few years the residential real estate market – both nationally and in the Rochester region – has “wowed” real estate professionals, property investors and developers alike. But cruising on a high-octane mix of very low interest rates, a booming economy, and low inventory rates can only last so long. Like the stock market, the residential real estate market was in need for a correction.

Michelle Jandt, 2023 Southeastern Minnesota Realtors (SEMN) President, along with the SEMN executive committee members, Karl Rogers, Adam Howell, and Joe Skime, provided their insights into the Rochester regional residential real estate marketplace.

“Looking back on ‘21 and ‘22 we saw the typical and recent trends of prices increasing and inventory remaining relatively low,” the SEMN executive committee says. “There was a big shift in the summer of ‘22 with interest rate hikes. The latter part of the year did slow down with buyer activity. However, we are still seeing multiple offers.”

Eric Brownlow, association executive and government affairs director at Southeast Minnesota Realtors (SEMR), added that rising interest rates have become a challenge over the last year. That said, he says today’s rate is a temporary stitch in time.

“The average net worth of a homeowner is 40+ times more than the average renter,” Brownlow says. “Beyond simple wealth building, homeownership provides stability and a heightened sense of community pride and involvement.”

Today, there are 181 single family/condo/ townhomes actives for sale in Rochester. Last year at this time, Rochester had fallen below 100.

| Advantage Magazine 4 April 2023 Feature F

Brownlow points to the Southeast Minnesota Realtors most recent monthly indicator report which states that, in its continued effort to curb inflation, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate in February 2023 by a quarter-percentage point to 4.50% - 4.75%, its 8th rate hike since March of 2022, when the interest rate was nearly zero.

“Mortgage interest rates have dipped slightly from their peak last fall, leading pending sales to increase 8.1% month-to-month as of last measure, but affordability constraints continue to limit homebuyer activity overall, with existing-home sales declining for the twelfth consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors®,” the report says.

In Southeastern Minnesota, including the Rochester region, new residential listings were down 26.7 percent to 300 and pending sales decreased 24.4 percent to 303. Inventory grew 23.1 percent to 592 units.

Also home prices moved lower as the median sales price was down 5.0 percent to $242,163. The days on market increased 16.3 percent to 57 days and month’s supply of inventory was up 44.4 percent to 1.3 months.

According to the Southeast Minnesota Realtors indicators report, “with buyer demand down from peak levels, home price growth has continued to slow nationwide, although prices remain up from a year ago. Sellers have been increasingly cutting prices and offering sales incentives in an attempt to attract buyers, who have continued to struggle with affordability challenges this winter.”

Jandt and the rest of the SEMN executive committee say that Rochester is a bit more of an economically protected environment. “We have heard in some larger markets the prices are taking much more of a hit and seeing more price corrections and longer days on the market,” the committee says. dependent residential real estate arena.

Advantage Magazine | 5 April 2023 Feature F N OW LE A SIN G B R AND NE W 1 & 2 BEDROOM A PA R TMENT HOM E S | 3 B E DROOM TO WNHO M E S LET’S MAKE IT OFFICIAL ! Be the first to reserve your new apartment home at our community filled with attractive amenities, cozy nteriors and dazzling leisure areas. Move-ins begin May 2023. A sk u s abou t o u r m o v e-in s p ecial s ! W W W. L ODGE AT O VE R LAND. C O M t hel o dge@li v e tr il o g y c o m | 5 0 7.7 22 3 0 3 5
Eric Brownlow, association executive and government affairs director at Southeast Minnesota Realtors.

Looking Ahead

So far in 2023, the Rochester real estate market has experienced an interesting start to the spring market, with continued low inventory conditions. As Jandt points out, buyers are getting more accustomed to the higher interest rates and some are finding creative solutions with 2-1 or 3-2-1 internet buy downs… especially making an upfront payment to interest, and ideally “seller paid” with it being wrapped in the mortgage.

“We hope for an increase in supply to help our consistent buyer demands,” the SEMN executive committee says. “The most challenging for this year is clearly inventory. Also, the timing of when in the week homes hit the market is playing a factor as well.” The majority of sellers in hotter price ranges ($250k-$400k) are using the “coming soon” status and letting the listing go live on a Friday and hoping for a first weekend sale. Other key and obvious challenges are around affordable housing – both for preexisting and new construction home categories.

“I feel if we encourage sellers to list their home and allow for showings it can help level the playing field,” Jandt says. “Then not all buyers are in a weekendonly home shopping mode and inventory is spread more throughout the week.”

Right infographic source: Minnesota Realtors ®

Southeast Minnesota Market Numbers

Year to date through Feb. 2023

-20.7% One-Year Change in New Listings

-31.4% One-Year Change in Closed Sales


One-Year Change in Median Sales Price

+10.4% One-Year Change in Days on the Market

| Advantage Magazine 6 Feature F
Photos provided by Zoey Jantsan

As the Rochester real estate market continues to follow the earthly tenet that what goes up must come down, most experts agree that we are in limbo stage, with everyone standing on the sidelines, waiting for someone to call the next play.

As we’ve seen, the residential real estate market is particularly sensitive to economic uneasiness. And like the stock market, real estate has its cycles, particularly the capital-intensive, interest ratedependent residential real estate arena.

So What’s the Good News?

“Although the long-term inventory is not where it needs to be,” Brownlow says, “we are seeing more stabilization in inventory numbers.”

Although the long-term inventory is not where it needs to be, we are seeing more stabilization in inventory numbers.

Advantage Magazine | 7 April 2023 Feature F
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As Laura Ingalls Wilder once wrote, “home is the nicest word there is”. Dewitz Home Builders, a local family-owned business, has been making that ring true for over 65 years. To learn more, we spoke with Jean DeWitz.

Q: Tell us about DeWitz Home Builders. What does your company offer to the Rochester region?

A: DeWitz Home Builders has been building workforce housing for over 60 years. My father was a true champion of the American dream of home ownership! We have built over 3000 affordable homes in Rochester.

Q: How did it start for DeWitz Home Builders?

A: My father, Robert DeWitz, started the business in 1957. He started out doing concrete work. After a number of years, this work turned into poured foundation walls, home building and land development.

Q: DeWitz Home Builders became a member of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce in 1976. What do you find valuable in your membership to the organization?

A: Being a part of the Chamber and other local business associations has allowed us to network within the business community. When you are in business, building relationships with your work force and other like minded individuals is critical to success. The Chamber also goes to bat for business when dealing with local and state policies and regulations that affect operating a business in Minnesota.

Q: What is a unique fact people should know about DeWitz Home Builders?

A: We have been a family run business. All five of his children have worked for the company. Of his children, Julie, Jean and Chuck are still involved. We are currently on the 3rd generation of family members who work for DeWitz Home Builders!

Q: What is the outlook for your business and industry?

A: Building workforce housing is getting more challenging every year. Land cost, infrastructure, local, state, and national regulations have all had a huge impact on why it is so difficult to build

| Advantage Magazine 8 April 2023
Meet the Member M

affordable housing. During Covid, we saw the cost of consumer goods and commodities such as lumber skyrocket in cost. This all impacts the cost of constructions and why we have a tremendous shortage of affordable housing throughout the nation.

At DeWitz Home Builders, we have adjusted to try to offset the rising cost of home ownership. We now offer compact lots to help lower the cost of a building site. We will build a home with the lower level unfinished so the homeowner can finish themselves to build equity. We stay active with local and state policies that affect the rising cost of home ownership. We know that owning a home is the single most creator of wealth for Americans. We will do everything we possibly can to make sure future generations are able to enjoy the benefit of homeownership.

To learn more about DeWitz Home Builders, visit them online at

Advantage Magazine | 9 April 2023 Meet the Member M


Connect about the legislative session and issues that are impacting area businesses.

The annual Legislative Update highlights the current Minnesota legislative session and the issues that are impacting area businesses and organizations. Featuring regional legislators Senator Boldon, Senator Nelson, Representative Jacob, and Representative Smith as panelists, and Commissioner Daubenberger of MNDOT delivering remarks, this event connects Chamber members directly with the decision makers in St. Paul for information and discussion on the legislative session.

Agenda: Legislative Panel Discussion

Moderator – Jon Olson, Vice President of University Advancement, Winona State University

• Senator Liz Boldon, District 25

• Senator Carla Nelson, District 24

• Representative Steven Jacob, District 20B

• Representative Andy Smith, District 25B

Legislative Update: Minnesota Department of Transportation – Legislative Perspective, Priorities, and Outlook

• Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger, Minnesota Department of Transportation

*Additional panelists to be announced. Agenda subject to change.

Registration closed - Learn more here:

Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: The Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area, 10 E Center St., Rochester

Admission: $40 for members, $50 for general admission, registration required


Presenting Sponsors:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsor:


Table Sponsors:

Bolton & Menk| Charter Communications | EVEN Hotels

Hawkins Ash CPAs | PossAbilities | Reagan Outdoor Advertising

Rochester Community and Technical College

Rochester Motor Cars | RSP Architects | Wells Fargo

| Advantage Magazine 10 April 2023 Chamber News C


Learn the City, County, Parks Department and Public Schools priorities for 2023

Join Rochester representatives from the City, the County, the Parks Department and the Public Schools to hear about their upcoming 2023 initiatives, programs, and priorities during Local Government Connect! This event is a great place to hear from these different Rochester Community entities as they present out on brief updates and answer questions on issues impacting our local business community.


Olmsted County Update

• Olmsted County Administrator Heidi Welsch

• Olmsted County Commissioner Gregg Wright, Third District

City of Rochester Update

• Rochester City Administrator Alison Zelms

• Council President Brooke Carlson

City of Rochester Parks Department Update

• Director of Parks and Recreation Paul Widman

Rochester Public Schools

• Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kent Pekel

• Rochester Public Schools Chair Cathy Nathan


Register here:

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Time: 7:30am-10:00am

Location: Rochester Golf & Country Club, 3100 Country Club Rd SW, Rochester

Admission: $40 for members, $50 for general admission, registration required by April 18th


Presenting Sponsors:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors: Media Sponsor:

Table Sponsors: Bolton & Menk, Inc.

EVEN Hotels & Staybridge Suites St. Marys Area

Advantage Magazine | 11 April 2023
Chamber News C

hosted by

AM Espresso is a monthly Networking PLUS event brought to you by the Chamber. Come join fellow Chamber and community members to expand your network, promote your business, and enjoy delicious breakfast refreshments. We believe there is value for all in building a supportive business community. As the local economy shifts towards recovery, it is more important than ever to interact with each other to share ideas and best practices.

This month, join us at 125 LIVE! 125 LIVE is a social and fitness facility for anyone 18 years and older. They provide a wide variety of physical, social, and intellectual opportunities to engage our community’s minds and bodies. Through extensive programming, fitness amenities, gathering spaces, and personal health resources, 125 LIVE provides opportunities for all adults to embark on their journey to “aging successfully.”

Date: Friday, April 14, 2023

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: 125 LIVE, 125 Elton Hills Dr. NW, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

hosted by

Join us for Business after Hours (BAH), a monthly networking function which brings professionals together to network and build valuable business relationships. Enjoy delicious food and drinks while connecting with a variety of businesses and organizations operating in the greater Rochester area. This event is a great opportunity to increase your organization’s visibility and generate productive business leads.

Come and connect, expand your network, and build community with the DMC team at Two Discovery Square! Destination Medical Center (DMC) is a robust 20-year $5.6 billion economic development initiative. The largest in Minnesota’s history, DMC is designed to position Minnesota as a global center for the highest quality medical care and to generate high-value jobs, new tax revenue, and businesses.

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2023

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: Two Discovery Square, 209 5th St SW, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

| Advantage Magazine 12 April 2023 Chamber News C

Employers and community partners throughout Southeast Minnesota are invited to attend the 2023 Workforce Development Forum. Join us as we explore ways to build, invigorate, and invest in workforce development and the Southeast Minnesota regional economy.

The Chamber, Workforce Development, Inc., Winona Workforce Development Board and CareerForce will host this event featuring two keynote speakers and the Best Places to Work program.


• Arrival & Networking

• Welcome, Lunch & Keynote Speakers

• Employer Panel Discussion

• Best Places to Work Celebration & Awards

• Social Hour & Networking

Keynote Speakers:

• Gerry Hoeffner, President, Personnel Dynamics Consulting Group & Best Places to Work Program

• Ron Painter, President, National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB)

Date: Thursday, April 27 2023

Time: 11:30am-4:30pm

Location: Rochester International Airport, 7333 Airport View Drive SW, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration required

Register here:

Eggs and Issues is a long-standing series presented by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce that provides opportunities for member businesses to learn about and discuss the issues that impact their businesses and the community.

The latest installment of the Eggs and Issues series will focus on the talent pipeline and workforce. Join us on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. as Caitlin Codella Low, Vice President, Policy and Programs and Kyle Butler, Manager, Programs from the US Chamber’s Center for Education and Workforce present and discusses the importance of the talent pipeline when it comes to workforce development.

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Time: 8:30am-10:00am

Location: IBM, Building 25 - IBM Lobby, 2800 37th St. NW, Rochester

Admission: $15 for members, $30 for general admission, registration required

Register here:


Presenting Sponsors:

Session Sponsors:

Advantage Magazine | 13 April 2023 Chamber News C


Help us empower today’s youth to be tomorrow’s entrepreneurs!


Main Squeeze Sponsor:


Lemonade Day is a free, fun, experiential learning program that teaches local youth entrepreneurial and life skills as they learn how to start their very own business. Learn how to develop a business and experience all the aspects of developing and maintaining a business such as creating a product, establishing a budget, designing a marketing plan, and so much more!

The foremost objective of Lemonade Day is to empower youth to take ownership of their lives and become productive members of society – the business leaders, social advocates, volunteers, and forward thinking citizens of tomorrow.

Each child that registers receives access to the Lemonade Day curriculum that teaches them lessons like creating budgets, setting profit-making goals, serving customers, repaying investors, and giving back to the community. Along the way, they acquire skills in goal-setting, problem solving, and gain self-esteem critical for future success. They keep all the money they make and are encouraged to spend some, save some and share some.

Date: Saturday, June 10, 2023

Location: Rochester, MN

Admission: Free, registration required

Register your young entrepreneur today!

Fresh Squeeze Sponsor:

Chip Shots

Lemon Drop Sponsor:

Radio Media Sponsor:

Lemon Twist Sponsor:

F & M Community Bank

Home Federal Savings Bank

People’s Energy Cooperative

People’s Food Co-op

Rochester Women Magazine

Sylvan Learning of Rochester

| Advantage Magazine 14 April 2023 Chamber News C

AM Espresso is a monthly Networking PLUS event brought to you by the Chamber. Come join fellow Chamber and community members to expand your network, promote your business, and enjoy delicious breakfast refreshments. We believe there is value for all in building a supportive business community. As the local economy shifts towards recovery, it is more important than ever to interact with each other to share ideas and best practices.

This month, join us at North Rock Hospitality! North Rock Real Estate is an entrepreneurial commercial real estate firm who takes an innovative approach to all project processes. With their expertise, clients can expect real estate strategies of all types, sizes and objectives to be delivered with confidence and results.

Date: Friday, May 5, 2023

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Residence Inn, 809 16th St SW Rochester

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

Join us for Business after Hours (BAH), a monthly networking function which brings professionals together to network and build valuable business relationships. Enjoy delicious food and drinks while connecting with a variety of businesses and organizations operating in the greater Rochester area. This event is a great opportunity to increase your organization’s visibility and generate productive business leads.

Since 1990, Haley Comfort Systems has grown to provide our community with a wide variety of solutions for our homes. They offer the latest trends and technology in HVAC, Fireplaces, Lighting, Plumbing, and Electric.

Come and connect, make new connections, expand your network, and build community while enjoying the space at Haley Comfort Systems.

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2023

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: Haley Comfort Systems, 3708 N Broadway Ave, Suite 150

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

Advantage Magazine | 15 April 2023 Chamber News C
hosted by hosted by


The Chamber’s un-fore-gettable Annual Golf Outing is coming soon!

Even though teams are sold out there are still ways to get involved with sponsorships!

Interested in becoming a sponsor?

Contact Ally Sheehan at

The Annual Chamber Golf Outing will take place on Wednesday, June 21st at the beautiful Willow Creek Golf Course! Gather your team of four and register for this premier event.

The day will be filled with great networking, good food and exciting golf. The team with the lowest score will be awarded the President’s Cup. Put your golf score to the test of our three time reigning champions - Merchants Bank!


• Registration: 9:30AM - 11:00AM

• Shotgun Start: 11:00AM

• Dinner and Awards: 5:00PM - 7:00PM

Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Time: 9:30am-7:00pm

Location: Willow Creek Golf Course

1700 48th ST SW, Rochester

Admission: SOLD OUT! If you missed sign up but would like to be on the waitlist, please contact Ally Sheehan at

Learn more here:

Chamber News C April 2023 | Advantage Magazine 16


Eagle Sponsors:

Birdie Sponsors:

Lunch & Dinner Sponsor: Drink Cart Sponsor:

Tee Gift Sponsor:

Altra Federal Credit Union


Custom Alarm

DBS Group, LLC

EVEN Hotels / Staybridge Suites

F & M Community Bank


KNXR - Minnesota 97.5

La Crosse Sign Group

Hole Sponsors:

Driving Range Sponsor:

Labovitz MBA - U of M

Northwestern Mutual

Olmsted Medical Center

ONB Bank

Premier Bank Minnesota

Reagan Outdoor Advertising

Think Bank

TownePlace Suites

Weller Brothers Landscaping


Annual Celebration was an event for the ages!

We sang, laughed and danced away on March 2nd (some on stage too)! Thank you all who joined us for a night of networking, dueling pianos, great food and drinks. We had a ton of fun celebrating the success and growth of the business community in the Rochester region. As the most attended Annual Celebration in Chamber history with over 700 attendees, this event was one for the books!

Also, congratulations to Dani at CAPS Kitchen & Bath for being voted by her peers as the 2022 Ambassador of the Year!

Special thank you to our sponsors (right) for supporting this event. Thank you also to Fun Pianos! for a great show!

| Advantage Magazine 18 April 2023
Chamber News C
2022 Ambassador of the Year Dani Buck, CAPS Kitchen & Bath



05 Legislative Update

Date: Wednesday, April 5

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm Location: Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area

$50 for general, $40 for members Registration required

14 AM Espresso - 125 LIVE

Date: Friday, April 14

Time: 7:30am-9:00am Location: 125 LIVE FREE - Registration requested

20 WE Forum - Workshop

Date: Thursday, April 20

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm Location: Saint Mary’s UniversityRochester Campus

FREE - Registration required for lunch

21 Women’s Roundtable

Date: Friday, April 21

Time: 7:30am-9:00am Location: Saint Mary’s UniversityRochester Campus

FREE - Registration required

25 Local Government


Date: Tuesday, April 25

Time: 8:00am-10:00am Location: Rochester Golf & Country Club

$40 for members, $50 for general admission - Registration required

27 Hospitality 1st Roundtable

Date: Thursday, April 27

Time: 9:30am-11:00am

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Conference Room

FREE - Registration required

27 2023 Workforce

Development Forum

Date: Thursday, April 27

Time: 11:30am-4:30pm

Location: Rochester International Event Center

FREE - Registration required

27 Business After HoursDMC

Date: Thursday, April 27

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm Location: Two Discovery Square

FREE - Registration requested


5 AM Espresso - North Rock

Real Estate

Date: Friday, May 5 Time: 7:30am-9:00am Location: Residence Inn

FREE - Registration requested

17 Eggs & Issues

Date: Wednesday, May 17

Time: 8:30am-10:00am

Location: IBM, Building 25

$15 for members, $30 for general admission - Registration required

18 Business After HoursHaley Comfort Systems

Date: Thursday, May 18

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: Haley Comfort Systems

FREE - Registration requested


WE Forum - Social Connect

Date: Thursday, May 18

Time: 4:30pm-6:00pm Location: Little Thistle

FREE - Registration required

19 Women’s Roundtable

Date: Friday, May 19

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Conference Room

FREE - Registration required


2 AM Espresso - TSP

Date: Friday, June 2

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: TSP

FREE - Registration requested

9 Chamber Weekend Kickoff

Date: Friday, June 9

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Saint Mary’s UniversityRochester Campus

FREE - Registration requested

10 Lemonade Day

Date: Saturday, June 10

Location: Rochester, MN

15 WE Forum - Panel

Date: Thursday, June 15

Time: 8:00am-9:00am

Location: Saint Mary’s UniversityRochester Campus

FREE - Registration required

15 Business After HoursHotel Indigo

Date: Thursday, June 15

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: Hotel Indigo

FREE - Registration requested

16 Women’s Roundtable

Date: Friday, June 16

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Conference Room

FREE - Registration required

| Advantage Magazine 20 April 2023
Chamber News C


Since 1987, this program has propelled leaders in the community to further be inspired, connected and enlightened. The over 1,000 alumni who have graduated from LGR have gone on to serve in various civic, community, and business leadership positions. The LGR network stretches across the community, present in almost every sector.

Applications are now open for the 2023-2024 Leadership Greater Rochester class and will close on May 26. Leadership Greater Rochester is the Chamber’s premier leadership development program.

This 10-month program immerses three dozen leaders in sessions examining everything from economic development and the local arts scene, to workforce development and building a sustainable community. Through enriching conversations, behind-the-scenes tours, and work on the Community Impact Project, the LGR experience builds lifelong relationships and provides opportunities for business and community leaders to shape and contribute to the fabric of the greater Rochester area.

| Advantage Magazine 22 April 2023 Chamber News C


April 4th, was the final committee deadline for the 2023 legislative session. This deadline signals the end of most committee work as legislators gear up for a busy final month of the session. During this final stretch, the Chamber will remain active in its advocacy for our member businesses and our legislative priorities.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Recently the Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation (HF2/SF2) has undergone a few revisions. Despite these revisions, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce along with a coalition of Rochester area businesses remain opposed to House File 2 and Senate File 2 as it is currently written. While there have been attempts to amend the legislation, work still needs to be done to ensure that the bill will not harm the business community.

This legislation would mandate a one-size-fits all, state administered program, of up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave on the business community. The current workforce environment is strained, with talent attraction being a key struggle for employers. Coupled with the paid sick and safe time act (HF19/ SF34), the impact of the mandate will only be exacerbated. We ask that the legislature consider these concerns of the business community. To address these issues, we recommend the following amendments to the legislation:

• Cap the program at a maximum of 12 weeks paid leave

• Match the definition of a “family member’ to the existing definition in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act

• Amend the legislation to avoid a one-size fits all mandate

Given the implications of this bill amidst the challenges that our businesses currently face, we urge the business community to contact your Legislator and encourage them to VOTE NO on House File 2 and Senate File 2 as it is currently written.

Bonding Bill

In early March the House passed the bonding bill (HF669) which included support for the various Rochester and Olmsted County bonding requests, clearing the 2/3 majority threshold needed to pass. However, its companion bill in the Senate (SF676) failed to clear the 2/3 majority needed and after multiple failed votes it was tabled by a 51-15 vote.

The DFL has proposed the idea of moving to use cash for the bonding projects which would only require a simple majority to pass. While this proposal would fund a majority of the Rochester and Olmsted County bonding projects, the bonding authority extension for Rochester International Airport (currently HF265/SF715), a key legislative priority of the Chamber, may not be included.

Southeast Minnesota Simulation Center

The appropriation of funds for the Southeast Minnesota Simulation Center is a key priority in the Chamber’s legislative agenda. We continue to advocate for the funding of the simulation center as it would make a great impact on workforce needs, specifically in the field of nursing. Recently the Chamber wrote a letter to the area delegation to share with our support for House File 2521 and Senate File 2452 which would appropriate funds for the simulation center.


Advantage Magazine | 23 April 2023 Chamber News C
Jonathon Krull, Public Affairs & Leadership Development Director at the Chamber, keeping you posted on the legislative


The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the 2023 Nominating Committee. Thank you to the following business leaders who have volunteered to serve on the committee to select new Directors joining the Chamber Board of Directors in October 2023:

The Chamber is currently seeking nominations of area business community leaders to serve on the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

To forward a nomination or to learn more, please contact Ryan Parsons at

| Advantage Magazine 24 April 2023 Chamber News C
Brad Becker ONB Bank Shannon Day Benedictine Living Community Rochester Heather Donovan Sterling State Bank Steve Dunn - Chair Taco Jed Mike Malugani Smith Schafer


The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce welcomes two new ambassadors:

• Matt Brouillard, Foresight Bank

• Brittney Marschall, Olmsted Medical Center

About the Chamber Ambassadors

The Rochester Area Chamber Ambassadors are a group of local business representatives from a diverse area of sectors who are committed to promoting Chamber activities and membership.

To learn more and view a full listing of the Chamber’s ambassadors visit: chamber-ambassadors

Advantage Magazine | 25 April 2023
Matt Brouillard
Chamber News C Register Now Workforce Development Forum 20 23 FREE Build. Invigorate. Invest. Location Date Time Rochester International Event Center April 27, 2023 11:30 a m - 4:30 p m
Brittney Marschall Ron Painter Gerry Hoeffner


Minnesota Employment and Economic Development announces

is signaling a strong start to 2023

Minnesota gained 14,100 jobs over the month in January, up 0.5%, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The state’s private sector gained 12,000 jobs, also up 0.5%. From December to January, Minnesota’s unemployment rate stayed at 2.9% and the labor force participation rate remained at 68.1%, after revisions that are made every year at this time.

“Our biggest month-to-month job growth in nearly a year indicates our labor market is still very tight but not so tight as to greatly constrain job growth,” said DEED Labor Market Information Director Angelina Nguyen. “This is good news for employers and job seekers.”

Over the month in Minnesota, eight supersectors gained jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis from December to January, including notable growth in the following:

• Construction gained 2,200 jobs, 1.7%

• Trade, Transportation, and Utilities gained 1,300 jobs, up 0.2%

• Professional & Business Services gained 6,600 jobs, up 1.7%

• Education and Health Services gained 2,000 jobs, up 0.4%

• Government gained 2,100 jobs, up 0.5%

Over the year, Minnesota gained 68,807 payroll jobs, up 2.4%. The private sector gained 60,741 jobs, up 2.5% over the year. These gains put total nonfarm employment 29,504 jobs short of January 2020 employment and 15,134 jobs short in the private sector.


All supersectors posted positive annual growth except one. These are the noteworthy changes:

• Leisure & Hospitality continued strong recovery from the pandemic, posting the largest growth (up 20,770 jobs) and outpaced the national rate (8.9% in MN, 8.3% in the US). This growth was driven by double-digit percentage increases in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, and Accommodation.

• Education & Health Services saw the second largest over-the-year growth, up 14,461 jobs (2.7%), mostly driven by growth in Ambulatory Health Care Services, Nursing and Residential Care Facilities, and Social Assistance. However, Minnesota’s job growth in this supersector is lower than that of the US, 2.7% vs. 4.2%.

• Trade, Transportation & Utilities saw healthy growth, adding 9,235 jobs (1.8%), outpacing the US by 0.1%. Growth was driven by Building Material and Garden Equipment Dealers, Transportation and Warehousing, and Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instruments and Miscellaneous Retailers, in spite of declines in General Merchandise Retailers and Department Stores.

• Manufacturing was up 7,519 jobs (2.4%). Information grew 3.2% with 1,444 more jobs.

• Government posted positive growth over the year, up 8,066 jobs (2%).

• Mining & Logging was the only supersector that saw negative growth, a negligible 25 jobs loss (0.4%)


| Advantage Magazine 26 April 2023
Community News C


Initial report on themes for the community-based action plan has been released

Following work sessions in March, the Downtown Rochester Task Force is announcing four major themes heard from the downtown community in response to the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on downtown Rochester.

The Downtown Rochester Task Force invited the community and downtown businesses to participate in one of four work sessions to share specific challenges they are experiencing related to downtown. Attendees shared concerns and ideas for moving forward during the facilitated discussions to inform the building of a communitybased action plan.

The Task Force shared initial findings from the working sessions.

Feedback was grouped into four major themes:

• Promotion, Activation, and Programming

• Access to Downtown

• Barriers to Doing Business

• Growing Downtown

We invite you to join us at one of the upcoming working sessions in April, where we will build a community-based action plan to solve the identified challenges. More information about dates will be shared in the near future.

View the report at

Advantage Magazine | 27 April 2023
Community News C


Applications are now being accepted!

Rochester’s popular bikeshare grant program is set to return for a second and final time in 2023. In addition to individual bike grants, community organizations, non-profits, and affordable housing developments seeking a small fleet of bikes to host their own bike share are eligible to apply. In total, the City is granting 50 refurbished bicycles.

Interested parties must complete a short application; applications are due by Wednesday, April 26. The bikes will be provided to grantees in early May following completion of basic bike maintenance training.

The links below provide additional information and grant applications:

• Organizational Bike Grant Form:

• Individual Bike Grant Form:

Initially offered in 2020, 100 bikes from the bike share program were granted to community organizations and individual residents. With the sun setting of the bike share program previously hosted at the Rochester Public Library, the remaining bikes will be once again be offered to the community through the bikeshare grant. The City and partners are evaluating other options to offer micro-mobility through the Rochester Public Library.

Bike sharing in Rochester dates back to 2016 and has been free for users since 2018 when the City took over Nice Ride Minnesota’s Rochester bicycle fleet. Collaborators who helped keep the bikes maintained and free for use include the City of Rochester Parks and Recreation, Experience Rochester, Olmsted County Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Public Library, Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency, and We Bike Rochester.

| Advantage Magazine 28 April 2023 Community News C


Updates from the Chamber member community.

New Rochester Deputy Fire Chief

The Rochester Fire Department (RFD) announced Holly Mulholland as the newest Deputy Fire Chief. Mulholland has been with RFD for almost 15 years and she is the first woman to serve in the Deputy Chief role. The role provides leadership and strategic direction for the overall operation and administration of RFD and may assume the role of Fire Chief in their absence.

New Marketing & Communications Manager

Rochester International Airport (RST) welcomes Mary Gastner as their new marketing communications manager. Gastner has more than twenty years of experience, most recently as the marketing director for Tech Impact. Prior to that, she held dual roles of interim executive director and marketing and communications with Experience Rochester.

New Image360 Rochester Location

Image360 has opened is doors at 2973 43rd Street NW Suite 110. As a provider of custom graphic solutions to area businesses and organizations, Image360 is proud to be Rochester’s resource for delivering exceptional brand identity and visual communication. The Rochester location is co-owned by business partners Dale Roberts and Ambro Alvarado, who is longtime owner of two of the Center’s sister businesses in the area.

Newsreel Submissions

AOS Carpentry Rebrands to AOS Home Solutions

AOS Carpentry has rebranded to AOS Home Solutions to better reflect our company’s expanded services as a General Contractor. The new name highlights our commitment to providing comprehensive home solutions such as remodeling, renovations, and repairs. The rebranding represents a strategic move to better serve our client’s needs.

Awaken Gratitude Expands Offerings

In addition to the powerful energy healing practice of Reiki, Reiki Master, Kim Juen, is now integrating Color Therapy Chakra Balancing where color is used to create equilibrium within our chakras. Additionally, she is an intuitive Angel Card Reader, receiving messages to provide guidance, insight & clarity from your angels through personalized Angel Card Readings. Visit


Advantage Magazine | 29 April 2023
N Newsreel
an announcement
member community
as a new hire, promoted employee, recipient
your newsreel submissions for future issues of the Advantage Magazine to Sophia van Oss at Newsreel submissions are a benefit of Chamber membership and complimentary for members.
of an award or a company rebranding? Send


The Realty Edge Team celebrated their new Chamber membership with a ribbon cutting on February 8th. Realtor and Co-Team Leader, Dan Kingsley cut the ribbon.

300 1st Ave NW, Suite 200, Rochester

Carroll’s Corn celebrated their 30 year anniversary with a ribbon cutting on February 13th. Owner, Seamus Kolb cut the ribbon.

20 2nd Ave. SW, Suite B12, Rochester

Mayo Clinic Store celebrated the grand opening of their Rochester Crossroads location with a ribbon cutting on February 16th. Regional Manager, Aaron Johnson cut the ribbon.

1201 Broadway Ave S, Suite 36, Rochester

LRS of Minnesota celebrated their 1 year anniversary with a ribbon cutting on March 14th. General Manager, David Meyer cut the ribbon.

4245 HWY 14 E, Rochester

Want to advertise your business to over 1,200 businesses and 6,000 readers? Ask us about advertising in this Chamber Advantage magazine!

For more information, please contact Brent Ackerman at

| Advantage Magazine 30 April 2023
Ribbon Cuttings R


MCFC - Med City Fighting Championships

Matt Vogt (810) 293-3766

Guide Your Heart

Kristine Stensland (507) 923-6105

Sandy Anderson Consulting & Coaching

Sandy Anderson, MS (507) 440-2390

308 4th Ave NW, Suite 10, Austin


Dawn Clarin (651) 283-7354

701 N Washington Ave. , Ste 500, Minneapolis


Daniel Johnson (507) 322-6164

Mall of America and Apache Mall

Transitions: Therapy, Assessment, Mediation

Deb Moran (507) 288-5818

975 34th Ave. NW, Suite 215, Rochester

Image360 Rochester

Dale Roberts

(507) 396-4500

2973 43rd St NW, Suite 110, Rochester

Wells Fargo Advisors

Ian Scheerer (507) 285-3065

21 First Street SW, 6th Floor, Rochester

Fluid Interiors

Michaela McCluskey (612) 746-8779

100 North 6th Street, Suite 100-A, Minneapolis

Titanic Times

Loring Stead (507) 358-2961

Stead and Stead Real Estate

Pam Stead (507) 358-2960

Prairie Island Indian Community Ross Brockman (651) 385-4124

5636 Sturgeon Lake Rd. Welch

Rochester Thai Garden

Janphen Seeley (507) 269-6309

100 1st Ave SW Rochester

Seven Medicine TCM Healing Clinic

Kristina Gacesa (507) 312-6998

300 3rd Ave SE, Rochester

Do you know of a business that has recently opened in Rochester? Are you connected to a business-owner looking to expand their network? Then a Chamber membership is right for them! Please contact with any referrals.

Advantage Magazine | 31 April 2023 Welcome W


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Rochester, MN
220 South Broadway, Suite 100
Rochester, MN 55904

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