Advantage Magazine | August 2021

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ROCH ESTER A Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Publication

PRODUCT to market

August 2021

Rochester Businesses Reach New Customers 8



MEET THE MEMBER Finery Bridal Chic

LEMONADE DAY Chamber Announces Lemonade Day is Coming to Rochester

2021 ANNUAL GOLF OUTING Join the Chamber for an Un-FORE-gettable Day of Golf!

You’re Invited! ISG Grand Opening

Come celebrate the grand opening of our new Rochester office, followed by Thursdays Downtown!




S E P T E M B E R 9, 2 0 21 3:00-5:00 PM

ISG ROCHESTER OFFICE H3 Plaza 30 3rd Street, Suite 600 Rochester, MN 55904

ISG Office Tours, Appetizers, and Refreshments

Join us afterwards for ISG sponsored Thursdays Downtown event. Architecture + Engineering + Environmental + Planning | | #ISGRochLaunch

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Exploring New Avenues of Product Placement in Rochester

Meet the Member Finery Bridal Chic

Ribbon Cuttings




Where is the Advantage? Advertising Information: Brent Ackerman

August 2021

What’s Inside

Advantage Information and Questions: Katie Becker


President Ryan Parsons 507-288-1122

2020-2021 CHAMBER BOARD OFFICERS Chair of the Board Lizzy Haywood

People’s Food Co-op

Membership Brent Ackerman Development Director 507-424-5666

Vice Chair Christy Blade

Post Bulletin, LLC

Administrative Assistant Cherie Thurlow

Treasurer James Kelly

Director of Operations Cheryl Krage

Secretary Emily Benner

Communications Director Katie Becker

Chamber President Ryan Parsons

Harris Rochester, Inc.



507-424-5699 507-424-5661

Member and Community Morgan Shaw Engagement Director 507-424-5665 Director of Programs Sam Gill


Membership Director Tim Shea


2020-2021 CHAMBER BOARD MEMBERS Laurie Ackerman

Sarah Miller

White Space

Dr. Christine Beech Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Matt Morehead

Carlson Capital Management

Chad Behnken

Hamilton Real Estate

AnJuana Napue

Mayo Clinic

Aaron Benike

Benike Construction

Dan Nistler

Merchants Bank

Steve Dunn

Taco JED

Nate Nordstrom


John Eckerman

RSP Architects

Omar Nur

Somali American Social Service Assoc.

Scott Eggert*

Broadway Plaza

Sylwia Bujak Oliver 125 Live

Jessica Eidem

IBM Corporation

Dave Pederson

Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.

Cathy Fraser

Mayo Clinic

Jack Priggen

Cardinal of Minnesota

Marge Kelley

Express Employment Professionals

Joselyn Raymundo Rochester Home Infusion

Sharon Schneller

Olmsted Medical Center

John Reed*

Rochester Airport Co.

Dr. Lori Carrell

University of Minnesota - Rochester

Teresa Czaplewski

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home

Opportunity Services

*Denotes at large members of the Executive Committee


MISSION The Chamber promotes business success which supports a thriving community.

Rochester-area businesses are empowered to succeed in a diverse and collaborative climate.

VALUES As a service organization, the Chamber is committed to conducting our work in accordance with the following values:

Collaboration | Diversity |Innovation Integrity | Proactivity 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 Issue #4 Volume #13 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) | Lizzy Haywood, Chair of the Board | Editor: Katie Becker Postmaster: Send address changes to: Chamber Advantage, 220 S Broadway Ste 100, Rochester, MN 55904 or email:

Note from the President N

Note from the President D

ear Members,

August will be an exciting month for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, as we will see the return of the Leadership Greater Rochester program. After a one-year hiatus, the 2021-2022 program begins this month and will provide a great development opportunity for professionals in our community. Leadership Greater Rochester serves an essential role for the Rochester Area Chamber as it enables us to not only develop the leaders of tomorrow through discussion and valuable educational sessions, but also through community engagement and experiences. These community experiences help lead each class to develop a project to give back and enhance the Rochester region. Past class projects include Little Free Libraries, communal book collections for public sharing, and the Community Block Party Trailer, a trailer that includes everything a neighborhood needs to come together and host a party, to name a few. Development of these projects encourages leadership, communication, initiative planning and a sense of community awareness, including how to give back to the community around us, in the professionals that are in each class. Sam Gill, Director of Programs for the Rochester Area Chamber, and the Leadership Greater Rochester Steering Committee have been outstanding in preparing for the upcoming year for Leadership Greater Rochester. To learn more please read the program update in this month’s issue of the Advantage business magazine. As the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce strives to create a continuum of leadership development, Leadership Greater Rochester is paramount. Leadership Greater Rochester, paired with the annual STEAM Summit and the upcoming Lemonade Day program, bring us closer to providing leadership development experiences that can being with area youth all the way to career professionals. If you would like to learn more about Leadership Greater Rochester, Lemonade Day or another Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce program, please contact the Chamber team at (507) 288-1122.

Ryan Parsons President

August 2021

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F Feature

Exploring New Avenues of Product Placement in Rochester By Maura Keller

possible. We created a new website focused on making the ordering process easier for our customers to have the product shipped to their door. Our website grew over 500% in 2020. We also operated a local in-town delivery service, where we hand delivered to over 200 doors each Friday.”

Seamus Kolb, Owner of Carroll’s Corn, had to get creative when COVID-19 impacted how he served his customers.

In today’s competitive marketplace, small

businesses must compete to survive. And while some business owners have thrown that small business ideation to the side by changing their product lines, renaming their companies, or merging with other entities, others businesses are attempting to balance their evolution and growth by bringing unique products to market, while staying in the small business mindset.

During this time, Kolb got a second job at Rochester Trader Joes where he witnessed customers loading their grocery carts with necessities and comforts during the pandemic stay-at-home orders. “At the same time, I happened to answer a phone call from our West Circle Hy-Vee. Initially, their bakery manager was interested in using a small order of our Regular Buttered Popcorn for a snack mix in their bakery,” Kolb says. Kolb quickly shifted their conversation to a potential wholesale/retail relationship, where Hy-Vee would take Carroll’s Corn’s bestselling Triple Mix and put it on their shelves.

In 2020, small businesses faced one of the biggest challenges they had ever seen, and Carroll’s Corn, located in the Kahler Grand Hotel in Rochester, was no different. As businesses began closing their doors, the team at Carroll’s Corn knew they had to be creative if they were going to survive. Founded by Pat Carroll in February 1993, Carroll’s Corn has been providing gourmet popcorn, including their ever-popular Triple Mix, to Rochester for nearly 30 years.

“Fortunately, they were willing to give it a shot,” Kolb says. Their first order of 30 small party bags ($10.00 each retail) sold out within the first hour of being on the shelves. They ordered more that same day, but it did not last the weekend. By the following week, Carroll’s Corn was filling orders of over 200 units daily, and by the following month, they were in all four Rochester Hy-Vee locations. In addition, Carroll’s Corn has expanded its retail relationships to include locations such as Scheels All Sports in Rochester, The Rochester Honker’s Baseball, Deer Creek Speedway, Mayo Clinic Gift Shop, and many more.

“Although we were never forced to close our doors, our opportunity to serve our customers within our store was brought to a halt,” says Seamus Kolb, owner of Carroll’s Corn. “Customers were, however, ready to support small businesses in any way

Jen Ellingsen, assistant store leader at Scheels, works directly with some local vendors like Carroll’s Corn. “We, as a company, understand the importance of having local vendor partnerships, as they create a novelty specific to that Scheels store and the

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August 2021

Feature F community we support,” Ellingsen says. “Having their products in our store is a great way to directly support vendors from within our community, not just by having their product, but by allowing more exposure to their businesses. Working with local small businesses has allowed Scheels to create genuine partnerships. We enjoy being able to have the owners of their businesses hand deliver products that they are incredibly passionate about.” Jamie Sundsbak, Executive Director with Pasquale Presa, Owner of Pasquale’s Neighborhood Collider, an organization that empowers Pizzeria, began selling his pizzas in Hy-vee stores during Rochester’s early-stage entrepreneurs the pandemic. and small businesses with one-on-one entrepreneurial ecosystem navigation “Over the past five years, I have observed an and education, says the COVID-19 pandemic has increase in more food-based businesses starting to taught us that we have to think broader about what emerge that have the potential to be built into has traditionally been defined as “retail.” national brands,” Sundsbak says. “This is exciting for me, as I have always been a big proponent of “Seeking out and identifying large retailers for your economic diversity here in Rochester. I think food products can also be an avenue to increase sales could be the next big growth area for our and widen your geographic location,” Sundsbak community.” says. “This is not easy, however, and takes a lot of time and entrepreneurial grit. Nevertheless, this So, how can businesses like Carroll’s Corn and might be the key to building a national or Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria continue to find international brand for a select few companies.” success as they bring their products to market within the retail environment? Sundsbak says it’s vital that This is indeed the case for Pasquale Presa, Owner of small businesses continue to focus on their Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria in Rochester, who customers. has brought authentic New York-style pizza along with traditional Italian food from his home in Bari, “That’s what will ultimately determine success or Italy to Rochester. failure,” Sundsbak says. “The channels that they use to deliver their products and services will always A favorite within the Rochester community, Presa continue to grow and change. They must stay on also experienced the stress of a pandemic bearing top of these changes and decide when a new retail down on his successful restaurant. To make sure his channel works for them. business survived, Presa reached a deal with Hy-Vee to sell Pasquale’s frozen pizzas for $10 in seven “Ultimately, we have some fantastic products in our Hy-Vee stores in the Rochester area. region. We have to work as a community to champion these companies, help them in any way “The support for our product in the grocery stores has we can and encourage them to ‘think bigger.’” been wonderful,” Pasquale says. While his revenue did dip in 2020, its reduction was offset by his entrance into the grocery store environment. “I’m excited to see what the future holds,” Pasquale says. He recently returned to Italy to visit his parents in his hometown and explore potentially bringing other Italian products to the U.S. market, including his family’s olive oil.

August 2021

Advantage Magazine | 7

M Meet the Member

Meet the Member: Finery Bridal Chic One of the most exciting parts of

planning a wedding is shopping for your wedding dress. However, this part is not always seamless or easy and often comes with a lot of stress. Finery Bridal Chic is looking to change that and make shopping for a wedding dress the magical, positive experience that it should be. As soon as you walk into Finery Bridal Chic, you know you are in good hands. With a wide selection of bridal gowns, veils, and accessories for every bride, each bride is sure to find what they are looking for to complete their perfect day.

Q: Tell us about Finery Bridal Chic. What does your company offer to the Rochester region? A: Finery Bridal Chic is a bridal boutique that focuses solely on the bride. We exclusively offer bridal gowns, veils and accessories, so the bride can feel the focus is completely on her during her shopping experience. We offer one-on-one appointments, so our focus can be on the bride’s customer service experience instead of just the sale.

Owner of Finery Bridal Chic, Claire Landgraf, has brought the boutique bridal experience to Rochester.

Q: How did Finery Bridal Chic Start? A: The idea for Finery Bridal actually started when I

was still in high school, in Tennessee. I began working in bridal as a part time job and fell in love with the industry. I knew I wanted to open my own store from a very young age, and when I moved to Rochester in 2011, I noticed the need for a boutique bridal experience. I began my business in a small storefront with 750sqft of retail space, and I recently expanded into a building with over double the retail space. The growth I’ve been able to experience really tells the story of how this type of business was needed in our community.

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August 2021

Meet the Member M Q: Finery Bridal Chic has been a member of the

Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce since 2018. What do you find valuable in your membership to the organization? A: The Chamber adds value by offering many networking opportunities. Not everyone is a bride or groom, but almost everyone knows someone at some point who is getting married. Being able to put my business’s name in front of so many community members is of great value to me.

Q: What’s a unique fact people should know about

Finery Bridal Chic? A: Finery offers several designers who allow brides to customize their gowns! We adore working with brides who have a specific vision for their wedding day and then creating a gown that checks all the boxes for them. The best part about this is that since our gowns range from $1300-$3000, a customized gown is attainable and won’t break the bank.

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

A: The wedding industry as a whole is experiencing

a post-COVID boom right now, and Finery has seen the result of that in incredible ways. One wonderful thing about this industry is that no matter what is happening with the world and the economy, people always want to get married - and as a result of that, Finery has been able to experience continued growth. With hard work and luck, I don’t anticipate that changing any time soon. Visit Finery Bridal Chic online to learn more at

Finery Bridal Chic’s stunning new space, located at 1104 Broadway Ave. N, Rochester, is a paradise for brides-to-be.

August 2021

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C Chamber News

Join Us for an Un-FORE-gettable Day of Golf! Title Sponsor:

Eagle Sponsors: Join us for the 2021 Chamber Golf Outing at the Rochester Golf and Country Club.

Dust off your clubs and assemble your foursome,

the Chamber Golf Outing is returning this fall! Hosted at the beautiful Rochester Golf and Country Club on Monday, September 13, the 41st Annual Chamber Golf Outing will feature great networking opportunities, good food, and exciting golf. Also, the team with the lowest score will be awarded the President’s Cup! Register now for a chance to add your team’s name to the trophy and join the likes of Merchants Bank, who won the trophy in 2020. Call (507) 288-1122 or contact Brent Ackerman at for more information or to register today. Date: Monday, September 13, 2021 Registration: 9:30 - 11am Shotgun Start: 11am Dinner & Awards: 5pm Location: Rochester Golf and Country Club, 3100 Country Club Road SW, Rochester, MN Registration: Team: $800 Individual: $200

Register here:

Birdie Sponsors:

Hole Sponsors: • • • • • • • • •

Ability Building Community Altra Federal Credit Union Clifton Larson Allen LLP Custom Alarm EO Johnson DBS Group Haley Comfort Systems Home2 Suites by Hilton KIMT

• • • •

Labovitz MBA ONB Bank Premier Bank Reagan Outdoor Advertising • ServiceMaster • The Boldt Company • Think Bank

Cart Sponsor: Bremer Bank Lunch and Dinner Sponsor: Rochester Motor Cars Drink Station Sponsor: KNXR Minnesota 97.5

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August 2021

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C Chamber News

AM Espresso

CRC Update

Come join fellow Chamber and community

The Chamber is excited to announce that our new

members to expand your network, promote your business, and enjoy delicious breakfast refreshments. This month, you are invited to join Ability Building Community as they celebrate their 65th Anniversary with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony followed by AM Espresso! Date: Friday, August 6 Time: 7:30am-9:00am Location: Ability Building Community, 1911 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901 Admission: Free, registration required

Uber creative event and experiential marketing agency located in Roch MN

CREATE AN EXPERIENCE www spotonexperiences com .


Chamber Resource Campaign (CRC) is now open. The Chamber Resource Campaign is designed to streamline the process when preparing your yearly budget and to bring awareness of all potential Chamber program engagement opportunities for 2022. Bringing together all the information of the CRC is the CRC Catalog. The CRC Catalog will serve as a resource that showcases our events and programs, by providing valuable details such as event descriptions, available sponsorship levels, and benefits associated with each sponsorship. The right of first refusal period is now open until August 31st. On Wednesday, September 1st, open enrollment will begin. During this time, any new or current sponsors will have an opportunity to add or upgrade their sponsorship involvement. The 2022 CRC will conclude on Tuesday, November 30th. Dates to remember: • Right of first refusal period: Monday, August 2nd – Tuesday, August 31st • Open enrollment: Wednesday, September 1st • Close of Chamber Resource Campaign: Tuesday, November 30th


On behalf of the Chamber Team, thank you for your continued support of our organization. Email Morgan Shaw at to learn more.

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Chamber News C

Back in Action Leadership Greater Rochester Program to Resume in August with New Class Community Impact Project Session Planning Chair: Stephanie Fischer, Associated Bank Planning Volunteers: Briana McDonald, Avra Hospitality, Jes Peterson, Minnwest Bank, Rajani Sohni, Mayo Clinic Exploring our Economic Ecosystem Session Planning Co-Chairs: Adam and Mike Benike, Benike Construction Planning Volunteers: John Eckerman, RSP Architects, Angie Richards, Avra Hospitality, Mike Vance, IBM

Following a year hiatus, the Leadership Greater

Rochester program is set to begin again this August 19th with a new cohort of 38 business professionals in industries ranging from small business and healthcare, to non-profits and IT. This ten-month, in-person program inspires leaders to be more engaged, connected, and enlightened out in our community, and provides hands-on experiences for participants to learn more about themselves and the city they call home. To see who is in the new class, visit Each year, an immense amount of time is spent planning content and tours, and the Chamber would like to recognize and thank the session planning volunteers who are responsible for assembling these compelling sessions.

Arts, Culture, & Humanities Session Planning Chair: Rebecca Snapp, Salvation Planning Volunteers: Lindsey Hemker, Spark Building a Sustainable Community Session Planning Chair: Brian Morgan, SEH Planning Volunteers: Jill Mickelson, Braun Intertec, Ayodeji Oyebola, Emmright Consulting, Von Peterson, TSP Architects Working with Local Government Session Planning Chair: Randy Schubring, Mayo Clinic Planning Volunteers: Nick Fernholz, IBM, Kristine Ihrke, Centerstone Plaza Hotel, Jenna Obernolte, SEH Exploring Public Safety Session Planning Chair: Brooke Gentzler, Mayo Clinic Planning Volunteers: Katy Naumann, Mayo Clinic, Jeremy Moe, The Boldt Company, Mike Schmitt, IBM

Orientation Session Planning Chair: Meaghan Sherden, Olmsted County Session Planning Volunteers: Heather Barness, Velair Property Management, Justin Mathre, Ability Building Community, Derrick Paquin, Mayo Clinic Leadership Retreat Planning Chair: Sarah Oachs, Olmsted County Planning Volunteers: Carissa Drake, Jeremiah Program, Stephanie Hurt, Mayo Clinic Workforce & Talent Session Planning Chair: Kellie Wendland, UMR Planning Volunteers: Catherine Davis, Mike Schnell, Southeast Service Cooperative Monica Steinmetz, Rochester Catholic Schools

August 2021

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C Chamber News

Eggs and Issues

Business After Hours

The Rochester area will soon be home to a new

career pathway program serving under-represented high school students: Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH). This program will join Career Technical Education at Heintz (CTECH) as a resource to promote career readiness for in-demand fields and offer access to new job opportunities. Learn more about these two cutting-edge programs and how they fill critical workforce needs during Eggs and Issues: Career Pathways with PTECH and CTECH. Date: Thursday, September 30 Time: 11:30am – 1:00pm Location: Rochester Community and Technical College – Heintz Commons Admission: $20 members $30 general

Come and connect, expand your network, and

build community while enjoying Premier Bank’s Summer Block Party! There will be delicious pizza from Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria, music DJ’d by Townsquare Media Rochester, and many opportunities to win prizes. Bring your friends and colleagues - all are welcome! Date: Tuesday, August 17 Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm Location: Premier Bank Parking Lot, 421 1st Ave. SW, Rochester, MN Admission: Free, registration required

Agenda: • Welcome • PTECH: How the Program Came to Be • CTECH: Unique Learning Environment Built on Collaboration • Panel: PTECH, CTECH, and the Future of Workforce Development • Close & Tour Opportunities

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Chamber News C

Chamber Announces Lemonade Day Coming to Rochester approaches Rochester youth put into action to reach their goals.” Youth entrepreneurship is gaining momentum around the world. Studies have proven that introducing kids to entrepreneurial experiences at an early age makes a measurable impact on their future decisions related to education, training, life, and work.

Lemonade Day, a well-established global national

youth entrepreneurship program that teaches leadership and business skills by encouraging children to launch a lemonade business in their community, is expanding again. The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that it will bring the Lemonade Day experience to kids in the Rochester, Minnesota area in 2022. Since 2007, more than 1 million kids have learned about business ownership by participating in Lemonade Day and hosting a lemonade stand in their community. We are proud to announce that Rochester kids will get to join in on the fun! The impact of a program like Lemonade Day is four-fold: 1) teach financial literacy to kids; 2) promote entrepreneurship, which is key to jumpstarting economic growth in the state; 3) teach kids to be responsible, self-reliant, and to contribute to their community’s development; and 4) foster mentorship and bring families together. “Developing our entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow is important, and Lemonade Day is an exciting opportunity to spark the entrepreneurial spirit in youth throughout the Rochester region,” said Ryan Parsons, President of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. “Creating a business plan, following a budget and finding help and mentorship are an essential for an entrepreneur and the Chamber team looks forward to the creative

August 2021

Lemonade Day resources and mentors will guide participants through the journey of planning, launching, and operating a business. The valuable lessons of Lemonade Day include setting a goal, making a plan, working the plan, and achieving their dreams. Once a youth pays their investor back, they keep all the money they earn and are encouraged to spend some, save some, and share some of their profit. “I am honored to be part of an organization that engages in encouraging our youth in entrepreneurial development, by teaching them financial literacy, following a business plan, increasing confidence, and supporting creativity,” said Morgan Shaw, Lemonade Day City Director and Member and Community Engagement Director for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. Anyone and everyone can be involved in Lemonade Day! Young entrepreneurs with lemonade stands need mentors, investors, business partners, great locations, and customers! Sponsors and volunteers are also needed to make Lemonade Day a success. Timeline: Pre-registration: November/December Open Registration: March-April Lemon Zest Party (Launch Party): Late April Best Tasting Contest: Early June Lemonade Day: Saturday, June 11, 2022

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C Community News

Frye II Accepts Leadership Position toward his passion of creating a more diverse and equitable community,” said Niles. “I am confident Sidney will do an excellent job guiding the continuous expansion of the Community Outreach Specialist Team and look forward to his leadership on other important corrections services, such as our Pretrial Release Program.” Niles continued by saying Frye brings a “plethora of experience” to the program manager position.

On August 16, 2021, Sidney Frye II will officially

assume the role of Program Manager for Olmsted County’s Diversity, Equity, and Community Outreach (DECO) Team. In this position, Frye will oversee the following groups: Olmsted County Pretrial Services Team Community outreach workers on the Law Enforcement Liaison Team. Frye will fill the role previously held by Nikki Niles who was recently named director of Dodge-Fillmore-Olmsted (DFO) Community Corrections. The DECO team has been in existence for approximately one year. This team is tasked with helping to build a vibrant, inclusive, and opportunity-rich environment for everyone in Olmsted County. This work is being done through the development of diversity and equity strategies to help eliminate disparities for publicly delivered Community Corrections services. The work of the DECO team is a tangible example of the county’s work to address diversity and inclusion through its “One Olmsted” initiative.

“Sidney has experience developing and enhancing programs that address disparity, disproportionality, and equity. He is dedicated to ensuring Olmsted County is providing the highest level of service to the community we serve.” “Right now there is a lot of synergistic energy around this work,” noted Frye. “I’m excited for the opportunity to help lead this team and look forward to serving our community and supporting continuing efforts toward building an equitable system that works for all.” Frye has worked in human services for over 12 years as a juvenile corrections officer, a Parents and Children Excel (PACE) social worker, and most recently as a child welfare program supervisor for Family Service Rochester. In this role, Frye led the work of PACE, FATHER Project, and the contracted Family Support Team with Olmsted County. Frye has a master’s degree in Divinity from Bethel University, as well as graduate certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. He also has postgraduate clinical experience in group work and in-home family therapy.

The DECO team is an important element of Community Corrections work as part of Olmsted County’s Health, Housing, and Human Services division. “I am excited to have Sidney in this DECO leadership role. He will be an asset to Olmsted County, working

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Committed to the business community. At Merchants Bank, we’re committed to creating vibrant local economies and helping our customers succeed. It’s who we’ve been for the last 145 years. We’re ready to be your trusted advisor, your partner, and join you every step of the way as we work toward your business’s financial goals together. When you work with us, you become part of the Merchants Bank family.

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Commercial Banker

Nick Pederson

Commercial Banker

Dan Nistler

Let’s get started.

Market President

(507) 282-7535 | 1600 Greenview Drive SW, Rochester | (507) 535-1520 | 3586 55th Street NW, Rochester | Member FDIC

C Community News

AgVantage Gets RAEDI Recieves Recognition Funding AgVantage has been recognized as one of the

“Most Promising IBM Solution Providers 2021”, awarded by CIO Review. This annual listing shows the 20 companies that are at the forefront of providing IBM solutions and transforming businesses. AgVantage Software has been providing accounting and agriculture-focused software for cooperatives and agbusinesses in the US to keep their operations running leading edge technologies. Grain elevators, farm stores, fertilizer/chemical dealers, seed companies, feed manufacturers, and fuel distributors utilize its ERP system and software related to accounting, agronomy, energy management, feed, and patronage tracking. “We write cutting edge, ag-focused technologies on the foundation of the IBM power systems,” states Michelle Blomberg, president and CEO of AgVantage. AgVantage has deployed Db2 as their core database, and its system runs on IBM legacy code. The firm has implemented a process called customer-driven development.

Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc.

(RAEDI) is pleased to announce that the organization has received $100,000 in initial funding from the Minnesota Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program (ELP) to provide as loans to support the growth of businesses owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities. “The Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program is an invaluable tool that will help RAEDI empower historically underserved entrepreneurs in the Rochester area,” said John Wade, President of RAEDI. In order to qualify for a loan under the ELP, businesses must be based in Minnesota and owned and operated by one or more Minnesota residents who are minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans and/or persons with disabilities. The program will finance a variety of start-up and expansion costs, including normal expenses such as machinery and equipment, inventory and receivables, working capital, new construction, renovation, and site acquisition. Businesses eligible for loans include, but are not limited to, technologically innovative industries, value-added manufacturing, and information industries. ELP loans can range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $150,000 per project, matched at least 1:1 by new private financing. Beginning microenterprises (defined as businesses that have fewer than five employees and have generated sales revenue for two years or less), including retail businesses, may apply for $5,000 to $50,000 without private matching funds.

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Community News C

SCORE Business Mentoring

UDC Update

My name is Ayodeji Emmanuel Oyebola. I am the

founder of a business that provides management and consulting services to small businesses. We help business owners take care of the tedious stuff so that they can focus on what they do best and grow their businesses. Based on my humble beginnings, I am a firm believer in the underdog story. I believe that small businesses can thrive and compete at the highest level with the proper support structure. We have heard several times that small businesses are the engines of the economy. However, most small businesses do not have access to the knowledge and resources that big businesses have, limiting their ability to compete favorably. Creative resources and education can help small businesses keep their engines firing on all cylinders. I joined SCORE as a Subject Matter Expert to share my knowledge and experience with small business owners and entrepreneurs. I lead workshops on topics such as financial management, strategy management, process improvement, and leadership. I enjoy working with startups and small businesses because they have products that meet people’s immediate needs and ideas that can change the world.

The City of Rochester is currently updating the City’s zoning ordinance, which regulates the manner in which private property can be developed. The new zoning ordinance (known as the Unified Development Code) is being drafted in three major installments. Installment 2, which regulates site development and project appearance, was released in May. As part of the City of Rochester’s efforts to engage with the community, the Community Development Department will be hosting virtual and in person opportunities to discuss this installment and collect community member, business, and organization feedback.

Don’t need assistance? You can share your expertise and experience by joining us as a SCORE volunteer. Mentoring is fun and can make a real difference to local businesses.

Community Development will seek public comment through: Virtual Q&A cafes; Neighborhood Week, a new outdoor event at a city park in each quadrant; community events such as Thursdays Downtown and the Farmer’s Market; presentations at neighborhood meetings; and various targeted outreach. Light food and refreshments will be served at each event and no RSVP is required. Visit for a complete schedule of the public engagement events.

To acquire a Mentor or become a Volunteer, visit: http://WWW.SEMNSCORE.ORG and follow the prompts or give us a call at 507-200-0760.

The entire UDC Installment 2 draft is now accessible via the project website. The goal is to have the Unified Development Code finished by late 2021 and approved in 2022.

SCORE can assist YOU with FREE business mentoring on almost any issue in which you need help, from pre-planning, to startup, to helping an existing business, or even, exiting a business.

August 2021

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R Ribbon Cuttings

Ribbon Cuttings

Congratulations to the following members on their successful Ribbon Cuttings!

Media Core

Media Core celebrated their new Chamber membership and new location with a ribbon cutting on July 7. Josh Langmade, Owner of Media Core, cut the ribbon. 2660 Superior Dr. NW, Suite 104, Rochester, MN 55901

Tulip Tree Studios

Tulip Tree Studios celebrated their new location with a ribbon cutting on July 9. Founder, Whitney West, cut the ribbon. 1001 2nd Ave. NW, Stewartville, MN 55976

Firestone Complete Auto Care

Firestone Complete Auto Care celebrated their Grand Opening and new Chamber membership with a ribbon cutting on July 23. Store Manager, Michael Williamson, cut the ribbon. 5579 Villa Rd. NW, Rochester, MN 55901

20 | Advantage Magazine

Valor Mechanical

Valor Mechanical celebrated their new location with a ribbon cutting on July 9. President and CEO, Ty Bestor, cut the ribbon. 1001 2nd Ave. NW, Stewartville, MN 55976

Southern MN Farmer’s Insurance

Southern MN Farmer’s Insurance District Office celebrated their new Chamber membership with a ribbon cutting on July 16. District Manager, Keith Collins, cut the ribbon. 2766 Commerce Dr., Suite A, Rochester, MN 55901

DBS Group DBS Group celebrated their new location and expansion Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting on July 29. President and CEO, Chris Walters, cut the ribbon 3425 40th Ave. NW, Suite 100, Rochester, MN 55901

August 2021

E Event Lineup

Event Lineup AUGUST 6


AM Espresso - Ability Building Community Business After Hours - Premier Bank Block Party Date: Friday, August 6, 2021 Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Date: Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Location: Ability Building Community,

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

1911 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN

Location: Premier Bank Parking Lot,

FREE - Registration required

421 1st Ave. SW, Rochester, MN FREE - Registration required



Virtual Women’s Roundtable

Hospitality 1st Roundtable

Date: Friday, August 20, 2021

Date: Thursday, August 26, 2021

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Time: 9:45am-11:00am

Location: Virtual Zoom Meeting

Location: Zoom and Mayo Civic Center, Suites 102 &

Guest Host: Emily Watkins

103, 30 Civic Center Dr. SE, Rochester, MN

Sponsors: Mayo Clinic, Think Bank, and Wells Fargo

Featured Speaker: Member of the Marketing Team

FREE - Registration required. In Person limited.

for FREE - Registration required



AM Espresso - Haley Comfort Systems

2021 Annual Golf Outing - Fall Classic

Date: Friday, September 10, 2021

Date: Monday, September 13, 2021

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Time: 9:30am-7:00pm

Location: Haley Comfort Systems,

Location: Rochester Golf and

3708 N Broadway Ave., Rochester, MN

Country Club,

FREE - Registration required

3100 Country Club Rd. SW, Rochester, MN Team: $800 Individual: $200

22 | Advantage Magazine

August 2021

Newsreel N

Newsreel Updates from the Chamber member community. Katie Lund Receives Promotion

National Award for Olmsted County

Councilmember Appointed to SEAP

Eric Olson, President and CEO of KSMQ Public Television, Austin/ Rochester, presented the National Educational Telecommunications Association’s 2021 Public Service Award to Mohamed Sheik Nur of the Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association of Rochester (IMMA) for IMMA’s help encouraging participation in the 2021 Census.

Katie Lund was promoted to Assistant Vice President/ Mortgage Lender at Merchants Bank, where she has been since 2008. Her supervisor, Tom Schubert shares, “Katie strives to help clients get into their dream homes, always listening to their needs and concerns.” Get to know Katie at www. klund.

Olmsted County was announced as a recipient of one of the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 2021 Achievement Awards in the category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety for the Olmsted County Pretrial Release Program. These NACo awards honor innovative, effective county government programs.

Councilmember Mark Bransford has been appointed to the Minnesota Special Education Advisory (SEAP). He will serve a three year term. The purpose of the SEAP is to provide a broad base of input to Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) staff related to the education of children with disabilities.

The Berkman Receives Recognition

DBS Group Opens Rochester Office

The Berkman was recognized by Finance and Commerce Magazine as one of Minnesota’s Top Construction Projects of 2020. The Berkman is also a finalist for the 2021 RE Journal Real Estate Awards in the Greater Minnesota Multifamily category.

Design-build construction company DBS Group will cut the ribbon on its new Rochester office on Thursday, July 29. Headquartered in the La Crosse, Wisconsin area, the commercial construction manager and general contractor finished renovating its new office space in the Valley High Business Center in July.

KSMQ Presents Award

Does your company have a new hire, recent promotion, or recognition to announce? Submit your Newsreel to Katie Becker at

August 2021

Advantage Magazine | 23

W Welcome New Members

Welcome to The Chamber! Introducing our newest members. Livewire Entertainment Media Services LLC

Oola - Kim Schmidt

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

A Smooth Move

Viterbo University

The Bin Cleaners

Michelle Kalina | Lake Sotheby’s International Realty

Salt and Light Partners

Sports Headquarters

Grounded Evolution

Kent Kolstad (320) 815-1288 18 13 1/2 St. N, Fargo, ND 58102

Amanda Rook (800) 262-7799 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake, MN 55372

Alycia Larson (608) 796-3029 900 Viterbo Dr., La Crosse, WI 54601

Michelle Kalina (507) 289-6439 875 Weatherhill Woods Ln. SW, Rochester, MN 55902 Alec Waite (507) 282-3424 1920 S Broadway, Rochester, MN 55904

Quality Inn and Suites South

B.J. Patel (507) 282-8091 1620 1st Ave. SE, Rochester, MN 55904

Kim Schmidt (507) 951-3705 832 SE 24th St., Rochester, MN 55904

Jonah Van Proosdy (507) 280-MOVE (6683) 5397 Hwy. 52 S, Rochester, MN 55904

Marcus Sherels (507) 258-4377 6863 10th Ave. SW, Rochester, MN 55902

George Beech (507) 218-2119 1445 Valleyhigh Dr. #6121, Rochester, MN 55903

Maria Serbus (507) 218-1286 357 19th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901

RMB Insurance Agency

Reid Bruns (507) 424-1044 1418 1st Ave. NE, Suite C, Rochester, MN 55906

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.

24 | Advantage Magazine

August 2021


Think you know what downtown shopping and dining destination The Advantage is at? Send your guesses to Katie Becker at for your chance to be feautured on the Chamber’s social media pages!

June’s Advantage was inside of Air Insanity Trampoline Park! Air Insanity is over 32,000sqft of fun for the whole family!

Periodical Postage

220 South Broadway, Suite 100 Rochester, MN 55904 507-288-1122



Rochester, MN

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