Advantage Magazine | January 2022

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ROCH ESTER A Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Publication

January 2022

2022 Legislative Session Outlook Local legislator insight into the upcoming legislative session




MEET THE MEMBER Tulip Tree Studios

2022 ANNUAL CELEBRATION New date announced for the 2022 Annual Celebration!

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY Join us to celebrate MLK Day at the MLK Day Virtual Celebration.

January 2022

What’s Inside 4


2022 Legislative Outlook


Meet the Member


Chamber News


Community News



Tulip Tree Studios

Advertising Information: Brent Ackerman

Advantage Information and Questions: Katie Becker

Wishing the Rochester community a Happy New Year! We look forward to new sparks of creativity, passion, and growth in 2022! Architecture + Engineering + Environmental + Planning |


Chamber President Ryan Parsons 507-288-1122

2021-2022 CHAMBER BOARD OFFICERS Chair of the Board Christy Blade

Post Bulletin, LLC

Membership Brent Ackerman Development Director 507-424-5666

Vice Chair John Eckerman RSP Architects

Treasurer James Kelly

Membership Director Kali Aldrich


Secretary Emily Benner

Communications Director Katie Becker



Director of Operations Cheryl Krage 507-424-5699

Membership Director Tim Shea


Administrative Assistant Cherie Thurlow 507-288-1122

2020-2021 CHAMBER BOARD MEMBERS Santhi Arunachalam

Lizzy Haywood

People’s Food Cooperative

Dr. Christine Beech* Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Doug Holtan

Mayo Clinic

Chad Behnken

Hamilton Real Estate

Marge Kelley

Express Employment Professionals

Emily Benner


Sarah Miller

White Space, LLC

Dr. Lori Carrell

University of Minnesota - Rochester

Matt Morehead

Carlson Capital Management

Teresa Czaplewski

Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home

Dan Nistler

Merchants Bank

Steve Dunn

Taco JED

Omar Nur

Somali American Social Service Assoc.

Scott Eggert*

Broadway Plaza

Sylwia Bujak Oliver 125 Live

Jessica Eidem

IBM Corporation

David Pederson

Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.

Shawn Fagan

Fagan Studios

Jack Priggen

Cardinal of MN, LTD.

Abel Garcia

Remodeling D.L, LLC

Joselyn Raymundo Rochester Home Infusion

Karen Hanson

Home Instead Senior Care

Sharon Schneller

Olmsted Medical Center

Gwen Stevens

People’s Energy Cooperative

Xylo Technologies Inc.

*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 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) | Christy Blade, Chair of the Board | Editor: Katie Becker Postmaster: Send address changes to: Chamber Advantage, 220 S Broadway Ste 100, Rochester, MN 55904 or email:

F Feature


Rep. Liz Boldon District 25B

Sen. David Senjem District 25

Q: What do you foresee as a key issue that will impact the Rochester area business community in the 2022 legislative session? A: I believe a key issue that will impact Rochester area businesses in the 2022 legislative session, and one that I intend to continue to work on, is childcare. Ensuring that families have access to quality, affordable childcare is a key part of building a strong workforce. The pandemic has highlighted the brokenness of our current childcare system. Childcare is prohibitively expensive for many families - at the same time - the professionals providing that care, mostly women, and often women of color, are not being paid a living wage for this critically important work. We need to invest and build a system that works for everyone. Q: What are your expectations for the 2022 legislative session? Are there trends the business community should be aware of? A: There are many important items that will need to be addressed in the 2022 legislative session – a bonding bill, redistricting, protecting democracy, childcare, essential worker pay, making investments to be sure all Minnesotans have what they need to be safe, cared for and thrive, to name a few. Supporting workers with things like paid family medical leave and affordable childcare will certainly benefit the business community. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic is still with us, and will certainly impact the 2022 session. It’s clear that the best thing for businesses is for all of us to take actions to drive our Covid numbers down – when consumers have confidence in their safety, they are more willing and likely to shop local businesses. I believe the trend for the legislature to support families, workers, and small businesses will continue in 2022.

Q: What do you foresee as a key issue that will impact the Rochester area business community in the 2022 legislative session? A: Clearly the paramount issue of the 2022 legislative session will how manage a $7.7 billion dollar surplus. Democrats will want to spend it on existing and new programs. Republicans will want to return it to the people in the form of tax decreases. In the final analysis there may be a House/Senate stalemate on how the surplus is managed or a compromise may be reached between new spending and returning the surplus money back to the taxpayers. Bottom-line, the biggest issue of the 2022 session will be how or if the legislature is able to manage the $7.7 billion surplus. Q: What are your expectations for the 2022 legislative session? Are there trends the business community should be aware of? A: My expectations for the 2022 legislature will find a compromise position on managing the 2022 budget surplus and we will pass a significant Capital Infrastructure bill. The legislature will give strong consideration to increasing the labor pool by further emphasizing vocational education training programs.

Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, responses were not available from Rep. Duane Quam.

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January 2022

Feature F

District 26:

Rep.Tina TinaLiebling Liebling Rep. District26A 26A District

Q: What do you foresee as a key issue that will impact the Rochester area business community in the 2022 legislative session? A: The top issue in the 2022 legislative session will be the pandemic and its impact on the physical and mental health of Minnesotans of all ages, our health care system, our schools, and our economy. We must continue fighting the pandemic to protect the lives and health of Minnesotans, protect our hospitals and clinics from being overwhelmed, keep our schools operating safely, support our small businesses, and keep our economy going. The pandemic has exacerbated workforce shortages in all parts of the economy with no end in sight. The Legislature can help address these shortages with policies and funding that help Minnesotans stay on the job while still caring for their families, such as affordable and flexible childcare and paid family leave. Q: What are your expectations for the 2022 legislative session? Are there trends the business community should be aware of? A: Hard-working Minnesotans and good decisions by our state and federal governments have given us a healthy projected budget surplus. These resources could be used to help Minnesotans recover from some of the pandemic’s worst impacts on our small businesses, our workers, and vulnerable Minnesotans including our children. However, every constitutional office and every seat in the legislature is up for election this year, so it will be extra difficult to reach agreement on the budget. Two sitting state senators are also running for the Republican nomination for governor, which means there may be a lot of playing to their political base during the session. Unfortunately, that may also result in a reluctance to lead on fighting the pandemic. I will continue to work hard to overcome the difficult political headwinds to find and implement solutions to the many challenges we face.

Legislator Information: Representative Liz Boldon District 25B

Representative Nels Pierson District 26B

Representative Tina Liebling District 26A

Representative Duane Quam District 25A

Senator Carla Nelson District 26

Senator David Senjem District 25

January 2022

Advantage Magazine | 5

F Feature

Sen. Carla Nelson District 26

Q: What do you foresee as a key issue that will impact the Rochester area business community in the 2022 legislative session? A: We have a record state budget surplus – $7.7 billion! Driving questions are: Do we spend one-time money on long-term expenses? Do we empower Minnesotans and improve our economic competitiveness through sustainable, long-term relief to taxpayers and small businesses? As Chair of the Senate Taxes Committee, I will champion serious, permanent, broad-based tax relief that empowers Minnesotans and drives economic growth. • Eliminating Minnesota taxation of social security benefits. Only 13 states tax them. • Relief to brick-and-mortar businesses, the bread and butter of our main streets and our tax base. Minnesota adds an additional (30% on average) misnamed Commercial/Industrial General Levy onto their property tax. It goes to the state general fund, not your local schools, counties, and cities. The pandemic wreaked havoc on our main streets – they deserve relief. • Repay the $1.1 Billion we borrowed from the federal government to keep our unemployment program afloat during the pandemic. Q: What are your expectations for the 2022 legislative session? Are there trends the business community should be aware of? A: I am cautiously hopeful. We’ve been able to work well together across party lines to get some good things done, and I’m optimistic that will be the case again. Some of the surplus money is one time and some is structural. It will require a careful balance to make broad changes to support families and empower and strengthen our economy- without putting our state on a budget cliff when the one-time money is gone. Let me hear from you about what you see as the best ways to empower Minnesotans, build our economy, and ensure good jobs are available across our state.

Q: What do you foresee as a key issue that will impact the Rochester area business community in the 2022 legislative session? A: The Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax increase poses a major concern for businesses. Employers, through no fault of their own, are now being forced to pay to replenish Minnesota’s UI Trust Fund. With a $7.7 billion surplus and more than $1 billion in unspent COVID relief funds, there is no reason for the government to ask businesses to shoulder this burden. The legislature needs to act to prevent this unnecessary tax increase.

Rep. Nels Pierson District 26B

Q: What are your expectations for the 2022 legislative session? Are there trends the business community should be aware of? A: A $7.7 billion surplus means that all tax increases are off the table for the next session. As businesses continue to rebuild after a year of shutdowns, and as they face growing inflation and a supply chain crisis, the government needs to work to help businesses thrive once again. Government should not have a surplus of $7.7 billion worth of hardworking Minnesota families’ and businesses’ money. Now is the time to implement tax relief to help all Minnesotans.

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January 2022

Meet the Member M

MEET THE MEMBER: TULIP TREE STUDIOS Arguably the most important aspect

of a business is its marketing. Marketing helps a business sell their products or services. Not only does marketing help boost sales, but marketing also helps drive customer engagement, maintain your company’s reputation, provide insights into your business, and so much more. The team at Tulip Tree Studios knows how vital marketing is to a business, and they offer a variety of marketing services to help businesses succeed.

Q: Tell us about Tulip Tree Studios. What

does your company offer to the Rochester region? A: Tulip Tree Studios is a small-but-mighty, local marketing agency that offers all marketing services from strategy and advertising (print and digital), to social media and content writing, to graphic design and web development, and Marketing and Design Director, Whitney West, everything in between. We offer our prioritizes relationships with clients to help them services to businesses of all sizes, in all reach their business goals. industries, in both an on-going or an as-needed basis. Everything we do is customized to our clients’ needs, so while we may act as an outsourced marketing department year after year for one company, we may just be designing a brochure for another.

Q: How did it start for Tulip Tree Studios? A: I (Whitney West) was hired by another local

agency after college and quickly realized the value in the services we offered to area businesses, but knew there was a different way I’d run the company, coming from a family of business owners myself. After almost 3 years at this other agency, my father started a new mechanical company and wanted my help marketing his business, which made it an easy decision to leave. By going out on my own

January 2022

“TULIP TREE STUDIOS IS A SMALL-BUTMIGHTY LOCAL MARKETING AGENCY THAT OFFERS ALL MARKETING SERVICES.” and starting Tulip Tree in 2013, I was able to continue offering these outsourced marketing services to my father’s business and others, while also being able to prioritize relationships with clients – taking personal interest in helping them exceed their business goals.

Advantage Magazine | 7

M Meet the Member

Q: Tulip Tree Studios became a member of the

Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce in 2013. What do you find valuable in your membership to the organization? A: Joining the Chamber was a no-brainer for me. With a business based on relationships, it’s all about “who you know.” I had been active in the Rochester Chamber for three years prior to starting Tulip Tree, and the various events held within its membership had helped me form relationships that I still have now, 12 years later. A vast majority of Tulip Tree’s business today still comes from word of mouth and referrals, and a decent percentage of that can be attributed to the professional connections that my team and I have made over the years by networking at Rochester Chamber events.

Q: What is a unique fact people should know about

Tulip Tree Studios? A: We thrive on lack of information or direction. Many business owners think that it will take a lot of time and energy to outsource a marketing or design task. While getting more information up front is easiest (for us), all we really need is the problem to solve. Give us an idea of who you’re trying to reach and your overall goals and we will gladly be

proactive and spearhead the project or initiative as if your company and your goals were our own… asking only the most necessary of questions along the way and ultimately giving the business owner valuable revenue-generating time back in their day.

“JOINING THE CHAMBER WAS A NO-BRAINER FOR ME.” Q: What is the outlook for your business and

industry? A: While the pandemic affected all businesses in different ways, one commonality is that businesses were forced into new ways of doing business. And the new ways of doing business still need to be communicated to the masses, so we’ve really seen a surge in marketing requests in 2021 – especially in the digital realm (i.e. social media, websites, digital advertising, etc.) – and don’t foresee it slowing down anytime soon. Visit Tulip Tree Studios online at www.tuliptree-studios. com or in person at 1001 2nd Ave. NW, Stewartville, MN.

The talented team at Tulip Tree Studios provides a variety of marketing services including graphic design, content writing, social media, and so much more.

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January 2022

Chamber News C


The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We Have a Dream

Celebration is an annual community event held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to commemorate the life and work of Dr. King. With hundreds in attendance, this event is an excellent opportunity to promote a welcoming and inclusive community. The keynote speaker this year is Lorien Lature Elizabeth Carter and her keynote address will be titled “Their guilt, Our Responsibility.” Lorien Carter was born in Madison WI and raised in NYC. She is a mother, an author, a writer, a poet, and an advocate for the black and brown community. She moved back to Madison WI and would later begin her community/activist work in 2015, after the homicide of her 19 year old nephew, Tony Robinson, at the hands of Madison Police officer Matt Kenny. Since then, she’s become a voice for the youth, a highly decorated speaker, and pillar for the black and brown community. receiving multiple awards for these achievements. There will also be a Poetry Contest for grades K-12. This years MLK quote for the Poetry Contest is, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others?’” **This event will take place virtually on Zoom.** Date: Monday, January 17 Time: 8:00am-10:00am Location: Virtual Zoom Admission: FREE - registration required

January 2022

Celebration Sponsors:

Community Sponsors:

ISG Olmsted County Peoples Food Co-op Rochester Area Foundation Southeast Service Cooperative

Advantage Magazine | 9




5:30 PM

Join the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce for a night under the stars on

Thursday, March 31st, 2022. This gala will celebrate the success and growth of the business community in the Greater Rochester Area.

REGISTER BY VISITING Date: Thursday, March 31, 2022 Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm Location: Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Dr. SE, Rochester, MN Agenda: 5:30pm-6:00pm: Networking and Introduction 6:15pm: Program and Keynote Speaker 8:00pm: Networking Member Admission: $60 General Admission: $80 Virtual Member Admission: $50 Virtual General Admission: $70

Presenting Sponsor:

Featured Keynote Speaker Elliot Kotek Joining the Rochester Chamber as our featured keynote for the 2022 Annual Celebration is Elliot Kotek! A leader in innovation, technology and media, Elliot produced the first ever user generated feature film, steered the storytelling about a social robot for kids with cancer, enabled a farmer with ALS to independently tell his wife he loves her, and produced the world’s first lab to produce 3D-printed prosthetic limbs. As CEO of The Nation of Artists, Elliot has collaborated on virtual reality and documentary-style content and tech for the likes of AARP, Accenture, Aflac, Amgen, CNBC, Habitat for Humanity, Hyundai, LEGO, National Geographic, Netflix, NBC Peacock, and Whirlpool and, even during COVID, The Nation of Artists has deployed film crews to more than 30 cities in 14 countries on 5 continents. Elliot will bring an entertaining keynote message of innovation, empathy and the impact they can have on an organization and their teams to the 2022 Annual Celebration!

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:

Bronze Sponsors: Destination Medical Center ISG Kwik Trip Minnesota Energy Resources Rochester Airport Company RSP Architects Star Tribune Media Company Treasure Island Resort and Casino West Bank

Media Sponsor:

Table Sponsors: Altra Federal Credit Union KNXR - MN 97.5 Associated Bank MetroNet Avra Hospitality Nuss Truck Group Inc. Benike Construction ONB Bank Bolton & Menk, Inc. Premier Bank Rochester City of Rochester Rochester Community and Technical College CRW Architecture + Design Group Rochester Post Bulletin Doma Title Rochester Title and Escrow Company, Inc, Dunlap & Seeger, P.A. Think Bank Hawkins Ash CPA’s Widseth HGA Winona State University - Rochester

C Chamber News


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 business 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 while enjoying Emergent Business Technologies on Thursday, January 20 from 4:30PM 6:30PM. Date: Thursday, January 20 Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm Location: 6744 Gaillardia Dr. NW, Rochester, MN Admission: Free, registration required

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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. Come join fellow Chamber and community members to expand your network, promote your business, and enjoy delicious breakfast refreshments. This month, you are invited to Empire Event Center. Date: Friday, January 7 Time: 7:30am-9:00am Location: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Rochester Campus, 2900 19th St. NW, Rochester, MN Admission: Free, registration required

January 2022

Community News C

WHEN TO SAY NO TO A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY By Dean Swanson, volunteer Certified SCORE Mentor and former SCORE Chapter Chair, District Director, and Regional Vice President for the North West Region

In my experience, it is hard for a small business CEO to say no to a potential opportunity. I often see times when a business leader needs help with making this kind of decision. So when should an entrepreneurial CEO say “no”?

To help entrepreneurs with strategic decision making in these situations, Brett Farmloe, Founder & CEO of Markitors (and one of SCORE’s content partners), asked CEOs and business leaders for their best insight. He asked “What is one sign that a business owner should probably say “no” — and pass on an opportunity?” I share several insights from small business CEOs. When You’re Overextending Yourself Sometimes, the timing just isn’t right, and you won’t have the resources to say “yes” to a new opportunity — and you’ll know it. Let’s say you just finished expanding your business premises, and someone approaches you to take part in a new venture or partnership. The temptation may be there to dive in, but you know you’ve nearly maxed out your line of credit and also can’t spare any employees for the new project. Don’t overextend yourself. Just say “no.” -Lily Yu, Oak Springs Realty When Long-Term Costs Exceeds Short-Term Benefits There are occasions when a chance offers a clear short-term benefit — a position with a good title, an investor who offers to save your cash-strapped company in exchange for a 50% ownership stake. However, you are well aware that there will be considerable long-term costs. Perhaps the opportunity with better benefits offers few prospects for advancement and pushes you to focus on a

January 2022

field you don’t particularly enjoy. Alternatively, you value autonomy and control and see that being a co-owner will only cause you problems in the future. -Randall Smalley, Cruise America When You Are Splitting Too Much of Your Time I have seen many entrepreneurs do this often, with four or five business ideas bubbling away simultaneously. One fantastic business is worth a lot more than several bad ones. Splitting your time, focus, and dedication between many projects is nearly impossible. Focus on one and make it shine -Henry Babicheknko, Stomadent When You Don’t Have the Capacity As a business owner, it’s important to know what amount of work your team can take on. You will likely have opportunities that will be difficult to pass up, but do a thorough audit of each team member’s capacity for the work they currently do before accepting more responsibility. You want to be sure that everyone has the capacity and the ability to deliver on new commitments and wow your new client. -Nick Santora, Curricula When the Numbers Don’t Support the Decision You can feel great and get excited about a business opportunity, but if a spreadsheet can’t validate a worst-case scenario, a business owner should probably pass. Common examples could be around extending an employment offer for a new role or taking on a new cost at the expense of another opportunity. Before saying “yes” or “no” to an opportunity, run the best and worst-case calculations to see what would happen to the business with either route. -Brett Farmiloe, Markitors To read more, visit SCORE’s website at

Advantage Magazine | 13

C Community News


Kasson-Mantorville Public Schools, and Rick Hengel, Engineering and CNC Instructor at Minnesota State College Southeast, have each won the STEM Forward Outstanding Educator Award that celebrates educators from southeast Minnesota. This year marks the 30th anniversary of this celebration that recognizes educators who foster high K-12 student achievement, exhibit leadership and support for continuous improvement, promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, and demonstrate collaboration among K-12 schools, businesses, and higher education. “Isaac Ydstie is the embodiment of striving for STEM educational excellence. Since Mr. Ydstie began teaching at Kasson-Mantorville Schools, we have seen an increase in student achievement in science, even during the pandemic. While the student rate for science proficiency in Minnesota decreased by 10% from 2019 to 2021 for eighth graders across the

state, Kasson-Mantorville Schools increased eighth grade proficiency by 3% from 2019 to 2021,” said Ashley Kaplan, Director of Teaching and Learning at Kasson-Mantorville Public Schools. “Rick Hengel joined Minnesota State College Southeast in 2019 after working in the CNC Machining industry for over 30 years. Rick serves as the lead instructor for the CNC Machine Tool Program and works extensively with high school students seeking college credits through the SLAM (Students Learning Advanced Manufacturing) program,” said Chad Dull, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Minnesota State College Southeast. “Rick has demonstrated a real passion for promoting STEM within our regional high schools, which is why I am nominating him for the STEM Forward 2021-2022 Outstanding Educator Award.” After a hard couple of years when area educators were wondering if they were doing enough or were adequately supporting our youth to receive the education they deserve, the southeast Minnesota community wants to show our gratitude for educators’ efforts. Isaac, Rick, and fellow nominees, Kaitlyn Dunlay (Kindergarten Educator, Chatfield Public Schools), Lisa Nelson (2nd Grade Educator, Zumbrota Public Schools), and Paula Mortenson (High School Chemistry/Physics Educator and Robotics Coach, Southland Public Schools) will be celebrated at the 30th Annual STEM Forward Outstanding Educator Awards presented in person on Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022 at 5:30 PM at the Workshop in Rochester, MN. The public is welcome to attend this free event. This award is presented by Southeast Service Cooperative’s STEM Forward. STEM Forward is a collaborative group that consists of 25 southeast Minnesota school districts, five high school education and post-secondary partners, and community businesses like Mayo Clinic, IBM, Lab MidWest, and Workforce Development, Inc, who work together to promote STEM excellence in our K-12 schools.

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January 2022

Event Lineup E



AM Espresso - Empire Events Center

MLK Jr. We Have a Dream Breakfast

Date: Friday, January 7, 2022

Date: Monday, January 17, 2022

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Time: 10:00am-11:00am

Location: Empire Events Center, 1517 16th St. SW,

Location: Virtual Zoom

Rochester, MN

FREE - Registration required

FREE - Registration required



Business After Hours - Emergent Business Technologies

AM Espresso

Date: Thursday, January 20, 2022

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: TBA

Location: TBA

FREE - Registration required

Date: Friday, February 4, 2022

FREE - Registration required



Chamber 101

2022 Annual Celebration

Date: Thursday, February 10, 2022

Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022

Time: 8:00am-9:30am

Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm

Location: Cascade Meadows, Saint Mary’s University

Location: Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Dr, SE,

- Rochester Campus, Meeting Room 102, 2900 19th

Rochester, MN

St. NW, Rochester, MN

Member Admission: $60

FREE - Registration required

Virtual Member Admission: $80

January 2022

Advantage Magazine | 15

N Newsreel

NEWSREEL Updates from the Chamber member community. Evans Appointed to ABA’s GRC

RCTC Names 2021 Outstanding Educators

Hansen Joins Merchants Regency Multifamily Bank as Trust Officer Announces Promotions

Greg Evans, President & CEO for Merchants Bank and Merchants Financial Group, Inc. has been appointed to serve as Minnesota’s representative on the American Bankers Association’s (ABA) Government Relations Council (GRC).

Rochester Community and Technical College is proud to announce Chemistry Instructor Heather Sklenicka, Ph.D. (left), and Art + Design Instructor Simon Huelsbeck, MFA (right), have been selected to receive the College’s 2021-2022 Outstanding Educator Award.

Raymond L. Hansen has joined Merchants Bank as a Trust Officer. For the past 20 years, he was an estate planning and probate attorney at O’Brien & Wolf, L.L.P. in Rochester. His primary role will be serving clients through trusts, estate planning, investment management, or 401(k) administration services. Learn more:

Regency Multifamily recently promoted seven individuals for their commitment and substantial contributions to the company. Taylor Hackerd, Beverly Martinez, Amanda Hughey, Courtney Oldham, Amber Rust and Makenzie Click all recieved promotions in their various roles.

Nuss Group Receives Honor

Olmsted County Receives Recognition

New Company President Welcomed

Best Life Community Awards

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Department of Labor has recognized Nuss Truck & Equipment with the HIRE Medallion Award for its commitment to hiring and retaining military veterans. They are one of just two Minnesota-based companies to receive the 2021 Platinum HIRE Medallion Award.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced today that Olmsted County, in partnership with Hennepin, Wabasha, and Wright counties and Code for America, received the DHS Circle of Excellence Award. Organizations receiving the award have “done an exemplary job of providing access to food, health care and other assistance to Minnesotans in need.”

A.B. Systems, Inc. named Nels Pierson as President. “We are energized and thrilled by the addition of Nels Pierson. His knowledge and background enhance our experienced team,” said Peter Schuller, Chairman of A.B. Systems, Inc. Nels Pierson brings to A.B. Systems his real-world application of construction methods through his years of development and real estate experience.

Altra Federal Credit Union recognized four Rochester-area organizations as part of their Best Life Community Awards program. Recipients of the $5,000 Community Assistance award were Collider Foundation, Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, Rochester Public Library Foundation, and Sports Mentorship Academy. Altra awarded 19 nonprofit organizations $85,000 in the first year of the program.

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

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January 2022

Welcome New Members W

WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER! Introducing our newest members. May I See Your Drums - Ear Lavage

Edward Jones - Keegan Schmidt

Badger Hills Dental Care

Dr. Patricia Price, LLC

Immaculate Home Cleaning

Viking Restoration Services

Edward Jones - John Soucheray

Ramer Retirement Resources

Jeff Loftus (507) 261-9241 358 Elton Hills Dr. NW, #32, Rochester, MN 55901 php?id=100072736027041

Byron Campbell (507) 322-1886 4273 W Circle Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Kathryn Stanek (651) 253-2848 3110 Pinewood Rd. SE, Rochester, MN 55904

John Soucheray (507) 252-5882 3131 Superior Dr. NW, Ste D, Rochester, MN 55901 john-soucheray

Keegan Schmidt (507) 258-4209 2001 2nd St. NW, Ste 125, Rochester, MN 55902

Patricia Price (507) 202-6364 421 1st Ave. NW, Ste 302W, Rochester, MN 55902

Ryan Knutson (507) 315-9393 918 6th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Nick Smith (507) 634-2211 2001 2nd St. SW, Ste 105, Rochester, MN 55902

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.

January 2022

Advantage Magazine | 17

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