Advantage Magazine | June 2021

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ROCH ESTER A Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce Publication

June 2021





ASK THE EXPERTS The RAC, CIT, and ServiceMaster

MEET THE MEMBER Sweet House Bakery


Planting Roots + Building Connections ISG is proud to be a part of the growing Rochester community.


Ribbon Cutting on February 5, 2021! Architecture + Engineering + Environmental + Planning |



Rochester International Airport: Connecting Rochester to the World


Meet the Member




Ribbon Cuttings


Where is the Advantage?

Sweet House Bakery

Advertising Information: Brent Ackerman

June 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

Construction Partnership



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



Laurie Ackerman

Opportunity Services

Marge Kelley

Express Employment Professionals

Dr. Christine Beech Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

James Kelly*


Chad Behnken

Hamilton Real Estate

Sarah Miller

White Space

Aaron Benike

Benike Construction

Matt Morehead

Carlson Capital Management

Emily Benner*


AnJuana Napue

Mayo Clinic

Christy Blade*

Post Bulletin, LLC

Dan Nistler

Merchants Bank

Dr. Lori Carrell

University of Minnesota Rochester

Nate Nordstrom


Teresa Czaplewski

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home

Omar Nur

Somali American Social Service Assoc.

Steve Dunn

Taco JED

Sylwia Bujak Oliver 125 Live

John Eckerman

RSP Architects

Dave Pederson

Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.

Scott Eggert*

Broadway Plaza

Jack Priggen

Cardinal of Minnesota

Jessica Eidem

IBM Corporation

Joselyn Raymundo Rochester Home Infusion

Cathy Fraser

Mayo Clinic

John Reed*

Rochester Airport Co.

Lizzy Haywood*

People’s Food Cooperative

Sharon Schneller

Olmsted Medical Center

*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 Printed by Johnson Printing | 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,

The start of summer brings about many changes, but the start of this summer means something more this year for businesses in our region. Our community’s strong response to vaccinations, responsible practices of our area businesses and the removal or modification of COVID guidelines has opened the door to a potential summer of recovery for businesses. While challenges will be present in the months ahead, including workforce, there is optimism and excitement among businesses as they take their innovations of the last year forward with them and connect with consumers eager to support businesses in the region. Those innovations include new products and offerings, including how those are available to customers through the increased digital presence of some businesses as a result of the pandemic. Businesses have also evolved how their teams connect over the last year and the months ahead should offer some clarity to the future of the workplace in our area. While more in-person meetings and teams returning to the office will happen for many businesses, the presence of virtual connections has now worked its way into the expected practice for many businesses and organizations, including the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. As we look to the months ahead, the Chamber team will return to in-person events, but providing opportunities to connect our members virtually will remain a priority. Many of those programs are highlighted in this issue of the Advantage. Please stay tuned to future Chamber communications to learn more. Have a safe start to the summer. Thank you for your support of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ryan Parsons President

June 2021

Advantage Magazine | 5

F Feature

Connecting Rochester to the World By Maura Keller

they need to be and serve as a front door to visitors arriving in Rochester,” Reed says. Considered to be the second busiest airport in Minnesota, based on commercial passenger volumes, Rochester International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the U.S. for air ambulances as patients arrive around the clock. A flight departing RST, the second busiest airport in Minnesota.

When you have a world-renowned medical

facility located in a mid-sized town in the heart of the Midwest, you undoubtedly need to provide national and international travelers a way to access the facility as quickly and as easily as possible. Enter the Rochester International Airport (RST). Founded by the Mayo Brothers in 1928, RST provided a new way to bring patients to the area for medical care. As John Reed, executive director of the Rochester Airport Company explains, in 1945 federal grants became available for airports. In order to expand the airport, the Mayo Foundation gave the airport to the City of Rochester to become a public grant-eligible airport. “Mayo chose to remain committed to the airport and manages the airport via a wholly-owned subsidiary, the Rochester Airport Company,” Reed says. “That unique partnership still exists to this day.” It goes without saying that air access is critical for a community or region to thrive. Thanks to regional airports, passengers and cargo can arrive and depart quickly and support the needs of the community. But in the case of Rochester and the far-reaching impact of the Mayo Clinic, the city’s international airport has made a significant impact on the community. In fact, RST has an annual economic impact of $190 million on the region. “We enable jobs, we connect people to the places

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General aviation (private flights) also are very active at RST as these flights arrive daily for individuals to do business in the Rochester community or to receive medical care. “Air cargo is also a major operation at RST,” Reed says. “A daily flight on a Boeing 757 FedEx flight brings air cargo in and out of the Southeast Minnesota region. Approximately 25,000 to 35,000 test samples arrive daily at RST, which means that many people around the world await medical results or direction on their continued medical care based on the timely shipments of those samples arriving at RST and getting to Mayo Clinic quickly.” Of course, Rochester International Airport, like the majority of airports across the globe, was hit hard during the height of the pandemic. For instance, in April 2020, RST only saw 4% of the passenger traffic it had in the same month in 2019. Regardless of the slowdown, the RST team implemented safety measures, cut costs and continued operating to meet the needs of travelers. And despite the uncertainty of the pandemic, airlines recognized opportunities to bring new service to Rochester. For example, United Airlines launched nonstop daily flights to Denver International Airport in October. According to Reed, while the first few months of service saw lower utilization due to the pandemic, traveling to Denver on United is currently the highest performing flight in terms of passenger volumes. “Denver is a great leisure destination and provides access to Rocky Mountain National Park. And Denver is a major hub for United offering access to over 70 cities to the west with one-stop,” Reed says.

June 2021

Feature F

Sun Country Airlines also recently announced two new nonstop destinations from RST beginning in February 2022. Sun Country will fly twice-weekly to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and twice-weekly to Fort Myers, Florida. “This also is a great new offering for our community to fly to sun destinations at a really low airfare,” Reed says. “We are currently seeing growth each month in 2021 and are currently serving about 55-60% of travelers from pre-pandemic levels,” Reed says. “2018 and 2019 were record years in passenger traffic (370,000 total passengers each year) at RST as more passengers chose to fly to/from RST.”

Looking Ahead Pandemic slowdowns aside, RST just broke ground on a $79.2 million runway improvements project. This project will replace the secondary runway at RST and update associated pavement and instrument landing systems. These are critical updates needed to remain operational 24/7.

Construction begins on Runway 2/20, an important project that is crucial to the Airport’s continued growth and success.

The runway improvement project will span six years, with a new phase of construction kicking off each spring. Reed is quick to point out that the collaborative funding will support new jobs in this region for years to come. “RST has gained tremendous community support over the past years. More people are choosing to ‘Fly Local’ and are experiencing the convenience and ease of departing from RST,” Reed says. “With continued support, the community will be able to recruit additional flights to new hub destinations thus improving the access for our local residents to travel for business or leisure and also for visitors to easily arrive and spend time in our community.”

“The project was funded through a great collaboration at the federal, state and local levels. Officials recognized the essential air access that RST provides and voiced their support continuously for this project to be completed,” Reed says. “The business community really stepped up to also recognize the importance of RST. The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce led a charge to collect support for this project from many regional chambers. The private business support behind this project really helped emphasize the need to secure funding. We are extremely grateful to the businesses, leaders and organizations who have helped along the way.”

June 2021

Advantage Magazine | 7

A Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts Frequently Asked Questions answered by the experts from local Rochester businesses. Q: Does the color I choose for a swimsuit have an impact on safety? A: The answer is yes! Swimming is a popular summer activity,

especially at the RAC as we have two indoor pools and an outdoor pool. So why should you choose a swimsuit based on color? When your child goes under water to play or if they should have an involuntary submersion incident; lifeguards and parents want to be able to quickly identify any person on the bottom of the pool clearly and then respond accordingly. According to the Aquatic Safety Connection, bright colors, like pink and orange, were the most Whitney Benedetti easily identifiable and dark blue and white were the most difficult to RAC distinguish. So, next time you go to buy a swimsuit, think bright colors for better visibility and stay safe this summer! For the full blog and swimsuit color test results, please visit

Q: How can I use cloud technology A: Cloud solutions allow you to have access to highly

scalable, redundant, and regular evolving applications for your business - all simply by having access to the internet. Just think of the ease of having your entire staff access an application in real-time using their home internet. Having the applications provided and hosted at the provider (think a safe and secure environment dedicated to physical servers that you access via the internet) also streamlines support of the critical applications. For example, with Microsoft OneDrive Kyle Etter since Microsoft provided this application they also are on the CIT front lines with maintenance so that you’re able to keep saving, sharing, and editing files on your device - worry-free. Upgrades to the applications are often incorporated into the platform to eliminate the need for major upgrades that impact your day-to-day functions and rather provide new features and functions as an agile or ongoing cadence.

Q: Is your business ready to survive a disaster? A:Each day businesses face many challenges.

But is your business ready for the unexpected? Here are some tips for your disaster recovery plan. • Plan for employee safety before, during and after an even • Plan for alternative communication means with employees and customers • Review your insurance coverage annually and review your financial reserves Robert Mesenburg • Plan to minimize interruptions or establish alternative means ServiceMaster to business operations • Plan to assure customers you are still in business and can provide product or services ServiceMaster of Rochester, a proud Rochester Chamber Member, is a locally owned family business servicing the area since 1973. ServiceMaster provides commercial and residential disaster restoration services including water, flood, fire, odor, trauma, COVID, hoarding, and mold as well as other cleaning services.

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June 2021

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.

Jarett Jones

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

M Meet the Member

Meet the Member: An Exclusive Q&A With Sweet House Bakery Right across the street from St.

Mary’s Hospital in Rochester you will find a delectable, locally owned bakery called Sweet House Bakery. With fresh, homemade pastries daily, Sweet House has quickly made a name for themselves here in Rochester. From their custom cakes to their hot breakfasts, Sweet House offers a variety of delicious items sure to please everyone in the family. Owner Jenyce Habibovic sat down with us to answer some questions about Sweet House Bakery.

Q: Tell us about Sweet House

Owner of Sweet House Bakery, Jenyce Habibovic, with a few of her amazing custom cakes.

Bakery. What does your company offer to the Rochester region? A: Sweet House Bakery brings a taste of home to the Rochester area. Most of our recipes are family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, which is incredibly special to me. Everything on our menu is homemade and prepared fresh daily! We are a full custom bakery offering everything from pastries to custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Plus, we are currently partnered with John Hardy’s BBQ to offer some great lunch options as well! We can provide anything from a small cake or cupcakes to a grand tiered cake for any event no matter how large or small.

Q: How did Sweet House Bakery Start? A: We opened our bakery in June of 2020, which

was right at the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. I was nervous and anxious, just based on the economy and state of the world at that time, but it has turned out to be such an amazing journey! I previously baked from home with my Cottage Food License. However, as my business grew, I knew that I needed to find a location that could better fit my increasing orders. I honestly could not have done this without my awesome customers who have been so encouraging and keep coming back! I have always had a passion for baking and creating, and I love being able to make people smile through my desserts!

Q: Sweet House Bakery has been a member of the

Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce since the beggining of this year. What do you find valuable in your membership to the organization? A: I would say the biggest value has been meeting and getting to know other business members in the community.

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June 2021

Meet the Member M

I honestly could not have done this without my awesome customers who have been so encouraging and keep coming back!

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

Sweet House Bakery? A: As I mentioned above, many of my recipes are old family recipes that have been passed down over the years. The recipes came from my Grandparents who owned their own restaurant in Stewartville called Tarsilla’s. My grandmother also baked and decorated cakes on the side as well, which is where I like to think some of my baking skills came from.

stayed busy throughout this past year which has been so hard on so many others. I believe that the dessert and restaurant industry can be hard at times, but food is something that brings people together. People will always have reasons to celebrate, and I love that I can be a part of that. I only see it growing from here! To learn more about Sweet House Bakery, visit their website at or visit them in person at 1219 2nd St. SW, Rochester, MN 55902.

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

A: I have only known my business during the

Pandemic, and I have been so blessed to have

Jenyce boxing some of her delicious pastries at Sweet House Bakery.

June 2021

Advantage Magazine | 11

C Chamber News

Eggs and Issues: Transportation Outlook Join us for a robust conversation about local

transportation projects in the greater Rochester area during the Chamber’s next Eggs and Issues: Transportation Outlook. This event, featuring representatives from the ZEF Energy, the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota Department of Transportation, will offer a comprehensive snapshot of current projects and future initiatives that will impact transport, transit, and the movement of people and goods for years to come. Next Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021 Time: 10:00am - 11:30am Where: Virtual Zoom Meeting Agenda: City of Rochester Update • John Reed, Executive Director, Rochester International Airport • TBA, City of Rochester

Series Sponsors:

Olmsted County Update • Kaye Bieniek, Physical Development Division Administrator, Olmsted County • Ben Johson, Public Works Director and County Engineer, Olmsted County ​ MN Dept. of Transportation (MnDOT) Update • TBA, MnDOT Featured Speaker - Electric Vehicle Infrastructure & Technology • Megan Hoye, Vice President of Business Development & Policy, ZEF Energy

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Session Sponsor:

June 2021

Chamber News C

Hospitality 1st Roundtable

Hospitality 1st Roundtable is a collaboration of

hospitality service providers who work in partnership with area businesses to create an exceptional community experience by focusing on great service and delivery of community assets. May’s featured speaker was Kim Purscell, Owner of Etiquette Matters, LLC. Kim discussed the importance of being aware of international customs and etiquette. From addressing an individual correctly for their status to what we express with our body language, Kim barely touched the surface of the different etiquettes around the world. Mark your calendars for the next Hospitality 1st Roundtable Hybrid Meeting on June 24, 2021. We’ll hear from Jinny Rietmann, Executive Director, and Sonji David, Adult & Dislocated Worker Programs Coordinator, from Workforce Development, Inc. They’ll discuss the new inclusive workforce employer designation process, the I/WE Designation, and more. Next Date: Thursday, June 24th Time: 9:45am - 11:00am

BDX: Creating the New Workplace As businesses look to bring back remote workers, it

will be important to consider how workplaces are set up to encourage safety, promote collaboration, and create a welcoming and innovative atmosphere. Join the Chamber and experts from RSP Architects and Schmidt Goodman Office Products for a roundtable conversation about office culture, employee wellbeing, and expectations, and review case studies of workplaces that meet the needs of employees, guests, and customers. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXCHANGE (BDX): CREATING THE NEW WORKPLACE Next Date: Tuesday, JUNE 22nd Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm Agenda: Office Culture, Employee Wellbeing, & Expectations • Tracy Fogarty, Creative Director, Schmidt Goodman Office Products • Carilee Sutton, Sales Manager, Schmidt Goodman Products Case Studies & Examples • Alissa Franconi, Associate Principal/ Interiors Studio Leader, RSP Architects • Dawn Brown, Senior Associate, RSP Architects Q&A Roundtable Discussion Prize Drawing & Close Sponsors:

June 2021

Advantage Magazine | 13

C Chamber News

Women’s Roundtable

WE Forum

en to practice and refine skills, discuss challenges specific to women in positions of leadership, and learn together.

together women in business throughout the Rochester region who wish to share knowledge and resources to support new business creation and growth. This group was developed by the Kabara Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies of Saint Mary’s University of MN - Rochester to offer educational programming for business owners.

Women’s Roundtable provides a space for wom- The WE (Women Entrepreneurs) Forum brings May’s featured speaker was Becca Sell, Business Advisor for Think Bank. Becca discussed different types of loans and lines of credit small businesses should have, especially before a crisis appears. She discussed the PPP Program, and Minnesota’s tax response. Mark your calendars for next month’s Women’s Roundtable, with featured speaker, Mayor Kim Norton, on June 18, 2021. Next Date: Friday, June 18, 2021 Time: 7:30am - 9:00am Where: Virtual Zoom Meeting

May’s featured speakers were Amarilys Henderson, Owner of, DiHanna DuVaught, Owner of Daubes Cakes and Bakery, and Louise Hanson, Owner of The Nordic Shop. They discussed how they began using online e-commerce platforms, and the differences they had to make during the pandemic. What worked for them and what didn’t. There will be no WE Forum in June. Have a Happy Summer Break! We’ll meet again in July. Next Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021 Time: 8:00am - 9:00am Where: TBA

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June 2021

Chamber News C

Save the Date: Rochester Area Chamber Annual Golf Outing Eagle Sponsors:

A member hits the links at 2020’s Golf Outing. 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 Registration: 9:30 - 11am Shotgun Start: 11am Dinner & Awards: 5pm Location: Rochester Golf and Country Club Registration: Team: $800 Individual: $200 Register here:

June 2021

Hole Sponsors: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Altra Federal Credit Union Atlas Insurance Clifton Larson Allen LLP Custom Alarm DBS Haley Comfort Systems Home 2 Suites KIMT Knutson Construction ONB Bank Premier Bank Reagan Outdoor Advertising ServiceMaster The Boldt Company Think Bank UM Labovitz WSB

Advantage Magazine | 15

C Community News

Library Supporter SCORE Business Passes Milestone Mentoring

A longtime library employee and Friends of the

Library volunteer reached a significant fundraising milestone this year. Al Dollerschell sells donated books online for the Friends of the Rochester Public Library (Friends). Earlier this year, he hit a fundraising milestone by reaching an overall total of $100,000 from online book sales throughout his volunteer service. When Dollerschell started selling books in 2004, he averaged a little over $100 a month from book sales. Over a span of 17 years and by selling thousands of books, his sales total reached $100K in March of this year. “The best sale was $899 for a book on investment strategies published in 1991,” says Dollerschell. Titled “Margin of Safety: Risk Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor” the book is still popular. “Copies are still selling for that amount, so check your attic,” adds Dollerschell. His work at RPL started as a part-time cataloger in the early 1990s, in addition to his full time work at Goddard Library located at Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC). Upon his retirement from Goddard in 1997, Dollerschell began his volunteer work with Friends. “Libraries are fundamental to the educational and recreational fabric of a democracy. Anything that can be done to raise funds and promote libraries is worth doing,” he explains.

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Kimberly and Brian Alwin first learned about SCORE when they launched their moving company, A Smooth Move. Their dream was to focus on older adults’ moving needs, including downsizing, layout support, a kind and understanding team to pack, move, unpack, and even make the bed. Successfully building their business, they continue to operate in Rochester, Austin, and recently opened an office in St. Paul.

Kim and Brian have volunteered with SCORE to share their business knowledge, experience, and encouragement to entrepreneurs at any stage of business. SCORE can assist YOU with FREE business mentoring on almost any issue in which you need help, from pre-planning to startup, helping an existing business, or even exiting a business. 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. 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.

June 2021

Community News C

Rochester Rapid Transit Project Considered for Federal Funding The corridor is one of the most heavily used corridors in the city of Rochester, carrying more than 21,800 vehicles and 13,000 transit riders each day. This project would significantly reduce congestion; connect people to jobs, health care, education, and recreation; and support economic development in the region. Proposed bus rapid transit stop by the Mayo Building.

Rochester’s bus rapid transit (BRT) project received the support of the federal government today as U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg announced a recommended $2.5 billion budget for new and expanded public transit services across the country, including $56.1 million for Rochester Rapid Transit. U.S. Federal Transit Administration has recommended funding for Rochester Rapid Transit as one of two Minnesota transit projects in its Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Capital Investment Grants (CIG) report also released today.

Rochester City Council President Brooke Carlson welcomed the news. “We are excited by this positive indication from the FTA and appreciate the work to get to this point and will continue pushing for funding for this important regional asset”

Rochester’s two U.S. Senators also shared their support for the proposed funding. “Investing in public transit creates jobs, reduces traffic, and ensures Minnesotans are able to travel to school, work, and other destinations safely,” said Senator Klobuchar. “The Federal Transit Administration’s recommendations include critical grants for our state’s transportation infrastructure, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Washington to continue pushing for funding to improve transportation across Minnesota.” “We need to create an economy that works for everyone, and connect people with opportunities all across the state,” said Senator Smith. “These projects will help us achieve that goal by providing important transportation options for Minnesotans in Rochester and the metro area. What’s more, these investments will support many jobs during construction.”

“High-amenity public transit is among the most catalytic of public infrastructure investments,” said Patrick Seeb, executive director of Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency. “Rochester Rapid Transit will advance our transportation goals and provide opportunities for future transit oriented development. We are grateful for the efforts locally and in Washington to advance the project.” Rochester Rapid Transit is a critical 2.6 mile transit project that will connect downtown Rochester, the Mayo Civic Center, Mayo Clinic campuses, and the Rochester-Olmsted Government Center.

June 2021

Proposed bus rapid transit stop by the Civic Center will help cut down on congestion.

Advantage Magazine | 17

C Community News

RCTC Recieves $75,000 Gift

Fine Free Library a Year Later

(RCTC) and the RCTC Foundation are proud to announce the Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust has committed $75,000 to RCTC for scholarships over the next three years. This gift is specifically intended to help make a college education more accessible and affordable for high-need students, especially those who have traditionally faced barriers to receiving an education such as students of color and single parents. The Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust has given $30,000 to be awarded this summer for students with high financial need and who are enrolled at RCTC for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Skaaren Trust also pledges $25,000 and $20,000 for 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 respectively.

Public Library (RPL) is seeing intended outcomes.

Rochester Community and Technical College

The Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust is named for Warren Skaaren, a Rochester-native and 1966 alumnus of Rochester Community College (RCC—predecessor of RCTC) who went on to earn Hollywood notoriety as a screenwriter and executive producer. After successful work with Paramount Pictures on the film Fire with Fire (1985), Skaaren became known in Hollywood as a “script doctor.” Skaaren worked on well-known films including Top Gun (1986), Beetlejuice (1987), Beverly Hills Cop II (1988), and Batman (1989). During this time, Skaaren maintained a connection with his long-time mentor, Robert (Bob) Wise, Associate Dean of Students at RCC. Skaaren passed away in 1990, and the Trust he created supports causes and institutions that mattered to him. “Warren Skaaren always spoke about how important his years were at RCTC and of the many ways he benefited from the mentoring he received from Dean Robert Wise,” said Amon Burton, Trustee of the Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust. “The Trust that Warren created is now funding Skaaren Scholarships, so other students can benefit from his successful motion picture career.” The $75,000 gift will fund scholarships for students facing significant need. Specifically, eligible students include students of color (BIPOC), and single parents.

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Almost one year after going fine free, Rochester

In June 2020, the Library Board voted to remove overdue fees, citing greater, more equitable access. The move came during the first few months of the pandemic, when many families were unsure about their financial futures. In a recent survey, 46% of respondents said that eliminating fines increased access to materials during the pandemic. For individuals experiencing financial stress, the impact was much greater. “We found that for those who reported feeling financially stressed, going fine free improved their access to library materials,” says Karen Lemke, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement. In all, 17% of total respondents reported feeling financially stressed. Out of that group, 76% said the fine free initiative reduced their financial stress and 72% said it helped them or their families access the materials they needed during the pandemic. The fine free initiative was intended to increase library access, according to Lemke. “We’ve previously hypothesized that having overdue fees presented a barrier to individuals who had a greater need for library resources. This survey indicates that removing fines did, in fact, help those who really needed it.” Prior to adopting a policy to remove overdue fines, RPL offered two pilot programs: one in 2017 and another in 2019. In both cases, survey respondents said removing fines allowed greater access to library resources: 59% in 2019 and 44% in 2017. In past surveys, cardholders were not asked if they were experiencing financial stress. Survey respondents also commented that the fine free initiative came at a good time, as many were struggling due to the pandemic. Said one respondent, “The elimination of fines has been helpful to our family during this odd time in history.”

June 2021

Newsreel N

Newsreel Updates from the Chamber member community. ONB Announces New Board Member

New Location and New Hire

New Director of DFO Community Corrections

New Staff Members Join Healing Rhythms

ONB Bank is proud to announce that Matt Boe of Stewartville has joined its Board of Directors. Boe is an active community participant, having served on the planning and zoning commision and the EDA, and currently serving as President of the Stewartville Golf Boosters.

WSE Massey Engineering and Survey, Ltd. is excited to announce the recent opening of their Rochester office to compliment their other offices in Plainview and Kasson. They are also proud to announce that Kenneth Bush has recently joined their company as Director of Business Development.

The search for a new Dodge-FillmoreOlmsted (DFO) Community Corrections director is complete, and Nikki Niles has accepted the position. Her effective start date in this new role was May 24, 2021. Niles has worked at Olmsted County since April 2012.

Annika Johnson (left) and Josh Niemann (right) I will have joined Healing Rhythms Music Therapy. Annika began working for Healing Rhythms in April of 2021 as one of the main therapists for our clinic based in Rochester, Minnesota. Josh joined the Healing Rhythms team in April of 2021.

Custom Alarm Named Best Place to Work

National Eagle Center Back to Full Capacity

New Public Works County Engineer

Custom Alarm was recently recognized by Workforce Development Inc. with the title of “Best Places to Work in Southeast MN”, for the fifth straight year.

Following the recent recommendations from the CDC and announcement by Governor Walz outlining the scaling back of COVID-19 restrictions in Minnesota, the National Eagle Center is pleased to announce that it will no longer require masks or pre-registration by visitors beginning May 28 - the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend.

Olmsted County is pleased to share results of the search for a new Public Works Department Director/ County Engineer. Ben Johnson has accepted the position and has begun transitioning into his new role. Johnson is assuming the role previously held by Kaye Bieniek who recently was named division administrator of Olmsted County’s Physical Development division.

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

June 2021

Advantage Magazine | 19

E Event Lineup

Event Lineup JUNE 3


2021 Summer Annual Celebration

AM Espresso

Date: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Date: Friday, June 11, 2021

Time: 5pm-8:30pm

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Mayo Civic Center Grand

Location: The Berkman, 217 14th Ave. SW,

Ballroom and Virtual Zoom

Rochester, MN 55902

Featured Speaker: Mark Lindquist

FREE - Registration required

Registration is required, in person space is limited Platinum Sponsor: Mayo Clinic, Mayo Civic Center, and Experience Rochester



Business After Hours

Virtual Women’s Roundtable

Date: Friday, June 11, 2021

Date: Friday, June 18, 2021

Time: 4:30pm-6:40pm

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: First Alliance Credit Union, 2483 Commerce

Location: Virtual Zoom Meeting

Drive NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Featured Speaker: Mayor Kim Norton

FREE - Registration required

Sponsors: Mayo Clinic, Think Bank, and Wells Fargo FREE - Registration required



Business Development Exchange (BDX)

Hospitality 1st Roundtable

Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Date: Thursday, June 24, 2021

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Time: 9:45am-11am

Location: Virtual Zoom Meeting

Location: Mayo Civic Center Suites 102 and 103 and

Members: Free

Virtual Zoom Meeting

General: $10

Featured Speakers: Jinny Rietmann and Sonji David

Registration required

ofWorkforce Development, Inc. FREE - Registration required

20 | Advantage Magazine

June 2021

Ribbon Cuttings R

Ribbon Cuttings

Congratulations to the following members on their succesful Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies!

Rochester Farmers Market

Rochester Farmers Market celebrated the opening of their outdoor summer season with a ribbon cutting on May 1, 2021. 35 Fairgrounds Ave. SE, Rochester, MN 55904

Total Vision Eyecare

Total Vision Eyecare celebrated their Grand Opening and One Year Anniversary with a ribbon cutting on May 10, 2021. 1630 Center St. W, Rochester, MN 55902

Med City FC

Med City FC celebrated their new membership and return to the field with a ribbon cutting on May 15, 2021. 1506 Wilshire Woods Ln. NE, Rochester, MN 55906

June 2021

Scooter’s Coffee

Scooter’s Coffee celebrated their official Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting on May 6, 2021. 1608 Broadway Ave. S, Rochester, MN 55904

ONB Bank

ONB Bank celebrated their 25 Year Anniversary with a ribbon cutting on May 10, 2021. 973 34th Ave. NW, Rochester, MN 55901


loanDepot celebrated their Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting on May 20, 2021. 2659 Superior Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Advantage Magazine | 21

W Welcome New Members

Welcome to The Chamber! Introducing our newest members. Legend

Nicholas Lind (612) 267-1077 12467 Boone Ave., Savage, MN 55378

APX Construction Group

Jamie Jacobs (507) 387-6836 1020 Innovation Ln, Mankato, MN 56001

Rochester Farmers Market

Pure Solutions LLC

EVEN | Staybridge Hotels

Med City FC

Scooter’s Coffee

Media Core

Computer Integration Technologies, Inc.

Flourish Consulting LLC

Abby Shepler (507) 273-8232 35 Fairgrounds Ave. SE, Rochester, MN 55904

Nancy Foster (801) 390-6583 101 Eleventh Ave. SW, Rochester, MN 55902

Zach Doohen (605) 366-4288 1608 Broadway Ave. S, Rochester, MN 55904

Austin Zett (507) 513-7804 2571 Clare Ln. N, Suite 107, Rochester, MN 55906

Total Vision Eyecare

Carla Addison (605) 316-0070 1630 W Center St., Rochester, MN 55902

Jill Dahl (319) 269-5673 405 Wood Lake Dr. SE, Rochester, MN 55904

Frank Spaeth (507) 993-7466 1506 Wilshire Woods Ln. NE, Rochester, MN 55906

Josh Langmade (651) 564-2169 2660 Superior Dr. NW, Suite 104, Rochester, MN 55901

Bethany von Steinbergs (651) 249-1220 48610 HWY 52 Blvd., Zumbrota, MN 55992

Tilda’s Pizzeria

Linda Black 300 1st Ave. NW, Rochester, MN 55901

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.

22 | Advantage Magazine

June 2021


Think you know what local car wash The Advantage is at? Send your guesses to Katie Becker at for your chance to be feautured on the Chamber’s social media pages!

May’s Advantage was on top of Broadway Plaza! Broadway Plaza - Mayo Clinic Area strives to provide an unparalleled hospitality experience.

Periodical Postage

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



Rochester, MN

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