Advantage Magazine | May 2023

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Inside Advertising Information: Brent Ackerman Advantage Information and Questions: Sophia van Oss 4 26 12 30 14 32 33 • • • • • •

Chamber President

Ryan Parsons 507-288-1122

Membership Development Director Brent Ackerman 507-424-5666

Membership Director Kali Aldrich 507-424-5665

Director of Operations Cheryl Krage

Public Affairs & Leadership Development Director

Jonathon Krull 507-424-5677

Membership Director Tim Shea 507-424-5663

Events & Program Director Ally Sheehan 507-424-5687

Administrative Assistant Communications & Design Director

Cherie Thurlow 507-288-1122

Sophia van Oss 507-424-5661


Chair of the Board Treasurer John Eckerman RSP Architects

Vice Chair Scott Eggert Broadway Plaza

At Large Steve Dunn Taco JED


Jessica Eidem IBM Corporation

Secretary Dr. Christine Beech Copiavia

Santhi Arunachalam

Chad Behnken

Dr. Jeffrey Boyd

Dr. Lori Carrell

Heather Donovan

Abel Garcia

Doug Holtan

Jarett Jones

Xylo Technologies Inc.

Hamilton Real Estate

Rochester Community & Tech. College

University of Minnesota - Rochester

Sterling State Bank

Remodeling D.L, LLC

Mayo Clinic Merchants Bank

The Chamber promotes business success which supports a thriving community.

Marge Kelley

Omar Nur

Sylwia Bujak Oliver

David Pederson

Jack Priggen

Nikki Mensing

Gwen Stevens

Gillette Pepsi of Rochester

125 Live Somali American Social Service Assoc.

Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.

Cardinal of MN, LTD.

Olmsted Medical Center

People’s Energy Cooperative


collaborative climate.

Advantage Magazine | 3 May 2023 Chamber Advantage USPS 446-900 is published monthly by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce at 220 S Broadway Ste 100 | Rochester, MN 55904 | Phone: 507-288-1122 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) | John Eckerman, Chair of the Board | Editor: Sophia van Oss Postmaster: Send address changes to: Chamber Advantage, 220 S Broadway Ste 100, Rochester, MN 55904 or email: VISION
businesses are
to succeed in a diverse and
| Advantage Magazine 4 May 2023 EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS Leadership Greater Rochester, a vital resource within Rochester’s business leader community
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Business leaders within the Rochester region have a lot to be proud of – and so do the groups and programs that have helped them become the growing force that they are today. One such program that has earned accolades aplenty is Leadership Greater Rochester (LGR), a key program offered by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce since the 1980s that has become a vital resource within Rochester’s business leader community.

Specifically, Leadership Greater Rochester is a leadership development program with a focus on expanding participants’ knowledge of the greater-Rochester area and building community connections. The Rochester Chamber of Commerce has offered LGR since 1987: back then it had the futuristic moniker “Leadership 2000.” As AnJuanna Robinson, Legal Counsel for Mayo Clinic, Leadership Greater Rochester Program Chair and 2019 program alumni, says, the program challenges members of the cohort to engage with the course content and be change agents in their communities.

“The cohort can expect to be challenged to grow professionally and personally through expanded knowledge and networks,” Robinson says. “LGR provides a level of access into the strengths and weaknesses of the community, including economic, municipal, environmental, social, and others that often surprises its class members. The cohort is encouraged to walk through doors they would never would have considered approaching. There is a great deal of power in realizing that you can do it on your own and class members are encouraged to do so.”

Since its inception, the Chamber has had over 1,000 people go through the LGR program. According to Jonathon Krull, Public Affairs and Leadership Development Director at the Chamber, “countless individuals from various sectors in the Rochester area have gone through the program. Each year, the program has 36 individuals participate. Our goal is to have each class be diverse in terms of industry and class makeup to represent the Rochester community.”

As Brian Morgan, LGR Program Vice-Chair and Senior Engineer at Short Elliott Hendrickson, further explains, the LGR program is a springboard for current and

emerging leaders in the Rochester area. There are two primary foci of the program – development of the individual as a leader, and awareness of the construct of the community and its needs.

This is accomplished in 10 sessions – beginning in August and ending in May – each session featuring an emphasis on one aspect of the community ranging from infrastructure, arts and humanities, the economic ecosystem, and public safety.

“Within each session there are elements of professional development worked in, with the goal of getting folks out of their comfort zone in order to learn and develop,” Morgan describes.

Program participants also engage with government entities, including local speakers from the city council and mayor’s office, as well as the county board and state representatives.

Each individual gains a heightened awareness of the community, and their place in the community as a leader.

“Each individual gains a heightened awareness of the community, and their place in the community as a leader,” Morgan describes. “The program is structured to then push individuals and the cohort as a group to activate that awareness into action.”

By the end of the program, class members will have completed a Community Impact Project, a key component of the program which is aimed at tackling a community need identified by the group.

“Through this process of learning about the community and acting on a need in a team environment, each member of the cohort gets to explore their leadership style, develop their strengths, and foster relationships that will last long beyond graduation,” Morgan says.

Advantage Magazine | 5 May 2023
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Key Takeaways

Before Robinson participated in the program, she was debating whether she would stay in Rochester.

“I was having trouble finding my place and building meaningful relationships. My boss had been telling me I should apply for a couple years and I am glad that I finally listened,” Robinson recounts. “The program opened my eyes to the city and provided insight into areas and sectors I didn’t even know existed. LGR challenged me to think more broadly about the area, creative problem solving, crosssector collaboration and my place in all of it –through a strengths-based lens. I made close friends, was connected with new leadership opportunities and felt a greater sense of connection to Rochester through the knowledge and understanding I gained in the program.”

Morgan also left the LGR program feeling like he belonged as a community leader. “The personal development work helped me better understand how I could utilize my strengths to make a difference and validated how I approach challenges,” Morgan states. “Working with others in the program to develop and implement a project was an incredibly rewarding experience, too. Building a team with so much talent, and operating in a collaborative environment helped me see the potential we have as a community to improve people’s lives.”

For Kyle Gilbertson, advisory software engineer at IBM and 2022 LGR alumni, his manager had participated in the program and spoke highly of the experience.

LGR challenged me to think more broadly about the area, creative problem solving, cross-sector collaboration and my place in all of it.

“Most participants in the program would say the same and encourage you to participate if you have the chance. I wanted to grow and improve my effectiveness leading at work and in my volunteering activities,” Gilbertson tells. “I had participated in a service program for a global nonprofit agency with a group of international peers from IBM, and was searching for something similar closer to home.” Gilbertson reflects, stating that through the LGR program he gained a better appreciation for Rochester and all the people that make it work.

“You come out of the program wanting to give back, having learned better tools and gained experience to do so,” Gilbertson says. “The relationships you develop with your classmates and all that I learned about being a better teammate and how to build better teams were some of my takeaways from the program.”

| Advantage Magazine 6
HEY, ROCHESTER! Symmetrical gigabit fiber internet is available in your area! 100% Fiber Internet Symmetrical internet with speeds up to 10 Gig Business Voice Cutomizable voice services including fully-managed Hosted phone solutions Managed Wi-Fi Reliable, secure Wi-Fi with end-to-end support Contact Metronet today for details and special offers. Jill Cordes 507•516•6412 Feature F


The Community Impact Project challenges LGR participants to actively apply their leadership skills and work collaboratively through their strengths to form partnerships, grow their brand, and ultimately meet a community need. The project must be doable, scaleable, and sustainable, with success not measured by the dollars raised or tenure of the project, but rather the learning and leadership growth each participant experiences as part of the Community Impact Project process.

Last May, the Leadership Greater Rochester Class of 2022 was joined by Rochester Mayor Kim Norton at Rochester Community and Technical College for the reveal of their completed Community Impact Project, the Thrive Outside Winter Activities Trailer. This trailer is stocked with a variety of winter equipment such as sleds, snowshoes, broomball sets, igloo block makers, snowman kits, and a portable fire pit. The Thrive Outside Winter Activity Trailer is designed to promote the social, mental, and physical well-being of underserved communities in Rochester.

Advantage Magazine | 7 May 2023
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SESSION 1: Orientation: Activating Leaders

SESSION 2: Leadership Retreat

SESSION 3: Exploring our Economic Ecosystem

SESSION 4: Community Impact Project

SESSION 5: Engaging with Government

SESSION 6: Arts, Culture, and Humanities

SESSION 7: Building a Sustainable Community

SESSION 8: Workforce and Talent

SESSION 9: Exploring Public Safety

SESSION 10: Launching Leaders

Each year, the Chamber welcomes 36 individuals into the LGR program. The application process for the Leadership Greater Rochester program is intended to gain a sense of what are the applicant’s contributions are to the community and workplace. “Throughout the application process we are trying to get a grasp of what that individual is involved with including current and past community engagement activities, as well as volunteering within the community,” Krull says. “We also ask the applicant to describe a community challenge or opportunity and a potential solution. This provides us with an idea of what they have in mind for a potential community impact project before they even come into the class.”

To learn more about the program and to apply for the Leadership Greater Rochester Class of 2024 visit:

General applications are due by Friday, May 26, 2023.

| Advantage Magazine 8 1 7 2 6
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Cheers to the next 50 years!

Advantage Magazine | 9 May 2023 5 4 8 9 3 Feature F
us in celebrating 50 years of making a difference. As the Rochester Area continues to grow, we look forward to serving as your trusted architecture, engineering, environmental, and planning partner.
H3 Plaza + 30 3rd Street Southeast + Suite 600 Rochester, MN 55904 |

Teri Alcott Mayo Clinic


AnJuanna Napue Mayo Clinic


Brian Morgan Short Elliot Hendrickson

Graduating Class of 2023

John Bigler Advanced Financial Consulting

John Angeli Mayo Clinic

Adam Copeland Mayo Clinic

Colleen Foehrenbacher Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center Sarah Franzen Think Bank

Kaytlyn Anzivino United Way of Olmsted County

Jacob Dreyer Ronald McDonald House

Kaitlyn Glasswell Boys and Girls Club of Rochester

Jake Beckel Mayo Clinic

Numrah Fadra Mayo Clinic

Marissa Guggisberg HGA

Cory Behnken Think Bank

Ian Farrell Associated Bank

Stephanie Hedrick KTTC

Alex Berlick Short Elliot Hendrickson

Stephen Fischer Mayo Clinic

Katie Hendrickson Southeast Service Cooperative/ Wood Lake Meeting Center

| Advantage Magazine 10 May 2023

Pat Heydon Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity

Tessa Olive Post Bulletin

Sarah Stevens Olmsted County Public Health

Ilaya Hopkins Mayo Clinic

Stephanie Rudeen Hiawatha Homes

Charlie Sweeney Kraus-Anderson Construction Company

Kristin Mannix Rochester Community and Technical College

Erin Schambureck CRW architecture + design

Ben Trehey Coulee Bank

Heidi Mason Olmsted Medical Center

Chris Scobba Smith Schafer & Associates

Ben Mulholland KTTC

Alex Scrabeck IBM

Melody Trimble Mayo Clinic

Virginia Nowakowski Olmsted County Public Health

Katie Spring Mayo Clinic

Marty Walsh People’s Energy Cooperative

Advantage Magazine | 11 May 2023


There’s no place like home as Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz said. At Velair Property Management, their highest priority is to provide excellent service to make their residents feel right at home! We spoke with the director of property management, Debra Godtland, at Velair Property Management for more information.

Q: Tell us about Velair Property Management. What does your company offer to the Rochester region?

A: Velair Property Management is a professional property management company managing properties throughout the state of Minnesota.

We are a service company, and our mission is “Delighting residents and communities by providing exceptional homes and services”. The way we serve together, grow together, and succeed together is called The Velair Way.

In the Rochester area, Velair proudly manages 793 multifamily units amongst 11 properties and are

active members of the Rochester Minnesota MultiHousing Association and Rochester Chamber.

Q: How did it start for Velair Property Management?

A: Velair Property Management started in 2014 with properties totaling 724 affordable multifamily units in a portfolio of 13 affordable properties. Currently, there are 2,008 multifamily units across a portfolio of 36 properties. The company is proud of the growth of nearly 280% increase in less than ten years.

Q: Velair Property Management became a member of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce in 2016. What do you find valuable in your membership to the organization?

A: Velair is proud to be a member of the Rochester chamber of commerce. Our membership allows us to professionally connect with various organizations to support our buildings and provide quality housing for Rochester renters.

| Advantage Magazine 12 May 2023
Meet the Member M
Washington Village East 970 11th Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901


Q: What is a unique fact people should know about Velair Property Management?

A: Velair has been named one of the top property management companies in both 2022 and 2023.

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

A: Our industry has been faced with challenges involving the COVID-19 pandemic, eviction moratoriums, civil unrest, and staffing shortages in the last few years but our business and the property management industry remains strong.

We look forward to our future growth and providing quality housing. Looking to our future in 2023-2024, Velair will begin managing new construction market rate and senior housing totaling 1,234 units.

Fun Fact that currently around 30 percent of our state are renters. This includes more than 620,700 household in Minnesota residing in rental unit and that growth is expected to increase, as our industry sees “lifestyle renting” gaining popularity.

To learn more about Velair Property Management, visit them online at

Advantage Magazine | 13 May 2023 Meet the Member M
Avenue Flats 400 1st Avenue NW, Rochester, MN 55901

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

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

Date: Friday, May 5, 2023

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Home2 Suites by Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area, 831 16th St SW, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

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

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

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

Date: Thursday, May 18, 2023

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

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

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

| Advantage Magazine 14 May 2023 Chamber News C
hosted by hosted by


Hear from Shurson Group, Staybridge Suites, TerraLoco and Chick-Fil-A on how to boost customer service skills


Are you looking to boost your customer service for your business and learn new ways to provide review-worthy experiences for your clients? Join the Chamber team, Chick-Fil-A, Shurson Group, Staybridge Suites, and TerraLoco for our next Business Development Exchange (BDX) at Gillette Pepsi highlighting customer service best practices. Door prizes, coffee from Café Aqui, Pepsi sampling refreshments, and a light breakfast will be provided.


Shurson Group – Kayla Shurson, Owner

• Responsiveness, setting/meeting expectations, listening to clients’ needs

Staybridge Suites – Jerrod Moton, Director of Sales

• Responsiveness, customer communication, troubleshooting

TerraLoco – Tiffany Piotrowicz, Owner

• Appreciating repeat/new customers, being proactive, answering questions

Chick-Fil-A – Crystal Stockdale, Director of Human Resources

• Greeting customers, ensuring a clean establishment, being prompt/attentive

Q & A, door prizes and a tour of Gillette Pepsi

Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Time: 8:30am-9:45am

Location: Gillette Pepsi

3393 Commercial Dr SW, Rochester

Admission: Free for members, $10 for general admission, registration required

Register here:


Advantage Magazine | 15 May 2023 Chamber News C


Upcoming Eggs & Issues: Workforce & the Talent Pipeline featuring an education and industry partnership panel


Eggs and Issues is a long-standing series presented by the Chamber that provides opportunities for member businesses to learn about and discuss the issues that impact their businesses and the community. The latest installment of the Eggs and Issues series will focus on the talent pipeline and workforce.


The Talent Pipeline

• Caitlin Codella Low, Vice President, Policy and Programs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Center for Education and Workforce

• Kyle Butler, Manager, Programs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Center for Education and Workforce

Education and Industry Partnership Panel

• Matt Bissonette, Dean of Career, Technical, and Workforce Education, Foundation Director, Rochester Community and Technical College

• Jabra Kawas, Director of Internships and Strategic Partnerships, University of Minnesota Rochester

• Dr. Kent Pekel, Superintendent, Rochester Public Schools

*Additional agenda items to be announced. Agenda subject to change

Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Time: 8:30am-10:00am

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

Admission: $20 for members, $40 for general admission, registration required

Register here:


Presenting Sponsors:

Session Sponsors:

| Advantage Magazine 16 May 2023 Chamber News C

Are you a new member of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, or a long-time member needing a refresh? Join us for our Chamber 101 event in the Rochester Chamber Conference Room on Tuesday, May 16th from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

This event will help educate you on your membership and highlight the resources and tools that we provide to help you meet your business goals and objectives!

Snacks, refreshments, and door prizes will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, 220 Broadway Ave S Suite 100, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration required

Register here:

Start your weekend with the Chamber team! We welcome members to join us for lunch and an opportunity to connect with fellow members on Friday, June 9th for our first Chamber Weekend Kickoff of the summer.

The Chamber will be grilling brats and serving lunch from 11:30am-1:00pm at the Saint Mary’s University Rochester Campus - Cascade Meadows. Quantities are limited and registration is requested and greatly appreciated. Be sure to bring members of your team to start your weekend with a brat and networking!

Date: Friday, June 9, 2023

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Saint Mary’s University Rochester Campus Cascade Meadows, 2900 19th Street NW, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration required

Register here:


Presenting Sponsor:

Host Sponsor:

Lunch Sponsors:

Advantage Magazine | 17 May 2023 Chamber News C


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


Main Squeeze Sponsor:


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

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

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

Date: Saturday, June 10, 2023

Location: Rochester, MN

Admission: Free, registration required

Register your young entrepreneur today!

Fresh Squeeze Sponsor:

Lemon Drop Sponsor:

Radio Media Sponsor:

Media Sponsor:

Lemon Twist Sponsor:

Chip Shots

F & M Community Bank

Home Federal Savings Bank MetroNet

People’s Energy Cooperative

People’s Food Co-op

Rochester Women Magazine

Sylvan Learning of Rochester

| Advantage Magazine 18 May 2023 Chamber News C

hosted by

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

This month, join us at TSP! The TSP firm offers the expertise of talented professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design. Since its establishment in 1930 as a one-man firm. TSP has expanded its presence in the Upper Midwest.

Date: Friday, June 2, 2023

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: TSP, 1500 Highway 52 N, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

hosted by

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

Come and connect, expand your network, and build community at Hotel Indigo! When you stay with Hotel Indigo, you’re not just staying anywhere, you’re staying somewhere—within a vibrant community, in a unique boutique hotel that combines authentic local experiences, modern design and intimate service with the peace of mind and consistency of staying with one of the world’s largest hotel groups.

Date: Thursday, June 15, 2023

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: Hotel Indigo, 220 Broadway Ave S, 2nd Floor, Rochester

Admission: Free, registration requested

Register here:

Advantage Magazine | 19 May 2023
Chamber News C


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

Interested in becoming a sponsor?

Contact Ally Sheehan at

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

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


• Registration: 9:30AM - 11:00AM

• Shotgun Start: 11:00AM

• Dinner and Awards: 5:00PM - 7:00PM

Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Time: 9:30am-7:00pm

Location: Willow Creek Golf Course

1700 48th ST SW, Rochester

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

Learn more here:

Chamber News C April 2023 | Advantage Magazine 20
Even though teams are sold out there are still ways to get involved with sponsorships!


Eagle Sponsors:

Birdie Sponsors:

Cart Sponsor: Drink Cart Sponsor:

Lunch & Dinner Sponsor:

Putting Green Sponsor:

Tee Gift Sponsor: Driving Range Sponsor:

Altra Federal Credit Union CLA

Custom Alarm

DBS Group, LLC

EVEN Hotels / Staybridge Suites

F & M Community Bank


Hole Sponsors:

KNXR - Minnesota 97.5

La Crosse Sign Group

Labovitz MBA - U of M

Northwestern Mutual

Olmsted Medical Center

ONB Bank

Premier Bank Minnesota

Reagan Outdoor Advertising

Think Bank

TownePlace Suites

United Way of Olmsted County

Weller Brothers Landscaping



5 AM Espresso - North Rock Real Estate

Date: Friday, May 5

Time: 7:30am-9:00am Location: Home2 Suites

FREE - Registration requested

10 BDX - Customer Service

Date: Wednesday, May 10 Time: 8:30am-9:45am Location: Gillette Pepsi FREE for members, $10 for general admission - Registration required

16 Chamber 101

Date: Tuesday, May 16 Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

FREE - Registration required

17 Eggs & Issues

Date: Wednesday, May 17

Time: 8:30am-10:00am

Location: IBM, Building 25

$20 for members, $40 for general admission - Registration required

18 Business After HoursHaley Comfort Systems

Date: Thursday, May 18

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm Location: Haley Comfort Systems FREE - Registration requested

18 WE Forum - Social Connect

Date: Thursday, May 18 Time: 4:30pm-6:00pm Location: Little Thistle FREE - Registration required

19 Women’s Roundtable

Date: Friday, May 19

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

FREE - Registration required JUNE

2 AM Espresso - TSP

Date: Friday, June 2

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: TSP

FREE - Registration requested

9 Chamber Weekend Kickoff

Date: Friday, June 9 Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Saint Mary’s UniversityRochester Campus

FREE - Registration requested

10 Lemonade Day

Date: Saturday, June 10 Location: Rochester, MN

15 WE Forum - Panel

Date: Thursday, June 15

Time: 8:00am-9:00am

Location: Saint Mary’s UniversityRochester Campus

FREE - Registration required

15 Business After HoursHotel Indigo

Date: Thursday, June 15

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm Location: Hotel Indigo

FREE - Registration requested

16 Women’s Roundtable

Date: Friday, June 16 Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

FREE - Registration required

21 Annual Golf Outing

Date: Wednesday, June 21

Time: 9:30am-7:00pm

Location: Willow Creek Golf Course


22 Hospitality 1st Roundtable

Date: Thursday, June 22

Time: 9:30am-11:00am

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

FREE - Registration required


14 AM EspressoSchmidt Goodman

Date: Friday, July 14

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Schmidt Goodman

FREE - Registration requested

20 Business After HoursAAA Minnesota/Iowa

Date: Thursday, July 20

Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm

Location: AAA Minnesota/Iowa

FREE - Registration requested

21 Women’s Roundtable

Date: Friday, July 21

Time: 7:30am-9:00am

Location: Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce

FREE - Registration required

28 Chamber Weekend Kickoff

Date: Friday, July 29

Time: 11:30am-1:00pm

Location: Saint Mary’s UniversityRochester Campus

FREE - Registration requested

| Advantage Magazine 22 May 2023
Chamber News C


Take advantage of a member perk with posting job openings on Career Connect

As a Chamber member, you have online access to post job openings through Career Connect on the Chamber website. As of mid-April there were 92 postings on Career Connect with over 4,300 views within the last month.

How to Submit a Job Posting

1. Log in to the Member Information Center (for help with logging in to the Member Information Center, email chamber@

2. Click on Job Postings on the left hand shortcuts list.

3. Once on the Job Posting page you can see the current Job Postings, Add Job Posting and Manage Job Posting buttons. The ability to add or manage a Job Posting is managed by the Chamber.


Congratulations Ambassador of the Quarter, Sheryl Good at Paramark Real Estate Services!

Sheryl is a Team Lead in the Ambassadors program who attends ribbon cutting celebrations and networking events.

Thank you Sheryl for all your do and for your commitment to business success!

Learn more about the Chamber Ambassador program at:

4. Click the Add Job Posting button

5. Fill out the title, description, category, contact information, and set the active dates.

Manage Job Postings

After you have submitted a Job Posting you are able to see if it has been approved or make updates to any pending Job Postings. After your Job Posting has been approved you will need to contact your chamber/association to make any updates or changes.

For assistance, please contact the Chamber at or 507-2881122.

View current job postings at:

Advantage Magazine | 23 May 2023 Chamber News C


Local young entrepreneurs are seeking spots for lemonade stands. To help them find high-traffic locations for Lemonade Day, sign up as an official Sweet Spot. Sweet Spots are created through business partnerships throughout the city to help youth achieve sweet success!

Sign up as a location by filling out this form:

Once you sign up, your business name will be added to a list that is shared with the youth and their mentors. Any interested youth will then reach out to you to request permission to setup their stand on June 10th.

Learn more about Lemonade Day on page 18.


The Chamber Resource Campaign (CRC) is the Chambers resource for sponsorship opportunities. This resources provides an efficient platform to plan your engagement in Rochester Chamber events, programs, and more throughout 2023.

If you would like to set up a phone call, in person meeting, or zoom call with Ally Sheehan to learn more about events and programs, please connect with her at or 507-424-5687 to learn more.

On behalf of the Chamber team we want to thank you for your involvement and support!

Sponsorship opportunities available in 2023:

• Annual Golf Outing

• Chamber Weekend Kickoff

• Kickball Tournament

View the Chamber Resource Campaign at:

| Advantage Magazine 24 May 2023
Chamber News C


Plan a visit to the Veterans & Emergency Services Museum

With a mission to honor and educate, it’s fitting to visit the Veterans & Emergency Services Museum especially as Memorial Day approaches. Recently, the community celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting (pictured below). Afterwards, we spoke with the museum to learn more about their beginnings and the curation of their exhibits.

Q: How did the VESM begin?

A: The Minnesota Veterans & Emergency Services Museum was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) – not for profit – organization in August of 2011. The idea for the museum grew out of a roundtable started by Tom Hosier and his son Scott to share the stories of World War II veterans. Tom continued the roundtable after the death of his son. Sadly, Tom passed away in October, 2015, and a few months later the roundtable was discontinued, but the

museum effort has moved forward. Sometime later, the roundtable was brought back as the Veterans and Emergency Services Roundtable, but covid brought an end to it again and it has not resumed.

The Articles of Incorporation state that the “corporation is organized and shall be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, particular, to honor veterans, men and women, and the institutions who protect our way of life, and to preserve and interpret their histories.” We continue to honor this pledge.

In 2016, the organization dropped the word “Minnesota” and became the Veterans & Emergency Services Museum to promote the idea that the museum is more than a Southeast Minnesota institution. We do not want the stories

| Advantage Magazine 26 May 2023
Community News C
Richard Krom, executive director of the VESM cutting the ribbon at the grand opening celebration.

of the courageous men and women who keep us safe, both within the United States and abroad, to disappear. Unfortunately, too many stories have already been lost as a whole generation of soldiers returned home and never talked about their military experiences, and have now left us.

Because of Andy Chafoulias’ generosity and interest in the museum, we now have a physical footprint in Rochester. We intend to work to expand and enlarge that footprint, with the knowledge that this will involve a new location and substantial funds from donations.

Q: Tell us about the VESM. How are exhibits developed?

A: The Veterans & Emergency Services Museum is working to bring attention to the museum throughout Southeast Minnesota and beyond. The location in the newest Hilton Hotel helps achieve that goal, as do events such as the open house that was held last Thursday.

Richard Krom is responsible for the exhibits currently on display. He and his wife Sharon were working on them before her very unexpected death in January of 2020. Shortly after that, Covid-19 shut down virtually everything. During that time, Richard continued to work on the exhibits singlehandedly. He talked with people from the Rochester Police Department, Rochester Fire Department, the ambulance service, and a number of veterans. He did a tremendous amount of research to pull the stories together. He searched the Internet for items needed to complete the exhibits. The display cases were built by a professional company in the Twin Cities, but Richard put the story boards together, built the stands for them, and constructed some of the other props in the displays.

Artifacts from the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office will be added to the exhibits in the near future. Mr. Krom has an incredibly creative mind and sees the finished product in his mind long before it is completed. We plan to feature the Korean War when the exhibits are changed.

To learn more about the Veterans & Emergency Services Museum visit

Happy Memorial Day!

Advantage Magazine | 27 May 2023 Community News C
There were several speakers at the grand opening celebration including Mayor Kim Norton and Senator Carla Nelson.


Three Rochester initiatives were selected by the National League of Cities

Three Rochester initiatives were selected by the National League of Cities (NLC) to each receive a $15,000 grant to support inclusive entrepreneurship activities. Mayor Kim Norton spearheaded local involvement and is supporting this work by supplementing $5,000 grants to each of the selected and awarded projects. This will infuse a total of $60,000 in local ventures to support diverse entrepreneurs. Community partners include Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI), Collider Foundation and Cradle 2 Career, a project of the Rochester Area Foundation.

The NLC’s grant program is a part of the City Inclusive Entrepreneurship Network (CIEN), which asks city leaders to commit to creating the right policies, programs and practices that drive inclusive, entrepreneurship-led economic growth in their community. The three areas for funding included Ecosystem Accelerator, Informal Entrepreneurship and Early Childhood Workforce.

Mayor Kim Norton shares, “Rochester was the only city to receive grant support in all three areas, which is a testament to the wonderful organizations that are effective partners with the City of Rochester. I am very proud to add the Mayor’s office and City support for the three initiatives that RAEDI, Collider and Cradle to Career will be leading.”

As part of its “Ecosystem Accelerator” program, the RAEDI Foundation is mapping services provided by entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) in the Rochester ecosystem. This will aid in identifying gaps in services and be the first step to coordinating the creation of programs to fill those needs in the community. In order to reach entrepreneurs who may not be aware of the free services provided

by the ESOs, the RAEDI Foundation will be utilizing billboards around Rochester. A single coordinator will be the first point of contact for entrepreneurs and will connect them to the appropriate ESO.

The Collider Foundation will focus on the rise of informal businesses in Rochester, especially those based out of residential homes. As Collider Foundation has highlighted, women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs lead a majority of these businesses. This grant will help make informal entrepreneurs more visible, create connections through cohort learning and help the entrepreneurs gain equitable access to resources to grow their businesses.

Cradle 2 Career is conducting a childcare capacity and utilization study, as part of the NLC’s Early Childhood Workforce track. With support from local, regional, and national partners, Cradle 2 Career will identify the barriers informal non-licensed and licensed in-home childcare providers face. Through a co-design process with these providers, the organization aims to generate communitywide solutions that will identify investment and reallocation opportunities for informal and in-home childcare providers. The solutions identified will cater to the needs of both childcare providers as business owners and families in our community.

| Advantage Magazine 28 May 2023
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Funding efforts to enchance STEM participation through a state grant

Rochester Olmsted Youth Council member Isha Kapoor been selected as an Innovator for the 2023-2024 Cohort for the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) Innovator Program. This selection includes receiving a $2,500 grant, as well as online and in-person gatherings for leadership development, advocacy, and building community. Kapoor will focus her grant funding efforts to enhance STEM participation among girls, particularly those belonging to historically underrepresented students within the Rochester Public Schools (RPS) system.

Mayor Kim Norton shares, “We continue to be impressed with the youth we have in our community. Ms. Kapoor is a great example of the drive and commitment that exists in taking a hands-on approach to bettering our city. I look forward to seeing how this project progresses!”

Kapoor is a junior at Mayo High School and serves as the co-chair of the Equity Team at her school. She is enthusiastic about medical research and has been working under the guidance of a Mayo Clinic physician researcher, Dr. Wilson Gonsalves, for the past two years. Kapoor has presented her work at regional, national, and international meetings and has received several awards. Based on her research efforts, she was invited to serve as an officer for the Minnesota Junior Academy of Science in 2022. As a young female leader in STEM and a child of immigrant parents, Kapoor feels strongly about promoting a passion for STEM and leadership among young girls, particularly those from minority communities. She believes it is important to start working on these skills early in the academic journeys of students.

“As one of the Olmsted County commissioner representatives on the Rochester Olmsted Youth Council, I want to say how proud I am of Isha and excited she’s been selected for this award,” said

Olmsted County Commissioner Mark Thein. “Isha is a fine example of a young adult who is making a positive difference in Olmsted County. When I think about the future, I am optimistic knowing we have young adults like Isha committed to making their communities a better place.”

“I feel extremely honored and thankful to be a recipient of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) Innovator Grant for the 2023-2024 cycle. The resources and funding from this grant will be utilized to promote engagement in STEM and leadership opportunities among young girls of color in my community. I will specifically be working with students in middle school and in the first year of high school. For me personally, the grant will provide an amazing opportunity to receive direct coaching and mentorship from experts in the organization and refine my leadership skills. I am also excited about the prospect of networking with and learning from other ’innovators’ supported by the WFMN.”

Advantage Magazine | 29 May 2023 Community News C


Updates from the Chamber member community

New Executive Director

Neela Mollgaard, the current director of Launch Minnesota at the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), has been appointed the agency’s new Executive Director of Small Business Development. In her new position, Mollgaard will lead DEED initiatives to serve Minnesota’s small business sector, including entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.

Workforce Well-Being Award

The American Heart Association has awarded Southeast Service Cooperative (SSC) national Gold level recognition for its commitments to employee health and well-being as measured in the Association’s 2022 Workforce Well-being Scorecard™. SSC was one of just three small employers in the nation to be awarded Gold level status.

Expanded Showroom

Schmidt Goodman recently completed a major showroom remodel support the insights of the new work experience and the hybrid work model. Today’s workplaces need to be resilient and flexible in order to be responsive to the changing needs of businesses and their employees. The workplace is changing into a place of community. The new showroom provides on opportunity to see how the workplace is evolving.

Promotion to Project Executive

Knutson Construction has promoted Keane McWaters to project executive. McWaters has over 10 years of construction experience, working primarily in the K-12 market sector from the start of referendums through project completion, and initially started with Knutson as an intern before working his way up.

LGR Graduate Promotion

Knutson Construction has promoted Josh Cooper to project executive. Cooper has extensive experience in the healthcare and K-12 education markets, primarily across southern Minnesota, and has been part of the Knutson team since 2018. He recently graduated from Leadership Greater Rochester in 2022.

Certified Women’s Business Enterprise

Schmidt Goodman Office Products, Inc. is proud to announce that they are certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the nation’s leading third-party certifier of business owned and operated by women.

| Advantage Magazine 30 May 2023
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Community Champion Award

Levi Sauerbrei, owner of Nerd Butler, was awarded the Community Champion award at the Spring 2023 Collider Cup on April 18, 2023. The Collider Cup is a business pitch competition and community celebration for emerging entrepreneurs in Rochester, presented by Collider Foundation, a 501(c)3 that helps early-stage entrepreneurs accelerate their growth and realize their vision.

MACTA Educator Award

Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) is proud to announce that Paul Titus, welding instructor, has been awarded the Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Administrators (MACTA) Educator of the Year award. Titus is being recognized by MACTA for his outstanding contributions to educating Minnesota youth.

Newsreel Submissions

Have an announcement for the Chamber member community such as a new hire, promoted employee, recipient of an award or a company rebranding?

Send your newsreel submissions for future issues of the Advantage Magazine to Sophia van Oss at

Newsreel submissions are a benefit of Chamber membership and complimentary for members.


When Mayo Clinic needed a new logistics facility to support their medical supply chain, TSP designed a structure that is not only functionally innovative, but visionary in its approach. The state-of-the-art facility beautifully incorporates brand standards of the renowned healthcare center and the Downtown Rochester Master Plan, while also providing a community green space and sophisticated aesthetic not typically found in a loading facility.

Advantage Magazine | 31 May 2023
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Kismet Consignment Fashion & Home Decor celebrated their new ownership and Chamber membership with a ribbon cutting on March 17th. Owner, Jes Peterson cut the ribbon.

601 N Broadway Ave., Rochester

Legal Assistance of Olmsted County celebrated their 50 year anniversary with a ribbon cutting on March 23rd. Executive Director, Karen Nath cut the ribbon.

1700 N. Broadway, Suite 124, Rochester

Olmsted Medical Center Rehabilitation Services celebrated their expansion with a ribbon cutting on March 27th. Teresa M. Erickson, OTR, cut the ribbon.

102 Elton Hills Dr NW, Rochester

Tulip Tree Marketing celebrated their 10 year anniversary and rebranding with a ribbon cutting on March 28th. Founder and Marketing & Design Director, Whitney West cut the ribbon.

1001 2nd Ave NW, Stewartville

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

For more information, please contact Brent Ackerman at

| Advantage Magazine 32 May 2023
Ribbon Cuttings R


HELPcare Clinic

Lee Aase

(507) 279-2345

2150 2nd Street SW Suite 140, Rochester

Boot Barn

Bryan Cavanaugh

(949) 524-5723

70 25th St. SE, Rochester

Wax Lab LLC

Amy Chavez

(507) 319-0047

6093 Rome Circle NW, Studio #10, Rochester

Rapid Biz LLC dba Vacava

Terry Bird

(507) 785-0998

3131 Superior Dr. NW, Rochester

Gerber Electric, LLC

Justin Gerber

(507) 440-2523

67893 140th Street Adams gerber-electric-llc-20938366

Cludo, Inc

Brady Mithun

(612) 408-2098

111 S Washington Ave, Suite 310, Minneapolis

J-Rocks Auto Glass

Denise Steinberg

(507) 319-1050

6645 75th Sreet, Oronoco

NMC Exteriors

Casey Fuller

(507) 481-5546

3428 Lake Ridge Place NW, Rochester

Best Buddies International

Kai Walsh

(612) 460-7440

5100 W. 36th Street #16361, Minneapolis

Fade Clinic Barbers

Antewan Webber

(507) 258-4556

1115 7th Street NW, Rochester

NxtGen Cryotherapy & Spa

Grady Pyburn

(507) 481-9646

1710 37th Street NW, Rochester

Spa Casey

Casey McGregor

(507) 358-7773

2649 Monroe Dr. NW, Rochester

Eagle Eye Viewings, LLC

Brad Clark

(507) 398-6756

4208 Arbor Lane NW, Rochester

Dale Carnegie Training

Jon Walrath

(608) 445-8580

4938 Lincoln Dr, Edina

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

Advantage Magazine | 33 May 2023 Welcome W


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Rochester, MN
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