Advantage Magazine - October 2020

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October 2020



2019-2020 Chamber Board

OFFICERS Chair of the Board Lizzy Haywood

People’s Food Co-op Vice Chair Christy Blade Post Bulletin, LLC

Treasurer James Kelly

Construction Partnership

Secretary Emily Benner Preventice

Chamber President Kathleen Harrington


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

VISION 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

Laurie Ackerman Opportunity Services

Christine Beech Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Chad Behnken Hamilton Real Estate Aaron Benike Benike Construction Dr. Lori Carrell University of Minnesota Rochester Teresa Czaplewski Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home Steve Dunn Taco JED John Eckerman RSP Architects Scott Eggert* Broadway Plaza

Kathleen Harrington PRESIDENT 507-288-1122


Sam Gill DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS 507-424-5687

Jessica Eidem IBM Corporation Cathy Fraser Mayo Clinic Marge Kelley Express Employment Professionals Sarah Miller White Space Matt Morehead Carlson Capital Management AnJuanna Napue Mayo Clinic Dan Nistler Merchants Bank Nate Nordstrom Brandhoot Omar Nur Somali American Social Service Association

Cheryl Krage DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS 507-424-5699

Nick Rethemeier

Tim Shea



Sylwia Bujak Oliver 125 Live Dave Pederson Dunlap & Seeger, P.A. Jack Priggen Cardinal of Minnesota Joselyn Raymundo Rochester Home Infusion John Reed* Rochester Airport Co. Sharon Schneller Olmsted Medical Center *Denotes at large members of the Executive Committee


Cherie Thurlow RECEPTIONIST 507-288-1122

Thank you to our sponsors, businesses, and golfers for supporting the Rochester Area Chamber! ~The Chamber Team

40th Annual Chamber Golf Outing

brought to you by Treasure Island Resort & Casino September 28 | Rochester Golf and Country Club

SAVE THE DATE: UPCOMING EVENTS WE Forum | Thursday, Oct. 15 | 8 - 9am Event Sponsors: Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s, RAEDI, Rochester Area Chamber Virtual Women’s Round Table | Friday, Oct. 16 | 7:30 - 9am Event Sponsors: Mayo Clinic, Think Bank, Wells Fargo Hospitality 1st! | Thursday, Oct. 22 | 9:45 - 11am Virtual AM Espresso | November 6 | 8 - 9am

SPECIAL EVENT: 2020 Economic Summit | December 4 Event Sponsor: Merchants Bank 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 #10 Volume #12 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) | Aaron Benike, Chair of the Board | Editor: Kathleen Harrington and Sam Gill Printed by Johnson Printing | Postmaster: Send address changes to: Chamber Advantage, 220 S Broadway Ste 100, Rochester, MN 55904 or email:



“One Local Purchase Makes a Big Difference” Dear Chamber Members, Our community has been so supportive of one another and generous in helping those in need during this very challenging time. Now it’s time for all of us to step up and do everything we can to support our local small businesses by #Shopping Local Safely. Our community’s businesses have been extremely diligent in making shopping local very safe for you – their customers – and for their employees. Also, our local businesses have innovated during this time creating new and different ways to help you SHOP LOCAL by creating websites, concierge shopping services and curbside product pick-up. Before any of us automatically go online to Amazon or some other out of town operation, let’s all remember to #Shop Local Safely – either in a local store or on their website. EVERY PURCHASE YOU MAKE AT A LOCAL BUSINESS MAKES A DIFFERENCE in OUR COMMUNITY. #Shopping Local Safely has a multiplier effect on our community – every local purchase supports local jobs (1 in 3 in our community comes from small business) keeping many of our friends and neighbors employed. Every local purchase strengthens our tax base – providing more revenue to support needed services – now more than ever – for everyone in our community from students to seniors. As we start holiday shopping or just looking to buy a needed product, personal service, or go out to dinner, let’s all remember to #ShopLocalSafely. Local businesses are committed and working every day to ensure your safety and that of their employees. Whether inperson, curbside/delivery, or using local business websites to shop online, it has never been easier, safer, or more important to shop local. We all can and should #ShopLocalSafely either in our favorite local store or on their website. We can work to get what we need right here and make a real difference with every dollar we spend locally. So catch yourself. Before you automatically type Amazon in your browser, go search for that product online right here in Rochester. Click purchase now and make a big difference for our community. Because who we buy from today determines what we look like tomorrow. Stay healthy and #ShopLocalSafely, Kathleenerce



40th Annual Chamber Golf Outing “Fall Classic” a Success

Teams Braved the Elements, Conquered the Links During the Full-day Outing Nearly 150 golfers -- 38 teams -- donned their warm weather golf gear and came out to the Rochester Golf and Country Club to play in the Chamber’s 40th Annual Golf Outing brought to you by Treasure Island Resort & Casino. With a COVID preparedness plan in place, including staggered tee times, plexiglass cart dividers, and contactless registration, the focus of the Outing -- which was rescheduled from late June -- was the safety of all those involved, both participants and sponsors. The course proved


a stiff test and only one team made it to doubledigits under par at -10. This group, the Merchants Bank team, is the winner of the 2020 President’s Cup! Their company name will now be engraved on the trophy, and they will be able to display the hardware proudly in their office, at least until next year’s outing. Thank you to all of the participants, businesses, and sponsors involved for your support of the Chamber.






HOLE SPONSORS Hole #1 Treasure Island Resort & Casino

Hole #8 ServiceMaster of Rochester

Hole #14 Ability Building Community

Hole #2 Think Bank

Hole #9 KIMT

Hole #15 Premier Banks

Hole #3 Haley Comfort Systems

Hole #10 Custom Alarm

Hole #16 Boldt Construction

Hole #4 Altra Federal Credit Union

Hole #11 DBS Group

Hole #17 CliftonLarsonAllen

Hole #5 Profile by Sanford

Hole #12 MetroNet

Hole #18 ONB Bank

Hole #6 PCL Construction

Hole #13 University of Minnesota,

Hole #19 Reagan Outdoor Advertising

Hole #7 OMC

Labowitz MBA

At-the-Turn: Hotel Indigo & Crave


Golf Outing Team Photos by 2020 President’s Cup Champion: Merchants Bank



Chamber Welcomes Three New LGR Steering Committee Members Leadership Greater Rochester offers continuous leadership development and volunteer opportunities following one’s participation in the program, and one such role is as a member of the LGR Steering Committee. This group, comprised of 12 alumni, meets once a month and provides strategic advice and suggestions to the Chamber. In addition, each alumni serves as a liason to the sessions themselves to ensure a consistent and meaningful experience for the participants. This year, the Chamber is excited to welcome three new members to this committee, each serving two-year terms.

Adam Dickinson, IBM Employer: IBM Job Title: Manager in IBM’s Supply Chain Engineering LGR Graduation Year: 2018 CIP Project: Be the Bridge Mentoring From Adam: I involve myself in external activities where I get a chance to learn from the community. Every time I connect with LGR I am learning and growing from the diversity of skills, views, and roles throughout our Rochester area and trying to make myself a better community leader in the process!

Amanda Mikhail, Mayo Clinic Employer: Mayo Clinic Job Title: Research Operations Administrator LGR Graduation Year: 2019 CIP Project: The Crate Art Lending Library

Karen Lemke, Rochester Public Library Employer: Rochester Public Library Job Title: Head of Marketing and Community Engagement LGR Graduation Year: 2017 CIP Project: Building Blocks, Block Party Trailer From Karen: I am really excited to be a part of the Steering Committee and connect with others who recognize the value of Leadership Greater Rochester. My experience with LGR led to a deeper understanding of this community, and fostered relationships and partnerships that continue today. I am grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the program that has supported my personal leadership journey.

Mayor Norton has declared October 16 – 25 as 'Spirit Days' in Rochester. What is Spirit Days? It is ten days of service in Rochester with events and encouragement to promote unity in our community. Local groups, businesses, organizations, and faith communities are invited to contribute to the Spirit Days Pillar Projects.

Pillar Projects Hunger and Homelessness Collect money and food for Channel One; collect clothing and coats for the Salvation Army.

Community Service Perform service projects in neighborhoods throughout Rochester

Fellowship and Companionship Partner with schools and senior living centers - Pen Pals with a senior in our community

Learn more at

Voting Resources The Chamber has a longstanding tradition of civic engagement and encouraging voter participation in all elections. Below please find helpful voter resources for the 2020 elections, including registration information, polling locations, sample ballots, and more.


Your Voting Checklist

• In-person at the Olmsted County Elections Office, 2122 Campus Drive SE, Suite 300, Rochester MN 55904

Register to vote • Online • In-person • At the polls

• At the polls

Find your polling place

• Check your Registration Status

FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE PLEASE NOTE: The City of Rochester has modified the available polling locations for the primary and general elections. Check the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Elections and Voting Website to see if your local polling place has been changed.

Vote early • Mail-in absentee • In-person early voting Vote November 3rd!


Voters are able to vote absentee prior to the primary and general elections in three of the following ways: Absentee by mail: Fill out and return an absentee ballot request form to receive your ballot by mail. Once you fill out your absentee ballot, you can either mail it back in or drop it off at the Olmsted County Elections Office Absentee in Person: Vote in-person by visiting the Olmsted County Elections Office. You can fill out an absentee application and bring it with you in order to make the process go quicker, but it is not required Absentee in-person direct balloting Takes place October 27 to November 2 (General Election) Fill out an absentee application and bring it to the Olmsted County Elections Office to vote in-person.




You do not have to wait until election day to see what is on your ballot. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office provides example ballots that anyone can access. Click HERE to enter in your location to see an example ballot specific to your area.

FYI: BALLOT REFERENDUM ON PARKS FUNDING The Rochester City Council approved sending a property tax increase to fund city parks to voters as a referendum on the November ballot. If you live within Rochester, you will see the following text on your ballot: “Shall the City of Rochester, Minnesota, be authorized to levy property taxes in the amount of $2,000,000 to provide a dedicated source of funding to protect water quality and natural areas; conserve trees and wooded areas that help to protect air quality; improve access to existing parks and recreational facilities for kids and people with disabilities; improve park safety; and maintain, operate, and improve existing parks? There will be full public disclosure of how the funds are spent. Funds raised by the City could be matched by funds from the state and federal government and private sources. It is estimated that the average residential homeowner would pay an additional $33.00 per year. The maximum amount of increased levy as a percentage of market value is 0.0168 percent. The maximum amount that would be raised by the new referendum tax rate in the first year if it were to be levied is $2,000,000.”

Fall Public Affairs Programming: Candidate Forums This fall’s Public Affairs programming, including Eggs and Issues, was dedicated to the Chamber’s participation in candidate debates at all levels of government. These debates (6 pre-primary, 15 general election) were held in partnership with the League of Women Voters, the Post Bulletin, and the Rochester Public Library. The Chamber is grateful to these partners and to its Public Affairs program sponsors Mayo Clinic, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Charter Communications, MN Energy Resources, Wells Fargo, and West Bank for their support.

To view on-demand recordings of the forums, visit:



Join the team committed to helping businesses through the unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus outbreak. Volunteer as we recover and return to the “New Normal” in these positions: ✓ Mentors offer confidential business guidance, either in person or online. ✓ Subject Matter Experts provide focused knowledge based on their professional skills or industry. ✓ Workshop Presenters lead seminars and events to help entrepreneurs meet their goals and achieve success.

✓ Chapter Support Volunteers share their skills in marketing, tech, finance, fundraising and more to help expand the outreach of SCORE.

As a SCORE volunteer, Bob Thode brings over 30 years of experience in business management. This includes managing in a large corporation and owning multiple businesses of his own. Bob is experienced in project and people management, business planning, startups, and solving general business problems. SCORE can assist you with FREE business mentoring as a startup business or an existing business. If you would like to join us by volunteering to help other businesses, please give us a call at 507-200-0760. Our clients would value your experience.



What are your immediate needs? Ensure success no matter what stage you’re in of the business life cycle by understanding the steps.



Have you been thinking about turning your dream into reality? Taking an idea to business is an exciting but stressful experience. The Rochester SBDC and its partners can provide start-up and planning training services, tools, and resources to help evaluate your business idea, make sound business decisions, and pursue your dream of business ownership.


It’s official, your business SBDC is open. Congratulations! But, now what? How do you attract customers, manage daily operations, and plan for the future? The Rochester SBDC has the resources and experts to guide you in this formative stage of business—where business decisions often mean the difference between business success and failure.




Your business is well-established and customers are returning. Business is good, but not growing. How can you take it to the next level? The Rochester SBDC has professionally certified business consultants work one-on-one with motivated businesses who want to grow and expand. Our consultants help research, design, and implement sustainable strategies that help your business achieve its growth potential.

There comes a time in every business when change is needed. Being flexible and seeking ways to help your business adjust to a changing marketplace is the best recipe for success. The Rochester SBDC works with mature businesses to identify new business opportunities, chart new paths, and plan for the long-term future.

As an entrepreneur, your thoughts are dominated with growing your business. However, there does come a time when you must say goodbye. Do you have a plan? Will you be selling, merging, or closing your business? The Rochester SBDC can help you project the valuation of your business and prepare for the transition.

1926 College View Road SE | Rochester, MN 55904 8:00am - 4:30pm | 507-285-7536 | RCTC is a member of Minnesota State and an equal opportunity employer/educator.

Downtown public spaces are more utilized and important than ever. Check out the recent improvements to Peace Plaza and Central Park for yourself!

Additional seating

Enhanced cleaning and sanitization

New location for visitors booth

Colorful flowers

Live weekday music



Keep your finger on the pulse of the #rochmn startup community. Tune In:



Congratulations to the Following Chamber Members for Celebrating these Important Milestones! Beyond Kitchens|25th Anniversary

Crave|Grand Opening | (507) 281-3992 | (507) 512-3800

Rochester Public Schools

Tommy’s Express Car Wash | (507) 238-3000| (507) 430-8513

Groundbreaking for New Elementary School

5893 x2.5 4c

Grand Opening

Keeping your business rolling forward Every small business needs help with the essentials. Visit to find strategic insights and tools that may help you with your business.

© 2020 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. IHA-25893


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4/2/20 3:37 PM

On September 11, more thant 40 attendees logged in from their homes and offices for Virtual AM Espresso to network, connect with fellow Rochester area businesses, and hear from Charter House about the safety protocols they’ve put in place. Charter House Administrator, Tony Enquist, greeted the quests, introduced members of his team, and explained how Charter House has adapted to keep residents safe during the pandemic. Additionally, attendees participated in a series of desk exercises led by a member of the Charter House team -- exercerises anyone can use while working from home to stay limber, healthy, and fit!

Chamber Recognizes & Congratulates Enquist on Coming Retirement Tony Enquist, long-time Administrator of Charter House Mayo Clinic Retirement Living, recently announced his coming retirement after more than 30 years of service to Mayo Clinic and the community. Throughout his time at Mayo Clinic, Enquist embodied the core Mayo value of placing the patient -- in this case, his residents -- at the center of all that he did. Congratulations Tony and thank you for your leadership, service, and commitment to your residents and our Rochester community. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!




Thank you for your continued investment in our community. • Allegro School of Dance & Music • Anew Medspa Clinic • Aspen Suites Hotel • Beyond Kitchens • Bleu Duck Kitchen • Bob's Construction

• Prestige Plumbing, LLC

• Herring Art & Frame

• Prime Time Health Advisors, Inc.

• Hilltop Camper and RV • Home Federal Bank - Civic Center Drive • Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota

• BrandHoot

• International House of Prayer Rochester

• Brennan Family Chiropractic and Nutrition Center

• IRET Properties

• Catering by Design • Counselor Realty of Rochester • Data-Smart Computers, Inc. • Dunkin' • Edina Realty • El Sueño Taqueria • Ellingson Companies • EPIC Endeavors Preschool Academy • Escape Challenge • Fagan Studios • First Choice Merchant Services, LLC • Good Earth Village • Great Harvest Bread Co. • Hampton Inn & Suites • Hawkins Ash CPAs


• Hegland Mainz Financial

• Prow Billboards • Recover Health • Recovery Is Happening • Rochester Academy of Music, LLC • Rochester Bus Service, Inc.

• Kauffman Law Firm

• Rochester Golf & Country Club

• Lacina Siding & Windows, Inc.

• Rochester Public Radio/KRPR Radio Station

• Main Street Dental Clinic

• Rodan & Fields Dermatologists - Alexis Simmons

• Marcus Galaxy 14 and IMAX Theatres

• Duane Sauke

• Mead & Hunt

• Smyth Companies

• Meadow Estates Association

• Squash Blossom Farm

• Metafile Information Systems

• Steve Yaggy Specialized Truck Services, Inc.

• Minuteman Press • Nancy's Home & Garden Extravaganza LLC • Next Chapter Ministries • Northgate Hair Salon & Spa/ Hair and Wigs

• Sunbelt Rentals • Superior Mechanical • Throndson Oil & LP Gas Company • Toppers Pizza Rochester

• Nothing Bundt Cakes


• Paape Energy Services

• Wealth Enhancement Group

• PCL Construction • People's Food Co-op


Hawkins Ash CPAs

NEWSREELS Jackie Anderson recently joined the staff of Hawkins Ash CPAs and is an associate and works in accounting services to assist with payroll tax returns and processing, bookkeeping, and 1040 prep. “I enjoy what I do; it’s like working on a puzzle every day!” she said. Anderson received a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in accounting and business economics and a Master of Science (MSA) in accounting from Grand Valley State University. Her background in accounting spans from working with international tax, FIN48 calculations, stewardship and management fees to IRS responses and quarterly provision processes. Her past experience includes working as a senior accountant to assist with tax filings, financial reporting and fixed assets. Contact Anderson directly at 507.252.6683 or David Fochs, Jr., CPA recently joined the staff of Hawkins Ash CPAs. He began his career in public accounting in 2011. As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and tax manager, Fochs reviews corporate, individual and pass-through business tax returns. He also assists clients with 990 nonprofit and foreign filings, farm tax accounting and international taxation, in addition to recent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness calculations. “I enjoy working with the variety of clients that I get to meet and assist on a daily basis,” said Fochs. “Every day brings new challenges that continue to provide professional and personal growth.” In addition to becoming a CPA, Fochs received a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Finance and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He is a member of the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA) and the Rochester Curling Club. Prior to joining Hawkins Ash CPAs, Fochs served as tax supervisor and tax manager at two award-winning public accounting firms in the Midwest. Contact Fochs directly at 507.252.6688 or dfochs@

Merchants Bank Nicole Williamson has joined Merchants Bank as a Mortgage Lender. Williamson has been in banking for more than 10 years in the Rochester market in various positions, including Mortgage Advisor for the last six years. She is well-versed in the home and construction loan process as well as Minnesota-specific loan program options. Williams shares that she “…joined Merchants because of their community focus. I am passionate about helping customers achieve their home ownership dreams and find homes where they can grow and make memories.” Williamson will be officed out of Merchants’ Rochester-Green Meadows location. She grew up locally in Chatfield, MN and currently resides in St. Charles with her husband, Kyle, and two daughters. Loans are subject to credit approval. Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC.

Pepin Manufacturing Before Covid-19, Pepin Manufacturing had never manufactured a face shield. In March, when Pepin received a phone call from Bruce Mairose, Mayo Clinic’s Director of Supply Chain, explaining the supply shortage of medical face shields, Pepin was eager to help. Within a day, Pepin’s product development team created a functional prototype for Mayo, which had some design improvements over typical face shields. Within a few days after, Mayo approved the design and ordered 300,000 face shields that were manufactured at Pepin over a two-and-a-half-month span. To increase daily output, about 35 Mayo Clinic employees were reassigned to help assemble the face shields at Pepin. This partnership led to providing much needed protective PPE to the front-line healthcare heroes across the Mayo enterprise.


Premier Banks

NEWSREELS Tim Fischer joins Premier Bank Minnesota and Premier Bank Rochester as Vice President of Business Development for the Banks throughout the greater Twin Cities and Rochester area. After a 20 year career in construction equipment sales and a 15 year career in non-profit fundraising, Fischer is excited to connect his network with Premier Bank and the many services they have to offer existing and future customers. “As a family owned, community bank, Premier has relied on a tradition of solid customer service and strong personal relationships to grow to its current position. I look forward to helping strengthen these relationships and introducing our banking professionals to new, prospective banking clients in Rochester and the surrounding area!”

Think Bank Think Bank is pleased to announce that Cory Behnken has accepted the position of Mortgage Relationship Manager. Cory was appointed for his extensive knowledge of mortgage lending, commitment to helping customers improve their financial wellbeing, and passion for providing exceptional care tailored to each customer’s unique needs. In his new role, Cory will work with customers to determine the best mortgage products and services for their specific situations, and help lead Think’s business development efforts. Cory will continue to work in the bank’s Downtown Rochester branch.


Periodical Postage

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


Rochester, MN