Advantage Magazine | February 2021

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February 2021


26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

WE HAVE A DREAM Virtual Community Celebration Monday, January 18

Featured Event Recap

2020 - 2021 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 Ryan Parsons

MEMBERS Laurie Ackerman Opportunity Services

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

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 Jessica Eidem IBM Corporation

Ryan Parsons PRESIDENT 507-288-1122


Sam Gill DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS 507-424-5687

Cathy Fraser Mayo Clinic Greg Griffiths Dunlap & Seeger, P.A. 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 John Wade RAEDI *Denotes at large members of the Executive Committee


Cherie Thurlow ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT 507-288-1122

Message from New Chamber President Hello Rochester Area Chamber members! I am excited to be a part of the Rochester community and to begin my role as your new President. While my family and I have only been here a few weeks, each day Rochester continues to feel more like home for us. The Rochester community and chamber members have been welcoming to my family since we arrived. We have started to experience what makes Rochester a unique city with an exciting energy, including my daughters working to find their favorite pizza places and playgrounds. The passionate business community, opportunities for development and dedicated Chamber team and leadership have all been highlights in our time here. I look forward to learning more and collaborating with businesses and the community to build on the strong foundation in place here in Rochester. While Rochester is new to me, the essential elements and strategies of a chamber of commerce are not. I was previously Vice President of the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC, a 1,300-member chamber of commerce and economic development organization in North Dakota that serves two communities. Through my nearly 13 years in the chamber world, I’ve learned the important role of partnerships between the business sector, elected leaders and community to drive the development and resources for a region. The potential for these partnerships is high in Rochester, and that is an opportunity that led me to join the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce team. As a leader, I will work with the talented Chamber team in the months ahead to ensure we provide relevant resources and discussions, advocate on behalf of businesses, and develop creative opportunities for engagement for our members. Member engagement is key for a chamber of commerce, and we are excited to connect with you and your teams in the months ahead. With that in mind, thank you to our members! Your investment in the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is greatly appreciated and I welcome your involvement as we progress. I look forward to learning more about your business and what we can accomplish together in the Rochester community. Stay well!

Ryan Parsons

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 #2 Volume #13 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) | Lizzy Haywood, Chair of the Board | Editor: Sam Gill Printed by Johnson Printing | Postmaster: Send address changes to: Chamber Advantage, 220 S Broadway Ste 100, Rochester, MN 55904 or email:


Calendar of Events February 5

AM Espresso

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Time

8:00am - 9:00am


Ability Building Community (ABC), Bear Creek Services, ExercisAbilities

Feburary 18

WE Forum

AM Espresso

March 5

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting 8:00am - 9:00am

Time Sponsors


March 16

Community Matters

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Time 8:00am - 9:00am

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting



Saint Mary’s University of MN - The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, RAEDI, RACC,


11:30 - 1pm

Collider, SCORE

February 19

Women’s Roundtable

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting

Time Sponsors Chair

7:30am - 9:00am Mayo Clinic, Think Bank, & Wells Fargo Zoey Jantsan, Realtor, Edina Realty

Eggs & Issues

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Sponsors

Utilities, RSP Architects

WE Forum

March 18

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Time Sponsors

8:00am - 9:00am Saint Mary’s University of MN - The Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, RAEDI, RACC, Collider, SCORE

February 23


Bremer Bank, Mayo Clinic, Rochester Public

8:00am - 9:30am Charter Communications, Mayo Clinic, SMMPA

February 25

Hospitality 1st

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Time 9:45am - 11:00am Chair Andy Thilges, Home2Suites by Hilton Speaker Ben Wogsland, Hospitality Minnesota

A special Thank You to this month’s


Women’s Roundtable

March 19

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Time Sponsors Chair

7:30am - 9:00am Mayo Clinic, Think Bank, & Wells Fargo Zoey Jantsan, Realtor, Edina Realty

March 25

Hospitality 1st

Quarterly Tourism Partner Update Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Time 9:45am - 11:00am Chair Andy Thilges, Home2Suites by Hilton


LGR Applications Now Open

Invest in Your Employees, Strengthen your Leaders Leadership Greater Rochester - the Chamber’s premier leadership development program - is now accepting applications for the 2021 - 22 cohort until May 3. With morer than 1,000 alumni and an extensive history of developing business and community leaders since 1987, this program is a prime opportunity to invest in your employee leaders andn propel them to be further inspired, engaged, and connected. Questions? Please email Sam Gill, Program Director, at

WHAT Leadership Greater Rochester Program

WHO SHOULD APPLY? Aspiring and established business leaders who are looking to enhance their skills, grow their network, and engage with the community.

WHEN Applications are open from Monday, February 1 to Monday, May 3, 2021.

HOW TO APPLY: For more information on session dates or to apply, visit


Virtual Celebration Recognizes, Honors Dr. King

Continuing a strong and longstanding partnership, the Diversity Council, Rochester Branch NAACP and Rochester Area Chamber once again partnered to host the 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “We Have a Dream” Virtual Community Celebration. Featuring poets, performers, and a keynote with former Chief Justice Alan Page, this captivating program served to honor the legacy of Dr. King and reflect on his impact on our community. The City of Rochester and Olmsted County partnered to help raise awareness about the event, and the community responded, with hundreds of people tuning into the live stream presentation and participate in the afternoon “people’s program.”

People’s Food Co-op CEO and Chamber Board Chair Lizzy Haywood welcomed the attendees

Rochester Branch NAACP President Wale Elegbede shared his reflections and delivered a call to action

Kesarin and Yasmin with Rochester Community Initiative interviewed former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Alan Page


Local Student Poetry Pieces As in past years, the Diversity Council organized a student poetry contest and announced three winners to read their poems during the Celebration. Dee Sabol, Executive Director of the Diversity Council (left) introduced the three winners Harshdeep, Caleb, and Diya (below). These students -- all in different grades -- read their poems aloud and shared their deep and moving perspectives on inclusion, equity, and the human spirit.

Musicians Bri Thompson (left) and Angi Porter (right) performed live during the virtual celebration

Morning Program Sponsors



Chamber Participates in Mayor’s State of the City Event

Chamber Board Chair and People‘s Food Co-op CEO Lizzy Haywood spoke during Mayor Norton‘s State of the City Event

“The Chamber appreciates the work that the City has done to support the small businesses and nonprofits in our community and address the challenges posed by COVID. We value the collaboration between our two organizations -- sharing resources, communicating about programs, and ensuring the business community is fully aware of the resources and assistance available to them. There is more work ahead of us, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate and partner with the city to get both our businesses and our community on the path forward to recovery.”

Lizzy Haywood

CEO, Peoples Food Co-op Chair, Rochester Area Chamber Board of Directors



Big Changes for Local Technology Leader Preventice Solutions, a medical technology company founded in Rochester in 2007, is being purchased by Boston Scientific for $925 million. Preventice has a product portfolio that includes the BodyGuardian family of remote, wearable cardiac monitors for adult and pediatric patients. BodyGuardian was created by Preventice in collaboration with research licensed from Mayo Clinic. "We have been humbled to provide thousands of physician practices with services based on near real-time clinical data to enable the diagnosis and management of more than one million cardiac patients, without needing to interrupt their daily activities," said Jon Otterstatter, chief executive officer of Preventice Solutions. "Boston Scientific has been a key investor in Preventice for more than five years and we believe the company has the commercial reach, diagnostics expertise and operational infrastructure to bring these advanced monitoring technologies to more patients worldwide."

HGA Wins National Design Competition HGA won Healthcare Design Magazine’s national conceptual design competition calling for solutions to the future delivery of healthcare. The firm secured the industry-leading Breaking Through award with their solution “Farm to Pharm”—a concept that imagines a health care system retooled to support the distribution of healthy food as a preventive individual and communitywide health measure where it's needed the most. The HGA team included Rochester natives Hal Henderson, the new office director Kim Jensen, and Maggie Sutton. Farm to Pharm merges pharmaceutical treatment with modified and fortified food. This refocuses investments from disease management to prevention and population health through personalized, in-home “Grow Sheets.” The second focus is on the numerous challenges of food education, access and distribution that span demographics and geographies. The solution creates economic opportunities in agricultural and biomedical fields while equalizing access through transportable, modular, food production and health-themed community centers called “Grow Hubs”.


F O R U M S & R O U N D TA B L E S

WE Forum: Imposter Syndrome Hosted by the Kabara Institute| 3rd Thursday of the Month | 8:00 - 9:00am Chair: Christine Beech, Kabara Institute for Enterpreneurial Studies The Women Entrepreneurs (WE) Forum was launched to provide free educational programming for women who are running or starting a business. Each month features speakers who have deep experience in the discussion topics with room for questions from the attendees to ensure the discussion is relevant, informed by experience, and addresses the real questions women have when running a business. Meetings are held every 3rd Thursday of the month. January’s speakers were Julie Brock, Executive Director of Cradle 2 Career; Zoey Jantsan, Realtor with Edina Realty; & Peggy Paul, Owner of SheTaxi. They discussed the topic of “Imposter Syndrome”. What it is, and how each has felt, recognized, overcome, and learned from it. Mark your calendars for next month’s forum on Thursday, February 18 to discuss storytelling for your business.

Women’s Roundtable Hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber | Every 3rd Friday of the Month | 7:30 - 9:00am Chair: Zoey Jantsan, Edina Realty Women’s Roundtable provides a space for women to practice and refine skills, discuss challenges specific to women in positions of leadership, and learn together. January’s featured speaker was Emily Watkins, Owner, Editor, & Publisher of the Rochester Women Magazine. Emily discussed her entrepreneurial history, including her experiences opening her first business, and how the opportunity of taking over the Rochester Women Magazine came about. Mark your calendar for the next roundtable on February 19 to hear from the marketing pros at Tulip Tree Studios.

F O R U M S & R O U N D TA B L E S

Hospitality 1st Hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber | 4th Thursday of the Month | 9:45 - 11:00am Chair: Andy Thilges, Home2Suites by Hilton Hospitality 1st is a collaboration of hospitality service providers including transportation, hotels, meeting venues, attractions, restaurants, nonprofits, and other visitor service providers. This group works in partnership with area businesses to create an exceptional community experience by focusing on great service and delivery of community assets and services. January’s featured speaker was Kendara Lee, Owner of KLA Group. Kendra discussed prospecting in a COVID-19 world. Mark your calendar for the next meeting on Thursday, February 25 to hear a tourism update from Ben Wogland, Director of Government Relations for Hospitality Minnesota.

Welcome New Members!



Rochester South


Call/Text: (507) 218-9713

Rochester North

Call/Text: (507) 400-2876

Welcome New Members!

Commercial Education

Agility. Empathy. Expertise. ISG has a rich history that extends more than 47 years of building trusting relationships with clients, stakeholders, and the community. As a multi-disciplinary firm that is 100% owned by employees, ISG serves 12 business units and fosters strong collaboration between all disciplines providing clients a diverse knowledge base, high level of creativity, and broad perspective.

#ISGRochLaunch H3 Plaza 30 3rd Street Southeast + Suite 600 Rochester, MN 55904

Architecture + Engineering + Environmental + Planning

Energy Government + Cultural Healthcare Housing Food + Industrial Mining Public Works Sports + Recreation Transportation Water


RENEWING MEMBERS Thank You for Your Continued Investment in our Community. • Express Employment Professionals

• Salt & Pepper Photography

• Custom Alarm/CCi

• Southern Touch Photography

• Commercial Leasing Services

• Whispering Oaks Homeowners

• KIMT-TV • Lasker Jewelers • McDonald’s Restaurants • State Farm Insurance - Steve Knutson Agency • Titan Development and Investments • Samaritan Bethany, Inc. • Apollo Dental Center • Merchants Bank - Northwest Plaza • Seasons Hospice • Shorewood Senior Campus • State Farm Insurance • RSP Architects • Aafiya Home Care LLC • Atlas Insurance Brokers, LLC


Assoc. • Exclusive Pet Sitting & Dog Training Company • Agape Chiropractic • Bob Groettum • Construction Laborers’ Local 405 • Heneke Business Consulting • Refined Skin Medi-Spa • • CORT • Chick-fil-A • Jodi Babcock • Epic


Updates from the Chamber Member Community Madonna Meadows Madonna Meadows is excited to announce that Ron Hanson has joined the team as a Sales and Marketing Coordinator and will office out of the Madonna Meadows campus in Southwest Rochester. Ron has a great connection to the city and is a natural for interacting with Madonna’s current and prospective residents. “I look forward to working with this team and am excited for the growth we will do as a team.” Hanson said. Madonna Meadows looks forward to working with him and are proud to call him a teammate.

Rochester Community & Technical College Rochester Community and Technical College is proud to announce several of its programs rank as the 2021 Best Associate Degrees in Minnesota and in the Plains States Region by RCTC’s top Minnesota rankings include: Facility and Service Technology (FAST) program ranked #1 as the Best Building Management & Inspection Associate Degree; Healthcare Office Professional program ranked #1 as the Best Health and Medical Administrative Services Associates Degree; Human Services program ranked #1 as the Best Mental and Social Health Services Associates Degree; Dental Assisting program ranked #2 among the Best Dental Support Services Associate's Degrees; and Carpentry program ranked #1 as the Best Construction Trades program. For further information, contact RCTC at 507-285-7557 or view

Schmidt Goodman Schmidt Goodman is thrilled to announce our newest team member, Account Manager Julie Haldeman. Julie received her degree at Mankato University, majoring in Marketing and Business Administration. Ready to turn a page in her professional career, Julie joined our team in November 2020 after 16 years of being in the Rochester Hospitality Industry; working for hotel groups such as Avra Hospitality and Kahler Hotels. Her area of focus will be new business development, Western Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Julie is committed to providing our customers with exceptional customer service. In her downtime, you will find her chasing her two boys at sporting events and traveling, camping and mountain biking with her family.

WA Insurance Group Kevin Ritz became President/CEO of WA Group, succeeding Garry Watts effective January 12, 2021. Ritz joined WA Group in 2004 and has served as Vice President, overseeing Sales Management and acting as a Commercial Lines Producer for the firm. Prior to 2004, Ritz served as a multi-lines adjuster for Cincinnati Insurance.

Kraus Anderson Kraus-Anderson has completed the construction of a temporary courtroom for Olmsted County. The temporary court facility is in the Annex Building across the street from the Olmsted County Government Center in Rochester. The expansion adds more space due to a backlog of jury trials, as well as COVID-19 safety protocols. The $2.8 million expansion was funded primarily by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds.



Winter is here... Our Clean and Safe Ambassadors provide enhanced services, even in the colder months, to help keep downtown Rochester looking good by focusing on: • Snow removal in crosswalks and ice mitigation assistance for sidewalks • Wayfinding and hospitality assistance • Safety escort services within downtown • Litter and graffiti removal • Power washing: spills and biohazards (above 32° F)

507-316-7511 Contact our Ambassador team for free assistance to your downtown based business this winter.

Winter Hours

Monday and Tuesday: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday - Sunday: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information,

Collider Ecosystem Navigators A confidential service to accelerate the journey of #rochmn entrepreneurs. LEARN MORE: COLLIDER.MN/CONNECT-WITH-OUR-NAVIGATORS





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 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. SBDC_September2020_Ad.indd 1

Nikki Johnson has worked in purchasing for nearly 20 years, handling roles from sourcing and product development to supply chain management. Most of her career has been in wine, and her most recent endeavor is owning an e-commerce wine brokerage. Nikki enjoys working through the logistics and hurdles that come with the business of wine and connecting wineries and wine brands with happy customers. As a SCORE Volunteer, Nikki looks forward to spreading the word about SCORE's amazing resources. Nikki is the Chapter Diversity Champion helping SCORE reach clients and new volunteers who are women and minorities.

8/25/20 11:13 AM

SCORE can assist YOU with FREE

business mentoring on almost any issue in which you need help, from pre-planning, to startup, to helping an existing business, or even, exiting a business. 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 please go to http://WWW.SEMNSCORE.ORG and follow the prompts or give us a call at 507-200-0760.


Periodical Postage


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

Rochester, MN

Supporting your employees hopes and dreams. Does your company have a 401(k)? We can help as your trusted financial partner. • Fiduciary-based service model • Single point of contact provider • Superior customer service to business owners employees • Reduction of liability to the business owner • Best in class mutual fund options • Low cost solutions Give us the opportunity to discuss your company’s 401(k) plan and help your employees prepare for the future.

Masood Dehnavifar, J.D. Trust Department Manager

Chris Livingston, QKA Retirement Plan Director

(507) 457-1153 | Investments are: Not FDIC Insured - Not Bank Products - May Lose Value



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