Advantage Magazine | January 2021

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January 2021


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 Kathleen Harrington

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

Kathleen Harrington 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

Thank you Rochester. As many of you know, I will be leaving the Rochester Area Chamber in the very capable hands of Mr. Ryan Parsons. Ryan has most recently been serving at the Bismark Mandan Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation for twelve years. He has served in a variety of roles, from membership and programming, to advocacy and strategic planning. He is well-prepared to assume leadership of the Chamber and has a strong, dedicated, and motivated team to support him in the transition. When I first stepped forward to serve as Chamber President, I did so because I firmly believed in the critical role small business plays in our local and national economy. It has been a great privilege to help amplify the voice of small business and to provide a variety of services to strengthen this valuable sector and source of one in three jobs in our community. Our home is truly unique - from the world famous Mayo Clinic, to the thousands of small businesses, to some of the most productive farms in the country. I have been so blessed to have worked at the Chamber and Mayo Clinic. My time at both organizations is marked with constant learning and meeting extraordinary people dedicated to healing, creating jobs and a strong vibrant community of caring. This was most evident during the past ten months. The pandemic has hit everyone hard, but the resilience of this community is marked by the incredible generosity of so many helping those most in need, to the innovation of our small business men and women who are constantly reinventing themselves to make it through this incredibly challenging time, to all the essential workers who have kept our community operating and most especially, to the nurses, doctors and all the health care workers who are putting themselves at risk every day to care for the very sick. It has been the Chamber’s honor to serve in our small way during this time and I am confident that my successor will continue the Chamber’s tradition of service ensuring that our community builds on it resilience and recovers together. It has been my great privilege to witness this amazing symphony of human caring, collaboration and connection. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Most sincerely, Kathleen Harrington

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 #1 Volume #13 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) |Lizzy Haywood, 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:


Calendar of Events January 8

Virtual AM Espresso

January 28

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting Time

Featured Businesses

Rochester Athletic Club, Orangetheory Fitness, Roca Climbing & Fitness, and 125 Live

Virtual Women’s Roundtable


Andy Thilges, Home2Suites by Hilton


Mayo Clinic, Think Bank, & Wells Fargo


Zoey Jantsan, Realtor, Edina Realty

MLK Day Breakfast


Rochester Branch NAACP, Diversity Council,


City of Rochester, Rochester Area Chamber

WE Forum: Imposter Syndrom

WE Forum

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

Virtual Women’s Roundtable

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting

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

January 28

8:00 - 9:00am

February 19

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting

Time Sponsors

Bear Creek Services

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting

10:00am - 11:00am

January 21

Virtual AM Espresso

8:00am - 9:00am

February 18

Location Broadcast Time

9:45am - 11:00am

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting

7:30am - 9:00am

January 18


February 5

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting

Time Sponsors Chair

Prospecting in a COVID-19 World

Location Virtual Zoom Meeting

8:00am - 9:00am

January 15

Hospitality 1st

Time Sponsors Chair

Hospitality 1st

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

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

A special Thank You to this month’s


Holiday Donations, Goodwill, and Cheer Think Bank on 12 Days of Giving: “Giving Because it is the Right Thing to do” Think Bank supersized its traditional 12 Days of Giving and provided assistance to 15 Rochester and Twin Cities area non-profits with donations and surprise gifts. With missions ranging from increasing literacy and helping families impacted by childhood illness, to suicide prevention and improving lives through dance, these nonprofits make a difference every day. Learn more by visiting Think Bank’s Facebook page.

Mayo Clinic Match Boosts Salvation Army Donations over the Holidays Continuing its strong support of local nonprofits and institutions, Mayo Clinic announced a special, two day dollar-for-dollar match for any donation made to the Salvation Army for its virtual Red Kettle Campaign. In total, after two days of online giving, the Salvation Army raised nearly $162,000. With Mayo Clinic’s generous match, it brought the total to almost $322,000 to support the work and mission of the Salvation Army here in Rochester.

“Gift Rochester” Program Helps Local Small Businesses In an effort to support downtown local small businesses, Mayo Clinic partnered with the Rochester Downtown Alliance and Gift Rochester to purchase more than $257,000 in gifts from more than 50 local businesses. Mayo Clinic managers and supervisors visited the online Gift Rochester online pop-up store to purchase the local goods and products to serve as gifts and recognition for their employees.

Recognizing the Legacy of Gus Chafoulias

It is with great sadness that the Chamber joins the loud chorus of so many in our community offering our condolences to the Chafoulias family on the passing of Gus Chafoulias. We also offer gratitude for the life and work of Gus. We honor his monumental contributions to this community, from outlining its skyline and creating so many jobs, to supporting and sustaining so many small businesses in Rochester. His passion for this city, relentless work ethic, and pursuit of his vision that has defined our community will be greatly missed and always honored.


Advocating for Relief, Stimulus Since the COVID-19 pandemic first broke out and caused serious lockdowns in March, the Chamber pivoted to deliver information, resources, and access to content experts to help businesses and nonprofits weather the storm and build resilience. Additionally, the Public Affairs lens of the Chamber tightened, focusing on working with lawmakers and key policy makers to help provide economic relief during the depths of the pandemic and continually advocating for support from the state, local, and federal government. Moving forward, the Chamber will continue to make economic recovery a priority and work with lawmakers at all levels of government to ensure that the right steps are taken to set our community on the Path Forward to Recovery.


Letter to Olmsted County Commissioners Urging a Reconsideration of Continued Hardship Abatement for Commercial Property Taxes.


Joint Letter to State Legislative Leaders Urging a Swift Passage of Immediate Economic Relief for Small Businesses and Communities.


Letter to Olmsted County Commissioners Supporting Continued Hardship Abatement for Commercial Property Taxes.



Letter to Olmsted County Board Supporting Economic Relief, Support for Small Businesses

Letter to Rochester City Council Supporting Economic Relief, Support for Small Businesses

For more information, visit


Thank You for Your Service 2020 was a disruptive, nontraditional year full of uncertainty and instability. Amidst this disruption, common traditions still continued, including holding local elections. As we enter into 2021, the Chamber would like to recognize and thank the outgoing members of the Rochester City Council and State elected delegation. We appreciate your commitment to this community and willingness to step forward to serve. City of Rochester

State of Minnesota

• Council President: Randy Staver

• District Representative 25b: Duane Sauke

• Ward 2: Michael Wojick • Ward 4: Mark Bilderback • Ward 6: Annalissa Johnson

2021 Rochester-area Elected Officials The new 2021 Rochester City Council has been officially sworn in. The 92nd Minnesota Legislature convened on Tuesday, Jan. 5 to begin their 2021 work, including pandemic relief and approving a budget. The following list is a compilation of those council members, commissioners, and state elected officials who represent the greater Rochester area. City of Rochester

Olmsted County

State of Minnesota

• President: Brooke Carlson

• District 1 Stephanie Podulke, Chair

• District 25 Senator David Senjem

• Ward 1: Patrick Keane

• District 2 Ken Brown

• District 26 Senator Carla Nelson

• Ward 2: Mark Bransford

• District 3 Gregg Wright

• District 25a Representative Duane Quam

• Ward 3: Nick Campion

• District 4 Matt Flynn

• District 25b Representative: Liz Boldon

• Ward 4: Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick

• District 5 Jim Bier

• District 26a Representative Tina Liebling

• Ward 5: Shaun Palmer

• District 6 Sheila Kiscaden

• District 26b Representative Nels Pierson

• Ward 6: Molly Dennis

• District 7 Mark Thein, Vice Chair

New Executive Director for DMC

The Chamber would like to welcome to Patrick Seeb, formerly the Director of Economic Development and Placemaking at DMC, who will now serve as Executive Director for the organization. The Chamber also recognizes and acknowledges the leadership of DMC’s outgoing (and founding) Executive Director-- and former Chamber Board Chair -- Lisa Clarke for her years of service to the effort and to the community. Best wishes on your future endeavors, Lisa.



COVID-19 Vaccines: Guidance from Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic experts agree: You should get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to you. The vaccines that we’re recommending have been approved for safe use. • Vaccine distribution will occur in phases, with those at highest risk in the earliest phases. We know the earliest group will include frontline workers and caregivers. • Mayo Clinic will continue to coordinate with state and local governments on future vaccine distribution phases. Details specific to Mayo campuses will be shared as plans are further defined and rollout continues: • Arizona | Florida | Rochester | MCHS • Practice social distancing, wear a mask properly outside your home, wash your hands frequently, and follow your state and local recommendations until the spread has stopped. The vaccine may not be recommended to those with certain health conditions. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions about receiving the vaccine.

Why get vaccinated? You get vaccines to prevent you from getting an illness. An example of this is the flu vaccine. Vaccines help your body build up the ability to fight off a virus. A vaccine may not prevent you from getting the COVID-19 virus. But if you do get it, the vaccination may keep you from becoming seriously ill. Or it may keep you from developing complications due to the illness. And that may be a lifesaving benefit of the vaccine.

For more information, visit


Info and language pulled directly from Mayo Clinic webpage




New Year, New You AM Espresso January’s AM Expresso focused on the concept of “New Year, New You” and featured four different gyms and fitness centers here in Rochester. While each offered different services and workout opportunities, the underlying similarity between 125 Live, Orangetheory Fitness, Roca Climbing and Fitness, and the Rochester Athletic Club is a deep commitment to the health, safety, and wellbeing of their customers, staff, and visitors. Clockwise from left: Mackenzie McCormack (Orangetheory Fitness), Matt Remick (Rochester Athletic Club), Jeremy and Karen Schaar (Roca Climbing and Fitness), and Sylwia Bujak Oliver (125 Live) all spoke to the AM Espresso attendees.


Women’s Roundtable Hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber | Every 3rd Friday of the month | 7:30 - 9am Chair: Zoey Jantsan, Edina Realty Women’s Roundtable is held the 3rd Friday of every month and is chaired by Zoey Jantsan of Edina Realty. This 90-minute meeting provides a space for women to practice and refine skills, discuss challenges specific to women in positions of leadership, and learn together. The December guest speaker was Sylwia Bujak Oliver, Executive Director of 125 Live, who spoke about her experiences leading 125 Live and all of the ways she has had to adapt due to COVID. Mark your calendars for the next Women’s Roundtable on January 15 to hear from Emily Watkins, Owner, Editor and Publisher of Rochester Women’s Magazine. Click HERE to register.

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 to create an exceptional community experience by focusing on great service and delivery of community assets and services. The featured speakers for December were Joe Ward, President of Experience Rochester and his colleague Nick Landry, who gave an overview of recent developments at Experience Rochester and the Mayo Civic Center. Mark your calendar for the next Hospitality 1st meeting on Thursday, Jan. 28 titled “Prospecting in a COVID-19 World - COVID-19 Sanitation Part 2.” Click HERE to register.

Did You Know? SCORE is a national organization of volunteers that provides FREE Mentoring to entrepreneurs and existing small businesses, including nonprofits. Rochester's SCORE Chapter, with over 20 mentors, covers SE Minnesota, to Austin and into N Iowa and E Wisconsin.

SCORE provides: • Free mentoring (for one-on-one advice and support) • Reference guides and other materials (available online, 24/7) • Classes, workshops, and events (both for fee and free)

ExercisABILITIES is making healthy, happy and independent people possible for everyone. We inspire individuals of all levels of ability to reach their full potential with improved access to rehabilitation and fitness opportunities. We have been working with SCORE for over a year now and our mentor Jamie Bjerke has helped us to define our target audience, develop a comprehensive marketing plan, and increase referrals to our programs and services. Our impact on our community as a nonprofit provider is increasing thanks to Jamie’s consultation and expertise.

To request a mentor or become a SCORE volunteer mentor visit

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,



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

8/25/20 11:13 AM

Are you looking for more information or help understanding the new federal or state pandemic relief measures and their impact on your business? The Small Business Development Center can help. Contact Director Mark Thein by emailing him at or by calling (507) 459-3060. Visit for more information.



Workshops for Women- & Minority-owned Businesses The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center are partnering with Minnesota Departments of Administration Office and the office Civil Rights to provide workshops to help certify small businesses and win bids on state and local municipal projects. Women, minority and veteran-owned companies are encouraged to participate in a Certification Application workshop on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. The workshop will be offered virtually and in-person. Computers will be provided for the in-person workshop, with social distancing and mask requirements. The in-person workshop will be hosted by Small Business Development Center at Rochester Community and Technical College in Heintz Center, 1956 College View Rd SE, Rochester, in Room H1317. Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Targeted Businesses are listed in certification databases where contractors search for bidders. The second workshop on Bidding and Bonding will be offered virtually on Thursday, March 4, 2021 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Experts on bidding government contracts and construction bonding will present at the workshop to help small companies learn bidding strategies on local and state projects and obtain construction bonding. “Entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend these workshops,” says Jorrie Johnson, City of Rochester targeted business and workforce compliance project manager. “For local women and minority-owned companies who are eager to get certified and bid on City and DMC contracts, these workshops will assist with certification applications and inform them of bid letting process.” Pre-registration will begin immediately and end by January 29, 2021 or until we have reached our capacity of 20 people. Registration for both workshops is required. To register for the workshops contact Orlanda Klinkhammer at Individuals who need reasonable accommodations to participate in this event may contact Janet Miller, Disability Programs Coordinator, MnDOT Equity & Diversity Office, or 651-366-4720.

Certification Application Workshop | Thursday, Feb. 4 | 9am - 12pm The workshop will be offered virtually and in-person. Computers will be provided for the in-person workshop, with social distancing and mask requirements. The in-person workshop will be hosted by Small Business Development Center at Rochester Community and Technical College in Heintz Center, 1956 College View Rd SE, Rochester, in Room H1317. Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Targeted Businesses are listed in certification databases where contractors search for bidders.

Bidding and Bonding Workshop | Thursday, March 4 | 9am - 12pm Experts on bidding government contracts and construction bonding will present at the workshop to help small companies learn bidding strategies on local and state projects and obtain construction bonding.


RENEWING MEMBERS Thank you for your continued investment in our community. • AbiliT Holding - Meadow Lakes Senior Living Community • Alan C. Anderson, Chartered CPA • Counterpoint • Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center • Gamut Handyman Services • Hotel Indigo • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades- Local Union #681 • KD Fine Jewelers, LLC • Knight’s Chamber Men’s Clothiers • Luther-Park Place Motor Cars • Ohly Law Office • ONB Bank-Hwy 14 West & Circle Drive • Opportunity Services • Optical Vision w/ Flair • Peterson Well Drilling • Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 6 • Schmidt Goodman Office Products • SCORE • Thrive by LeVel - Raquel Johnson - Independent Brand Promoter LV-2325 • Total Restaurant Supply Co • Village on the Green 1 Townhomes Condominium Association • Workforce Development, Inc.


Periodical Postage

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




Rochester, MN

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