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May 2013


Official Publication of The Chamber - GF/EGF Official Publication of The Chamber - GF/EGF Official Publication of Grand

Forks - East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce



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202 N. 3rd Street Grand Forks, ND 58203 (701)772-7271

(701)772-9238 Fax

PO Box 315 East Grand Forks, MN 56721

Chamber News Officers

Chair: Jeff Wilson Vilandre Heating, Air Conditioning Plumbing Chair-Elect: Chris Wolf Alerus Financial Past Chair: Chris Semrau Ralph Engelstad Arena Secretary: Kristi Magnuson Nelson Hugo’s/Hugo’s Wine & Spirits Ron Galstad Galstad, Jensen, Olson PA Colin Cutler Bold Method LLC Barry Wilfahrt The Chamber - GF/EGF


Craig Amiot - 5 Star Collision Bill Burga - LM Windpower Dan Dahl - Dahl Funeral Home Torrie Enget - Best Buy Pete Haga - City of Grand Forks Bonnie Haley - Bon Voyage Travel Brady Hansen- Verizon Wireless, BeMobile, Inc. Phyllis Johnson- UND Jay Kleven - EAPC Architects Curt Kreun - GF City Council John Oncken - True North Equipment Dennis Reisnour - Altru Health System Brian Rydell - Rydell Auto Center Klaus Thiessen - GF Regional EDC Coleen Tweten - Midcontinent Comm. Matt Winjum - Rhombus Guys

Sr. Military Advisor to the Board Colonel Christopher Mann - GFAFB

Staff Barry Wilfahrt


Lisa Swanson

Vice President of Operations

Kimberly Strom

Program/Event Director

Carla Younce

Finance Director

Emberly Lietz

Membership Director

Connie Klefstad

Administrative Assistant

Audrey Lind Project Assistant


2013 Legislative Session Updates North Dakota

The Chamber’s top priorities going into the session all look like they will be approved. With their passage, the 2013 session will likely be the most successful ever for Grand Forks and the North Dakota business climate. Special thanks to the Grand Forks delegation and their leadership in making this such a milestone session for Grand Forks and ND. Corporate Tax Cut - The $100 Million cut is on track. Personal Income Tax Cut - The $250 Million cut is on track. Property Tax reduction continuation of the property tax relief from the previous two biennium’s is still undecided – Chamber favors tax relief. New Medical School Moderate proposal is almost a certainty of passing and the most expensive and best option for the state and UND is still very possible. Law School - New facility funding is on track BRIC - Base retention , EUL and Air Space initiative funding are all on track and will likely all be approved. Minnesota The Chamber continues to push pro-business climate legislation along with the MN Chamber of Commerce and Greater MN Coalition of Cities. Unfortunately, this may end up the most anti-business session in the history of MN, further widening the business climate gap between MN and our neighbor to the west, ND. A minimum wage hike is most concerning to local EGF businesses that have to compete with their ND neighbors on prices. Another concern is the need to do some specific border cities equalizers to help businesses in cities like EGF stay competitive with ND. Unfortunately the MN

legislature has not been very receptive to a measure like this.

Forum News Service photo by Danielle Killey

Pictured above is Chamber President, Barry Wilfahrt testifying in St. Paul in front of the Minnesota Senate Tax Committee in April on the importance of border cities legislation, greater Minnesota legislation and the need to improve Minnesota’s business climate in order to be more competitive with North Dakota.

NV360 Moves to Implementation Phase

Over the past three months, members of the NV360 team have been presented to service clubs, elected officials and almost any group willing to hear the community vision. Several existing groups have stepped up to take a lead role in many of the ideas put forward in the NV360 Community Vision which was a collaborative effort between The Chamber, Community Foundation and the Cities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. An NV Action Team is being formed to address some of the results from the community visioning plan that no group has stepped forward to lead. This group, which is open to anyone who wants to attend, will have its first meeting on May 28th at 11 a.m. in the Chamber office. The group will serve as a catalyst to ensure the results of the community visioning NV360 plan are implemented. They

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Chamber News Membership Renewals The following businesses know the value of their Chamber Membership and have renewed their membership in The Chamber - GF/EGF. Please visit them for your purchasing needs. Advantage Healthcare Net America’s Best Value Inn Ameriprise Financial AT&T Bonzer’s Border States Trophy & Awards Cancer Center of North Dakota Dakota Commercial & Development Days Inn Don Williams Roofing Drees Farming Association Dusterhoft Family Stores East Grand Inn Grand Forks Co. Farm Service Agency Greg Gerloff Happy Grass Happy Host Inn Healthy North Dakota Worksite Healthy Weighs Nutrition Center Hugo’s Wine & Spirits (EGF) Ideal Aerosmith, Inc. Insight Technologies Jenny Craig Weight Loss Centre King’s Walk Golf Course LaFarge Dakota, Inc. Marco, Inc.

Merle’s Steam Clean Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Northern Bag and Box Company Obermiller Nelson Engineering Park University Petcetera Animal Clinic Quality Inn Real Estate Management Service Reliance Telephone RoadKing Inn Columbia Mall Robinson Excavating Roger Amundson, DDS Sand Steel Buildings Co. Sanford Health Scenic Sign Corp Sharon Opdahl-State Farm Insurance SmartSearch Structures, Inc. Super 8 Motel The Exponent TIAA CREF-Scott Roche Tip Top Tux Tire One Auto Center University of Mary Wy’s Floral

Mission Statement “The Chamber of Commerce creates an environment that encourages business success while enhancing the quality of life in our region.”


Chamber News

Welcome New Members! Senator Heidi Heitkamp 33 South 3rd St, Suite B Grand Forks, ND 58201 (o) 701-775-9601 (f) 701-746-1990 Northlands Rescue Mission David Sena 420 Division Avenue Grand Forks, ND 58201 (o) 701-772-6600 (f) 701-787-5603 Our mission is to provide a place of hope where people can recover from homelessness, pain and addiction, restoring their dignity and improving their lives. Greenwood Online Services and Consulting LLC Joe Greenwood PO Box 12121 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-215-2553 We specializing in online production and marketing, creatively experimenting since 2002. We build websites and other such related online productions for small and medium-sized businesses as well as regular individuals who just need something done.

Coldwell Banker - Jodi Danzl Jodi Danzl 1165A Suite D Grand Forks, ND 58201 (o) 701-772-8106 (c) 218-779-3478 (f) 701-772-8109 A Realtor since 2005, I have worked with First Time Home buyers, Local Businesses needing growth and expansion, Seasoned, and Rural buyers. EXPERIENCE is what matters so call me today. CHS Ag Services Gary Halvorson 202 N. Washington Grand Forks, ND 58203 (o) 701-746-1911 (f) 701-746-5516 Our mission is to deliver the best products and services that farmers need to compete in these dynamic times.

Chamber Membership Drive Rockin’! Volunteers have put on their ‘dancing shoes’ to share the benefits of Chamber membership with area businesses. Since April 16th, nearly 30 businesses have joined, bringing The Chamber GF/EGF membership to 1,000 members!

If you know of a business that you would like our volunteers to visit with, give us a call at 772-7271. The drive runs from April 16th – May 7th. Rock’n Roll!

In addition to the many membership benefits The Chamber offers, such as a FREE website/traffic catcher site, extra incentives are given to businesses that join during the drive. Additional benefits include: the $25 administrative fee is waived and their business is entered into a drawing for a chance to win several Chamber advertising opportunities!




Business and Estate Planning For Business Owners

It’s never too early to start planning for what will happen to your business when you’re gone. Is your business protected? Are you prepared for an untimely circumstance? This seminar will address the following points you should consider for a smooth transition in the succession or sale of your business upon retirement, sudden death or disability. • How to protect your business from unwarranted taxes • How to protect & limit your business from liabilities • How to transfer your business to the next generation • How to prepare your business for sale • Documentations that many businesses overlook

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:30am - 1:00pm The Chamber - GF/EGF $20/Person (lunch provided) $30/Non-Member (lunch provided) Presented by: David Evenson, Owner of Capital Resource Management, LLC

Seating is limited. Sign up by April 16, 2013. Reservations can be made at 772-7271 or email with the names of those attending. Reservations not cancelled 3 business days prior to event will be billed.

Hosted by

Rydell Auto Center Thursday, May 16, 2013 4:45pm - 7:00pm Free Admission

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres & wine, Great door prizes & Progressive cash drawing is at $2700!

Rydell Auto Center invites all Chamber Members and their employees to join them for a fun Business After Hours Stop in...enjoy a fun evening of networking. You might even win $2700 in our progressive cash drawing. We’ll draw the name of one Chamber Member business. If someone from that organization is present, they win! Business After Hours is a great time to network, catch up with friends, coworkers and clients in a fun and casual way. Spread the word and plan to attend the next Business After Hours.



ChoiceTunes Checking

Cont. from page 2

will also work to provide the community with measurable updates on progress. Feel free to contact the chamber if you would like to be included on the NV Action Team.

Chamber Annual Financial Review

$ 60

iTunes Rewards

$ 50

Friendship Funds

iTunes Gift Cards ®

Refer A Friend

$ 20

The Chamber’s annual Financial Review, conducted by Drees, Riskey & Vallager, Ltd., was positive once again. There were no findings and the chamber financial position remains very strong. According to Chamber Finance Chairman and Board Chairman-Elect, Chris Wolf, Alerus Financial, “The Chamber has made great financial progress over the past 5 years and is now in a very stable financial position.”



Retail Task Force to Attend RECON Convention


No ATM Fees

The Chamber will once again participate in the annual RECON convention in Las Vegas, where over half of all retail space in America is leased each year. The Chamber’s focus will continue to be on women’s clothing stores. 3

ATM Refunds

Mention this ad for an additional $25 iTunes® gift card. Offer expires June 15, 2012. Some exclusions may apply. Limit one per person.

Three years ago The Chamber teamed up with the CVB and Cities of GF and EGF to hire the Buxton Retail analytic firm. They concluded GF and EGF were seeing the majority of their retail leakage in the women’s clothing and restaurant area. Buxton identified 51 potential stores as good matches for our community. Those companies were all sent information and many have had follow-up contacts with our communities. To date, 12 restaurants, 4 women’s clothing stores and Hobby Lobby have located here since the Buxton report was completed. According to Chamber President Barry Wilfahrt “it is very important our local market continue to grow and offer customers more choices. We are way too close to Fargo and need to continue to aggressively pursue new options to keep leakage to Fargo and other communities at a minimum.”

1697 South 42nd Street 701.746.6010 4501 South Washington Street 701.738.4300 1697 S 42nd Street • 701.746.6010 4501 S Washington Street • 701.738.4300 1 Reward - $10 iTunes gift card at account opening. Monthly $5 iTunes gift card when the following requirements are met each statement cycle: 1) Enroll in and receive monthly eStatements, 2) Enroll in Online Banking and access 3 times per month, 3) Complete 10 Point of Sale (POS) Debit Card transactions per month. Reward will be paid in increments of $10. A minimum of two qualifying months must be met before a reward will be paid. The account must remain open and in good standing. A maximum of $70 in rewards may be earned in the first calendar year the account is open and $60 in rewards the following calendar year. Subject to change at any time. 2 Subject to qualification. $50 will be deposited to this account at opening upon the enrollment of an automatic deposit or automatic withdrawal. Subject to 1099 interest reporting. Not valid with any other offer. New money/accounts only. 3 You may be charged a foreign ATM fee. Choice Financial will automatically credit a maximum of $20 in fees back to your account by the 15th day of the following month. iTunes® and iTunes Music Store ® are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. ChoiceTunes Checking is an independent product of Choice Financial and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. Member FDIC.

Member FDIC •


Membership Drive - Team 5 Star April Brown Bag Seminar

GFK Airport Business After Hours

Membership Drive - Team Spectacular 6

GFK Airport Business After Hours

Economic Forecast Lunch

GFK Airport Business After Hours

Business Briefs AE2S Promotes Solc

AE2S (Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.) has promoted Jaroslav (Jarda) Solc to the newlycreated role of Assistant Operations Manager for the firm’s Grand Forks, ND headquarters. Solc will assist with the day-today operations of the office, including managing personnel, workload coordination, and client relations. “Jarda has really impressed us with his ‘can-do’, ‘anything’s possible’ attitude,” said Sanford Case, PE, Operations Manager of the Grand Forks office. “He’s very eager to learn and take on additional responsibility. We’ve had great feedback on Jarda’s client service, as well as interac-

tions within the firm. As the Grand Forks office continues to grow and expand, Jarda will help us meet both client needs and the needs of internal team members.” Solc joined AE2S in August 2011 as a Project Engineer. Since then, he has served as a Project Manager, observed several construction initiatives, and prepared plans and specifications for various AE2S clients including the City of Grand Forks, the City of Cavalier, and the City of Hillsboro. Solc moved to Grand Forks from the Czech Republic at the age of six, and has lived in Grand Forks ever since. He attended the University of North Dakota where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

Kautzman Joins True North Equipment

True North Equipment, a locally owned and operated John Deere dealer group, is pleased to welcome Mr. Duane Kautzman to their team as the new Corporate Sales Manager and Shareholder beginning April 15th. Kautzman will bring nearly 25 years of banking and John Deere Company field experience to True North Equipment. Born and raised in Mandan, ND, Kautzman holds both a B.S. and M.S. in Management from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He is highly respected within the industry for his visionary approach as well as his business and client relationship skills. Cont. on page 10

bridging the financing gap Sometimes projects need a boost when trying to cross over from concept to reality. AE2S Nexus helps bridge that gap. We focus on creating solid plans, aggressively pursuing funding options, and assisting you with implementation to make sure your project is on solid ground. SerViceS • • • • •

Utility Rate Analysis Funding/Financing Project Development and Administration Economic Development Asset Management

The Financial Link

A Division of AE2S (Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.)


Business Briefs Cont. from page 9

“Kautzman’s key role as Corporate Sales Manager is a part of True North Equipment’s ongoing ‘Smart Growth’ strategy to fulfill our promise to build on our ‘Core’ strengths,” said John Oncken, True North Equipment Vice President. “His keen insight into the John Deere dealer organization is a valuable asset as True North Equipment moves into the future.”

True North Equipment Breaks Ground

Local John Deere dealership True North Equipment will break ground Monday, May 6th on its new agricultural resource center in Grand Forks. Known as the True North Resource Center, the planned two-story 7,000 square foot office building will house the company’s corporate offices and several interactive training rooms open to area farmers.

Rendering by JLG Architects

“Farmers are continually searching for new information about their industry. This facility will give them a singular place to go to find the answers they need to hopefully boost their bottom line,” said Dan Gorder, True North Equipment President. According to Gorder, the new resource center will provide “a focused learning center approach that expands capabilities for customer and employee training, meetings, and more.” “Due to our stronger market presence locally and nationally, we reached a level where we needed to be seen as one

company in four communities and lead from one cohesive central place. This new resource center helps us do that,” said Gorder.

ing its Grand Forks office at a gradual pace since opening here in 1998, but the last two years have seen that trajectory take a sharp turn upward.

True North Equipment’s new Resource Center will offer:

As a result, WSN has a new home in the Gate City Bank building on 24th Avenue South, just west of Columbia Road.

• A dedicated space for ag related businesses and True North Equipment customers to hold meetings and events. • Technology and classrooms for advanced customer training (such as GPS and equipment training for farmers and operators). • Training areas and technology for advanced employee education (such as John Deere distance learning). • Central office space where corporate staff can provide support to its four True North Equipment locations. “This state-of-the-art facility will enhance the True North team’s ability to provide an exceptional and consistent customer experience no matter which of our four location you visit,” said Kautzman. The ground breaking ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the construction site located three blocks south of the Alerus Center on 42nd Street. The event is open to the public. Members of the media are also invited to attend. For more information on the True North Equipment Resource Center or the ground breaking ceremony contact: John Oncken True North Equipment Vice President 701-746-4436

Changes for WSN

A burgeoning workload and growing staff had Widseth Smith Nolting bursting at the seams in their South Washington St. building. The architecture, engineering, land surveying and environmental services firm had been grow-

With the expansion, WSN Vice President Greg Boppre has been named to succeed Roger Helland as Grand Forks office manager. Boppre currently manages WSN’s East Grand Forks office and he will continue in that role, overseeing operations at both locations concurrently in order to coordinate what he calls a “total market approach” to the Greater Grand Forks region. “As a multi-discipline firm, we can provide turnkey services for a whole range of project types-public or private-and we can draw from a deep well of expertise in any of our offices, east or west of the river,” Boppre explained. Occupying portions of two floors in the three-story Gate City building, the new location will effectively double WSN’s Greater Grand Forks footprint, accommodating a staff that has also doubled in the past year through hiring and acquisitions. WSN President and Grand Forks native Tim Moe noted that “Widseth Smith Nolting has been a presence in this region since our first office opened in Crookston in 1975. The area is obviously poised for long-term growth and this latest move positions us to better help our clients take advantage of the opportunities that are out there.”

Altru’s Outreach Therapy Welcomes Amy Elbert, PT Altru’s Outreach Therapy welcomes Amy Elbert, PT, to its department. She recently started providing services at Valley Elder Care in Grand

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Chamber Classified Ads

Forks, ND. Amy graduated from ThisDakota, area for current advertiser, delete this the University of North from where she holds a bachstatement prior printing. ThetoVoice Newsletter is debuting a new feature.... elor’s degree in physical therapy Classified ads. The Voice is a great Business to (PT). Business resource. Our classified ads sections are: Altru’s Outreach Therapy proHELP WANTED, FOR SALE, LOOKING TO BUY, vides comprehensive rehabilitaMISC. For $20, you can place a 50 word classified tion services for children and adults from surrounding comad. munities throughout northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. HELP WANTED Part Time Teller Bergstrom Electric Sold To Its Em1st Liberty Federal Credit Union ployees Location: 3197 S. 17th St. Grand Forks, ND 58201 Bergstrom Electric, Inc., a Grand Forks, Shifts: Variable Monday - Friday North Dakota-based electrical contracting firm with offices in Fargo, Bismarck, and Apply online or in person Devils Lake, ND, and Thief River Falls and Crookston, MN is proud to announce that Equal Opportunity Employer effective March 15, 2013 the company has been sold to its employees. The employee purchase was accomplished through the structuring and organization of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (commonly known as To place a classified ad, email your ad to Lisa Swanson an “ESOP”). Upon formation of the ESOP, former shareholders Al Bergstrom, Tim Bergat Ads must be received by the strom, Cliff Moen and Darrell Larson sold 25th of each month to be included in the next month’s their interests in the Company to the ESOP. newsletter. Cost is $20, please limit ads to 50 words or “When the Board of Directors was developing a succession plan for the company, we determined early on that the best method to ensure the continued success of the firm was to sell Bergstrom Electric to its dedicated and high quality employees,” explained Tim Bergstrom, the company’s CEO and a member of the Board of Directors. “It is their dedication and expertise that has made the company what it is today.” Bergstrom Electric was established in 1964, first completing small electrical projects for residential buildings. Over the years it expanded its services to multi-million dollar commercial and industrial projects, as well as adding design-build capabilities. Bergstrom Electric is proud to be the largest electrical firm in the Grand Forks region, with more than 140 quality field personnel and skilled office support staff. “In the future, all of Bergstrom Electric’s qualifying employees will participate in and be rewarded by the success and growth of the company through the ESOP,” said Tim Bergstrom. “It will be the foundation of the company’s succession and management transition planning.”

less. Include: • The ad exactly as you want it to print • The category you’d like your ad to appear in • The month you’d like your ad to run • The billing name/address

Phone: 701-787-8583 or 701-795-9143

Find us on Facebook or Highest restaurant in town provides friendly service and spectacular food with a great view overlooking the river! Located on the 6th floor of the Grand Forks County Building ~ 151 S. 4th St


May 2013 The Voice Newsletter  

Official Publication of The Chamber - GF/EGF

May 2013 The Voice Newsletter  

Official Publication of The Chamber - GF/EGF