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February 2009

www.twinwest.com

Grow Minnesota! Delivers Results Feature story page 12

$4.8 billion is a big number Page 7 Join us for our 24th Annual Gala: Mystery of Monaco Page 20 Card Check: Free choice or forced choice? Page 21

Setting the Standard. Leading the Way. ™


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table of contents Setting the Standard. Leading the Way.™ 10700 Old County Road 15, Suite 170 Plymouth, MN 55441 Phone: (763) 450-2220 • Fax: (763) 450-2221 www.twinwest.com TwinWest Directions (USPS 060870) is published 10 times per year by the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, 10700 Old County Road 15, Suite 170, Plymouth, MN 55441. Phone: (763) 450-2220. Periodicals Postage Paid, Hopkins, MN. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to TwinWest Directions, 10700 Old County Road 15, Suite 170, Plymouth, MN 55441. Annual subscription rate of $40 is included in membership investment. The TwinWest Chamber of Commerce serves the communities of: Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Medicine Lake, Minnetonka, New Hope, Plymouth, St. Louis Park, and the surrounding region.

TwinWest Board of Directors EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Mark Carlson, Minnesota Mailing Solutions, Chair of the Board Steve Wise, Cass Screw Machine Products, Chair-elect of the Board Sarah Toepke, Treasurer Tess Hohman, General Mills, Past Chair of the Board Bruce Nustad, TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, President

DIRECTORS Gary Aiken, Investors Capital Corporation Jennifer Albrecht, HTG Architects Jerry Archambeau, Grand Casino Mille Lacs & Hinckley Jeff Arnold, TCF Financial Corporation Becky Bakken, Citizens Independent Bank Dannette Coleman, Medica Daniel Duffy, Perkins+Will Annette Hruby, Costco Karen Jothen, Qwest Communications Rick Kaufman, Dale Carnegie Training Greg Korstad, Larkin Hoffman Attorneys Michael Lehmann, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Pamela Muldoon, Next Stage Business Tim Raymond, Voyager Bank – Minnetonka Mike Sowada, VISI Incorporated Jon Thompson, Opportunity Partners

TwinWest Staff Bruce Nustad, President Judy Johnson, Director of Community Relations Bryan Lake, Director of Government Affairs Victoria Marley, Director of Events and Programs Kevin Melott, Regional Sales Director Jacqui Sauter, Regional Sales Director Sara Hopkins, Office Manager Jenna Reno, Administrative Assistant Loretta Kenney-Lillejord, Owl Bookkeeping & CFO Services, Accounting Stacy Slygh, C.E.L., Communications

ECM Publishers, Inc. 12190 County Road 11 Burnsville, MN 55337 Phone: (952) 846-2040 Fax: (952) 846-2044 Ginny Lee, Project Manager & Advertising Director Jeff Remme, Director of Production & Graphic Design Linda Clayton, Graphic Designer Mariah Hendrickson, Advertising Sales

6

feature story

MEMBER PROFILE

Minnesota! 12 Grow Delivers Results

Business & Estate Advisers, Inc.: 24-year member

7

F  ROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK

Grow Minnesota! was launched five years ago on the premise that Minnesota’s existing businesses were not getting enough oneon-one attention. Today, through hundreds of personal visits per year and various offshoot initiatives and successes sparked by the program, Grow Minnesota! is helping to retain and grow jobs in the western Twin Cities area and across the state.

$4.8 billion is a big number

8 ISSUE BRIEFING

Quick reference guide to TwinWest’s legislative policies

OVERNMENT 10 GAFFAIRS

Behind the budget December business ballot

VENT & 16 EPROGRAM DETAILS

Make plans to attend TwinWest’s events in February, including the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Smart Reader Strategy Seminar; Member Orientation; TwinWest Emerging Leaders “On the Fast Track” Leadership Lunch; Minnetonka City Connection; Member Talk: For Members, By Members; Legislative Breakfast; Overtime at Grandchamp, Guyette & Cronin, PLLC; and Business Showcase at Jim Lupient Infiniti of Golden Valley

$UCCESS TWINWEST 18 COLUMN

“Accounts Receivable Financing” Guest article from TwinWest member Heather Rachel, Transfac Capital, Inc.

 OMMUNITY 19 CBRIEFINGS

“Budget Shortfall: We’re in this Together” – Guest article from David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber

20 C HAMBER NEWS

Volunteer profile: TwinWest Board member Mike Sowada, VISI Join us for our 24th Annual Gala: Mystery of Monaco

ISSUE BRIEFING 21 

Card Check: free choice or forced choice?

– 22 MEMBERS NEW & RENEWING

TwinWest encourages all of our members to conduct business with one another

24 LAST GLANCE

TwinWest event and program photos Get Linked In to TwinWest Not a member? Join the chamber!

ON THE COVER: Grow Minnesota campaign kicks off at StarchTech, Inc. StarchTech, Inc. was founded on the vision of developing and commercializing environmentally conscious products using starch-based technology. StarchTech, Inc. and its subsidiary, Clean Green Packing, occupy 50,000 square feet of manufactruing space with offices and are located in Golden Valley.

From left to right: Kathi Schaff – Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; Kerry Ness – The Business Bank; Dean Bartels and Denise Pech – StarchTech, Inc.; Judy Johnson – TwinWest Chamber of Commerce; Kelly Guncheon – Principal Financial Group.


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Proceeds are tax deductible and help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through the programs and services of Arc Greater Twin Cities. Find out more: arcgreatertwincities.org Arc is a proud member of the Twin West Chamber of Commerce


member profile

Business & Estate Advisers, Inc.: 24-year Member In business since: 1977 (incorporated in 1978) TwinWest member since: 1985 Number of employees: 10 Locations: Wayzata, Minn., and Rice Lake, Wisc. Main service or product: Our knowledgeable team helps our clients achieve financial success with their interests in mind using creative solutions. These include customdesigned retirement plans, business exit plans, comprehensive financial plans and other creative solutions. What makes you stand out from your competition? Business & Estate Advisers, Inc. is a financial resources firm whose knowledgeable team can solve any problem with exceptional service for each and every client. Friendly interaction, concise communication, confidentiality and integrity are key values held by the company. Education is also vital. All of our advisers have Certified Financial Planner (CFP ®) designations and carry at least one or two other degrees or designations such as Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Charter Financial Consultant (ChFC) or Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).

Why does your business belong to the TwinWest Chamber? To develop lasting relationships by working with other business owners in community building, business development and legislative advocacy.

The partners of Business & Estate Advisers, Inc., from left to right: Sarah J. Kaelberer, MBA, CFP®, ChFC, CLU; E. Dennis Zahrbock, CFP®, ChFC, CLU; Stephen W. Bowman, MBA, CFP®.

And, we are one of fewer than 25 firms in the nation that have three partners who have earned the prestigious Top of the Table status in the worldwide Million Dollar Round Table organization.

What’s your business’ most significant recent accomplishment? Each relationship with each individual business or client is our most significant recent accomplishment. What we do for our clients to help them right now and in the future is what really matters. Whether we’re providing guidance on improving a retirement plan, advising on buy/sell agreements and insurance or determining if leasing a vehicle is in the best interest of owner/business, each client decision is significant to them and to us.

Do you have any advice for fellow business owners? Maintain the four principles for referability: 1) Be on time, 2) Do what you say you will do, 3) Do it when you say you will do it, 4) Be polite and courteous. These sound simple, but few service business adhere to them. It makes all the difference!

Contact: Sarah Kaelberer, CFP®, ChFC, CLU Vice President sarahk@business-estate.com 282 East Wayzata Boulevard Wayzata, MN 55391 (952) 475-0440 www.business-estate.com

Each month, TwinWest profiles a member of long standing to recognize their sustained commitment to our region’s business climate. We greatly value their ongoing presence in our membership.

51 years of service architecture interior design master planning general contracting design-build construction management real estate development real estate acquisition VANMAN ARCHITECTS AND BUILDERS INC.

www.vanmanab.com 6

TwinWest Directions

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from the president’s desk

$4.8 Billion is a Big Number At press time for this magazine, Minnesota’s widely discussed budget deficit for the 2010-2011 biennium was estimated at $4.8 billion. That’s a big number. In fact, it’s roughly 13 percent of the state’s budget. A budget crisis of this magnitude is felt not only at the state level, but also by local governments, schools, social service organizations, business owners and their employees. There is a definite role for TwinWest in protecting the competitiveness of the business community during this time. There is also a role for TwinWest in taking an additional step – with our business community partners – to lay out recommendations for specific spending cuts and reductions in growth. Our preference for dealing with this problem is straightforward: spend smarter and resist raising taxes. At our December Legislative Breakfast, which featured a panel including Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson, we asked businesses about their preferred approach to dealing with the budget deficit. (We conduct a written poll like this at every Legislative Breakfast, and while it’s not a scientific survey, the results are always interesting.) In December we found 55 percent favored cutting spending and only 4 percent advocated raising taxes. You can view the full results of this Business Ballot on page 10 of this issue of Directions. TwinWest’s ideals in this area are derived from the taxes and spending section of our 2009 Business Agenda. They include: - The state should address the budget deficit by spending smarter, not by raising taxes. - The tax code should be streamlined to encourage economic and business expansion. - Spending increases should come from economic growth, not tax increases. I encourage you to voice your thoughts as TwinWest seeks to be productive in the budget deficit debate. Here are a few specific things you can do to share your opinion: 1. Contact your elected officials and communicate how you think the state budget deficit should be approached. You can find a listing of TwinWest-area legislators at www.twinwest.com/electedofficials.html. 2. Participate in TwinWest’s Government Affairs Committee, which meets the third Wednesday of the month. 3. Read TwinWest’s 2009 Business Agenda, formulated by our members, at www.twinwest.com/businessagenda.html—and let us know what you think. 4. Attend TwinWest’s Legislative Breakfast events, occurring the second Friday of each month through June, to keep up with today’s issues. 5. Get involved with TwinWest’s grassroots political network and stay connected to issues important to you and your business. 6. Contact TwinWest’s government affairs leadership and staff directly at (763) 450-2220. $4.8 billion is a big number. And it requires a big solution. Thank you for your participation in helping your state and business community work toward a fair resolution that does not decrease your competitiveness.

Bruce Nustad President of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce February 2009

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issue briefing

Quick Reference Guide to TwinWest’s Legislative Policies During this legislative session, TwinWest is at the capitol in St. Paul advocating for your interests.  Below, you’ll find a condensed version of our policies. We need your help with communicating these messages to your elected representatives.

Energy • Conservation programs should be evaluated by comparing the cost to businesses to real conservation results. • Further development of renewable energy options in Minnesota should be created through incentives, not mandates. • All types of energy generation, including hydroelectric and nuclear, should be considered for additional generating capacity.

Taxes and spending • The state should address the budget deficit by spending smarter, not by raising taxes. • The tax code should be streamlined to encourage economic and business expansion. • Spending increases should come from economic growth, not tax increases. Transportation • The state’s economy depends on the ability to move goods and people. • Transportation dollars should go toward transportation projects. • The Twin Cities area needs a regional multimodal transportation system. Health care • Health care reform must foster increased competition and rely on private market forces. • The health care system should reward value, not volume.

• Consumers should have more information, responsibility and choices.

Education • Systems, standards and test results need to reflect the demands of a global economy. • We support efforts to simplify and add accountability to the K-12 funding formula. • Minnesota must support its future workforce by investing in early childhood education.

Local government • City and county taxes should be based on the need for services and real growth. • TwinWest supports the reinstatement of the sales tax exemption for local units of government. • Historic spending is not a valid basis for local government aid. Only basic services should be considered for state equalization funding. Our full 2009 Business Agenda is available at www.twinwest.com/businessagenda.html.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Bryan Lake, director of government affairs, at (763) 450-2225.

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Visit us at www.anderson-builders.com or 952.927.5400 8

TwinWest Directions


Experience St. Louis Park Public Schools! St. Louis Park Public Schools offers a world of opportunity to all students.

St. Louis Park Offers: • Excellent teachers and staff. • 98% of district parents feel their children are taught by highly trained teachers who care about them. • A commitment to ensure that all students have access to equal, high-quality educational opportunities. • A wide array of educational programs and services under an international umbrella aimed at providing students with learning experiences that will enable them to succeed in a global marketplace. • Small, neighborhood schools with individual attention. • The International Baccalaureate (IB) program for students from pre-school through high school. IB is an internationally recognized method for teaching that uses inquiry, local and international focus and collaboration throughout the school day and includes weekly world language instruction for all students. • The Park Spanish Immersion (PSI) School, a K-6 elementary program provides students a high-quality, full Spanish immersion education with an international focus and global perspective. There is an application and lottery process to attend PSI.

Experience what sets the St. Louis Park Schools apart from the rest! For more information about what our schools have to offer, visit us at

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government affairs

B u s i n e s s B allot In an effort to gauge the views of business leaders, TwinWest produces a monthly business ballot on various issues. Results below are from our Legislative Breakfast on December 12, 2008, which featured Management & Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson, Free Market Institute President Pat Anderson and Growth & Justice President Dane Smith. The panel discussed Minnesota’s budget crisis and what comes next for the state’s government and businesses.  

1. To most effectively address the looming budget deficit, lawmakers should:

Behind The Budget Most citizens know that Minnesota is facing a record budget deficit, but few people understand how the state’s budgeting system works. Here’s an overview of the process.

Timeline Minnesota has a biennial budget cycle that begins July 1 of each odd-numbered year, and ends June 30 of the next odd-numbered year. The Legislature is currently making budget decisions for the July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2011 biennium. Lawmakers’ tools and limitations The state treasury has nearly 100 separate “funds,” including special revenue funds, pension funds and a debt service fund. The largest is the general fund. It is the one that draws the most attention, and it is the primary funding source for major state programs. Under the Minnesota Constitution, the state may issue debt only for specific purposes – none of which include borrowing money to pay for a deficit. Thus, lawmakers must balance the state budget with available funds. The governor’s role Budget discussions are often sparked when the Office of Management & Budget releases its November forecast. This forecast projects economic activity and tax revenue collections in Minnesota, and it becomes the basis for the governor’s budget recommendations. The governor must submit a proposed twoyear operating budget to the Legislature by late

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TwinWest Directions

January in each odd-numbered year. This budget includes expenditures for education, roads and bridges, technology, health care, public safety, housing, natural resources, agriculture, economic development and higher education, in addition to funding for state agencies and local governments. If, as now, a forecast predicts a deficit, the governor’s budget recommendations must propose changes that will balance the budget.

The Legislature’s role The governor’s budget is only a recommendation to the Legislature, but it is usually a starting point for their discussions. After receiving the governor’s budget, the Legislature parcels it out to various committees. As the committees conduct hearings on the numerous budgetrelated bills, a consensus begins to develop within each house about what should be done. Conference committees, consisting of members of both houses, hash out any differences. Once bills are approved by both houses, they go to the governor, who may sign or veto them. The state constitution mandates that the regular legislative session end in May, and despite lawmakers’ best efforts, they are often racing against the clock to agree on the best mix of cuts and revenue enhancements to balance the budget. Agreements are rarely reached before the closing hours of regular session, and when the governor, the House, and the Senate do not agree in time, a special session may be necessary to wrap things up.

55% 5% 4% 36%

Cut spending Increase user fees Raise taxes All of the above

2. To what extent is the recession affecting your business? 52% Somewhat 42% A lot 6% Not at all

3. Which are you most concerned about? 56% The U.S. economy 24% The global economy 20% Minnesota’s economy

Panelists from TwinWest’s December Legislative Breakfast, left to right: Pat Anderson, Free Market Institute president; Tom Hanson, Management & Budget Commissioner; Dane Smith, Growth & Justice president.


Bring your Valentine to Kip’s! Join us on Saturday February 14th for a romantic evening! With our servers dressed to the 9’s, a flower for your sweet heart, we’ll make sure you both enjoy your meal.

For reservations, please call (952) 367-5070 Visit us on the web for more info! www.KipsPub.com

Make your reservation today, and we’ll sweeten the deal, purchase two dinner specials and dessert, receive one complimentary bottle of wine.*

Make an evening of it! Stay at the adjacent Marriott and ask for the romance package! www.MarriottMinneapolisWest.com


feature story

Grow Minnesota! Delivers Results and educational/training resources available to help businesses recruit, train and retain a productive workforce. The TwinWest Chamber, with support from local businesses and  cities, received a $50,000 FIRST Grant  from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Through its Workforce Ready!  collaborative,  funded in part by the grant, TwinWest organized meetings and strategy sessions in which dozens of precision manufacturers, postsecondary schools, workforce professionals, high school educators and  various businesses participated in seeking solutions for workforce gaps and training shortages. “This valuable initiative is addressing an urgent business problem, and our local Grow

Kelly Guncheon, Principal Financial Group, a Grow Minnesota! volunteer, visits Liberty Diversified Industries in New Hope.

By Jim Pumarlo Grow Minnesota! was launched five years ago on the premise that Minnesota’s existing businesses were not getting enough one-onone attention. Today, the program is helping to retain and grow jobs in the western Twin Cities area and across the state.   “We have filled a niche, and we have the results to show our successes,” said Bill Blazar, senior vice president of public affairs and business development. Blazar heads the Minnesota Chamber’s private-sector economic development initiative. “Our work is more important than ever during these uncertain economic times and in light of the state budget shortfall facing the 2009 Legislature.”   Despite the economic turmoil, Blazar said this year’s visits show signs that Minnesota’s economy will grow, but at a slower place than previous years. Companies’ plans for new production technology and product development, both of which typically require new or additional capital, may be at risk as the country’s financing challenges grow.   At the heart of Grow Minnesota! are the oneon-one conversations with owners and top-level

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TwinWest Directions

management of Minnesota companies. Volunteers and staff from chambers across the state visited about 700 companies during the 2007-2008 program year, and it was Grow Minnesota!’s second or third visit to almost half of these companies. These findings were released at the Minnesota Chamber’s annual meeting November 5, 2008. The new year began with 43 local chamber of commerce partners, including the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.   TwinWest, like many communities across the state, has reaped benefits from the program. Visits to precision manufacturers including Acrylic Design in Plymouth identified a disconnect among precision manufacturers

Kerry Ness, The Business Bank, a Grow Minnesota! volunteer, learns more about the products and services provided at Instrument Control Systems in Plymouth.


Minnesota! visits started the whole process,” said Judy Johnson, director of community relations for the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce. “Our collaborative efforts will result in more employerfocused training for precision manufacturers within our region and a sustainable partnership that will continue well into the future.”

“…each time we help a business solve a problem, we help keep jobs in Minnesota.” -Bill Blazar Not all of the success stories make big headlines, Blazar said. “But each time we help a business solve a problem, we help keep jobs in Minnesota.”   One of the biggest 2008 statewide successes was a September announcement by Moventas, a Finnish company that makes gears boxes for wind turbines, of its plan to build its first North American assembly plant in the Faribault area. The facility will provide 90 jobs in the initial phase with hundreds more in anticipated growth. The Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism led a collaborative effort, including the Minnesota Chamber and local and state economic development officials.   Grow Minnesota!’s newest initiative, BusinessConnection, will help companies receive assistance outside of the traditional face-to-face visit. It is intended to be a single entry point for businesses to connect with private and public resources to solve everyday business problems. BusinessConnection was being tested in four communities in fall 2008 and gradually will be expanded statewide during 2009.  Grants from the McKnight Foundation to Grow Minnesota! and DEED will cover the start-up and initial operating costs of BusinessConnection.   “Our state has the business-assistance resources to solve most problems,” Blazar said. “But our Grow Minnesota! business-retention visits suggest that Minnesota companies are generally unaware of the resources and how to identify and access them to solve their problems. Our new network is intended to increase utilization of existing assistance programs.”   An important byproduct of Grow Minnesota! visits is the collection of information that supplements the Minnesota Chamber’s public policy agenda at the Capitol. In that regard, Blazar noted, businesses are sending some clear directives to the new Legislature. Among the priorities:

  • Ensure an adequate supply of skilled workers to compete in today’s global economy. The remedies include closing the achievement gap in the K-12 public schools system and reforming federal immigration laws. • Balance the state budget without a general fund tax increase. The state should operate within the natural growth of its income by identifying spending cuts – just like Minnesotans must do in their homes and businesses. • Ensure that the 2008 health care reforms passed by the Legislature are implemented and produce measurable improvements in controlling costs and improving quality of care.   Blazar underscored that the worker shortage persists even in today’s weak economy, especially in Greater Minnesota. “The state’s worker shortage, unless addressed soon, will eventually slow the growth of the economy.”   Jim Pumarlo is director of communications for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

The TwinWest Grow Minnesota! Task Force will be visiting over 40 area companies to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing the business community this year. If you are interested in a Grow Minnesota! visit at your business, please contact Judy Johnson, director of community relations, at 763450-2226 or judy@twinwest. com. To learn more about the Grow Minnesota! program visit www.twinwest.com.

A group of TwinWest members  tour Rotation Engineering in Brooklyn Park  and get an up-close view of their manufacturing facilities and operations.

February 2009

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9

16

Monday

Tuesday

3

10

TwinWest Foundation Board of Directors 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. TwinWest Chamber office

17

Program Sponsor

TwinWest Emerging Leaders “On the Fast Track” Leadership Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Kip’s Irish Pub (Marriott Minneapolis West)

Host

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Smart Reader Strategy Seminar 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. TwinWest Chamber office

February

TwinWest calendar

4

11

Series Sponsor

Overtime hosted by Grandchamp, Guyette & Cronin, PLLC 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. Held at Performance in Motion

Crystal/New Hope Business Council 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Liberty Diversified Industries

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Gold Sponsor

Government Affairs Committee 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. TwinWest Chamber office

Platinum Sponsor

Leadership TwinWest Class Session: Energy & Environment: Rethinking our Resources 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Minnetonka State of the City 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Minnetonka Community Center

Gala Committee 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. TwinWest Chamber office

Member Orientation 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Hampton Inn - Minnetonka

Wednesday

5

12

19

Member Talk: For Members, By Members 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. TwinWest Chamber office

Minnetonka City Connection 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Ridgedale Center

St. Louis Park Business Council 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Wolfe Lake Professional Center

Thursday

Legislative Breakfast 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Doubletree Park Place Hotel

Friday

20

Series Sponsor

13

6


MARCH

9

2

23

New Hope State of the City 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. New Hope City Hall

TwinWest Political Action Committee 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. TwinWest Chamber office

TwinWest calendar proudly brought to you by:

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3

24

11

4

Series Sponsor

25

5

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Member Talk: For Members, By Members 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. TwinWest Chamber office

St. Louis Park Business Council 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Wolfe Lake Professional Center

Business Showcase 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Jim Lupient Infiniti of Golden Valley

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24th Annual Gala (see page 20) 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. The Northland Inn – Brooklyn Park

www.mintahoe.com . 612.253.0255 . events@mintahoe.com

Award-winning custom catering, event planning and memorable, spaces for every occasion!

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Series Sponsor

Legislative Breakfast 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Doubletree Park Place – St. Louis Park

Apples Catering . Perfect Host Catering . Mintáhoe Beverage Services Picnics Plus . Professional Foodservice . Twin City Casino Nicollet Island Pavilion . Minneapolis Central Library . Minnesota Boat Club . Padelford Riverboats Château at Medicine Lake . Plymouth Creek Center

Plymouth State of the City 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Plymouth City Hall

Gala Steering Committee 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. TwinWest Chamber office

Member Orientation 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Hampton Inn - Minnetonka

TwinWest Board of Directors 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. TwinWest Chamber office


event & program details Connect with success at TwinWest events and programs—your links to influential people, innovative ideas, and exclusive opportunities.

FEBRUARY tues.

3

Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal Smart Reader Strategy Seminar 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. With keynote speaker Lee Tyree of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal TwinWest Chamber of Commerce 10700 Old County Road 15, Suite 170 Plymouth, MN 55441 (763) 450-2220

ROI: Learn how to profit from reading the Business Journal

tues.

10

TwinWest Emerging Leaders “On the Fast Track” Leadership Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

With keynote speaker Dan Baltzer of EMPO Corporation Kip’s Irish Pub (in the Marriott Mpls. West) 9960 Wayzata Boulevard St. Louis Park, MN 55426 (952) 544-4400

To register: Visit www.twinwest.com or call (763) 450-2220. $25 for members and nonmembers. To get there: From I-394, exit at the Hopkins Crossroad exit and go north. Turn right onto the Wayzata Boulevard frontage road. The Marriott will be on the left side right after the four-way stop intersection. Program sponsor:

4

Member Orientation 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Hampton Inn - Minnetonka 10420 Wayzata Boulevard Minnetonka, MN 55305 (952) 541-1094

Members at a recent orientation.

ROI: Learn how to make the most of your investment and get a jump start on networking To register: No cost to attend, but registration is requested. Visit www.twinwest.com or call (763) 450-2220. To get there: From I-394, exit on Hopkins Crossroad and go north. Take an immediate right (east) on Wayzata Boulevard (north frontage road) and drive about half a mile. Turn left into the Hampton Inn parking lot. Series sponsor:

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TwinWest Directions

TwinWest Chamber office 10700 Old County Road 15, Suite 170 Plymouth, MN 55441 (763) 450-2220

ROI: Brainstorm with other members about business issues while you expand your professional network To register: No cost to attend, but registration is requested. Visit www.twinwest.com or call (763) 450-2220. To get there: From Highway 169, exit west onto Highway 55 (Olson Memorial Highway). Travel less than a mile and take a left at Revere Lane. Bear right at the fork, and turn right onto the frontage road (Old County Road 15). Travel less than half a mile and turn right into our parking lot.

fri.

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Host:

wed.

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Member Talk: For Members, By Members 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

ROI: Learn how to be a better leader to move up the business ladder

Dan Baltzer

To register: This is a no-cost seminar, but space is limited. Please register by visiting www.twinwest.com or calling (763) 450-2220. To get there: From Highway 169, exit west onto Highway 55 (Olson Memorial Highway). Travel less than a mile and take a left at Revere Lane. Bear right at the fork, and turn right onto the frontage road (Old County Road 15). Travel less than half a mile and turn right into our parking lot.

thurs.

thurs.

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Minnetonka City Connection 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Ridgedale Center 12401 Wayzata Boulevard Minnetonka, MN 55305 (952) 541-4864

Legislative Breakfast: National Economy 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. Doubletree Park Place Hotel 1500 Park Place Boulevard St. Louis Park, MN 55416 (952) 542-8600

ROI: Meet neighborhood businesspeople and talk with city leaders in a casual setting

ROI: Hear the latest on a timely topic; connect with public officials and regional business leaders. Presenters: Art Rolnick, Federal Reserve of Minneapolis; Dr. David Vang, University of St. Thomas.

To register: This is a no-cost event with no need to register; just bring your business cards. To get there: Take I-394 West to exit 1B-C for County Highway 61/Plymouth Road. Follow to Ridgedale Drive.

To register: Visit www.twinwest.com or call (763) 450-2220. Members: $40. Nonmembers: $50. To get there: From I-394, take the Park Place/Xenia exit. Travel south on Park Place Boulevard and turn right on 16th Street. Series sponsor:

Thanks to our December sponsors: Citizens Independent Bank, GoldenCare, and WestHealth, Inc. Thanks also to our recording sponsor, Comcast.


wed. Overtime hosted by Grandchamp, Guyette & Cronin, PLLC 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

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Held at Performance in Motion 825 Boone Avenue North Golden Valley, MN 55427 (763) 513-9285

ROI: Practice your networking skills and have fun doing it To register: This is a no-cost event with no need to register; just bring your business cards. To get there: From Highway 55, go north on Boone Avenue. Travel a block and a half and Performance in Motion will be on the left side.

thurs.

26

Business Showcase at Jim Lupient Infiniti of Golden Valley 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 7200 Wayzata Boulevard Golden Valley, MN 55426 (763) 546-5577

ROI: Check out the latest in automobiles and network TwinWest-style To register: This is a no-cost event with no need to register; just bring your business cards. To get there:  From I-394, exit on Louisiana Avenue. Travel north on Louisiana to Wayzata Boulevard. Take a left onto Wayzata Boulevard and Lupient Infiniti will be on the right.

Get more visibility for your company! Donate an item to the auction and promote your business to 600 business leaders. Go to www.twinwest.com/gala.html to download a donation form.

Turn to page 20 for details on our 24th Annual Gala on Friday, March 13!

1455 County Rd. 101 N., Plymouth MN 55447 • 763-476-2000 • www.msbcollege.edu

Are you looking to fill your next position with a qualified candidate? Then contact Globe University/Minnesota School of Business. Our mission is to connect the right person with the right skills to the right job. Fully accredited Master, Bachelor, Associate and Diploma programs. Founded in 1877

Contact Marie Tomala 763-398-5971 or mtomala@msbcollege.edu

February 2009

17


$uccess TwinWest column

A Quick Guide to Accounts Receivable Financing Factoring vs. bank financing Factoring can be a valuable alternative for securing working capital when a bank may be unable to provide it. Reasons a bank may not approve financing include: • Start-ups that have a limited track record • Rapid growth driving increased capital needs • A history of operating losses • Minimal net worth • Tax liens • Past personal/business bankruptcy or credit issues

By Heather Rachel Accounts receivable financing, also known as factoring, is one of the world’s oldest methods of finance, dating back to ancient Rome. In the early 1900s, factoring was a major source of financing for the garment, transportation and furniture industries, and during the 1950s, small-sized to medium-sized businesses began to use factoring as a way to resolve their cash flow needs. Today, more than 100,000 businesses worldwide use factoring to settle their trade debts, and as of 2006 the factoring industry’s total volume exceeded $127 billion.

What is factoring? According to InvestorWords.com, factoring is “the selling of a company’s accounts receivable, at a discount, to a factor, who then assumes the credit risk of the account debtors and receives cash as the debtors settle their accounts.” Why would a business want to sell its account receivables? The answer is simple: to quickly improve cash flow. By selling your invoices, you put yourself in a position to take advantage of cash discounts, finance a long-awaited expansion, pay off debts, meet payroll expenses, and/or increase production and sales – in other words, things you would be able to do if your customers paid you on time. However, if you’re a business owner, you know this doesn’t always happen, so you can be left to act as your customers’ bank while you wait to be compensated. Factoring can help eliminate the burden of waiting and free up capital to be used for other purposes. If it’s that easy, why doesn’t everyone factor? As with anything, factoring has its pros and cons and is not for every company. Factoring can be a very expensive source of financing; in some cases, it may prove to be more expensive than

18

TwinWest Directions

traditional bank financing. In those situations, it should only be used as a last resort. However, factoring is often the only source of financing a new or undercapitalized company can find. In addition to bank financing and factoring, other sources of financing include purchase orders and inventory financing.

How does the factoring process work, and what are the fees? Most factoring companies will have a one-time processing fee to cover underwriting and due diligence costs. Once you have completed your application, you’ll receive a proposal outlining the fees and terms of the factoring company. (Note: Beware any company that gives you a quote without knowing all the particulars of your business.) Be sure to read through the proposal thoroughly and carefully. Ask questions, and don’t hesitate to renegotiate new terms within reason. Usually, factoring companies are able to fund the first group of accounts receivables within 7-10 days after the origination of the application and within 48 hours thereafter. The amount funded for the receivables can vary from 70-95 percent based on the original agreement. Factoring fees range from 2-5 percent or higher depending on a number of variables, most importantly late payers. Other fees can include 1-2 percent increases every 10 days a customer has not paid. Although fees do not differ much from factor to factor, the way in which they are presented can be radically different. The end result should be similar to the merchant fees credit card companies charge retail establishments. While your business will have to absorb the initial cost of factoring, a portion of it should be built into the cost of sales through increased prices. Another way to offset the cost is to ask your vendors for supplier discounts in exchange for immediate payment, thus lowering your costs for materials.

Any one of the above situations can hinder your chances of obtaining financing through a bank. Banks operate with tight credit parameters and conservative lending practices because they are using depositors’ funds or borrowed funds from the Federal Reserve. Factoring companies, on the other hand, are concerned with two major criteria: the credit worthiness of a business’s customer base, and the strength of the business’s receivables. Factoring is not a form of debt or equity and is therefore considered an off balance sheet transaction – making it more attainable than traditional bank and equity financing. Factoring can be a valuable financing alternative to consider as you meet your business’s challenges. It can give you ready cash without tying up your other assets as collateral, and the fast payment turnaround can let you take advantage of vendor discounts, cover payroll, fund marketing, purchase technology, expand market share and support your other working capital needs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Heather Rachel is director of business development for Transfac Capital, Inc.’s Midwest region. For more information on accounts receivable financing (factoring), contact her at (612) 280-2372 or heatherr@ transfaccapital.com.

Share your expertise and receive free business exposure! TwinWest members are invited to submit articles for this column to bruce@twinwest. com. Articles should provide concrete business advice; target length is 650-750 words. Call Bruce Nustad at (763) 450-2220 with questions.


community briefings

Budget Shortfall: We’re in this Together By David C. Olson The state budget forecast confirms what all Minnesotans have felt in their pocketbooks for several months. The national recession is having a dramatic impact on finances in Minnesota Chamber the public and private President David Olson sectors. We’re all in this together, and we all must do our part to chart a course in this uncertain economy. The short-term picture already has worsened with the release of the latest unemployment figures and resulting impact on reduced state tax revenues. And nearly everyone expects the projected shortfall to widen in the February budget forecast. The statewide business community, more than ever, is insisting that state government run more efficiently. That can be accomplished only if

government focuses on major restructuring and reducing spending. Employers are experiencing the same difficulties as government with stagnant revenues and upward pressure on expenses. Structural reforms are critical, and they will be accomplished only by sorting those programs and services that truly should be a responsibility of state government – and then exploring and implementing innovative approaches to their delivery.

Growth in tax revenues in the next 20 years will not keep pace with the previous two decades, regardless of the economy. Attention to restructuring state government and reducing spending is at a critical juncture as the oldest baby boomers become eligible for early retirement. As a result, fewer people will be paying taxes and more people will be demanding state services, especially in health care. Growth in tax revenues in the next 20

years will not keep pace with the previous two decades, regardless of the economy. It’s important to give our lawmakers guidance in balancing the budget. In that regard, the Minnesota Chamber – in conjunction with our local chamber partners and broadbased membership – is compiling and will be advancing specific recommendations. Our action items will include spending cuts as well as identifying areas where state government can be more efficient, producing the same or better results for less money. Minnesotans cannot afford the status quo. Failure to restructure will result in more ineffective services and/or higher taxes. Neither one is acceptable if Minnesota businesses are to stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing and global economy. David Olson is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit the Web at www.mnchamber.com

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24 HOUR SERVICE 763-235-9833 February 2009

19


Chamber news

Volunteer Profile: Mike Sowada, VISI Mike Sowada, CEO of VISI Incorporated, is currently in his second year of service on the TwinWest Board of Directors. VISI is Minnesota’s market leader in colocation, managed services and connectivity within the data center. It primarily serves companies by outsourcing their data center infrastructure with enterprise redundancy, security and reliability. As CEO, Mike says his duties involve “getting the right people doing the right stuff with the right resources and then getting out of their way.” Mike lives in Wayzata, Minn., with his wife of nearly 15 years, Peg, and their four kids: Margie (12), Jack (10), Janey (7) and Molly (3). His hobbies include sports of all kinds, coaching soccer, collecting coins and reading.

Aside from your TwinWest Board service, do you have any other TwinWest roles? I have been on the Entrepreneur of the Year/Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year awards committee for many years, and as part of my board responsibilities, I have served on various committees and advisory groups.

Join Us for Our 24th Annual Gala: Mystery of Monaco What will you discover in the FrenchMediterranean atmosphere of luxury and intrigue at TwinWest’s 24th Annual Gala? Join us to find out! On Friday, March 13, explore the “Mystery of Monaco” as you peruse auction items, sample delicious food, meet enchanting strangers and dance the night away. A portion of the event’s proceeds goes to the TwinWest Foundation’s 2009 scholarship fund, which helps local students of all ages succeed.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Friday, March 13 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. The Northland Inn 7025 Northland Drive Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS Tickets are $75 plus tax. Purchase 10 tickets and receive two free. Visit www.twinwest.com or call (763) 450-2220.

Members at our 23rd Annual Gala in 2008.

Thanks To Our Sponsors

What professional strengths do you bring to your board service? The biggest strength I bring is my willingness to challenge the status quo. Please describe an issue the board has dealt with that you’ve found particularly compelling, challenging or rewarding. The biggest and most enjoyable challenge for me has been making sure TwinWest continues to be of high value to its members and prospective members. TwinWest serves a large geographical region, and its members have very diverse needs and wants. To fulfill these is a never-ending challenge. Or should I say opportunity? What TwinWest events, programs or initiatives do you most enjoy or find worthwhile? I have enjoyed all of TwinWest’s events and programs. There are so many good ones. The challenge is finding the time to go to them. If I had to pick one favorite, I would recommend the Small Business Awards Luncheon – it’s a GREAT inspirational event that just keeps on getting better. Why should other members contribute their time as volunteers? TwinWest helps businesses of all sizes to be better across multiple fronts. Volunteering one’s time is a means of giving back to the business community.

CONTACT: Mike Sowada, VISI (612) 395-9000 msowada@visi.com

20

TwinWest Directions

Platinum

Silver

Bronze

Décor

Design

Farewell

Floral

Host

Ice Sculpture

Lighting

Music

Print & Signage

Raffle

Raffle Favor


issue briefing

Card Check: Free Choice or Forced Choice? Labor unions contributed more than $200 million to politicians last year. Now it’s payback time. At the top of unions’ strongly anti-business legislative agenda is the so-called Employee Free Choice Act, also known as Card Check. Under current law, if union organizers collect signatures from at least 30 percent of the employees in a bargaining unit, the federal National Labor Relations Board holds an election to determine whether to certify the union. This process, refined over decades, balances the interests of employees, unions and employers in order to ensure that workers can hear all sides and then vote in private. Under Card Check, if more than 50 percent of workers sign a card, they would become unionized. No more debate, and no secret ballot. And union organizers could ask workers to sign a card just about anywhere. The process would effectively eliminate secret ballot elections. According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, the private vote is such a core American value that 85 percent of voters opposed eliminating secret ballots in union elections.

$

F F O 75 00 irst Your Fox Bot nt e Treatm

Card Check goes beyond just adding union members, however. With an increase in membership comes expanded revenue from dues, and thus an exponential increase in the resources that could be put into politics. The result would be a much larger and more robust influence of unions on Capitol Hill. In addition to making it far too easy for unions to organize, if employers and unions do not reach agreements within 120 days, Card Check would allow a federal arbitrator to write the labor agreements that will define the terms and conditions of the union contract, eliminating the desire to negotiate in good faith. If Card Check legislation passes, a significant number of businesses who haven’t worried about union organization, or have held it at bay, could see large segments of their workforce rapidly unionizing – whether workers really want to or not. Small businesses, which have not been attractive targets for union organizers in the past, will see rapid union penetration into their workforce.

TwinWest is working in partnership with other business organizations to oppose eliminating the secret ballot. For more information on this initiative, contact TwinWest’s director of government affairs, Bryan Lake, at tel. (763) 4502225 or via e-mail at bryan@twinwest.com.

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February 2009

21


new & renewing members NEW MEMBERS

Following is a list of businesses or individuals who have invested in the greater community by joining the TwinWest Chamber. Please support these businesses when making purchases and business decisions. Our Membership Directory, listing all chamber members in alphabetical order, by category and by individual representatives, is published each year and distributed in January. For the most up-to-date information, you can use our searchable online member directory at www.twinwest.com. If you are a current member, you may update your records online. Want to become a member? Call (763) 450-2220.

Above All Hardwood Floors FLOORING 5524 Highpointe Court South East Prior Lake, MN 55372 Mr. Zach Peo Acrylic Design Associates MANUFACTURERS 6050 Nathan Lane North Minneapolis, MN 55442 Mr. Bill McNeely, Jr. Ameresco, Inc. ENERGY PROJECTS DEVELOPMENT 9855 West 78th Street Eden Prairie, MN 55344 Mr. Michael Piper CRTechnical Staffing EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTORSTEMPORARY 3300 County Road 10 Suite 318 Brooklyn Center, MN 55429 Mr. Tom Wolden fahrenHEIGHT360 CONSULTANTS-BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL 708 South Third Street Suite 520E Minneapolis, MN 55415 Ms. Mary Kay Duchene Filter Fresh Corporation COFFEE-SALES & SERVICES 1460 West County Road C Roseville, MN 55113-3159 Mr. Chris Brimmell Golden Living Center - Hopkins NURSING HOMES 725 2nd Avenue South Hopkins, MN 55343 Ms. Brooke Viegut HealthSource of Plymouth CHIROPRACTORS 4345 Nathan Lane North Suite F Plymouth, MN 55442 Dr. Casey Paulsen Hickory Fine Homes REAL ESTATE-RESIDENTIAL 815 Wayzata Boulevard East Wayzata, MN 55391 Mr. Steve Bohl

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TwinWest Directions

HomeWorks Remodeling and Repair, Inc. REMODELING CONTRACTORS 13733 94th Avenue North Maple Grove, MN 55369 Mr. Ron Sonnek Jim Lupient Infiniti of Golden Valley AUTOMOBILE DEALERS 7200 Wayzata Boulevard Golden Valley, MN 55426 Mr. Eric Koob The Kuhn Law Firm, PLLC ATTORNEYS 17800 Excelsior Boulevard Minnetonka, MN 55345 Mr. Clarence J. Kuhn Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics DENTISTS 11601 Minnetonka Mills Road Minnetonka, MN 55305 Ms. Carrie Rust PostNet MAILING SERVICES 3505 Vicksburg Lane North Suite 900 Plymouth, MN 55447 Mr. John Francis The Salon Professional Academy BEAUTY SALONS & SPA SERVICES 411 Winnetka Avenue North New Hope, MN 55428 Mr. Brady Snider Taiyo NUTRITIONAL PRODUCTS 5960 Golden Hills Drive Golden Valley, MN 55416 Mr. Scott Smith US Army Career Center - St. Louis Park GOVERNMENT 8332 MN - 7 Suite 108 St. Louis Park, MN 55426 SFC Jeremy Karr

RENEWING MEMBERS

Congratulations to the following members who have recently celebrated their membership anniversaries. These members are part of a continued commitment to our communities through their investment in the TwinWest Chamber.

25+ Years Berg Law Offices, P.A. Citizens Independent Bank-St. Louis Park Doubletree Hotel Minneapolis Park Place Hoigaard’s, Inc. Liberty Diversified Industries Qwest Communications Wells Fargo - Wayzata

21-24 Years AmeriStar Agency, Inc. Minnetonka Public School District #276 Taher, Inc.

11-15 Years Aarcee Party Rental Alterra Clare Bridge of Plymouth Comcast Spotlight Cable Advertising Imprint Gallery

6-10 Years CEAP Community Bank Plymouth Edinburgh USA Grand Casino Mille Lacs & Hinckley Park Dental Ridgepark Visit Minneapolis North Voyager Bank - Eden Prairie

1-5 Years ABRA Auto Body & Glass - Brooklyn Park BestPrep Computer Zone Consulting, Inc. DKS Systems ECM Publishers, Inc. Evergreene Jewelers EyesThere Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. GSP Consulting Corporation Hammer Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems - Twin Cities Kroese, LLC LEXMODUS™ New Concepts Management Group Inc. NovaCare Rehabilitation Pay$mart LLC Pittsburgh Blue Rischall Financial Group Siemens Energy, Inc. Skin Therapease St. David’s Child Development & Family Services Wooddale Dental Group

TwinWest Champions Thanks to the following people for referring new members to TwinWest. We appreciate their efforts to spread the word to others in their network about the benefits of chamber membership. Matt Hoffman of Dolliff Insurance Scott Plum of New Business Minnesota Greg Rye of Allegra Print and Imaging-Wayzata Ron Sonnek of HomeWorks Remodeling Repair, Inc. If you know of someone whose business might benefit from TwinWest membership, please ask them to contact us at (763) 450-2220 or info@ twinwest.com, or let us know how we might get in touch with them.


22..75 75

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Get our Small Business Money Market+ relationship package and earn 2.75% APY* on the money market when you open a APY* Business Choice 250 or 500 Checking account and maintain two of the following:

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• Associated Merchant Services • Business Line of Credit or Business Loan with minimum Get our Small Business Money Market+ relationship package and earn 2.75% APY* on the money market when you open a of $25,000 • Business Check Card** Business Choice 250 or 500 Checking account and maintain two of the following: • Company Sponsored Associated Retirement Plan*** • Onsite Deposit Manager • Associated Merchant Services APY* Business Line of Credit or Business Loan with minimum •• ACH with Associated as the originating financial institution • Owner’s personal checking (excludes Free or Student of $25,000 • Business Check Card** Checking) • ACH Blocks & FiltersAssociated (fraud protection) • Company Sponsored Retirement Plan*** • Onsite Deposit Manager * Get our Small Business Money Market+ relationship package and earn 2.75% APY onBanking the money market • Employer Bank at (excludes Work Free or Student Get our Small •• eManager+ Business Online with Bill Pay ACH with Associated as the originating financial • Owner’sSponsored personal checking Business Money Market+ relationship package and earn 2.75% APY* on the moneyinstitution market when you open a when you open a Business Choice 250 or 500 Checking account and maintain two of the following: Business • Choice 250 orBlocks 500 Checking and(fraud maintain two of the following: Checking) ACH & account Filters protection) • Business Credit Card

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Associated Small Business To learn more, stop by any + Money Market To learn more, stop by any Associated Bank or contact me at: Bank or contact: Associated • Associated Merchant Services

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• Associated Merchant Services • Business Line of Credit or Business Loan with minimum • eManager+ Business Online Banking with Bill Pay of $25,000 • Business Check Card** • Company Sponsored Associated Retirement Plan*** • Onsite Deposit Manager • ACH with Associated as the originating financial institution • Owner’s personal checking (excludes Free or Student Checking) • ACH Blocks & Filters (fraud protection) • Employer Sponsored Bank at Work • eManager+ Business Online Banking with Bill Pay contact me at: Valerie Pearlman, Business/Retail Banker • Business Credit Card

• •Employer Sponsored Bank at Work Business Check Card** • •Business Credit Card Onsite Deposit Manager

• Owner’s personal checking (excludes Free or Get our Small Business Money Market+ relationship package and earn 2.75% APY* on the money market when you open a Student Business Choice 250 or 500 Checking account andChecking) maintain two of the following: To learn more, stop by any Associated Bank or Bank Work • Associated Merchant Services• Employer Sponsored • Business Line ofatCredit or Business Loan with minimum of $25,000 • Business Check Card** • Business Credit Card • Company Sponsored Associated Retirement Plan*** • Onsite Deposit Manager • Business Line of •Credit or Business Loan with ACH with Associated as the originating financial institution • Owner’s personal checking (excludes Free or Student minimum of $25,000 Checking) • ACH Blocks & Filters (fraud protection) • Employer Sponsored Bank at Work • eManager+ Business Online Banking with Bill Plan Pay *** • Company Sponsored Associated Retirement • Business Credit Card • ACH with Associated as the originating financial institution • ACH Bank Blocks & Filters To learn more, stop by any Associated or contact me at: (fraud protection) • eManager+ Business Online Banking with Bill Pay

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2655 Campus Drive • Plymouth, MN 55441 763-557-0700 • valerie.pearlman@associatedbank.com To learn more, stop by any Associated Bank or contact me at: Joey Larson, Branch Manager 2655 Campus Drive • Plymouth, MN 55441 763-557-0700 • joey.larson@associatedbank.com

Associated Small Business Money Market+

associatedbank.com

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* The Small Business Money Market+ is a tiered variable rate account and requires $1,000 minimum balance to open. The current Annual Percentage Yields (“APY”) as of January 6, 2009 are as follows: $.01 - $999 will receive a 0.10% APY; $1,000 - $9,999 will receive a 2.75% APY; $10,000 - $24,999 will receive a 2.75% APY; $25,000 - $49,999 will receive a 2.75% APY; $50,000 - $99,999 will receive a 2.75% APY; $100,000 - $250,000 will receive a 2.75% APY; and $250,001 or more will receive a 0.75% APY on the entire account balance. The Bank reserves the right to change the interest rates on this account. This offer applies to business accounts only. Existing Associated Bank Business Money Market must meet the above relationship requirements and add $10,000 in new money to qualify for the Small Business Money Market+ every day great rate APY. Accounts that do not continue to maintain the required relationships as outlined above will revert to the bank’s Business Money Market standard tiered variable rate. See an Associated Bank rate sheet for interest rates and tiers then in The effect. current Percentage as ofAccount January 6, 2009 asAccount follows: $.01 - $999 will account receive a 0.10% APY; $1,000 - $9,999 will receive a 2.75% Please Annual see the Business Deposit AccountYields Information(“APY”) brochure, Business Fee Schedule, and ourare Deposit Information brochure for additional disclosures.

* The Small MoneyMoney Market+ is a tiered variable rate account andand requires $1,000 minimum balance to toopen. * The Business Small Business Market+ is a tiered variable rate account requires $1,000 minimum balance open.The current Annual Percentage Yields (“APY”) as of January 6, 2009 are as follows: $.01 - $999 will receive a 0.10% APY; $1,000 - $9,999 will receive a 2.75% APY; $10,000 - $24,999 will receive a 2.75% $25,000 - $49,999 receive a 2.75% APY; $50,000 - $99,999will willreceive receive a2.75% 2.75% APY; $100,000 - $250,000 or or more willwill receive a 0.75% APYAPY on the account balance. The The ** BusinessaCheck Card must be activated and used at least once per year. will APY; $10,000 - $24,999 will receive a 2.75% APY;APY; $25,000 - $49,999 will will receive a 2.75% APY; $50,000 - $99,999 APY; $100,000 $250,000 willreceive receiveaa2.75% 2.75%APY; APY;and and$250,001 $250,001 more receive a 0.75% on entire the entire account balance. Fiduciary, administrative, and planning services are provided by Associated Trustmeet Company,the NA (“ATC”). Investment management services are provided to ATC Associated Investment Management, LLC (“AIM”).to ATCqualify and AIM arefor affiliates of Small Associated Business Banc-Corp (“AB-C”). *** Bank reserves the right to change the interest rates on this account. This offer applies to business accounts only. ExistingAssociated Associated BankBusiness Business Money Market must above relationship requirements andbyand addadd $10,000 in new money the associatedbank.com Bank reserves the right to change the interest rates on this account. This offer applies to business accounts only. Existing Bank Money Market must meet the above relationship requirements $10,000 in new money to qualify for the Small Business and loan products are offered by Associated Bank, N.A., Member FDIC and AB-C. Equal Opportunity Lender. Associated Merchant Services is a contractual alliance between Associated Bank, N.A. and First Data Merchant Service Corporation. (1/09) 4635 Money Market+ every day great rate APY. Accounts that do not continue to maintain the required relationships as outlinedDeposit above will revert to the bank’s Business Money Market standard tiered variable rate. See an Associated Bank rate sheet for interest rates and tiers then in * The Small Business Money Market+ is a tiered variable rate accountevery and requires $1,000great minimumrate balance APY. to open. The current Annual Percentage Yields not (“APY”)continue as of January 6, 2009 as follows: $.01 -the $999 will receive a 0.10% APY; $1,000 - $9,999 willas receive a 2.75% Money Market+ day Accounts that do to aremaintain required relationships outlined above will revert to the bank’s Business Money Market standard tiered variable rate. See an Associated Bank rate sheet for interest rates and tiers then in effect. Business Account Information Business Account Fee aSchedule, our balance. Deposit Account Information brochure for additional account disclosures. APY; $10,000 - $24,999 will receive a 2.75% APY; $25,000 -Please $49,999 willsee receivethe a 2.75% APY; $50,000 - Deposit $99,999 will receive a 2.75% APY; $100,000 - $250,000brochure, will receive a 2.75% APY; and $250,001 or more will receive 0.75% APY on the and entire account The Bank reserves the right to change the interest rates on this account. offer Business applies to businessDeposit accounts only. Existing AssociatedInformation Bank Business Money Market must meet theBusiness above relationshipAccount requirements andFee add $10,000 in new money toand qualifyour for the Small Business Account Information brochure for additional account disclosures. effect. Please seeThisthe Account brochure, Schedule, Deposit ** Business Check Card must be activated and used at least once per year.

Money Market+ every day great rate APY. Accounts that do not continue to maintain the required relationships as outlined above will revert to the bank’s Business Money Market standard tiered variable rate. See an Associated Bank rate sheet for interest rates and tiers then in effect. Please see the Business Deposit Account Information brochure, Business Account Fee Schedule, and our Deposit Account Information brochure for additional account disclosures.

** Business Check Card must be activated and used at least once perbyyear. administrative, and planning services are provided Associated Trust Company, NA (“ATC”). Investment management services are provided to ATC by Associated Investment Management, LLC (“AIM”). ATC and AIM are affiliates of Associated Banc-Corp (“AB-C”). *** Fiduciary,

** Business Check Card must be activated and used at least once per year.

*** Fiduciary, administrative, andare planning services are provided by Associated Trustand Company, NA (“ATC”). Investment servicesServices are provided to ATC by Associated Investment Management, ATC and AIMService are affiliates of Associated Banc-Corp (“AB-C”). Deposit offered by Associated Member AB-C. Equal Lender. management Associated Merchant is a contractual alliance between Associated Bank, N.A.LLC and(“AIM”). First Data Merchant Corporation. (1/09) 4635 Deposit and loan products are offered by Associated Bank, N.A., and Memberloan FDIC andproducts AB-C. Equal Opportunity Lender. Associated Merchant Services is Bank, a contractualN.A., alliance between AssociatedFDIC Bank, N.A. and First Data Merchant ServiceOpportunity Corporation. (1/09) 4635 *** Fiduciary, administrative, and planning services are provided by Associated Trust Company, NA (“ATC”). Investment management services are provided to ATC by Associated Investment Management, LLC (“AIM”). ATC and AIM are affiliates of Associated Banc-Corp (“AB-C”).

Deposit and loan products are offered by Associated Bank, N.A., Member FDIC and AB-C. Equal Opportunity Lender. Associated Merchant Services is a contractual alliance between Associated Bank, N.A. and First Data Merchant Service Corporation. (1/09) 4635

Get our Small Business Money Market+ relationship package and earn 2.75% APY* on the money market when you open a


last glance

Member Event Photos TwinWest members are actively involved in our events and programs. Whether our members are networking, developing plans for TwinWest events, taking charge of their professional development, or new to the Chamber, we are proud to post photos of our members getting a return on their member investment.

Get Linked In to TwinWest TwinWest now hosts several groups on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) to connect our members in the online social networking environment.

Current groups include: Members and guests at the Business Showcase at Umbria Pizzeria on November 26.

Leadership TwinWest class members tour The ReStore during their December 2008 session, “Philanthropy: A Thriving Community is Good for Business.”

TwinWest Chamber of Commerce 29 members belong to the TwinWest general group on LinkedIn. The group hosts a discussion thread and provides members an opportunity to connect after-hours.

TwinWest Emerging Leaders A dozen young professionals use this group to stay connected and exchange ideas.

TwinWest Leadership Class The 2009 Leadership TwinWest class utilizes this group to discuss recent class experiences.

Member Orientation on Wednesday, December 3. From left to right: Drew Pandolfo, Express Employment Professionals - Hopkins; Dean Bartels, StarchTech, Inc.; Amy Poppler, Robert Half International - Accountemps; Cami Schneiderman, Robert Half International Accountemps; Ryan Bodin, Raymond James Financial Services.

Member Orientation on Wednesday, December 3. From left to right: Tom Wolden, CRTechnical Staffing; Jessica Hayson, Aerotek CE; Carrie Rust, Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics; Pauline Kleinke, Cummings, Keegan & Co., P.L.L.P.; Joe Thomas, Stanton Group; C.J. Kuhn, The Kuhn Law Firm, PLLC.

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TwinWest Directions

Members make plenty of new connections during a TwinWest Ambassadors speed networking lunch on December 12.

To connect with members via LinkedIn, go to www.linkedin.com and search “TwinWest” in the groups field. Use one of these new avenues to connect to other TwinWest members today!

JOIN THE CHAMBER!

The TwinWest Ambassadors joined Synergy Products staff and other guests for a ribbon cutting on December 3.

If you’re not a TwinWest Chamber member, you can learn more about our organization at www.twinwest.com, or contact one of our regional sales directors: Kevin Melott, (763) 450-2223/kevin@twinwest.com; or Jacqui Sauter, (763) 450-2228/jacqui@twinwest.com. We will be happy to help you explore how you can use the chamber to accomplish your professional goals!


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Directions Magazine, February 2009