CFO of the Year
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recently announced Jennifer Mrozek, chief financial officer at Marco Inc. as the CFO of the Year winner in the medium private company category.
Mrozek has been with Marco since 1998 and became CFO in 2003. Her tenure as CFO has been marked by helping the company grow its revenue from $40 million to $90 million and doubling its profits. Mrozek has also taken a lead role in negotiations and system integration for seven companies it acquired during the past two years.
Mrozek has served as a board member, Community Investment Team chair and Audit Committee member for the Central Minnesota United Way. She is a board member of the St. Cloud Area YMCA and the St. Cloud Junior Achievement Chapter. Mrozek also belongs to the Minnesota ESOP Association Program Committee and the local Forum of Executive Women.
Finalists and winners were recognized on Nov. 17 in Minneapolis.
CLC club sponsors Explorer post
The Central Lakes College Natural Resources Club is sponsoring a new Explorer Post, which will meet 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday for a “First Nighter” in Room W 147 of the Brainerd campus, according to adviser Kent Montgomery.
Exploring is a career exploration program for young men and women ages 14 to 20. The program provides students the opportunity to learn about careers in natural resources and network with professionals in the field.
“The Exploring program is a great opportunity to find out whether a particular career field is right for you and to get to know other students who share your interests and work aspirations,” Montgomery said in a news release. “Exploring can be the first step in identifying a future career while having fun in an exciting and informal environment.”
The Natural Resources Explorer Post First Nighter is an opportunity to learn more about the program. For more information, contact Montgomery at 855-8155 or email@example.com.
Fish opens business in Emily
EMILY — Massage therapist Robin Fish opened a business on Highway 6 in the city of Emily.
Fish does Esalan-based massages, a type of Swedish massage, and adds pressure point, joint and deep tissue massaging. Fish is also trained in pregnancy and sports massages.
Lakewood to Offer Free CPAP Equipment and Mask Clinic
STAPLES — Lakewood Health System’s durable medical equipment store, Medical Marketplace, will be hosting a free, walk-in CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) equipment and Mask Clinic 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday in the lower lever at Lakewood’s Main Campus, 49725 County Road 83.
The clinic is open to anyone who uses or is interested in finding out more about equipment and products that assist with sleep apnea. The public is invited to bring their machine and any supplies they are currently using for a complimentary pressure testing and Smart Card screening.
Medical equipment coordinators from Lakewood, along with representatives from Philips Respironics, manufactures of CPAP equipment and supplies, will be on-hand to assist in proper mask fitting and to check the calibration of CPAP and BiPAP equipment.
CLC announces prize winners
Prize winners have been announced from the Oct. 27 and 29 Tour of Manufacturing in Brainerd, Crosby, Jenkins, and Merrifield.
Elias Peterson of Aitkin won an iPad. Mitch Treichler and Branden Spaid, both of Brainerd, won iPods.
Prizes were donated by Clow Stamping Co., Graphic Packaging International, Lakeland Mold Co., Pequot Tool and Manufacturing, Precision Tool Technologies, and Central Lakes College.
The tour attracted hundreds of guests to five area manufacturers for an inside look at good-paying jobs and the training designed to put skilled workers into those local opportunities.
The Bridges Career Academies and Workplace Connection along with Central Lakes College collaborated to get the word out to students.
Johnsons to host
monthly business meetings
NISSWA — Doug and Ann Johnson, owners of Personality Plus Interiors of Nisswa are interested in hosting monthly meetings with “like-minded small businesses to collaborate, discuss merging, share knowledge and creating a better atmosphere for businesses to grow and share ideas,” Ann Johnson stated in a news release. Johnson said the only requirements to join are to be “honest, honorable reputation and dedicated to our members.”
The group is being called RICE for reliable respected independent innovative contractors collaborating communicating exceeding expectations everyday.
The Johnsons plan to form the group and meet in December. For more information, call 963-3190.
Atomic Learning recognized as Top Online PD Provider
LITTLE FALLS — District Administration and EdTech Digest named Atomic Learning’s online professional development solution as a top product in recent award announcements.
Atomic Learning was named one of 100 winners of the District Administration Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products of 2011. The acknowledgment is given annually to K12 education products that have supported education innovation. The winners were selected by the editors of District Administration from hundreds of nominations submitted by readers, including school superintendents and district-level directors in districts across the United States. The winning products were determined by the quantity of nominations received per product, as well as an evaluation of product quality based upon readers’ nominations and explanations.
Atomic Learning was also named as a product or service that is setting a trend in the EdTech Digest Awards 2011. The products, services and people that made this list are innovative, respected and outstanding cool tools, leaders and trendsetters moving education forward into the 21st century, Atomic Learning reported. Atomic Learning, now in its 11th year as an online professional development provider, is based in Little Falls.
Baysinger joins Northern
Northern Psychiatric Associates, a private mental health clinic in Baxter, announced Patty Baysinger, licensed practical nurse, as its newest staff member.
Baysinger has worked for 24 years in the home health care industry within the community. She has also been a supervisor in an assisted living environment for the past 10 years. She will be assisting the clinicians with phlebotomy, prescription refills and patient quality assurance.
board met at CLC
The Central Lakes College Business Management Program Advisory Board met on the Brainerd campus Nov. 17 to discuss the current curriculum and entertain ideas for adjustments to sustain relevant career education for future professionals.
Instructors Tom Reese, Deb McCarthy, and Pat Swarthout hosted the session, which included a working lunch. Michael Amick, CLC dean of academic and technology services also attended.
Members of the advisory committee are Twyla Flaws, Clow Stamping; Steve Lackner, Lakeland Mold; Jill Carlson-Ferrie, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union; Aundra Erickson, Country Financial; Troy Johnson, Ascensus; Deb Marlton, Crosby-Ironton High School; Scott Stroot, Ameriprise Financial Services; Kristi Westbrock, Consolidated Telephone Co.; Cindy Brey, Sweetwater Resort; Ann Hutchison, Pillager High School; Rod Reuer, Brainerd High School; Karen Owen, Riverwood Bank; Sarah Carlson, Essentia Health; Karen Kirt, Suite Spaces LLC; Theresa Sullivan, Cuyuna Regional Medical Center; Mark Korte, Nor-Son; Christina Landree and Mike Bjerkness, Pro Staff; and Mary Richards, CLC Business Management student.
Angela Brown, VISTA volunteer with the CLC Foundation and Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation Women’s Fund, also participated in her role to assist with empowerment and employment of women in the region.
Raymond James gains
recognition in survey
BAXTER — Raymond James Financial Inc. was recently named the best full-service broker in the 2011 SmartMoney Annual Broker Survey.
Raymond James Financial is the parent company of the broker/dealer with which Mick Roby, Investment adviser representative, 7558 Design Road, Baxter, is associated.
Marking the third time in four years that Raymond James earned top honors. Raymond James’ first place finish was the result of performing strongly in several categories, including stock picking. The firm also was one of only two full-service brokers surveyed whose model portfolios beat the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index for the year.
The survey results were compiled using research data from Zacks Investment Research, J.D. Power and Associates, Corporate Insight, Dalbar, Forrester Research and SmartMoney’s proprietary research. Researchers looked at a wide range of factors, including data on the performance of the stocks recommended, studies on customer satisfaction and consultations with experts who study intangibles like the user-friendliness of account statements and websites. SmartMoney does not endorse any product or service of Raymond James.
‘Going Into Business For
Yourself’ course offered Dec. 10
“Going Into Business For Yourself” will be offered at the Business and Industry Center of Central Lakes College, Brainerd, from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 10.
This session covers all areas of business start-up, helpful advice on how to get a dream off the ground and stay profitable, including financing a new venture.
Follow-up counseling is available to qualified individuals from the Small Business Development Center’s team of consultants at no charge to the individual.
Tuition is $49 per person plus $29 for each additional business partner. Instructor is Jay Bock. Registration deadline to register is Dec. 5.
For more information, contact the SBDC at (800) 933-0346 ext. 8140, 855-8140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brainerd Lakes Chamber
to host business expo
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber will host its 16th annual Business Expo and Holiday Extravaganza from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Town Hall at Madden’s on Gull Lake.
The event gives chamber members and employees, together with their guests, an opportunity to network with their business peers during the holiday season.
Web design and marketing firm Faster Solutions, owned by Brandon Knowles, is the major sponsor for 2011. Each year, more than 50 member businesses participate in the Business Expo and Holiday Extravaganza while nearly 500 people attend the event, which includes refreshments and silent auction. For more information, contact Jeri Hughes, chamber events coordinator, at email@example.com or call 822-7107.
Brainerd High School receives $7,520 from Ford Motor Company
Six programs at Brainerd High School will share $7,520 from Ford Motor Company for the school’s participation in the Ford Drive One 4UR School event at Mills Ford in Baxter.
There were 291 primary test drives of Ford vehicles on Sept. 24, with Ford donating $20 for each. There were an additional 170 test drives of the 2012 Ford Focus for which the school received $10 each from Ford. One driver, Lance Borgstrom, won a $100 Best Buy gift card in a drawing by Ford.
This year’s funds will be used by the BHS wrestling, gymnastics and adapted floor hockey and boy’s soccer programs, along with the Kixters dance team and junior class prom.
The newest donation from Ford brings the three-year total from Drive One events received by Brainerd High School to about $31,520.
Mills dealerships in Brainerd/Baxter and Willmar hosted eight one-day Ford and Lincoln test drive events this year as fund raisers for high schools in Brainerd, Pillager, Pequot Lakes, Willmar, New London-Spicer and Pine River-Backus. There were an estimated 2,252 drives that raised about $41,340. Drivers must be 18 and have a valid driver’s license to participate.
MMFCU donates to
area food shelves
Through the generosity of its members and surrounding communities at large, Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union recently donated more than $5,500 to area food shelves.
As part of its 2011 October Food Drive, MMFCU asked members to contribute cash or non-perishable food donations to help replenish food shelves before their
busiest season arrives. Between its six branch locations, $1,594 was collected. In turn, MMFCU followed through not only on its promise to match all contribution dollars but gave additional dollars totaling $4,000.
“If we could help just one family in need, the drive would be successful,” noted Chuck Albrecht, MMFCU President and CEO said in a news release. “Now, based on the generosity of the local communities where we have branches, we can assist many, many more.”
Cash and food donations were provided to each branch city's area food shelf, including Alexandria Outreach, Brainerd Salvation Army, Cuyuna Food Shelf, Morrison County Food Shelf and the Staples Food Shelf.
AmeriPride donates to
Confidence Learning Center
AmeriPride Services gave away a trip to Mexico to longtime customer Joe Tesarek at Titan Machinery, but unfortunately for Joe, he was unable to take the trip.
AmeriPride gave Tesarek the option to donate $1,000 to a charity of his choice and he chose the Confidence Learning Center, another AmeriPride customer. Tesarek volunteered at the camp in the past and stayed connected to the camp through the years.
Curves of Pequot Lakes
builds Bra Ball
PEQUOT LAKES — In support of Breast Cancer Month during October, Curves of Pequot Lakes conducted their second-annual drive to collect new and gently-used bras to build a Bra Ball.
This October they collected 92 bras along with donations of new underwear which were donated to the Women’s Shelter of Mid-Minnesota located in Brainerd.
The Women’s Center has been in operation since 1978 and among other programs, provides a 24-hour emergency shelter for battered women and their children. In addition to physical safety, the shelter provides personal advocacy, information and referral, support groups, and education for the larger community about violence and its effects.
Minnesota receives two national awards for roadway safety programs
The Minnesota Department of Transportation received two National Roadway Safety Awards from the Federal Highway Administration and the Roadway Safety Foundation.
The awards recognize agencies that exhibit excellence in roadway design, operations, planning and safety.
One award recognized MnDOT for using micro surfacing — adding a thin layer of asphalt and crushed rock mixture to the road surface — to reduce crashes on wet roads. Micro surfacing creates more texture on the road surface, and the dark asphalt causes the road surface to warm up faster and retain heat better than the original concrete surface. During the 20-year study period, which focused on a stretch of Interstate 94 east of Monticello, wet-weather crashes decreased by 76 percent after applying micro surfacing. Total crashes during this time decreased by 19 percent, despite an overall traffic increase on the road of 65 percent.
MnDOT was also recognized, along with Wright County in central Minnesota, for the County Roads Safety Plans Program. MnDOT coordinates with several counties to more effectively involve local highway agencies in the safety planning process and to provide these agencies with the technical assistance to apply for state and federal funding successfully. Wright County’s safety plan focuses on roadway departure crashes and intersection crashes. Wright County’s safety improvements have contributed to a 34 percent reduction of fatal and serious injury crashes since 1997.
In total, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced nine award winners and two honorable mentions.