Business news May 27 | | Brainerd, Minnesota

Business news May 27

Posted: May 25, 2012 - 8:25pm


Witucki achieves ATP certification

Dan Witucki achieved Assistive Technology Professional Certification on May 22 from the Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Society of North America.

Witucki is a key member of the Rehab/Mobility Team at North Central Medical Supply. He has five years of experience at North Central Medical Supply. Witucki specializes in power and manual wheel chairs, seating and rehabilitation and mobility equipment. Established in 1999, North Central Medical Supply is a locally owned home medical equipment and supply company.

Matter joins CTC

Brainerd-based Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) recently announced Cameron Matter joined the CTC Team.

Matter joins CTC as a systems analyst II. In this position, he will be responsible for designing, developing, creating, testing and modifying network and computer systems for CTC. Matter previously worked at TDS Telecom in Eagan where he developed an extensive background in IP routing, security, hardware, software and various service based technologies. Matter has a bachelor of science degree in information technology from St. Mary’s University and an associate in applied science degree in telecommunications technology from Dakota County Technical College. He is also Cisco CCNA and CCNA Voice and Cisco Specialization for Engineers certified.

Neisess joins Lakewood

Health System

STAPLES — Corrine Neisess joined Lakewood Health System, Staples, as the new director of patient safety/regulatory.

Neisess, Menahga, has an associate’s degree in applied science-nursing from North Hennepin Community College and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. She has been certified in infection control since 1993.

She has worked in various areas of acute care for 32 years. These areas include medical/surgical nursing, intensive cardiac care unit (ICCU), ambulatory care/chemotherapy, utilization review, infection control, emergency preparedness, home care/hospice, and performance improvement. Neisess also worked as a consultant for a local intermediate care facility for individuals who are intellectually disabled (ICF/IID) group home, and for the past two years, she worked for the Minnesota Department of Health as a nurse evaluator.

Tousignant joins Navigator Financial Group

Jim Tousignant joined Navigator Financial Group as an independent registered representative on March 20. Prior to joining Navigator Financial Group he was a financial adviser for 10 years with Edward Jones.

From 1987 to 2001, he and his wife owned J& L Office Equipment as the authorized Xerox sales agent.

Halverson gains certification

The Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) announced the certification of Brainerd-based attorney Charles D. Halverson, of the Charles D. Halverson Law Office as a MSBA board certified criminal law specialists.

Halverson was one of nine attorneys named by the MSBA. Other attorneys were: John L. Fossum, Fossum Law Office; Ryan P. Garry, Ryan Garry Attorney at Law; ; Lisa Hohenstein Kloster, Kloster Law Office; John J. Leunig, The Law Office of John L. Leunig; Richmond H. McCluer, Jr., Price, McCluer & Plachecki; Eric L. Newmark, Gaskins Bennett Birrell Schupp; Todd V. Peterson, Todd Peterson PA; and Robert D. Sicoli, Law Office of Robert D. Sicolis. This certification program is administered by the MSBA and approved by the State Board of Legal Certification.

The certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review, and documented experience. Certified attorneys have demonstrated superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field and can use the designation of specialist to advertise their credentials. This achievement has been earned by fewer than 3 percent of all licensed Minnesota attorneys.

Riverwood welcomes

new family nurse practitioner

Lisa Gerhart, family nurse practitioner, who has been seeing patients at Aitkin-based Riverwood Healthcare Center clinics since last fall, completed her nurse practitioner training.

Gerhart has more than five years of experience as a registered nurse and charge nurse for medical/surgical patients prior to obtaining her family nurse practitioner certification. She also served as a nursing clinical instructor for three years. She received both her bachelor of science degree in nursing and her doctorate degree (doctor of nursing practice) as a family nurse practitioner from North Dakota State University in Fargo.

Barb Fulton, manager of clinic and outpatient services, said Garhart has a strong background of direct nursing care, leadership and management experience as a charge nurse, educator and mentor.

Gerhart will be working closely with other Riverwood providers in Garrison as part of a collaborative team. During the past few weeks, she has been spending time in the Garrison clinic.

Gerhart will see patients primarily at Riverwood’s Garrison clinic but also at the Aitkin clinic. Gerhart grew up in Perham and recently moved to the Aitkin area.

Salvevold starts business

in Breezy Point

BREEZY POINT — Jennifer Salvevold reported she recently started a business called Photojenic Photography based in Breezy Point.

The business covers the lakes area and Minnesota. Salvevold does photo shoots for portraits, seniors, engagements, families, children, maternity, pets, car shows, and more. She sells art prints and also works with graphic arts. She completed her first year in a two-year program at Central Lakes College in Staples for her associate in applied science degre in photographic imaging. Salvevold reported she completed her first year with a 4.0 grade point average.

Hanneken Insurance

Agency gains honor

The Hannenken Insurance Agency, Brainerd, was honored by West Bend Mutual Insurance Company in West Bend, Wis., for oustanding performance in the company’s agency incentive program, Partners in Excellence.

Partners in Excellence measures areas of an agency’s performance: profitability, agency growth and agency objectives, and sales strategy. While more than 1,000 independent agencies participated in the program, 146 agencies qualified for Partners in Excellence status. The agencies are located throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Indiana.

Hanneken Insurance Agency opened in 1983 and has offices in Brainerd, Little Falls and Pine River.


MMFCU hosts free shred day for identity protection

Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, through a partnership with Paper Storm Secure Document Shredding, is offering free community-wide Shred Days at all their locations.

The idea is keep the wrong person from finding out individual’s Social Security number, financial account numbers, credit card number, telephone calling card numbers, and many other valuable identifying data. Last year more than 4,000 pounds of documents were shredded during MMFCU’s Shred Days.

Stop by Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union parking lot to have your personal documents shredded in a Paper Storm mobile shredding truck for free.

Events are: noon to 1 p.m., June 5, at MMFCU’s Baxter office; noon-1 p.m., June 6, at MMFCU’s Pequot Lakes office; 3-4 p.m., June 6, from at MMFCU’s Brainerd office.

Shred Day will take place rain or shine, and there’s no charge for this service, however please limit yourself to three boxes of documents per person.

The Shred Day not only offers a chance to safely dispose of sensitive documents, but it also recycles material that might otherwise end up in area landfill sites. For more information on what to shred go to for guidelines or join them for a free workshop from 5:30-7 p.m., May 31, at MMFCU’s Baxter office. RSVP is requested for the workshop at 829-0371.

Bytes Into Bread event planned

Crow Wing County Food Co-Op and JKL Recycling are turning free electronic recycling into food for the community between May 20 and June 3. 

Organizers reported 25 percent of all proceeds go to the Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen located on Oak Street in Brainerd. More information is available at the Crow Wing County Food Co-Op. Buisnesses are welcome. Call JKL Recycling (218) 330-0773 for large donations, such as truckloads of 100 items or more.

Items not for free recycling for the event or otherwise are CRT TVs and CRT monitors. All other electronics are free.


Certified food manager

training set at CLC

A Certified Food Manager course will meet June 11 and 12 in the Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College, Brainerd.

Certification is required in most Minnesota food establishments. The class meets 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with instructor Colette Pohlkamp.

Participants are trained and tested through the ServSafe Serving Safe Food Certification course. They will learn about potentially hazardous foods and safe food handling practices, the HACCP system of food safety, setting up standards and completion upon passing the required exam. The course fee is $160. Registration deadline is June 3.

For information or to register with a credit card call toll-free (800) 933-0346 extension 8142 or 855-8142 or email Register online at and click on courses.


Students raise $500 for Veterans Resource Centers

The Central Lakes College Student Senate from the Staples campus raised $500 for the Veterans Resource Centers (VRC) on the Brainerd and Staples campuses at Central Lakes College (CLC) by hosting the Tour De Staples Freedom Walk/Run May 5. Erich Heppner, director of student activities, joined CLC Foundation Director Pam Thomsen in presenting funds to Kathy Marshik, director of the VRC.

Mille Lacs Band donates

more than $50,000 in April

ONAMIA — The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe donated $50,091 in monetary and in-kind contributions to a variety of nonprofit organizations and other charitable causes in April.

Each month the band and its businesses make contributions to community organizations, including schools, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, food shelves, and others in Minnesota and nationwide.

In April, the Mille Lacs Band contributed $1,000 to the Minnesota Ojibwe and Dakota Language Revitalization Project, a statewide effort to preserve and enhance indigenous language programs. The band’s contribution will specifically fund the Ojibwe and Dakota language program at Metropolitan State University. The band also gave $1,000 to the Persian Gulf Support Group to help fund the Aitkin Area All Veterans Memorial, which is currently being constructed outside the Aitkin County Courthouse.

Additionally, the band donated $1,000 to the North Star Women’s Firefigher Association, an Eden Prairie-based nonprofit organization that mentors and trains women in fire service. The band’s contribution will help purchase technology equipment for trainings. The band also provided $1,000 to Opportunity Neighborhood, an organization that provides affordable housing options to more than 3,400 families and children in the Twin Cities.

Other notable contributions include those to the Loving Hands of Faribault, a charitable organization that makes blankets for children with cancer; food relief programs in Deer River, Litchfield, McGregor, Pine City, and Pine River; the “No More Wild Pets” campaign at the Wildcat Sanctuary, a nonprofit animal organization that provides a home for wild cats in need; Mille Lacs County 4-H program’s horse project; the Lake Lena women’s softball team to help purchase equipment; and the Aadzuman Shrine Club to support children with disabilities.

The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe has more than 4,300 enrolled members, for whom it provides a wide variety of programs and services.

Baxter Walmart Supercenter honored As top fundraiser of 2011

BAXTER — As local Walmart and Sam’s Club stores kick start their 2012 fundraising for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare (Minnesota’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospital), the Baxter Walmart Supercenter is also celebrating last year’s successes.

In 2011, the store raised $30,659 for Gillette — the highest dollar figure of ANY Walmart Supercenter, Walmart, or Sam’s Club in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

As longtime Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals sponsors, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores have raised money for St. Paul-based Gillette for 25 years. The majority of fundraising occurs during a May 1 – June 15 Virtual Balloon Campaign, during which customers can make a donation to purchase a virtual Children’s Miracle Network balloon icon at the register. All proceeds from icon sales support treatments and services for patients at Gillette. Last year, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in Minnesota and western Wisconsin — including the Baxter Walmart Supercenter location — raised a combined total of $458,160 for Gillette.

In recognition of their 2011 fundraising achievements, the Baxter Walmart Supercenter was recently awarded a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals traveling trophy. The trophy has become a tradition, and a source of friendly competition, among Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in the region. Each year, a trophy is awarded to the Walmart, Walmart Supercenter and Sam’s Club store that raises the highest total donations. Stores with the largest dollar and percentage fundraising increase also receive trophies. The Baxter Walmart Supercenter will keep their trophy through 2012, when other Minnesota and western Wisconsin stores will have the opportunity to claim it.

Darlis Clausen, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals director at Gillette, says manager and associate engagement has been vital to stores’ year-round fundraising success.

How to submit

a business note

The Dispatch welcomes business notes submissions via email to, or fax to (218) 829-0211, mail to Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 or use the drop-off box in the alley next to the Dispatch building on James Street. Questions are welcome to Renee Richardson at 855-5852.