Laska recognized as outstanding HR professional
Crow Wing County Human Resource Director Tamra Laska was named the 2009 Outstanding Human Resource Professional of the Year by the Minnesota Counties Human Resource Management Association.
In her three years at Crow Wing County, Laska accomplished: standardized language throughout 10 union contracts and the personnel manual; successfully concluded five bargaining unit agreements this year; worked on benefit changes to lessen the impact of the unfunded liability for retiree health insurance; implementated a classification and compensation study to ensure pay equity amongst employees and market-driven wages; implementation of a combined vacation/sick leave plan; created a standardized performance appraisal program for all county employees; implemented a drug and alcohol testing procedure; continually works with department leaders and staff on matters relating to department structure and process. Projects have included developing both a land services and a community services model.
County Administrator Tim Houle said Laska brought contemporary and strategic human resource practices to bear to professionalize the county's labor relations, benefits and compensation systems to be both market- and taxpayer-focused. Houle said Laska's work, along with others in the organization, just on retiree health insurance alone reduced the county's long-term liability by close to $10 million.
Laska has worked as the county's human resource director since 2006. Previously she was vice president of human resources with Lunds and Byerly's Supermarket for 12 years and also worked 14 years as the human resource director of Supervalu. The Human Resources Professional of the Year recipients are selected through nominations from MCHRMA members, their supervisors, county administrators and county commissioners.
Coppernoll joins Project New Hope Board
Todd Coppernoll joined the Project New Hope Board.
Coppernoll is the chief executive officer of the Wisconsin-based WPM Group. The WPM Group develops and implements marketing campaigns, including graphic design, Web design, logo and tag line creation, trade show bookings, media buying, copy writing and press releases.
Coppernoll will be responsible for the marketing of Project New Hope. He previously worked with Motorola, eBay, Tech Data, Remington Arms, True Value Hardware, the US Postal Service, Sturm Ruger, Mossy Oak Properties, Doitbest Hardware, J.C. Penney Co. and Frontier Airlines, among others.
Amundson and Rozinka join the Fine Line salon
Nicole Amundson and Laura Rozinka joined the Fine Line Salon and Spa, Brainerd, as stylists.
Amundson is an Aveda-certified colorist specializing in cuts and colors, as well as spa services. She also is an Aveda-certified skin care and make up specialist. Rozinka is an Aveda-certified colorist specializing in cuts and colors, as well as spa services. She has trained extensively in Aveda cutting, coloring, and skin care techniques. She has also trained with Bumble and bumble trainers on hair care knowledge.
Ornamental plant specialist joins RemWhirl
CROSSLAKE - RemWhirl, an architect and landscape design firm located in Crosslake, announces the addition of Kristen Goebel, ornamental plant specialist, to its landscape division.
In addition to her associate in applied science degree in horticulture, Goebel carries certification as a nursery and landscape professional, as well as being certified through the DNR as a tree inspector.
Dunkley named commissioner of corporate affairs
ONAMIA - The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe named Deron Dunkley commissioner of corporate affairs.
Dunkley was sworn in to office April 8.
As commissioner of corporate affairs, Dunkley serves as the chief operating officer and board chairman for the corporate commission and oversees the day-to-day operations of the corporate commission, which owns and operates all of the band's businesses, including Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley.
Dunkley, a Mille Lacs Band member, most recently served as the corporate chief financial officer for the corporate commission, in which he prepared the annual budgets for the corporate commission and the businesses it oversees. He was also responsible for budget reporting and analysis and reviewed potential investments.
Dunkley worked in various positions for the band since 1994, including financial analyst at Grand Casino Mille Lacs and director of development, general accounting manager and staff accountant, and senior financial analyst for the corporate commission.
Dunkley has a bachelor's degree in business economics from the University of Minnesota-Morris. Dunkley participated in several advanced training programs, including the Blandin Community Leadership Program.
Mattson elected to lumber board
PEQUOT LAKES - William Mattson, president of Mattson Lumber Co. in Nisswa, was recently elected to the Northwestern Lumber Association Board.
Mattson, Pequot Lakes, has been in the lumber and building materials industry for 39 years. The association represents 879 independent lumber and building materials retailers and their suppliers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Jay gains Aflac promotion
BAXTER - Roberta Jay was recently promoted to a certified case manager with Aflac. She has been an independent sales agent for Aflac since 2003. She works out of the Aflac sales office located in the Lakewood Bank building in Baxter.
Mercury recognizes United Packaging
CROSBY - Mercury Marine announced that United Packaging Inc. with headquarters in Crosby is one of the 22 winners of its 2008 Preferred Supplier Award, which is based on excellence in quality, delivery, customer service and cost management.
United Packaging is in the design, manufacturing and distribution of industrial packaging products serving the recreational vehicle, lawn and garden, original equipment manufacture and appliance industries. United Packaging has five manufacturing plants, two in Minnesota and three in Wisconsin.
Hoglund attends convention
Janis D. Anderson Hoglund, private practice audiologist and owner of Helping You Hear in Brainerd and Perham, recently attended the annual convention of the American Academy of Audiologists, AudiologyNOW!, in Dallas. Hoglund earned continuing education credits which are a requirement for licensure as an audiologist in Minnesota.
Hoglund has been an audiologist in the Brainerd lakes area since 1980.
Conference planned at Grand Casino Hinckley
On April 29, business leaders, government agencies, and other organizations from around the area will discuss challenges they face in today's economy and share ideas for getting through the recession during the East Central Minnesota Business and Workforce Development Conference.
The sixth annual event titled Hope for the Road Ahead: Living Lean and Working Together is planned from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29 at the Grand Casino Hinckley Events & Convention Center. The event is hosted by the Corporate Commission of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, in cooperation with the East Central Shared Prosperity Alliance, East Central Minnesota Workforce Partnership, and the Northern Technology Initiative. Sponsors for the event include Woodlands Bank, Minnesota Power, and the Mille Lacs Health System.
The keynote speaker during this year's conference will be Michael Kiefer, author of the national bestseller The Powermind System, who will share ideas on how to live lean and generate immediate short-term income. Other topics include keys to start-up success in lean times, social networking, stable finances, lean principles, stimulus dollars and guerrilla marketing.
The event is open to the public and costs $55 to attend.
This year's conference will partner with the second annual Native American Business Fair, which facilitates interaction and learning opportunities for Native American entrepreneurs. The business fair will showcase Native American businesses, resource providers and entities looking to buy products and services from Native American businesses, as well as introduce prospective entrepreneurs into the business arena.
For more information about the Business Fair, contact Pam Wegner at (800) 472-6321, ext. 4645.
Business Women for Better Waters event set
North Central Lakes Collaborative is hosting a free event - Business Women for Better Waters - from 9 a.m. to noon May 2 to learn about green business practices in the Baxter/Brainerd area.
Participants will be touring Madden's, Fairview Office Park, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to highlight their sustainable, cost saving, water friendly business practices.
Participants will have refreshments and learn about low impact development, water conservation, green building design, stormwater management, energy efficiency, saving company money and more. This event gives participants ideas they can implement that will help protect our local waters, while at the same time save their businesses money.
Transportation will be provided to the sites, but registration is required by April 30.
For more information, contact Molly Zins at firstname.lastname@example.org or (218) 568-4122. Event will begin and end at the MPCA, 7678 College Road, Suite 105, Baxter.
Alternative energy to be topic of May 5 session
The Central Minnesota Alternative Energy Regional Collaborative is providing information to the business community regarding existing conservation and alternative energy options from 9 a.m. to noon May 5 at the Initiative Foundation, 405 First St. S.E., Little Falls.
The session goal is to develop regional conservation - alternative energy clean energy strategy - for the region, which includes Morrison County.
Presentations will be by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce on their Waste Wise program; RREAL on solar energy; Denali Energy on wind alternatives and Minnesota Project which focuses on methane digesters and biomass gasification process.
Following the presentations the Initiative Foundation will facilitate a discussion on the opportunities and challenges of this industry in efforts to develop the above mentioned plan. Lunch is included. RSVP is requested by contacting Nicole at the Region Five Development Commission at (218) 894.3233 or email@example.com by Monday.
CHOW event planned Thursday
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber's luncheon networking event is planned from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday with hosts Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers at Black Bear Lodge, 14819 Edgewood Drive, Baxter.
Cost is $5 for pre-registration or $7 at the door. Advance registration is recommended. For more information contact the chamber at 829-2838 or (800) 450-2838 or go online at www.explorebrainerdlakes.com.
St. Joseph's participates in U of M Research Day
The University of Minnesota School of Nursing is sponsoring Research Day on Friday along with their clinical and corporate partners including St. Joseph's Medical Center, an affiliate of the Brainerd Lakes Health system.
Together, School of Nursing faculty and health provider organizations have partnered to identify clinical issues and design research studies to improve patient care. This year, Research Day includes both oral and poster presentations on key health care issues. Topics include: Prevention of teen pregnancy, Team COOL-prevention of childhood obesity, caregiving for patients with dementia, applying research to clinical practice, exercise to improve outcomes for patients with peripheral arterial disease, pediatric cystic fibrosis patients and quality of life, simulation training for pediatric emergencies.
The keynote speaker will be Ada Sue Hinshaw, who has a doctorate, is a registered nurse and Faculty American Academy of Nursing, and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Graduate School of Nursing dean. As the first director of the National Institute of Nursing Research, she has conducted research focusing on quality of care and patient outcomes because of their impact on patient safety.
Research Day is targeted for researchers in nursing and related health sciences, nurse educators, nursing students, and practicing nurses who are committed to advancing nursing science and scholarship as the foundation for practice. There is no fee to attend. For more information, go to http://www.nursing.umn.edu/img/assets/25957/RD2009_Brochure_web.pdf.
Business Book Club planned Monday
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber is facilitating a Business Book Club noon 1 p.m. Monday at the Brainerd Public Library, 416 S. Fifth St., Brainerd to discuss Work the Pond! Use the Power of Positive Networking to Leap Forward in Work and Life by Darcy Rezac, Judy Thomson, Gayle Hallgren-Rezac.
This book shares real life stories with seven easy steps to N.E.T.W.O.R.K. for building social capital.
Participants in the book club will read independently and then meet to discuss three key points raised by the author. Facilitator, Mark Fyten of Your ADvocate Promotions will lead this informal discussion.
Cost to attend is $10 and includes lunch. For more information, go online to www.explorebrainerdlakes.com or call 822-7107 or (800) 450-2838.
Lakewood Health hosts hospice teleconference
STAPLES - Lakewood Health System will host Hospice Foundation of America's 16th annual Living with Grief Teleconference, titled Diversity of End-of-life Care.
The teleconference is scheduled from 12:30 - 3:00 p.m. April 29 at Lakewood Health System's Main Campus classrooms. This nationally recognized distance learning program annually reaches 125,000 people in 2,000 communities to educate professionals and families on issues affecting end-of-life care.
This year's teleconference will focus on how diversity influences end-of-life decision making and the impact that culture has at the time of death and during bereavement.
Frank Sesno, professor of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University and Special Correspondent with CNN will be moderating the teleconference along with a distinguished panel of ethicists, educators and hospice experts.
The teleconference is produced by Hospice Foundation of America, a not-for-profit organization, which acts as an advocate for the hospice concept of care through ongoing programs of professional education, public information and research on issues relating to illness, loss, grief and bereavement. Lakewood Health System annually hosts the program on behalf of its hospice program.
Pre-registration is requested by Friday by calling Gayle at (218) 894-8623. Check-in the day of the event begins at noon.
Workshops focus on business managers, owners
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber's Focus on Your Business Future series of bottom-line workshops are created to help manage businesses during these challenging economic times.
Focus on Your Business Future includes a kick-off breakfast seminar on April 29. Cost is $55 for all workshops for chamber members. There are a series of six bottom line workshops, two per week, through the month of May. Individuals may participate in person or online via Webinar for most sessions. Blogs are available on all the topics for exchange of ideas.
When the Going Gets Tough You Need to Be the Hero breakfast kick-off event is 7:30-9 a.m. April 29 at Grand View Lodge, Norway Room, 23521 Nokomis Avenue, in Nisswa.
Presenter Jerry Peterson will share the best kept secret to your business success in hard times or good times. Peterson is president and chief restructuring specialist for Norstar Associates Ltd. In Duluth. He served as president and chief executive officer of Schmidt Laboratories in St. Cloud and business development consultant for Minnesota Technology Inc.
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