Richard Polipnick recently joined Farm Bureau Insurance Agency, Brainerd, as a career agent.
Polipnick, Brainerd, worked in customer service-related fields for more than 10 years and has more than three years experience in the insurance industry. He specializes in life and disability insurance.
Clough and Cowell serve as class presenters
Cindy Clough and Carrie Cowell, both with Just For Kix and Brainerd High School Kixters, presented class sessions at the Midwest Regional High School Dance Team Coaches Conference in Des Moines April 24-25.
The class focused on enhancing choreography with exciting visuals and formation changes. The second class focused on running a productive and quality practice and how to structure balance to ensure all areas are covered.
Clough also taught a formation workshop at the National Coaches Conference in Dallas earlier in April.
Hofius named director of business services
Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union, a not-for-profit member-owned financial cooperative, now offers business lending services headed by Julie Hofius, who was recently named director of business services.
Hofius has been active in the financial industry for 26 years. Some of her most recent endeavors include serving as a specialist in economic development for the Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corp., the director of the Crosby Chamber of Commerce and a lending officer at various financial institutions throughout Minnesota.
Hofius is based out of the Brainerd office.
Grant gains MEA re-election
BAXTER -- Jim Grant, owner of Jim's Electric Inc., Baxter, was re-elected as a trustee of the Electrical Training Network Board of Trustees.
Grant has been a member of MEA since 1981. The Minnesota Electrical Association, a statewide trade association representing the electrical contracting industry, hosted its annual meeting and elections on April 7 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.
Severson joins Ernie's on Gull as new chef
Chef Pj Severson joined the staff at Ernie's on Gull recently and planned a new menu, which was announced during A Night of New Beginnings at the restaurant on April 19.
The menu included bruschetta, French onion soup, Ernie's house salad, brandy peppercorn sirloin, apple stuffed pork chop, pesto stuffed chicken, New Orleans style gumbo and homemade strawberry shortcake.
Severson came to Minnesota from upstate New York. He attended L'Academie de Cuisine in Washington, D.C., and started his career in a small French restaurant there. He moved to Detroit and worked in a beautiful old mansion that had been converted to a restaurant. His last two jobs were the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas and two years at the Legacy.
Both he and his assistant Wayd Lovas decided to make the career move together. Wayd spent eight years in Mississippi and brings the nuances of the Southern cuisine.
Lodermeier joins Woody's Photography
Audrie Lodermeier, portrait consultant, joined Woody's Photography, Brainerd, as the business expanded.
Lodermeier has an associate's degree in criminal justice. She previously worked as a juvenile corrections counselor. Her duties include location, clothing, makeup consulting and scheduling.
Lease named new donor services officer
LITTLE FALLS -- The Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation named Mark Lease as new donor services officer.
Lease's efforts include fund-raising that supports community, environmental and youth initiatives and helping donors leave personal and family legacies through planned giving.
The Unlock the Potential Campaign has a goal of raising $10.5 million by 2007. More than 450 donors have contributed $4.2 million to the campaign.
Lease, St. Cloud, has 25 years experience in consulting, managing and raising support for nonprofit organizations across the United States. In Minnesota, he assisted organizations as Junior Achievement, Cathedral High School, the Diocese of St. Cloud, the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict and most recently, the Paramount Arts Resource Trust.
Lease has degrees in engineering and technology from St. Cloud State University. He also is a member of the National Planned Giving Council and the Central Minnesota Estate Planning Council.
Erickson joins Arvig Communication Systems
NISSWA -- Wayne Erickson joined Arvig Communication Systems as its sales representative in the Nisswa area.
Dunlap joins Marco Workplace Interiors
Roy Dunlap joined Marco Workplace Interiors' team of furniture sales professionals.
Dunlap will be providing office furniture and workplace design solutions for businesses in the Brainerd area.
Northern Pines hosts Thai dinner benefit
Northern Pines Mental Health Center, Brainerd, will host a benefit dinner featuring a five-course Thai dinner and a traditional Thai dance performance on May 1 at Confidence Learning Center.
This is Northern Pines' 40th year serving the central Minnesota region. May is mental health awareness month. The dinner will be prepared by Dang Klaverkamp, who is Thai and has an accredited cooking degree from Bangkok's five-star Dusit Thani hotel. She will feature authentic dishes, including lemon-grass pork ribs, papaya salad, tender sirloin beef green curry, chicken coconut cream soup and sweet purple sticky rice with fresh mangos.
For more information, call 829-3235.
Web site promotion class set in Staples
STAPLES "Bring in New Business By Promoting Your Web site" will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. May 13 in E100 on the Staples campus with instructor A. John Peters.
The class is for business owners who are looking for new ways to promote a Web site. Included are promotion of local events, national-level exposure, and messages for a specific audience. The session will discuss ways to attract traffic to your site, create sales, customer support and marketing. Tuition is $66.
For more information, call CLC in Brainerd at 855-8142 or (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142. Pre-registration is required. The deadline is May 6.
Wells Fargo provides volunteer leader training
Wells Fargo has granted $6,000 to the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration for funding the 2004 Minnesota State Conference on Volunteerism.
The event will be May 16-18 at Madden's Resort in Brainerd and will bring together volunteer leaders from around the state. Participants will represent a variety of different business segments including corporate, government, health care and arts and culture volunteerism. The theme of the event is "Leading Volunteers...Building Communities."
Going into business class rescheduled
"Going Into Business for Yourself" at Central Lakes College, originally scheduled for May 13, has been rescheduled for May 20 in the Business and Industry Center on the Brainerd campus.
The seminar, which will be from 6-9 p.m., covers all areas of business startup, helpful advice on how to get one's dream off the ground, how to become and stay profitable, including financing of a new venture. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $40 per person or $60 for participant and one additional business partner.
Registration deadline is May 13. For more information, call (800) 933-0346, ext. 8142 or 855-8142.
Securing small business computer info
STAPLES Central Lakes College will offer a class May 20 for the small business owner interested in securing information.
"Securing Your Small Business Computer Information" will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in E100 at the Staples campus.
The class will cover the risks crackers, viruses, worms, Internet theft, small disaster, large disaster. It will offer advice for a security plan, including data backup, computer access, who needs to access your information, how do they get your information, whose information do you need to see, and creating a hardware and software update plan. It also will cover anti-virus, firewall, and Internet security.
Tuition is $66. Instructor is A. John Peters.
Registration deadline is May 13. For more information, call the CLC Business and Industry Center at (218) 855-8142 or (800) 933-0346, ext. 8142.
Business planning seminar set in LF
"Entrepreneur 201: Business Blueprint" runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 7 in Little Falls at the Initiative Foundation.
Business Blueprint is a full-day, hands-on workshop devoted to market planning and research. Participants will work on their own business project and case studies, learning to turn research into a feasibility study, strategic market plan and financial projections.
The workshop is the second of three in the entrepreneur series developed by Kim Nagle, Minnesota Women's Business Center training and development director. More information is available online at store.thepeopleconnection.org or by calling The People Connection at (218) 435-2134.
AmericInn gains award
The AmericInn of Brainerd/Baxter, was presented the INN-Pressive Club Award at the 2004 AmericInn annual convention.
This award is given to the AmericInn location that has actively and successfully promoted the INN-Pressive Club frequent stayer program. Representing the Brainerd/Baxter AmericInn, Tracy Switajewski, the property manager, accepted the award April 19.
MMFCU gains three national awards
Mid-Minnesota Federal Credit Union received three national awards for marketing excellence from the Credit Union Executive Society.
Selected from more than 1,250 entries, Golden Mirror Awards were given for: a first place for four-color newsletters Teen Trax and Winter Fun; a second place for four-color newsletters In Touch and Ahh Summer; and a merit award for three-color newsletters Eureka! and Sweet Memories.
Mid-Minnesota works in collaboration with area high school students to write and produce Teen Trax. The awards recognized individuals involved in creating winning entries: Marnie Perfetti, MMFCU director of marketing; Miranda Anderson, MMFCU marketing assistant; and Tom Schmidt, creative director at Range Printing. It is the credit union's fifth year in a row to gain Golden Mirror Award recognition.
Survey: Pay in Twin Cities beats Midwestern competition
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- For a Midwestern region, wages in the Twin Cities metropolitan area beat the competition, according to a new survey.
Workers in the Twin Cities area are paid more for an hour's work, on average, than most of their counterparts in five other Midwestern cities, according to the survey by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Workers here average $21.58 an hour, more than the national average of $17.18 an hour and more than the average pay for workers in the Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, Milwaukee and St. Louis areas, the survey found.
Tom Stinson, Minnesota state economist, said the numbers show Minnesota's labor force is very productive.
"There's a simple economic fact, and that is that employers can't pay their workers more unless their workers are more productive," Stinson said.
Minneapolis-St. Paul wages were derived from figures submitted by 511 firms in May 2003 and compared with similar surveys done from September 2002 to June 2003 in the other cities and nationwide.
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