Jackie Extrand of Merrifield is serving as a Central Lakes College counselor for the 2008-09 academic year.
On leave from the Brainerd School District, she fills the one-year post for Rick Kangas, who is on administrative reassignment as director of security at CLC.
Extrand has been a guidance counselor at Brainerd High School-South Campus since 2005 and from 2000-05 worked in a similar capacity at Franklin Junior High. From 1998-2000 Extrand was the career services director for the Brainerd School District.
She was an education adviser and consultant with the Peace Corps in Uganda from 1994-97 and was present for the country's first democratic elections.
As a cast member of Up With People in 1992 and 1993, she was an education intern and worked in public relations across the U.S. and Europe.
She earned her master's degree in school counseling at St. Cloud State University in May 2000 after her Peace Corps experience and attaining a bachelor's degree in international business from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.
Extrand attended Brainerd Community College, now CLC, in 1989-90.
Bradow joins Nextera in Baxter
BAXTER - Nextera Communications added Debbie Bradow to provide customer service and order processing.
Bradow has 14 years of telecommunications experience; four years with USLink and 10 years with GCI in Anchorage, Alaska. She most recently worked in customer service for Custom Eyes, an optical lab in Sauk Rapids.
Project New Hope receives award
Project New Hope, a camp for military combat veterans and their families where meals, recreation and counseling are available, gained recognition.
Bruce Billington, one of the Project New Hope founders, met with Gov. Tim Pawlenty and senior policy adviser Margaret Vesel in August. The project received third place in the Lions International Best New Project Award and was awarded a 2008 Newman's Own Award, as well as received an invitation to a Sept. 5 ceremony at the Pentagon.
Edward Jones office moves
BAXTER - Edward Jones moved its office into the Timbers Edge Professional Building in the former North Star Mortgage space, just north of Wal-Mart in Baxter.
Rory Papenfuss is a financial adviser and has been with Edward Jones for two years. Deanna Fisher-Borders is the branch office administrator who joined Edward Jones in May.
Gerbi named Little Falls employee of the month
LITTLE FALLS - Ann Gerbi, Little Falls, was named employee of the month for September by the Chamber of Commerce in Little Falls.
Gerbi has worked with activities at St. Otto's Care Center in Little Falls for 16 years. In her employer's comments, St. Otto's said Gerbi carries a heavy workload yet treats residents with great respect.
Jet-Black Seal Coating ranks first in sales
Tony Schmitt and Darryl Metcalfe, owners of Jet-Black Seal Coating of Brainerd, ranked first in sales in July among all the Jet-Black franchisees in the country. This is the third consecutive month they ranked No. 1 in sales.
Travica gains promotion at YMCA
Anita Travica was recently promoted to member service adviser at the Brainerd Family YMCA.
She will assist and advise members looking to start or maintain an exercise program or connect members to their appropriate area of interest within the YMCA. With this free service, Travica will meet with members once a month for up to three months to discuss their fitness goals and any barriers they may have in starting or maintaining an exercise routine. Travica is a certified personal trainer with more than 30 years experience in the fitness industry.
LAHRA to meet Sept. 11
The September Lakes Area Human Resources Association meeting will be 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Red Roof Inn in Brainerd.
The speaker will be Jan Kurtz of Central Lakes College. Kurtz will be discussing the changing demographic diversity in the lakes area. From this meeting members will learn how employers may adapt to change and thrive in this current and upcoming population shift. Kurtz will present information on traditions and expectations of newly arrived citizens to both the nation and the area. This program is expected to last one hour.
To register contact Teresa Schmitz firstname.lastname@example.org or Christina Landree email@example.com. LAHRA meets nine times per year from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Red Roof Inn. LAHRA is open to any human resource professional who wishes to further their education and network with other HR professionals in the area. Members and guests are encouraged to attend. A lunch will be served and is free to all guests.
Business After Hours planned in Brainerd
The Brainerd Lakes Chamber's networking event Business After Hours is planned from 4:30-6 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Consolidated Telecommunications Co. office, 1102 Madison St., near the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, rain or shine.
Music, food, ice cream and games such as the Wii are part of the event. For every chamber member who attends, CTC will donate $5 to the United Way.
CHOW planned in Pequot Lakes
PEQUOT LAKES - The Brainerd Lakes Chamber's networking lunch event, CHOW, is planned from noon to 1 p.m. at Lonesome Cottage Furniture, 30671 State Highway 371, Pequot Lakes.
Cost is $5 for pre-registration or $7 at the door.
For more information, contact the chamber at 829-2838 or (800) 450-2838.
Quickbooks Pro Accounting for Windows course planned
The Quickbooks Pro Accounting for Windows is a two-week course planned from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 9 and Sept. 23 at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.
This class will provide the basic skills necessary to implement computerized accounting using Quickbooks Pro for Windows. The student will learn the basics of system setup, invoicing, cash receipts, deposits, accounts receivable, accounts payable and cash disbursements. The course includes two on-site sessions individualized to a student's needs. The student will receive two college credits upon completion of the course. Classroom size is limited. Cost is $247.08. Instructor is Jay Bock. Deadline to register is Sept. 2.
For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or 855-8142.
Commercial vehicle inspection re-certification class slated
Commercial vehicle inspection re-certification class is planned from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 11 at Central Lakes College, Business and Information Center.
Re-certification is required every two years. This class will review Minnesota commercial vehicle inspection laws and federal regulations. It will cover new law changes, inspection changes and will include a test for re-certification. The test will be taken during the last hour of class.
Cost is $75. Instructor is Douglas Brown. Deadline to register is Sept. 4. For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or 855-8142.
Going into Business for Yourself class planned
Going into Business for Yourself is planned from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 11 at Central Lakes College, Business and Industry Center.
This session covers all areas of business startup, helpful advice on how to get your dream off the ground, how to become and stay profitable, including financing your 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. Cost is $40 or $60 for two business partners.
Deadline to register is Sept. 4. For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or 855-8142.
Class focuses on crisis tools for registered nurses
Psychological first aid for crisis situations is planned from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at Central Lakes College in Brainerd in Room C225.
This class will focus on providing tools for the registered nurse to help the patient deal with a life situation: function, safety and action components. The next component would be for the nurse: compassion and fatigue. Other topics will address taking care of oneself and what a registered nurse needs to watch for in themselves and their co-workers. Cost is $35. Instructor is Don Sheldrew. Deadline to register is Sept. 4.
For more information, call (800) 933-0346 ext. 8142 or 855-8142.
Marco gains award
Microsoft announced Marco Inc. as one of the North Central Area winners of the U.S. Field Partner Awards Program for the second half of its 2008 fiscal year.
Marco Inc. was nominated and won Microsoft's North Central Award for "Small Business Transformation." The company was presented with the award at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in July. The Small Business Transformation award recognizes partners who improved and enhanced a small business customer's business by leveraging technologies to address their business challenges.
Marco has offices in Brainerd.
Firms offer bike rides
Some companies provide car service. Humana Inc. does bike share.
The health care provider started a free bike-sharing program for its employees at its Louisville, Ky., headquarters about a year and a half ago. Now it's providing 1,000 bikes each to the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
In Louisville, Humana has more than 2,500 employees registered for the bike program. They can check out a bike - or more than one - from kiosks around the city with a company-issued swipe card, and use it for commuting, personal errands or fun. The bikes come with built-in navigation systems and can track how many miles have been ridden.
"We encourage people to do things that are healthy and fun," said Dr. Jack Lord, head of innovations at Humana.
At the political conventions in Denver and St. Paul, only people who registered for the program ahead of time can borrow a bike. When the conventions are over, Lord said, Humana will donate some of the bikes to the cities.
Humana is also promoting its bike-sharing program - the high-tech bikes, kiosks and a Web component to track mileage - to its insurance clients, such as companies with campus-like headquarters and school systems, as a wellness benefit.
Back to school for adults, too
The kids are returning to class, and so should you. Don't forget to make sure your company pays for it.
Professional development "keeps your skill level and expertise sharp, and your market ability and earning power high," said Jon Zion of the staffing firm Robert Half International Inc.
And employers gain because continuing education helps keep employees happy - aiding in retention - and new skills can build productivity. Tuition reimbursement, he said, is one of the most competitive benefits a company can offer its employees. Make sure to mention it as a desired perk during the interview process.
But generosity has limits. For example, an MBA may boost your economic analysis skills, but enrolling with a full-time course load means you probably would not be able to work at the same time.
Also, a company might not value its accountant's desire to pursue a master's degree in social work.
"It's a quid pro quo," said Zion. "The company will provide you with the opportunity to continue your education provided you are providing a service to them."
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