July & August, 2022

Members of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce have big things happening! Here are the news briefs from July & August, 2022.

Have some news to submit? Send press releases, staff additions, awards and more to Emily Bertram.

Krump receives career achievement award

Deborah Krump, owner of Krump Benefit Consulting, was named to the Aflac Million Dollar Club, an achievement only a few agents accomplish.  Aflac’s Million Dollar club recognizes associates who have achieved $1 million of in-force annualized premium. It also recognizes exceptional customer service.  Krump has been an Aflac agent for nineteen years, and is one of the top 20 producing agents in Aflac’s Minnesota-Iowa team.

BerganKDV announces merger

BerganKDV and Simma Flottemesch and Orenstein (SFO), located in Minneapolis, have merged, effective June 1. SFO offers extensive tax, audit, accounting and business advisory services to its clients and has been a prominent firm in the Twin Cities area since 1975. SFO will use the BerganKDV name and branding.

Community Foundation announces philanthropy awards

The Central Minnesota Community Foundation recently announced the recipients of the 2022 Awards in Philanthropy.  Debra Leigh is receiving the ATHENA Award, Melinda Gau was selected for the Professional Award in Philanthropy, and Dennis and Barb Gregory were recognized with the Alex Didier Award in Philanthropy.

Coldspring receives awards

Coldspring recently received two Pinnacle Awards of Excellence from the Natural Stone Institute in the Commercial Exterior Category.  The two award winning projects were the Charles Library at Temple University in Philadelphia and Frederick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Boy Scouts announce new Board positions

Rob Hennen, managing principal of CLA St. Cloud, is the new board president for the Boy Scouts-Central Minnesota Council.  He will serve a two-year term ending in 2024.  Troy Cameron, SVP senior lender, Falcon National Bank, was elected to serve on the council’s executive committee as VP Relations.

Stearns Electric announces Board members; Operation Round Up Awards

At their annual meeting in April, the following people were elected to the Stearns Electric Board of Directors: Bob Niehaus, Melrose; Arlyn Lawrenz, Avon; and Michael Cramer, St. August will fill three-year terms; and Jeff Koehler, Belgrade, will serve a two-year term resulting from a vacancy.

Three attorneys join Rinke Noonan

Jake Petersen, Nikolai J. Kleven, and Ashley Bukowski recently joined the law practice of Rinke Noonan.  Peterson focuses on personal injury, business law, criminal defense, and probate and trust litigation. Kleven practices in the areas of environmental law, agricultural law, and litigation. Bukowski focuses on government law, criminal defense, personal injury, and probate and trust litigation.

Wolf receives prestigious “Sandra Day O’Connor” award

Jonathan Wolf, attorney at Rinke Noonan, received the American Inns of Court 2021 Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service. This award was presented at the American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence Dinner, hosted by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.  The American Inns of Court honors individuals who are dedicated to professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence within their practice of law. The Sandra Day O’Connor Award recognizes a young Inn member for excellence in public interest of pro bono activities based on a set of defined criteria. Fellow Rinke Noonan attorney, Nicholas Delaney, nominated Wolf for the award based on his exemplary record in public interest work and pro bono activities.

Park Industries promotes Schatz

Joan Schatz, Park Industries, was recently promoted to chief executive officer (CEO).  Schatz joined Park Industries in 2006 as CFO and has served as COO and Co-President. Schatz is a national award-winning manufacturing executive and serves on several boards in the local area.

Blattner food drive raises $220,000

Blattner Company’s employees in Avon and across the United States, raised over $220,000 during their annual food drive. Blattner has conducted the annual food drive to serve food shelves across the country for 23 years. In that time, employees have contributed more than 1.4 million food and household items and more than $860,000.  $158,000 of the money raised in 2022 was distributed to Central Minnesota food shelves in the communities of Avon, Albany, Melrose, Holdingford, Cold Spring, and Hanover.  

Diederich earns special designation

April Diederich, Proviant Group, recently obtained the Behavioral Financial Advisor (BFA) designation.  The designation shows Diederich’s focus on the positive benefits of behavioral finance and emotional competence in helping clients make better decisions with, and about, money in the face of competing priorities and emotions.

Stearns Bank hires new coordinator

Mohamed Farah joins Stearns Bank, N.A., as its community development coordinator.  This is a new position created in collaboration with the African Development Center, Minneapolis. The African Development Center’s mission is to grow business, build wealth, and increase reinvestment in the African communities of Minnesota. Farah will lead Stearns Bank’s efforts to support the success of the African Development Center.

Granite City Real Estate changes name

Granite City Real Estate has changed its name and logo to GC Real Estate Partners.  The change is aimed at better representing a wider service area and its expanded service offerings.  The company now serves clients across Minnesota and into North Dakota.

CMBA Relocates

The Central Minnesota Builders Association (CMBA) has relocated from their downtown location of 20 years to 2848 2nd Street S, Ste 145, St. Cloud.

Anderson is top performer

St. Cloud-based Bremer Bank employee Sander Anderson was named a top-producing loan officer by Minnesota Housing.  This distinction recognizes individual loan officers with a high volume of Minnesota Housing program loans.

UBS employees earn distinction

Michael Karl, UBS St. Cloud branch manager and managing director of wealth management, was named to UBS’s 2022 Chairman’s Council which recognizes the firm’s top financial advisers based on certain criteria.  Matthew Nikodym, senior vice president of wealth management in St. Cloud, and senior portfolio manage and senior retirement plan consultant, was named to UBS’s 2022 President’s Council.

Initiative Foundation Awards Grants

The Initiative Foundation delivered 596 grants during the first quarter of 2022 with a value of $5.9 million. A substantial portion of these grants provided support to COVID-affected businesses across Central Minnesota through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The Initiative Foundation was also awarded a $4.5 million grant from DEED’s Main Street Economic Revitalization Program to support economic development projects in downtown areas and select corridors including St. Cloud/East St. Cloud.

Maher Receives study award

JLG Architects’ Derek Maher, AIA, received the 2022 Ralph Rapson Traveling Study Award presented by the Minnesota Architectural Foundation. The design competition was based on a commons and theatre space scheme for St. Paul’s Cass Gilbert Memorial Park. He will receive funding of $16,000 to advance his education in architecture through travel. Maher has been a project designer with JLG Architects since 2011, receiving his Master of Architecture from North Dakota State University in 2008. He is planning to use the funding to study Renaissance architecture in Italy.

Catholic Charities hires new directors

Catholic Charities promoted Michelle Arnold to the position of director of human resources.  She has worked for Catholic Charities since 2004.  Chad Bösl has been hired as the director of behavioral health services. 

Wayne receives national award

Christopher Wayne, president, CEO, and a financial advisor at Laraway Financial Advisors was awarded the National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award for public service at the local, state and national level. The honor is given to individuals who have inspired others through positive actions reflected by recognized accomplishments and devotion to their professions, avocations, communities, and beliefs.

PleasureLand acquires dealership

PleasureLand RV Center, Inc. has acquired Coulee Region RV of West Salem. This location will carry the full line of Grand Design, Crossroads and Winnebago motorized RV’s, along with an RV repair/parts facility and accessory store.  The location will also provide vacation rentals.

Chamber promotes Wagner

The St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce recently promoted Laura Wagner to director of programs and events. In addition to overseeing special events and networking programs, Wagner will now work with the Sauk Rapids and Waite Park Chambers, and the Chamber’s Leadership program. She has worked at the Chamber for three years.