May & June, 2022

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

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

CSB/SJU name new president

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University selected Brian J. Bruess, Ph.D., as the first president of both institutions. Bruess is president of St. Norbert College, a nationally renowned Catholic liberal arts school in De Pere, Wisconsin. He officially takes over his new position on July 1, 2022.

Before becoming president at St. Norbert in 2017, Bruess spent 21 years in a variety of roles at St. Catherine University, a Catholic liberal arts women’s institution in St. Paul, Minnesota. That included more than three years as the school’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Berreau recognized

Darold Berreau, local insurance agent and long-time SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) mentor, was recently recognized by the organization for his involvement and support of businesses and SCORE clients in the St. Cloud area.  SCORE is a nonprofit organization that is made up of volunteers who provide free services that help small businesses develop and grow their companies.   

Brenny in Top 20

Brenny Specialized, a division of Brenny Transportation, was included in the Top 20 Fleets to Drive For in 2022.  The recognition comes from the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and CarriersEdge. The Top 20 winners are comprised of for-hire trucking companies from across North America who provide exemplary work environments for their professional truck drivers and employees.

Foundation awards grants

The Bernick Family Foundation recently awarded grants to organizations and projects that go toward supporting youth, education, and health and wellness programs in Central Minnesota. Among the recipients was Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central MN for their Sports Buddies program.

Falcon Bank adds staff

Falcon National Bank recently added two executive level professionals to its staff. Steve Molander joined the bank as chief technology officer in January and Mark Nettesheim filled the chief sales officer role in February.  Molander brings over 25 years of leadership experience in helping companies with operational efficiencies, technological evolution, and expansion of secure customer services. As CSO, Nettesheim will influence all major revenue driving departments including business banking, SBA, mortgage, retail banking, and equipment finance. 

Tourism staff receive national awards

Rachel Thompson, executive director of Visit Greater St. Cloud, was named one of eTourism Summit’s Emerging Tourism Stars for 2022.  The program recognizes astute individuals in the eTourism community of digital and tourism professionals who are up-and-coming or new to their roles.  Thompson was promoted to executive director in September.

Nikki Fisher was named a Top Young Professional in the Government Meetings Industry nationally by the Society of Government Meeting Planners (SGMP). Fisher is director of sales at Visit Greater St. Cloud. The Top Young Professionals program recognizes individuals with proven leadership skills and a dedication to the betterment and sustainability of SGMP. Members were nominated by their peers and honorees were selected by a panel of industry professionals.  Fisher and the other honorees will be recognized at the SGMP conference in June. 

Visit Greater St. Cloud is a division of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

Traut Companies relocates

Traut Companies moved from their long-time location in Waite Park, to a new location in St. Joseph in March. The new 13-acre site includes a 24,000 square foot building, almost twice the size of the old structure. The new location is 32640 County Road 133, St. Joseph, just two miles north of Coborn’s.

Great River FCU Merges

Great River FCU has merged with GEM Federal Credit Union of Minot, N. Dak., and Four Flags Area Credit Union of Niles, Mich. The merged credit union will have nearly 19,000 members and over $315 million in assets, with nine branch locations across three states. The GEM FCU and Four Flags Area CU will adopt the GRFCU name and eventually have the same products and services.

Dale Gruber Construction has new owner

Rachel Gruber has taken over as the new owner and president of Dale Gruber Construction. Gruber joined the Dale Gruber Construction team in 2008 as marketing, human resource, and operations manager. She has a degree in business management from St. Thomas University, and is a member of the Central Minnesota Builders Association, chair of the CMBA Tools for Schools, and serves on the Associated Builders and Contractors Business Development committee.

Stearns Bank recognized

Stearns Bank N.A., was named one of the best banks to work for by American Banker in its ninth annual ranking of banks in the U.S. The analysis for the ranking is performed by the Best Companies Group, which conducts extensive employee surveys and reviews employer reports on benefits and policies. This is the second time that Stearns has received the recognition from American Banker. 

In addition to the American Banker honors, Stearns has received additional recognition over the last year: the Monitor 100, which recognizes the largest equipment financing and leasing companies in the U.S.; Independent Banker’s Best of the Best list; Minnesota’s Best ag lender and bank; and St. Cloud Times Best of Central Minnesota. 

DAYTA Marketing hires CEO

St. Cloud-based DAYTA Marketing has hired Gordy Meyer as its chief executive officer. DAYTA Marketing has also raised more than $2 million to add new systems and technology intended to redefine marketing services. In addition to Meyer, DAYTA Marketing hired two other senior leaders:  

Daine Billmark, chief technology officer and Tim Koivisto, vice president sales. Billmark previously led a 40-member application development team at TransUnion and led a development team at eBureau that built an analytics platform for customers. Koivisto has more than 20 years experience building sales functions in high-growth, Minnesota-based companies, including Native X and Optimum Communications Corp.