Member News: July & August, 2023

Members of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce have big things happening! Here are the news briefs from July & August, 2023.

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

St. Cloud Hospital earns honors

Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital

In an independent quality analysis, PINC AI™ evaluated more than 900 U.S. hospitals and singled out 50 that achieved superior efficiency, clinical outcomes and patient experience for cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular hospitals that rank in the top 50 have significantly higher survival rates, fewer patients with complications, lower readmission rates and reduced costs.

Hospital Partner of the Year Award

St. Cloud Hospital received LifeSource’s Hospital Partner of the Year Award at the Donate Life Day event on April 15 for nurturing a culture of organ, eye and tissue donation over the past year. In 2022, St. Cloud Hospital collaborated with LifeSource to care for 19 donors and their families, more than any other previous year and nearly doubling from 2021. Because of the generosity of these donors and their families, 71 organs were donated and 59 lives were saved.

St. Cloud Toyota donates $9,600

February is Heart Month, so St. Cloud Toyota donated $100 for every car sold during February. They donated the total – $9,600 – to the CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center.

Metro Bus takes home awards

Daniel earns ‘Most Admired CEOs’ title

Metro Bus CEO Ryan I. Daniel was named one of 2023’S ten “Most Admired CEOs” by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The award recognizes the professional accomplishments, outstanding leadership, and community involvement of top leaders in Minnesota. Daniel has been the CEO of Metro Bus for ten years.

Metro Bus CAO recognized

Metro Bus Chief Administrative Officer Sunny Hesse was named as the 2023 Minnesota Public Employers Labor Relations Association’s (MPELRA) Excellence in Labor Relations Award winner at the association’s annual conference in February. The award recognizes “an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the management role in public sector labor relations during their career.”

Mobility & Training Center Recognized

The Metro Bus Mobility & Training Center was named the first winner of the TripSpark Community Partner of the Year Award at the annual TripSpark Ignite User Conference in April. The award recognizes “the transit agency among TripSpark and Routematch customers that is most proactively improving community access and implementing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging initiatives.”

Lt. Governor visits Great River Children’s Museum

Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan visited the future home of Great River Children’s Museum in April as part of a state funding request project site tour. Great River Children’s Museum (GRCM) has requested up to $7 million in state funding. If granted, the funding would allow the museum to begin construction – which will take approximately one year – and set a target grand opening date.

Stearns Electric Association finalizes board

The following people have been elected to the Stearns Electric Association’s board of directors:  Scott Dirkes, Osakis, will serve a three-year term representing District 7; Greg Blaine, Little Falls, and Eric Peterson, Grey Eagle, were re-elected in District 1 and District 8 respectively and will each serve a three-year term.

Bragelman receives award

Mark Bragelman, CEO of Liberty Bank Minnesota, received the LEAF 742 Distinguished Alumni Award. Bragelman has been with the bank for 48 years. He has given back to his community in many ways, most notably through his work in organizing the annual Liberty Block Party, his service on the St. Cloud City Council, as a Salvation Army past board member, and as founding director of the Downtown Council. The LEAF 742 Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes outstanding District 742 alumni who live in St. Cloud and have made a positive impact to the community.

Catholic Charities acquires Granite City Counseling

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud has acquired Granite City Counseling. Catholic Charities’ Behavioral Health Clinic will become Granite City Counseling, a Program of Catholic Charities. Counseling services will continue to be provided at 911 18th St. N, St. Cloud, as well as through telehealth. As a result of this change, Catholic Charities will be better able to serve the mental health needs of the community.

St. Cloud State recognized as a top broadcast school

St. Cloud State University has once again been nationally recognized by the Broadcast Education Association for being one of the top broadcast schools in the country based on the creative achievements of students. In Sports Production, St. Cloud State was ranked No. 4, followed by a ranking of No. 33 in News and No. 21 in the overall list. 

Magnifi Financial lenders named Top Producing Loan Officers

Tonia Zimmer, Adam Hess, and Michael Edenborg were named a Top Producer by Minnesota Housing for their homeownership program loan production volume during 2022. Minnesota Housing supports and strengthens homeownership by working with local loan officers like those at Magnifi Financial to provide affordable homebuyer loans. The Minnesota Housing Top Producing Loan Officer Program recognizes individual loan officers with the highest volume of Minnesota Housing program.

McKinley-ALC Staff receive award

Kathy Lyerly and Mike Myers-Schleif have been recognized by President Joe Biden as recipients of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteer service at the St. Cloud Veterans Administration. Lyerly and Myers-Schleif have led student volunteers from McKinley-ALC at the St. Cloud VA for over 25 years. The award is bestowed on those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service in their lifetime.

St. Cloud Financial Credit Union adds staff

Eunice Adjei is joining St. Cloud Financial Credit Union as director of multicultural services. She brings more than ten years of community leadership to the organization, and is a licensed, qualified administrator of the “Intercultural Development Inventory” that promotes and provides corporate and professional development training, including anti-racism and cultural humility training.

Adjei is the founder of the Jugaad Leadership Program, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in social responsibility, and was the administrator of Create CommUNITY for ten years.

She also serves as a board member for TriCAP, the City of St. Cloud Charter Commission, Minnesota Governor’s Council on Martin Luther King Day Jr. Holiday, St. Cloud Technical and Community College Foundation Board, the African Women Alliance, and Stearns County Human Service Committee, among others.

“I look forward to building formidable new relationships through trust and strengthening existing collaborations with our community partners, members, and staff – grounded in the inclusion framework at St. Cloud Financial Credit Union,” Adjei said.

Baby’s On Broadway recognized by U.S. SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Baby’s on Broadway the Woman-owned Small Business of the Year for the Minnesota District. Baby’s on Broadway has been in business for around ten years, and has locations in both Little Falls and downtown St. Cloud. Owner Adelle Starin founded the boutique when she became a mother, and was surprised by the lack of product availability for new parents in central Minnesota. In addition to selling baby supplies and equipment, Starin also provides consultation services as a certified safety technician and lactation counselor.

Backlund named Central Division Student Council Advisor of the Year

Shannon Backlund, language arts teacher and student council advisor at Tech High School was named the Minnesota Association of Student Councils’ Central Division Student Council Advisor of the Year. Backlund also runs the concession stand at Tiger Stadium and student activities social media sites for the school.

Plamann, Smith chosen for new leadership roles at CentraCare

CentraCare announced that Cindy Firkins Smith, MD will lead development of the proposed expansion of the University of Minnesota Medical School in St. Cloud. Joy Plamann has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer for CentraCare. She will retain her current responsibilities as president of CentraCare-St. Cloud Hospital. Smith, who currently serves as senior vice president of CentraCare Rural Health, has been a practicing dermatologist for 32 years. Plamann has worked at CentraCare since 1994 when she started as a nurse. Both leaders assumed their new roles in March.

Schreiner name Director of Athletics

Holly Schreiner has been named the new director of athletics at St. Cloud State University. She was the interim director since June of 2022 when Heather Weems left the school to become the commissioner of the NCHC. Schreiner is a St. Cloud State University graduate and has worked in various roles in the Athletic Department for the past 18 years.

Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation hires new CEO

The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation (GSDC) has hired NeTia Bauman, an experienced economic development leader familiar with the region, to succeed retiring president Patti Gartland. Bauman was most recently the CEO of Greater Fergus Falls Corp., and will begin as head of the GSDC on July 10. Gartland retired on June 1 after 10 years as the GSDC’s president and CEO.