Member News: March & April, 2024

Members of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce have big things happening! Here are the news briefs from March and April, 2024.

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

Metro Bus CEO wins safety award

Metro Bus CEO Ryan I. Daniel is the World Safety Organization’s (WSO) 2023 J. Peter Cunliffe Transportation Award winner. The award recognizes an “active member of the WSO, who has shown above average skills in leadership, and supervision of transportation programs, etc.” and “who exhibits total dedication and commitment to the protection of people, property, resources, and the environment through participation and personal involvement in professional safety activities.”

Over $2 million in capital credits returned

Stearns Electric Association returned $2.125 million in capital credits to members in 2023. “As a not-for-profit electric cooperative, Stearns Electric is jointly owned by our member-consumers, or electricity customers,” Stearns Electric CEO Matt O’Shea explained. Stearns Electric refunds money above the cost of operations to member-consumers in the form of capital credits.

Rinke Noonan adds staff, shareholder

Rinke Noonan welcomed two new attorneys to its staff in 2023. Al Walz specializes in the areas of business, construction, family, and real estate law as well as litigation. Zachary Hennen focuses on appeals; litigation; and construction, environmental and real estate law.

Bethany Cross is a new shareholder at Rinke Noonan law firm. Cross joined the firm in 2017 and specializes in business law, estate planning and real estate law.

CentraCare Birth Center earns recognition

The Birth Center at CentraCare – St. Cloud Hospital is ranked as high performing in maternity care by U.S. News & World Report. The “High Performing” rating indicates results that are well above average on a range of objective quality measures, such as rates of unexpected complications, C-sections, and exclusive breast milk feeding.

St. Cloud Hospital was also designated as a Maternity Care Access Hospital, a new designation by U.S. News & World Report that recognizes hospitals providing quality care to areas of the United States that, if not for that hospital, would be maternity deserts.

Gulden named vice president

Holly Gulden is the new vice president of the CentraCare Foundation. Gulden previously served as the interim vice president for major gifts and advancement at Tulane University in New Orleans, La.

Over $6,000 donated to Soldier’s 6

Stearns Electric Association employees, along with a $1,000 match by the Stearns Electric Board of Directors, raised $6,426 for the non-profit organization Soldier’s 6. Funds were used to provide specially trained K9 ‘Battle Buddies’ to honorably discharged veterans, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, 911 dispatchers and correctional officers throughout the state. To have someone’s 6 is to have their 6 o’clock position – their back – which is what these battle buddies do for their soldiers.

Anderson Trucking Service provides $1 million in assistance

The Anderson Assistance Foundation is funded by the Anderson Family of Companies and employee contributions. Founded in 2019, the foundation helps drivers, independent contractors, warehouse staff, and office workers overcome adversity such as damage from a natural disaster, emergency medical treatments not covered by insurance, and unexpected funeral expenses. More than 400 families in the U.S. and Canada have received help since 2019, totaling over $1 million.

Stanley-Woidyla joins Apex Engineering

GeorginaStanley-Woidyla joined the Apex Engineering Group in St. Cloud as a senior transportation engineer. She is a professional engineer licensed in Minnesota and North Dakota with 21 years of experience in the transportation sector. Stanley-Woidylais well-versed in rural and urban designs for cities, counties, and MnDOT.

SCSU earns national accreditation

The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation awarded full seven-year accreditation to the teacher education programs at St. Cloud State University. National accreditation assures the quality of professional preparation programs through a nongovernmental, nonregulatory process of self-study and peer review.

Blaze Credit Union launches

SPIRE Credit Union and Hiway Credit Union merged to form Blaze Credit Union. As part of the merger, both Minnesota-based credit unions combined assets, liabilities and capital, as well as their boards and management teams.

Crew Carwash named Best Place to Work

Crew Carwash placed 11th in the country on the Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2024 list among large companies. Winners are determined using Glassdoor’s proprietary awards algorithm, and each employer’s rating is determined based on the quantity, quality and consistency of Glassdoor-approved company reviews submitted by U.S.-based employees between October 18, 2022 and October 16, 2023.

Liebl named GeoComm CEO

GeoComm appointed Jeff Liebl as president and chief executive officer. He succeeds John Bryant who will transition to chair of the GeoComm board of directors. Liebl was hired as GeoComm’s president and chief operating officer in the summer of 2022, bringing over 25 years of high-tech industry leadership and experience in technology, product management, marketing, sales, and executive leadership in both Minnesota and Silicon Valley.

Forbes recognizes Proviant Group

Proviant Group, a private wealth advisory practice with Ameriprise Financial, was named to the list of “Best-in-State Wealth Management Teams” by Forbes. The list recognizes financial advisors and their teams who demonstrate high levels of ethical standards, professionalism, and success in their business. Proviant Group was chosen based on assets under management, industry experience, compliance record, and best practices in their practice and approach to working with clients.

Franz Hultgren Evenson, P.A. changes name

Franz Hultgren Evenson, P.A. has changed its name to Evenson Decker, P.A. Under new leadership, partner attorneys JoAnn Evenson and Aaron Decker will continue to provide the service to Central Minnesota that the firm has been delivering for over 50 years. Evenson Decker P.A. has offices in St. Cloud and Albany.

Coborn’s, Inc. announces promotions

Emily Coborn Wright was promoted to senior vice president of growth initiatives at Coborn’s, Inc. In this role she will focus on future growth in liquor, pharmacy, e-commerce, and franchise operations. Most recently she filled the position of vice president of retail sales.

Nathan Tykwinski is the new vice president of market strategy development. Tykwinski was previously vice president of operations where he oversaw liquor, convenience and franchise operations. Tykwinski has been with Coborn’s since 1991. 

Chad Nellis was promoted to senior director of pharmacy, fuel and franchise growth operations, expanding his role from director of pharmacy, which he has held since April 2021.

SCR, Inc. acquires software company

St. Cloud-based SCR, Inc. acquired Minnesota Controls Solutions, a company that develops and installs software for building control management systems. Through this transaction, SCR will add Honeywell to its portfolio of partners and solutions to help enhance its building automation capabilities.

SCSU program receives recognition

St. Cloud State University’s Registered Nursing program was ranked number two in Minnesota by The ranking values how effectively a program supports students in their journey toward licensure and beyond. SCSU was also ranked as the number three school overall in the state.

New services at Momentum Truck Group

Momentum Truck Group, Central & North Central Minnesota’s Freightliner and Western Star Heavy and Medium Duty Truck Dealership has added services for Allison Transmissions. The Momentum Truck Group locations in St. Cloud-I94 and Brainerd locations are now able to repair Allison transmissions as well as offer a variety of in stock parts.