Member News: November & December, 2023

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

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

Coborn’s Inc. announces new partnership

Coborn’s Inc. has a new partnership with House of Pizza. Guests can now pick up House of Pizza frozen pizza from local Coborn’s and Cash Wise Foods grocery stores. Brandon Testa is the owner of House of Pizza. “Coborn’s was the perfect retail option to partner with locally for availability and additional growth with outlying markets where their stores are located,” Testa said.

Stearns Electric reaches $3 million in awards

Funded by the contributions of member-consumers of Stearns Electric Association, the cooperative’s Operation Round Up® (ORU) program awarded its three millionth dollar in July 2023. Since 1993, funds from ORU have been given annually to local non-profit organizations, community service programs and worthy causes in the communities served by the member-owned electric cooperative.

CentraCare earns nine awards

The American Heart Association recognized 22 hospitals in Minnesota this year, including CentraCare in St. Cloud, for their work improving systems of care for heart disease and stroke patients. CentraCare earned nine awards this year, more than any other single hospital.

Career Solutions receives state recognition

Career Solutions, an employment and training agency, earned a Promising Practices award from the Minnesota Association of Workforce Boards (MAWB) for their “Career Seekers Open House” events. These events have brought in many new job seekers that likely wouldn’t have been reached otherwise.

Proviant Group promotes Kruchten, Recknor

Josie Kruchten and Tyler Recknor have been promoted to financial advisors with the practice of Proviant Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services LLC. Kruchten graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in finance. Recknor graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in finance.

New development center at St. Cloud State

The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, in partnership with Department of Defense’s Manufacturing Capability Expansion and Investment Prioritization office, announced that St. Cloud State University is one of two Minnesota institutions chosen as new machine tool workforce development centers via the America’s Cutting Edge (ACE) program. ACE is a national initiative aimed at revitalizing U.S. manufacturing. SCSU was chosen, along with the University of St. Thomas, to provide essential training in manufacturing across the state.

Coborn’s Inc. names new COO

David Best will assume the role of president and COO of Coborn’s, Inc. on January 1, 2024, upon the retirement of current COO Dave Meyer. Best joins Coborn’s from General Mills, where he served as the head of Omnichannel for North America. Prior to General Mills, Best spent 19 years at Target, holding positions in merchandising, supply chain, and business development.

Schmitt earns Gold Circle of Distinction

Scott M. Schmitt, certified commercial investment member of Coldwell Banker Commercial – Orion Real Estate Advisors received the Gold Circle of Distinction, which recognizes the top producers within the Coldwell Banker Commercial organization. Schmitt was recognized and awarded top 2 percent achiever status of over 3,000 commercial brokers/associates globally. Additionally, he recently acquired the business assets of Coldwell Banker Commercial Orion from his father, rebranding as Coldwell Banker Commercial | Orion Real Estate Advisors Inc.

Local banks make Top 10 Minnesota SBA lenders for 2023

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District announced this year’s list of honorees for small-business lending. The SBA Minnesota District honors 10 lenders annually throughout the state in different asset sizes for their “commitment to helping small businesses succeed.” Making the local list are:

  • Credit Union: Magnifi Financial Credit Union
  • Lender with between $250M and $500M in assets: BankVista
  • Lender with more than $1B in assets: Frandsen Bank
  • National Lender: U.S. Bancorp
  • Export Lender: Minnwest Bank
  • Certified Development Company (Loan Volume): Minnesota Business Finance Corporation

St. Cloud State University receives award

The Herberger Business School received the 2023 Innovation in Business Education Award by from the MidAmerican Business Dean’s Association. The program was recognized for its rapid growth and its ability to offer both online and in-person options in a modular format to align with students’ learning needs, work-life demands and career trajectories.

Lathrop GPM LLP earns distinction

Lathrop GPM LLP is included in World Intellectual Property Review Insights’ “US National Trademarks Rankings,” a guide to the nation’s leading law firms and lawyers practicing trademark law. The firm was designated as “Notable” in the non-contentious category.

Habitat for Humanity names new director

Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity (CMHFH) announced the appointment of Chad Bouley as its new executive director. Bouley was the chief real estate officer for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity since 2003. CMHFH is the largest nonprofit, affordable homeownership developer in Central Minn., serving people in the 30-60 percent average median income range.

New manufacturing lab opens

St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC) celebrated the grand opening of its Advanced Manufacturing Center in September. The 8,000 square foot facility allows SCTCC to increase capacity from 24 to 48 manufacturing students. The modern lab is available to students who are new to the manufacturing industry, as well as those currently in the workforce who need training.

Pantzke receives national recognition

RE Magazine named Stearns Electric’s John Pantzke as one of the 2023 Cooperative Rising Stars. Pantzke is among 19 other electric cooperative employees from across the United States who were recognized for the contributions made to their electric cooperatives and their communities. Pantzke joined Stearns Electric in January 2020 as business development representative, and currently serves as manager of energy services.

Minnwest Bank named “Best Small Bank”

Minnwest Bank was named the “2023 Best Small Bank in Minnesota” by Newsweek Magazine. In partnership with Lending Tree, Newsweek analyzed thousands of FDIC-insured banks and credit unions across the United States to determine the best bank in each state based on more than 50 different factors, including competitive rates, low fees, rewards, and a wide range of financial products and services.

Davis joins the GSDC

The Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation hired Emily Davis as the Exploring Potential Interests and Careers (EPIC) coordinator. In her role, Davis will work to connect businesses and school districts to help students explore careers through events and initiatives throughout the year.