November & December, 2022

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

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

Blattner Company named No. 2 Solar Contractor

Solar Power World ranked Blattner Company No. 2 out of 411 companies on the 2022 Top Solar Contractors List by number of kilowatts that were installed in the previous year.

CentraCare receives awards

The American Heart Association recognized 15 hospitals in Minnesota this year, including CentraCare in St. Cloud, for their work improving systems of care for heart disease and stroke patients. CentraCare St. Cloud Hospital earned eight awards. Awards recognized hospitals across the country for consistently following up-to-date, research-based guidelines to ensure all patients have access to lifesaving care.

Metro Bus shines at state bus Roadeo

The Minnesota Public Transit Association (MPTA) held the Statewide Bus Roadeo in Austin, Minn. in July. Metro Bus had two small bus and three large bus operators present to compete on safety and service with over 30 other bus operators. All five Metro Bus employees placed in the top ten in their respective competitions, with Fixed Route Operator Pete Mugg placing third overall in the large bus division.

Stearns Electric distributes $35,550; Siemers recognized by MREA

Through the Operation Round Up® program, Stearns Electric Association gives its member-consumers the opportunity to give back to the community by rounding up their electric bill to the nearest dollar. The program contributed $35,550 to 56 area organizations in July 2022. Since the program’s inception in 1993, Operation Round Up (ORU) and Stearns Electric members have awarded over $2.8 million to 5,200 local non-profit organizations and community service programs.

Stearns Electric Association lineman Mike Siemers recently earned a LIFEguard award through the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA). MREA recognizes cooperative employees throughout the state who go above and beyond the expectations of keeping individuals safe through their LIFEguard program. Siemers is credited with speaking up and potentially saving the lives of two fencing contractors.

Initiative Foundation awards nearly $2.8 million in grants

The Initiative Foundation delivered 233 grants during the second quarter of 2022 totaling nearly $2.8 million. More than half of the grants went to businesses affected by the pandemic through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Another $1 million-plus was awarded to regional nonprofits with support from the Otto Bremer Trust.

Falcon National Bank earns industry ranking

Falcon Equipment Finance, a division of Falcon National Bank, earned a spot on the Monitor Top 100 list. The Monitor 100 issue is known as a score card on the health of the equipment finance industry. The issue highlights net earning assets, new business volume, syndication and merger activity.

SCSU receives training grants

St. Cloud State University received $550,000 in Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development training grants to partner with local companies in strengthening workforce knowledge and skills. SCSU received a $300,000 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grant in partnership with Grede Casting and a $250,000 Minnesota Job Skills Partnership grant in partnership with SCR (formerly St. Cloud Refrigeration). The grants are intended for customized training to help companies maintain a competitive edge and meet future demands.

Anderson Trucking Service earns “Quest for Quality” award

The Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) van fleet received a 2022 Quest for Quality Award from Logistics Management. The Quest for Quality Awards are the gold standard for customer satisfaction and performance excellence for carriers, ports and logistics providers worldwide.

Mahowald recognized as “2022 Top Insurance Employer”

Mahowald Insurance Agency has been recognized by Insurance Business America Magazine as a 2022 Top Insurance Employer. This is the third consecutive year in which the St. Cloud agency has been named a Top Insurance Workplace by the publication. The honor comes after a nationwide evaluation of insurance employers in two phases, including an employee-response portion.

Schlenner Wenner announces promotions

Local accounting firm Schlenner Wenner has promoted the following individuals: Jim Fischer, Nicole Quade, Riann Harpster, Ali Sing, Ben Bierscheid, and Sydney Wittnebel have been promoted to supervisors. Olivia Johnson, Allison Popp, Jordan Schuett, and Emily Winkels have been promoted to senior associates.

BerganKDV is Top 100 Firm

INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), the publisher of an award-winning newsletter for the public accounting profession, recently announced its annual financial performance analysis and ranking of the nation’s largest 400 public accounting firms. BerganKDV, Ltd. was ranked #63 nationally with more than $83 million in net revenue for the fiscal year 2021.

Wells adds corporate counsel

Melissa Staudinger has joined Wells, in Albany, Minn., as corporate counsel to its growing legal team. Staudinger will be instrumental in Wells contract negotiations, creating favorable terms for both Wells and its building partners and work closely with Wells’ Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Ryan Stroschein to support dispute resolution and provide expert counsel for corporate legal matters. Staudinger comes with a strong background in negotiation and commercial transactions, as well as construction industry experience.

Central MN Community Foundation adds board members

The Central Minnesota Community Foundation welcomed six new members to the board of directors, two of whom are from the organization’s Emerging Leaders Program. Joining the board are Hudda Ibrahim, Filsan Talent Partners; Julie Lunning, St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce; Cathy Julifs, AIS Planning; Todd Zaun, Farms & Merchants State Bank of Pierz; and emerging leaders Antoinette Lee, No Limit Painting, and Tajudeen Popoola, Stearns County Department of Human Services.

Convention and Visitors Bureau hires Hubbard

The St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Greater St. Cloud) hired Lynn Hubbard as marketing manager. In this role, Hubbard manages the marketing and social media efforts for Visit Greater St. Cloud, from blogging and video advertising to email campaigns, social media management and more. Hubbard has an extensive background in the radio industry locally.