CVB 2015

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Marshall Area Chamber Blog

FEATURED MEMBER: North Star Mutual Insurance Company

North Star Mutual Insurance

North Star Mutual is Minnesota’s largest farm insurance writer and has been headquartered in Cottonwood since the 1920’s.  With a growing staff of 244 employees, we specialize in farm, home, auto and small business insurance and write approximately $400 million in premium annually.  North Star offers insurance through a network of nearly 1,500 independent insurance agents across the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Although we’ve grown substantially over the years, our company holds firmly to rural values and is committed to serving our policyholders, agents, employees, and community with pride. For more information about North Star visit www.northstarmutual.com


 

MEET OUR STAFF: Cindy Winn, Finance COORDINATOR

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Cindy Winn is the Finance Coordinator for the Chamber, Visitor's Bureau, EDA, and MDBA and is involved in Women's Connect. She has been with the Chamber for almost 5 years. She has been married to her husband, Ken for 44 years and together they have 3 married children, Holly (Craig) Lamote, Josie (Doug) Malecha, Ed (Lauren) Winn and 8 grandchildren. She loves going to the lake, traveling, going for walks, playing Bunco, hanging out with family and watching the grandkids.


FEATURED MEMBER: Traveler's Lodge

Travelers Lodge

The Traveler’s Lodge is an independently owed Motel serving guests that need a room for a day or need a room for an extended stay. We took over ownership 4 ½ years ago and have focused on room upgrades from day one.
Room upgrades have included: Granite counters with above counter sinks, New light fixtures, New wood floor options, New TV’s, New Beds, New Furniture, and many others.
Our Goal at the Traveler’s Lodge is to give great value and price to our guests that don’t want to pay for amenities they won’t even use. We want every guest to be able to checkout of their room saying, “Wow, that was a really nice room”.

For those needing a room in Marshall, I hope you use the opportunity to stay with us.

Learn more at www.travelerslodge.biz


MEET OUR STAFF: Erin Raveling, Marketing Coordinator

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Erin Raveling is the Marketing Coordinator for the Marshall Chamber. She has been with the Chamber for 7 years. She is involoved in Marshall Area Young Professionals, Marshall GreenStep Committee, Marshall Downtown Business Association, and will be joining the Marshall Community Foundation Board. Erin has been married to her husband, Cody, for 7 years and they have twin 2 year olds, Eden & Beau. She enjoys spending time with her family, going to the lake and shopping when she can!


FEATURED MEMBER: MVTV Wireless

MVTV Wireless

MVTV Wireless is a non-profit member owned cooperative, providing broadband internet service to almost 30K square miles within SW Minnesota. Our Fixed Wireless technology enables us to bring broadband to areas that have never had affordable, reliable and dependable service options. We serve both residential and business customers.

We’ve just recently completed a 1.8 million dollar network upgrade which allows us to now offer speeds up to 25Mbps. That’s unlimited, with no contracts to hidden fees!  And our customer service is second to none! We also have technicians that live throughout our service area, ensuring quick response when necessary.

If you’re not happy with your current service… give MVTV Wireless a call TODAY for a FREE serviceability check. 320-564-4807

Learn more at www.mvtvwireless.com


 

FEATURED MEMBER: Canby Inn & Suites

Canby Inn logo1

At the Canby Inn and Suites, we don't just offer accommodations, we offer sincere hospitality miles away from big hotel chains.  Our quaint 28 room hotel opened in June 2011 features a pool/hot tub, expanded continental breakfast with hot items served daily, wireless internet, and a business center.  Each room offers a refrigerator and microwave, iron/board, hairdryer, and coffee maker. We are located close to the Minnesota/South Dakota border and 30 miles from Marshall, MN.  The Historic Lund-Hoel House and Stone Hill Park/Del Clark Lake are only minutes away.

Learn more at www.canbyinnandsuites.com


MEET OUR STAFF: Darin Rahm, Convention & Visitor's Bureau Director

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Darin Rahm is the Director of the Marshall Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. He has been with the CVB for 3 years. He is married to his wife Shannon and they have 3 kids, Abby (22), Erin (19) and Anna (13). He is involved in MN Amateur Sports Commission, Vice president of the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association and the Explore SW MN travel group. Darin enjoys golfing, craft breweries and antiquing. He also enjoys spending time with his grandson Lincoln. 


FEATURED MEMBER: Reinhart Food Service

Reinhart Logo 4c

Reinhart Marshall has been in operation for over 30 years and serves independent restaurants, sporting venues, schools, nursing homes, hospitals and chain accounts.  We strive to be the RIGHT CHOICE for our customers throughout parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota by delivering the best products, service and value they need. In everything we do our customers sustainable success remains our top priority.

Learn more at https://rfsdelivers.com


MEET OUR STAFF: Karen VanKeulen, Partnership & EVents Coordinator

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Karen has been with the Chamber for 9 years. In that time, she has been in every role and is currently the Partnership and Events Coordinator. She and her husband Pat, have 4 kids: Emily (and Dan Offerdahl), Grant, Haley and Chase. Karen enjoys golf, reading, and general socializing. She is involved with SMSU Alumni Board, Mustang Booster, and Marshall School Board.


NEW MEMBER: The Bend Studio

The Bend Studio
Welcome to our newest Chamber member, The Bend Studio! They are located at 114 North 3rd Street, Suite A in Marshall, MN. 
We are a specialty fitness studio offering a variety of yoga, barre & pilates classes, as well as personal training sessions. Our growing studio boutique features a selection of active wear, accessories and yoga mats.
 

FEATURED MEMBER: Southwest School of Dance

Southwest School of Dance

In 2016 Larvita McFarquhar purchased the Southwest School of Dance from Charlotte Wendel, who started it back in 1983.  We moved into our new location in the former Lyndwood Center building in Lynd, in the fall of 2016 along with opening Prestige Gymnastics.  We are excited to begin our 35th season of dance and our 2nd season of gymnastics!

Learn more at www.southwestschoolofdancemn.com


 

MEET OUR STAFF: Tara Onken, Economic Development Director

Tara headshot

Tara is currently the Economic Development Coordinator in Tracy and Balaton and will be transitioning into her role as the Marshall EDA Director later this year.  Tara has been with the Chamber for two years.  She is involved with Marshall Area Young Professionals, Southwest Economic Development Professionals and the Economic Development Association of Minnesota.  She volunteers her time as an EDA Board Member in Balaton, as well as working on natural gas, broadband and park projects in her community.  When Tara isn’t working, you can find her at the family farm, or at her family lake cabin, spending time with her family.


NEW MEMBER: SR Auto Repair Garage

SR Auto Repair Garage
Welcome to our newest Chamber member, SR Auto Repair Garage! They are located at 406 Airport Road in Marshall, MN. 
SR Auto Repair Garage offers complete automotive and light truck repairs, with honest and dependable customer service. Give me a call for all your automotive repair needs.
 

FEATURED MEMBER: Action Manufacturing

actionmanufacturing

Action Manufacturing Inc. began in 2008 in Marshall, MN with the production of the first ever tracked all terrain wheelchair called The Action Trackchair. In 2010 the Action Trackstander was created, both units have vastly improved independence and accessibility for the disabled community.

Additional products manufactured by Action Manufacturing include:

  • The Action Trackporter, a device used in the pork production industry.
  • The Action Trackbot which is a remote controlled robotic platform with numerous applications such as in hazardous work environments, military, police as well as in tactical training programs.

Action Manufacturing has a dealer distribution network through-out the US as well as Canada, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Spain and the Netherlands.  www.actiontrackchair.com  


MEET OUR STAFF: Cassi Schreckenghaust, CVB Social MEdia/Marketing Coordinator

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Cassi is the Social Media/Marketing Coordinator for the Marshall Convention & Visitor's Bureau - Visit Marshall, MN. Cassi has been with the for CVB for 1 year. She is involved in Marshall Area Young ProfessionalsSouthern Minnesota Tourism Association, & Explore SW MN. She has coached High School and 12U hockey in Marshall the past 4 years. She also enjoys taking road trips with her new fiancé Michael, hanging out with her cat Radish and cooking and baking any spare time she gets!

FEATURED MEMBER: Wilson O'Brien Realtors

WilsonOBrien

Wilson-O’Brien has been one of Marshall’s leading area home realtors since 1959. Our friendly staff and positive reputation for integrity and professionalism will help you in buying or selling your home. We’re ready to do everything in our power to fulfill your home needs. 

Learn more about Wilson O'Brien Realtors.


Meet our Staff: Brad Gruhot, Chamber Director

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Brad has been with the Chamber 3 years but in the Chamber industry for 8 years. He is involved in Young Professionals, Business Development, Ambassadors, Transportation & Legislative Committees and oversees the daily Chamber operations. Brad has been married to his wife, Karen, for 16 years, and they have two children, Jonathan (12) and Alayna (9), who attend Holy Redeemer School. Brad likes to golf, is an avid Minnesota sports fan and is involved in several organizations including Holy Redeemer Church & School, SMSU Boosters and Foundation, MAYBA and the Marshall Area YMCA.
 
 

FEATURED MEMBER: Marshall Food4Kids

Marshall Food4kids
  • Marshall Food4Kids started in 2013 serving 98 children and grew to more than 200 students in less than a year. About 400 children are currently enrolled and more are regularly being added as funding allows.
  • The food is packed by volunteers and delivered to schools weekly.
  • We are a 100% volunteer organization.
  • Any child in Head Start or any Marshall Public School student who wants extra food assistance for the weekend, with a parent or guardian’s consent, is eligible to participate in the program. 

   

Learn more about Marshall Food4Kids.


FEATURED MEMBER: Prairie Home Hospice & Community Care

Prairie Home Hospice and Community Care

Prairie Home Hospice & Community Care is a nonprofit organization, established by members of the community, to serve the community.  As a Medicare-certified Hospice provider, we have been providing hospice care for patients in Lyon County and the surrounding area for over 33 years, touching the lives of over 1,600 patients and their families.

 In 2004, we opened the first hospice house in the community (Lockwood House) and look forward to opening a second hospice house (McLaughlin House) in Marshall in September to meet the growing need for residential hospice care in the community.

In 2014, we expanded our continuum of care to meet a growing need in the community and became a Medicare-certified Home Health Care provider, providing us the opportunity to serve patients with a wide variety of home care needs.

Thanks to the support of a very caring community, Prairie Home Hospice & Community Care continues to maintain a strong commitment to serving the community through the delivery of exceptional services and compassionate care, as a trusted leader in home health can hospice care. 

 

Learn more about Prairie Home Hospice & Community Care.


 

FEATURED MEMBER: Marshall Area YMCA

YMCA logo

The Marshall Area YMCA believes that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health, and our neighbors.  That’s why, at the Y, strengthening community is our cause.  Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors in our community to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.  The Y facility opened in 2003 providing Marshall with services and programs focusing our work in three areas - Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.      

Learn more about the Marshall Area YMCA.


 

NEW MEMBER: Waste Management

Waste Management Logo 
Welcome to our newest Chamber member, Waste Management! They are located at 905 Channel Parkway in Marshall, MN. 
Waste Management serves residential, commercial, and industrial customers through landfill operations, curbside collection, dumpster, recycling, and other waste collection services.
 

FEATURED MEMBER: Rotary Clubs of Marshall, MN

Rotary International

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors organized into over 35,000 clubs worldwide in about 200 countries.  Members serve as friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. Rotarians support projects that: Promote peace; Fight disease; Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; Save mothers and children; Support education; and Grow local economies.  Rotary is the oldest service club in the world, now in its 113th year.

The two Rotary Clubs of Marshall are: 

Rotary Club of Marshall – Noon, meeting each Tuesday noon at Shay’s. The Noon Club was chartered in 1949.

Rotary Club of Marshall Sunrise, meeting each Thursday at 7:00 am at the YMCA. The Sunrise Club was chartered on Feb. 23, 2003.  

Any interested person would be welcome stop in at either meeting to learn more about the organization and to consider joining.

Local projects have included:  Liberty Park redesign, Memorial Park, Dictionaries for elementary school kids, work with Big Buddies, etc.

International projects have included:  Food for Kidz (providing about 90,000 meals annually), Water Collection and Storage Tanks for Uganda, Wheelchair distribution and fitting, etc.  Local members have worked on projects in Uganda, Guatemala, Romania, and Jamaica.

Learn more about Rotary Clubs of Marshall.


FEATURED MEMBER: Bremer Bank

Bremer New

Partnering with Bremer Bank presents a world of financial possibilities. From personal and business banking to investments, insurance and trust, Bremer listens to your needs, then finds solutions to help realize your goals.

We are as large or small as you need us to be. We are large enough to offer significant resources, yet small enough to deliver the personal attention and individualized solutions you deserve.

When you put your trust in Bremer, you experience an unparalleled level of service, commitments you can count on and a partner who understands your needs and the needs of the community. Since 1935, Bremer Bank has been a proud member of the Marshall community.

Learn more about Bremer at www.bremer.com

 


NEW MEMBER: Lyon County Farm Bureau

Lyon County Farm BureauWelcome to our newest Chamber member, Lyon County Farm Bureau
Farm Bureau is an organization guided and directed by our nearly 30,000 member families-teachers, farmers, community leaders, husbands, wives, parents and business owners. Each one is concerned about their children, families, communities and making Minnesota a great please to live and work.
 
 

Featured Member: C&N GameRoom Outlet and Security

CN Sales

Serving Customers Since 1928!
C & N Sales offers Pool Tables, Dart Boards, Jukeboxes, Pinball Machines, Video Games, sanctioned Pool and Dart Leagues and Home Entertainment Sales.
C&N Sales has the largest league system in SW MN for pool and darts in the country! With over 400 taverns served and 10,000 league players, our patrons come from all over the Midwest to play in our weekly leagues and qualify for our premier tournament schedule.

Learn more about C&N Sales at www.cnnsales.com

 

New Member: Pulver Towing

Pulver TowingWelcome to our newest Chamber member, Pulver Towing of Marshall! They are located at 2554 County Road 7 in Marshall, MN. 
Pulver Towing of Marshall has been providing towing, recovery, and most importantly, emergency road assistance to the residents and businesses in the Greater Marshall area. We are backed by our qualified staff members and more than 70 years of experience. Our family-owned and operated company strives to help many customers at the same time, irrespective of their location within our service area.
 

MN Chamber LEgislative Updates

In partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and other Chambers throughout the State, we made real progress on addressing employer needs on several fronts from taxes, transportation and health care, education/workforce development, environmental regulations and energy costs. 
-Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce
 
BUSINESS TAX RELIEF
The Legislature delivered the biggest tax relief bill for all Minnesotans since 2001. We have worked for years to reverse a number of tax laws that are a drag on our state’s economy and potential growth. Specific to business, our victories:

Property tax:The automatic annual inflator in the statewide property tax was eliminated, and the first $100,000 of a property’s market will be exempt from the state levy and the overall levy was reduced. This critical tax change will benefit every business located in our state by lowering this uncompetitive fixed cost of doing business.

Research-and-development credit:The tax credit will be enhanced by increasing the second-tier percent from 2.5% to 4%. This will ensure continued competitiveness for the innovation segment of Minnesota’s economy.

Estate tax:The threshold for this tax will be increased from the current $2 million to $3 million by 2020. The federal level is $5.49 million. While we fell short of the goal of full conformity, this change is an important step toward encouraging successful individuals to retire in Minnesota and continue to invest in their communities and our state.

Residency factors:An individual’s use of Minnesota financial advisers, accountants, etc., will no longer be used to determining residency for tax purposes. This is another critical consideration for highly mobile successful individuals and the professional service sector they rely on.

LAWSUIT REFORM
Minnesota has experienced a wave of abusive lawsuits by a small group of attorneys targeting small businesses by alleging technical violations of federal American with Disabilities Act and Minnesota Human Rights Act in order to achieve settlements and attorney fees. Working with a number of important partners including the Minnesota State Council on Disability, Legal Aid and the Department of Human Rights, the Minnesota Chamber led the way in addressing these abusive lawsuits and ensuring disabled individuals are able to gain access to businesses while mitigating the potential for lawsuit abuse. Minnesota businesses want to be accessible to all customers, but many of these lawsuits are not about access but instead about technical violations such as height and color of parking signs.

Mandatory notice to businesses: Plaintiffs represented by an attorney must provide a notice of an alleged accessibility violation and give businesses 60 days to respond (30 days longer for weather conditions) before a lawsuit can be filed for state claims under the Minnesota Human Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more information, click here.
 

Featured Member: Schwan's Company

Schwans Company logo white outline 2017 rgb

We are starting to do a weekly featured member!
First, we would like to feature Schwan's Company! They recently changed their name from The Schwan Food Company.

Schwan’s Company started in Marshall in 1952 when a young Marvin Schwan loaded 14 gallons of his family’s ice cream into an old dodge panel van and set out to sell it door to door. By the end of the trip, all 14 gallons were sold and the business model that would become Schwan’s Company was born. Today, the company sells hundreds fine frozen foods on its traditional delivery trucks, in grocery-store freezers and in the food-service industry.
Learn more about Schwan's Company at www.schwanscompany.com


May 2017 CHAMBER CONNECTION

Check out our monthly page featured in the Marshall Independent.


APRIL 2017 CHAMBER CONNECTION

Check out our monthly page featured in the Marshall Independent.


MARCH 2017 CHAMBER CONNECTION

Check out our monthly page featured in the Marshall Independent.


FEBRUARY 2017 CHAMBER CONNECTION

Check out our monthly page featured in the Marshall Independent.


A Change of Pace

Check out the article featuring our Chamber Director, Brad Gruhot, in the Marshall Independent. We're glad to have you back in Marshall!


HAPPY NEW YEAR'S

We are now three weeks into 2017 but in today’s column, I want to recap 2016.

Women’s Connect is as strong as it has ever been.  In 2016, Women’s Connect heard about everything from fitness goals, hearing from minority advocates to getting an EDA update.  The Women’s Connect group also partnered with their counterparts from Schwan’s and had a wildly successful program featuring Pat McGill, a motivational speaker who spoke on real life experiences in the workplace and at home.  The Pat McGill event brought in 161 attendees!  One of their highlights though was the Secret Spaces tour at SMSU, which there will be a “Part two” version this year.  Overall, Women’s Connect averaged 46 attendees throughout the year. 

Similarly, Young Professionals had the same type of events.  Some of their highlights included a talk on Work/Life balance from former CEO of Schwan’s, Ken Noyes, Lessons in Leadership from Ralco CEO, Brian Knochenmus to a legislative recap from former State Representative, Marty Seifert.  Young Professionals membership is as strong as ever with nearly 80 members of the group.  Young Professionals averaged 39 attendees per event in 2016.  The Sleep Inn was and still is our Young Professionals Sponsor.

Two times a year we bring in a main event speaker.  In March, Willow Sweeney, a one-of-a-kind motivational speaker came in and spoke on living above and below the line.  She was certainly worth the price of admission and attendees agreed as we saw nearly 200 attendees at this event.  Part two is March 29th of this year. 

Our second Speaker Series speaker was Luke Riordan who spoke on Social Media Marketing.  This event brought in nearly 100 attendees. 

Business After Hours events are always one of our more popular events we have monthly.  This event gives the hosting business an opportunity to showcase their business in a social setting, and at the same time, members get to network with each other.  2016 brought us to Advanced Opportunities, the new Runnings Warehouse to the new Red Baron Arena and then capped it off at Bremer Bank in December.  In October, in place of Business After Hours is our Taste of Marshall.  At this event, where restaurants get to showcase what they have to offer, we saw 340 people show up!  Be sure to mark your calendar for this event later this year.

Let’s Connect is still a newer event where businesses take turns talking about their business for up to a minute with 25-30 other businesses in the room.  A nice visibility event if you have something to market at your company.  Our host and sponsor is the AmericInn.  On average, we saw 26 attendees to this event. 

Finally, on the event side of things, we have our Chamber 101 orientation event.  At this bi-monthly event, we give an overview of what benefits and features the Chamber has to offer.  We averaged just over 10 attendees at this event in 2016.

What else went on in 2016?  A newly formed non-profit roundtable launched in March.  This group met a handful of times to talk about all things non-profit related and this group led the charge for Give to the Max Day in November.  We have over 100 volunteers that sit on our various committees that include Transportation, Business Development and our strong Ambassadors group that welcomed 20 businesses with a First Dollar.  Overall, we saw 21 new businesses open in 2016 in the Marshall Area.

Lastly, our membership sits at 524 members including 13 new members in December alone!  We also have 69 businesses that are outside of the Marshall zip code. 

We expect another good year in 2017.  Be on the lookout for our new directory very soon and our extremely popular coupon book later in February.  

 

Brad Gruhot

Marshall Area Chamber Director


MN CHAMBER LOOKS TO 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

MARSHALL - Taxes, health care, transportation infrastructure - there are a lot of current issues of concern for the Minnesota businesspeople. But the timing of the upcoming state legislative session might be good to try working out solutions for the future, speakers from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said Monday.


DECEMBER 2016 CHAMBER CONNECTION

Check out our monthly page featured in the Marshall Independent.