December 2017

Community Connections

“Powering up business throughout Martin County”

Glowing with Community Pride


This Issue

Page 2 - The New

American Dream

Page 3 - MCYF Grants


Page 3 - Farewell Curt

Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs

Page 5 - Thank You Retiring

Board Members

Page 5 - Community


Decoration Fund

Page 7 - Ambassador Visits

The 28th annual Glows Festival

is in the books and the joy of

the holiday season is upon us once

again. This festive celebration continues

to brighten our spirits as we

prepare to celebrate the holidays

with friends and loved ones in the

weeks ahead.

Children lined up with excitement

to meet Santa and Mrs.

Claus as they arrived at the Fairmont

Airport aboard the North

Pole Express. Area residents came

out to witness the spectacular parade

and celebrate together along

Downtown Plaza and throughout

our community with pre and postparade

festivities carrying on well

into the night. Our local businesses

ABOVE: Parade-goers gather to witness a breathtaking display of holiday

cheer at the 28th Annual Fairmont Glows Parade.

and organizations put their holiday

spirit on display by decorating trucks (Continued on page

floats and trailers, buses and bucket


323 East Blue Earth Avenue • Fairmont, MN 56031 • 507-235-5547 • • FairmontChamber

Mission Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce exists to promote a healthy business cli

Board of Directors Officers:


Kerry Nagel Allen


Vice Chair

Les Anderson

Martin County

Farm Bureau

Board of Directors:

Deb Barnes

Lakeview Methodist

Health Care Center

Stephanie Busiahn

Visit Fairmont

Chris Carstensen


Cabinetry and


Zephanie Cole

Align Chiropractic &

Acupuncture, PLC


Past Chair

Ron Kopischke

Profinium, Inc.


Sara Pierce

Pierce Accounting

and Tax Services

Dave Cone

Kahler Automation




Krahmer, Shaffer

& Edmundson, Ltd

Mandi Kosbab

Edward Jones

Ann Terfehr

Dan’s Appliance

Margaret Dillard


Kandi Menne

Office Manager/Director of


Benjamin Landsteiner

Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Louis Hinton

Finance Coordinator

Contact Information:

Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce

323 East Blue Earth Avenue

P.O. Box 826

Fairmont, MN 56031

Phone: (507) 235-5547

The new American Dream

By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President

Everything you have learned

about traditional economy, education,

workforce and shopping habits

is no longer relevant without

considering that the focus of the

American Dream has shifted. New

generations have brought on this

different way of thinking about …

well, almost everything! According to a 2015 US

Census report, not only do millennials outnumber

baby boomers, accounting for about a quarter of the

population but are also “more diverse than

the generations that preceded them, with

44.2 percent being part of a minority race or

ethnic group.”

Living for the experience

“Living for the

experience has replaced

the overwhelming

need to amass wealth.

Being part of something

bigger than one’s own

wants and needs is

forcing change in how

we connect.”

has replaced the overwhelming

need to amass wealth. Being

part of something bigger than

one’s own wants and needs is

forcing change in how we connect.

Case in point, while the

national retail environment is

reeling, small business, boutiques

and mom and pop shops

are primed to answer shopping


Small Business Saturday

is a new twist on the Midwestern

Crazy Daze promotion. It's

an annual shopping tradition

dedicated to supporting small

businesses and celebrating communities across the

country. Founded by American Express in 2010,

Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year

on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The board of

directors at Fairmont Area Chamber expressed the

desire to participate in this effort, so for the past

two years, we have been recognized as a “Community

Champion” thereby receiving resources and

materials to lead an effort to encourage people to

shop local. Both years, we’ve chosen to facilitate the

Passport Program. The Shop Small Passport is part

scavenger hunt, part souvenir for shoppers to collect

stamps from all their favorite places. Each time

shoppers made a purchase at a participating place,

they received a stamp. When they shopped at other

small businesses, that stamp got them something

special—like a discount or hot chocolate. Thank

you to participating Chamber Members: Dan's Appliance

& TV, JL Computers, Minuteman Press, NAPA

Auto Parts, Sovell Jewelry, Twelve Baskets Re-Sale

and The Visual Identity Vault and other Participating

Businesses: The Cutting Edge Salon, Dees Floral,

The Extra Touch and Sommer Outdoors.

Another shift now widely recognized

is that young professionals will forego

financial compensation to live in communities

that feature safety, quality

educational options, affordability,

recreational amenities and

a variety of local healthcare facilities.

For years, we’ve heard

and readily accepted that rural

America is dying. We believed

that as we sent our youth off to

acquire their key to success and

happiness – a four-year degree

– we were sealing the fate of

small communities because they

would never find the American

Dream of yesteryear (otherwise

known as the six figure salary)

back home. Research of Ben

Winchester, at Minnesota’s Extension

Center for Community

Vitality further supports that millennials do not

shoot for the same goals as their parents. The “Fairmont

Area Life” project is a collaborative venture

of the City of Fairmont’s Economic Development

Authority, Fairmont Area Chamber and local stakeholders

that adopts an aggressive approach to recruiting

and retaining talent using social media and

websites as well as traditional media and personal

contact to showcase quality of life indicators, local

human interest stories and testimonials unique to

Martin County, Minnesota.

In addition to ex-


(Continued on page 7)

mate through leadership, communication and education for its members in the greater Fairmont area.

MCYF Awards Grants

The Martin County

Youth Foundation

held its Donor

Recognition and

Awards Presentation

on Monday, November

13, 2017 at the Fairmont Elementary School.

Grants totaling $13,580 were awarded to help fund

eight area organizations/projects during the Fall

2017 Award cycle. As of November 2017, the foundation

has awarded more than $385,000 to assist in

funding over 280 local youth-oriented projects.

The Martin County Youth Foundation was

founded in 2000. The organization is committed to

acquire, manage and distribute funds to enhance

the lives of youth in Martin County, contributing

over $30,000 each year in grants to support youth

related programs and activities in Martin County.

For more information, visit

Farewell Curt

This fall, the foundation awarded grants in

the following amounts to these local organizations

and projects:

Martin County Historical Society $600

Annual School Visitation Program

Martin County Library $2,000

Code Academy

Martin County Preservation Assoc. $500

Childrens' Theater Workshop

GHEC School (ISD #2536) $2,400

Preschool Tuition

Fairmont Area Schools (ISD #2752) $2,380

Strong Fathers/Strong Families Program

Fairmont Area Kinship $3,100

Scholarships and Staff Training

Fairmont CER (ISD #2752) $1,000

STEAM Adventures Workshop

Fairmont CER (ISD #2752) $1,600

Minecraft Camp

The board and staff of

the Fairmont Area Chamber

of Commerce would

like to thank Curt Foster

for his years of service as

our Director of Finance &

Operations. After nearly

three years at the chamber,

Curt has moved on to pursue new opportunities

in the development of his professional


His kindness and sincerity will be

greatly missed by all of us at the Fairmont Area

Chamber of Commerce. We wish him all the

best in his future endeavors as he begins this

new chapter in his life. Thank you Curt!




1. Referrals to Potential Customers

2. Free and Discounted

Information Seminars

3. Invitations to Chamber Events

4. Free Listing on our Website

5. Unique Sponsorship and

Advertising Opportunities

6. Member to Member Networking

7. Increased Consumer Favorability

8. City and State Advocacy

9. Free Business Resources

10. Brochure or Card Placement

11. Free Media Exposure

12. Member Only Discounts

13. Social Media Visibility

14. Region-specific Business News

15. Online Presence Assistance

Join the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce between

October 1 and December 15 and receive member benefits for

the remainder of the year at no charge. Just pay next year’s

dues in full at time of joining to receive the remainder of this

year absolutely FREE! You’ll receive up to 20% OFF your total

dues through the end of next year.



Tri-County Implement

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Martin County Implement


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323 East Blue Earth Avenue | Fairmont, MN 56031

507-235-5547 |

Chamber member business briefs

Carpet Plus

(507) 238-4554

Carpet Plus Fairmont, Five Lakes Centre, is excited

to announce the addition of a new flooring

sales and design consultant to our team in Fairmont. Stacey Thom of Fairmont,

joined us in October, and will be consulting with residential and commercial

clients and their flooring needs. She will also be giving her personal attention

to each order as it arrives and preparing the orders for installer and customer

pick ups. Stacey has past customer service experience as an executive in the

hospitality field. Feel free to stop in to Carpet Plus and meet Stacey.

Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab

(507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC

Time to Review Your Investment Strategy

for the Year. As the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to review your

progress toward your financial goals. You could start with the performance

of your investment portfolio. Did it provide you with the return you need,

given your risk tolerance and time horizon? If not, you may need to make

some changes for next year. But don’t be too quick to get rid of investments,

especially if their fundamentals are sound. Investment performance isn’t

the only thing you should consider when looking at your financial picture

over this past year. What changed in your life? Factors such as a new child

or a new job can lead you to make some important moves, such as adding

life insurance, opening a college savings plan or investing carefully in a new

employer’s retirement plan. Whether it's your portfolio's performance or

changes in your life, you will find that you always have some reasons to

look back at your investment and financial strategies for the past year – and

to look ahead at moves you can make for the next.

Yes, you can join the Chamber!




Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Fairmont Area Kinship

(507) 238-4440

Kinship is the mentoring program for all of Martin

County. Mentoring through Kinship is FUN!

Mentoring matches in the program spend 3-6 hours per month together baking,

playing basketball, hiking, biking, kayaking, going out to eat or to the

movies together, and so much more! Mentees improve self-esteem, leadership,

problem-solving, and socialization skills, and develop greater hopes and

dreams for the future. Kinship has 11 boys and 8 girls waiting for mentors, so

we need your help! Volunteers can complete our online application at sites. You find us on Facebook at

or call the office at (507) 238-4440 for more


Century 21 - Gillian Tunnell

(507) 399-9211

How much time do you spend in your garage? Probably

more than you think! For the majority of people, it is the

entrance/exit used most often. The garage is also an area for easily accessed

storage, a dumping-ground for items you can’t find a space for elsewhere, and

for hobbies or projects too messy to do in the house itself. However, garages

are often overlooked when sellers are preparing their homes for the market.

Having an organized and clean space can create a very positive impression on

prospective buyers – especially if their own garage is not up to that standard

and it may even add value to the home! So get out in that garage and add some

shelves and storage bins! At the very least, you will have the satisfaction of enjoying

your organized space every time you pass through the garage!

Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont

(507) 238-8100

We’re excited to announce that Andrew

Brevik, D.O., is joining our primary care team to provide internal medicine

services to patients. Dr. Brevik, who most recently served as a hospitalist at

Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, South Dakota, starts at Mayo Clinic

Health System in Fairmont on Dec. 11. Dr. Brevik is board certified by the

American Board of Internal Medicine. He received his Doctorate of Osteopathy

from University of Health Sciences Kansas City in 1998.





Please return this form to the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce:

323 E. Blue Earth Ave | PO Box 826 | Fairmont, MN 56031

Call 507-235-5547 or email with any questions

regarding this form or individual chamber membership.

Red Rock Center for the Arts

(507) 235-9262

Red Rock Center for the Arts welcomes in the holiday

season Dec. 8 at 7pm with Glenn Henriksen’s Annual

Holiday Concert. Seating is limited and tickets are required.

Available at Hy-Vee in Fairmont, or at online

box office. Join us for free holiday musical entertainment by Bill Busse, Joyce

Schultz and Sandy Ettesvold at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 12 and the St. Paul’s

Lutheran all school choir and handbells at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

e recognized as the leader in assisting area businesses to prosper.

Chamber member business briefs

Interlaken Heritage Days

(507) 848-4664

The Interlaken Heritage Days committee is seeking new

members and volunteers. Upcoming meetings will be held

at 6 pm on January 10 & February 21, 2018. Save the dates

in 2018: April 28 for the Spring Vendor Show, Holy Hotdish

events in April & May. Look for more information coming soon for Little Miss

& Mr. Contest, Lip Sync, and the 30th Anniversary event; June 8-10! More

information available at or by phone at


“Business Briefs” is a complimentary service provided by the Chamber for chamber members. Please limit your information to one paragraph of about

100 words. Example: expansion, new employees, awards, monumental anniversary, etc… A photo or logo can be included. NO Direct Advertising.

Thank You

AS Mobile


to our Retiring

Board Members

We would like

to thank the two board

members who will be

finishing their threeyear

terms on the Fairmont

Area Chamber

of Commerce Board

of Directors at the end

of 2017. Our outgoing

board members include

Past Chair, Ron

Ron Kopischke Chris Carstensen

Kopischke (Profinium,

Inc.) and Chris Carstensen (Carstensen Cabinetry and Woodworking). We

are truly grateful for your contributions to your chamber and for your

devotion to improving our business climate and our community through

your service on the Chamber's Board of Directors. Thank you both!

Shoe Sensation

(507) 238-9211

Shoe Sensation, a regional chain of name brand family shoe stores, is sponsoring

Socks For Troops company wide. Each store will be collecting socks

for active duty military or local veterans in or around the community. Shoe

Sensation will have military approved socks in store and customers will be

able to receive 20% off the socks donated. Customers will also be able to

bring in new socks to be donated. Socks for Troops will be going on now until

December 24, 2017. Please visit Shoe Sensation at the Five Lakes Centre in

Fairmont for details on where the socks will be delivered.

Donations Needed

We are still in need of donations to replenish

our designated Community Christmas

Decoration Fund for 2017. It costs approximately

$1,500 per year to refurbish the street

pole decorations which are provided by the

Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce for the

enhancement of our community. We are hoping

to purchase new decorations in the coming

years as our current ones continue to age and

deteriorate. The replacement costs, however,

are significant.

We appreciate all donations from local citizens, businesses and

organizations in any amount. These donations help to keep our community

shining bright throughout the holiday season.

If you would like to donate, you can contact us by phone at (507)

235-5547, or reach us by email at


The Fairmont Area Community Events Calendar has a Mobile App!

You can access information for all the great events going on in Martin County directly from your iOS or Android-based mobile device

using the free mobile app "AS Mobile" published by rSchoolToday! Of course, you can still view upcoming community events on your

desktop or laptop computer by visiting the community calendar website at If you have any questions

or concerns about updating your events to the Fairmont Area Community Calendar, please email the Fairmont Area Chamber

of Commerce at

Calendar Funding Partners: Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fairmont Convention and Visitors Bureau, City

of Fairmont, Fairmont Area Schools, and Blandin Community Broadband Grant. Other Partners: Fairmont Community

Education and Recreation.


Core Values: We value for our members, employees and community: integrity in all we do, collaboration with all our stakeholders, growth and develop

Chamber Events

Glowing (Continued from page 1)


Wednesday, December 6th - 7:30 a.m.

Chamber Board Meeting

Wednesday, December 13th - 6:00 p.m.

Bureau 14 & Agribusiness Committees

Combined Meeting

Friday, December 15th - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas Open House (Chamber Office)

Wednesday, December 20th - 3:00 p.m.

Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings

Monday, December 25th

Christmas Day (Offices Closed)

Tuesday, December 26th

Christmas Observed (Offices Closed)

Monday, January 1st

New Years Day (Offices Closed)



Edward Jones - Dan Hamlet

Pomerenke Insurance

Energy rebates

for your business.

The smart move for your bottom line. 866-872-0052

with holiday lights and decor as they spread

good cheer and candy to the eager children,

devoted parents and dutiful residents in attendance.

Our panel of judges made their selections

for top float in each of three categories

(Commercial, Non-Commercial and Glowing).

After careful consideration for each of the amazing

entries, the following award winners were


The Commercial Float Award was given

to Temperance Lake Ridge in Sherburn for their

beautifully crafted gingerbread house float with

glowing gumdrops and live gingerbread man.

Fine Jewelry

Sovell Jewelry

Your Professional Jeweler

Since 1954

Full Service-In House Repair

Jessica & Steve Sovell

Gemologist • Goldsmith

The Non-Commercial Float Award was

awarded to Bacon Capital USA for their baconthemed

musical float featuring Santa Hog and

his brightly lit Bacon Elves distributing candy.

The Glowing Float Award went to United

Methodist Church of Fairmont for their dazzling

nativity display adorned with signage, tinsel

and Christmas lights.

We would like to congratulate each of

our 2017 Glows Parade Float Award winners!

We would also like to thank each of the businesses

and organizations who entered the parade

for their contribution in helping to make

Fairmont glow this holiday season!

We would like to thank the City of Fairmont

Streets and Police Departments, the Fairmont

Airport, the Chamber Board of Directors,

our judges, and all of the volunteers and spectators

who continue to make this a memorable

event year after year! The Glows Festival would

not be possible without the support we receive

from each of you and from the members of our

great community.

Professional Window Cleaning


Residential &



Wouldn’t it be nice to have the windows

of your home sparkling clean!

Please allow us to give you a free estimate.

You will be pleasantly surprised!

Call Now! Matt Petrowiak at (507) 236-5207

ment for our members, recognition of accomplishments, effective communication, and doing all things efficiently and in a fiscally responsible manner.

Ambassadors Recognize Success



Chamber ambassadors congratulate chamber member

Minuteman Press of Fairmont on their grand opening

at the Five Lakes Centre Mall.


Ambassadors celebrate the name change and relocation

of member business Center Agency. Their new location

is at 230 South Grant Street in Fairmont.


Ambassadors welcome Dan Hamlet, chamber member

and new financial advisor for Edward Jones. His office

is located at 722 East Blue Earth Avenue in Fairmont.

American Dream (Continued from page 2)

perience over wealth and cause over personal

wants, we also have immediate information

24/7. The conversation of yesterday was how

to integrate Facebook and websites with newspaper

ads. Now, we separate online marketing

options by audience demographics. It’s a moving

target but the business community is getting

a handle on trends in marketing, public

relations and fundraising while balancing new

ways to encourage people to come here and

stay here. Thankfully, some of these techniques

apply when reaching those who purchase

products and services and those who assist in

getting quality deliverables in the hands of the

end user on time.

The board of directors, staff and volunteers

of the Fairmont Area Chamber are dedicated

to collaborating with others to strengthen

the fabric of the Fairmont area through the

efforts featured here and many, many others.

We welcome your comments, suggestions and

ideas. Feel free to call or schedule a visit!


DID YOU KNOW? Studies show

that a community’s level of social

capital, civic engagement, and

well-being is positively related to

the share of its economy held by

local businesses.

Providing specialized

financial guidance...a crucial

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1304 Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont, MN


Tabitha Bicknase

Finance Manager

(507) 238-4949

December programs at CER


The CER staff would like to take this opportunity to wish you

and yours a very joyous and safe holiday season. Share your time and

talents with special family and friends- this will be one of your most treasured

gifts to others. Ideas for sharing and caring opportunities are:

Read Christmas Stories with a child; Take a plate of Christmas goodies to

a neighbor or shut-in; Play Christmas Music while you work at home or

office; Put something in the Salvation Army Red Kettle each time you pass

one; Go window shopping at night during a quite winter snow; Enjoy “A

Cup of Christmas Tea” with a friend; Help an older parent or friend shop

or write Christmas cards & letters to their loved ones; Give a Gift of Life

– sign up to give blood when the Bloodmobile comes; Bake and Decorate

Christmas cookies to share with others; Give a gift to someone who doesn’t

expect it; Create an outside Christmas Tree for the birds and other little

creatures; Celebrate your Blessings by helping someone else.

Adult Winter Leagues are forming for Basketball and Volleyball

in December with play beginning in January. Thank you to the

Martin County Area Foundation for their donation to purchase a portable

scoreboard. Special thanks to the Fairmont Fire Fighters for supporting

CER’s Youth Basketball program this fall and to the Martin County Youth

Foundation for supporting the upcoming Learn-Create-Build Minecraft

Camp and Prairie Ecology Bus Center STEAM Adventures Eco-Club.


Fabulous Friday (Grades 3-6) December 1

Adult Co-Ed Volleyball Organizational Mtg December 7

Christmas Cake Decorating December 7

Lights On For Kids II (Grades 2-6) begins December 11

Adult Basketball Organizational Meeting December 18

Vacation Open Gyms (call for times/dates) December TBD

New Year’s Eve Afternoon Roller Skating December 31

Snowmobile Safety January 6

Saturday Boys Basketball (4 yrs – Grade 3) January 6

…and much more!

For an up-to date list of activities, see the CER Web Store at

and click on the CER tab.

For more information, contact the CER office located in the

Fairmont Elementary School Door 15A, 714 Victoria Street, Fairmont

Call 507-235-3141 or Email

SHIP Worksite Wellness Opportunity

Did you know, for every $1 you spend on

worksite wellness programs there is $3.25 annual

return on investment for medical costs and $2.70

savings on absenteeism?*

If you’re looking for help with starting a

worksite wellness program, or, already have a program

and looking for new ideas consider joining

the Faribault, Martin & Watonwan (FMW) Counties

Worksite Wellness Collaborative, a project of

the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership

(SHIP). FMW SHIP is currently seeking worksites

to participate in our 2018-2019 Worksite Wellness

Collaborative. There is NO cost to participate

and mini-grant funding is available for new worksites

to implement worksite wellness activities.

You will work directly with our worksite wellness

coordinator to help develop a plan for starting or

improving your worksite wellness program! All

worksites are eligible to apply,

from all industry areas.

For more information

contact Alyssa Munsterman,

SHIP Coordinator at 507-

236-5376 OR Pa Houa Moua,

Worksite Wellness Coordinator at 507-779-4528.

*Baicker, Katherine, David Cutler, and Zirui Song. 2010. Workplace wellness programs

can generate savings. Health Affairs 29(2): 304-311. Baicker,




Paul Seibert, O.D.



PH: (507) 238-4228

James Busche, O.D.

Spencer Seibert, O.D.

111 E. 6TH ST.


PH: (507) 526-2020

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