Chamber Newsletter - April 2018


April 2018

Community Connections

“Powering up business throughout Martin County”

"Fore!" a good cause


This Issue

Page 2 - Committed to


Page 2 - Thanks to our


Page 3 - Outings to Begin

Page 3 - Chamber 101

Page 3 - Kinship Rummage


Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs

Page 5 - Fluorescent Bulb


Page 6 - MCAF Grants

Page 7 - Ambassador Visits

Page 7 - Citzen Listening


The annual Chamber Golf

Outing has always been one of the

earliest golf outings of the season.

Now in its 21st year, this highly anticipated

event offers an afternoon

of fun and quality networking while

raising money to support a good

cause. The outing serves as a fundraiser

to support local youth programs

coordinated by the chamber’s

Business Education Committee.

Gather up your foursome

and join us on Friday, June 1st at the

Rose Lake Golf Club in Fairmont for

a 1:00 PM shotgun start. Keep your

eyes open for new twists to the golf

outing activities this year as hole

challenges and door prizes keep you

on top of your game. Get out of your

shell and express some personality

with a taco bar dinner (back by

ABOVE: Golfers enjoy an afternoon of fun and networking while helping to

support local youth programs during the Chamber Golf Outing.

popular demand) and local business

networking opportunities to help

you finish your week strong. Hole

sponsorships are currently available

to all chamber members.

For more information on

how you can register to golf, sponsor

a hole, or (Continued on page 3)

Seminar for employee engagement

ABOVE: Instructor Wes

Pruett of HR Advisors

The Fairmont Area

Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota

Workforce Center

(Fairmont), and Fairmont

Economic Development Authority

(FEDA) have joined

together with our neighboring

communities to host a workforce

seminar with the goal of

helping to develop business

leadership and engage employees. Collaborating entities

from neighboring communities include the Blue

Earth Area Chamber, Jackson Area Chamber, St. James

EDA and Worthington Area Chamber.

The afternoon workshop, titled “Leadership

Skillsets for an Engaged Workforce,” will take place

from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM on Thursday, April 26 in

Room 012 of the Southern Minnesota Educational

Campus (SMEC) in Fairmont. During the seminar, instructor

Wes Pruett of HR Ad- (Continued on page 6)

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


Les Anderson

Martin County

Farm Bureau

Vice Chair

Sara Pierce

Pierce Accounting

and Tax Services

Deb Barnes

Lakeview Methodist

Health Care Center

Stephanie Busiahn

Visit Fairmont

Zephanie Cole

Align Chiropractic &

Acupuncture, PLC

Dave Cone

Kahler Automation


Mission Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for promoting a healthy business clim

Board of Directors Officers:

Board of Directors:


Past Chair

Kerry Nagel Allen



Tom Lytle

Bank Midwest



Krahmer, Shaffer

& Edmundson, Ltd

Mandi Kosbab

Edward Jones

Luke Long


Steve Pomerenke

Compeer Financial

Ann Terfehr

Dan’s Appliance

Margaret Dillard


Kandi Menne

Office Manager/Director of


Benjamin Landsteiner

Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

Miranda Larsen

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

Committed to strength

By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President

A small group of us who recently

changed jobs were discussing

how long it takes to get settled

in. The opinions varied about the

length of time and after further

thought, I think it has taken a full

three years to wrap my head around

the responsibilities of leading this chamber and preparing

it for a strong future.

It’s truly mind boggling how many programs,

projects and services we participate in or initiate. It’s

also difficult to decide exactly which are relevant for

local business. Did you know that if you want to take

a bus across the country, tickets are purchased here

at the Chamber? That alone consumes many Chamber

staff hours per week. Is that a service that should

live here? This year, one of our goals is to review all

programs and services. We’ll continue those that

align with our mission and offer value to members

and assist others to transition away from using valuable

staff and volunteer time.

On the other hand, the board of directors

Thanks to our members

Ronald J Arens, CPA, PC

Joseph E Brown, Sr

Rick DeBoer Signs

E-Z Wash Laundromat

Easy Automation

Exit Realty - Great Plains

Fairmont Housing & Redevelopment

Five Lakes Centre

Graham Tire

Habitat for Humanity


Interlaken Golf Club

chose to strengthen our efforts in advocacy. The

Minnesota Chamber Federation Alliance, of which

Fairmont is a participant, offers a strong link to legislative

issues. We’re also fortunate to have Representative

Gunther and Senator Rosen who are accessible,

knowledgeable and connected to the local

business climate. This year, our Governmental Affairs

Committee will facilitate Business Day at the

Capitol April 18th and candidate forums in October.

The Agri-business Committee is hoping to bring back

the candidate’s BBQ in September.

In March alone, we held the Annual Banquet,

two ribbon cuttings, participated in two legislative

conference calls, met with legislators in support of

technical educational funding, formed and met with

the team that guides Leadership Martin County, visited

with a dozen businesses, supported City of Fairmont

at their community session, represented the

Minnesota Pork Masters Golf Outing at Martin County

Pork Producers Banquet, participated in the advisory

group for STEP employment program … and

… there is more that we have (Continued on page 5)

“The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce is

an advocate for promoting a healthy business climate

by facilitating access to leaders, communication and

education through programs and services for its members.”

We would like to thank the following members

for their continued investment in the work and the

mission of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce

in 2018. We are deeply grateful for your support!


Jetter Clean

Lund Chiropractic

Martin County Fair

Martin County Veterans Memorial Project


Minnesota State University

Noddle Companies - Fairmont Plaza

Safety Solutions

South Central Workforce Council

Waste Management

The Whittler's Lady Bed and Breakfast


ate by facilitating access to leaders, communication and education through programs and services for its members.

Outings to begin soon

Chamber member "Let's Go Fishing" is preparing to launch their 2018 season

of outings. Contact them by phone at (507) 848-5069 to schedule a fishing or

boating excursion! For more information, visit

Kinship Industrial Rummage Sale/Auction

Area businesses



are invited to

donate items

such as obsolete or unused inventory, equipment,

machinery, tools, materials, supplies,

parts, fixtures and office equipment. Items may

be in new or used condition. Old computers and

TVs will not be accepted.

Chamber 101

Kinship will sell the donated or consigned

goods at ther annual Kinship Industrial

Commercial Rummage Sale/Auction on May 3-5

at the Martin County Fairgrounds in Fairmont.

Businesses interested in donating items may

drop them off during the mornings of April 26-

28 and all day on April 30 and May 1. Contact

Greg Brolsma at 507-236-4606 or email him at for more


The Fairmont Area Chamber will

be hosting a “Chamber 101” event on

Thursday, April 19 at 11:30 AM at the

Southern Minnesota Educational Campus.

We invite all new, existing and prospective

chamber members to attend this 90 minute session outlining

the mission of the chamber and demonstrating how we work to build a

stronger business environment and a more vibrant community through

the work of our committees, events, programs and publicity efforts.

A light lunch will be served at the beginning of the session. Contact

the Fairmont Area Chamber at 507-235-5547 for more information

or to register for this session.

Golf outing (Continued from page 1)

donate a door prize, contact Kandi at the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce.

She can be reached by phone at (507) 235-5547 or by email at info@

All proceeds benefit Kinship of Martin

County, a mentoring program establishing oneon-one

relationships between youth from 5 to

15 years of age and a caring adult role model

from within our community. All donations are

tax deductible and provide direct support for

the ongoing work of our local Kinship program.

This is a great chance for businesses to do some

Spring cleaning while donating to a great program!


Tri-County Implement

St. James

Martin County Implement


Tri-County Implement


Feature your business ad

in full color for

only $60 per month

with your annual contract or $75 per month.

Chamber member business briefs

Martin County Veterans Memorial (MCVM)

(507) 238-3220

Project Update: Honoring the veterans of Martin

County, the black granite panels for the memorial

wall will be installed this summer and the cut-off

date to have a veteran name engraved or included

on the panels at time of installation is June 15, 2018.

Names will also be added periodically thereafter. Veteran must have been a

resident of Martin County at some time of their life. Cost of engraving $200.

Veterans or veteran families are encouraged to participate in this honorable

recognition. Visit our website:, for veteran application or call

committee members Jim Miller (507)236-1026, or Chuck Mixson (507)236-

1072. Private and/or business donations are also appreciated. Donations are

tax deductible under 501(c)3.

Fairmont Opera House, Inc.

(507) 238-4900

More than 20 years ago, conductor Jay Fishman

had a remarkable idea: He envisioned

a professional, top-quality orchestra dedicated to ensuring the underserved

and low-income residents of Minnesota are able to experience top quality

live classical music. Please join us for MN Sinfonia on April 14th at 7:30.

Come back on April 29th at 7:30 as Blake Potthoff, the Fairmont Opera House

Executive Director, steps out of the office and onto the stage to bring his own

talents to light. This event is a fundraiser for our Launch the Legacy Capital

Campaign. Tickets start at $30.

Red Rock Center for the Arts

(507) 235-9262

7th Annual Murder Mystery Dinner show. Red Rock Center

for the Arts proudly presents Murder at the Disco,

April 20 & 21. Enjoy a cash bar, great food, laugh out loud

interactive fun where you guess whodunnit. All proceeds

benefit the upcoming 2018-2019 season of events, and helps to maintain discount

pricing and scholarships for all students. Tickets on sale at the Red

Rock office or the online box office at Discount tickets

are available for the Friday, April 20 show.

Fareway Stores Inc.

(507) 238-4737

Fareway is hosting the 1st annual MDA Bowl-a-thon at the

Bowlmor Lanes & Lounge on Sunday, April 29 at noon! Join

us for door prizes, raffles, a 50/50 drawing and more. Help us

raise money to support a great cause, the Muscular Dystrophy

Association. Contact Cory or Tyler at Fairmont Fareway to register by calling


Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Fairmont WorkForce Center

(507) 235-5518

Businesses seeking workers are encouraged to participate

in the Fairmont Area Job Fair to be held Thursday, May

10th from 1 pm to 4 pm. The event will be held at the Fairmont

Five Lakes Centre, 308 S State Street, Fairmont, MN.

Fairmont Workforce Center in partnership with jobsHQ

have organized this event in response employers’ need for workers. Businesses

can participate in the live Job Fair on May 10th and in addition will be

part of a two week virtual job fair featuring up to 5 job postings. Adults and

area high school students who are seeking work are invited to attend. For

more information contact the Fairmont Workforce Center at 235-5528.

Interlaken Heritage Days

(507) 848-4664

Holy Hotdish begins April 10th! St Johns UCC will host

on 4/10, Grace Lutheran on 4/17, Immanuel Lutheran

on 4/24 and St John Vianney on 5/15. Meals served from

5:00-7:00 p.m. Join us on May 5th from 10:00-3:00 for our

Spring Vendor & Craft Show at Five Lakes Centre! The crowning of Little &

Junior Miss and Mister Fairmont will also take place at 11:00 a.m. Parade

registration is now open! The parade takes place on June 9th. For more

information on all of these activities visit or contact us at

Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab

(507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC

Edward Jones office of Mandi Kosbab is starting

a new coffee club--EDWARD JONES COFFEE ON US! FIRST Monday of

each month, starting May 7th, we will discuss current events in the market

and economy with an opportunity for informal discussion to ask questions

on topics you want to know more about or understand better--and we'll have

fun while we gather with some surprise activities. Coffee and dessert/breakfast

will be served 9-10 am at 116 N. State Street, Fairmont. Bring a friend

and enjoy some coffee on us! Please call 235.8524 the Friday before to let

us know you'll be joining us so we always have plenty of everything for everyone!

Additional coffee club dates: June 4th, July 9th (moved due to 4th of

July), August 6th, September 10th (moved due to Labor Day), October 1st,

November 5th, December 3rd

Green Mill Restaurant - Holiday Inn Fairmont

(507) 238-4771

Green Mill upcoming events: April 14, Whitetails Unlimited

– Southern Minnesota Deer Camp Tour 2018. Join

us for Daily Happy Hour, New Lunch Menu and Dinner Specials. Ask us about

our Lunch Punch card. Stop in or call 507-238-4700 for more information.


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

Chamber member business briefs

Kahler Automation

(507) 235-6648

Kahler Automation would like to WELCOME

Software Engineer Sam Viesselman to our team; Sam reports to Software Engineering

Supervisor Eric Henderson. CONGRATS to Jessica Pierce on her new

role as Marketing/Inside Sales Manager; Kahler Automation is excited to have

her leading our growing Marketing team. And KUDOS to Human Resources Director

Courtney Cutler for organizing a couple of successful career fair visits

recently – to Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Northwest Iowa Community

College in Sheldon. Joining Courtney at one or both events were PLC

Programmer Megan Hancock and Chief Software Architect Logan Kahler.

“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.

Committed to strength (Continued from page 2)

done this past month. Again, we need to make

sure it is valuable and relevant.

This issue of the Chamber newsletter

is a reflection of the environment described

above. It’s a potpourri of activities, announcements,

seminars, meetings, programs and

services. Thank you, thank you, thank you to

our members. In these pages, you’ll find a list

of those who joined since our last issue and a

longer list in the February newsletter. (If you

want to find out if a business or individual supports

us with their annual investment, visit our

website at, then click on

“Member Directory.”) Some of the other things


lamps contain


and are considered

a hazardous

waste product.

It is against the

law to dispose of

fluorescent bulbs and ballasts with your regular

garbage. Fluorescent bulb recycling will be held

in the former Kmart parking lot on Thursday,

May 3rd, from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. This recycling

that you will notice is an announcement of Let’s

Go Fishing’s plans to launch pontoons and Kinship’s

Annual Industrial Rummage Sale, both

signaling spring and more sunshine to come.

Mark your calendars - the Chamber seeks funding

for youth programs, while hosting one of the

earliest golf tournaments of the season at Rose

Lake Golf Course on Friday, June 1st.

The last thing I want to tell you is that

the 2018 Visitor and Relocation Guide arrived

in January. It is beautiful and the piece that you

will want to get into the hands of those near and

far who have an interest in our community. The

best part is that it is specifically designed to be

Fluorescent bulb recycling

event serves the residents and businesses of

Martin and Faribault Counties.

When transporting the lamps, be careful

not to break them. There will be a charge

at the time of disposal. Fairmont Public Utilities

customers are eligible for total reimbursement

for bulb recycling costs. When dropping

bulbs off for recycling, ask for a rebate coupon,

keep your receipt, and turn both in to Fairmont

Public Utilities for reimbursement of recycling

costs. Contact the Chamber with any questions

at (507) 235-5547.

Sweet Financial Services

(507) 235-5587

Raymond James Financial Services announced that their very

own Bryan Sweet, ChFC® of Sweet Financial Services has been

ranked #5 on the Forbes Best-in-State Wealth Advisor list! You

can check out the state lists at

Fairmont Municipal Liquor Store

(507) 238-2269

We will be having a beer sampling on Friday,

April 27, from 4:00-6:00 PM, featuring Castle Danger Brewing Co beers.

of interest to anyone. Three specific sections

guide readers to sections, then hashtags and

web addresses lead them to one of several websites:, FairmontAreaLife.

com, or for

more information and contacts of those who

can answer questions.

If you’re interested becoming more involved

in community leadership, we have a

number of opportunities and are able to offer

thoughts about what other organizations might

be perfect for your specific talents. I hope you

enjoy reading our newsletter and always appreciate

your feedback and conversations.


DID YOU KNOW? Local retailers are

engines of economic activity, spending

their revenue at a wide variety of other

businesses in the community, but online

retailers like Amazon effectively extract

money, leaving little behind.


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

Tuesday, April 10th - 6:00 p.m.

Agri-Business Meeting

Wednesday, April 11th

Area Career Exploration (ACE)

Wednesday, April 11th - 6:00 p.m.

Bureau 14 Meeting

Wednesday, April 18th - 3:00 p.m.

Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings

Thursday, April 19th - 11:30 a.m.

Chamber 101 (See Pg. 3)

Tuesday, April 24th - 9:00 a.m.

Social Media Breakfast (See Pg. 8)

Wednesday, April 25th - 7:30 a.m.

Chamber Board Meeting

Thursday, April 26th - 12:30 p.m.

SEMINAR - Leadership Skillsets for an

Engaged Workforce (See Pg. 1)



EXIT Realty - Great Plains

Little Bird Creative Space

MCAF Grant Applications

The Martin County Area Foundation is

excited to announce the start of its 2018 competitive

grant cycle. The Foundation will be accepting

applications from

eligible organizations now

through May 31. It also accepts

inquiries year-round

for emergencies or high

need. Please refer to the

grant guidelines and application form at www. for information. If you

have further questions or ideas, please contact

the Foundation’s administrative staff at 507-235-

5547 or any member of our board of directors.

Seminar (Continued from page 1)

visors, LLC will establish how leaders are created

through the development of learnable skills and

competencies. These skillsets will help to make

your business more successful by inspiring your

employees to pursue excellence in their work

and rally around common goals to meet your

business objectives.

The seminar is designed to satisfy the

needs of business leaders at all levels, from

emerging leaders to senior leaders, staff responsible

for work culture, HR directors and generalists,

managers, supervisors and team leads.

This half-day program will reveal factors that

enhance and detract from employee engagement

The Martin County Area Foundation is a

community endowment founded in 1993 by a

group of community residents and established

by a matching grant from

the Mickelson Foundation.

The Martin County Area

Foundation is governed by

a volunteer board responsible

for growing the endowment

and selecting grant recipients. Per its

mission, the Foundation focuses its giving in five

general areas: arts and humanities, community

and civic affairs, social and economic growth, environment

and youth.

and give tangible ideas for improving the work

environment in your place of business. Attendees

will leave the seminar armed with a variety

of resources including a copy of the presentation,

a leadership self-assessment and over 70 best

practices for engaging employees.

The cost to attend is $100 per person,

with discounts available for chamber members

and multiple employees. Light refreshments will

be served, but no lunch will be provided. For

more information or to register online, visit our

website at and click

on the recent blog post titled “Employee Engagement



Energy rebates

for your business.

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

Fine Jewelry

Sovell Jewelry

Your Professional Jeweler

Since 1954

Full Service-In House Repair

Jessica & Steve Sovell

Gemologist • Goldsmith

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 welcome Jarod Mathiason of new business and chamber

member Supreme Lending at 717 S. State Steet, Suite 6 in Fairmont.


Ambassadors celebrate 40 years of service to the Fairmont area with volunteers for

the local AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program.

City of Fairmont holds listening sessions

The City of Fairmont is holding a series

of four citizen listening sessions throughout the

year titled “Saturday Mornings with the City” to

present information on various topics of public

interest relating to city operations and to allow

for a general question and answer period for

those in attendance. The sessions are planned to

take place in each of the four city wards. The first

session was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall

in Ward 4 on March 17, beginning at 10:00 AM,

and featured a presentation by speaker Megan

Boeck (Planner Code Enforcement Technician)

on “How the City handles Code Violations.” Subsequent

sessions in Wards 1, 2 and 3 will take

place throughout the year as follows.

Cedar Creek Park Shelter House (Ward 1)

May 5, 2018 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Speaker: Troy Nemmers

(Director of Public Works/City Engineer)

Topics include: Improvement Program, Status of

Trails, General Discussion Q&A

Gomsrud Park Shelter House (Ward 2)

August 18, 2018 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Speaker: Linsey Preuss

(Economic Development Coordinator)

Topics include: The State of Fairmont’s Economy,

General Discussion Q&A

Southern Minnesota Educational Campus

(Ward 3)

November 17, 2018 | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Speaker: Paul Hoye (Finance Director)

Topics include: Preliminary Budget 2019, General

Discussion Q&A

Providing specialized

financial guidance...a crucial

part of your vehicle purchase.


1304 Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont, MN


Tabitha Bicknase

Finance Manager

(507) 238-4949

April programs at CER


The 33rd Annual Family Fun Fair will be held on Friday, April 6,

at the Fairmont Elementary School, 4:30-7:30 PM. Learn about the numerous

organizations and services available to families through creative,

hands-on activities provided by each exhibitor. Brian Richards will present

two interactive performances of his ACME Magic Factory featuring magic,

humor and fun for children and families of all ages. Remarkable Reptiles

will bring several life reptiles (all harmless) including a friendly boa constrictor

and assorted artifacts. Admission fee is $8 per family for a full evening

of family fun.

Fairmont Elementary School is the family place to be on Thursday,

April 19, 4:30-6:30 PM! The Youth Activities Expo sponsored by

CER and Healthy Youth will be held in the Little Cardinal (Annex) Gym.

Take advantage of this event to learn about the wonderful summer opportunities

available for youth in our community. The 5th and 6th Grade

OREO Recital will also be held in the Cafeteria during this event. Due to

weather, the second Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics

STEAM Expo was postponed from March 5 to Monday, April 16,

4:30-7:00 PM, at the Fairmont Elementary School as well.

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

and click on the CER tab.


33rd Annual Family Fun Fair April 6

Youth Firearms Safety April 9

Safe Routes to School Begins (Volunteers needed) April 10

Upholstery/Caned Chair Restoration April 12

Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Excel Basic April 12

Follow-up to “It’s Time To Talk Race” Forum April 12 & 26

Summer Sand Volleyball Organizational Meeting April 16

Summer Co-Ed Softball Organizational Meeting April 16

Putting STEAM into STEM Expo April 16

Bike Rodeo April 17

Biking Fun for All Ages April 17

Dementia Friends April 17

Youth Activities Expo/OREO Orchestra Recital April 19

Cardinal Run Camp (Grades 4-6) April 23

Strong Fathers, Strong Families (Dads & Kids 3-8) April 30

…and much more!

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

Your brand voice on Social Media - April 24 th

The next Social

Media Breakfast

will be held on

April 24 from 9:00

AM to 10:00 AM at

the Southern Minnesota


Campus (SMEC),

115 S. Park St., in Fairmont.

During this month's seminar, instructor

April Wendinger (Schells Brewery) will present

on "Establishing your brand voice on social media".

Your brand voice is the single most important

messaging tool in social media. Are you leveraging

it to reach your consumers effectively

and benefit your business?

Visit our website at

to register for this event or to find

out how you can sponsor a future Social Media

Breakfast event.

Fairmont Area Social

Media Breakfast

is made possible in part by a technology

Quality care,


grant from the Blandin Foundation.



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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