Chamber Newsletter - May 2018


May 2018

Community Connections

“Powering up business throughout Martin County”

A decade of local career awareness


This Issue

Page 2 - Sunshine in our


Page 2 - Thanks to our


Page 3 - Pork Cook-Off


Page 3 - PorkMasters

Page 3 - Ambassadors


Page 3 - MCAF Grants

Pages 4 & 5 - Business Briefs

Page 4 - Leadership Martin


Page 7 - Chamber Golf


Who knew so many individuals

could come together; volunteers,

students, counselors and

business professionals, all under

one roof, for a few short hours and

make such an impact on over 650

area sophomores lives?

Ten years ago, a collaboration

between the Fairmont Area Chamber

of Commerce, Workforce Center,

ISEEK, area organizations and

volunteers, put together the ACE

event with this mission in mind: to

raise career awareness for area students

so they are knowledgeable of

the opportunities awaiting them in

our communities when they finish

their education.

The Area Career Exploration

(otherwise known as ACE) took

place April 11th at the Fairmont

ABOVE: Approximately one hundred area businesses gather at the Fairmont

High School to share local career opportunities with area sophomores.

High School. Students from Blue

Earth, Butterfield-Odin, Fairmont,

Granada Huntley East Chain, Martin

County West, Martin Luther, Mountain

Lake, North Union, Southern

Plains, St. James, Jackson and Truman

attended the career fair. They

received (Continued on page 6)

Blandin taps Fairmont leadership

The Fairmont Area

Chamber of Commerce is

pleased to announce that

our community has been

chosen as one of just ten

communities in greater

Minnesota to take part

in the Blandin Community

Leadership Program

(BCLP) in 2019. Our board

of directors took the initiative to develop and submit

an application on behalf of the Fairmont community

earlier this year. This will be the first time in

over ten years that our community has been granted

the opportunity to participate in the BCLP, having

taken part just twice since the program’s inception

in 1985.

The BCLP has served over 7000 leaders

from more than 600 rural Minnesota communities

to date. The program aims (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

Sunshine in our disposition

By: Margaret Dillard - Chamber President

As the sun warms the Minnesota

landscape, as you shed your

winter coats and your feet dance

their way into your favorite walking

shoes, you may want to explore

the community with a fresh perspective.

I’ve heard more than one long-time resident

say that they think Fairmont is experiencing a period

of growth and opportunity over the last three or

four years. It’s evident that there’s confidence in the

local financial picture. Cemstone’s new property

north of the fairgrounds, the approaching opening

of Tractor Supply and Marina Lodge Rental are significant

investments! Lakeview Health Systems revealed

plans for a new facility and Fairmont Opera

House recently announced a capital improvement

campaign to include an elevator, community spaces

and to restore parts of the 116 year-old facility.

Seasonal activities abound, as well. CER facilitates

the Fairmont Summer Playground Program

and Makerspace Mondays from mid-June through

the first week in August for children grades 1-6.

Several venues offer live music and entertainment.

This summer also promises to bring fun on the lakes

with canoe, kayak and pontoon rentals.

Thanks to our members

Burtis Chiropractic

Ken Carlson, Prudential Insurance

Carstensen Cabinetry & Woodworking

Center for Specialty Care

Cress Refrigeration

Day Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

Marketlink, Inc.

Montana's Tree Service Plus

Recreational options are plentiful. Martin County

has movie theatres, a bowling alley and numerous

places to fish and hunt.

Difficulties are not going unnoticed.

We are fortunate to live, work and play here,

but we have work to do and challenges to accept if

we are to be a place where people want to be. Fairmont

Area Life is a project that encourages people

to relocate to Martin County. It showcases amenities,

community growth and testimonials from people

that we connected with who love the community

and were able to transition well.

The effort has documented success and we

are pleased with its initial messaging, but as we

communicated with residents and future residents,

we realized that lack of housing and home ownership

and lack of childcare creates significant roadblocks

to community growth.

The City of Fairmont is pursuing housing

options, has an active rehabilitation program and

continues to market White Tail Ridge subdivision. A

team is identified who may be able to participate in

a program to address the childcare shortage.

Rural communities will see population numbers

fall unless we invite and make welcome newcomers

from all walks of (Continued on page 7)

“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!


New York Life Insurance Company

R & S Cleaning and Maintenance

Richard's Auto Repair and Towing

Salvation Army Thrift Store


State Farm Insurance - Mark Fujan

Joseph E Switras, Ph. D., P.A.

Temperance Lake Ridge Assisted Living


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

Pork Cook-Off tickets

It's the moment you've been waiting for! Blue Ribbon

Pork Cook-Off tickets are now available at the Fairmont Area

Chamber office! The 21st Annual Blue Ribbon Pork Cook-

Off will be held Wednesday, August 15, 2018 from 5:00 pm

– 7:00 pm in the Martin County Arena at the Fairgrounds.

Tickets are $10. Contact the Fairmont Area Chamber at 507-

235-5547 and get your tickets before they're gone!



MONDAY, JULY 23, 2018

Visit and get signed up!

Scholarship available

The Ambassador Committee

of the Fairmont Area Chamber

of Commerce is offering a $1,000

scholarship to a Martin County

student in a Business related field

entering their Junior or Senior post

secondary year in a four year college

or their final year in a technical

college. The scholarship will be

awarded after a review of grades to

confirm achievement of a 3.0 GPA

on a 4.0 scale. Scholarship applications

may be picked up at the Fairmont

Area Chamber of Commerce

office located at 323 East Blue

Earth Avenue or filled out online

at the Chambers website at www. Applications

must be submitted at the Chamber

office by July 20, 2018.

Last call for grants!

The Martin County Area

Foundation is accepting grant applications.

Non-profits interested

in starting

a project to

enhance the

quality of

life in Martin


are encouraged

to apply for a grant.

Application forms are available

at the Chamber of Commerce

and online at

Eligibility and other

grant information can be found by

contacting a board member, or by

visiting the


Please return



by May 31st

to MCAF, P.O. Box 704, Fairmont,

MN 56031, or drop off at the Fairmont

Area Chamber of Commerce,

323 East Blue Earth Avenue.

Yes, you can join the Chamber!







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.


Tri-County Implement

St. James

Martin County Implement


Tri-County Implement


Feature your business ad

in full color for

Only only $65 $60 per month

with with your your annual contract or $75 per month.

Chamber member business briefs

Century 21 - Gillian Tunnell

(507) 399-9211

How is your front door? Is it old, tired, and outdated?

Is the hardware dulled and tricky to lock or open? Do

you feel a draft inside when its closed? Hmm...if you are putting your house

on the market, it may be time to upgrade! This door is part of the overall

first impression (curb appeal) that a buyer will see, and first impressions,

of course, are so important. A recent Kaplan survey showed that replacing a

front door averages the highest return on investment of any home improvement

project (101.8%). The replacement may have more than a cosmetic improvement,

since it may save energy and improve security, depending on the

style of the door and the locks – money well spent!

AdMfg, Inc.

(507) 238-1243

AdMfg, Inc. welcomes Stephany Buchholz as their Technology

Services representative. Stephany recently moved to

Fairmont from Shreveport Louisiana. She graduated from

the University of Sioux Falls in 2014 with a bachelor’s in

computer science and a minor in art and design. AdMfg is

excited to welcome her to our team and utilize the toolkit she brings. Ad-

Mfg is a full-service advertising agency offering creative/design advertising

and marketing services, silk-screen and embroidered apparel, promotional

products and web services including website development and social media

marketing services. Contact information: - 507-


Vision Statement: The Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will b

Fairmont Area Let’s Go Fishing

(507) 848-5069

The Fairmont Area Chapter of Let’s Go Fishing is preparing

for the 11th season of taking are Senior Citizens, Veterans

and the disabled out fishing and boating free of charge. Our

2018 season begins on Monday, June 4th and will continue

throughout the summer with outings on Mondays, Tuesdays

and Wednesdays, fishing from 9:30am to 11:30am and

boating from 12:00 to about 1:30pm. The Fairmont Chapter

volunteers are looking forward to another awesome summer of fishing and

boating with area Seniors, Veterans and the disabled. To book an outing, visit

our website or call 507-848-5069. Hope to see you on

the LGFWS pontoon this summer.

Kahler Automation

(507) 235-6648

WELCOME (BACK) Chris Stegge to Kahler

Automation’s Engineering team! KUDOS to everyone at Kahler who participated

in the recent Area Career Exploration (ACE) and STEAM Into

STEM events: Jessica Pierce, Max Haake, Megan Hancock, Bruce Ponto,

Justin Portz, Courtney Cutler, Sam Viesselman, Martha Myren and Tom

Royer. THANKS to Minnesota West Community & Technical College electrical

program students for visiting Kahler Automation’s Fairmont facility.

Instructor Rob Arp brought his Jackson campus crew in to learn who

we are and what we do, and give us an opportunity to meet some potential

future employees!

“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.


Leadership Martin County

Leadership Martin County is now accepting

applications for the 2018-2019 season. Leadership

Martin County is a program conducted by

local and regional professionals designed for participants

to learn about Martin County resources,

values, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges.

It provides opportunities for candidates

to exchange ideas, build networks and begin the

process of identifying and solving important community

issues. Leadership is a hands on learning

experience with an in-depth look at eight key elements

of our community: education, economic

development, government, healthcare, public

safety, quality of life, agriculture, and culture &

diversity. Participants develop leadership skills

through classroom instruction, interactive exercises

and small group discussion.

Leadership Martin County consists of a

series of topical seminars held one day a month

for nine months beginning in September 2018.

Applications are available at the Chamber website or call 507-235-

5547 for an application. Applications must be

submitted by July 16, 2018.



In most communities, Amazon has

no facilities and therefore pays no

property taxes. In many states, they

do not collect state and local sales

taxes, increasing the tax burden on

local households.

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 Festival will be held June 8th,

9th, & 10th! Registrations have begun for parade entrants

and will be accepted until June 1st. Are you an artisan,

crafter, upcycler or food vendor? We’ve added a Flea Market

& Artisan show to the lineup! Are you a non-profit organization looking

to get the word out about your organization or project? Come on out and set

up a table to talk with people! For more information on all IHD events, and

to sign up for any of the events above, visit our website or

email us at

Fairmont Opera House, Inc.

(507) 238-4900

A founding member of Home Free, winners

of NBC's "The Sing-Off", and the founder of

7th Ave, Chris Rupp brings his multi-genre style and range back to the Fairmont

Opera House on May 14th at 7:30 PM. Since the time of his departure

from Home Free, Chris has released five CD's, including an original album

"Shine" and his acapella album "RISE". Keep an eye out for our first ever K-

2nd grade Children’s Theatre workshop directed by Izzy Munsch June 6 -8th

with a performance June 8th at 7 PM.

Green Mill Restaurant - Holiday Inn Fairmont

(507) 238-4771

Green Mill events for May: Saturdays 3-5pm come for a

Meat Raffle with the Fairmont Butcher Block meats. Stop

out for a lunch special and ask about our Lunch Punch Card. Evening Specials

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Edward Jones Investments - Mandi Kosbab

(507) 235-8524 - Member SIPC

You may switch jobs several times during

your career, so you’ll want to be prepared. Here’s a checklist of steps that

may smooth these transitions and help your financial situation: First, not all

job changes are voluntary, so you’ll need to have a cash cushion handy. Keep

about three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a liquid, low-risk account.

Next, consider your options for your former employer’s retirement

plan. You may be able to leave it in your current plan, move it over to your

new employer’s plan, or roll it to an IRA. Also, evaluate the investments available

in your new employer’s 401(k) or other plan. Choose the ones most appropriate

for your goals and risk tolerance. One more suggestion: Make sure

you’ve got health insurance. Your new employer’s coverage may not kick in

right away, so you may need to consider the federal health insurance marketplace

or private insurance, unless you can be covered under your spouse’s

plan. Starting a new job can be exciting and challenging. But you may be able

to make your life easier by putting these suggestions to work.

Center For Specialty Care

(507) 238-4949

May is Osteoporosis Month! 50% of women

and 25% of men will break a bone due to

osteoporosis in their lifetime. Risk Factors

include family history, previous fractures, women over 55 and men over 70,

loss of height, lack of exercise, tobacco use, thyroid issues, and calcium deficiency

just to name a few. Center for Specialty Care would like to remind

those at risk to make an appointment for a bone density scan and to ask one

of our providers how you can build strong bones and prevent or manage osteoporosis.

“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.


AS Mobile



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

Wednesday, May 9th - 6:00 p.m.

Bureau 14 Meeting

Tuesday, May 15th - 6:00 p.m.

Agri-Business Meeting

Wednesday, May 16th - 3:00 p.m.

Ambassadors Meeting / Ribbon Cuttings

Tuesday, May 22nd - 9:00 a.m.

Social Media Breakfast (See Pg. 8)

Wednesday, May 23rd - 7:30 a.m.

Chamber Board Meeting

Monday, May 28th

Memorial Day (Offices Closed)

Friday, June 1st - 1:00 p.m.

Chamber Golf Outing (See Pg. 7)

Blandin leadership (Continued from page 1)

to inspire, enable and mobilize community

leaders to work together in building inclusive

communities, creating economic development

opportunities and finding creative solutions

to community issues involving health,

housing, education and more. Leaders will

emerge from the program prepared to more

effectively frame community issues, build and

sustain social capital and mobilize for community


The program consists of a five-day

residential retreat at Sugar Lake Lodge near

Grand Rapids, Minnesota followed by three,

one-day workshop sessions. The retreat will

take place in October of 2019. Our selection

includes an award of $4,000 in funding from

the Blandin Foundation to cover tuition, food

and lodging during the five-day retreat.

Blandin will begin the process of identifying

and recruiting a cohort of 24 community

members to participate in the program

during the coming year. Anyone engaged in

our community and at least 21 years of age

is eligible to apply. Those selected will represent

a diverse cross-section of our community

in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, occupation

and involvement.

For more information on the Blandin

Community Leadership Program or how you

can participate, please contact the Fairmont

Area Chamber of Commerce at 507-235-5547

or email








ServiceMaster by Rice




April 29 - May 5, 2018

Career awareness (Continued from page 1)

information and advice on career choices from

100 area businesses and college options.

Fairmont High School’s Performing Arts

Center accommodated a game show where local

young professionals shared their career path

and words of wisdom with the students, a school

representative answered questions and two winning

schools, Martin Luther and Southern Plains,

took home trophies.

Thank you to all of our sponsors for

helping to make ACE possible: Bank Midwest, US

Bank, Center for Specialty Care, Compeer Financial,

Fairmont Economic Development Authority,

First Farmers and Merchants Bank, Fareway, Hy-

Vee, Kahler Automation, Martin County IGNITE,

Riverland Community College, Southern Minnesota

Initiative Foundation, SW/WC Service Cooperation

(Perkins Grant).

If you would like to know more about this

annual event, scheduled for Wednesday, April

10th, 2019, contact Kandi at the Fairmont Area

Chamber of Commerce.

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.

Chamber Golf Outing draws near

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

great cause. The outing serves as a fundraiser to

support educational programs and curriculum

in our schools, coordinated by the chamber’s

Business Education Committee.

Chamber members get your foursome together

and join us on Friday, June 1st at the Rose

Lake Golf Club in Fairmont for a 1:00 PM shotgun

start. Come early for lunch and a chipping

contest! Hole challenges will keep you on top

of your game throughout the afternoon. Then

head back to the clubhouse for a taco bar, door

prize drawings and business networking opportunities

to help you finish your week strong.

Hole sponsorships are currently available to all

chamber members and we are accepting donations

for door prizes.

For more information on how you can

register to golf, sponsor a hole, or donate a door

prize, contact Kandi at the Fairmont Area Chamber

of Commerce. You can reach her by phone at

(507) 235-5547 or by email at

Thank you to our 2018 Golf Outing

sponsors and door prize contributors: Bolton &

Menk, Culligan Water of Fairmont, Hy-Vee, KEYC

News, Lakeview Methodist Health Care Center,

Optimal Health & Chiropractic, Peterson-Anthony

Insurance, Rose Lake Golf Club, and Sterling



Sunshine (Continued from page 2)

Over a decade of

helping my customers

make good choices.

life. Recently, I heard how a professional who

was considering home ownership in Fairmont

decided instead to live in Mankato because

she didn’t feel it was safe for her and her family!

While touring neighborhood looking for

homes for sales, she was followed, she has

been told she doesn’t belong here because of

the color of her skin. Multiple situations made

her feel unsafe and unwelcome. The Fairmont

Area Life site mentions that the community has

been named among of the best cities for young

families. There’s a group who are gathering

to enhance our sense of community and address

local diversity challenges. Also, every 5th

Thursday (the next is May 31st) is “Newcomers

and Neighbors.” This group brings together

locals and those who have recently relocated

and hopes to offer connections, resources and

relationships. If you would like to know more

about these groups, contact me or Roni at Community,

Education and Recreation (CER).

Martin County offers amenities that

people identify with quality of life. New activity

and investments signal a bright future, but

with progress comes the challenge to move

from what we have known to new and different


The Fairmont Area Chamber 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 continue to operate

on the idea that we all succeed when we all

succeed, so that takes us into realms where we

choose to help other people, groups, organizations.

The journey asks for participation from


As always I invite conversation, ideas

and actions that lead to progress!


Troy Sunken

1304 Blue Earth Ave., Fairmont, MN


(507) 238-4949

May programs at CER


A Free Bike Rodeo will be conducted on Wednesday, May 9, 3:30-

4:30 pm, at the Fairmont Elementary School West Entrance in conjunction

with International Walk/Bike to School Day. ABC Bike checks and helmet

fitting will be provided along with a bike handling and safety skills course.

Hot Dogs (donated by the Southern Stars Volleyball Association) will be

served by Principal Jim Davison. This event is sponsored by Kiwanis, Safe

Routes to School, Fairmont CER and Mayo Clinic Health System in Fairmont.

Be aware of our youth bikers and walkers!

Summer Adult Co-Ed Leagues are forming. Co-Ed Softball is

played on Wednesday evenings beginning May 9 (Team Registration Deadline

May 1) and Co-Ed Sand Volleyball is played on Monday evenings beginning

June 4 (Registration Deadline May 18.) Youth Sports, Technology

Camps, Park and Playground programs and much more are available for

summer – check them out at CER!

Spend some quality time with youth. Adult Volunteers are needed

as youth sports coaches, mentors, literacy tutors and more-call 235-

3141 to find out how you can help this summer!

For an up-to date list of activities or to register online

with your MasterCard/Visa, visit the CER Web Store at

and click on the CER tab.


Children’s Mother’s Day Flower Garden May 8

Over 55 First Timers Defensive Driving May 9 & 10

Financial Planning May 10

Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Excel Basic May 10

Over 55 Driver Refresher May 14

Heartstart CPR May 14

Children’s Miniature Gardens May 14

Children’s Tomato Garden May 15

Fairmont Elementary Track Meet May 15

Stop the Bleed May 16

Microsoft Word Basic May 19

Microsoft Publisher May 24

Newcomers & Neighbors May 31

…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

Case Study: Children's Museum - May 22 nd

The next Social

Media Breakfast

will be held on

May 22 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

Ines Wingert (Children's Museum of Southern

Minnesota) will present on the museum's strategies

and successes in social media marketing.

Marketing is changing and it is more important

than ever to embrace the tools that are available

for businesses.

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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