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Inver Grove Heights Mayoral Voter Guides

Nicole Bengtson
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Advocacy & Public Policy, Editorials

2018 Inver Grove Heights Mayoral Candidates

Jonathan Weber

Bio: Reliable, honest, loyal and resourceful are defining characteristics of who I am.  With over 20 years of business experience, my passion originates from being an entrepreneur who is committed to creative problem solving and thoughtful leadership aiding me both personally and professionally to be the best father, son, husband, brother, friend, neighbor, business owner, and leader I can be.  I take great pride in all things I am involved in, specifically within my current role as an IGH Planning Commissioner serving our community these past two years. This experience has allowed me to expand my servant leadership philosophies, which enriches lives, builds better organizations, and ultimately contributes to the creation of a more just and caring community.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it?

Development.  As a planning commissioner, I have seen the new developments coming into our city and one major thing they are missing is a park or trails to a park.  As Mayor, I would work with developers to create spaces for families to gather and play at. I feel this has been a major miss in our current developments.  When families are looking to move to our city we need to make sure the basics are there for them.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

  1. Residential and Business Development.
  2. Safe Schools and Safe Environments for our citizens.
  3. The Health of our city and its citizens.

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?

I do not feel we have any services that the city provides that need to be cut back or eliminated.  I do see with new development that we will have lots of new opportunities and work together with neighboring cities to share services.

George Tourville

Bio: I grew up in South St. Paul and attended the University of Minnesota before being trained as a medic in the USAF. I worked as a Paramedic at Divine Redeemer and served on the IGH Fire Department for 26 years. I worked in the Telecom Area for 22 years and retired from Short Elliott Hendrickson in October 2017. I worked as a Sales Manager for most of that time interfacing with businesses large and small gaining valuable business experience. We have lived in IGH for 44 years serving on the City Council for 21 years and as Mayor for 14 years. I am a member of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, Progress Plus and serve as Chair of the NDCTV Cable Commission, Dakota County 9-1-1 Board and Dakota County Broadband Board. I have served on numerous committees at LMC and Metro Cities in Transportation, General Government and Telecom. I am active in our Church (Good Shepherd), Neighbors Inc., grandchildren activities and youth sports programs. My wife, Barbara, and I have three adult children and 7 grandchildren all living in IGH. I am respectful, accountable, experienced, and involved in our City, I promise to work hard to make IGH a better place to live, work, play, and learn.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge facing Inver Grove Heights and all other cities is balancing revenues to our services and budget; now and into the future. We need to maintain and grow the City’s Tax Base, so we can support the services and programs our city needs and desires. IGH needs 5 to build on our economic and city strengths to support ongoing growth in housing, retail, commercial and industrial across the entire community. 

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

  1. Strengthening city services through the responsible use of taxpayer dollars; while keeping taxes affordable in Inver Grove Heights. My highest priority is making sure our City Departments are well staffed, have the equipment and facilities they need and are well trained to serve the citizens and businesses of IGH. 
  2.  Grow our Tax Base and add quality development and jobs. We can do this by using the strengths we have to promote new development in housing, commercial, industrial and retail. Helping existing businesses to grow, prosper and add jobs. Continue to work with Dakota County, CDA, MnDOT and private developers to plan, build and complete the transportation plans in our Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This will allow us to grow our Tax Base and add the services that citizens are looking for.  
  3.  Increase communications with citizens and businesses by improving the Cities INSIGHTS Publication, better social media presence with Facebook and Twitter, continue to improve the city’s website and work with Town Square TV on good cable coverage and promotions.

 Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?

We review services, staffing and programs on an annual basis for additional efficiencies and cost savings. We also evaluate if shared services, partnerships and or additional Joint Powers Agreements could save money.

Food for Thought Business Lunch Series Open to Public

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

October Business Lunch focuses its Menu on Speed Networking to “Leverage Your Connections”

Inver Grove Heights, MN (October 9, 2018) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce started its new business luncheon series, Food for Thought, when it launched their new brand in August, with the purpose to include all area businesses in a once a month event, not only Chamber members. The River Heights Chamber is about working together and building relationships – businesses [all of us] benefit when we work together and know what’s going on in our community, so we [the Chamber] want to gather more businesses and leaders from the community together for an hour and a half on a monthly basis.

“It is one of our Board’s goals to emphasize the Chamber’s inclusivity, so to have a forum open to the public that features various business-related topics that allow the community to collaborate, network and learn from one another each month is a great initiative,” said River Heights Board Chair Brenda Dietrich, co-owner of Hardline Concrete & Masonry.

The River Heights Chamber invites you and/or your employees to attend the October Food for Thought, Speed Networking event, on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Evolve Workplace, 260 Wentworth Ave E., West St. Paul. Bring a guest or 2 and remember your business cards!

The featured speaker for Speed Networking is expert, Kelly Jahner-Byrne, of Kelly Enterprises International. “Kelly is engaging, energetic and entertaining all while facilitating this valuable business connection event,” noted Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

“Speed Networking/Leverage Your Connections“ is a structured, efficient, FUN and fast-paced event where participants will have face-to-face introductions with other business representatives, one to three minutes at a time. It is fantastic for experienced and nervous networkers alike. We KNOW that you will meet more people than you would during the same amount of time in an unstructured setting. Don’t miss this opportunity! Be sure to get there early to meet as many people as you can. “This speed networking event will exponentially expand your business contacts over the lunch hour and maximize your time investment while meeting with accomplished professionals,” added Chamber Chair Brenda Dietrich of Hardline Concrete & Masonry.

Both Chamber members and non-member businesses can register to attend online at www.riverheights.com or by contacting the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to aggressively promote the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. Driving economic progress and business development is its focus. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members and is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.

About the Presenter
Kelly Jahner-Byrne, From meager beginnings, with zero connections and with very limited business acumen, Kelly excelled at her first sales job and ended up as its #1 producer in less than 6 months. Achieving the top spot in every organization she has been employed eventually pointed her internal compass in the direction of forming her own business entity, Kelly Enterprises International. Kelly is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and international businesswoman who is a recognized expert on leveraging your network to grow your business. She is known for inspiring leaders across the country to be their best selves and up-level their lives and is a thought leader in explaining the HOW of getting your business moving forward faster. As the CEO of Kelly Enterprises International, she is a collaborative influencer with a “let’s work together” attitude.

Her speaking career has landed her on diverse and varied stages around the globe. Kelly has acquired and implemented myriad business skills and solutions for herself and now promotes and shares that plethora of her HOW with others. She has built her international sales and marketing organization and for more than 25 years and has establishing double-digit growth amassing more than 1000 customers in three countries.

Crowned Mrs. Minnesota in 2001, Kelly utilized her skills to raise more than $1 million for charities. She is the Founder of The Cancer Benefit Fund and the author of Volunteer for Life – Achieving Your Personal and Professional Goals and One Great Idea Can Revolutionize Your Business! Kelly is married to her husband, John, a renowned chef who she met on a cruise or as they call it, “Their Love Boat Adventure” and together they have two children and live in Woodbury.

South St. Paul City Council Voter Guides

Nicole Bengtson
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Advocacy & Public Policy, Editorials

2018 South St. Paul City Council Candidates

Bernie Beermann 

Bio: I’ve had a long history with South St. Paul. In the `40’s, I took the streetcar to the south pool.  In 1956, I graduated from SSP High School.  In 1958, I bought my first house on 242 E Dale Street.  I moved to Inver Grove Heights for more space, to operate my hauling company.  I returned to SSP when I retired and live at 206 E Spruce Street.  

While in Inver Grove Heights, I spent 8 years on the City Council.  South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights share a complicated border, especially near the airport.  I was pleased when South St. Paul and West St. Paul combined their fire departments. I hope we continue to work effectively with all of our neighbors. 

In the first half of my adult years, I owned and managed a company, which grew to 75 employees, serving 12,000 customers with trash and recycling services.  I learned to investigate, to understand, and to consider alternatives, before jumping to conclusions.  At that same time, I learned to anticipate what might go wrong, and to ‘be prepared,’ a skill which I actually learned as a boy scout. 

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it? 

One of the biggest challenges facing our city, and maybe every city in the United States, is that there are ever increasing numbers of people that are willing to break our laws.  I would continue to be supportive of making sure that the public safety and services departments of our city have adequate funding and staffing.   

What would be your top three priorities if elected? 

#1. Continue existing efforts that keep our city a safe place to live.

#2. Take the steps to acquire the necessary properties for benefit of community, conveniences and events.

#3. Expand our relationships with surrounding communities for the objective of improved economies and responses for mutual benefits. 

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities? 

I am not aware of any move to cut back on any services currently being provided by the city. I’m always open to considering cost-saving proposals that might be brought to the council by our city administrator, which could include proposals that combine services with other entities for mutual benefit. 

Isaac Contreras 

Bio: I am native to St. Paul, married a wonderful South St. Paul HS graduate and have been raising my boys in South St. Paul for the last 12 years.  

Engaged in my communities since my return from active duty service in the Navy, I have served in several volunteer positions including as a founding member of the St. Paul Police Foundation, District 2 representative on the St. Paul Capital Improvement Budget Committee and President of a youth sports booster organization. 

I am a business owner currently serving on the South St Paul’s Planning Commission, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Citizens Advisory Council, and attending the South St. Paul Citizens Police Academy. 

With over 25 years of experience in operations, sales and leadership roles, I have been developing and advocating for the best interests of my family, peers, teams and clients with a simple yet effective “Do not let them outwork you” philosophy, which has led to a reputation for listening and acting on their behalf.  These are the same traits that I will bring to the City Council. 

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it? 

Perception.  There seems to be an issue with perception.  Internally, meaning how current residents are seeing the city and externally meaning how we are being looked at from the outside in.  In following the conversations that folks are having on Facebook, you would think that SSP is just falling apart at the seams, but when I have face-to-face conversations with the folks as well as those who have the direct contact with the issues that have been raised, it doesn’t match up.  Crime for instance.  We’ve had some very visible and highly disturbing incidents of crime over the last couple of years, but there are many longtime residents as well as those on the front line who will say that not much is different.  Externally, I think we still deal with an antiquated perception of the potential that is SSP.  Large dirt mounds and smells don’t help, but an Open for Business is an image that helps bring in new companies and new residents.  Working on the perception is an important piece to SSP growth.    

 What would be your top three priorities if elected? 

#1. Public safety – Additional support in appropriate equipment and personnel.  For example, equipping every squad in the fleet with spotlight infrared equipment that allows an officer to scan a dark alley for suspicious activity without having to turn into the alley.  This allows the officer to cover more ground.  In regards to personnel, hire and mobilize an officer/social worker team to identify and employ pre-arrest diversion tactics where mental illness and addiction recovery residents are better served.  

#2. Economic Development – “On the verge” may be a fair description of the current business climate. There have been a number of positive business accomplishments.  Not just talk, but actual ground-breaking.  With the opportunity that presents itself from the reconstruction of the Concord Corridor, we are “on the verge” of shedding the cow town image and being able to use words from 10-year-old planning documents like “Rediscover” and “Renaissance”. 

It’s important that we have a marketing mindset.  We know we have a good thing going on here, with access, a productive workforce, and a stable community, but waiting for it to come to us is not a successful approach. We must put ourselves in the path of the businesses and organizations that are at the growth stage. This includes our current businesses.  Retention and growth of our current business residents are critical, and this happens with inclusive economic round-table discussions.   

#3. Housing – One of the bigger challenges is our housing inventory.  It is stunting our growth and even though we welcome prospective Packers, where would they live?  We need to seek and secure developers that provide quality options to incoming and current residents of South St. Paul to support for retention and expansion of our tax base. 

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?   

Speaking from a candidate’s point of view that has watched the department heads repeatedly go back to their areas of responsibility, sharpen their pencils and work to submit reasonable increases in their budgets, I feel that we must hold the line on spending that is above inflation.  We can protect our budget by enlisting private sector specialists that audit, consult and integrate smart design, energy efficiency and cutting waste for long-term cost savings.

Sharon Dewey 

Bio: I possess a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and graduated with honors.  I also acquired a certificate from the University of Minnesota – Duluth for completing the Tribal Administration and Governance Program.  My leadership development education was acquired through the Bush Foundation’s Native Nation Rebuilder’s Program (Cohort 2), Tiwahe Foundation’s Oyate Network (Cohort 5), and John Maxell courses.  Our Bush Foundation training included community organizing workshops, facilitated by Peggy Flanagan of Wellstone Action (currently Minnesota State Representative for District 46A).  I was with the U.S. Small Business Administration for almost ten years.  As a Business Opportunities Specialist, I grew to love economic development and small business development.  I previously served an appointment to a term on South St. Paul’s Economic Development Advisory Board.  My experience also includes public service to the White Earth Nation.  As their Self-Governance Coordinator, I managed a multi-million-dollar contract, promoted the image and well-being of the community, conducted business with the Federal government, and coordinated special projects.  My volunteer life consists of involvement in a grassroots organization geared at educating tribal members on the importance of culture, values, governance, and the political system.  It also includes 6 years of direct service to a homeless shelter.  DEW it!  

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it? 

Good question!  I see a beautiful city – a small city, with a big town feel.  I love it!  I’d love to preserve that.  Ensuring South St. Paul combats the decline other cities experience will be key.  This will take a unified front to accomplish that; it’s not just a governance issue—it’s a community issue! 

What would be your top three priorities if elected? 

#1. Economic development

#2. Public safety

#3. Environmental sustainability

I see these three categories as major components of community well-being. 

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?  

At this time, I will reserve comments because I don’t feel I have enough data to respond.  I would rather provide an informed response than portray myself as someone having all the answers.  However, answers I will seek!

Joanne Rothecker-Woods 

Bio: My leadership skills, my vast knowledge of the community, working with diverse people, and learning to mediate issues qualifies me to be the next City Council Member for South St. Paul.  

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it? 

Taxes and a workable budget.  It is the foundation of a strong community. With a stronger tax base with building on economic development, both businesses and residents will benefit. As a City Council, we need to continue to support and invite new businesses and opportunities to build the tax base which will allow for more programming including youth, police and code enforcement.  

What would be your top three priorities if elected? 

#1. & #2. Taxes and the budget would be my top two priorities to make sure it is balanced, affordable for the residents and businesses and that there is no frivolous spending.

#3. I will strongly support a strong economic development plan for South St. Paul, bringing in additional taxes, making South St. Paul budget stronger and a great place to live, learn, work and play. 

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?   

No, I don’t believe at this time that there are any services they should cut back on or eliminate. Because at this time with everything that is occurring within our city/community, all services are needed.  Also, there is always room to address/discuss ideas for new opportunities to share services.

Tom Seaberg 

Bio: Member South St. Paul City Council 1987-present, Member SSP HRA/EDA 20+ years, Member River Heights Chamber of Commerce, Past Board Member River Heights Chamber. 

Endorsed by the Southeast Metro Business Political Action Committee, for the 2018 City Council Election. 

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it? 

The biggest challenge we face is to continue the momentum of the past few years in attracting new businesses and development and redevelopment to South St. Paul.  We have worked hard on attracting businesses to the Bridgepoint Business Park, we must continue to look for new businesses and redevelopment opportunities in that area and we must work in conjunction with existing businesses along the North Concord Corridor, an area that is ripe for growth.  We must also provide an efficient way for businesses to expand and thrive in the Southview-Marie Avenue business district, by encouraging existing businesses to reinvest in their buildings and partnering with the River Heights Chamber, Progress Plus and South St. Paul Future to create win-win, public-private partnerships. 

What would be your top three priorities if elected? 

#1. Provide quality city services at a responsible cost.

#2. Work together with all parties on development and redevelopment.

#3. Provide quality housing options for all of our residents.

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities? 

Yes, we are in the final contract negotiating stage of turning the management and day-to-day operations of both of our publicly owned high-rises, over to a private company.  We believe this will help us reduce the number of FTE’s dedicated to these operations and will help us keep our property taxes lower and allow our staff to focus on other areas of City operations.

Joe Kaliszewski

Bio: Hi. I’m Joe Kaliszewski. I am a native South St. Paulite, being raised and raising our family here in this great town for 5 generations. Graduating from SSP HS, I then attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. I married Anita in 1980 and have been happily married since, raising two sons and now we have four grandchildren. Our community will always be most important for all of us to keep as long as we live, for generations.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it? 

I feel one of the challenges is safer housing, especially those vulnerable, aging, and with disabilities. For those mentioned, I feel a staff person should be on staff for multiple people dwelling in these homes. Our public services are facing increased calls and care for something other entities should be funding and handling.

What would be your top three priorities if elected? 

#1. Continue the great services we provide.

#2. Have more public awareness and hearings for engineering projects.

#3. Have more newsletters sent to our community constituents.

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities? 

Cutbacks/elimination- let’s start with the city planner. Before such a position was created just some years ago, the city engineer and the engineering department handled any issues related. I wonder if citizens would care to become more involved and empowered to police their neighborhoods for trash and parking violations, suspected drug use/distribution, criminal acts and such, reporting them to the departments.

 

Inver Grove Heights City Council Voter Guides

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Advocacy & Public Policy, Editorials

2018 Inver Grove Heights City Council Candidates

Paul Hark

Bio: I am honored and proud to serve my first term on the IGH City Council. We have made very good progress on all issues concerning development in IGH and need to keep the momentum we have. I have many diverse professional experiences. I have owned two small businesses and am married to a small business owner. I understand the pressures involved in owning a business and creating jobs. I’ve worked in large and small organizations, and in the public and private sector. I served on the IGH Planning Commission for nine years, ending up as Chair. I understand land use issues and how they impact our business climate. I have been a ceaseless promoter of the IGH business community and plan on continuing this over my second and final term. I am a budget hawk and pay attention to the budget process.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge facing the city is effectively dealing with our population growth. It is expected that IGH will have 50,000 residents by the year 2030. We need to manage this growth and ensure that we have the right mix of housing and commercial opportunities.  The estimated growth will put pressure on our budget and affect the costs of city services. The growth will put pressure on our police and fire departments, cause more wear and tear on our roads and add pressure to our water and sewer systems. It will also create the need for additional open space (i.e. parks).  This all needs to be managed so we do not end up taxing residents out of their homes.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

  • Actively manage the spending side of the budget (as this affects the revenue side of the budget)
  • Create a more effective Economic Development Authority to create a more development-friendly reputation for IGH
  • Continue to insist on First-Class Customer Service. We have initiated a new Customer Service policy and we need to insist that it be followed.

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?

Because Inver Grove Heights is in rapid growth mode, we need to proceed very carefully and strategically with regards to which services should be reduced, enhanced, or shared. These types of decisions cannot be made in the abstract but need to be fact-based and made relative to the long-term benefit of IGH.

Brenda Dietrich

Bio: Local business co-owner of Hardline Concrete & Masonry Inc., a family-owned business in Inver Grove Heights for over 35 years, Tri-district mentor for students at Henry Sibley Memorial High School, River Heights Chamber Ambassador and former Chair, board member and current Chair, Southeast Metro Business PAC (Political Action Committee) former secretary and Vice President, Delegate for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC (2015), Course study of the Government Affairs Curriculum, focused on the process of government at the grassroots, local, state and federal levels of government, involvement in Inver Grove Heights Local Issues meetings monthly with department leaders in the city.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it?

The biggest challenge facing the city is developing open lines of communication between local residents, the city and business.  This foundation affects the success of all other factors.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

  • Being a voice for residents’ concerns
  • Transparency & consistency
  • Smart business growth, fostered by open lines of communication stated above

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?

This is a topic that I would need to get residents feedback from before eliminating or cutting back. I do believe in trying new things and assessing what is working and what can be done more effectively. I do think we can explore sharing resources with surrounding communities. Good ideas can come from anywhere, we need to listen and make wise decisions, learning from each other.

Rosemary Piekarski Krech

Bio: As an educator, urban farmer, child-care provider, daughter, sister, wife, caregiver, widow, lifelong learner, former mayor and current council member, I have developed a balanced approach of process and people-oriented problem-solving skills. I always try to work for consensus not compromise and maintain respect for everyone when dealing with city governance. I think as a city we have accomplished a great deal. We have added hundreds of new residents, new businesses have opened, we selected a new police chief, are on our way to finally build a fire station to serve Southern IGH, have added a Communications director, a new Development director, and still maintained a reasonable levy rate.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it?
Financing the many needs of a growing community is our biggest challenge. We need to be fiscally careful and spend city money in a way that keeps us a competitive city in Dakota County.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

My top three priorities would be:

  • Sound finance
  • Completion and equipping the fire station
  • Sustainability

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities?

We are always looking at what is necessary and needed and have several JPAs and are always open to others.

Todd Kruse

Bio: Residents of IGH would benefit from my career experience as a city franchise agreement negotiator, my experience as a business owner/consultant to businesses, and as an MBA instructor specializing in strategic management which would be an asset to a city in need of innovative approaches to serving its constituents.

What is the biggest challenge facing the city and how would you address it?

The business climate. The climate is stagnant and actually a deterrent for entrepreneurs since numerous business owners have informed me that contractors they wanted to work with have refused to work in IGH. This lack of competitive bidding on business and residential projects (such as a new garage or a deck on your home) becomes a form of hidden taxation since the competitive pressure to keep prices down and quality of service high is limited.

What would be your top three priorities if elected?

  • Re-brand and re-constitute the membership of the city’s Economic Development Authority
  • Reorganize the city’s citizen commissions/committees based on community feedback to guide the decisions.  Some commissions I would like to consider are: 1.) Arbor Pointe Commercial Area Commission, 2.) Empty Buildings Commission, 3.) City-to-City Regional Collaboration Commission, and 4.) Innovation/TED Talk Commission (could invite River Heights Chamber of Commerce as a participant).  I know firsthand that our current city leaders turn away volunteers interested in serving, so let’s harness interested citizens’ creative energy where the city needs innovative thinking.
  • Start working on 2020 city elections to recruit candidates who share my worldview to transform our city

Are there any services currently provided by the city that you believe should be cut back or eliminated? Or, are there new opportunities to share services with other entities? 

Hopefully, residents will agree with me that money pits like Inver Wood Golf Course and The Grove recreation center are not sacred cows that will ensure my election defeat should I advocate any changes. Imagine an IGH where our recreation center is managed by LA Fitness or Lifetime Fitness where membership rates are lower, AND members get the added benefit of access to other branches such as LA Fitness on Robert Street in West St. Paul or Lifetime’s Eagan facility.

Voters need to ask themselves – “Hey, since I am shopping at Hy-Vee in Eagan today, I think I will go swimming at the Lifetime location on Cliff Avenue…” simply because their The Grove membership now (assuming Lifetime or LA Fitness become the management company) provides them with a greater range of options for recreation throughout the Twin Cities metro area.

River Heights Chamber Clay Shoot September 27

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing

 

 

 


River Heights Chamber Clay Shoot September 27

Beginner-Friendly Event, Give it a Shot

Inver Grove Heights, MN (September 18, 2018) – This year, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Fundraiser teams up with the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club for the 2nd Annual Clay Shoot on September 27 from Noon – 4 p.m.!

Join the River Heights Chamber for a unique fundraiser that’s sure to be a blast! The Clay Shoot is a fun and adventurous day outdoors that lets participants support the Chamber with a day out on the range… the shooting range that is!  A friendly clay shooting competition, a gift bag for each participant and an after-shoot appetizer buffet are all included with registration. This fundraiser supports the River Heights Chamber of Commerce in continuing their efforts to sustain and develop the local economy and keep the business community thriving!

We welcome straight shooters and novices of all skill levels who enjoy the fast-paced excitement of sporting and trap clays. Register as an individual for $75 or as a team of five for $65 per shooter. Prizes will be given to 1st place tournament teams, individual contest winners, top male and top female shooter. “Come build camaraderie at this fundraising event as you network and clay shoot with other businesses,” says Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce!

Raffle tickets are available at the Chamber office.

An RSVP is required. Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors Deerwood Bank, Frattalone Companies, Progress Plus, Sportsman’s Guide and Xcel Energy and our many Shooting Station sponsors.  For more details, sponsorship opportunities and to register, visit the event website at www.riverheights.com/clayshoot or call the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266, ext. 1032. Payment is due upon registration. This event is rain or shine.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to aggressively promote the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. Driving economic progress and business development is its focus. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit the River Heights Chamber website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Media Contact for River Heights Chamber of Commerce:
Nicole Bengtson
Director of Marketing & Communications
651.451.2266 ext. 1033
Nicole@riverheights.com

Food for Thought Business Lunch Series Open to Public

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

 

 

 

 

Food for Thought Business Lunch Series Open to Public
October Business Lunch focuses its Menu on Speed Networking to “Leverage Your Connections”

Inver Grove Heights, MN (September 18, 2018) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit business organization that supports businesses in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul, as well as around the South Metro, with advocacy, networking and educational programming, started a new business luncheon program called Food for Thought. The new series, which kicked off in August, features various business-related topics and speakers for the community to learn from and network with each other on a monthly basis.

The River Heights Chamber invites businesses to attend the October Food for Thought, Speed Networking event, on Tuesday, October 23, 2018, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Evolve Workplace, 260 Wentworth Ave E., West St. Paul. The featured speaker for Speed Networking is expert, Kelly Jahner-Byrne, of Kelly Enterprises International. “Kelly is engaging, energetic and entertaining all while facilitating this valuable business connection event,” noted Colleen Murphy Roth, Director of Membership Development for the River Heights Chamber of Commerce.

“Speed Networking/Leverage Your Connections” is a structured, efficient, FUN and fast-paced event where participants will have face-to-face introductions with other business representatives, one to three minutes at a time. It is fantastic for experienced and nervous networkers alike. We KNOW that you will meet more people than you would during the same amount of time in an unstructured setting. Don’t miss this opportunity! Be sure to get there early to meet as many people as you can. Remember to bring your business cards and calendar to schedule meetings with your new contacts!

“This speed networking event will exponentially expand your business contacts over the lunch hour and maximize your time investment while meeting with accomplished professionals,” added Chamber Chair Brenda Dietrich of Hardline Concrete & Masonry. Both Chamber members and non-member businesses can register to attend online at www.riverheights.com or by contacting the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032.

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to making connections and delivering resources that benefit local businesses. Visit www.riverheights.com or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn about the benefits of membership and events.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is committed to its mission to aggressively promote the interests of the business communities of Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul. The organization is volunteer-driven and strives to attract and retain businesses to keep the business community thriving. Driving economic progress and business development is its focus. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit the River Heights Chamber website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

About the Presenter
Kelly Jahner-Byrne, From meager beginnings, with zero connections and with very limited business acumen, Kelly excelled at her first sales job and ended up as its #1 producer in less than 6 months. Achieving the top spot in every organization she has been employed eventually pointed her internal compass in the direction of forming her own business entity, Kelly Enterprises International. Kelly is a dynamic speaker, entrepreneur, and international businesswoman who is a recognized expert on leveraging your network to grow your business. She is known for inspiring leaders across the country to be their best selves and up-level their lives and is a thought leader in explaining the HOW of getting your business moving forward faster. As the CEO of Kelly Enterprises International, she is a collaborative influencer with a “let’s work together” attitude.

Her speaking career has landed her on diverse and varied stages around the globe. Kelly has acquired and implemented myriad business skills and solutions for herself and now promotes and shares that plethora of her HOW with others. She has built her international sales and marketing organization and for more than 25 years and has establishing double-digit growth amassing more than 1000 customers in three countries.

Crowned Mrs. Minnesota in 2001, Kelly utilized her skills to raise more than $1 million for charities. She is the Founder of The Cancer Benefit Fund and the author of Volunteer for Life – Achieving Your Personal and Professional Goals and One Great Idea Can Revolutionize Your Business! Kelly is married to her husband, John, a renowned chef who she met on a cruise or as they call it, “Their Love Boat Adventure” and together they have two children and live in Woodbury.

Media Contact for River Heights Chamber of Commerce:
Nicole Bengtson
Director of Marketing & Communications
651.451.2266 ext. 1033
Nicole@riverheights.com

You’re Invited to Food For Thought

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Food for Thought Logo

On the Menu… Branding!

Tuesday, August 21
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Evolve Workplace
260 Wentworth Ave E.,
West St Paul, MN 55118

 

Attend the River Heights Chamber’s new luncheon series called Food for Thought! Each member luncheon will focus on a different topic. On the menu, this month is a branding presentation from Dan Foote of FootePrint Marketing & Advertising as well as the special reveal of the River Heights Chamber’s new brand from Tabor PR!

You’ve likely not heard of Foote, yet you more than likely have heard of the brands that he helped establish.

How did The St. Paul Grill become “A Favorite On Everyone’s List?”

How did Pazzaluna get named Pazzaluna?

Why did a small town in Mississippi have to “Give A Sh-t”  in order to drive economic development?

Most importantly, how can discovering the answers to these questions make a difference to your brand?

Hear how Dan Foote, partner in FootePrint Marketing & Advertising for the past 30-years used the Brand•FootePrint process to help establish each of these brands. And more importantly, how you can take advantage of this same process.

“Never be afraid to ask why and take the time to saunter down a cobblestone path.”  Dan Foote, Partner, FootePrint Marketing & Advertising

Member Spotlight: KOMA

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Marketing, Member Spotlight

We Built This City, by Starship, is not only a successful song from 1985 but is also a theme song KOMA showed their love for in their 2015, 30 year anniversary, music video on YouTube here. No, KOMA didn’t build the city on rock and roll, but they do love to build!

In 1985, Dan O’Brien, Jim Krech and Brian Wass formed a partnership and opened the doors of Krech, O’Brien and Wass after formerly working together for the CHS architectural and structural engineering department that closed. Two years later, Brady Mueller joined the firm as an owner and they became Krech, O’Brien, Mueller + Wass. In 2004, the firm rebranded and became Krech, O’Brien, Mueller and Associates. Under new ownership, the company completed a second rebrand last year and is now doing business as KOMA.

KOMA’s mission is to collaboratively create inspiring, aesthetically pleasing and highly functional spaces for people to live, work, learn, play and worship. They achieve this through hard work, passion, keeping a healthy workplace and teamwork. KOMA has worked with numerous companies within the community including Neighbors, Inc., Old World Pizza, Waterous, CHS and Gertens Greenhouse. They have a wide range of experience in multiple industries including education, corporate offices, retail and industrial.

When asked about what inspires their business, Ashley Riley, marketing coordinator, shared, “We are a firm built on relationships. We embrace partnerships with our clients and we believe people come first, always.” This statement also holds true with their participation in the River Heights Chamber of Commerce. KOMA has always volunteered with projects and at events to lend a helping hand since they joined the Chamber over 33 years ago. When asked about their favorite thing about the River Heights Chamber, Ashley said, “We love the people! The Chamber is very inclusive, very welcoming and the relationships are genuine.”

KOMA is a perfect example of how a good company is built. Keeping a healthy workplace while maintaining hard work can be tough for anyone, but when KOMA pairs it with passion and makes sure to add a little fun, they created a strong, cohesive company. The company’s values, their dedicated staff and their dedication to their relationships are ensuring success for KOMA’s future.

Watch their Member Spotlight video with managing partner, Marc DuBois below.

Member Spotlight: Town Square Television

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Marketing, Member Spotlight

When thinking of locally, homegrown businesses none come to mind quite like Town Square Television. Founded in 1987, after its parent NDC4 Cable Commission was founded five years prior, Town Square Television has served Northern Dakota County as its local community media center for nearly thirty-one years.

Jodie Miller, Executive Director of Town Square Television, has been employed by Town Square Television since 1989 and hopes to be there until she retires. When asked about her background, Jodie said, “I have a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and English, writing concentration, and a minor in Business Administration. These credentials allowed me to take over the executive director position in 1993 and have also helped me succeed in my career.”

When asked about what inspires Town Square Televisions’ work, Jodie commented, “Our volunteers, our customers, our viewers, and the people we feature on our programs inspire us every day. Northern Dakota County and its seven cities have many stories to tell, and we are privileged to be able to tell them using video as our medium.” Their inspirations and their business philosophy of, “Lead with your heart. Listen. Be flexible. Be truthful. Be fair and consistent. Be thankful,” have shown their love for the community. This love and support has helped Town Square Television become, and continue to be, such a beloved asset to our community.

“The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is our go-to organization for networking and community outreach. We have been members for twenty-five years. Our customers are Chamber members, our vendors and service providers are Chamber members, and after thirty years in this community, our long-term partners and friends are Chamber members,” added Miller when asked what a membership in the River Heights Chamber of Commerce has meant to their business.

Click below to watch their Member Spotlight video!