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Harrison Smith Joins Paul Allen for Big Game Gala ‘Halftime’ Show

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing, Social Media

Posted Dec 6, 2017
Credit: Craig Peters, vikings.com


BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Harrison Smith is used to going full-throttle for four quarters, but on Tuesday night, the Vikings safety was part of the “halftime” show.

Smith joined “Voice of the Vikings” Paul Allen for an on-stage chat between meal courses as the River Heights Chamber of Commerce held a “Big Game Gala” at the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America.

As Allen was introducing Smith to the crowd, he mentioned fielding variations of the same question from guests about how what’s been a good season so far might conclude.

“I have no idea where this ends, where this 10-2 is going to go,” said Allen, who is in his 16th year of covering the team.

He said this year’s team is “unique” from any that he’s seen in more than a decade and a half. Allen expressed optimism and encouraged the enjoyment of every moment down the final stretch.

“Just enjoy it every single week, and we’ll see where it goes,” Allen said.

Smith, sharply dressed in a suit and tie, hopped up on the stage and immediately drew ribbing from Allen for not wearing socks, which Smith attributed to a fashion tip from fellow safety Andrew Sendejo.

Smith said the Vikings haven’t looked beyond Sunday’s meeting with the Panthers and explained how the approach goes beyond the one-game-at-a-time cliché.

“I think everyone remembers being pretty excited when we started 5-0 and ended up 8-8 last year, so that’s kind of a learning experience of what not to do,” Smith said. “I think that helps, as far as not getting ahead of ourselves.

“Also, I think the biggest thing is we have a group of guys that really enjoys playing football, which sounds kind of silly because we’re getting paid to play a child’s game, which is the best-case scenario, so how could you not love it? But for some guys, it can get kind of monotonous, the grind of every week,” Smith continued. “Around the league, that’s just how it is. That’s not how it is here. This team loves football, and I think it’s easy to go one day at a time when you love what you’re doing.”

Smith said he thinks Xavier Rhodes is “the best” cornerback in the league. When asked by Allen if Sendejo is wild or calculated, he explained how the safety is using a “weird mix of both” successfully.

Two other highlights from Allen’s Q&A included:

On Anthony Barr:

“He’s one of those guys you look at who is supremely talented,” Smith said. “He can run with anybody, is big and strong and can play multiple positions, and he also calls our defenses and gets us aligned. He’s kind of the one who says, you know, he kind of gets us going when we give up a couple of plays here and there, he says, ‘All right guys, time to stop messing around.’ He’s been a force for us.”

On Case Keenum:

“He just has this moxie about him, so it’s definitely not arrogant, but he just has a lot of self-confidence where you know he has it and he doesn’t have to tell you about it,” Smith said. “This quarterback situation, where we have three guys that have all at some point in their career been playing top-notch, you just don’t see that a lot around the league. Most teams can’t find one. If that’s the problem we have, I’ll take it.”

Allen opened the session to questions from the crowd, and one guest asked his thoughts of U.S. Bank Stadium.

“Normally players don’t get to see a lot of stadiums,” Smith said. “We just see the locker room and the field, but this one, I think, has honestly surpassed every player’s expectation. Last year, we kind of went in and played. It was awesome and loud, especially for the defense. It looks beautiful in the city, as well.

“In the offseason, when we had more time to come back to events that were held there, we really appreciated from more of the fan side of it, how many different areas and things are there that can be put to use,” Smith continued. “I got to go to the X-Games and thought that was the coolest thing.

“There’s not a ton of home-field advantages in the NFL,” Smith added. “That’s more of a college football thing, but in my opinion, I think we have the best home-field advantage.”

Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Lester Bagley provided an update on the team’s future headquarters, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, which is scheduled for completion on March 1.

Bagley said 220 workers from 38 contractors, including 34 Minnesota-based companies, are working on the headquarters that also will be able to host youth and high school sports and other events.

“It’s really a community asset,” Bagley told attendees. “Our vision is to share it with the community and partner not only with high school sports but our Minnesota Vikings Foundation.”

Smith, who attended the formal groundbreaking of TCO Performance Center in summer 2016, said he enjoyed learning about the site’s progress and chatting with guests about the Vikings season and Minnesota hosting Super Bowl LII in less than two months.

“It was great to see how excited the community is about [TCO Performance Center] and how excited the businesses are for Minnesota hosting the Super Bowl,” Smith said. “You can tell how excited the community is, how much pride the people have in the Vikings and what the organization means to them. That adds even more respect for our fans and the organization that I’m fortunate to play for.”

Local band Highwood (featuring Jon Erickson, Kelton Glewwe, Steve Snelling, Steve Sorenson and Lee Swenson) concluded the evening with live music.

Click here to see photos from the Big Game Gala

Click here to see post from Vikings

Who’s On the River Heights Chamber’s Most Wanted List? How Can You Help?

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Click on the image to see the Top 10 Most Wanted Businesses in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul to apprehend during the River Heights Chamber’s Most Wanted Membership Campaign and learn the Top 5 Reasons to Join the Chamber!

Have a hot lead? Report any info to the Chamber Tipline at 651.451.2266 ext. 1032 or email here!

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes 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. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Read more about what businesses can get from a Chamber of Commerce here.

Big Game Gala

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing


You’re Invited to Attend for an Exclusive Game Day Experience

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce wants to invite the community and their friends and colleagues to participate in the Big Game Gala presented in partnership with the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at the JW Marriott at Mall of America in Bloomington.  The event will be held from 6-10 p.m. and include confirmed featured guests Minnesota Vikings #22 Harrison Smith and Paul Allen of KFAN, as well as executives from the Minnesota Vikings!

We know that everyone won’t be able to attend Super Bowl LII, but everyone can participate in the celebration at the Big Game Gala,” excitedly announced Jennifer Gale, President of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce and Progress Plus Economic Development Foundation.  The Big Game Gala’s vision is to foster excitement, engagement, and awareness within the River Heights community of the positive impact the Minnesota Vikings bring to our region by hosting Super Bowl LII and relocating their headquarters and practice facilities to the area.

“We are excited to partner with the Minnesota Vikings to bring this exclusive event to our members and community partners.  At the Big Game Gala, we will hear more about the opening of the new Vikings facility in Eagan and Super Bowl LII being hosted by Minneapolis in 2018.  Our hope is to bring business leaders, their families and employees together for an evening of fun, all while enjoying a “Big Game” dining experience,” shared Michele Hein, Gala Chair, River Heights Chamber Board Member.

At a glance, a ticket gets you into the following evening’s activities:
6:00 p.m. – Pre-Game with Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
7:00 p.m. – Kick-Off Dinner
Half-Time – Features special guests Minnesota Viking Harrison Smith and KFAN’S Paul Allen, as well as Minnesota Vikings executives providing a sneak peek into Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.
Post-Game Entertainment by local band Highwood (Jon Erickson, Kelton Glewwe, Steve Snelling, Steve Sorenson and Lee Swenson).

Cocktail or business attire is recommended. Tickets are $150 per person, and discounted reserved tables of 8 and VIP Experience tickets are also available.  RSVP by Monday, November 27, 2017. Payment is due upon registration. Cancellation Policy: No refunds for reservations canceled within 72 hours of event date.

To get your Big Game Gala ticket or to see more details as they unfold, please visit the Chamber’s website at www.riverheights.com/biggamegala or call the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266 extension 1037.

Book your group rate for River Heights Chamber of Commerce Gala

This is a photo of Harrison Smith of the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team. This image reflects the Minnesota Vikings active roster as of Monday, June 12, 2017. (AP Photo)

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes 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. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!

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River Heights Chamber Clay Shoot This October

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News

River Heights Chamber Clay Shoot This October

Give it a Shot!

Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul This year, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Fundraiser teams up with the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club for the inaugural Clay Shoot on October 11, 2017 from 11:30 a.m. – 3 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, exciting contests and lunch are all included with registration to support the River Heights Chamber of Commerce in continuing their efforts in supporting and developing the local economy and keeping 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 $65 or as a team of five for $275. Prizes will be given to 1st place tournament teams, individual contest winners, as well as a randomly selected team. “Come build camaraderie at this fundraising event as you network and socialize with other Chamber members, or use it as a corporate team-building activity,” says Maggie Doody, Membership Development Manager, River Heights Chamber of Commerce!

Stay tuned for details on the raffle prizes and get your tickets early as they are sure to sell out!

An RSVP is required.  For more details, sponsorship opportunities and to register, visit the River Heights Chamber’s website at www.riverheights.com/clayshoot or call the River Heights Chamber office at 651.451.2266. Payment is due upon registration. This event is rain or shine.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes 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. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

About South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club
“Established in 1935, the South St. Paul Rod & Gun Club is the only outdoor shooting club in the Twin Cities area located within a city proper. The Club is a member-owned organization.  Located near the intersection of I494 and Concord Street in South St. Paul, Minnesota, along the backwaters of the Mississippi River, the Club offers trap, skeet, sporting clays, and 5-Stand.  The Club is open year-round for your shotgun shooting enjoyment.”

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!

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New Educational Leadership Series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Nicole Bengtson
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Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

The Government Affair: New Educational Leadership Series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul – One of the River Heights Chamber’s goals this year was set to educate and Invigorate member involvement in advocacy with social media or an event.  Historically, the River Heights Chamber of Commerce has led the Dakota County Leadership Academy to build community leaders within the local Chamber of Commerce membership, however, the area Chambers have not revived the leadership program since the economic downturn more than 5 years ago, leaving a gap in leadership training through the Chamber.  Staff combined the goals of the Board of Directors with the desire to offer members a training opportunity to become more engaged in the community, in their business and in the Chamber.

The following course was developed with Connolly Kuhl Group in partnership with the Minnesota Retailers Association and approved by the Chamber’s Board of Directors for the Fall of 2017.

“Whether it be at the municipal, state, or federal level, advocacy is a crucial part of influencing how decisions are made. We consistently see businesses wanting to advocate on behalf of issues that will directly affect them, but do not know how to effectively do so. The Government Affair is a great opportunity for companies big and small to not only expand their knowledge of civic affairs, but learn how to actively engage with elected officials to benefit their organization and the business community,” stated Carl Kuhl, Connolly Kuhl Group.

What’s in Store for You…

It’s no secret… This four-part educational series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce will commence this September and is perfect for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of civic affairs. Whether your experience with government is limited to voting for elected officials or you lobby your representatives on a weekly basis, this program will walk you through a comprehensive, non-partisan, grassroots experience at the local, state and federal level. This program will challenge participants to stretch their knowledge on all levels of government while learning from and networking with other business people and influential leaders.

Jennifer Gale, President of the River Heights Chamber noted, “The Government Affair will challenge and motivate course graduates to make a difference in their organization and community by learning about the grassroots process that keep our local communities a good place to do business in.”  Understanding how the process works is critical to influencing decisions being made every day impacting you and your customers. The Government Affair turns observers into power players,” added Bruce Nustad, President, Minnesota Retailers Association.

How Can I Benefit?

  • Individual Benefits: Develop a great network of individuals who play an active role in the business community; become a more effective and influential leader at work by understanding the process of civic affairs, and learn transferable tools for your professional tool box.
  • Employer Benefits: Gain company exposure, and develop a strong employee who understands civic affairs and increases their leadership talent within the organization.
  • Community Benefits: Support active participation in the community, and further engage the local talent in grassroots initiatives on all levels of government.

Meet Me…

This four-part series will meet from 1 p.m.  to 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month from September to December at a location relevant to the topic.  Each class will follow with an optional afterglow at a local establishment.

  • September 19, 2017 – Learn about the local commissions, city council process, development reviews and the role local government plays in sustaining a successful business community. Hear from city staff, elected officials and economic development professionals.
  • October 17, 2017 – Learn about the state legislature, lobbying, passing bills out of committees, how to participate in a grassroots campaign and who the players are. Hear from elected officials, capitol staff and professional lobbyists.
  • November 21, 2017 – Learn about federal government issues that affect Minnesota businesses. Get an inside perspective into Washington D.C. and how legislation impacts our local companies.  Hear from Fortune 100 government affairs professionals, congressional official/staff and a federal agency official.
  • December 19, 2017 – Learn how to influence democracy. Participants will learn how to effectively participate in a grassroots campaign for your company.  Graduation Ceremony to follow – guests are welcome.

 Series Investment: $199
The investment fee covers all course materials and graduation ceremony.  Series sponsorships are available. Contact the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266 or apply online at www.riverheights.com/thegovernmentaffair.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes 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. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!

The Government Affair

Nicole Bengtson
0 comments
Advocacy & Public Policy, Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

What’s in Store For You…
It’s no secret… This four-part educational series from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce will commence this September and is perfect for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of civic affairs. Whether your experience with government is limited to voting for elected officials or you lobby your representatives on a weekly basis, this program will walk you through a comprehensive, non-partisan, grassroots experience at the local, state and federal level. This program will challenge participants to stretch their knowledge on all levels of government while learning from and networking with other business people and influential leaders.
How Can I Benefit?
  • Individual Benefits: Develop a great network of individuals who play an active role in the business community; become a more effective and influential leader at work by understanding the process of civic affairs, and learn transferable tools for your professional tool box.
  • Employer Benefits: Gain company exposure, and develop a strong employee who understands civic affairs and increases their leadership talent within the organization.
  • Community Benefits: Support active participation in the community, and further engage the local talent in grassroots initiatives on all levels of government.
Series Investment: $199

Annual River Heights Chamber Golf Classic Open to Community

Nicole Bengtson
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Editorials, Event News, Marketing, Social Media

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul (June 2017) – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce invites the community to golf in the Chamber’s Annual Golf Classic fundraiser on Monday, June 26, 2017 at Southview Country Club at 239 E. Mendota Road in West St. Paul. This year’s tournament is presented by Republic Services.

Southview Country Club is a premier 18-hole course whose sheer aesthetic beauty lies in stark contrast to the challenge it provides to golfers of every skill level. It is the kind of course you never grow tired of playing, and are always proud to bring your guests to.  Today, Southview is noted for its immaculate rolling fairways, mature trees, numerous water hazards featuring fountains and magnificent landscaping.  And of course, the finest greens in this part of the country.

June 26th is promised to be filled with fun including a Bloody Mary bar while you get checked-in and practice your swings, contests on the course, and a ball drop contest and awards dinner following the day’s play.  Registration begins at 10 a.m., with a shot gun start for teams at 11:00 a.m.  An online auction will be sure to please with great items prior to the tournament and closes at 6:00 p.m. on June 26th (click here to check out the Online Auction). If you would like to donate an item, gift card or fun experience to the auction, click here!

“We’re excited to have another great tournament this year and have fun events in-store for this year’s golfers,” says Travis Jensen of Home Federal Savings Bank and Golf Task Force Chair.

Special thanks to these businesses for being major sponsors of the tournament: CHS, Inc., Home Federal Savings Bank, Quality Auto Care Center, Sanimax and Town Square Television.

Golf is $175/golfer after June 1st; a discounted rate of $600 per foursome is available throughout open registration and payments are due upon reservation.  Additional guests may attend the awards dinner only for $35/person to network and socialize.  For more information on the golf tournament or to register to attend, visit us online at www.riverheights.com/golf or call the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651.451.2266.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes 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. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Congratulations Hardline Concrete & Masonry – 2017 Small Business of the Year!

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing

Watch Hardline Concrete & Masonry’s Small Business Award video from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce by clicking on the image below…

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Hardline Concrete & Masonry Honored with 2017 Small Business of the Year Award 28th Anniversary of Small Business Award in Local Business Community

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News, Marketing, Social Media

March 30, 2017

Inver Grove Heights/South Saint Paul – The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that Hardline Concrete & Masonry of Inver Grove Heights will receive the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Small Business of the Year Award! Jon and Brenda Dietrich, owners, will be accepting the award at the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Small Business Award Luncheon & Trade Show on Thursday, April 13, 2017 from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at enVision Hotel & Conference Center in South St. Paul.

The Small Business of the Year Award acknowledges an organization that has been in business for five years or more, has 20 or fewer employees, has at least two years of membership in the River Heights Chamber, and encompasses a business that has a commitment to the community through its involvement and assistance to community organizations, to its employees, suppliers and customer relationships, in addition to a commitment to excellence in service, business ethics, friendliness and business operations. Chamber member businesses nominated local small businesses and the Chamber’s Recognition Committee selected the award recipient from many deserving applicants.  This year’s recipient, Hardline Concrete & Masonry, excels in all these areas and more.  When Hardline was asked how they feel about receiving this award, Brenda replied, “We feel truly honored to be recognized for the River Heights Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award because being recognized by a group of your peers is a good yardstick to be measured by.  There are so many deserving businesses and we are very humbled to be selected.” 

Hardline Concrete & Masonry started as a sole proprietor in 2005, doing mainly commercial and industrial work. When incorporating in 2009, they shifted business to completing more residential and decorative work. While they are grateful for fundamental commercial work, they feel their true passion lies with being able to help customers create their artistic vision for their yard and home.  Jon and Brenda pride themselves in doing the job correctly the first time and being primarily a referral-based business.  They form relationships with their customers and treat every job as if it was their own when they leave their Hardline logo stamped in the concrete.  When it comes to employee relationships, they realize that being a seasonal employer can be challenging in employee retention.  In the past few years, Hardline has implemented some policies and benefits to let their employees know that they care for them, beyond the scope of a work day.  They faced adversity during the recession of 2009 but because of Hardline’s presence in the community they could continue to work.  Hardline Concrete & Masonry is involved in the community by supporting the local Inver Grove Heights Days, Simley wrestling and football and volunteering at their local church. Jon & Brenda strive to give competitive bids for local projects and have been privileged to work at the Inver Grove Community Center, Simley High School and various concrete projects for the City of Inver Grove Heights. Hardline Concrete & Masonry believes in small businesses succeeding and have recommended five other sole proprietors, LLC’s and corporations to join the River Heights Chamber of Commerce for continued success. Brenda is very active in the River Heights Chamber of Commerce and has served 1 year as an ambassador chair-elect, 1.5 years as an ambassador chair, has been a Board member since 2015 (and is currently Chair-Elect for 2017), served as a delegate for MN at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Summit 2015, received the River Heights Chamber Marshall award during the 2016 membership drive and was a member of the Southmetro Business PAC in 2016.  The River Heights Chamber is proud to have Hardline Concrete & Masonry as a dedicated member of the business community!

This year will be the 28th Anniversary of the River Heights Chamber celebrating this special award with the business community and is sponsored in-part by Town Square Television, Waterous Company and Antonsen Construction.  Community businesses will exhibit in the trade show at 11 a.m. followed by a luncheon, award ceremony and keynote speaker, Jill Renslow SVP Business Development and Marketing with Mall of America.

For more details about attending the Small Business Award Luncheon & Trade Show, visit www.riverheights.com, and to learn more about the Chamber’s award winner, Hardline Concrete & Masonry, please watch their video on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber following the event on April 13th.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes 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. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay Connected with the River Heights Chamber on our social media sites!

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Media Release: River Heights Chamber of Commerce Recognizes Local Business Leaders

Nicole Bengtson
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Business Ideas, Editorials, Event News

River Heights Chamber of Commerce Recognizes Local Business Leaders
Tandem Printing, Inc. Business of the Year & Beth Baumann, Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award

During the River Heights Chamber of Commerce and Progress Plus Annual Meeting on February 23, 2017, at Southview Country Club in West St. Paul, the Chamber thanked its 2016 Chairman, Brian MacKenzie of FASTSIGNS – IGH, and welcomed Jon Erickson of Ultimate Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning as the 2017 Chairman of the Board.  Highlights of 2016 were shared including event successes, increased membership engagement, efficiencies in communications and marketing, and relationship building with our newly elected officials.

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The River Heights Chamber of Commerce proudly announced Tandem Printing, Inc. as the 2017 Business of the Year.  Tandem Printing was founded in 1954 by Bob & Marilyn Jensen of Richfield, MN. For 37 years, the Jensen’s established a reputation for quality, reliability, service and integrity as they built their company working in “Tandem” as a husband and wife team. As the years passed by, the appeal of retirement became stronger and in 1991 a new “Tandem”, John Kostka and Steve Kane, acquired the company and have continued those values and tradition. Tandem is active in Printing Industry of Minnesota events which keeps them current on industry trends.  They encourage participation in the River Heights Chamber, professional networking groups and many local, national and international non-profits. Tandem’s goal is and always has been to reinvest in the company. Over the course of 26 years, John and Steve have grown the company by adding equipment to further their product offerings and by acquiring companies to fit the needs and demands of their existing clients.  During their transition, Tandem moved from Bloomington to Eagan and secured the tag line WE PRINT. ON ANYTHING.  Steve & John pride themselves on the fact that they’ve grown from 4 employees in Richfield to 33 in Eagan in just 26 years. The belief of all partners at Tandem was shared as follows, “The future growth and success as a company and as individuals depends on our mutual respect and cooperation and on each other of our company’s objectives. We maintain a reputation as a client focused company which strives to achieve excellence always.

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The Chamber was also honored to award Beth Baumann the River Heights Chamber’s 2016 Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award.  Beth is the former Mayor of South St. Paul after tirelessly serving her community for 14 years.  She provided great leadership in making South St. Paul a wonderful community to live, work and play. Under her direction, the Economic Development Authority was established to assist businesses looking to grow or locate in South St. Paul and to search for new business opportunities. Beth was instrumental in establishing the Mayors Youth Task Force to give kids the opportunity to do something positive for their community. It has become an extremely successful group and the kids love Mayor B.!  In addition to the River Heights Chamber and Progress Plus, Beth has been actively involved in organizations such as Neighbors, Inc., Dakota Futures, SMFD and Relay for Life.  Beth is enthusiastic and empowering, and truly exceeds in all criteria for this award, which encompass a commitment to the betterment of life, business, community and entrepreneurship for the River Heights region.

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Also awarded at the Annual meeting were Amanda Kissner of Wakota Federal Credit Union as the 2016 Rising Star recipient. The award is given to a volunteer who has accelerated in their first few years as a Chamber volunteer by displaying leadership, enthusiasm and passion for the Chamber’s mission.  Bruce Bairaktaris was recognized as the 2016 Ambassador of the Year for earning the most points as a Chamber Ambassador throughout the year.  The Ambassadors are the welcoming arm of the Chamber who visit members, attend grand openings and serve as greeters and mentors for Chamber members.

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Jon Erickson, 2017 Chairman, extended a welcome to the group and his vision for the Chamber to work together and create a “Culture of Unity.” “We are stronger together and connected through the relationships we make through our memberships in the Chamber.

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Minnesota State Representative Rick Hansen planned to facilitate a legislative panel, however, he and Representative Barr and Representative Franke were called into session at the Capitol as they debated Real ID among other things on the House Floor.  Former Chairman Kelton Glewwe filled in to facilitate the panel with our Senators.  In keeping with the night’s theme of unity, everyone got to know a little bit more about Senator Matt Klein and Senator Dan Schoen, as well as get their thoughts on important legislation.

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Special thanks to our featured event sponsors Town Square Television, Flint Hills Resources and Waterous Company, as well as major sponsors, Deerwood Bank, Xcel Energy, SKB Environmental and Progress Plus Economic Development Foundation.

For more details about the Chamber’s award winners, please watch their videos on the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s YouTube channel at YouTube.com/riverheightschamber and check out photos from the event on the River Heights Chamber’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RiverHeightsChamber.

About River Heights Chamber of Commerce:
The River Heights Chamber of Commerce is a business organization who aggressively promotes 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. The River Heights Chamber continues to provide value-added opportunities for all members. Visit our website www.riverheights.com to learn more!

Stay connected with the River Heights Chamber of Commerce on our social media sites!

www.facebook.com/RiverHeightsChamber

www.twitter.com/RH_Chamber

www.instagram.com/riverheightschamber

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