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Showing posts tagged with: River Heights Chamber Member Spotlight

April 2018 Member Spotlight: Point North Networks, Inc.

Nicole Bengtson
Editorials, Marketing, Member Spotlight

Modesty, professionalism, relationships and transcending. These are the founding principles of Point North Networks, Inc.  Brian Emerson, founder and president of Point North Networks, Inc., has a background in computers and networking dating back to high school. Emerson worked for IT consulting firms and contracted with numerous businesses including BestBuy.com and Carlson Companies. This experience sparked Emerson’s interest to start his own IT firm. Emerson states, “I really enjoy new challenges and helping other businesses overcome their technology challenges.” With that drive and helpful nature, Point North Networks, Inc. was created.
In 2005, Emerson started Point North Networks, Inc., a data hosting company for websites, emails and business apps. Point North is a full-service IT company specializing in cloud hosting, server colocation, and managed IT services. Emerson explains, “In addition to having a friendly and knowledgeable tech support staff to help our clients on-site, we have been able to develop a wide range of services. We provide our own cloud hosting out of our Minneapolis data center as well as our own VoIP phone service. We do web design and maintenance, and provide IT cyber-security features, making us a true full-service IT company.”
The business started to take off due to their superb Google ranking. Point North Networks prides itself in exceeding customer expectations by providing their customers with superior IT services and support. Emerson proclaims, “Our overall success is composed of the small, daily victories that we have by helping our customers solve an issue. Over 10 years those can add up!”
Emerson and his staff have been active in the River Heights Chamber where they regularly attend and participate in networking and educational events.
Highlights include:
  • Member of the Business Owners Roundtable
  • Hosted a booth at the 2017 Small Business Trade Show
  • Presented on Cyber Security at the November 2017 Power Lunch
  • Point North staffer, Brian Martell, serves as a River Heights Chamber Ambassador
Emerson is proud to be in the River Heights Chamber and he is also proud of the success of his business. Emerson said, “I want Point North Networks, Inc. to become known as the most trusted IT services company in the Twin Cities that attracts and retains superior clients that hold themselves to the same high standards that we hold ourselves to.”Emerson makes sure to never forget those standards and has an interview hung in his office as a reminder. Emerson shared, “The Pioneer Press did an interview in 2016 with a 75-year-old business owner who was discussing his longevity in the business of being a blacksmith in the ornamental iron trades. He had a line that really resonated with me. He said, ‘give your customer a little more than they expect. You never have to look over your shoulder. Figuring out how to whittle them for 15 cents – That’ll bite ya.’ “
Watch Point North Networks, Inc. Member Spotlight video

February 2018 Member Spotlight: Hardline Concrete & Masonry

Editorials, Marketing, Member Spotlight

Jon Dietrich, of Hardline Concrete & Masonry, has been in the industry for over 20 years, and started Hardline over 13 years ago! Not only has Hardline been in business for over 13 years, they have been a part of the River Heights Chamber for 4 years. Hardline 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 own yard and home. Jon has an artistic side that helps him think outside the box and give customers innovative ideas that work in the Minnesota climate. Jon and Brenda pride themselves in doing the job correctly the first time and being primarily a referral-based business; they contribute many of their referrals to being a part of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce. They form great relationships with their customers. When working so closely with the customer to get them what they want, customers become grateful for the service. Jon talked about how many customers even make food for the crew. When asked what the crew’s favorite food was he said, “Anything the customers make is always great! I have had customers grill us hamburgers and make homemade french fries, those meals are always the best.”

They treat every job as if it was their own when they leave their Hardline logo stamped in the concrete. When Hardline was asked how they came up with their logo, Jon replied, “Following in my father’s footsteps to work in the same line of work was hard. Losing my dad at a young age didn’t secure me the guidance most people get from taking over a family business, causing me to make many mistakes along the way. It was like a hard line in the sand. That’s where the name comes from. Regarding the logo my buddy and I put it together. I used red because it was my dad’s favorite color and the color of his first car.”

Not only does Hardline Concrete & Masonry care about their customers’ needs they also care about their employees’ needs. Employee relations are important at Hardline. Every employee is treated like family. They know how hard the work can be. They put policies in place to keep their employees safe, as well as keep their customers safe and free of potential liability. Some policies they have implemented are a drug screening and zero tolerance drug policy, as well as a healthy work policy. Hardline appreciates the hard work done by employees so they offer job bonuses based on work expectations. They even offer full-time employees hour long massages ever 2 weeks!

Hardline Concrete & Masonry believes in small businesses succeeding and has recommended five other sole proprietors, LLCs and corporations to join the River Heights Chamber of Commerce for continued success. Brenda is very active in the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, currently serving as the 2018 Chair of the Board, and has served 1.5 years as the Ambassador chair, 1 year as Ambassador chair-elect and has been a Board member since 2015. Brenda also has 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 South Metro Business PAC in 2016. When Hardline was asked about an impactful moment that they would consider their greatest win, Brenda said, “Being nominated for the River Heights Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award, it was an honor and a huge win because being recognized by a group of your peers is a great feeling.” The River Heights Chamber was proud to honor Hardline with the award and is proud to have Hardline Concrete & Masonry as a dedicated member of the business community!

Watch their Member Spotlight video here.