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business Willmar,Minnesota 56201
West Central Tribune
Business Briefs
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Rice Building Systems acquires Raske Building

COSMOS — Rice Building Systems Inc. of Sauk Rapids announces it has acquired longtime Cosmos construction firm Raske Building Inc. The companies share a more than 50-year history in the construction business and multiple generations of family ownership. Rice Building Systems retained the Raske name and its employees.


Earl Raske started Raske Building Systems in 1959 in Cosmos and grew it into a leading general contracting, design-build firm in the west metro area and southern Minnesota. The company earned a strong reputation for its work on manufacturing facilities and ability to bring in specialized crews for steel erections and other specific building needs.

Earl Raske died in 2011, leaving the business to his three children and longtime business partner, Sam Davis.

“Earl and Sam built a business grounded in integrity and taking care of customers even after the job is complete,” said Chris Rice, president of Rice Building Systems. “We share those values at Rice and look forward to bringing our expertise in design, construction and land development to the community that Raske has served so well.”

Davis will continue with the company until he retires.

This marks the first acquisition for Rice Building Systems Inc., which was started in 1953. It is a third-generation, family-owned business that provides a concept-to-completion design-build partnership with clients, offering architectural and construction management, and maintenance and construction services.

Rice has worked on projects ranging from retail, commercial, industrial and warehousing facilities. Rice recently partnered with Coborn’s Inc. to execute the Minnesota grocery chain’s largest development project to date in North Dakota.

Wood heads Ridgewater PTK

WILLMAR — Ridgewater College’s Jon Wood has been named interim regional coordinator for the Minn-Kota Region Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) organization, the two-year college international honor society.

Wood has been involved in PTK for six years and is one of three PTK advisers for Willmar. He has been a psychology instructor in Willmar since 2005 and also teaches counseling classes in the Human Services department.

The PTK regional coordinator is a liaison between the international office in Jackson, Miss., and chapter advisers and college administrators throughout the two-year college system in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to Wood. He will support more transfer scholarships for students who transfer to four-year institutions and bring awareness to students, faculty, and administrators about PTK opportunities.

“The appointment is very special because the nominations (for the position) came from other advisers I have worked with over the years,” Wood said. “It gives me the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given much to me. Working directly with students and advisors to promote the ideals of Phi Theta Kappa gives me a great sense of satisfaction.”

PTK allows individuals to challenge themselves at various levels of academia, including scholarship, leadership, fellowship, and service to the college and community.

Glacial Plains Cooperative joins Century Club

MURDOCK — Glacial Plains Cooperative in Murdock was inducted into the Minnesota Grain and Feed Association Century Club during the recent 106th annual convention in St. Cloud.

The association, which represents the grain elevator and feed mill industry in Minnesota, established the Century Club several years ago as a means to recognize grain elevators and feed mills that have been in continuous operation for more than 100 years.

Glacial Plains Cooperative joins 19 other grain and feed firms as a member of this elite group of rural agribusinesses.

Glacial Plains Cooperative was the result of a recent merger. But the co-op can trace its origins back to 1907 when Kerkhoven Farmers Elevator Company was established, which was followed by the establishment of the Murdock Farmers Elevator Company in 1909 and the Farmers Union Cooperative of Benson in 1945.

These three facilities were heavily into buying and selling grain, seed, coal, flour milling and grinding and mixing feed in those early days. By the early 1980s, the concept of unit train loading elevators was beginning to take off.

The Benson, Murdock and Kerkhoven elevators conducted a feasibility study on building a unit train loading facility. Based on that study, the three co-ops voted to merge into United Farmers Elevator and build the unit train facility in Murdock.

In May 1999, the co-op acquired the Milan Farmers Elevator. In April 2001, the United Farmers Elevator and Swift Co-op Oil (Cenex) voted to merge and form the current Glacial Plains Cooperative.

Today, the co-op handles grain, grain drying, feed, fuel, ag chemicals, fertilizer and seed and has approximately 8.4 million bushels of grain storage. The co-op is managed by Tom Traen.

Johnson is

Auto Value’s top 2012 salesman

WILLMAR — Automotive Parts Headquarters Inc., a St. Cloud aftermarket auto parts distributor and store group, named Doug Johnson as the recipient of the 2012 Auto Value Salesperson of the Year award.

Johnson is a salesman for the Willmar and Bird Island Auto Value parts stores. He was recognized during an awards banquet at the company’s annual winter conference Jan. 21 at Cragun’s Resort and Hotel in Brainerd.

Each year, Auto Value parts store managers throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Michigan nominate a salesman they believe deserves the award. Johnson began his career with Auto Value in 2011 as an outside salesman for the Willmar location.

Automotive Parts Headquarters was established in 1920 in Minneapolis as National Bushing & Parts Co. During the 1960s, the company formed a main office and distribution center in St. Cloud. Today Automotive Parts Headquarters has a network of 80 corporate stores and 35 independent stores.

Westberg Eischens names Euerle senior manager

WILLMAR — Westberg Eischens, a tax, accounting and business consulting firm, announces the promotion of David Euerle to senior manager.

Euerle has been with Westberg Eischens since 2007 and company officials say he has been a strong positive figure behind the firm’s growth and development.

Euerle has more than 10 years of experience as a certified public accountant. He has extensive knowledge in the oversight of audit engagements, tax preparation and staff development.

Lake Region Bank names Rutgers compliance coordinator

NEW LONDON — Lake Region Bank of New London announces Christin Rutgers has been named compliance coordinator. She is responsible to develop and maintain a program to ensure that Lake Region Bank complies with all applicable consumer protection laws and regulations including federal laws, state usury and property laws. She oversees ongoing education and training methods for all bank employees in compliance-related situations.

She previously worked three years as assistant district manager with American Family Insurance in Alexandria and three years a Microsoft partner account manager for SEI in Fargo, N.D.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in international business and a bachelor’s degree in management information systems with a minor in information technology from Jamestown College, Jamestown, N.D.

She and her husband, Wes, and two children live in New London.

Hansen is loan originator at Lake Region Bank

WILLMAR — Todd Hansen has been named mortgage loan originator at Lake Region Bank of Willmar. He is responsible for originating secondary market and in-house real estate and construction loans.

He previously worked as radio sales consultant with Lakeland Broadcasting in Willmar; was a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Willmar; and most recently was real estate digital/print sales consultant with Paul Pioneer Press in St. Paul.

He received his education in sales/broadcast from Brown College of Minneapolis.

He and his wife, Lori, and four children live in Willmar.