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Business Briefs, April 28

Frost-Johnston, Bebler join Block Nurse Board

WILLMAR -- Bunne Frost-Johnston and Sandy Bebler have joined the board of Willmar Community Senior Network/Living at Home Block Nurse Program.

Frost-Johnston has worked with community-based senior care for 29 years in the Bethesda Adult Day Services Program and has a background in recreation and activities. She is serving her second term on the Minnesota Adult Day Services Association board and also serves on the Kandiyohi Area Transit board. She facilitates several support groups for older adults and caregivers including the Alzheimer's support group.

Her strong interest is in finding services to aid older adults in staying in their own home for as long as possible with an emphasis on low-income individuals who find it difficult to access services, said Sheri Nordmeyer, program director for the Willmar Community Senior Network.

Bebler is branch manager of Rice Home Medical and has 11 years of experience in the medical field. She served on the board and was past president of the Humane Society of Kandiyohi County for six years and was a past board member for Willmar Lakes Rotary for six years.

She serves as a board member for YMCA and as an ambassador for the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. She and her husband and two children live in Willmar.

MPCA honors King, Deisting for wastewater operations

WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has honored Chris King, an employee of the city of Willmar, and Daryl Deisting, an employee of the city of Kandiyohi, for outstanding performance in wastewater operations during 2008. The awards were announced March 26 at the 72nd annual Wastewater Operators Conference in Brooklyn Center.

To be eligible for the 32nd annual award, wastewater plant operators must comply with discharge permit requirements throughout the year, such as submitting all monitoring reports correctly and on time to MPCA, demonstrating compliance through monitoring or in surveys and employing MPCA-certified operators.

MPCA Commissioner Paul Eger praised the award recipients, saying the diligence and cooperation of these operators will ensure protection of Minnesota water resources.

The city of Willmar first received the award in 1978 and has earned an award 13 times since.

State honors Swart for work with farmers

WILLMAR -- Deen Swart of Willmar, rural rehab technology case manager for Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota, has received the STAR Award for Excellence in Assistive Technology from the Minnesota STAR Program.

Department of Administration Commissioner Dana Badgerow presented the award April 14 at the State Capitol. Swart works closely with the Minnesota AgrAbility Project, which helps farmers with disabilities and chronic health conditions maintain their livelihoods.

Swart was nominated by Ray Griffin, Minnesota Rehabilitation Services assistive technology specialist, for her hard work on behalf of farmers.

Independent Agents elect Ohl to serve as president-elect

WILLMAR -- Ken Ohl of Willmar has been elected president-elect for the 2009-2010 term of the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association.

Ohl is principal at Pioneer Heritage Insurance LLC of Spicer. He has 30 years of experience in the insurance industry as a multiple lines agent and has represented southwest Minnesota on the Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association board of directors for the past five years. He and his wife live in Willmar.

The Minnesota Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association is the largest association of insurance agents in Minnesota, representing 4,000 independent insurance agents and brokers throughout the state. The association provides education opportunities, insurance markets for standard and non-standard risks and political advocacy for its members in St. Paul and Washington, D.C.

Struck is Home State Bank lender

WILLMAR -- Brandon Struck has been hired as a new lender at Home State Bank. He will provide agricultural, commercial and consumer loans from the Willmar branch of Home State Bank.

Struck, originally from Spicer, spent the last two years as a personal banker and lender for Klein Bank of St. Bonifacius. He has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Concordia University in St. Paul. Struck and his wife and two children plan to return to the Willmar area.

Business Award

Whitcomb Brothers Crane Service, a grain storage, handling, construction and sales company in Atwater, has received the President's Club award from Global Industries Inc. of Grand Island, Neb., for superior sales volumes. The award was presented during Global Industries' 2009 National and International Sales Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. The award is presented annually to customers who attain superior sales volumes with each of Global Industries' divisions. Attending the conference from Whitcomb Brothers were Ricky Whitcomb, Bryan Hanson, Dewy Zaeska, Justin Litzau, Corey Litzau, Miranda Litzau and Racheal Whitcomb.