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Business Briefs, Aug. 18

WAMM to participatein Leadership Academy

WILLMAR -- The Willmar Area Multicultural Market has been selected as one of 10 Latino community organizations to participate in the first year of the Minnesota Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy.

Offered by the Development Training Institute, the academy will provide leadership development workshops, technical assistance, mentoring and coaching to meet the needs of each organization. The 12-month program began in July.

There is no cost to Willmar Area Multicultural Market to participate. Minnesota donors have invested more than $225,000 to bring the training to 30 Latino leaders from 10 Latino nonprofit groups.

Willmar Area Multicultural Market was formed under the umbrella of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission and became its own nonprofit entity in January 2007. Willmar Area Multicultural Market acts as an economic development resource for ethnically owned and startup businesses.

"Our goal is to keep dollars from leaving the area, create employment opportunities, diversity the local economy, and connect the diverse populations in Willmar and surrounding communities with resources,'' says Roberto Valdez, Willmar Area Multicultural Market coordinator.

Going Places

Tara Grams, director of the Just For Kix dance program in Willmar, attended the annual Just For Kix directors training convention in Brainerd. Directors attend dance classes, learn current teaching techniques, motivation and program changes. The Just For Kix program, headquartered in Brainerd, has been offering dance team classes to children since 1981. For more information, call Grams at 320-420-4038 or e-mail at


Paul Ryan, of RE/MAX Preferred Realty serving Kandiyohi County, has earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation for completing extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. Short sales allow the cash-strapped seller to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even though it is lower than what is owed on the property. The expertise is in demand as the area is ravaged by "distressed'' homes in the foreclosure process. Ryan said that in the Willmar area, more than 2,000 homes in all prices ranges are in danger of foreclosing.


Lakes Area Realty has been selected for the 2009 Best of Spicer Award in the real estate agents category by the U.S. Commerce Association.

The Best of Local Business program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country for achieving exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category and enhancing the positive image of small business through service to customers and community.

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