Business Briefs

G&S Staffing promotes Beckman WILLMAR -- G&S Staffing Services Inc. of Willmar has promoted Samantha Beckman to marketing director. She started as payroll and placement coordinator and now will handle all marketing and advertising duties....

G&S Staffing promotes Beckman

WILLMAR -- G&S Staffing Services Inc. of Willmar has promoted Samantha Beckman to marketing director. She started as payroll and placement coordinator and now will handle all marketing and advertising duties.

Beckman started at G&S in July 2011. She graduated in May 2011 with a marketing major and international business minor from the Carlson School of Management, part of the University of Minnesota.

She married Brant Beckman last August and now lives in New London.

Soupir joins Jennie-O


WILLMAR -- Jennie-O Turkey Store of Willmar announces Tara Soupir has been placed into a staff accountant position after serving two internships with the company.

Soupir, originally from New London, graduated from New London-Spicer High School in 2008. In December 2011, she graduated Minnesota State University, Mankato with a degree in accounting and corporate finance and a minor in business law.

She interned at Jennie-O Turkey Store in the summers of 2010 and 2011 with general accounting area and with operations accounting.

"We are glad to have Tara Soupir on our team again as staff accountant. Her internship at Jennie-O Turkey Store has provided her with essential tools to excel in our company," said John Court, chief financial officer of Jennie-O Turkey Store.

Jennie-O management advancements

WILLMAR -- Jennie-O Turkey Store has announced the advancement of individuals within its management ranks in the plant operations area.

Jeffrey A. Nuytten has been promoted to vice president of operation, refrigerated foods, for Hormel Foods in Austin. Nuytten joined the company in 1979 at the Fort Dodge, Iowa, facility. He held foreman positions at Fort Dodge and the Fremont Plant until he became the plant superintendent at Dold Foods.

In 1992, he transferred to the Austin plant as the superintendent of cured and smoked meats production. From 1994 to 2004, he held plant manager positions at Dold Foods, Osceola (Iowa) Food and the Austin plant. Nuytten has been the vice president of operations at Jennie-O Turkey Store since 2004.


Donald G. Cole will assume Nuytten's responsibilities as vice president of operations at Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar. Cole began his career at Hormel Foods in 1980 at the Fremont plant. He held foreman positions until becoming a supervisor in 1990.

In 1994, he advanced to superintendent and transferred to the Austin plant later that year. In 1996, he became the Benson Avenue plant manager at Jennie-O in Willmar and two years later became plant manager of Heartland Foods-Jennie-O in Marshall. Since 2002, Cole has been plant manager of West Central Turkeys in Pelican Rapids.

Todd J. Kampstra, director of further processing cooked production, Jennie-O Turkey Store, will assume Cole's responsibilities as plant manager of West Central Turkeys.

Kampstra became manufacturing projects manager at Jerome Foods, Barron, Wis., in 1992 and the following year was named the director of operations. In 1997, he became the director of value-added operations at The Turkey Store in Barron.

Kampstra advanced to the director of further processing - raw at the Jennie-O Turkey Store Willmar location in 2001 and has been the director of further processing - cooked since 2010.

Michael Slette, plant manager of the Benson Avenue plant in Willmar, has assumed Kampstra's responsibilities as director of further processing cooked production. Slette began his career with Hormel in 1986, and joined Jennie-O Turkey Store in 2005 as production manager at the Willmar Avenue plant. Most recently, Slette has been plant manager at the Benson Avenue plant since 2010.

James P. Freeland, director of basic processing at Jennie-O Turkey Store in Willmar, has assumed Slette's position as plant manager of the Benson Avenue plant. Freeland started his career with the company in 1979 and has held various positions at Hormel and Jennie-O Turkey Store, including senior director - live production. He was most recently director - primary production for plant operations.

In other advancements, Tracy Morris has been promoted to superintendent of maintenance and engineering at the Willmar Avenue plant. Morris was most recently maintenance engineer in the engine room/main shop area at Hormel Foods' facility in Fremont, Neb. With nine years of experience in the maintenance and plant engineering field, Morris has held various engineering positions at Hormel.


Nicolas Fuchs has been hired as supervisor of basic processing at the Willmar Avenue plant. Fuchs graduated from Paynesville Area High School and continued his education at St. Cloud State University. He graduated with a B.S. degree in business administration in December 2011. This past summer, Fuchs interned with the evisceration department.

"While we will miss the leadership and dedication Jeff has provided to Jennie-O Turkey Store, I am confident in the individuals who have assumed new positions in the Jennie-O Turkey Store management team,'' said Glenn Leitch, president of Jennie-O Turkey Store.

"I know that Don Cole, Todd Kampstra, Jim Freeland, Mike Slette will excel in their new responsibilities. Also, I would like to welcome Tracy Morris and Nic Fuchs to the management team at the Willmar Avenue plant," said Leitch.

"It's important to note that Nic gained experience with the company in our internship program at Jennie-O Turkey Store. Jennie-O Turkey Store has many opportunities for Nic and for others," said Leitch.

Heritage Bank promotes Gardner

WILLMAR -- Kelly Gardner has been recently promoted to personal banker at Heritage Bank N.A.

"We are excited to have Kelly as a personal banker," said Wayne Nelson, president of Heritage Bank N.A. "She will be a valuable asset to Heritage Bank."

Gardner will work with customers on retail loan and deposit products.

Her office is in the Willmar branch, but she can help customers from the entire region. She lives in Willmar with her husband, Steve.

She has worked in the banking industry in Willmar for more than 15 years. Her community service involvement has included 10 years with the Kandiyohi County Restorative Justice Circle Sentencing Program.

MnSCU honors at Ridgewater

Several Ridgewater College staff and faculty have been recognized by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system Board of Trustees for excelling in their job duties.

Named as Outstanding Educators for 2012 are Dr. Allen Balay, chair of the Veterinary Technology department, and Shawn Mueske, biology instructor.

Nominations for Outstanding Educator were made by students, faculty peers or staff, and were evaluated by a campus review committee before being submitted to the MnSCU senior vice chancellor.

Members of the Ridgewater College Finance team, led by Dan Holtz, vice president of finance and operations, and Cheryl Norlien, director of business services, have received the 2011 Excellence in Financial Management Award in recognition of Ridgewater's leadership and efforts in financial management.

Other members of the Finance team are Teren Novotny, Karen Stulen, Shannon Mittag, Christine Gerding, Deb Wiprud, Audrey Harper, Jennifer Loeschen, and JoLynn Kosek.

MnSCU leadership presented certificates of appreciation to student services leaders for outstanding contributions to the system-wide Students First project, which has been instrumental in improving the student experience in the areas of admissions, financial aid, payment, and registration.

Receiving the recognition were Kelli Kienitz, registrar; Sally Kerfeld, director of admissions; Cheryl Norlien, director of business services; and Jim Rice, director of financial aid.


The accounting firm of Westberg Eischens, PLLP, of Willmar announces staff accountant Cindy Ampe-Brown has successfully completed and received her certified public accountant credentials. Ampe-Brown joined the Westberg Eischens team of accountants in 2007 after graduating with a degree in accounting and finance from St. Cloud State University. She is a member of the Minnesota Society of CPAS and the American Institute of Public Accountants. Ampe-Brown specializes in auditing, compilation and review services, payroll processing and reporting, and income tax preparation. Ampe-Brown and her husband, Nathan, live in the Spicer area.

Introduction to Selling Online, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., today, Willmar Middle School Computer Lab, Room 138. For registration, call 235-7370 or email . Future classes are same time and place, April 10 and 17, and May 1 and 15.

What To Read Next
Louis and Cyril Keller are the inventors of the Bobcat skid-steer loader and were selected as 2023 inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Minnesota Crop Improvement Association on Jan. 12 presented the Achievement in Crop Improvement Award to Paul Kjolhaug, part owner of the MayerSeedLine company, located in Willmar. Kurt Flegel, of Benson, was named a Premier Seed Grower.
Christianson PLLP has merged in DM Hoffbeck and will retain the current offices and staff of in Fairfax, Morgan and Redwood Falls.
Teresa Carlson has been an employee of Christianson PLLP since 2005 and is the firm's newest partner.