The Litchfield Chamber of Commerce is proud to offer our unique scholarship program once again this year. The program supports $500.00 scholarships for Litchfield High School graduates who have completed at least 2 years of post-secondary education. We are proud to support students doing their best to achieve admirable goals. The scholarship is funded by donations from members of the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce. Click here to access the scholarship application. Completed applications are due back by 4:00 pm on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.
The Litchfield Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer scholarships to students of all ages who seek to further their education at accredited postsecondary schools and technical colleges. Career Path Scholarships are designed for adult learners to provide financial assistance as they pursue additional job skills training or degree curriculum, with an emphasis on vocational or technical education. Applicants must complete the scholarship application and include a recommendation letter from a Litchfield Chamber of Commerce member. A directory of members may be found at www.litch.com OR you may call the Chamber office at (320) 693-8184. Application deadline for fall 2013 scholarship is August 1, 2013.
Expansion in Iowa and North Dakota Continues
St. Cloud, MN – Marco announced today they have purchased Midwest Office Automations, Inc., a copier and printer company with offices in Sioux City and Storm Lake, Iowa. Their 21 employees have joined the Marco team. Earlier in December, Marco purchased Mason City Business Systems and their six locations in Iowa.
Marco also announced the purchase of Midwest Business Systems – a copier and printer company with offices in Bismarck, Dickinson, Jamestown and Minot, North Dakota. The 27 employees from Midwest Business Systems have joined Marco who already has an office in Fargo and Grand Forks that employs 36 people. The purchase allows Marco to expand its technical expertise and service offerings throughout the North Dakota area.
This is Marco’s fifth acquisition over the past five months, adding a total of 157 employees to its workforce through acquisitions in 2012. Marco now employs 620 people throughout 35 locations in the Upper Midwest.
“Our acquisition strategy involves buying companies that offer similar products and services as Marco but has locations where we don’t currently have a presence,” Marco CEO Jeff Gau said. “We plan to expand our service offerings to clients in these areas to provide them with even more innovative technology and expert service and support.”
Marco helps organizations manage their information by applying network expertise to voice, data, video, and print solutions. Marco, founded in 1973, is a 100 percent employee owned company that has been consistently recognized as one of the best places to work. Marco was named among the Top 25 Best Companies to Work for in America by the Great Place to Work Institute, received the Minnesota Work-Life Champions Award and recognized as a top place to work by the Star Tribune and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
Please click on the links below for the lists of winning Snowflake ticket numbers.
$1000 prize - Claimed
$500 prize A – Claimed
$500 prize B – Claimed
$500 prize C – Claimed
Update – As of 12:00 p.m. on January 2, 2013, tickets can no longer be redeemed. Prize winners have been contacted. Thank you for participating in the Snowflakes promotion.
Greater MN – Marco announced Friday that they have purchased Mason City Business Systems, Inc. in Iowa, also doing business as Cedar Rapids Business Systems, Inc., Des Moines Business Systems, Inc., Fort Dodge Business Systems, Inc., Quad Cities Business Systems, Inc., and Waterloo Business Systems, Inc.
This acquisition is Marco’s largest acquisition to date and brings Marco’s technical and network expertise to Mason City Business Systems’ already well-established copier and printer services. Their 75 employees have joined the Marco team.
“This acquisition supports our commitment to growth and our strategy of geographic expansion,” Marco CEO Jeff Gau said. “We look forward to continuing Mason City Business Systems’ commitment to satisfying clients in the state of Iowa and providing opportunities for their valued employees. Our plan will be to expand our expertise and service offerings to provide even more innovative technology and expert service and support.”
Mason City Business Systems, Inc. is an Iowa-based copier and printer solutions company with offices in Mason City, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Fort Dodge, Quad Cities and Waterloo. The company was established in 1977 and supports over 3,000 customers.
“We are extremely excited about the expanded tools, product offerings and services we will be able to bring to our customers as part of Marco’s team,” said Allen Behning, President of Mason City Business Systems, Inc. “Marco’s reputation in the industry is unprecedented and will provide our employees many opportunities for professional growth.”
Marco helps organizations manage their information by applying network expertise to voice, data, video, and print solutions. This is the company’s third acquisition over the past four months, adding a total of 109 employees to its workforce through acquisitions in 2012. Marco employs 570 people throughout 29 offices in the Upper Midwest.
Marco, founded in 1973, is a 100 percent employee owned company that has been consistently recognized as one of the best places to work. Marco was named among the Top 25 Best Companies to Work for in America by the Great Place to Work Institute, received the Minnesota Work-Life Champions Award and recognized as a top place to work by the Star Tribune and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
The Litchfield Chamber of Commerce is proud to offer our unique scholarship program once again this year to support students doing their best to achieve admirable goals . The program is funded by donations from members of the Litchfield Chamber of Commerce and supports $500.00 scholarships for Litchfield High School graduates who have completed at least 2 years of post-secondary education. Click here to access the scholarship application. Completed applications are due back by 4 pm on Wednesday, December 12, 2012.
We understand your time is consumed by the daily challenges of running your business. We are ready to help educate and engage your employees. Our Candidate Forums are offered to our members as part of the Chamber’s “Get Out the Vote” initiative. The purpose of the meeting is to become better informed on where the candidates stand on the issues important to business. It is our hope that as various future issues develop at all levels of government, we understand their views.
Litchfield City Council & School Board: Thursday, October 18, noon – 1:00 p.m.
Candidates for City Council:
Candidates for School Board:
State Representative & State Senate: Thursday, October 25, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Candidates for State Senate:
Candidates for State Representative:
All forums will be held at Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Community Room.
The general election will take place on Tuesday, November 6th. Candidates are seeking election to the Meeker County Board of Commission in each of the five districts. Click on the links below to view the questionnaires completed by the candidates who are running for Meeker County Commissioner.
Beth Oberg (District 1)
James Swenson (District 1)
Dale Fenrich (District 2)
David Gabrielson (District 2)
Tim Benoit (District 3)
Bryan Larson (District 3)
Mike Housman (District 4)
Wally Strand (District 4)
Mike Huberty (District 5)
We had a great turnout for Dr. Ted Loftness’ program on health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As promised the presentation slides are here for you to review. If you were unable to attend, feel free to take a look at the presentation too.
Time to re-engage moderates in Minnesota elections
By David C. Olson
Every legislative seat is up for grabs in the November elections. Are you excited by your party’s candidates? Were you actively engaged in selecting candidates who will appear on local ballots?
It matters little whether you consider yourself a Democrat, Republican or Independent. It’s a good bet most Minnesotans would answer “no” to the above questions.
Minnesota takes pride for consistently ranking near the top in voter turnout, yet a majority of rank-and-file citizens play a minimal role in selecting the candidates from whom we ultimately choose an officeholder.
A tiny number of political activists do the choosing for us by showing up at their local party caucuses. Even fewer use that steppingstone to attend party conventions where they endorse candidates, the majority of whom wind up on the November ballot. The time-consuming and unfamiliar process tends to discourage moderates – both the moderately interested and the moderately leaning – and to reward those who are singularly focused on hot-button issues.
Give credit to the activists who show up for the debates. They unfortunately have transformed today’s political parties into either far-right or far-left ideologies that can be a deterrent to crafting thoughtful, bipartisan solutions to today’s complex challenges.
The underlying problems are the nomination rules and the parties themselves, which allow a small number to control the choice of all others. We need a system that allows compromise, rewards practical problem-solving, and – most important – brings the rest of us back to the table and ensures quality candidates can make it through the system.
Here are some worthwhile ideas to reform Minnesota’s nomination process:
• Candidate recruitment: We must work harder to encourage and enable people to run for office. Wouldn’t it be great if the choice on the ballot were between a Democrat and a Republican who each had practical, private-sector business experience of how our economy works?
• Stronger citizen engagement: When did you last attend a caucus? Candidates in both parties are determined by those who show up. Average Minnesotans need to re-engage. To encourage that, we need to change the process and make it more welcoming and understandable.
• Eliminate caucuses: Great idea, great history, but today the system is polarizing our democracy and crippling our ability to govern. It has to go.
• Move the primary: Moving Minnesota’s primary to June is no guarantee that folks will plug in, but the odds would be better than they are today. An earlier primary also would create a fairer playing field for challenger candidates against entrenched incumbents. At present, a candidate new to the game needs to navigate the treacherous waters of the party endorsement and primary process over a seven-month period – only to have 83 short days to build a viable campaign for the November election.
Finding ways to enlist more individuals to seek office is the first step, but that alone won’t solve our current predicament. We may need to change the rules just a bit. Then the silent majority needs to show up and participate – or quit complaining.
David Olson is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit www.mnchamber.com.