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On the Street - September 21, 2012

--From September 17 through October 31, American Family Insurance will support the National FFA Organization's Rally to Fight Hunger by donating $1 for every new Facebook "like," up to $20,000.

The National FFA Organization's Rally to Fight Hunger takes place October 24-26 during its 85th National FFA Convention and Expo in Indianapolis. At Lucas Oil Stadium, more than 10,000 FFA members and volunteers will pack 1 million meals to help needy families across the country. American Family's donation will fund as many as 50,000 pre-packaged meals.

For more information, visit American Family's Facebook page.

--Congressman Collin Peterson was recently awarded the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Guardian of Small Business Award for the 112th Congress. This award is given to members of Congress based on their small business voting record.

"Having started a small business myself, I understand the difficulties small business owners face," Peterson said.

NFIB is a nonprofit, non-partisan member organization that represents the concerns of small businesses at the federal level and at state Legislatures.

--The Alexandria Area Community Foundation (AACF) has elected two new business leaders to its board. Bill Flaig, recently retired as CEO of the Douglas County Hospital, and Nancy Klepteka, Integrated Health Center, will bring their expertise and community leadership to the visionary board.

The board of directors governs the foundation, establishes policy, sets priorities and makes final grant decisions. All members are volunteers and serve three-year terms that can be renewed three times.

--Governor Mark Dayton recently announced the appointment of Leonard Weiler, formerly of Osakis, as a District Court judge in Minnesota's Seventh Judicial District. Weiler will replace the Honorable Skipper Pearson, who retired earlier this year. This seat will be chambered in Milaca.

Weiler works as the managing attorney for the Seventh Judicial District Public Defender's office where he manages public defender operations within Stearns County and maintains a criminal caseload.

Weiler received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and political science from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1985 and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in 1991. He is also a 1980 graduate of Osakis High School.

Weiler resides with his family in Sartell.

--Edina Realty recently announced that Oksana Laumeyer has joined its Alexandria office. When asked why she was interested in joining Edina Realty, Laumeyer noted the long established history of Edina Realty in the real estate industry here in Alexandria, along with an enhanced Edina Realty website.

Edina Realty, a subsidiary of Home Services of America, is one of the nation's largest real estate companies.

For more information, go to

--Patsy Waggoner of Alexandria has been honored with an invitation to serve on the Stampin' Up! 2012-13 advisory board.

Stampin' Up! selected six advisory board members from its more than 35,000 independent demonstrators in North America, to serve for one year. These women will work closely with company officials to provide feedback, ideas and suggestions. The company relies on this information as it makes critical business decisions regarding product offerings, business opportunities and career plans, and customer service.

Stampin' Up! is a Utah-based manufacturer of rubber stamps and accessories for paper crafting, scrapbooking and digital designing. For more information, visit

--Dr. Russell S. Sticha, foot and ankle surgeon for Heartland Orthopedic Specialists, a department of Douglas County Hospital, was recently elected to the Board of Directors for the American Board of Podiatric Surgery (ABPS). The ABPS is the certifying board for podiatric surgeons. It functions under a board of directors elected by the membership. Board members serve three-year terms and may be re-elected once.

Sticha has been with Heartland Orthopedic Specialists since 2006 and is currently the chief of staff for Douglas County Hospital. He is recognized across the region as a leader in surgical and non-surgical care of foot and ankle injuries.

Heartland Orthopedic Specialists, located in Alexandria, partners with area hospitals to provide the best orthopedic care to residents in the west central region of Minnesota. They provide services such as foot and ankle care, total joint replacement and sports medicine, as well as the treatment and care for the upper and lower extremities.

For more information, visit or call (320) 762-1144.

--Ted Haar, CLU, LUTCF, FIC, Alexandria, a financial associate with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, has qualified for Summit Circle, based on 2011 performance. This is the organization's second-highest recognition level for sales and service. Seven percent of Thrivent Financial's nearly 2,300 financial representatives qualified for this honor.

Haar is with Thrivent Financial's 435 Regional Financial Office, serving Lutherans and their family members in Alexandria and surrounding communities. He provides financial guidance and strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals.

Haar was recognized by his peers from across the country at Thrivent Financial's sales conference. Haar has been with Thrivent Financial for 29 years and has been recognized for his performance 29 times.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit, Fortune 500 financial services membership organization helping approximately 2.5 million members achieve financial security and give back to their communities. Thrivent Financial and its affiliates offer a broad range of financial products and services. As a not-for-profit organization, Thrivent Financial creates and supports national outreach programs and activities that help congregations, schools, charitable organizations and individuals in need. For more information, visit

--Vic Benzinger, CFP with Ameriprise Financial, qualified for and attended the 2012 Ameriprise National Conference that was held in Denver, Colorado.

To earn this achievement, Benzinger established himself as one of the company's top advisors achieving high levels in production, high client satisfaction levels and in support of providing a superior client service. Only a select number of Ameriprise financial advisors earn this distinction.