On the Street• In 2010, Bremer employees volunteered 10,303 hours in the Alexandria area, according to the company’s sixth annual internal employee survey.
• In 2010, Bremer employees volunteered 10,303 hours in the Alexandria area, according to the company’s sixth annual internal employee survey. Bremer Bank employees overall donated more than 140,000 volunteer hours to their communities throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin in 2010.
In total, the company’s approximately 1,800 employees logged volunteer hours that were the equivalent of $3 million, based on a formula from the Independent Sector, which values an hour of volunteer time at $20.85.
The volunteer contributions to Bremer communities in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin are in addition to the more than $25 million in direct financial donations that the bank and the Otto Bremer Foundation made in 2010.
“Each year, Bremer employees continue to be committed to building healthy communities and making volunteerism an integral part of our organization and culture,” said David Kjos, president of Bremer Bank in Alexandria. “I am always amazed at the many great stories about Bremer employees’ volunteer commitments. These stories come from nonprofit leaders, community board members, colleagues and clients and reflect the dedication our employees have to Bremer Bank communities.”
• Bethany Paradee, CPA, has joined the staff at Michael A. Paradee CPA in Alexandria.
She has spent the last four years at Goodman and Company, PLLP near Richmond, VA specializing in working with construction contractors and small businesses.
Bethany is from Osakis and is a 2001 home school graduate. She graduated magna cum laude from Minnesota State University-Moorhead in 2006.
• Amy Jahner, one of The Work Connection’s (TWC) area managers, was awarded the 2010 President’s Club Award for her outstanding contributions.
Jahner is the area manager based in the Alexandria office. She currently manages four office locations, does on-site visits and trainings, and handles four of the top 10 largest TWC clients from a staffing and service perspective.
Jahner has celebrated her seventh year with TWC and currently holds a PHR designation.
The Work Connection provides recruiting, staffing, screening, and a variety of human resources services to its clients.
• Jill Beuckens is a recipient of the Knute Nelson’s (KN) “Tree of Excellence” award.
This award is the highest level of recognition through the KN Employee Recognition Program. Beuckens has been employed at KN for one year as a speech language pathologist.
Beuckens was nominated by her peers who had this to say about her: “She has good rapport with residents and family members…She has a passion for teaching others, staff or family members on how to carry out programming…Communicates well with other departments and takes the time to explain what needs to be done and the importance of it…Always in a positive mood with a smile on her face…Definitely has the residents’ best interest in mind, takes into consideration the resident wishes in each decision made…Her high energy and passion for the work she does is evident any chance she gets to speak on behalf of KN…She is proactive in identifying new areas for speech and language interventions.”
• The West Central Minnesota Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently awarded Rachel Jahner, human resources director of Knute Nelson, with the sixth annual HR Professional Award of Excellence.
The award recognizes HR professionals who have made significant contributions to the HR profession in their place of employment, have been instrumental in the development of HR strategies that are linked with and support the organization’s strategic goals and have had a profound effect on their company culture.
Jahner has led HR initiatives with positive results that demonstrate her effectiveness as a Human Resource leader, according to Knute Nelson. She has introduced several initiatives and implemented many programs, while the organization has grown from 220 employees in 2004 to 370 employees today.
In addition to being an active member of SHRM, Jahner serves on the Alexandria Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors, the YMCA Program Committee, Aging Services Workforce Solutions committee and is a graduate of Leadership Alexandria.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and an associate’s degree from Ridgewater College.
• Krista (Henrikson) Pihlaja, a 1999 graduate of Jefferson High School, was recently presented with the Sanitation Facilities Construction Engineer of the Year Award.
Pihalaja is a senior environmental engineer of the Indian Health Service (IHS) in the Portland, Oregon area. She serves both the Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction and Division of Health Facilities Engineering.
She started with the IHS Spokane District, Fort Hall Field Office in September 2008.
In her nomination letter from her supervisor, Pihlaja was credited for providing tangible savings to the government while not diminishing services to the Shoshone-Bonnock Tribes.
She led the completion of four year’s worth of construction projects totaling nearly $3 million. She also coordinated the closeout of several older projects and developed two new projects for 2009.
She is the sole engineer and office manager at the Fort Hall Field Office and is responsible for all the work that goes through it, including the supervision of two engineering technicians and a secretary.