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• Alexandria Public Schools has named Scott Dahlin to the district leadership team as transportation supervisor. The School Board will vote on this hire at its Monday, Nov. 19, meeting and Dahlin will begin his duties on Tuesday, Nov. 20. For 30 years, Dahlin worked as a transportation supervisor in the Saint Cloud Public School system.

• The Greater Alexandria Area Association of Realtors recently named Paula Jackson with RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty as the 2018 Realtor of the Year. This award is based upon dedication to the industry and involvement with the local, state and national Realtor associations plus involvement with the local community. Paula has been an active member of the board since 1990.

• The National Funeral Directors Association has renewed the nationally-recognized Certified Preplanning Consultant designation to Sean Petermeier of Advanced Preneed Planning in Alexandria. The certification program is considered the standard of excellence in the funeral service for individuals who help families plan funerals in advance. The certification is renewed every four years. As a funeral preplanning specialist, Petermeier educates families about their options and helps them to create customized services in advance of need.

• Orchestra teachers Brad Lambrecht and Maddie Long have received the Minnesota String Orchestra Teachers Association 2018 Meritorious Orchestra Program Award. The award recognizes ongoing excellence for the entire school district's orchestra program. Award winners were honored on Oct. 18 at a luncheon in St. Paul. They teach at Alexandria Area High School.

• The Alexandria girls swimming and diving team has been raising money for breast cancer awareness for many years, and this year made its largest donation yet to Alomere Health. It dedicated a home meet to the cause, handing out Special K bars to anyone who donated money to the breaststroke buck buckets. The team collected $576, and the booster club matched up to $300 in contributions. Team members Kaylee Weigel, Jadeya Peterson and Addison Rodel presented a check to Alomere last month outside the medical oncology department for $876.

• Alexandria-based STAR Energy Services' GIS analyst, Hillary Bjorstrom, was issued the Enterprise Administration Associate 10.4 credential by Esri on Oct. 15. Esri is an international supplier of geographic information system software, web GIS and geodatabase management applications. Bjorstrom has been promoted to GIS systems developer. She began her career at STAR Energy Services in 2007.

• Vic Benzinger, a private wealth advisor with Steidl, Benzinger, Tatge, Seifert, Engebretson, which is part of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Alexandria, has qualified for the company's select Circle of Success annual recognition program and was honored for this achievement at the 2018 National Conference in San Francisco, California. To earn this achievement, Benzinger established himself as one of the company's top advisors. The firm has been in the Alexandria area since 1965.

• Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory has hired Christianna Jahn as a funeral director intern. She joins current funeral directors, Craig Buysse, Robert Kensinger, Erin Petermeier and Alan Iverson. Jahn graduated from Jefferson High School in 2008, and went to medical school at Des Moines University in Iowa for two years. When her father died unexpectedly, she chose to become a funeral director instead of a physician. She graduated this spring with a bachelor's degree in mortuary science at the University of Minnesota.

• G'Mariecee Portrait Studios won the Pot of Gold valued at $4,474.25 at Wake Up Alexandria on Friday, Oct. 19, at Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County ReStore. Studio owner Gina Christopherson accepted the award. Organized through the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, the Pot of Gold includes items sponsored by chamber members.

• The Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Membership Team has recognized three new Chamber members. DJ Thumper Entertainment provides DJ services for weddings, community events, corporate events and birthday parties, and can accommodate indoor or outdoor needs. They also offer karaoke. The Dirt Assassins, Inc., a cleaning business in Alexandria, serves residential and commercial properties with power washing, foreclosure/house cleanup, junk removal, deck cleaning/sealing, concrete cleaning, drive thru pads, car detailing and more. Standard Iron Wire Works, Inc., at 1401 36th Ave. W in Alexandria, employs about 650 people across five plant locations in the United States and one plant in Monterrey, Mexico. With a contract manufacturing division and architectural metals division, its services include metal cutting, welding, machining, paint line/finishing and structural steel processing.

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