On the Street: May 14

Ameriprise employee completes program, West Central Initiative offers fellowship, Marco expands shed business

Justin Thoennes

Ameriprise Financial employee receives counselor designation

Justin Thoennes, a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Alexandria, has achieved the professional designation of a chartered retirement planning counselor through the College of Financial Planning.

Thoennes – who works with the private wealth advisory practice Steidl, Benzinger, Tatge, Seifert & Engebretson – completed the coursework and test requirements that covered pre-and post-retirement needs, asset management and estate planning.

Thoennes graduated from St. Cloud State University with a finance degree and has been working with Ameriprise since July 2020.

Steidl, Benzinger, Tatge, Seifert & Engebretson provides financial advice anchored in an understanding of client needs and provided in one-on-one relationships with clients.

Ameriprise Financial has been helping people feel confident about their financial futures for more than 125 years. With a nationwide network of around 10,000 financial advisors, the company serves a full range of financial needs for both individual and institutional investors.


West Central Initiative promotes fellowship opportunity

Applications are now open for the Initiators Fellowship, an opportunity for entrepreneurs ranging from recent college graduates to mid-career individuals.

This fellowship program is available to entrepreneurs in West Central Initiative’s nine-county service area, including Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin as well as the portion of White Earth Nation in Becker County.

The two-year program, which starts in 2022, awards a $30,000 annual stipend to entrepreneurs who want to grow as leaders and have a passion to tackle a social challenge.

After a rigorous selection process, the selected individuals receive a two-year suite of support that includes training, mentoring, networking and financial backing.

Additional requirements include living within one of four participating Minnesota Initiative Foundation regions, or an adjacent tribal nation, for the two-year duration of the fellowship term. Diversity is a core program value, so applicants with diverse backgrounds, experiences, ability, economic status and perspectives are encouraged to apply.

Online applications for the 2022-2023 cohort are open from May 24 through June 15. Learn more about the program and social entrepreneurship by visiting or by contacting West Central Initiative president Anna Wasescha at 218-739-2239 or

Marco expands shed business

Marco recently acquired West Central Shredding Inc., a shredding company in Willmar, Minn. West Central Shredding employees have joined Marco and are partnering with their new team members to serve and support their clients with expanded resources.

Marco provides shredding and hard drive destruction services as well as an environmentally friendly disposal process in Minnesota, Missouri and Pennsylvania. The business has 1,200 employees in 12 states from the Midwest to the east coast.


Marco has an Alexandria location and is headquartered in St. Cloud. The company helps organizations assess, implement and manage all parts of their office technology.

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