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Business Briefs for April 11

April 11, 2011
Marshall Independent

Lyons earns CPCU designation

Darik Lyons has been awarded the professional insurance designation Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter by the American Institute for CPCU.

The American Institute for CPCU is an independent, nonprofit educational organization that confers the CPCU designation on persons who complete eight courses and national examinations and meet its ethics and experience requirements.

All CPCUs are required to maintain and to improve their professional knowledge, skills, and competence through their commitment to the American Institute's Code of Professional Ethics.

Lyons began working for North Star Mutual Insurance of Cottonwood in November of 2002 and has the position of senior product development specialist for the Research and Development Department.

Kor honored for professional certification

The Awards and Recognition Association recently honored Brian Kor of Awards Plus for achieving professional certification. Through the ARA Professional Certification Program, awards and engraving professionals can achieve either Certified Recognition Master (CRM) or Certified Recognition Specialist (CRS) designations.

"Award professionals who participate in the ARA Certification Program demonstrate a commitment to the recognition industry, their professional growth as well as to their customers," says ARA President Guy Barone, Xenetech Global, Baton Rouge, La. "Continuing education enhances their business knowledge which ultimately improves the quality of service to their customers. Certified awards professionals offer an upgraded level of guidance and customer support, which is equally as important as providing high quality, memorable awards."

The CRM designation is an achievement shared by less than 1 percent of awards professionals nationwide.

CRM marks the highest level of professional accomplishment in the awards and engraving industry and is achieved by completing 170 hours of technical and business seminars sponsored by ARA. To date, ARA has certified 60 CRMs and 229 CRSs.

ARA's certification program enhances the technical knowledge and business skills of its members through a series of seminars led by qualified industry speakers.

For every 10 hours of seminar instruction, a CEU (continuing education credit) is earned. It takes seven CEUs (70 hours) to become a Certified Recognition Specialist (CRS) and an additional 17 CEUs (170 hours) to become a Certified Recognition Master.

Hornung new sales manager at Jonti-Craft

Jonti-Craft Inc. announces that Mike Hornung has accepted the position of national account sales manager. In this role, Hornung will be responsible for developing and expanding relationships with Jonti-Craft's west-coast dealer customers. This includes providing these dealers with the tools and assistance needed to grow their sales of Jonti-Craft products. With more than 25 years of national sales experience, Hornung brings his extensive knowledge and skills to Jonti-Craft's Sales team. Hornung will be based out of Jonti-Craft's headquarters in Wabasso.

Schneider receives advanced training

General Surgeon Michael Schneider, MD, of the Avera Medical Group Marshall, attended the 2011 annual meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) in San Antonio, Texas, from March 30 to April 2. Seminars at the event educated attendees on some of the latest advances in the fields of general, gastrointestinal, endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery.

SAGES was founded in 1981 to foster, promote, support and encourage academic, clinical and research achievement in gastrointestinal endoscopic surgery.

Schneider was elected to membership in SAGES in 2009. SAGES active membership is open to board-certified surgeons who have demonstrated experience and proficiency in gastrointestinal endoscopic surgery.

SBDC helps Bird

Island business owners named 'Small Business Persons of the Year'

The owners of a Bird Island software company who were named Minnesota Small Business Persons of the Year received consulting help from the Small Business Development Center at Southwest Minnesota State University.

Brian and Kevin Sheehan, Susan Peterson and Brian Fagerstrom, owners of Rural Computer Consultants, Inc., were recently named 2011 Minnesota Small Business Persons of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They were nominated for the honor by Liz Struve, regional director of the SBDC office at SMSU, and Ruth Ann Karty, business consultant for the SBDC who worked with the Rural Computer Consultants owners to help facilitate an expansion project.

RCC sells software to fuel distribution and the insurance industries. The company's goal is to create, maintain and enhance quality, affordable and self-supporting software packages that are easy to use and meet the needs of industry-specific customers.

The SBDC helped the company package an expansion loan with lenders, resulting in an enlarged corporate headquarters in Bird Island to better accommodate the company's steady growth.

The Sheehans and Fagerstrom will accept the award during a Minnesota Small Business Week ceremony on Tuesday, May 10, at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis. They have been invited to attend the National Small Business Week event in Washington, D.C., May 18-20, where the national winner will be announced.

Kuball becomes certified Granicrete installer

Granicrete Minnesota announces that Barry Kuball of Concrete Escapes, Slayton, has joined the team of national and international installers of Granicrete.

Kuball will provide all of Granicrete's overlayment systems designed for home improvements in Slayton and southwestern Minnesota.

For further information, call the SBDC office at 507-537-7386.



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