2017 Dairy Day Celebration!

Join us on Friday, June 2nd 2017 at 11am-1:30pm in Library Square Park!

Every June the Agri-Business Committee celebrates Dairy Day in downtown Hutchinson. Dairy Day festivities include:

  • $5 lunch meal
  • Cheese samples
  • Cow milking contest
  • Live music
  • Tractors
  • Children’s activities

More details to come!

Click here for Dairy Day Volunteer Opportunities: 

Super Bowl 52 – What does it mean for YOU?

Last week you may have seen that I ventured out to Minneapolis to learn more about how our community can get involved with Super Bowl 52.

Now you might wonder why would that matter to us at the chamber and our community?  Not only is the Super Bowl a day for football fans, this entire event hosts numerous opportunities for minority businesses to work directly with the NFL and showcase their craft or service.  It gives us a chance to “get on the map” in a HUGE way.

Business Connect, the National Football League’s Super Bowl and special event supplier diversity program is focused on creating contract and business development opportunities for certified minority-, woman-, veteran-, lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender-owned qualified, diverse businesses and is looking for the following business types:

Audio Visual • Barricades • Carpet/Flooring • Catering/Food & Beverage • Courier Services • De-icing • Décor • Employment Agencies • Entertainment • Equipment Rental • Event Production • Fencing • Florists • Furniture • Generators • Gifts & Promotions • Golf Carts • Hardware Supplies • Linens • Office Supplies • Painters • Photography    • Port-O-Lets • Printing & Graphics • Security • Snow Removal • Tenting • Trailers • Transportation • Vans • Video • Waste Removal

If you are a business providing those goods or services, here are the additional eligibility requirements:

  • Be Headquartered in the state of Minnesota (with offices within the 13 County Twin Cities area)
  • Be 51% owned by a minority, woman, veteran, or LGBT-owned business individual and certified as one of the following:
    • Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)
    • Woman Business Enterprise (WBE)
    • Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB)
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Business Enterprise (NGLCC)
  • Have been in operation for three (3) or more years (i.e. registered with the state)
  • Provide goods or services requested by this program (see SBLII BC’s 56+ scopes of work)
  • Must be in good standing and eligible to do business in the state of Minnesota

If you meet these requirements, you must provide proof and initiate an application for certification/verification.  Please refer to the below website to gather more information on how you can apply for this certification.


All vendor registrations & certifications MUST BE completed by 03/31/17.  Registration does not guarantee your participation in the event as a vendor – but it allows you the opportunity to potentially bid on the opportunities available.

Why would you go through this process? This puts you in direct contact with key influential people from the NFL. It doesn’t give you an absolute “in” with them, but it definitely gives you an “edge”.  The program will host leadership and training opportunities, multiple networking events, and if chosen to take on a job, gives you and your business direct access to one of the largest stages& events in the world – the Super Bowl.

Are you ready for this?  This is the time for you to take a look in the mirror, think about where you see your business as it is now and where you want it to be in the future.  If you think you have what it takes, let’s get you there.

Please reach out to me, Mollie Terlinden, if you have additional questions about how to proceed.  Time is of essence – and if you have interest in taking this further, you must act QUICKLY.

All my best,





MITGI Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from Manufacturers Alliance

HUTCHINSON, MN – February 15, 2017

Midwest Industrial Tool Grinding, Inc. (MITGI) has been named Manufacturer of the Year (small company category) by the Manufacturers Alliance, a Minnesota association that promotes education and peer-to-peer mentoring in the Minnesota manufacturing industry.  MITGI was selected for efforts to help promote manufacturing through articles, work with schools, business partnerships, tours, presentations, and industry outreach.

“As a company, MITGI believes that it is part of our responsibility to help promote manufacturing, economic growth, innovation, and skilled workforce development,” explains Eric Lipke, MITGI President.  “We’re fortunate to be part of a thriving manufacturing community that includes engaged and involved business leaders, educators, legislators, and industry associations.”

In partnership with area schools and businesses in the region, MITGI has joined together to raise the visibility of manufacturing.  These efforts help to build the foundation for a thriving community and well-prepared workforce.  Over the past year MITGI has:

  • Provided tours to showcase different types of facilities, work environments, and career opportunities.
  • Participated in advisory boards to ensure that opportunities in education and business exist for students when they are ready to work.  Local education partners include Dassel-Cokato High School, Hutchinson High School, Glencoe-Silver Lake High School, Ridgewater College, and SCTCC.
  • Hosted meetings and tours with legislative leaders and staff, including Senators Klobuchar and Franken.
  • Participated in manufacturing-related education seminars through organizations such as Manufacturers Alliance, IMTS, Made in McLeod, Crow River HR Group, Minnesota DEED, Hutchinson Chamber, and Ridgewater College.
  • Promoted activities and events to draw local, regional, statewide, and national exposure to the successes of these unprecedented local partnerships.


“We are very proud of the work that our employees do to help promote a strong manufacturing environment in Minnesota and in our community,” describes Jennie Nelson, MITGI Director of Sales and Marketing.  “When we host tours and events, our employees provide personal perspective, explaining what it is like to work in manufacturing.  The words and actions of our employees help individuals to connect their interests and talents to potential careers.  It is important work, as the foundation we lay today will help ensure the long-term viability of our industry and community.”

MITGI will be recognized at an awards presentation on April 13, 2017 in Golden Valley, MN.  The event will be attended by nearly 400 manufacturing leaders from throughout the state.

Located in Hutchinson, MN, MITGI manufactures and markets standard and custom cutting tools. Combining innovation with quality and repeatability, MITGI tools have become the product of choice in many R&D departments and manufacturing facilities that serve medical device manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and rapid prototyping industries. MITGI is the recipient of the Image Award (2014 & 2015, Minnesota Business Manufacturing Award), Paragon of Leadership Award (Sheila Murphy, 2016, Minnesota Business Community Impact Awards), 100 Best Companies to Work for Award (2015, Minnesota Business), and the Top 150 Workplaces Award (2015 & 2016, Star Tribune).

2017 Food Drive for McLeod County Food Shelf


It’s time to gear up for the 2017 Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign, which benefits the McLeod County Food Shelf! Let’s kick some cans!

This is what the McLeod County Food Shelf has to say about this campaign:

The MN FoodShare March Campaign has traditionally been the years largest collection of financial and food support for MEFS. In 2016 a combination of over 104,500 dollars and pounds were collected – the categories were split pretty evenly between the two! Food donations obviously allow us to continue in our mission of providing food support and financial support allows the opportunity to purchase foods to fill in the gaps and  meet our obligations in maintaining our facilities.

In the past there has been some friendly competition between cities to see which municipality can spur the most in donations. We track all donations as they come in and give honors to bragging rights! Many organizations, schools, civic groups and businesses conduct their own drives during the campaign – all going toward the “Town Challenge” totals. Your business or organization my utilize the following schedule and  organize your own collection effort as appropriate:

Participating in the campaign between February 24, 2017 and April 2, 2017 allows MEFS to be eligible for additional grant funding.

Drop off Locations:

  • MidCountry Bank : 201 Main St S.

All donations must be received by 1pm, Monday April 3, 2017!

If your  business is interested in being a drop off location for the March Food Drive please email Casey or call our office at 320-587-5252.  

Press Release: Quilt Haven on Main chosen as one of the 10 featured shops in the Quilt Sampler magazine.

DES MOINES, IA – Quilt Haven on Main, a quilt shop in Hutchinson, Minnesota, has been chosen as one of
the 10 featured shops across the United States for the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Quilt Sampler® magazine,
published by Better Homes and Gardens.

Quilt Sampler, published twice a year, has been profiling North America’s top quilt shops for the past 22 years.
Quilt shops submit a detailed application on their history, business promotions, charitable work, teaching schedulesand design philosophies. A panel of quilt experts led by Linda Augsburg, Editorial Content Chief of AmericanPatchwork & Quilting® magazine, narrows down the applications to 10 featured shops for each issue.

Competition to be included in Quilt Sampler is keen. Nearly 3,000 quilt shops are eligible to apply for this year’s
honor. Quilt Haven on Main and the other nine shops chosen were photographed and interviewed by a team from
Quilt Sampler, and a multi‐page profile of the shop will appear in the issue, which will be available on newsstands
on May 16, 2017. Employees of each quilt shop also design an original quilt for the magazine, and the full‐sized
pattern for the quilt appears in the issue of Quilt Sampler.
Quilt Sampler has proven to be a huge success, and early, out‐of‐print issues are collector’s items. Chosen
shops are inundated with visitors and requests for the shop’s quilt patterns and fabrics. Quilters are known to try
and visit all the shops in each issue, getting the signature of each shop owner in their copy of the issue.

The art of quilting has changed dramatically since the days of quilting bees in church basements, with quilting
enjoying a major renaissance across the country. A Quilting Consumer Insights study, completed in 2011 by
American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, reports that the U.S. quilting market is comprised of 4.2 million avid
quilters. Further research shows that readers of American Patchwork & Quilting spend an average of $1,165 per
year on quilting supplies and complete nearly 11 projects per year. This group is overwhelmingly female, well
educated, affluent, and have been quilting for almost eight years.

Press Release: MITGI Finalist for 2017 Community Impact Awards by Minnesota Business Magazine

HUTCHINSON, MN – December 19, 2016

MITGI has been honored as a finalist for a 2017 Community Impact Award from Minnesota Business magazine in the Youth Initiative category.  This award category recognizes companies for creating or supporting programs designed to enable youth to develop abilities in areas such as leadership, social responsibility, skilled trades, education, and community involvement.

“Over the past decade, MITGI has dedicated company resources and employee talents to help students explore and prepare for careers in manufacturing,” explains Eric Lipke, MITGI President.  “We’re proud of the collaborative environment that has developed in the Hutchinson community between Ridgewater College, Hutchinson Public Schools, Hutchison Area Chamber of Commerce, Hutchinson EDA, and Made in McLeod manufacturers.  These efforts have resulted in new curriculum and school facilities, increased enrollment in manufacturing related classes, alignment between students and local employers, and potential cost savings for graduates.”

Recognizing the impact that new perspective and repositioned resources could have on the local community, MITGI has worked to build support by:

  • Providing tours that showcase different types of facilities, work environments, and career opportunities
  • Giving MITGI-sponsored scholarships to help students defray the costs of education and connect the business to the student
  • Offering paid job shadowing and internships to provide practical work experience while exploring the types of jobs possible in manufacturing
  • Participating in advisory boards to ensure that opportunities in education and business exist for students when they are ready to work
  • Aligning business leaders and schools to create common goals and secure resources, including raising more than $1.2 million for Hutchinson High School
  • Hosting meetings and tours with legislative leaders and staff, including Senators Klobuchar and Franken
  • Promoting all of these activities and events to draw local, regional, statewide, and national exposure to the successes of these unprecedented local partnerships

“MITGI is proud to be a leader in the efforts to build the foundation for a thriving community and well-prepared workforce,” describes Sheila Murphy, MITGI Director of HR and Safety.  “We look forward to working within our community to help support and promote the continued growth of manufacturing.”

The winners in each category will be announced at the 2017 Community Impact Awards event, held on February 23, 2017 at Aria in Downtown Minneapolis.  Each category winner will be featured in the March 2017 issue of Minnesota Business magazine.

Located in Hutchinson, MN, MITGI manufactures and markets standard and custom cutting tools. Combining innovation with quality and repeatability, MITGI tools have become the product of choice in many R&D departments and manufacturing facilities that serve medical device manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and rapid prototyping industries. MITGI is the recipient of the Image Award (2014 & 2015, Minnesota Business Manufacturing Award), Paragon of Leadership Award (Sheila Murphy, 2016, Minnesota Business Community Impact Awards), 100 Best Companies to Work for Award (2015, Minnesota Business), and the Top 150 Workplaces Award (2015 & 2016, Star Tribune).



Press Release: Hutchinson, Litchfield, Bolton & Menk Receive Asphalt Paving Awards


The Cities of Hutchinson and Litchfield, and Bolton & Menk, Inc. received awards from MnDOT Office of Materials & Road Research at the 63rd Annual Asphalt Conference. Both the Hutchinson Municipal Airport and Litchfield Municipal Airport were honored with Merit Awards for Bituminous Surfacing for an intermediate airport.

Both projects involved rehabilitation of the runway, taxiway, and apron at the Airports. The process of full-depth reclamation (FDR) was applied to both Airports. FDR is the process of pulverizing the existing bituminous and blending with the underlying aggregate base to create a reclaimed asphalt base course. Four inches of new bituminous was then paved over the reclaimed asphalt base. Utilizing this process resulted in recycling all the material on-site and substantially reducing the project cost.

The Hutchison Airport project was completed in the fall of 2015. The project was phased to minimize the impact to aerial sprayers during the fall months when crop spraying is at its peak. The contractor, Duininck, Inc., was able to keep the runway open while working on the taxiway and apron, allowing aerial spraying for the region to continue.

The Litchfield Airport project was completed in the summer of 2016. The contractor, Duininck, Inc., was successful in having the Airport opened early enough in the summer for the Airport to host their fly-in pancake breakfast. Both projects were completed on-time and under budget.

Bolton & Menk, Inc., ranked in the Top 500 Engineering Firms by Engineering News Record (ENR), provides a broad range of engineering, surveying, planning, and environmental services to communities and agencies in Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota. In serving public sector and private clients of all sizes for more than 65 years, Bolton & Menk has become experts in providing quality professional services.

Hutchinson Chamber New Office Hours

To resist is futile.

“One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up,
instead of what they have to gain.”
-Rick Godwin

A business person must be nimble, fluid, open to adjustments, willing to ying instead of yang. You do it all day… we all do. Things do change. Things do need to be adjusted from time to time.

Recently, the chamber board and staff made the decision to adjust the chamber’s hours of operation. We are adjusting when we are open to the public, not necessarily because we want to, but, this is the best way to TAKE CARE OF OUR CHAMBER MEMBERS, while managing changes made to salary structures by the Dept. of Labor.

What will be gained with this adjustment of hours? Staff will be able to attend important community and committee meetings, we’ll be able to serve members when it is best for them, not because of office hours. The flexibility our staff will appreciate will reap benefits for you, our members, just as it should.

So what’s next?

As of November 21, 2016 our hours will be 10am to 4pm. The majority of our walk-in traffic and phone volume is during these hours.

The board room will still be available, from 9am-4pm. There may be a few exceptions due to events. For any organization who may be used to having access to this room from 8-5… your attendees may be cheering right now… (shorter meetings)

Committee meetings scheduled outside of the 10-4 time-frame will stay the same for now.

I am going to thank you in advance for being nimble, open to adjustments, willing to bend with the wind with us on this. There’s always a silver lining, a bright side, and ever notice there’s always something in the glass whether you think it’s half full or half empty?

Yep, I still get to be perky, sparkly, positive and jam-packed with sunshine. So we’ll adjust our hours, meet your needs, and keep #MuchInHutch!

Businesses: Participate in Small Business Saturday 2016!

There is nothing small about Small Business Saturday in Hutchinson! Each year our Bring It Home committee works hard to plan some fun around Hutchinson.  Now we just need Hutchinson businesses to jump on board.  We need you to help make this big! The Chamber Board has once again decided to support local businesses with payments towards shoppers purchases.



Steps to Success:

Envision Your Day

  • Design a shopping event showcasing your product and/or services
  • Do something fun to entice people to come and shop with you
  • Offer a special or discount for customers to use on Small Business Saturday

Think Big

  • Use the Hutchinson Leader and KDUZ/KARP to tell the community about your plans
  • Utilize Social Media to generate excitement
  • Word of mouth goes a long way; tell your customers, friends, and family what you have planned
  • Chamber Members: Use your Chamber Portal to enter HOT DEALS, and your EVENT to the community calendar
    (If you need assistance logging in, call Matt 320-587-5252)
  • Non-Chamber Members; to enter an Event to the calendar
    1.Go to ExploreHUTCHINSON.com 2. Click “Community Calendar”
    3. “Submit New Event” 4. Enter info & “Submit for Approval”


Annual Decorated Snowman Contest:Picture1

Who:  Any Hutchinson Chamber Member may participate

What is it? This contest is meant to create traffic for your business.  Display a Decorated Snowman at your business.

When: November 26 through December 2, 2016

How? Call the Chamber office at 587-5252 or email Casey by November 18 to sign up.
When you sign up we will need to know:

snowman name
address /location of snowman/display
sponsor name*, and who the snowman is created by (if applicable)
*Businesses may sponsor a group to make a snowman on their behalf

  • The cost is $25 to participate. Payments may be cash, check, or $25 gift card.
    (Money will go toward expenses, gift cards will be used on Small Business Saturday to suprise shoppers)
  • Create your snowman out of any material—be creative!
  • The Bring It Home logo must be incorporated somehow. You will receive the logo by email when you register.


  • $100 for Judges Favorite
    Criteria: 1. Creativity 2. Use of Bring It Home logo 3. Incorporation of your business in the design
  • Winners  will be announced by December 9th, 2016

Why a Decorated Snowman Contest?

  • The contest draws people in, bringing people INTO your business. Even if they don’t purchase anything, they are still IN your business– make the most of each experience!
  • Doesn’t everyone love a snowman?
  • In the past, several businesses used the snowman decorating as a team building exercise.
  • Businesses had fun with the friendly competition. It wasn’t really about the competition, but being part of something bigger, and special, in Hutchinson. #MuchInHutch

2018 Community Awards – Nominate Someone Today!

Each year we are excited to make the announcement of who has won the Community Awards.  We can’t do this without you.  Nominations need to be made and we try to make it easy for you.  Take a few minutes to nominate someone who is giving back to our community!

The Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and the Hutchinson Jaycees are accepting nominees for:

Business Person of the Year
Volunteer of the Year
Teacher of the Year
Young Leader of the Year (under 35 years of age)

Click here for the Community Awards Nomination Form.

Awards will be presented at the Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Annual Banquet on
Friday, January 19, 2018 at the Crow River Winery.

This is a list of the winners from the past few years:

Business Person of the Year:
2016:  Brett Haugen
2015:  Eric Lipke
2014:  Keith Heikes
2013:  Gail & Jenny Plaisance
2012:  Dr. David Mach
2011:  Renee Hantge
2010:  Tiffany Haag & Blake Barnard
2009:  Gus Wurdell
2008:  Tom Daggett

 Volunteer of the Year:
2016:  Van Karg
2015:  Dave Sebesta
2014:  Joanne Willmert
2013:  Ken Jensen
2012:  John & Julie Lofdahl
2011:  Jessica & AJ Forcier
2010:  Jan Johnson
2009:  Betsy Price
2008:  Stacey Neuhaus

Teacher of the Year:
2016:  Dave Kucera
2015:  Arlyn Debruyckere
2014:  Kathy Nordby
2013:  Scott Renning
2012:  Kris Dobratz
2011:  Bruce Eckhart
2010:  Chad Harlander
2009:  Jean Schultz

Young Leader of the Year:
2016:  Karlie Mosher
2015:  Jonathan Dawson 
2014:  Adam Fink
2013:  Chris Wilke
2012:  Kyle Wendling
2011:  Megan Peterson
2010:  Karen Grasmon
2009:  Joe Nagel
2008:  Kirsten Grorud