Business Scams Targeting School and Youth Support


Hutchinson, MN

Scams Targeting School and Youth Support

Recently another promotional scam has targeted Hutchinson, MN businesses.

An individual stating they are working with the “Hutchinson Boosters” for a fall calendar of sports events has contacted businesses in town to collect money. This project like many others are portrayed to be part of or working for an organization. Some will use tactics like “we talked to the Chamber” when in fact they have not, or a business owner referred another business. These tactics, although convincing, or usually not true.

Police Chief Dan Hatten says “There are no limitations on who scammers claim as victims, the young, old, male, female, businesses, and churches.  The sole responsibility to prevent these scams from occurring is on each of us.  We must educate ourselves on the indicators of a scam and be diligent because it is not if you will become a target of a scam but merely when.”

If you are unsure if it is a scam or ever question if you are possibly being scammed contact your local police department before you agree or send any money. Hatten continued, “Once you send money or sign documents there is virtually no recourse.”

Hutchinson Public Schools work exclusively with Crow River Press and the Hutchinson Leader to produce their sports calendars. Hutchinson Activities Director Thayne Johnson said “If any of our local businesses are contacted by any other organization, please know that they are not working on behalf of the school.  Their claim to represent the Hutchinson Booster Club is false, as there is no such organization.”

The Chamber’s goal is to work with all area businesses and organizations to make everyone more aware of the scam business. “It is a business to these people,” said Mary Hodson, Chamber President. She added “in the past five years I’ve lost track of the number of scams we’ve been made aware of. Last year we were able to cut one off at the pass, but many we don’t hear about and then we can’t help. Connecting with the Police or the Chamber before making a commitment can go a long way to protect yourself and others.”

If you have more questions, please contact Police Chief Dan Hatten 320-587-2242 or Mary Hodson 320-587-5252.


News Release: North American Showcase and Distinguished Minnesota Potter Featured at Annual Festival

HUTCHINSON, MN — Thirty-five potters from across North America will be on display at the sixth annual Minnesota Pottery Festival in Hutchinson, MN the weekend of July 29th and 30th.

Robert (Bob) Briscoe of Minneapolis, Minnesota is this year’s featured potter. Bob has been a potter for more than forty years and is one of the founding potters behind the renowned St. Croix Pottery Tour, held each May. Bob’s passion for clay comes from his desire to make beautiful pots that also feel wonderful to hold. “I want them to give distinct pleasure in use – to allow a subtle conversation over time. I point my work towards a quiet simplicity. I look to subtlety and nuance as the foundation for my aesthetic. The essence that I am seeking in this work is a stripped, almost brutal, rawness.” An acclaimed potter, Bob has received awards from both the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and his work has been featured in Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Arts Daily, American Craft, 500 Bowls and The Art of Contemporary Pottery.

Also at this year’s Festival are twenty other Minnesota potters and thirteen ceramic artists from other states as far away as North Carolina, Georgia, Maine, and Texas. The festival welcomes thirteen potters for the first time including Tom Homann from Georgia, John Bauman from Indiana, Carolina Niebres from Wisconsin.

There are also four Emerging Artists featured at this year’s festival: Gillan Doty of Portland, Maine and Greg Palombo of Buffalo, New York; both are current Fogelberg Studio Fellows at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. Chris Singewald currently resides in St. Paul, but originally hails from Waverly, Iowa. Reiko Cunningham Uchytil from Grimes, Iowa, she is the daughter of Miky Cunningham, who is also participating in the show.

The Festival provides an excellent day trip for clay-lovers, families, and collectors. Entrance and parking are free. The two days are filled with on-site raku firing, Pottery Olympic competitions and a Kids’ Station where children of all ages can get their hands dirty. Food and beverages available for purchase provided by the Phoenix Drumline and beverages for sale from the Crow River Winery.

The Minnesota Pottery Festival takes place on the grounds of the Clay Coyote Gallery & Pottery, just one hour West of the Twin Cities. The backdrop includes thirty acres of conservation prairie land, two ponds, trails, and beautiful Todd Lake in the distance.

The Minnesota Pottery Festival is a nonprofit organization, it’s mission is to provide a venue for quality clay artists to educate and engage with an increasingly knowledgeable public by raising the appreciation and understanding of pottery to help broaden the depth and breadth of ceramic arts in Minnesota.

Board-member Kerry Brooks of Dock 6 Pottery in Minneapolis says, “The Minnesota Pottery Festival is such a fun event! The setting is beautiful, the pottery is of the highest quality and great variety, and the customers are a delight because they’re knowledgeable and love pottery as much as we do. Not only is it a first-rate festival, but it’s also so much fun for the potters!  We love to hang out after hours and talk shop, play music, eat good food, and have a great time with kindred spirits. The pottery olympics and the kid’s tent make it fun and interesting for all ages and an outing everyone enjoys.”

This activity is made possible, in part, by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC) thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The Minnesota Pottery Festival Board would also like thank our generous supporters: Continental Clay Company, Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Smith-Sharpe Fire Brick Supply, Shimpo Ceramics and all of our generous individual donors and volunteers.

More information and full list of artists available at

News Release: Utility investigation for 2020 Highway 15/Main Street project in Hutchinson begins

WILLMAR, Minn. – Utility location and surveying work has started in preparation for the 2020 Highway 15/Main Street project in Hutchinson.  As part of the preliminary design work utility locates and surveying will occur throughout the summer.  Motorists and residents can expect to see bright pink paint along the project areas.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City of Hutchinson are working cooperatively on the reconstruction of Highway 15/Main Street through downtown Hutchinson. The project includes the full reconstruction of underground utilities as well as full reconstruction of the roadway.  The work will extend from building front to building front in the downtown corridor from 2nd Ave. NW (near the South Fork Crow River Bridge) to 5th Ave. SW.  As part of this project, concrete rehabilitation /repair work is also being planned from 5th Ave. SW to just south of Denver Ave.  Sidewalks and pedestrian crossings will also be upgraded to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) along the project area.  The project is scheduled for the 2020 construction season and will require a detour.

The project is in the early stages of development and MnDOT, along with the City of Hutchinson, will be working with the community to gather feedback over the next several months.

For more information on the project please contact Teal Spellman, Project Manager, at 320-214-6350 or via email at

For more information on the project, along with project timelines and contact information, visit

For updated road condition information, call 511 or visit

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.