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Ambassador Visits May 2021

Ambassador Visits May 2021

Each month our Ambassador Team visits chamber members who have something special to celebrate - new members to our chamber, new key roles, new facilities/major remodels, and big milestones within the organization. Our May visits included a new location, a re-opening ribbon cutting, and a new key role. If your business has something big to celebrate, we'd love to share that with you. Please reach out to use at the chamber to discuss an Ambassador Visit to your location. 

Pentagon Insurance has been a chamber member for almost 4 years and in September moved their new location for a bigger, better space to grow their business from. The increased visibility has already resulted in more walk-in customers than in all the years at their previous location combined. They have big and bold signage that also helps their visibility. The inside of the space received a face lift with fresh paint and a few other things that owner Thom says they are still working on.

Pentagon Insurance will be 11 this fall; nearly 8 of those years here in the Elk River area. Between the three gentlemen in the office, they offer Personal, Auto, Home, Life, and Commercial Insurance.

Thomas Grubbs, owner, and Peter Cole, producer, were on hand to answer all our questions.

Longtime chamber member, Boys & Girls Club of the North Star, is gearing up to reopen (date yet to be determined) so we celebrated with a small ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off their great news and their face lift. Executive Director Ricky Solomon gave a tour of the facility and shared the capital improvements that were completed during Covid thus far and what is still to come – along with some plans and dreams for the future. They are working hard to have a kitchen and meal space to be able to provide hot meals to the youth.

We learned a lot about their programing and the youth they have served over the years (almost 170 youth ages 6-12 years most years – 69% of those youth qualify for free or reduced lunch – 71% are from single family homes). Five Core Areas that the Boys and Girls Club focus on are Education & Career Development; Character & Leadership Development; The Arts; Sports, Fitness & Recreation; and Health & Life Skills. We also learned that nearly 100 kids per year have “graduated” from the UPS Road Code Program during the last 7 years - nearly 700 youth are safer drivers thanks to the Club.

The Boys and Girls Club is looking to add new energy to their Board of Directors if you are looking for a great place to share your time and talents!

Board member Dave Yantes joined us for the tour; long time staff person Heather Aune also joined us for the ribbon cutting.

Our last visit of the afternoon was to another longtime member, Rockwoods Restaurant, Bar, & Event Center. This visit was to celebrate the new role of 15-year Rockwoods veteran, Katie Franashouk, as the sole General Manager of the facility.

Katie shared that she has performed nearly all the front of house positions and has worked her way up the ranks. The very hands-on owners of Rockwoods tell Katie “she is the face of the franchise” – and we can certainly see why they have entrusted her with their facility! Katie is very knowledgeable about all aspects of their business!

Katie’s first official improvement to Rockwoods was to figure out how to get Pulltabs onsite. Katie admits she had no idea how to go about it, but she was determined to make it happen. Mission accomplished! Stop in and check out the new pull tabs booth sometime soon.

Rockwoods is completely a scratch kitchen. They bring in the raw ingredients and make everything in house. Even their drink mixes (like their blueberry simple syrup and strawberry whiskey) are created in house.

Speaking of Rockwoods kitchen, they are looking for some kitchen staff to add to their amazing team!

When asked what the Chamber could do for them, Katie’s response was “continue to work towards 100% reopening (no restrictions) at the legislative level.” 

Chamber members were also on hand for the recent Sportech groundbreaking ceremony for their new 90,000 square foot facility in Elk River. This expansion will add 85 new jobs and nearly double their assembly capacity.

Sportech designs, manufactures, and assembles cab components and systems for the powersports, golf and turf, industrial, and agricultural end markets.


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