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Bemidji Pioneer Business Briefs

Valvoline adds Bohler as manager

Valvoline Instant Oil Change has announced the appointment of a new manager at the 1700 Paul Bunyan Drive N.W. location in Bemidji.

Anthony Bohler has many years of successful management experience with Valvoline. He grew up in Iowa, fell in love with northern Minnesota and now lives in Bemidji with his family.

Kuesel is criminal law specialist

The Minnesota State Bar Association has announced that Thomas S. Kuesel is now an MSBA board-certified criminal law specialist. The new certification program is administered by the MSBA and approved by the State Board of Legal Certification.

The certified specialist designation is earned by leading attorneys who have completed a rigorous approval process, including an examination in the specialty area, peer review and documented experience. Certified attorneys have demonstrated superior knowledge, skill and integrity in their specific field and may use the designation of specialist to advertise their credentials. The MSBA has been accredited as an independent professional organization for certifying attorneys as criminal law specialists, real property law specialists, civil trial law specialists and labor and employment law specialists. This achievement has been earned by fewer than 3 percent of all licensed Minnesota attorneys. For details, visit

With more than 16,000 members, the MSBA is the state's largest voluntary organization of attorneys, providing continuing legal education and public service opportunities for lawyers and assistance to the legal system. The MSBA has been accredited as an independent professional organization for certifying attorneys as criminal law specialists since 2009.

ServiceMaster franchisee honored

ServiceMaster Clean has honored Doug Jones, owner of ServiceMaster of Bemidji, with the 2010 Achiever Award.

Recipients of the Achiever Award must meet a variety of criteria to be nominated, including a minimum revenue amount, a minimum growth of 10 percent and nomination by a franchise development manager. The recipients represent the top performing franchise owners from more than 4,500 ServiceMaster Clean, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec businesses worldwide.

The Joneses have owned their ServiceMaster Clean franchise in Bemidji for 11 years.

With more than 4,500 franchise locations around the world, ServiceMaster Clean serves customers through a global network of franchises that provide janitorial services, commercial carpet cleaning, hard surface floor care, residential carpet and upholstery cleaning, and disaster restoration services. The company has been a market leader for more than 60 years. details, visit

ServiceMaster Clean is part of the ServiceMaster family of brands: TruGreen, TruGreen LandCare, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. ServiceMaster has the ability to offer qualified prospects up to 80 percent financing to start their business. The franchise website is

Holiday pie sale will benefit nonprofits

Christmas pies for the holiday pie fundraiser at Perkins must be ordered by Saturday, Dec. 17, through Northwoods Caregivers and Community Resource Connections, which have paired with Perkins for the fundraiser.

Perkins will provide $2 per pie to the nonprofit agencies when pies are ordered by calling 333-8261. The donations are received only for pies that are ordered through the nonprofits. The pies may be ordered for pickup on a specific date.

Gunlikson joins Thrivent Financial

Samantha Gunlikson of Bemidji has joined Thrivent Financial for Lutherans as a financial representative with the organization's Northwestern Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota Regional Financial Office. Gunlikson offers area Lutherans comprehensive financial strategies, personal customer service and a wide range of financial products. Her office is located at 2905 Bemidji Ave. N.

Before joining Thrivent Financial, Gunlikson worked at Walmart and SJ & Company Hair Design and as an office professional for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Gunlikson graduated from Professional Salon Academy in Bemidji, receiving a cosmetology degree. She attends Reiner Free Lutheran Church.

"We see Samantha as a valuable addition to our office's field staff," said Doug Ahrenstorff, managing partner of the Northwestern Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota Regional Financial Office in Fargo. "We look forward to the energy and dedication Samantha will bring to the team. She will play a key role in our mission of serving our members' financial needs."

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit Fortune 500 financial services membership organization helping about 2.6 million members achieve financial security and give back to their communities. For details, visit

New BNI chapter

to meet Wednesday

The next informational meeting for the newly forming local chapter of Business Networking International will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, at Sparkling Waters.