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AmeriPride opens national accounting headquarters in Bemidji

From left are Adina Riley, AmeriPride collector supervisor; Cathy Hedstrom, accounting receivable; and Christie Platt, accounts receivable supervisor. AmeriPride set up its national accounting headquarters in Bemidji today.

AmeriPride, a leading North American supplier of linen and uniform rental services, has consolidated the business' accounts receivable in Bemidji.

The office opened Monday, July 25, and the sign went up on the building at 3900 Technology Drive Northwest about noon. The business will serve the entire country and hire 30 locally recruited employees, said Cathy Hedstrom, accounts receivable for AmeriPride.

Dave Rotman, AmeriPride director of program management, said the company had checked out four larger metropolitan communities with the plan to local in the Central Time Zone.

"We decided to research Bemidji as an option, but not really considering it," said Rotman in a telephone interview from the Minnetonka, Minn., office. "Bemidji was able to rival metropolitan areas many, many times its size."

He said the deciding factors were the location, the availability of high-tech office facilities, such as high-speed communication through Paul Bunyan Communication, and the pool of skilled people able to meet the company's needs.

"We partnering with Northwest Tech and Bemidji State," said Hedstrom. "They (hires) are all local Bemidji. It's good for the community."

AmeriPride's controller, Kathy Jennings said in a press release that the company received support in choosing Bemidji from the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, Bemidji State University President Richard Hanson and Gary Johnson of Paul Bunyan Communications.

Dave Hengel, HRDC director, said the Neilson Foundation and Joint Economic Development Commission also played roles in welcoming AmeriPride.

"We assembled a team of local organizations and leaders that were able to align community assets in order to meet the needs of AmeriPride," said Marcus Wiechmann of the JEDC.

AmeriPride has served Bemidji for more than 30 years. The company was founded in 1889 and is privately held by the founding family.