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Bemidji Pioneer Business Briefs for September 16

Potter promoted by Thirty-One Gifts

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Thirty-One Gifts has announced that Liz Potter of Bemidji has been promoted to director, one of six leadership levels within the company.

Thirty-One is a direct-selling company of fashion accessories, totes and organizing solutions. The company provides opportunities for women to achieve financial freedom, find personal fulfillment and become successful business owners.

Thirty-One employs more than 2,000 employees in three Ohio facilities and has an independent consultant sales force of nearly 50,000 people nationwide.


United Way gets Midcontinent grant

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.  – The Midcontinent Foundation has awarded 46 nonprofit organizations with grants totaling $70,500, including the United Way of Bemidji Area, which received a $2,000 donation.

The Foundation is the charitable arm of Midcontinent Media, Inc., parent company of Midcontinent Communications. The board of directors reviewed grant applications from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota at its annual meeting in August.

“In the last 25 years, the Foundation has awarded a total of nearly $3 million to organizations in our region,” said Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Foundation President Tom Simmons.

The Foundation board will meet again in February to review the next round of applications. Charitable organizations with special or capital projects can apply for a Foundation grant at


Sustainability Day at First Impressions

BEMIDJI – First Impressions Salon & Spa, 3728 Bemidji Ave. N., Suite 400, will host the second annual Sustainable Beauty Day Oct. 15, offering free cut and styling services and encouraging donations to fight poverty through the planting of fruit trees.

Clients will be encouraged to donate $15 or more. Proceeds will go toward The Fruit Tree Planning Foundation, which benefits impoverished communities through the planting of fruit trees.

The drive is a partnership between Davines, which creates nature-inspired products, and The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. Last year’s event raised more than $25,000 through 54 salons in the United States and Canada and helped plant 6,000 fruit trees in Mozambique’s impoverished communities and at an orphanage in South Africa. Sustainable Beauty Day 2012 aims to raise $50,000 to fund a fruit tree planting project in Brazil.


Otter Tail selling DMI Industries’ property

FARGO, N.D. – Otter Tail Corporation has entered into definitive agreements with Trinity Industries Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, to sell the property, plant and equipment of DMI Industries in Fort Erie, Ontario; West Fargo, N.D.; and Tulsa, Okla., for $20 million.

The Fort Erie transaction closed Sept. 6 and the West Fargo and Tulsa transactions will close in November and December 2012, respectively.

Otter Tail’s corporate offices are located in Fergus Falls and Fargo.


Financial Peace University scheduled

BEMIDJI —Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church, 2508 Washington Ave. S.

The classes will begin at 4 p.m. Sept. 23. Call Debbie Tuck at 751-1893 for details or to register.

The nine-week course provides families and individuals with practical tools to gain control of their finances and set themselves up for long-term financial success. Each week, a DVD lesson featuring Dave Ramsey will be provided, followed by a small-group discussion. Lessons include budgeting, relationships and money, getting out of debt, saving for emergencies and investing.


Optivation offers leadership training

Optivation is offering a four-week leadership development course, based on the book “The Art of Leadership,” that gives participants a way to build competency in the area of leadership without sacrificing theoretical foundation or important content.

The online course runs from Oct. 1-28 and is taught by Karen Pikula, a 20-year veteran employee of the Brainerd School District and instructor at Central Lakes College. The fee is $403 per participant, which includes a $350 course fee, $38 for books and $15 for a six-month subscription to premium online content. Space is limited, and Optivation encourages registration by Sept. 18.

The Art of Leadership is an interactive, seminar-based approach to leadership based on two ideas: that leadership will take place if a leader cares about the work and the people, and that leadership is an art that can be developed by focusing on nine core concepts.

The course will focus on five of these core concepts: the leadership equation, the power of vision, the importance of ethics, the empowerment of people, and leadership principles.

The Art of Leadership I is a prerequisite for The Art of Leadership II course, which covers the final four core concepts and will be offered by Optivation at a future date.

Register for  online at

Optivation is a joint venture of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College offering custom training solutions and non-credit courses in on-site, online and blended formats. For more information, contact Kerry Ross at 755-4902 or visit