Welcome to 2018 with the Richfield Chamber of Commerce!

Welcome to 2018 with the Richfield Chamber of Commerce! We have some great plans in store for our members this year.  Here’s a brief overview of what to expect: Marketing! Marketing is one of the most important components of a successful business. It is also one of the trickiest areas to tackle. Our Chamber members made great strides in marketing last year when we introduced our Community Connections email.

Community Connections introduced you to other Chamber members with the hope that you would reach out to each other and continue the conversation that was started in the email; and it worked! I heard from more members that they were actively engaged with other Chamber members more than they ever had been. The Community Connections email was the ice breaker everyone was looking for, and a great segway into starting your own conversations. In 2018 we would like to take that conversation one step further. The internet has become our go-to resource for finding businesses.

When you are looking for something, how do you go about finding it? You either ask a friend for their personal recommendation (which you can now give because of the community connections you’ve made); Or you read the reviews on-line. The Chamber will be sending you a weekly email, featuring 3 Chamber businesses and an easy link for you to create your google review of them. We encourage you to take 10 minutes, once a week to write a thoughtful review of the businesses that you are familiar with. This is a great way to help your local Chamber members increase their on-line profile by increasing their organic google search results. I am so excited to see all of our members moving forward together! Let’s keep the momentum going!

Making Connections

Making Connections!
Anne Schultz, President


Greetings Members! Welcome again to our weekly update! There has been a constant theme this at the Chamber and that is, “making connections.” In an effort to increase our business network, we have created opportunities for members to come together outside of our monthly member meetings.  The addition of our morning coffee meetings and after work happy hours, have been well attended and great opportunities for members to make new connections. Our next member Happy Hour is this Thursday, October 26, at Concierge Apartments. We hope you can make it! In addition to these meetings, Chamber Ambassador Jose Ramirez, realtor with Keller Williams, has been meeting with members and creating short informational videos. These videos are an excellent way for you to relay your company message to a broad audience. Check out Jose’s latest video with Richfield Historical Director, Alyssa Swanson on our Facebook page. If you would like to create a video, contact Jose today to schedule a meeting. joseramirez@kw.com

Another update the Chamber would like to discuss is the 66thstreet project. It is well underway and we want to hear your feedback of how it’s going. In order for the Chamber to work with the city on future projects, it is important for us to understand the needs of our members and how these current projects have affected them. If you have a business along or near 66th Street, here are a few key resources to know about. There is a website set-up at www.hennepin.us/66street which has a general overview of the project and estimated timelines. If you have a specific question or concern on the project, you can call Angela at 612.444.3186 or email, 66street@hennepin.us. There is also afacebook page that the City of Richfield updates. If you have more questions or concerns about the project please contact me today to discuss. anne@richfieldmnchamber.org

Community Connections: Sue Basiago

Welcome again to Community Connections where each week we like to highlight a member of our Chamber! This week, as a sponsor of today’s Member Meeting discussing leadership, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the leader of Midland Title, Sue Basiago. Sue acquired Midland Title in 2008 and has grown the company ever since. Midland Title just opened their 3rd location in Grand Rapids, Minnesota!

Sue loves the changing of the seasons that Minnesota has to offer. In addition to a wonderful natural environment, she also appreciates that most Minnesotans display a high level of intelligence, a trait worth bragging about! One of Sue’s great strengths is her commitment to giving back to local communities. Part of her commitment of civic service, the employees at Midland Title are given the opportunity each year to contribute financially to a non-profit of their choosing. Through this generous spirit, Midland Title was recently awarded membership to The Minnesota Keystone Program.

The Minnesota Keystone Program recognizes companies that donate at least two percent of their pre-tax earnings to the community. In 1976, 23 Minnesota companies started this program (originally called the 5% Club) to recognize charitable giving and to set an example for other Minnesota companies. The commitment of Keystone participants promises to sustain Minnesota’s spirit of generosity and sense of community. We are proud to have Midland Title as an active chamber member and an example of a positive company doing business in our community!

Calling All Nominees!

Welcome to the weekly update for the Chamber! We have had a busy year creating new programs, reinvigorating old ones and finding new ways to grow our business networks. As the Board of Directors looks ahead to 2018, we will be taking nominations for new Board candidates through the end of the month. If you, or someone at your organization, would like to have a stronger voice within the Chamber, please consider serving on the Board of Directors.

Currently we are reviewing three potential candidates, Derek Tweten, Landscape Director at Barrett Lawn Care. Derek currently serves on the Hennepin Technical College Advisory Committee and MNLA Government Affairs Committee.

Our second candidate is Craig Holje, Chief Human Resource and Administrative Officer at Richfield Public Schools. Craig has been with RPS for over 10 years. He also volunteers as Divisional Director for the Minneapolis Downtown Council and is a Governing Board Member for the Emerging Leaders in Teaching & Education Academy.

Our third candidate is Sandy DeGonda, Owner of A-1 Travel. Sandy comes to us with over 20 years of business experience. She serves as a Chamber Ambassador for Richfield & Bloomington. Sandy is also active in Team Women MN, Aspiring Women’s Independent Network, Cities West Networking Group, ASTA and MN Small Business Procurement Program/Women Owned Business. Each Board candidate offers a unique perspective and will help grow the Chamber within our business community.

If you would like more information about what it means to serve within the Chamber, please contact Anne here. For a current list of chamber board members, click here.

The next opportunity for you to connect with Chamber members will be at our General Member Meeting this Thursday, October 12 from 11:30-1:00pm. This is the first meeting in an ongoing series that the Chamber will be hosting to help our members develop strong leadership skills and strategic development strategies for their companies. Please sign up today if you are interested in attending.

To see what else is happening in the Chamber, please visit our website here and learn more ways you can get involved.

Health & Wellness: Spend Less Time on Fitness in Order to Improve Fitness (and Everything Else)

What if you could become more fit, a better businessperson, and an all-around more developed human being by spending less time on exercise and nutrition? To most people this sounds like an impossible proposition. However, growth and expansion occur in all kinds of industries and domains without the initiating person ever gaining more than the already-fixed 168 hours in his or her personal week. More time in a week never comes. We all have near-and-dear examples of increased effectiveness, productivity and improvement; and we never acquired more time in our weeks during those successes. Allocation of effort, focus and influence made all the difference; and we know it was never the gaining of more time. The secrets, of course, lie in how exactly to reallocate that effort, focus and influence. The good news is that experts have already shared the secrets.

In Warren Buffett’s biography, The Snowball, the author, Alice Schroeder, introduces us to a barrage of win-win scenarios. That is, in many cases a gain did not require a sacrifice. Buffett’s mentor, Ben Graham, had a formula for investing that guarded against loss of any kind. He would scour the landscape looking for companies whose tangible assets were worth more than the company’s stock valuation, generally because they were failing. Then Graham would buy as much of that company as he possibly could. Buffett followed suit. It sounds like a quick way to throw away ones time, effort and capital. But the fact of the matter is that it was a very forward-looking form of leverage. If, by luck or by his influence as a controlling shareholder, the company could do an about-face, it was a win: stock price went up beyond what he paid for it. If, by already-set-in-motion trajectory, the company failed, still it was a win: he sold the assets for more than he paid to obtain the stock.

Later in the biography, Schroeder describes other techniques of win-win in the stock market, namely arbitrage. Using options/futures on the opposing bet from ones stock or commodity wager, it’s possible to come out on top no matter what the volatility of markets does.

Biological and physiological systems are no different. There are ways to place bets on both sides of the wager and come out on top no matter what. Then, like Warren Buffett’s snowball of wealth, your own snowball of health and fitness give increasingly greater leverage and investment capital for every successive endeavor. It’s a fact. It’s science. As people become more fit, they become smarter, their brains function better, and they become more efficient. A single bout of moderate intensity exercise equates to a demonstrable IQ increase in immediately-following testing. Better problem solving and accelerated learning equate to improved business acumen. They equate to improved everything.

Dr. John J. Ratey, MD’s book, Spark, makes a cogent and conclusive argument for the brain benefits of exercise. His citation of the Naperville school district and apropos neuroscience research is exhaustive. However, the reader is still left with the very real and palpable first-step: spending more time on health and fitness. But again, what if you don’t have to spend any more time on fitness? In fact, what if you could spend less time on it? What if you NEED to spend less time on it to become more effective?

The easiest illustration for the layperson to consider is the comparison of elite-level sprinters versus elite-level distance runners. On average, mere seconds of effort produce better physiques than hours of running. Various exercise science programs at universities around the world have long been studying this ostensible paradox of efficiency versus duration. MacMaster University in particular has been catching headlines for years for their work on the lasting positive physical benefits from very short duration bouts of exercise. And in this past year, Martin J. Gibala, the lead researcher at MacMaster University, released his paradigm-disrupting book, The One Minute Workout.

Even outside of overt activity, there are dozens of analogous arbitrage-like wagers one can make. Just examine two of them. One is to spend even less time and effort on dietary planning and decisions. Another one “earns” minutes of exercise without anything but slight alteration to water drinking habits. You can win whether you spend more or less time on either one of these.

First, consider food timing. Without getting into the debate, the reader need only reference the longest-lived and healthiest individuals on earth detailed in Dan Buettner’s Blue Zones or NASA scientist Paul Jaminet’s research on supercentenarians. What dietary practice do all of these super long-lived and ultra healthy individuals and communities share in common? They fast at some point somewhat regularly. It could be 12-20 hours daily. It could be 28-40 days yearly. It could be supported or modified. But they do it. Though at first this idea is anathema to the average American, think about it. It requires less time and planning. There are no decisions to make of one “good food” versus another “bad food.” Brad Pilon’s bestseller, Eat. Stop. Eat. described a fairly accessible way to try this. And one of the most revered medical researchers of all time, George F. Cahill, spent decades at Harvard demonstrating the many benefits of controlled fasting.

Even less time than Gibala’s 60 second workouts is the act of drinking water. We do it already. So there is zero additional time cost for this one. What’s the trick? Make it cold, real cold. Dr. Jack Kruse, MD has spent years running the numbers on something called cold thermogenesis. Essentially, we lose fat by strategic exposure to cold temperatures. The energy it takes your body to heat several ounces of 50 degree drinking water is equal to minutes of exercise. Without spending a single second at the gym, people can drink 64-128 ounces (depending on body mass and goals) of chilled drinking water and net the same outcome as if they’d performed 15-45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. It is simple physics and math. The colder the water and the greater the volume, the more white fat you have to burn to process it. And this isn’t even getting into the residual benefits, hormonally and otherwise, which will extend beyond any given day you do this.

Now, the takeaway isn’t that you should mimic Naperville and get smarter. The takeaway isn’t that you should follow Gibala’s 60 second sprint guidelines and get fitter. The takeaway isn’t that you should starve or freeze your pounds off. The takeaway is this: you don’t need more time. It’s all about right effort, not longer effort. You don’t need to sacrifice precious work productivity to improve your health. You don’t need to sacrifice sacred family time to become more fit. Quit thinking about it as pushing a boulder up a hill. Start with something small at the top of a hill; And let it snowball!

This post was written by Chamber Member Jonathan Watters

Next Page »