OACC: New name, same strong commitment to the community

OACC board members. Back row, left to right: Jack Burke, Stacie Penn, Marc Cove, Jason Foutz, Ted Lillie, Holly Koep, Tony Schwartz, Rick Timm Front row, left to right: Bill Burns, Amy Brown, Angie Propp, Jodi Christensen,  Larry Eberhard, Tami Bauer, Ben Smetana, Not pictured: Dick Fischer, John Larson, Caleb Brunz, Dan Peterson, Daniel Rude,  Frank Orsello.
OACC board members. Back row, left to right: Jack Burke, Stacie Penn, Marc Cove, Jason Foutz, Ted Lillie, Holly Koep, Tony Schwartz, Rick Timm Front row, left to right: Bill Burns, Amy Brown, Angie Propp, Jodi Christensen, Larry Eberhard, Tami Bauer, Ben Smetana, Not pictured: Dick Fischer, John Larson, Caleb Brunz, Dan Peterson, Daniel Rude, Frank Orsello.

At a time when cities and residents face numerous challenges, every helping hand makes a difference. The good news for Oakdale is that the Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce — formerly known as the Oakdale Business and Professional Association — is planning another active year in 2015.

The OACC works to make Oakdale a place that is friendly to both businesses and customers. The group was founded by a handful of eager businesses nearly three decades ago, and through the years the networking connections and attention to local needs the OACC provides have contributed to a fertile business environment and a thriving community.

For OACC members, the group gives them the chance to keep their fingers on the pulse of the community. In turn, they bring their unique perspectives to the OACC, giving the group as a whole better insight into the local business climate.

Bill Burns, OACC president and president of Burns Insurance Agency, says the OACC is a strong supporter of the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District. He noted that not only is the school district a large employer in the area, it is also where future leaders of the community are honing their skills and interests. Connecting students with business leaders in the community who can serve as mentors would be a great role for the group, he adds.

OACC Calendar of Events

Spring Fling • April 16

The Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Spring Fling at the American Legion Post 39 in North St. Paul. This event is the chamber’s largest fundraising, social and networking event of the year, with fun activities including entertainment by a DJ and a raffle with a major prize. Funds raised from the event will enable the OACC to provide support for many community programs including Holiday Helping Hands and scholarships for local students. The public is invited to attend. To purchase tickets, contact John Larson at 651-755-5591.

June Family Picnic • June 18

This is the one meeting a year to which the OACC invites everyone in the community to attend. In place of the regular monthly meeting, the OACC has a picnic-style lunch, firing up a giant charcoal grill and serving more than 1,000 hot dogs to local business leaders, elected officials, families and residents. The event is free. The June Family Picnic has had typically over 750 people in attendance and is seen as the single greatest networking opportunity for OACC members. Limited sponsorships are available annually. Stop by for a quick bite or stay and mingle with the crowd. Either way, this is certainly a “can’t miss” event. This event will be held at the Oakdale Fire Station (5000 Hadley Avenue North) from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM on June 18, 2015. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marc Cove at Platinum Bank,  651-332-5200, or mcove@platinumbankmn.com

Oakdale Summerfest • June 18-21

Oakdale’s largest summer celebration features the Grande Parade, Skateboard exhibition and contest, carnival rides, live entertainment, great food, bingo, softball and baseball tournaments. There are events for every member of the family. Come out to enjoy the parade, go on the rides, eat the food and meet your neighbors. The Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Oakdale Royalty Float and the official Oakdale Summerfest Medallion Hunt. Participants follow fun historical clues to find the medallion and win the grand prize. Most of the events are held at the Richard Walton Memorial Park adjacent to the Oakdale City Hall. Additional information can be found on the City of Oakdale website www.ci.oakdale.mn.us. For information or to see how you can get involved in the festivities call Amy Brown, State Farm, at  (651)735-4193, amy@amybrown.us.

OACC Community Golf Tournament • June 22

Each year in June, the OACC organizes an entertaining day of golf. This year’s event will be held at Oak Marsh Golf Course (526 Inwood Avenue North, Oakdale). Participants enjoy a low-key day on the golf course with an emphasis on having fun and networking with other members and golfers. This event is wrapped up with a wonderful dinner, auction and awarding of prizes in the club house. Participation is open to the public. For more information on becoming an event sponsor or other questions, contact Angie Propp, 651-403-1942 or angie.propp@gmail.com.

Eggs N’ Issues Breakfast • September 10

Each year the Oakdale Area Chamber of Commerce invites city, county, state and congressional elected officials to address members about past accomplishments and their vision for the future. This event is open to the public. Come to the Eggs N' Issues to get the inside scoop from Oakdale's City, County, School District and Legislative leaders. For more information contact Rick Timm, All Family Dental at (651) 731-2141 or DrTimm@AFDSmiles.com.

Holiday Helping Hands • December

Each year, several thousand dollars’ worth of gifts and food are donated to help families in Oakdale. Santa and his elves deliver gifts in early December. Applicants’ names are supplied by school social workers, and last year, nearly 80 families benefitted from the program. Here’s your chance to step up and join one of the most rewarding community projects sponsored by the OACC. Volunteer to sponsor a family and shop and wrap their gifts, or volunteer to help distribute the gifts. For more information, contact John Larson, 651-755-5591 or email jflarson69@hotmail.com.

Oakdale Winter Wonderland • December 13

This event gives an opportunity for the Oakdale business community to mingle with families of Oakdale while enjoying a giant bonfire, visits with Santa, warm food and drink, along with a horse-drawn hayride, FREE! Last year, more than 2,000 people attended Winter Wonderland. The OACC sponsors this event in conjunction with the City of Oakdale and Maplewood/Oakdale Lions Club. For more information, contact Marc Cove at Platinum Bank, 651-332-5200 or 651-747-3860, or email mcove@platinumbankmn.com. Additional information can be found on the City of Oakdale website, www.ci.oakdale.mn.us.


Increased visibility

The OACC’s recent name change makes it more recognizable as the area’s leading business organization, Burns says.

“We wanted to establish our identity in the business community to make it easier for people to find us,” he explains.

Additionally, the OACC has upgraded its website to be more user-friendly so visitors can search an online directory for member businesses.

On the new website, www.oakdaleareachamber.org, visitors have the ability to easily locate OACC member businesses by name or category. In addition to listing important information such as addresses and hours, the directory also includes links to social media pages, services offered and a comprehensive company overview.

Moreover, Burns says the OACC this year plans to partner with the city of Oakdale during Summerfest, the city’s annual summer festival.

In addition to bringing the OACC’s popular Fourth of July fireworks to the event, the organization plans to set up a number of booths where residents can learn about local businesses and talk about the services they provide.

“For 2015, we want to make our events even bigger and better,” Burns says.

All of this amounts to greater visibility and a stronger online presence for Oakdale area businesses, Burns adds.

Strong businesses, strong community

According to Burns, the chamber is a valuable asset to local businesses.

“What sets us apart from other chambers is that we have no paid positions. We’re a nonprofit chamber with a pure sense of community and business,” he says.

Member businesses have the opportunity to network with other Oakdale-area businesses in order to “get to know your neighbors,” Burns says.

“We have members in all areas that help each other make your business more successful,” he adds.

New this year, the OACC is helping new businesses by introducing several OACC ambassadors, who are responsible for attending local groundbreakings, grand openings and ribbon cuttings, as well as supporting new members at their first few meetings.

“New members attending their first chamber meeting will be welcomed and helped by an ambassador to take some of the pressure off of meeting a whole room of people at a time,” Burns explains.

The OACC also encourages residents to support area businesses by shopping locally. This not only helps local businesses thrive, but also ensures that residents’ dollars are reinvested in their own community.

Reaching out

In addition to promoting local businesses, the OACC takes an active role in the community in and around Oakdale.

With Holiday Helping Hands, the OACC and Tartan High School students collect and distribute food and gifts to families in need each December.

John Larson, a pastor at Hope Church who serves on the OACC board of directors, says the OACC is well positioned to make an impact with programs such as Holiday Helping Hands because of the numerous connections to goods and services that its members share.

“Working together through all the networks we have through the OACC is huge,” Larson says.

The OACC also provides four scholarships each year to high school seniors from Oakdale with exemplary academic and community service records.

While any one single business that offers scholarships may have trouble with funding in a down year, the OACC is able to provide a reliable resource for motivated students.

This year, the OACC will also be strengthening its connection to the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf in Woodbury, asking for non-perishable food donations at OACC events.

One of the ways the OACC raises funds for its community-care initiatives is through annual fundraising events such as this year’s Spring Fling. In addition to raising funds for worthy causes, the event is also a great networking opportunity and an all-around good time.

For those involved in the OACC, it’s easy to see how the organization benefits both members and the surrounding community. And for those not yet involved, Bill Burns encourages them to find out more for themselves.

OACC Board of Directors 2015

     • Bill Burns • Burns Insurance Agency

Vice President
     • Ben Smetana  • Oak Springs Chiropractic

Past President
     • Daniel Rude • TeqOne

    • Jack Burke • Burke, Wheeler & Assoc., P.A.

     • Tami Bauer • Minnesota Seasons/ASCO Trucking

     • Stacie Penn • Carol Matheys Memorial Children's Center

Eggs N’ Issues
     • Rick Timm, D.D.S. • All Family Dental

Golf Tournament
• Angie Propp • Highland Bank

Guest Speakers
     • Frank Orsello • Cavalier Barber and Beauty Salon

Holiday Helping Hands
     • Pastor John Larson  • Hope Church

In Sixty Seconds
     • Jodi Christensen • Lake Elmo Bank

     • Holly Koep • Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning

     • Ted H. Lillie • Lillie Suburban Newspapers

Civic Events
     • Marc Cove • Platinum Bank

Spring Fling
     • Tony Schwartz • Allegra/IMAGE360

     • Amy Brown • State Farm Insurance

Summerfest Medallion Hunt
     • Larry Eberhard • Keller Williams Premier Realty

City of Oakdale Representative
     • Jason Foutz • City of Oakdale

Website/Social Media
     • Dick Fisher • E-merge Online

At Large Members
     • Caleb Brunz • Paul Davis Restoration
     • Dan Peterson • Creative Photo Solutions Inc.

OACC 2015 Membership Meetings

Meetings are held from 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Jan. 8       Oak Marsh Golf Club

Feb. 5       Oak Marsh Golf Club

March 5    Prom Center

April 2       Prom Center

May 7       Oak Marsh Golf Club

June 18    Oakdale Fire Station #1 (Picnic)

Aug. 6       Lake Elmo Inn Event Center

Sept. 3      Lake Elmo Inn Event Center

Oct. 1        Lake Elmo Inn Event Center

Nov. 5       Holiday Inn and Suites St. Paul NE

Dec. 3       Holiday Inn and Suites St. Paul NE


OACC 2015 Board Meetings

Meetings are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Jan. 15     Sgt. Peppers

Feb. 19     Dukes Pizza

March 19  Dukes Pizza

April 16     Dukes Pizza   

May 21     Pinz

June 11    Pinz  

July 16     Pinz

Aug. 20    The Loft at Platinum Bank

Sept. 17   The Loft at Platinum Bank

Oct. 15     Sgt. Peppers

Nov. 19    Sgt. Peppers

Dec. 17    Sgt. Peppers

Acumen Legal Advisors    Okoneski, Thom
Alerus Financial    Hartzell, Robert
Alerus Financial    Johnson, Scott A.
Alerus Financial    Sheldon, Barbara
All Family Dental, Ltd.    Timm, Richard
Allegra/image360    Schwartz, Tony
Allstate Insurance, Kris Kiefer-Vik Agency    Kiefer-Vik, Kris
American Family Insurance    Sarrack, Carmen
American Legion Post 39    Ryan, Tammy
Ameriprise Financial - Knooihuizen, Harrington & Associates    Foss, John
Amy Brown Insurance Agency, Inc.-State Farm Insurance     Brown, Amy
Anchor Bank    Young, Alison
Anytime Fitness Oakdale    Elizondo, Jon
Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning    Cave, Aaron
Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning    Koep, Holly
Apostolic Bible Institute    Grant, Gerald
Balloon Artistry by Mandana    Moshrefzadeh, Mandana
Berwald Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Inc.    Berwald, Gene
Berwald Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Inc.    Berwald, Ken
Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More    Morley, Eric
Bighley Auto Body    Bighley, Bill
Bighley Auto Body    Bighley, Mike
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle    Stevenson, Josh
Bridge21 Minnesota, Inc.    Larsen, Lance
Buffalo Wild Wings    Smale, Jon
Burke, Wheeler & Assoc., P.A.    Burke, Jack
Burke, Wheeler & Assoc., P.A.    Rolling, Brent
Burke, Wheeler & Assoc., P.A.    Wheeler, Kelley
Burns Insurance Agency    Burns, Bill
Canvas Health    Markrof, Kelly
Cardinal Realty, Homebuilders, Remodeling, Appraisals    Wiener, Tom
Carol Matheys Center for Children & Families    Penn, Stacie
Carriage Realty, Inc.    Stang, Karen
Carriage Realty, Inc.    Stepka, Kevin
Castle Elementary School    Bruner, Bridget
Cavalier Barbers    Orsello, Frank
Christian Counseling Services    Zimmer, John
Citizens Community Federal    Gardner, Travis
City of Oakdale    Bachmeier, Brian
City of Oakdale    Barry, Sue
City of Oakdale    Cici, Kristen
City of Oakdale    Karwoski, Stan
City of Oakdale    Pulkrabek, Lori
City of Oakdale    Rasmussen, Bill
City of Oakdale    Reinke, Paul
City of Oakdale    Schmitt, Bill
City of Oakdale    Streetar, Bob
City of Oakdale    Sullivan, Bill
City of Oakdale    Warren, Suzanne
City of Oakdale    Williams, Julie
City of Oakdale    Xiong, Mai
Clair Wagner & Sons Insurance Agency    Wagner, Bruce
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty    Wessel, Warren J.
Creative Photo Solutions Inc.    Peterson, Dan
Crossroads Properties    Conners, Mike
Crossroads Properties    Johnson, David
Eagle Point Elementary School    Bromeland, Shawn
Ecumen Lakeview Commons    Schaefer, Maryann
Edward Jones Investments    Neumann, Brandon,
e-Merge Online Marketing    Fisher, Dick
ESR, Inc.    Bahr, Frank
ESR, Inc.    Boeve, Ed
Finishing Touch Car Care Inc.    Meyer, Dan
Furlong’s Liquor, Inc.    Furlong, Dan
Furlong’s Liquor, Inc.    Furlong, Terry
Garry Insurancenter    Garry, Joe
Garry Insurancenter    Szczepanski, Dave
Go East    Deis, Tim
Greg Foote Jewelers    Foote, Greg
Highland Bank    Propp, Angie
Hilton Garden Inn St. Paul/Oakdale    Lukonen, Sheila
Holiday Inn & Suites    French, Mo
Holiday Inn & Suites    Garcia, Jody
Holiday Inn & Suites    Willis, Gretchen
Hope Church    Larson, John
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale    Johnson, Terri
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale    McNeil, Jennifer
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale    Miller, Troy
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale    Phillips, Patty
Ideal Credit Union    Fleischhacker, Liz
Image360 - Woodbury    Kazmerski, Gina
Image360 - Woodbury    Neubeck, Rachel
J.A. Counter    Purkat, Corey A.
Jerry’s Floor Store    Cullen, Heather
JW’s Bierstube    Yanz, Jim
Keller Williams Premier Realty    Eberhard, Larry
Keller Williams Premier Realty    Kinney, Pat
Kwik Trip    Vierling, Thomas
Lake Elmo Bank    Christensen, Jodi
Lee Stoerzinger, Inc.    Stoerzinger, Lee
Lee Stoerzinger, Inc.    Stoerzinger, Maggie
Legacy Dance Studio, Inc.    Drikakis, Eileen
Lillie Suburban Newspapers, Inc.    Lillie, Ted H.
Lillie Suburban Newspapers, Inc.    McLellan, Ed
Little Minds Learning Center    Gaulke, Megan
Machine Shed Restaurant    Roberts, Brian
Marcus Oakdale Cinemas    Bresette, David
Merit Chevrolet    Rinkel, Bruce
Merit Chevrolet    Rinkel, Chris
Minnesota Seasons, Inc.    Bauer, Tami
Minuteman Press    Miller, Troy
Minuti-Ogle Co., Inc.    Panek, Thomas G.
MTD Communications, Inc.    Barrett, Russ
Nighthawk Security    Britz, Kevin
Nighthawk Security    Castro, Joseph
Nighthawk Security    Gorecki, Grant
North High School    Helwig, Jed
North High School    Mielzarek, Mary
North High School    Nelson, Greg
Oak Marsh Golf Course    Fahey, Krista
Oak Marsh Golf Course    Whillock, Steve
Oak Meadows    Dow, Connie
Oak Meadows    Prayfrock, Kim
Oak Springs Chiropractic: A Creating Wellness Center    Lundgren, Andy
Oak Springs Chiropractic: A Creating Wellness Center    Salonek, Heidi M.
Oak Springs Chiropractic: A Creating Wellness Center    Smetana, Benjamin W.
Oakdale Collision Center    Juen, Michelle
Oakdale Elementary School    Buhl, Tracy
Oakdale Fire Department    Anderson, Jeff
Oakdale Fire Department    Wold, Kevin
Oakdale Optical Center    Cole, Trent
Oakdale Wesleyan Church    Tillman, Paul
Parkview Chiropractic Clinic    Kriva, Lynn
Paul Davis Restoration    Brunz, Caleb
PINZ - Bowling & Entertainment Center    Timp, April
PINZ - Bowling & Entertainment Center     Rowlinson, Amy
Platinum Bank    Cove, Marc L.
Platinum Bank    Kook, Krista
Polar Family Chiropractic Center    Mandel, Donald
Precision Automotive Repair    Rich, Rob
Premier Banks    Regan, Kelly
Principal Financial Group    Rheault, Randy
Prom Catering / Prom Center    Henton, Teresa
Quantum Merchant Services (QMS)    Rudrud, Leslie
Radiant Change Painting    Brunz, Stephanie
Rasmussen College    Gallus, Sarah
Regus    Wenshau, Jennifer
Remodeling    Campbell, Mike
Retail Operations Training Company, Inc.    Gumatz, Bob
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce    Mindee Kastelic
School To Life Solutions    Herbert Lohse
Sgt. Peppers Grille & Bar    Julie Kinsky
Sgt. Peppers Grille & Bar    Rob Kinsky

Shar’els Cafe    Jon Buersken
Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce    Kastelic, Mindee
Sauro and Bergstrom, PLLC    Bergstrom, Adina
School To Life Solutions    Lohse, HerbertSgt. Peppers Grille & Bar    Kinsky, Julie
Sgt. Peppers Grille & Bar    Kinsky, Rob
Shar’els Cafe    Buersken, Jon
Shar’els Cafe    Buersken, Sharon
Silver Oak Development, Inc.    Reinke, Paul
Skyview Elementary School    Barringer, Travis
Skyview Middle School    Slavin, Joe
Spartan Promotional Group    Hohenwald, Mike
Spartan Promotional Group    Johnson, Jim
St. Paul Pioneer Press    Carson, Jill
State Representative    Lillie, Leon
State Representative    Ward, JoAnn
State Senator Susan Kent    Susan Kent
Stiglich Construction    Stiglich, Robert
Sun Ray Plumbing & Heating, Inc.    Roeske, Glenn
Sun Ray Plumbing & Heating, Inc.    Roeske, Steve
Supply Chain Services    Boyd, Ken
Tartan High School    Ehrmantraut, Adam
Tartan High School    Jorgensen, Melissa
Tartan High School    Kapaun, Vicki
Tartan High School    Munter, Bryan
Tartan High School    Spreiter, Craig
TeqOne    Rude, Daniel
The Four Firkins    Alvey, Jason
The Waters of Oakdale    Hamilton, Lia
TLC Veterinary Hospital    Clinch, Houstoun
TLC Veterinary Hospital    Langness, Kathy
Twin Cities-Metro Certified Dev Comp    Ingebrand, Peter
US Bank    Admundson, Chris
US Bank    Smidt, Theresa
Washington County Commissioner-District 2    Bearth, Ted
Washington County Workforce Center    Crawford, Robert
Washington County Workforce Center    Simonson, Tina
Western Bank    Jurisch, Debbie
Western Bank    McNamara, Rich
Wipfli, LLP    Palmer, Chuck
Xcel Energy    Sedlacek, Jake


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