Business briefs for March 18

Avera Medical Group ophthalmologists named 2012 Top Cataract Surgeons

Avera Medical Group ophthalmologists Dr. Curtis Louwagie and Dr. Chris Buntrock were recently named 2012 Top Cataract Surgeons in the U.S. by Sightpath Medical. They were chosen from hundreds of ophthalmic surgeons nationwide.

Sightpath has recognized Louwagie and Buntrock as leading U.S. cataract surgeons based on their demonstration of surgical expertise and a continued pursuit of exceptional patient care through the use of the most advanced technology and surgical techniques. In addition to caring for patients at the Avera Marshall Southwest Ophthalmology office in Marshall, Louwagie and Buntrock serve cataract patients in Redwood Falls, Windom, Springfield, Tracy, Montevideo, Granite Falls, Madison and Tyler. Louwagie and Buntrock combined performed more than 1,100 cataract procedures last year, ranking them among this elite group.

Corey J. Skogrand receives award

Corey J. Skogrand, CFP, ChFC, CLU recently received the 2012 Protect, Grow, Give award from RiverSource Life Insurance Co. The award recognizes Ameriprise financial advisers who have reached outstanding benchmarks for helping clients protect income, grow assets and leave a legacy by implementing life and disability income insurance strategies.

Nolting and Johnson recognized for sales, service

Greg Nolting, CFP, CASL, FIC, CLTC, financial consultant and Josh Johnson, FIC, CLTC, financial associate with the Ridgestone Team of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, have qualified for the Summit Circle conference by providing financial guidance and solutions to members of the organization in 2012. Nine percent of Thrivent Financial’s nearly 2,300 financial representatives qualified for this honor.

Nolting and Johnson, of Marshall, are with Thrivent Financial’s Two Rivers Regional Financial Office, serving Lutherans and their family members in the surrounding communities.

Nolting and Johnson will be recognized by their peers from across the country at Thrivent Financial’s annual conference.

True Value Company names Marshall hardware store one of top 13 locations

True Value Company recently recognized 13 True Value hardware stores, selected from each of the co-op’s retail regions, as winners of its sixth annual “Best Hardware Store in Town” international recognition. Store owners Jennifer Johnson and Michael Fox of True Value Home Center in Marshall are one of the winning retailers honored at True Value’s 2013 Spring and Rental Market, in Atlanta, Ga. from Feb. 23-25.

“It is a great honor to win the Best Hardware Store in Town award,” Fox said. “It is a goal we have been reaching towards for quite a while now. It shows the business has gained the confidence of its customers, and that’s something you don’t earn overnight. True Value Home Center is a store that works every day to be the best.”

The store, which got its start as Marshall Lumber Co. in a 20-by-24 foot garage in 1952, now occupies a 38,000 square-foot facility, offering the people of Marshall a Just Ask Rental department, kitchen and bath shop and a complete flooring department, among many other departments and product categories. And despite a Menards opening in the area a couple of years ago, True Value Home Center’s business continues to succeed – all because of its experienced and caring people.

“People are our greatest strength,” said store manager Bob Sternke. “We have an employee who’s been running the rental department for more than 30 years. And he’s not just good with the rental equipment; he’s also great at helping people plan their parties and special events. These are the sort of unique features that make us stand out.”

Sponsored by True Value Company, the “Best Hardware Store in Town” program is designed to recognize retailers who exemplify successful retailing. Stores were self-nominated, or nominated by peer or retail manager and went through a series of selection processes until regional managers narrowed down the top candidates. Mystery shoppers then visited each selected store to gain a customer’s perspective. Stores were evaluated based on physical appearance, product selection, competitive pricing, promotional sales and customer assistance.