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Social Media Lunch, January 22nd

The first Wednesday of the month was a busy time – so in reviewing what Wednesday would work better… with the Chamber meetings on the 2nd Wednesday, we’ve moved the new scheduled date for the Social Media Lunch to the third Wednesday of the month.  (However, to note, there will be no meeting in February)  We can discuss the 2020 schedule further at our next meeting to make sure this fits and schedule accordingly.

January’s Topic:  Facebook Event Pages

  • Why are they important
  • How to Create a Facebook Event

A hint on the “why”… there are a few reasons, but one is that your event can be added to the MNbump Event listings for the County.  As of today’s insights, the MNbump Facebook page has reached 8,742 different Facebook users over the past 28 days – but we not only reached them… the stats show that the posts in the last 28 days received 11,728 engagements (which is the number of times people have engaged with our posts in the last 28 days – likes, comments, shares).  So, when we connect your event with our Facebook page, you’ll be reaching more people! … and of course, we’ll discuss the other advantages too.

Reminder:  These are informal lunch meetings where everyone brings their own lunch and drink – and joins in conversation after the initial presentation.

If you missed the last lunch, you missed a good one!  🙂  Video below.


Christmas Season in Ortonville

Such joy! — and busy.  Christmas time in Ortonville.

Last night’s vocal concert at the Ortonville High School  – the combination of generational inclusion  – painted a beautiful picture of who we are as a community.

The annual Hymn Sing at Abiding Faith Free Lutheran Church (open to congregations to join in) was just beautiful!

A Short Clip from the Christmas Carolers on Santa Day

And, to top off Santa Day, the annual Lighted Parade in Ortonville!


Presentation: Branding

November’s Social Media lunch was held on November 20th with Kelley Nemitz of 360 Design House, Inc.  We had a number of our “regulars” that could not make it to the presentation that day so Kelley was kind enough to let me videotape so that they were able to view later.  And, since then has ok’d my request to post the video on our website for all of our businesses to view!  The handouts from the presentation are being emailed to those that had registered for the meeting.  Check out the Gallery section (LINK) of her website for examples of her work.

On a side note, it was great to have Jackie Turner of the Southwest Initiative Foundation join us for this Social Media Lunch!  Jackie and the Foundation were instrumental in starting our Social Media Lunch program several years ago.  Things have evolved but the concept is still in place.

This was a great presentation – hope you get a chance to take a look!  I did not include the question and answer portion at the end – which was very interesting; however, there were some questions and discussions that were a bit more personal to a business or two and best left out of this public viewing.  (to be a part of those conversations, you need to join us for lunch!)

November Social Media Lunch – Branding

We will have a speaker/presenter from Canby for this month’s Social Media Networking Lunch.

We are changing up the “Wednesday” to November 20th
Time:  Noon
Location:   Ortonville Media Center, 412 2nd St NW, Ortonville, MN
(lower level of the Ortonville Library)

Branding is one of the most important parts of your business. An effective brand strategy will set you apart from the crowd, tell your unique story, help you attract your ideal customers, and establish trust, all while staying true to who you are. Whether you are starting a new business, or just need to clarify your existing one, crafting an effective brand strategy is essential.

If you’re thinking about branding but you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed, join us on November 20th. Kelley Nemitz from 360 Design House will present the basics of branding and give tips on how to get started. Topics will include:

  • What is a brand?
  • Telling your brand story
  • What is my brand purpose?
  • Brand spirit/personality
  • Defining your ideal customer
  • Establishing brand positioning
  • Crafting your brand style (logo, colors, fonts, images, grids/layouts, tone of voice…)

Reminder:  These are informal lunch meetings where everyone brings their own lunch and drink – and joins in conversation after the initial presentation.

If you plan to attend the meeting, please fill out the form below – so that I can gauge if we have enough seating.  However, if you do not RSVP and at the last minute decide to come – please do!

Local Author Presentation: Claudia Sellin

Of course, I’ll start out with a picture of the amazing brunch (peach french toast with sausages) that was catered by Crazy Apron Catering.  It was truly as delicious as it looks!

I’m a member of one of our local organizations in Ortonville that gets together once per month (September through May) and enjoys great food, conversation and a presentation by a person or organization from the area.  This month’s presentation was a delightful (and humorous) share by Claudia Sellin on her book “You Can be Anything You Want to Be!  Says Who?”  The video below provides an introduction to the book – then she went on to share various pieces of the book… which were so relatable and hilarious!  I’ve just started the book… and picked up a few copies which will make perfect gifts!  As one of the MNbump bloggers, I find this book to have an extra interest… reading about the life of someone who also grew up in Ortonville (bonus for me:  as a babyboomer), moved away and has now returned to Ortonville – there seems to be so many of those stories lately and I’d love to hear them all!

On a side note, the MNbump website is currently underway with a new section for businesses, organizations, and churches to help connect our residents.  So if you’re looking for an organization to connect with check out this link (updates will be added over the next few weeks):


Northridge Apartment Specs, OHS Homecoming & the 2019 Art’s Meander

It was a busy week for all ages in the Ortonville area!

Many of you have noticed the activity at the Northridge building (I know this because of the number of texts I’ve received!)  Yes, the work has begun – and I can share the Phase I and Phase II apartment layout with you!  Phase I is the complete northern hall/end with Phase II being the apartments along the hallway that runs north and south.   LINK:  Apartment Layout — The contractors have an estimated 60 working days to complete Phase I with Phase II to follow early next summer.  Phase I includes Six 2-bedrooms, two 1-bedrooms and an efficiency apartment.

More details to follow!   — If you are interested in renting and would like more information once the project is complete (or nearing completion) of the first phase, please fill in the no-obligation form.  LINK to FORM

I’m excited to see this project get started – the property will provide some lovely rental options with mature trees, great landscaping and private sheltered picnic area in the back portion – and great location next to parks, swimming pool, and golf course – while maintaining a quiet space.

Homecoming week started with Volleyball on September 30th, Coronation at the School on Tuesday evening with more Volleyball, Cross Country and the Football game after the Friday afternoon parade.  WITH the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl starting on October 4th and ending Sunday the 6th.  So, downtown Friday afternoon was busy with activities going strong – Parade & Meandering!  Below you’ll find a few highlights from the activities that I attended throughout the week.

Highlights from Homecoming Week

A couple of amazing songs performed during Coronation

My Ortonville & RedBarn Meander Weekend stops +
MNbump Connector Mary Hillman covered Odessa and Connector Janine Teske covered Clinton

And if you missed the article… check out MNbump’s article on US Senator Tina Smith’s visit to Ortonville area health services:  LINK:

Click to view a One-Page Photo Snapshot of Ortonville is not only our City Government page, but it is also our link-hub to connect across our community, Big Stone County and the surrounding area.

  • On Big Stone Lake:  26 miles long & the headwaters of the Minnesota River
  • Awarding winning & growing Health Care – Clinic & Hospital Web Link
    Currently 7 MDs with 2 more coming on board by November 2020
  • Senior Housing on the Golf Course Web Link
  • 18-Hole Municipal Golf Course (beautiful course! Web Link)
  • Check out our Business & Organizations on the Chamber Website
  • Great School System!  School Website
  • Big Stone County is well connected – work from your home!
  • Find Employment
  • Find Housing

Ortonville is an MNbump Community!

Lingonberry’s Lodge Photos, Idle Spurs Inn Update, New Dentist sets date to open & More!

View from Main Street

Oh so beautifully done!  I took a tour of the new Lingonberry’s Lodge on Main Street yesterday afternoon – wow!  I had a real urge to relax in a comfortable chair and look out the nicely tinted windows overlooking Main Street… and just stay awhile.

Khadija will be listing all of the local businesses that contributed to this project soon in the Ortonville Independent – it is quite a list of local talent.

You can see from the photos below, you can step out the front door for your breakfast (or lunch if you get up a little later!) at Lingonberry’s Pastry & Coffeeshop or the back door to step onto the Coffeeshop’s patio and enter from there. (breakfast or lunch will be included for each room)

Lingonberry’s Lodge opens to its first guests today!  What a wonderful addition to Ortonville.

And speaking of awesome new lodging in Ortonville, Idle Spurs Inn is coming along wonderfully too!  They do still have four rooms to complete – but the rooms that are ready are full for this weekend!  Check out the room photo below for a sampling of what you’d find – and check out their Facebook Page for more photos!

I know you’ve been following along on the new dental office – and the open date has been set!  They will be seeing their first patients on September 23rd!

Helping Hands Therapeutic Massage & Body Work – Kelly Lang – has her new website up and running!  She said she has a few tweaks left but it is ready for viewing!  Make sure to check out her services — and her blog which includes an interesting read on her health story.   LINK to Website

… and a quick update – if you’re in town for Cornfest this weekend – Ortonville Mystery Games (escape rooms) does now have two rooms up and working.  From the reports that I’ve seen, a few have been able to escape without running out of time – but it is not a cakewalk!  🙂  For hours and more information, LINK:  Check out their Facebook Page

It is Cornfest weekend!  Plan your weekend around the festivities –

cornfest poster 2019 Updated

Updates coming to the Info Kiosk Area

The Ortonville EDA took action to move forward with the first phase of the info Kiosk area on Second Street (main street – oh, how we confuse people on this one!) just north of the Holiday Gas Station.

The photo below was taken last year when the City Crew demolished and removed the corner structure.  (also, thanks to the City Crew for removing some trees earlier in the year and making this area more visible!)  I’ve imposed the new sign in the area to reflect the 24′ x 8′ graphic.  I know – my skills leave a bit for the imagination – but hopefully, this gives you a good idea!

Dan Kafka (of Pro Image Partners) shared a great idea to continue the sign’s theme across the rest of the retaining wall.  Paint the background a blue similar to that in the sign and add clouds periodically across – he thought maybe the EDA should talk to the Arts Council about some help with that – GREAT IDEA! (heads up Big Stone Arts Council!) — we can then utilize 5 to 6 of the 4’x4′ panelboards in various locations along the retaining wall with information call-outs — that can easily be replaced for special events/occasions and returned to the original once they were over.

As for the flower areas and some sprucing of the area… we have Wanda Berry!  Wanda has been one of our awesome volunteers who has tended so many of the various flower garden areas around Ortonville – whenever she sees one that could use a little help.  The EDA has approved funds for the purchase of the plants and Wanda has agreed to draw up a plan for the lot and then she and a few of her volunteer friends will plant and complete the new facelift to this corner.  I’ll certainly update the blog with volunteer photos as this phase moves forward!   Also, the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber has agreed to set a couple of their new white benches in this kiosk area when they are not in use for Chamber events.  (The Chamber had their benches made and purchased from Main Street Industries in Clinton.)

The EDA is excited to incorporate the new “Water Tower Logo” in this corner as the entrance to downtown Ortonville!  The Chamber will also be utilizing this graphic on their billboard as you come into Ortonville from Big Stone City.  You can currently pick up T-Shirts with this graphic from Pro Image Partners and at the Clubhouse Pro Shop area of Off the Green Resturant!

And… a big shout out to the two people who created this new graphic for Ortonville — David Rausch for the graphic design and Aaryn Schaub (Hoye) for the tagline!  This all started with the Mayor, Gene Hausauer, suggesting if there was to be work/upgrades to the water tower we should look at something other than all-caps block letters of “ORTONVILLE”.   Read a bit about the project and the two winners of the contest – LINK HERE.


New Dental Office, Northridge Building, Idle Spurs Inn, Pickleball and more!

A few quick community updates.

Northridge Building.  The new owners, Roop Brar & Swachetan Bajwa, have requested quotes for the apartment project materials.  Once the quotes have been reviewed and materials ordered, their contractor will begin work.  They are currently looking to start the rehab project in September.  They will be providing highlights on the progress of their construction – so we will keep you posted!  In the meantime, if you think that you may be interested in renting and would like to be kept on a notification list, you can complete a short form – CLICK HERE FOR FORM

The new dental facility is coming along nicely!

No updates on the date they plan to open… just a quick picture to see the work that continues!

Idle Spurs Inn – updates coming along beautifully!

Idle Spurs Inn… if you have not checked out their Facebook Page to see this amazing transformation, please do now!  Brandy has awesome taste in decorating.  The updates are thorough and expansive.  Link to Idle Spurs Inn Facebook Page

O.M.G. Ortonville Mercantile and Gallery

And, you’ve likely checked out our new awesome retail store – O.M.G. – but they have now purchased the old Independent Building, connected the buildings and soon we will have O.M.G. – Ortonville Mystery Games (escape rooms).  Greg Lockwood has been very busy preparing the new building – well, I’m sure Sue has been doing a few things too I just have not seen her over there working.  🙂  I’m pretty excited about their new expansion – hoping they have one room done before the Bike MS 2-day stopover in July.  A fun addition to Ortonville’s Main Street!

Coming soon an upgraded & expanded Pickleball court!

Don Sherman attended the last Ortonville EDA meeting and presented plans for what he hoped to be the future of the Pickleball Courts.  They currently play in a portion of the school’s Athletic Field.  This is quite the growing sport – for all ages – and the space they are using is in great need of upgrading with no alternative places for them to play.  The Ortonville EDA did approve $7,000 for Phase I of the project – which will provide many of the updates need and expanding the court to 4 courts.  However, Don and Becky Parker (President of the Ortonville EDA) will be attending a School Board meeting to discuss details and approvals for the upgrades and continued use of the space.  Work in progress!

We will be using as the landing page on the City website for those traveling to Ortonville on the Bike MS trip.

Bike MS will be in coming through Ortonville and staying for two days!  July 23rd and July 24th.  We will have about 450 people in town for the Bike MS ride.  The Chamber has asked the Ortonville EDA to be in charge of the Information Booth (of course I immediately reached out to a great partner – Ginger Athey!)  The City of Ortonville Website will now have a landing page for Bike MS and as we go into the future will be the landing page for other events and groups that will be coming through town.  We thought would make a great Welcome page for such activities.  We can provide information and links that pertain to the event in particular and share some points of interest and new “check it out” places.  You can check out the page – it is currently a work in progress but hope to have complete early next week so that we can start sharing the link to the riders so they can plan the places they want to check out while they are in town! 

As locals, I hope you’ll check out the link now and as we have new events and change the page – share it with friends and family (well, don’t start sharing it until next week – I’m not quite ready for everyone to see it yet!) and PLEASE, if you have a suggestion for this “Community event welcome page” let me know! or 320-839-6155.  We want to look our best!  🙂

As some of you know, we’ve been having a Social Media Lunch once a month for a few months now.  A casual lunch to share tips and discuss social media – well, I want to give a quick shout out to Jill Dale of Cenbank for her input and discussion on this month’s topic.  I will be implementing some things that will help with online connections with our local businesses – details will be coming soon.  In the meantime… check out this video from Cenbank – fun!  🙂

I’m sure you still have time to sign-up for the Jay Stock Memorial Golf Tournament – details are in the video below…

AND… it has been busy!  Check out the videos below on the three events that we’ve had in town so far this month… Lake Days was just last weekend, the Regional Art Crawl (unfortunately I was not feeling the best and did not make it to all of the artist locations – so much more to see – and so many people in town enjoying the day!),  and the Old Fashioned Picnic!   The videos are only a couple of minutes long and give some highlights from the event.  #LoveWhereYouLive

Oh… and just in case you missed it the Ortonville Kindergarten Graduation.  It’s not just handing out diplomas anymore – it is quite a program!  (I was out of town for this event – and thank my sister Heidi Karels for taking the video)