Latest Posts

Facebook – Promoting Your Business or Organization

Our Social Media Lunch tomorrow will be promoting your business with Facebook.

Time:  Noon
Location:  44 2nd Street NW, Ortonville
(Lower Level of the Community Center – or just North of Shady Oak Realty)

  • Tips on topics to post on Facebook
  • Tips on Engaging your Followers & Getting more Followers
  • Where to find the Analytics so that you can evaluate your activity
  • What do the numbers mean:
    • Page Views
    • Post Reach
    • Post Engagements
    • Page Followers
  • Those in Attendance –
    • How do you currently use Facebook?
    • Tips on Facebook activity that you’ve found engaged your followers?

If you do not have a Facebook Page and are considering one, this is still a great lunch to attend.  You’ll be able to hear how it used which will help you in formulating your Facebook Marketing plan.  Either I (Vicki) or Janine Teske would be happy to set up an appointment to work with you on an individual basis to help set up your Page.

Reminder:  These are informal lunch meetings where everyone brings their own lunch and drink – and joins in conversation after the initial agenda.  Of course, there will be discussions throughout the hour!

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


Starting a Website – Picking out a Domain Name

One topic that has been suggested for the Social Media Lunch meetings is starting a website.  (Tomorrow is our first Social Media Lunch for 2019, CLICK HERE to see topics & RSVP if you’d like to come)

So, if you are contemplating a new website, here is a great link for tips on picking out a domain name:  How to Choose the Best Domain Name (11 Tips and Tools)

One of our upcoming Social Media Lunch meetings will be a discussion on websites.  We’ll have some general information for discussion – and we (Janine Teske & I) will be able to share some tips on WordPress and Wix.  The article that I linked in this post (Domain Names) is written on a site wpbeginnerwp = WordPress.  This is what I use for a number of our local websites & blogs… this site,, and both Janine and I use WordPress for Janine is also familiar with Wix.

If you’d like to have your email address added to our notification list for future Social Media Lunch meetings, fill in your name and email address below and we’ll send you an agenda before each monthly meeting – and you can decide from there if you’d like to attend!

Social Media Lunch – February!

After reviewing the survey responses, the best day of the week is Wednesday.  So, the monthly meetings will be scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month from noon to 1:00 p.m.  As noted before, these will be informal lunch discussions focused on a topic of interest to the group at large.  Although the intent was to focus on online tools, there were other topics that were noted on the initial survey so we’ll leave the scope of discussion topics a bit more open-ended!

Big Stone Area Growth has committed additional funding for the MNbump Initiative in 2019 expanding the scope of their workforce recruitment and community development work – so we’ll kick-off the monthly meetings with the topics below.

  1. MNbump Update (admin changes & expansion)
  2. How MNbump & EDA Can Assist Business Promotions
  3. How residents/businesses can help promote the area
  4. Recruiting Employees – how we can help you
  5. Brief Discussion items: Child Care & Housing
  6. Share topics of interest for future meetings

Reminder:  It is a “bring your own lunch & drink” meeting!

If you plan to attend, please just fill in your name on the form below.  This is helpful to know if I have enough space in my office or if we’ll need to go upstairs.  However, if you do not RSVP and at the last minute decide to come – please do!  I’m looking forward to these monthly meetings.

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.

  • Big Stone Lake
  • 18-Hole Municipal Golf Course (beautiful course! Web Link)
  • Amazing Health Care – Clinic & Hospital Web Link
  • Wonderful Senior Housing on the Golf 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!

Ortonville is an MNbump Community!

TV Programs Aired – Information Requests Coming in!

In talking with Chamber Director Mary Hillman yesterday, the recent airing of Big Stone Lake fishing segments on Midwest Outdoors TV has brought phone calls and emails from Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota & North Dakota!  Mary also gave out the Chamber Website address on the segment below – the Chamber website activity has more than doubled over any of the last four months for website visits!

It is nice to know that as we are bundled up from the cold blast coming in this week, that visitors from all over are watching Big Stone Lake fishing episodes and checking out our websites as they make their future travel plans!   Great job Mary & Artie on the video below!

You can check out Midwest Outdoors TV’s  YouTube channel for past Big Stone Lake episodes for some great fishing tips!

Water Tower Art/Design Contest

The City of Ortonville will be working on the water tower this summer which will end with new paint.  Rather than painting Ortonville in block letters on two sides, they are open to suggestions for a design change.

The Ortonville EDA is offering a Water Tower Art/Design Contest!

The winning design will receive $700.00 with an additional $300.00 to be donated to an Ortonville organization of your choice (i.e. Early childhood Initiative, 4-H, Food Shelf, etc.)

  • We are looking for a simple design that can be easily read or understood from a distance.
  • The design will be selected based on quality, technical feasibility, and relevance to Ortonville (best way to brand Ortonville for passers-by – i.e. Lake, golf, fish, or ??)
  • The design must be an original and unpublished – submitted as a drawing or print form on a standard sheet of paper (letter or legal size)
  • Understanding that the design selected will be reproduced and the end result may not be identical to the design drawing that you submitted.

UPDATE 1/23/19:  Due to questions coming in, please note that there is no limit to the number of submissions that you can make to this contest!

Contest Deadline (is fast!):  February 11th by 3:00 p.m.
Deliver to the Ortonville EDA Office at 44 Second Street (Lower level of the Community Center)

For questions, please call Vicki at 320-839-6155

The Ortonville EDA has Moved Downtown!

I am excited to be located downtown in our main business district! When I say I’ve moved, I mean all the heavy office furniture/equipment has arrived (thanks to the City Crew!), I have a phone and internet. Other office details will be coming along over the next week or so.  (EDA Information is located on the City’s website)

Now that I’m here, it is time to schedule the first social media lunch (monthly event).  From the survey sent out, it appears that noon on Wednesdays works the best.  So, the meetings will be scheduled as follows:

The first Wednesday of the Month
Time:  Noon to 1:00
A casual gathering & bring your own lunch
If you are unable to make it but would like to sit in over the phone – or maybe a video option, we can make arrangements!

February 6th – First Meeting
Topic:  How to engage in social media to promote each other & the area
The discussion will center on connecting with the Ortonville EDA, MNbump (some new changes there!), and the BSLA Chamber (and each other!).  Beyond promoting your business, I will be looking for discussion and input on how the Ortonville EDA & MNbump can provide special links or information that would be helpful when you are advertising/searching for a new employee.  Ways we can help with your search & promote our assets to encourage job seekers to check out this area of the state.

I will be sending out more information as we get closer to the 6th! If you have not completed the survey and would like to receive email notifications of these monthly meetings, please share your name & email address on the form below (it may even be filled out for you already – in that case, just hit SUBMIT!)

Video Highlights: Lots of Basketball this Weekend!

Friday night was Boys JV, Girls Varsity & Boys Varsity vs Underwood
Saturday was an Elementary Boys Basketball Tournament
All here, home, in Ortonville!

All highlight videos will be posted here – over the next day.  I’ll add each as they are ready – so check back if the game you were looking for isn’t up yet. If you’re family and you’d like a link to download a video, please message me on Facebook.

First, 5th Grade Boys – there was an end-of-game buzzer basket.  Fun to see!

Kuechenmeister stacked a few baskets in a row in the second half of the game Friday night! (Tyson lead in points at 23 – Kuechenmeister at 16 – per Adam of KDIO Radio

JV Boys Game

5th Grade Boys Tournament Game 1

Ortonville Study Club

What an interesting group of ladies to be a part of! I was invited to present as a program last year (to give a community/economic development update) and shortly after asked if I’d like to join. They meet one time per month (summer months off) over lunch – with an interesting program (great for us to always continue learning what is locally around us!), a delicious lunch (Crazy Apron Catering delivers – so of course the food is awesome) and a short meeting.

Due to a funeral, we had a very early lunch yesterday – and an awesome program! Melanie Reiners (United Methodist Church Pastor whom I’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years through Julie French’s introduction) Melanie shared photos and information on her travels with her husband, Roger, to Sierra Leone at the Kissy UMC Eye Hospital in Freetown.  Very interesting with such personal connections!  I’ve scanned the brochure that she provided as part of her presentation – so you can read it here (PDF):  Central Global Vision Fund

Although I was unable to make their last meeting, the meeting before was Craig Randleman who provide information on his clock repair business.  He covered some amazing history of “keeping time” of which I had no idea!  It is really amazing when you hear someone as detailed as Craig speak… just how much information you really do not know.


I’m looking forward to next month’s meeting – we won’t know until we arrive what the program will be about – but it is sure to be very interesting & informative!

I love this part… we read this together at the start of the meeting:
Keep us, oh God, from pettiness; Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.  Let us be done with fault-finding, and leave off self-seeking.  May we put away all pretenses, and meet each other face to face, without self-pity and without prejudice.  May we never be hasty in judgment and always generous.  Make us to grow calm, serene, and gentle.  Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straight-forward, and unafraid.  Grant that we may realize it is the little things that create differences; that in the big things in life we are one.  Any may we strive to touch and to know the great common heart of us all; and O Lord God, let us never forget to be kind.

We have so many wonderful groups and organizations in Ortonville!