OBPA: Connecting the community

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

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 Business and Professional Association, with its members and nearly three decades supporting the community, is planning another active year in 2014.

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

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

Bill Burns, OBPA president and president of Burns Insurance Agency, says during the next two years the OBPA will be focusing on its partnership with ISD 622. He noted that not only is the school district a large employer in the area, it is also responsible for influencing current students, who are the future leaders of the community. Connecting students with business leaders in the community who can serve as mentors would likely have beneficial outcomes, Burns adds.

The OBPA has also recently revamped its website, which now benefits OBPA members more than ever by driving web traffic to members’ own websites. The website also emphasizes a higher social media presence.

OBPA Calendar of Events

Spring Fling • April 10

The Oakdale Business and Professional Association will be hosting a Spring Fling at the American Legion Post 39 in North St. Paul. This event will replace the annual Gold Plate Dinner as the association’s largest fundraising, social and networking event with fun activities including entertainment by a DJ and a raffle with a major prize.
Tickets are $50 per person and will help raise funds for the association that will enable it 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 12

This is the one meeting a year in which the OBPA invites everyone in the community to attend. In place of the regular monthly meeting, the OBPA has a picnic-style lunch. For this event, the OBPA fires up a giant charcoal grill and serves nearly 1,000 hot dogs to local business leaders, elected officials, families and residents. The event is free.
Limited sponsorships are available annually. This is certainly a “can’t miss” event.
For more information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Marc Cove, at Platinum Bank, 651-332-5200 or mcove@platinumbankmn.com.

OBPA Community Golf Tournament • June 23

Each year in June, the OBPA organizes a 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, at 651-403-1942 or angie.propp@gmail.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 during early December. Applicants’ names are supplied by school social workers. Here’s your chance to step up and join one of the most rewarding community projects sponsored by the OBPA. Volunteer to sponsor a family and shop and wrap their gifts, or volunteer to help distribute the gifts.
For more information contact John Larson at Hope Church, 651-738-9652 ext. 207 or email john.larson@hopechurchoakdale.com.

Oakdale Winter Wonderland • December

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! The OBPA  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.

Strong businesses, strong community

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

“The OBPA is all about the community and being active in promoting community events and businesses within Oakdale to make them profitable,” he said. “We want to help businesses in any way we can. This allows businesses the opportunity to work with the residents of Oakdale and others in the community to improve their reputation and name recognition around the region.”

The OPBA 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 OBPA takes an active role in the community in and around Oakdale. With Holiday Helping Hands, the OBPA and Tartan High School students collect and distribute food and gifts to families in need each December.

“We have the resources – both financial and relational – to be able to address the issue without overburdening any particular group of people,” explained John Larson, a pastor at Hope Church who serves on the OBPA board of directors.

Larson said that the OBPA 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 OBPA is huge,” Larson said.

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

Stacie Penn, of Carol Mathey’s Center for Children and Families, lauds the OBPA’s scholarship support.

“OBPA’s commitment has been there on the long term for this,” Penn said.

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

“Our hope is that they will continue by volunteering in their communities, even if they don’t stay in Oakdale,” Penn said.

Recently the OBPA has increased its involvement with Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, an organization that provides support to families of active service members of the United States military. OBPA members supply essential services families may need, especially if the head of the household is stationed overseas.

One of the ways the OBPA 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 OBPA, 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.

Board of Directors 2014

President • Bill Burns • Burns Insurance Agency

Vice President • Ben Smetana  • Oak Springs Chiropractic

Past President • Daniel Rude • TeqOne

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

Secretary • Todd Rudeen • Platinum Bank

Education • 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

Membership • Holly Koep  • Lillie Suburban Newspapers

Promotion • Ted H. Lillie • Lillie Suburban Newspapers

Civic Events • Marc Cove • Platinum Bank

Spring Fling • Tony Schwartz • Allegra/Image 360

Summerfest • Amy Brown • State Farm Insurance

City of Oakdale Representative • Craig Waldron • City of Oakdale

Summerfest Medallion Hunt • Larry Eberhard  • Keller Williams Premier Realty

Website • Dan Peterson • Professional Business Services Inc.

At Large Members • Caleb Brunz • Paul Davis Restoration and Dick Fisher • E-merge Online

OBPA 2014 Membership Meeting

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

Feb. 6    Oak Marsh Golf Club

March 6    Oak Marsh Golf Club

April 3     Prom Center

May 1     Prom Center

June 12     Family Picnic Oakdale Fire Station #1

Aug. 7    Lake Elmo Event Center

Sept. 4     Lake Elmo Event Center

Oct. 2     Holiday Inn and Suites St. Paul NE

Nov. 6    Holiday Inn and Suites St. Paul NE

Dec. 4     Holiday Inn and Suites St. Paul NE

OBPA 2014 Board Meetings

Feb 20     Platinum Bank

Mar 20     Duke’s

Apr 17     Duke’s

May 15    PINZ

Jun 19    PINZ

Jul 17    PINZ

Aug 21    Hilton Garden Inn

Sep 18    Hilton Garden Inn

Oct 16     Sgt. Peppers

Nov 20     Sgt. Peppers

Dec 18    Sgt. Peppers

Acumen Legal Advisors    Thom Okoneski
Alerus Financial    Scott A. Johnson
Alerus Financial    Robert Hartzell
Alerus Financial    Barbara Sheldon
All Family Dental, Ltd.    Richard Timm
Allegra / image 360    Tony Schwartz
Allstate Insurance, Kris Kiefer-Vik Agency    Kris Kiefer-Vik
American Legion Post 39    Tammy Ryan
Amy Brown Insurance Agency, Inc.
-State Farm Insurance     Amy Brown
Anchor Bank    Alison Young
Anchors Aweigh    Paul and Nancy Neuman
Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning    Aaron Cave
Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning    Eric Mattren
Apostolic Bible Institute    Gerald Grant
BARE The Spa & Soap Bar Company    Chad Lasch
Berwald Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Inc.    Gene Berwald
Berwald Roofing and Sheet Metal Company Inc.    Ken Berwald
Bighley Auto Body    Bill Bighley
Bighley Auto Body    Mike Bighley
Blue Ribbon Bait & Tackle    Josh Stevenson
Bridge21 Minnesota, Inc.    Paul Balfanz
Bridge21 Minnesota, Inc.    Jackie Benning Daley
Buffalo Wild Wings    Kristin Schumacher
Burke, Wheeler & Assoc., P.A.    Jack Burke
Burke, Wheeler & Assoc., P.A.    Brent Rolling
Burke, Wheeler & Assoc., P.A.    Kelley Wheeler
Burns Insurance Agency    Bill Burns
Canvas Health    Kelly Markrof
Cardinal Realty, Homebuilders,
Remodeling, Appraisals    Tom Wiener
Carol Mathey’s Center for Children & Families    Stacie Penn
Carriage Realty, Inc.    Karen Stang
Carriage Realty, Inc.    Kevin Stepka
Castle Elementary School    Allie Storti
Cavalier Barbers    Frank Orsello
Citizens Community Federal    Peter Onstad
City of Oakdale    Paul Reinke
City of Oakdale    Lori Pulkrabek
City of Oakdale    Sue Barry
City of Oakdale    Craig Waldron
City of Oakdale    Suzanne Warren
City of Oakdale    Dave Schaps
City of Oakdale    Bill Schmitt
City of Oakdale    Brian Bachmeier
City of Oakdale    Bill Sullivan
City of Oakdale    Bob Streetar
City of Oakdale    Carmen Sarrack
City of Oakdale    Kent Dotas
City of Oakdale    Julie Williams
City of Oakdale    Stan Karwoski
Clair Wagner & Sons Insurance Agency    Bruce Wagner
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty    Warren J. Wessel
Crossroads Properties    Mike Conners
Crossroads Properties    David Johnson
Dege Garden Center    George Dege
Delta Construction    Dan Peterson
Dukes Pizza, Pub & Grill    Gordy Jones
Dukes Pizza, Pub & Grill    Mike Whichello
e-Merge Online Marketing    Dick Fisher
Eagle Point Elementary School    Shawn Bromeland
East Suburban Resources    Ed Boeve
Ecumen Lakeview Commons    Maryann Schaefer
Eye Care Center    Mitchell Albers
Eye Care Center    Ashley Herde
Eye Care Center    Gregory Kraupa
Eye Care Center    Tina McCarty
Eye Care Center    Steven Nauman
Eye Care Center    Bradley Richter
Finishing Touch Car Care Inc.    Dan Meyer
Furlong’s Liquor, Inc.    Dan Furlong
Furlong’s Liquor, Inc.    Terry Furlong
Garry Insurancenter    Joe Garry
Garry Insurancenter    Dave Szczepanski
Go East    Tim Deis
Go East    Ric Pace
Greg Foote Jewelers    Greg Foote
Highland Bank    Angie Propp
Hilton Garden Inn St. Paul/Oakdale    Sheila Lukonen
Holiday Inn & Suites    Mo French
Holiday Inn & Suites    Gretchen Willis
Hope Church    John Larson
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale    Patty Phillips
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale    Troy Miller
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul - Maplewood - Oakdale    Chuck Ericksen
I.S.D. #622 North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale    Jennifer McNeil
Image 360 - Woodbury    Gina Kazmerski
JA Counter & Assoc.    Corey Purkat
Jack Buckley Financial    Jack C. Buckley
Jerry’s Floor Store    Heather Cullen
JW’s Bierstube    Jim Yanz
Keller Williams Premier Realty    Pat Kinney
Keller Williams Premier Realty    Larry Eberhard
Kwik Trip    Thomas Vierling
Lake Elmo Bank    Jodi Christensen
Lake Elmo Inn    John Schiltz
Lake Elmo Inn    Chris Schiltz
Lee Stoerzinger, Inc.    Lee Stoerzinger
Lee Stoerzinger, Inc.    Maggie Stoerzinger
Legacy Dance Studio, Inc.    Eileen Drikakis
Lillie Suburban Newspapers, Inc.    Holly Koep
Lillie Suburban Newspapers, Inc.    Ted H. Lillie
Little Minds Learning Center    Megan Gaulke
Machine Shed Restaurant    Brian Roberts
Marcus Oakdale Cinemas    David Bresette
Merit Chevrolet    Bruce Rinkel
Merit Chevrolet    Chris Rinkel
Minuteman Press    Troy Miller
Minuti-Ogle Co., Inc.    Thomas G. Panek
MTD Communications, Inc.    Russ Barrett
Nighthawk Security    Grant Gorecki
Nighthawk Security    Joseph Castro
Nighthawk Security    Kevin Britz
North High School    Greg Nelson
North High School    Jed Helwig
North High School    Mary Mielzarek
Oak Marsh Golf Club    Nicole Anderson
Oak Marsh Golf Club    Krista Fahey
Oak Marsh Golf Club    Steve Whillock
Oak Meadows    Connie Dow
Oak Meadows    Kim Prayfrock
Oak Springs Chiropractic:
A Creating Wellness Center    Andy Lundgren
Oak Springs Chiropractic:
A Creating Wellness Center    Heidi M. Salonek
Oak Springs Chiropractic:
A Creating Wellness Center    Benjamin W. Smetana
Oakdale Collision Center    Michelle Juen
Oakdale Elementary School    Peter Mau
Oakdale Fire Department    Jeff Anderson
Oakdale Fire Department    Kevin Wold
Oakdale Goodyear Auto Service    Chris Glass
Oakdale Optical Center    Trent Cole
Oakdale Wesleyan Church    Paul Tillman
OSI Physical Therapy      Mike Brown
Parkview Chiropractic Clinic    Lynn Kriva
Paul Davis Restoration    Caleb Brunz
PINZ    Amy Rowlinson
PINZ    April Timp
Platinum Bank    Marc L. Cove
Platinum Bank    Todd Rudeen
Polar Family Chiropractic Center    Donald R. Mandel
Postal Credit Union    Liz Fleischhacker
Premier Banks    Michael Kinderman
Premier Banks    Kelly Regan
Proffesional Business Services, Inc.    Dan Peterson
Prom Catering / Prom Center    Amy Carter
Prom Catering / Prom Center    Lisa St. Germain
Radiant Change Painting    Stephanie Brunz
Rasmussen College    Sarah Gallus
Remodeling    Mike Campbell
Retail Operations Training Company, Inc.    Bob Gumatz
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
Shar’els Cafe    Sharon Buersken
Sheraton St Paul Woodbury Hotel    Angela Hauer
Sheraton St Paul Woodbury Hotel    Tara Schubring
Silver Oak Development, Inc.    Paul Reinke
Skyview Elementary School    Carol Erickson
Skyview Middle School    Christina Hester
Spartan Martial Arts    Tom Schmitz
Spartan Promotional Group    Mike Hohenwald
St. Paul Pioneer Press    Jill Carson
State Representative    Leon Lillie
State Representative    JoAnn Ward
Sun Ray Plumbing & Heating, Inc.    Glenn Roeske
Sun Ray Plumbing & Heating, Inc.    Steve Roeske
Tartan High School    John Bezek
Tartan High School    Bryan Munter
Tartan High School    Andy Mensing
Tartan High School    Vicki Kapaun
Tartan High School    Craig Spreiter
TeqOne    Daniel Rude
TLC Veterinary Hospital    Houstoun Clinch
TLC Veterinary Hospital    Kathy Langness
Twin Cities-Metro Certified Dev Comp    Peter Ingebrand
Universal Recycling Technologies    Megan Schindeldecker
US Bank    Sherry Minor
Volt Workforce Solutions     Markda Awada
Washington County Commissioner-District 2    Ted Bearth
Washington County Workforce Center    Robert Crawford
Washington County Workforce Center    Tina Simonson
Western Bank    Rich McNamara
Western Bank    Debbie Jurisch
Wipfli, LLP    Chuck Palmer
Woodwinds Health Campus    Dina Fassino


Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here