Week 13

Week 13

Brit Haskins; Classic Hall Event Center
Darek Vetsch; Wright County Commissioner
Gary Trogstad-Insurance Center of Buffalo and Craig Boysen-BankWest

Brit Haskins grew up on a farm, went to beauty school and was studying for a career in graphic design when she found her fit as the event planner at Classic Hall Event Center in Annandale. Brit shared with the class how she has quadrupled the business in only a few years by using creative marketing and word-of-mouth advertising. Brit also shared her entrepreneurial aspirations of opening a side business doing off-site event planning. The students has many questions for Brit as they are currently in the midst of planning their own event in 2018.

Darek Vetsch co-owned Russell’s on the Lake in Big Lake before deciding to sell last summer. He talked with the students about that decision and the things he learned after 20+ years in the restaurant/catering industry. He currently serves as Wright County Commissioner and has recently started a contracted food business. He challenged the students to “look at what need is not being met and decide if you could meet that need.” Student take-aways included networking, capital management, luxury businesses and competitive risk vs. market risk.

Gary Trogstad worked in the insurance industry for many years, but when it came time to buy the business he needed banking expertise. That’s where Craig Boysen stepped in and the rest, as they say, is history. Gary discussed the ways insurance helps small businesses get things done and protect themselves, as well as the many times he has worked with Craig to expand his business and buy his own building. Craig talked from the banking aspect of managing risk, having a diverse loan portfolio in case an industry is struggling and how banks desire tangible assets when making small business loans. A special thanks to Gary’s staff as well for sharing their employment history and entrepreneurial experiences.

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