West Central Small Business Development Center

sbdc@cord.edu   (218)299-3037


Real people sharing their experiences with the WC and NW SBDC's


Here are some success stories from people that have worked with the West Central and Northwest SBDC's in the past. 

Darrin Swanson (National Winner) - Kit Masters Inc. & Swan Machine LLC

Darrin Swanson

“Never sacrifice quality for speed or cost” and “give back to your community” are the twin pillars of Darrin Swanson’s philosophy as a person and a business owner. Both have paid off handsomely. Darrin is currently CEO and chairman of Kit Masters, Inc. and Swan Machine LLC, two related companies he founded together with his father Keith. Kit Masters and Swan Machine specialize in manufacturing and servicing clutches for heavy-duty vehicles, mostly for the American aftermarket.
Click here to read more

Karrin Lindow - Nevis Lumber


Karrin's father purchased Nevis Lumber in 1981, Karrin, nine years old at the time, the youngest of four, started helping out the family business by cleaning toilets.  At the time, Karrin made $0.25 an hour and ended the day with a pop for her hard work.
Click here to read more

Libby Martin - Libby's Cupcakes Etc.


My name is Libby Martin and I run a home based custom cupcake and cake business called Libby’s Cupcakes Etc. About a year ago when I was considering turning my hobby into a business, I really had no idea where to start. Then, my husband told me about the Small Business Development Center.
Click here to read more

Lois Schmidgall - Creations, An Event Studio


Lois Schmidgall and Travis Strahm, owners of Creations, an Event Studio, located in Alexandria, MN offers floral arrangements for weddings, home decor services and customized acrylic art.  In addition, Creations, an Event Studio, also offers re-furbishing of old furniture and have focused their wedding services to also include linen specialties, unique glassware and assistance with wedding planning and event design/installation.
Click here to read more

Jay Fisher and James Marvin - Eleven Hockey

eleven hockey

Jay Fisher and James Marvin first started Eleven Hockey, (Hockey Sticks) when the were working on another project and testing various materials.  Their idea was to come up with a cost effective way of making a strong composite material, which resulted in and what they ended up with was a special material that was virtually indestructible.
Click here to read more

Chad Gabrielson and Jay Reishus - Agri-Technology Partners, LLC

chad and jaay

Chad Gabrielson and Jay Reishus, owners/partners of Agri-Technology Partners, LLC provide installation of control systems for potato storages and installation of liquid controls for liquid fertilizer plants throughout the US and China.  They partner with farmers and Co-ops of any agricultural business to bring the latest industry standard to the farm.
Click here to read more

Don Buerkley - The America Log Maker


Don Buerkley started the America Log Maker because of the unique experiences both he and his wife had in their careers.  They raised show horses that were kept in barn stalls, worked at 3M Company inventing, developing and manufacturing several different products and currently Don is involved in renewable local fuels for outdoor biomass boilers to heat houses and barns.
Click here to read more

Greg Gasman - Harmony Food Co-op


Harmony Food Co-op is buoyed by an expanding community that prizes healthful eating, consumer choice and local economic development and with the services provided by the SBDC, they have found themselves in an entirely different place.
Click here to read more

Jeff Quam - JAQ's Garage


Jeff Quam didn't really plan to start a business 30 years ago until a serendipitous chain of events left him in a position of fixing his friends' and neighbors' cars to get by.  That was simple enough as long as he was the only employee, which made things quite simple.
Click here to read more

Jennifer Killmer - Community Consignments


Jennifer Killmer, the owner of Community Consignments in Thief River Falls, is in her first year of operation and has already created five new jobs for the community.
Click here to read more

Rich Siegert - The Double Tree hotel and Green Mill restaurant


Rich has lived in the Bemidji area for over 40 years and expanding his ventures from owning the area's nicest hotel, The Hampton Inn and Green Mill restaurant, to now breaking ground on The Double Tree hotel that will be attached to the Green Mill.
Click here to read more

Here is Jeff Hildebrandt and Ben Daigle's story

Here is Mike Stittsworth of Stittsworth Meats story.


This is Don Andree, owner of the Ravenrock Gallery in Bemidji. He received assistance from the Northwest Small Business Development and this is his story.


    Contact Us