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May 05, 2015

Tech security chief leaves Mayo Clinic for new job

Mayo Clinic's chief information security officer is leaving Rochester to join a Colorado technology firm.

3a01a19James Carder made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday saying, "It's with mixed emotions to announce that I have officially left Mayo Clinic and taken a new role as CISO (chief information security officer) @LogRhythm & VP of @LogRhythmLabs."

Carder was Mayo's technology security chief from June 2013 until this week. Described as "a frequent speaker at industry events and noted author of several security publications," Carder managed the security of the 250,000 to 300,000 devices connected to Mayo Clinic's network, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While at Mayo Clinic, the Wall Street Journal said he also created "an incident response infrastructure" and as well as Mayo Clinic’s first cyber threat intelligence organization.

At LogRhythm, Carder will serve as the chief information security officer and vice president of LogRhythm Labs. The Boulder, Colo.-based firm stated in the announcement of the hiring that Carder will set "the vision for and direct the company’s global information security program." He will manage 12 employees.

Carder told the Wall Street Journal that his primary reason for the move is "speed."

“The main difference is that things you do have a ripple effect quickly,” he explained to the WSJ.

New Fairfield Inn should be complete and open soon

Construction of Rochester's new 91-room, four-story Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel at 510 17th Ave. N.W. has a lot of momentum these days.

05052015fairfield1I'd expect the hotel, which is near the Miracle Mile Shopping Center, to opening the doors in the very near future.

This project is being led by local developers Nick Pompeian and Harshal Patel.

05052015fairfield2The 51,000-square-foot Marriott-brand hotel stands on the former site of the Courtesy Inn at 510 17th Ave. N.W.

The site is near Saint Marys Hospital and the Miracle Mile Shopping Center as well as many restaurants.The four-story Fairfield Inn also will be very visible to the 70,000 to 80,000 vehicles that drive by daily on U.S.  52.

May 01, 2015

Kahler, union contract talks at an impasse

Talks between the Kahler Hotel Group and the union representing most of its employees are at an impasse over health-care benefits and wages.

KHG, which includes four downtown Rochester hotels and the Textile Care Services commercial laundry, has been talking with Unite Here Local 21 since the start of the year. Local 21 represents about 480 KHG employees, including about 250 at the hotels and 200 at TCS.

177-8a6711a9b2b093a4d3be0de7aefc518dDue to a April 14 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, the hotels and commercial laundry no longer will negotiate as one bargaining unit. That means each will have a separate contract, though the union says the details of the proposed contract and points of contention are very similar for both groups.

The latest contract, which was a six-month extension of a previous three-year contract, ended at the start of March. Since then, the hotels' housekeepers, bartenders, cooks and bellmen, as well as the laundry employees, have been working without a contract.

Local 21 President Brian Brandt and a team of employee representatives met with KHG and Richfield Hospitality executives on Tuesday to discuss the proposed five-year contract. Both sides say no progress was made nor was another meeting scheduled.

"The negotiations broke down very quickly," said Brandt. "They aren't budging even a little bit. They rejected our proposal outright without discussion or explanation of why."

Brandt said Tuesday's talks lasted about a half hour.
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Patrick Short, area managing director of operations for Kahler, said "several items" were covered at the meeting.

"At this time, we are not against an additional meeting, but no date has been chosen. We currently are standing by our last proposal offered on March 24," stated Short in an email Tuesday afternoon. The two sides last met on April 16.

Short released a broad outline of KHG's contract proposal with a statement last week.

"In our last best and final offer, we believe we have offered a very competitive package which continues to contain the best package for hospitality workers in the entire city of Rochester," he wrote in an email sent late Thursday afternoon.

Short says KHG is paying for up to 70 percent of the premium costs for the insurance provided to the union associates.

But Brandt responded that the deductibles are too high — more than $4,300 for single and more than $8,500 for plus one and family coverage and no copay on the prescription medications.

On wages, Short said KHG's offer would give 88 percent of the union associates an increase in their hourly rate of pay at the signing of the contract.

The union says while most would get a pay increase, the majority of employees would receive less than 1 percent on signing and less than 5 percent over the next five years. In addition, the offer reduces the step increases at 24, 42 and 60 months.

On the point of wages, Short said the KHG contract offer "does not reduce the hourly rate of pay for any of the union associates, regardless if the associate has been here a year or 30 years."

The union says one group of employees — banquet servers — will see a reduction of income under the KHG contract offer. They no longer will receive any of the service charge the company adds on to customers' bill, which will result in a 50 percent or more pay loss for the servers.

Following Tuesday's meeting, Brandt said Local 21 intends to file a number of charges against KHG of possible violations of federal law with the National Labor Relations Board. The charges include surface bargaining, bad faith bargaining, failing to provide accurate information for negotiations, discriminating against bargaining committee members concerning discipline and job assignments, telling probationary workers to remove union buttons and change in working conditions by removing union notices from bulletin boards.

The question facing both groups now is what comes next in the negotiations.

"We'll definitely be taking more actions and doing the things we need to do to pressure on the company," said Brandt.

Those immediate actions will include more picket lines in front of the Kahler hotels. When asked if those actions could include some sort of strike or work stoppage, he responded, "It's is always an option, without a doubt."

New Honda dealership to start up Monday

It has that fresh new dealership smell.

After almost a year of work, Tom Kadlec Honda is ready to move into its brand new dealership at 3333 Wilder Road NW, west of U.S. 14 and east of West Circle Drive. General ManageNewhondasignr Tyler Kadlec expects to open the doors of the 55,000-square-foot dealership at 6:30 a.m. Monday.

It will have about about 500 to 525 vehicles on display on the lot with about 100 employees staffing the dealership.

"We're ready to go," said Kadlec, while walking through the new showroom earlier this week. He and his brother, controller Tony Kadlec, are the second generation of Kadlecs to sell cars in Rochester.

Both service and sales departments are expected to be up and running in the new location, which is "almost triple the size" of the longtime location at 4444 U.S. 52 North on Rochester's "Car Row."

But don't expect that dealership to stay empty for long. Kadlec has signed a purchase agreement with Twin Cities-based Luther Automotive to acquire Kia of Rochester. Luther's Park Place Motors currently handles Kia at its 2720 U.S. 52 North location.

No one at Luther was available Thursday to discuss the deal.

Tyler Kadlec said he hopes to wrap up that transaction by the end of the month and then move Kia into Honda's former home. The plan is to have about 25 on staff at Tom Kadlec Kia.

Kaldec expects to have about 150 to 200 new Kias and 150 to 200 used vehicles on the lot.

At the new Honda dealership, the Kadlec family is adding some new touches to its 36-year history of selling cars in Rochester.

The new dealership has several comfortable lounge areas as well as several computers for customers to use. There also is a separate area for customers to use for business calls.

Later this summer, the dealership also will have its own dog park, with canine-friendly turf for customers to use.

"Historically, car dealerships have not been places people enjoyed being at," Tyler Kadlec said. "We're hoping to change that."

April 30, 2015

Lisa Clarke to officially become leader of DMC's EDA

More than a year after starting a national search for an executive director to lead the Destination Medical Center's Economic Development Agency, Mayo Clinic's Lisa Clarke has been hired to fill that role.

As DMC's board secretary and Mayo Clinic's Community Engagement head, Clarke has filled the interim role of leading the EDA from the organization's start.

The DMC group originally posted advertisements for the position in February 2014, in hopes of hiring someone by April of that year. This hiring is solely the responsibility of the EDA and doesn't involve the DMC Corp. board or the Rochester City Council.

Clarke previously described her role as the first executive director of the EDA as building the organization and creating the processes as well as getting approval of the DMC master plan. The next director has a different job ahead of them.

"The first full time executive director's role will be to execute the plan," she said. "The important thing is to get someone who has the experience in economic development and in development, in general. The most important thing is to get the right person with the right skill set."

While Lisa Clarke will step into the role of EDA director, she will remain connected to Mayo Clinic.

"The technical answer is that she's 100 percent an employee of the EDA," said Jeff Bolton, Mayo Clinic's Chief Administrative Officer and chair of the EDA . "However, we did not want her to lose the benefit of being a Mayo employee."

Bolton explained that all of the personnel costs related to Clarke will be covered by Mayo Clinic from that $585,000 annual contribution to the EDA.

"I'm part of the package," said Clarke with a grin.

When asked about Mayo Clinic's relationship with the EDA, Bolton said, "The EDA is a separate legal entity. It is separate from Mayo."

Clarke plans to set up an office for the EDA staff in the roughly 6,000-square-foot former Red Lobster space at 195 S. Broadway.

The space is on the street level of the 60-year-old Rosa Parks Pavilion building. Mayo bought the building for $2.37 million in 1997, and Red Lobster leased space there from 1987 until it closed in 2011 and opened in a new building by Apache Mall.

With the hiring of Clarke and the EDA moving into Mayo Clinic office, is Mayo Clinic concerned about the possible appearance that it is controlling the EDA?

"I do think the EDA an independent agency is the right approach, the right structure. This is a many part orchestra, if you will. I do see Mayo having one voice in this with the city, county  and the state," Bolton said. "I think there's a good separation without making it independent of the entire process. Everything is really tightly connected, really tightly coordinated."

Clarke echoed Bolton's sentiments about the relationship between Mayo and the EDA.

"It truly has been a very positive thing to have all of these players around the table to represent the diversity of the community and its diverse businesses with Mayo Clinic being the largest," she said.

Lisa Smith, the lieutenant governor of Minnesota and chair of the DMCCorp. board of directors said that Mayo's role is important to the big picture.

"From the perspective of the state, it's great to have a really, really strong anchored tenant in the private sector. We've got four strong partners with very specific ideas about moving this forward," she said. "There are a lot of strong opinions around the table. I think it works very well."

Rochester chamber office closed

If you have business to do at the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce, don't go to their offices on South Broadway today.

The offices will be closed for renovations for 6-8 weeks. The chamber staff will be working off-site during that time.
Chamber events will continue as scheduled.
 
 
Call 288-1122, if you have questions.

April 28, 2015

More businesses to open near Costco yet this summer

Construction continues to roll along in Rochester's West Circle Drive development anchored by Costco.

Amid the recently opened Associated Bank branch and Comfort Inn & Suites Hotel, four new businesses are shaping up for their own openings in the near future.

But a new 4,000-square-foot Sherwin-Williams paint store is the farthest along. The store, which will replace Sherwin-Williams' current location at 19 Seventh St. NE, is expected to be ready to open in early July, according to developer Jim Lavalle.

Lavalle, the principal of TJL Development, of St. Paul, built a Sherwin-Williams store in 2013 in Rochester, in front of the south ShopKo and Menards stores.

TJL also is working on another project — a combination Caribou Coffee/Einstein Bros. Bagels shop — between the new Sherwin-Williams store and 19th Street. That 2,500-square-foot building is not moving along as quickly as the paint store. Lavalle estimates it could be completed by late September.

A 109-room Staybridge Suites hotel being built just north of Costco probably will open its doors yet this summer, possibly as soon as late May or early June. It is being developed by National Hospitality Services of Fargo, N.D.

The most high-profile, locally owned business — Citizen Kitchen & Bar — co Citizenkitchenapril2015ntinues to simmer near the northeast corner of 19th Street and West Circle Drive. It is being developed by the same team of Rochester natives who opened The Loop in 2012 in downtown Rochester.

There's no estimated opening date for the new family-oriented restaurant yet, but it's expected to open later this summer.

April 24, 2015

Shorewood senior complex to add health, wellness center

A senior living complex in southwest Rochester is adding a more than $2 million health and wellness center to its complex.
Shorewood
Construction started this week at Shorewood Senior Campus, at 2115 Second St. SW, on the more than 11,000-square-foot center, which will include a warm-water pool, exercise areas and therapy rooms. It's being added on the south side of the complex, near the main entrance.

Campus Director Eric Huntoon estimates the new addition should be completed by late September or October.
 
"We're going to try to incorporate some interdisciplinary type therapies, like acupuncture, massage therapy, podiatry, physical therapy and things of that nature," he said. "This is an opportunity to provide an additional outlet for our residents."

Huntoon said it also could help Shorewood residents prevent falls, since pool therapy helps improve balance, strength and range of motion.

The new center also will include a very specialized therapy pool called Hydroworx, which includes a platform treadmill that lowers into the water. Many professional athletes use it to recover from knee injuries. Shorewood plans to reach out to area high schools about possibly allowing high school athletes to use it.

Shorewood, which is managed by Minneapolis-based Silvercrest, has 229 apartments — 155 for senior living, 61 for assisted living and 13 for memory care.

Huntoon acknowledged the senior-housing market is becoming much more competitive in Rochester with the recent openings of Waters on Mayowood and River Bend Assisted Living. However, Shorewood has been full to capacity for the past 18 months and has a waiting list.

"With so many people turning 65 in the U.S., demand is certainly going to be outpacing the supply," he said.

April 22, 2015

Mayo Clinic to expand Saint Marys power plant

As part of Mayo Clinic's ongoing growth in Rochester, work has started on a project to expand the Saint Marys Campus' power plant. St_Marys_Hospital,_Rochester,_stone_marker

“The project will include a 5,000-square-foot addition onto the south side of the power plant at the Saint Marys Campus to increase plant cooling capacity," according to Kelley Luckstein, of Mayo Clinic.

The addition is needed to create space for a chiller and associated pumps and piping.

Grading for the project began recently. Luckstein estimates it will be completed by February 2016.

UMR prepares land for campus

The University of Minnesota Rochester started cleaning up its land on South Broadway this week as an early step toward building a new campus.

Crews are removing asphalt, concrete and top soil on the former sites of China Dynasty and Rico Mex buildings at 701 S. Broadway and 617 S. Broadway. UMR bought the properties in 2009 and 2010 for a combined cost of $2.2 million. It demolished in the buildings in 2011.

UMRcampussite"We always we knew at some point in time we'd have to do some environmental remediation," said Jay Hesley, UMR's assistant vice chancellor for institutional advancement.

The plan is to remove a layer of possibly contaminated top soil, replacing it and landscaping the area with grass, trees and shrubs to provide natural "passive remediation." Basically, that will let the soil "breathe."

However, UMR wants to make it clear that this will not be a park, though the public will have access to certain areas.

"This is a temporary action for holding and maintaining the property in the long run," he said "The land will eventually be redeveloped. It will become an eventual building site for the campus.".

The timing for that eventual campus construction is unknown at this point, according to UMR.

The master plan is to build its long-proposed 10.5-acre campus in the area near Soldiers Memorial Field. The university, which opened in 2011, is now based on the third and fourth floors of the University Square mall in downtown Rochester as well as in he nearby 318 Commons building. The school is already getting close to outgrowing those spaces, officials say.

In recent years, UMR has acquired and demolished six buildings in the area as it moved toward the campus plan.

In 2014, it wrapped up a long-planned purchase of 601 First Ave. SW., 609 First Ave. S.W. and 114 Sixth St. S.W. from the City of Rochester. That included the former KTTC facility, a small office building and a small place last used as a halal meat market. UMR paid $1.32 million for the properties.

The now empty ex-KTTC site is slated to be the first phase of the eventual campus project. Hesley expects the Broadway properties currently being cleaned up will be the site of the second phase of the campus.

While work on the campus master plan "depends on our needs and requirements," it could start within four or five years, he said.

However, it might not be UMR's needs that eventually trigger the start of campus construction. Hesley said the university is looking at this as "a community campus" that might involve private partners to help develop it. UMR used a public/private model for 318 Commons, which houses most of the students, many classrooms and faculty offices. That tower was built by Rochester developers Hal Henderson and Grant Michelitz. They lease the majority of it to UMR.

"Many other organizations are going to have the opportunity to participate in the campus to develop a real community asset," he said. "They might drive demand for building sites ahead of UMR's needs."