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Business notebook: Shoe honors Hardy, Abel, tannery

Red Wing Public Works employee Greg Germann will retire this month. He's done all kinds of jobs -- from street work to cemetery maintenance -- in his nearly 40 years with the city.

Red Wing Shoe Co. recently awarded Traci Hardy and Bill Abel with the company's Footprint Award, which recognizes employees who "go above and beyond to demonstrate the core values" of the Shoe, the company said in a statement.

The awards were given posthumously; Hardy was killed in an August 2012 traffic accident and Abel passed away last year after battling cancer.

"The award winners' dedication to excellence is simply outstanding and continues to build on the legacy we inherited from those that have preceded us in the first century of the Red Wing Shoe Company," Shoe President and CEO David Murphy said. "Even though Bill and Traci are no longer with us we are confident that, with their example, we will continue creating footprints of excellence for future generations of employees."

Hardy worked as a retail systems specialist for eight years.

Abel worked for the Shoe for six years as a retail industrial manager.

The Shoe's S.B. Foot Tanning Co. was also given a Footprint Award for its "commitment to quality and excellence."

• Lois Malles, Red Wing, was recently recognized by the Benedictine Health System for commitment to its mission and core values. She was presented with the Sister Claudia Riehl Living a Legacy award March 18.

Malles has worked as an licensed practical nurse and home health aide at St. Brigid's at Hi-Park for eight years. She was nominated by 2011 recipient Angie Dicke.

"Lois has been a blessing to St. Brigid's -- a blessing who cares for those tenants but also for the families and staff that are fortunate enough to work with her," said St. Brigid's at Hi-Park CEO and Administrator Mike Schultz.

As part of the recognition, Malles received a small honorarium from BHSF to use for personal self-improvement education.

•Greg Germann will retire from the city of Red Wing at the end of March. Germann has been with the city for 38 years, wife Pam said.

Germann was hired in 1975 to do garbage routes. He has also worked on the streets crew and most recently manages Burnside and Oakwood cemeteries and drives snow plow. Germann will farm on his family's century farm in Featherstone Township after retirement.

• Brandon Schafer, Goodhue, represented the Minnesota Pork Producers Association as a delegate to the National Pork Producers Council Annual Meeting earlier this month in Orlando, Fla. Schafer was among 130 U.S. farmers from 44 states who elected four pork producers to the NPPC Board of Directors.

During the business meeting, delegates debated and voted on resolutions that addressed various issues important to hog farmers, including animal care, exports and international trade, price reporting and feed availability.

• Xcel Energy set a record Feb. 17 by using locally sourced, emission-free wind power to generate 1,713 megawatt-hours of electricity. That represents nearly a third of the company's Upper Midwest customer electricity needs, Xcel said in a statement.

"From our first purchase of wind energy in 1993 ... we have been working toward this day," Judy Poferl said. "We have learned a lot about how to successfully produce and integrate wind energy onto our system in a cost-effective manner for our customers.

Poferl is president and CEO of Northern States Power Co., an Xcel Energy company.

Wind farms produced almost 12 percent of the energy used by Xcel Energy's Upper Midwest customers in 2012.

• Larry Hawe, Red Wing, a financial associate with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, has qualified for the Summit Circle conference. Only nine percent of Thrivent Financial's nearly 2,300 financial representatives qualified for this honor in 2012.

Hawe will be recognized by his peers from across the country at Thrivent Financial's annual conference. Hawe has been with the company for five years. He has been recognized for his performance four times.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.