Network 2 Learn Training Session Offered by Pine City Chamber

On Wednesday, May 18th the Pine City Area Chamber will host the next Network 2 Learn opportunity.  These training events are provided at a low cost to any business in the region interested in taking part in the event.  This month’s session will focus on “Uncovering Your Business Challenges” and help owners and managers to navigate the growth of their company with successful outcomes.   Contact Becky to get registered by Monday, May 16.05.18BusinessGrowth

This Weekend in Pine City

As the school year is ending and the first day of June is almost upon us, the start of a busy summer season in Pine City is upon us.  With so many great activities happening, it seemed important to share a few of the upcoming highlights:

Friday, May 31 — Art in the Park  — The second evening of this great annual tradition will feature music from Cafe Accordian that begins at 6:30 PM.  A Place for You will be serving dinner from 5:30 – 7:30 in the Robinson Park Gazebo – hotdogs and brats are on the menu!

Saturday, June 1 — Pine City Bull Ride – The Heidelberger Arena in Rock Creek will be the location for the Pine City Bullride on Saturday at 6:00 PM.  There will be live music and special guest, Viking Jared Allen will attend.  For more information, call (320) 629-1122

Saturday, June 1 — Pine County Relay for Life Walk — This annual event is hoping for some nice weather on Saturday.  A change from previous years, the walk will begin at 2PM and go until 2AM on Sunday.  There are many opportunities for the community to join in this event without being a member of a team.  There will be a silent auction, dunk tank, quilt raffle and concessions — all benefiting the Relay for Life fundraising efforts.

Sunday, June 2 — East Central MN Pride — Voyageur Park in Pine City will be the setting for the annual East Central MN LGBT Pride event and picnic.  From Noon to 5:00 PM enjoy music, food and rendezvous with friends, family and the community.  For more information, contact Don Quaintance at

Wednesday, June 5 — Outdoor Family Class — Visit Crex Meadows in Grantsburg, WI from 5 – 6:30PM for a free session on camping, the first class in the Becoming an Outdoor Family series for those who want to learn outdoor skills with their spouses, children or families.  Offered free of charge, no advance registration needed.  Call 715-463-2739 for more information.

Wednesday, June 5 — Okee Dokee Brothers — The Pine City Library will kick off their summer reading program with this free music event for children preschool – 6th grade.  This free concert begins at 1PM on Wednesday and will be held in the Pine City Elementary Auditorium.  Visit for more information.

Wednesday, June 5 — Health Fair Event — Pine County Public Health is organizing this free event for the community.  Open from 10am – 6pm in the Pine City Armory, this event will include 20+ vendors, free blood pressure checks, free body mass index (BMI) checks, giveaways, health & wellness information and much, much more!  For more information, contact Pine Co Public Health at 320-591-1597.

Stay up-to-date on community happenings by visiting the Community Calendar on the Chamber of Commerce website or connecting with us on Facebook.

Fireworks Fundraiser set for May 23rd

The Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce is planning the annual Fireworks Fundraiser event for Thursday, May 23rd at the Pine City Pizza Pub.  This event will include a silent auction, beer and pizza tasting, and some local entertainment.

Visit the Chamber Facebook Page at\pinecitychamber for more details.

Fireworks Fundraiser Flyer

Seven Questions with Seven Entrepreneurs in Seven Days, Part 1

On February 16th, the Pine City Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurs Club at Pine Technical College is hosting a PANEL discussion called the Art of the Start: Conversations about Entrepreneurism. The PANEL is open to the public and will take place at Pine Tech, Room 50 at 11:30am. In advance of this discussion we are profiling some of the participants and their perspectives on starting, growing and thriving small enterprises.


Name: James “JT” Hinrichs
Business Name: JT Entertainment
Industry: Entertainment & Event Planning
Year Started: 2006
# of Employees: 0

What was your path to entrepreneur-dom?
I worked in radio and my station was bought out and the entire staff was let go. I saw this as an opportunity to start my own business. I really liked music and wanted to continue to be involved with it and to use my public speaking ability as well as my ability to bring lots of pieces together for my events. I was mentored into the business by the brother of a former co-worker of mine and that was a great lesson in the importance of networking.

What is an entrepreneur?
Someone with the passion, desire and love of what they do.

Can entrepreneurship be taught?
Yes, to the right people, it can. I think that some entrepreneurs can be taught how to best take that step–that risk–in starting their own business. And it is a huge risk..but one that can pay off in the end.

Are entrepreneurs control freaks?
They can be. At first, especially, when you are doing everything yourself and its your livelihood on the line. It can be tough to not want to control it all. But over time I think that lots of entrepreneurs learn to lay back and collect the rewards of their work. But some are always control freaks, like Donald Trump.

Do entrepreneurs have balance in their life?
Yes, absolutely. Without balance there’s no point in being an entrepreneur.

What do you notice about other entrepreneurs?
I see other entrepreneurs in my industry all the time and I do notice when one of them does an especially good job with an event, convention or trade show. I can see that they are good at what they do. However, for my business, I really try to set myself apart from my competitors by creating moments for my clients. I try to offer things to my wedding parties or business functions that creates a moment that will be remembered. To do this, I really try to focus on the people and helping them have fun.

What skills would you advise an entrepreneur to acquire?
For me, its about knowledge. If I know my business inside and out, then that shows to my clients and lets me focus on them again.

What does success mean to you?
Success means money of course. Every entrepreneur that I know wants to make money. But I think that success is the result of ambition, drive and desire. People with those three things will be successful at whatever they do.

Who are your best customers?
I really enjoy working with all my customers but especially love my brides and grooms. They have a lot to do in the process of getting married and I love to help them fulfill their dreams for their wedding and to take some of the pressure off of them.

How does your business “keep score?” What kind of business metrics do you pay attention to the most?
I do post event surveys to learn about what our customers like and dont like but the most important way that I keep score is with referrals. Referrals show me that people are talking about the great things that I do. People dont have to say anything so when they do its very powerful for me.

James’ website is and he can be reached there.