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Umlauf named Member of the Year by MN Business Finance Corp.

Dale Umlauf, West Central Initiative's vice president of business development, was named the 2012 Member of the Year by the Minnesota Business Finance Corporation. The award was presented at the finance corporation's annual meeting in St. Cloud on Oct. 25.

The Member of the Year Award is presented to one of the finance corporation's current 38 members who participate in one or more projects with the corporation.

The Minnesota Business Finance Corporation partnered with Umlauf and West Central Initiative, or WCI, on four projects during the 2012 fiscal year ending Sept. 30. Those projects totaled $6.3 million, including more than $2.5 million in Small Business Administration-approved dollars.

"Dale...supports and promotes the mission of helping small business grow and succeed," said Tom Saehr, President and CEO of Minnesota Business Finance Corporation.

Umlauf has been vice president of business development since 2007. Previously he was director of Crookston Development Authority, director of the Small Business Development Center in Bemidji, and was in banking for 20 years. He currently serves on several advisory boards, including the West Central Small Business Development Center, the Business and Entrepreneurial Services Center at M-State in Detroit Lakes, the Center for Small Towns at University of Minnesota-Morris, and the Boys and Girls Cub of Detroit Lakes and Perham.

Umlauf is a graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in business administration. He lives in Fergus Falls and has two grown children.

"We're very proud of this recognition for Dale and for WCI," said Nancy Straw, WCI president. "Like WCI, Dale has been dedicated to growing small business in Greater Minnesota for many years. We are fortunate to have him lead our business development efforts."

Minnesota Business Finance Corporation is a private not-for-profit organization licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Certified Development Company. It serves the state of Minnesota from offices in St. Cloud, Minneapolis, and Bemidji.

WCI is a regional community foundation serving the nine west central Minnesota counties of Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin. WCI invests in communities for regional success, using the tools of economic development and community development, and by promoting philanthropy.