Community Foundation(s): Willmar Area
Award: 2012 Award in Philanthropy from the Brainerd Lakes Community Foundation
It’s not just a catchy marketing slogan used by Lakes Printing in business. “Whatever it Takes” is also the mantra Kevin Thesing and Dode Pohlkamp live by in making a difference in their community.
Thesing, co-owner of Lakes Printing in Brainerd, received the 2012 Award in Philanthropy from the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation for his commitment to giving back in business and life. However, Thesing remained distinctively humble in nature when asked about specific involvement and insisted that any recognition must be shared with his partner Dode Pohlkamp and his Lakes Printing family.
“Kevin’s humility and strong sense of community are at the core of his generosity,” said Bill Brekken, former director of the Brainerd Lakes Community Foundation. “Kevin has shared his time, talent and resources because, in his heart, that’s just what you do.”
Born and raised in the Brainerd Lakes Area, Thesing has stayed true to his roots, not only by working and building a business in the community, but also by immersing himself in the work of nonprofits. It’s common to see printed materials for a nonprofit were supplied courtesy of his business and see Thesing serving on a board or leading a community project.
“Because of Lakes Printing there likely isn’t a service club, nonprofit organization, or community group that hasn’t, in some way, been personally touched by Lakes Printing, Dode or myself,” Thesing said. “We cherish those opportunities.”
From being on the original planning committee for the Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza in the 1990s to serving on the board of directors for three nonprofits, Thesing has served as a leader for dozens of nonprofits and community projects and dedicated resources to many others.
“We have been put in a situation where we are able to do good things for good people,” Thesing said. “I think there are a lot of people who want to do that type of thing, but don’t have the exposure that we do through the printing business. It is truly a blessing.”