Kate Homan is Director of Memories and Light Bulb Moments

Kate Homan’s official title is Marketing and Sales Manager of the Boji Bay Fun House Pavilion in the Sioux City, Iowa area. To her clients, she is the Director of Memories and Light Bulb Moments. Kate excels in each of her titles.

Kate began her hospitality career in the restaurant industry at a young age and found she had a passion for meetings and events. Her next stop was Dakota County Technical College where she earned a Meeting and Event Managements degree. While there, Kate gained experience in a variety of volunteer roles by coordinating events, operating concessions and fundraising. Following graduation, she was hired at Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Welch, MN as a Hotel Supervisor. A few years later her journey took her to the Wild Rose Resort and Casino in Emmetsburg, IA as the Food and Beverage Supervisor. That’s where she learned of a new facility opening in the Iowa Great Lakes region – the Boji Bay Fun House Pavilion. The Pavilion has earned a reputation as the lakes area’s trendiest event venue and a destination for FUN.
Homan article Panoramic
In a recent conversation with Kate she shared her enthusiasm for the venue, the area, and clients. Here are some of the details. Boji Bay Fun House Pavilion is committed to the idea that life can still be as simple as it was when we were kids growing up. From the moment you walk through our doors, you will find yourself in awe of your surroundings, and your children will, too. Even if you aren’t brave enough to take on the 2 story slide, time will escape you as you marvel at those who are. If you were lucky enough to know the historic fun house pieces as a child, you’ll be amazed as memories are rekindled at the very sight of them.

Homan article Penne WeddingWe’ve spent endless hours dreaming, designing and bringing to life a special events pavilion to serve the Great Lakes region and beyond, to both enrich and stimulate the lakes area culture and economy, as well as each of you. The pavilion can comfortably accommodate up to 500 or more for wedding receptions and anniversary parties, corporate retreats and symposiums, fundraisers, banquets, and more!

The new outdoor oasis, “Neon Palms,” will open in the summer season of 2014. More fun ideas are in the works to make Boji Bay Fun House Pavilion a very special vacation destination. And the well-known restaurant, Blu, with its great atmosphere and tantalizing menu is loved by the young and the young at heart alike.

A little history about the barrel, the sugar bowl and the slide: Arnold’s Park Fun House was built in the 1920’s. In 1968, the Park was hit by a tornado and rebuilt. However, in 1987, the park closed and the Roof Garden, along with several other buildings, burned to the ground. The Fun House toys were removed and placed in a storage barn in Estherville. In 2008 the Fun House Toys were purchased, moved and placed in their current location at Boji Bay Fun House Pavilion. The Fun House Toys have been fully restored and repaired. All three pieces are fully operational and the slide can be utilized by the public.

If you’re in the Sioux City, Iowa area, stop by the Boji Bay Fun House Pavilion and be sure to meet the Director of Memories and Light Bulb Moments. Contact Kate Homan by email at kate@bojibayfun.com or on LinkedIn.  Learn more online about the Boji Bay Fun House Pavilion and check them out on Instagram.

Are you a student or graduate of DCTC’s Meeting and Event, Hospitality Lodging or Spa and Resort Management programs?  We’d love to cheer for you!  Contact me on the form below or meet me on LinkedIn.

Fall Semester 2013 Classroom Schedule

Students in DCTC’s Meeting-Event, Hospitality Lodging, and Spa-Resort Management programs will want to mark their calendars for these dates.  Click on the link below for complete information.

Hospitality FALL 2013 Classroom Calendar

The new semester begins on August 26. Yeah!!


Let’s Celebrate Success! Lovejoy Finds Her Niche’

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In the Spring of 2013 while pursuing her Meeting and Event Management Certificate at Dakota County Technical College, Shannon Lovejoy began working part-time as a weekend wedding coordinator for Black Bear Crossings Cafe’ and Banquet Center. After earning her certificate and proving herself to be a valuable addition to the events team, Black Bear Crossings offered Shannon a full-time event management position which she accepted in August, 2013. Shannon is now marketing, selling and managing weddings and special events as well as coordinating the use of the three free community meeting rooms Black Bear Crossings has available for public use.

photo11_thumb Black Bear Crossings is located at the Historic Como Lakeside Pavilion in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The outdoor promenade with its beautiful view of scenic Lake Como is enough to wow up to 400 ceremony guests. photo1_thumbIn addition to being an award-winning wedding venue, Black Bear Crossings offers gourmet in-house catering. The third floor private banquet room accommodates up to 200 guests and has picturesque windows encircling the room offering beautiful vistas, no matter what the season. photo10_thumbSo, if planning an event or looking for a picturesque spot to enjoy a delicious gourmet lunch, a walk around the lake, or a fun afternoon paddle boating stop by Black Bear Crossings and visit Shannon. Black Bear Crossings on the Lake is located at 1360 North Lexington Parkway, St Paul, MN (651-488-4920). You may also contact Shannon on LinkedIn.

Are you a student or graduate of DCTC’s Meeting and Event, Hospitality Lodging or Spa and Resort Management programs? We’d love to cheer for you! Contact me on the form below or meet me on LinkedIn.

Is It Time to Re-event YOUR Future?

Semester Kick-Off Celebration  Saturday, August 24, 10:00 a.m. – Noon 
DCTC Apple Valley, 14200 Cedar Avenue, Apple Valley, MN
Hosted by the MPI-DCTC Student Club and the DCTC Hospitality Alumni Network
Re-event future girlGet the newest information on careers in hospitality and the latest salary info
Meet instructors, fellow students, and program alumni
New students earn 5 extra course points
Meet three powerful industry associations:

MPI (Meeting Professionals International)
NACE (National Association of Catering and Events)
MFEA/IFEA (Minnesota/International Festival and Events Association)

 Are you lucky? You may win a textbook. Lucky or not, you can preview program textbooks.

Let’s celebrate your future and the start of a new semester!

If you’re a

  • New student,
  • Current student,
  • Alumni, or
  • Thinking about being a student

Join us in starting the semester with a bang. This is, after all, a party with a purpose – and it’s all about YOU.

If you’re new to DCTC, this is your introduction to a powerful NETWORK and how to earn 5 extra course points.*
If you’re returning, this is your reunion.
If you’re thinking about becoming a student, come get a peek at YOUR future in Meeting and Event Management, Hospitality Lodging Management, and Spa-Resort Management careers.

*New students (fall ‘13 semester) attending will earn 5 extra credit points for their first course.

Thank you to the MPI-DCTC Student Club and the DCTC Hospitality Alumni Network for hosting this celebration.

Contact me to learn more about these professions.  Want to explore backfilling your education to advance your career in the field?  Interested in discussing amazing interns and employees for your organization? Let’s connect. Meet me on LinkedIn or complete the following form.

Have You Been Dreaming? – MN Dream Act Released

There seems no better way to announce that the Minnesota Dream Act is operational than to give you all the memo received from the State of Minnesota earlier this month. It follows here. For many readers, this will be a dream come true. One note, however, is I’ve been asked to clarify the following instructions: During the application process, the student, and parents for dependent students, must work directly with MOHE’s contractor, Access Group, Inc. or with MOHE.

Sometimes dreams really do come true!

Minnesota Office of Higher Education
1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55108-5227
Fax: 651-642-0567
Web: info.ohe@state.mn.us

DATE: August 9, 2013
TO: Minnesota Financial Aid Administrators and Community Partners
FROM: Ginny Dodds, Manager of State Financial Aid Programs
(651) 355-0610 Ginny.Dodds@state.mn.us

We are happy to report that the online 2013-2014 state financial aid application for undocumented students is now operational. We have revised our MN Dream Act web page (www.ohe.state.mn.us/MNDreamAct) to include a link to the application. We want students to access the application from our web page so they can download the MN-specific instructions that we created and view the data privacy notice. Since the online application is an existing financial aid application service used by other colleges and states, it contains some questions that will not be needed for Minnesota state financial aid. Our posted instructions let students know they can either skip such a question or enter any value, since the response will not be used.

It is very important that all undocumented students complete the online state financial aid application and not the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Even an undocumented student with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) who has a Social Security number should not complete the FAFSA, since it will end up being rejected based on the citizenship interface with the Department of Homeland Security.

If a student or parent needs assistance while completing the state online financial aid application, customer service is available from the NeedAccess staff at (800) 282-1550 from 8:00 – 4:30 Monday through Friday. Families are also welcome to contact the State Grant unit at the MN Office of Higher Education between those same hours at (651) 642-0567 #2, or toll-free (800) 657-3866. Our office will have telephone translation services available for families who aren’t proficient in English.

When a student accesses the application, the student will want to click on the ‘Complete Your Need Access Application’ under ‘Students & Parents.’

Since this is the first year student will be using this application, they will then want to click on ‘New Users’ on the next screen. Note that this screen makes mention of an application fee. However, students will NOT have to pay an application fee since the Office of Higher Education is paying all the fees on behalf of student applicants.

The student will then be taken through the registration process, whereby the student enters his/her name and email address and then creates a user ID, password and security questions. The student should then check the box accepting the privacy policy, which informs the family that all information will be private and not sold to any outside organizations.

On the next screen, the student selects the 2013-2014 academic year, enters name and date of birth and enters a Social Security number (only students with DACA would have a SSN). Other undocumented students will want to check the item ‘Student does not have a Social Security number’ and then check ‘No, I need to create a new Applicant ID’ and click on ‘Next.’

The next screen then assigns the student a 9-digit Applicant ID number which will be used in lieu of a Social Security number. The first three digits will be 980, since that range is not used for Social Security numbers. The student will want to write down this number, as well as the student’s username and password, since these will be used to make corrections or apply for state financial aid in future years.

The student will then advance to a screen where the student selects the application under the ‘All Schools’ menu. Instead of selecting a school, students who would like to apply for state financial aid should select ‘MN Dream Act – State Financial Aid and U of M In-State Tuition’ from the menu and click the ‘Add’ button. This is true even for students attending MnSCU institutions. Students who ONLY want to apply for in-state tuition at the University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth or Twin Cities should select ‘MN Dream Act – Univ of MN In-State Tuition Only.’

Early in the application, the student will be asked whether the student wants to complete both the student and parent sections or just the student section. If a parent wants to complete the parent section separately, the parent will need to log in after the student has completed the student section to complete the application. The parent will need to know the student’s Applicant ID to retrieve the application. Otherwise, if the student knows all the parental information, the student can complete both sections of the application (about 80 percent of students complete the entire application).

The student will then proceed through the financial aid application. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE STUDENT USE THE STATE APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (posted on http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/MNDreamAct) WHILE COMPLETING THE APPLICATION. This application is quite different from the FAFSA and also contains questions that will not be used by the Office of Higher Education. The instructions identify those questions and let the student know how to respond.

Some of the major differences with the FAFSA:
• Sections and order are not the same
• Early on, all students are presented with the question about student household size, even if they are dependent. The state application instructions tell dependent students to enter ‘1’ in that field to prevent further questions about student household size members that should be answered only by independent students.
• Applicants are taken through the parent section if they are under 24 years old, even if they meet one of the criteria for being independent (they can actually leave the questions blank and proceed after seeing a warning message, though). However, dependent applicants MUST complete the parent section.
• There is a text question in both the student and parent sections of the application to describe any special circumstances (2400 characters in length). This will be used by the Office of Higher Education to identify possible cases for professional judgment adjustments.
• There is a section where the student lists all previous postsecondary institutions attended. This will be used to determine the amount of previous postsecondary education for the State Grant program.
• There are questions about each parent in the household that are presented prior to the question about parents’ household size. Students should make sure to only provide information about parents in the parents’ household. In the student’s biological/adoptive parents are not married, the same logic used for the FAFSA is used to determine which parent’s information to provide (the parent the student resided with the most during the past year or, if the student lived with each parent an exactly equal amount of time, the parent who provided the most financial support to the student in the past year or most recent year support was provided).
• There are questions about each member in the parents’ household other than the student and parents. These will be used for verification purposes in lieu of a verification worksheet.
• There are several customized questions that are used just for Minnesota applicants. These will be used to determine MN Dream Act eligibility, as well as state residency. (These students will NOT need to complete the separate State Grant online student eligibility questionnaire, since those questions are embedded in this state online application.)
• After a student completes/submits the application, they will see special instructions on the screen telling them what documentation they need to send to the MN Office of Higher Education. They will also receive the same instructions in an email from the state application system.
• Using the output from the state online financial aid application and documentation submitted by the student, the Office of Higher Education will determine the student’s eligibility for a MN State Grant and also inform the University of Minnesota Duluth and/or Twin Cities campuses about students who meet the criteria under the MN Dream Act and qualify for in-state tuition rates. (The MnSCU campuses are making their own determinations on in-state tuition rates based on MN Dream Act questions embedded in their online admissions applications.)
• The Office of Higher Education will notify the student’s college that a state financial aid application has been received, and the school will enter the student’s enrollment level and certify the student is eligible for a State Grant payment. Funds will then be disbursed by the Office to the school. The school will be able to view the student’s state financial aid application output on the Office’s web-based system in order to get information the school will need to award State Work Study or Postsecondary Child Care Grant funds in cases where the student has applied for those programs through the college financial aid office.
• Students who need to make corrections to their applications can log back into the state online application system with their username, password and Applicant ID from the link on http://www.ohe.state.mn.us/MNDreamAct.

We encourage you to contact our office at any time if you have questions about the state financial aid application process under the MN Dream Act. We support these students and look forward to working with them!