Jonnie Schmitz: Salesman is sold on Perham

Jonnie Schmitz, KLN Family Brands

Jonnie Schmitz grew up in Perham, went to college in Moorhead and landed an internship with a hometown employer, KLN Family Brands. The internship went so well that once he graduated from Minnesota State Community and Technical College with degrees in business management and sales and marketing, KLN hired him for a sales position with one of its divisions, Kenny’s Candy and Confection.

Jonnie was happy to find work that allowed him to stay in west central Minnesota.

“One thing I enjoy about this community is I was able to get hired by a company on the rise and there’s great opportunity within that company,” he said.

His brother, uncle and cousin also work at KLN, which employs about 450 people. He has worked just over four years full-time for KLN, plus two years as an intern. Staying in west central Minnesota allowed him to pursue his hobbies of deer hunting and fishing. His wife Ashley rescues cats and dogs, and they adopted one of the rescue dogs. He’s proud of the local school district’s prowess in academics as well as athletics, and supported the school’s plan to open a new high school in 2018.

“My family and my wife’s family are both from Perham,” he said. “That’s a huge plus. I like to hunt and fish. I could be on a lake or in a deer stand five minutes from work. I don’t have to take a three-hour drive in the car to get to lakes country or get to my hunting woods. There’s never a quiet weekend. We’re always doing something.”

Steve Henning