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A “solid rock” for the community

Mandi Miedema and Stephen Kutscher grew up in different parts of the country, but their desire to help others live a healthy lifestyle brought them together, and their penchant for helping community has made Rock Solid Chiropractic a solid rock for the community. Miedema hails from Litchville, North Dakota, where she grew up on a farm. ìWe had cattle and hogs and horses,î she said. ìMy mom loves horses, and I have been riding horses since she could put me in a saddle.îKutscher grew up in Orange County, California, with a passion for music and outdoor sports like rock climbing, mountain biking and surfing. At age 16, Kutscher tested out of high school. ìI was taking a bunch of AP (Advanced Placement) classes and college courses,î he said. ìI really didnít know what I wanted to do and almost ended up with a studio musician license and a degree in anthropology.î Kutscher had planned to record music professionally until a severe back injury left him unable to walk.Kutscher saw a chiropractor; and, after one visit, he could walk again. ìI was able to walk out, and there was a change in my body and energy,î he said. His experience changed his direction; and, in 2004, Kutscher earned a bachelorís degree in human biology, and went on to chiropractic school at Northwestern Health Science University in Bloomington, Minnesota.While attending Jamestown College (now the University of Jamestown) in Jamestown, North Dakota, Miedema was torn between becoming a veterinarian or chiropractor. She did internships in both, and another chiropractor and family member influenced her decision. ìDr. Dwight Schmidt has his own clinic in Jamestown, and it was really his influence that helped me make my decision,î Miedema said. In 2005, she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology, and ended up at Northwestern Health Science University as well.Miedema and Kutscher were in the same classes, although they didnít interact until much later. ìI sat right in front of him for the first year and a half of chiropractic school,î Miedema said. Both were married to others at the time; however, their marriages ended before they graduated from chiropractic school.ìWe ended up interning in the same clinic for the last few terms of our school at Northwestern,î she said. ìAnd I thought he was good looking Ö and would be fun to hang out with.î In April 2008, Miedema invited Kutscher to a motorcycle show, and from then on they were constantly ìhanging out.îOver the summer, Miedema did an internship in Costa Rica for four weeks, and Kutscher returned to California for his third and final externship. Both graduated in November 2008, with doctorates in chiropractic medicine; and the two went their separate ways. ìHe left for California, and I went back to North Dakota. That was a sad day for me,î she said. ìAt that time, I thought we were done. I thought we would be moving on from there.î However, neither moved on; and they developed a long-distance relationship, until Kutscher asked Miedema to move to California.The two lived in Long Beach, California, for a year; and, in 2009, they moved to Minnesota ó mainly because they were expecting their first baby. ìWe couldnít afford to live in California, and wanted to be closer to family,î Miedema said. They both found work in separate clinics in Minnesota; until shortly after the birth of their daughter, Cikada, in March 2010. In May, they moved to Albertville, where Kutscher had been practicing.When they became uncertain about the clinicís future, Miedema and Kutscher looked into other options; and called Integrity Management (a chiropractic management company) for advice. The company suggested the couple start their own business. After they decided where they would live, Integrity would help them build their practice.With a love for the outdoors, Colorado appealed to both Miedema and Kutscher. A fellow chiropractor, who practiced in Manitou Springs, and his wife encouraged their move. Miedema and Kutscher looked at several clinics for sale along the Colorado Front Range, including Chiropractic Lifestyles in Falcon, a satellite clinic to the companyís main location in Colorado Springs. ìThis one caught our eye because we liked the potential for growth,î Miedema said. ìWe could get it for a discounted cost, and we could build it (the business) and do it ourselves.î Chiropractic Lifestyles was in trouble financially, and was priced to sell at $50,000. ìWe had enough money to live, but not enough for a down payment for a business,î she said. ìWe went to several banks and applied for a business loan, but were declined primarily because the business we wanted to purchase was failing.îIn November 2010, the couple moved to Colorado and rented a home in Falcon. In December, the Chiropractic Lifestyleís lease expired and Miedema and Kutscher took on the new lease, using the same name. They had not yet purchased the business, but almost five months later, they received a letter informing them the business under Chiropractic Lifestyle had gone bankrupt. In June, the bank appraised the business and asked Miedema and Kutscher if they were interested in making an offer. ìWe were pretty bold and offered them something like $4,500 for everything,î she said. The bank accepted the offer, and the couple became business owners, renaming the business Rock Solid Chiropractic. ìWith only 10 patient visits a week, we had lots of free time to do marketing,î she said. ìWe lived and breathed Rock Solid Chiropractic.îOver the next four years, the couple built the business to 200 to 250 patient visits a week and five employees. Their clients are from various areas of the eastern plains. ìPatients drive from Limon or come down from Denver,î Kutscher said. With further expansion in mind, they are thinking of building a commercial property and leasing space to other businesses.While their business expanded, so did their family. In 2014, they welcomed a son, Gavin.Along with their business success, Miedema and Kutscher have also adopted a strong sense of community through many philanthropic efforts. They have hosted four business expos and three 5K runs benefitting High Plains Helping Hands Food Pantry, which serves Falcon and the eastern plains. ìWe felt a need to create an event that would gain exposure for the many small, local businesses that do not have a storefront in Falcon,î Kutcher wrote in an email. They try to raise funds for various nonprofit organizations on a quarterly basis. ìWe try and rotate our philanthropic causes throughout the year,î Miedema said. Besides Helping Hands pantry, other organizations that have benefited from Rock Solid activities include CASA, TESSA, Falcon Exchange Club’s Angel Tree, Care and Share and Sarahís House, to mention a few.†ìWe did a patient appreciation day, and we had raised a couple thousand that we were able to donate to TESSA,î she said.†Rock Solid also participates and supports local events: the annual car show organized by Falcon Senior Services, a St. Baldrickís Foundation fundraiser held at Jaks Brewing Co. in Falcon, Falcon Freedom Days, Calhanís Summerfest and Calhanís Health Fair, Briarfest in Colorado Springs, Simla Days in Simla, Colorado ó and much more. In addition, Kutscher gives presentations to Falcon School District 49 high school health sciences classes and athletic groups; he talks to athletes about chiropractic care in relation to sports. ìAnyone who attends that sports class or makes any referrals to us pays $30, and we do their initial examination, X-rays and give them their report findings,î Miedema said. ìThen, we donate that $30 back to the team. So itís a win-win.îMiedema also hosts a ìLadies Night Outî for female business owners and their clients. The women are invited to set up their businesses at Rock Solid and invite their customers. Attendees can mingle with others and check out the varied businesses in the area. ìWe generally do this two times a year, but we are hoping to make this more of a monthly or bimonthly event.î Miedema said Rock Solid is planning an event strictly for men ó Beer and Cheer. ìWe are hoping to do this sometime in early December and give guys an opportunity to do their Christmas shopping early,î she said.And the aforementioned is just the short list of events and fundraisers supported by Rock Solid.In all, they are happy with their move to Colorado, their business and their home in Falcon. They compromised on the latter. ìI wanted a little bit of city, and she wanted a dirt road,î Kutscher said. ìSo we compromised. The space is great, and we really enjoy the community here.î

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