Walker native Todd Schultz trades northwoods lake country for prairie lakes in position with Park Region
Park Region Cooperative kept operations “in the family,” in a sense, when the operation hired a new manager.
Todd Schultz is in the process of taking over for Greg Larson, at the co-op convenience store and propane operation. Todd’s wife, Val, is the daughter of Greg’s wife—Cindy.
“About a year and a half ago, Greg was talking about retiring—and he asked if I’d be interested,” said Todd, who has plenty of credentials beyond merely family connections.
Schultz, 53, was raised in the gas, convenience store and delivery business—which encompasses similar duties to those at Park Region.
“I grew up in the business,” said Todd. His father had the Amoco station in Walker for years. He also drove a bulk fuel truck for Orton’s for a number of years.
For the past 25 years, Schultz gained valuable supervisory experience, while continuing in a similar profession–with the Cass County Highway Department, with operation mostly out of the county seat in Walker.
“I was up for a new challenge,” said Todd. “I had been in this business, and I’ve been working with the public all my life—from the family station, to the bulk fuel truck to the highway department…I oversaw two shops at the highway department, but talking with the public was always part of my career.”
In addition to the immediate challenges of maintaining operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Schultz plans on some updates in the retail store. “With COVID, there is really an effort to try to make things quicker, easier.”
The Park Region board also recently purchased a new bulk fuel truck, which will increase efficiencies.
Mainly, Schultz’s primary objective is to continue the solid course set by Greg Larson.
“I just hope to do as well as Greg has done for the business, and offer the best possible service,” said Schultz. “Greg has done such a great job.”
Schultz is a graduate of Walker High School and a native of the Walker-Leech Lake country.
Trading lake life in northwoods Minnesota for a prairie lake lifestyle was an easy choice for the Shultzes.
“My wife was a teacher in Walker for 20 years,” said Schultz. “We both decided we wanted a change.”
Val is now teaching at Roosevelt school in Detroit Lakes. The couple is living in Pelican Rapids, and their son Caden is now a senior at Pelican Rapids High School.
Art was Schultz’s career interest after high school, and he attended Moorhead Technical Institute.
It was while a student in Moorhead that he came to appreciate the rolling hills, the prairie and the scattered lakes of this area. “It’s a different kind of lake country,” said Schultz.
Also, he has several college friends living in the general area. “I always had an interest in living in this area,” said Todd.
He describes himself a wildlife artist, and is considering getting more involved in the hobby—with oil, water color, pencil and airbrush.
Todd and Val have a “blended” family as Todd explains. Four of their children from separate marriages are out of high school: Cole, Olivia, Carter and John