PROGRESS 2020: Thrivent Financial moves, American Family Ins. soon to follow

American Family Insurance, Gaustad Accounting & Tax Service and Thrivent Financial are making use of remodeled building.

Thrivent Financial, American Family Insurance and Gaustad Accounting are all soon to be housed out of the same building on Colfax Ave., the former Harry Taves Law Office. Michael Johnson/Progress

Sometimes the stars align just right, which was the case for one local business woman who is making a space for three businesses to flourish in Wadena.

Andrea Seelhammer, financial professional with Thrivent Financial was previously renting a space at 405 Ash Ave. West in Wadena. It was a great location, but one she wasn't gaining any equity from. So with her lease almost up along with Keith Leiran and his American Family Insurance location next door, the two made a decision to move to Colfax Ave. in the former Harry Taves Law Office.

Eric Gaustad of Gaustad Accounting and Tax Service was renting space in the building while Harry Taves still owned it and he had the opportunity to buy the building from Taves. Not needing a whole building, Seelhammer saw an opportunity to buy the building from Gaustad and rent a room to him and Leiran.

"I feel like I found my niche in the community, I like what I am doing," Seelhammer said "So a more permanent spot, and the fact that this happened to be available and that I got an introduction to the guy who was willing to sell it is just kind of odd how that happened, it just worked out."


Andrea Seelhammer

She recruited the help of her husband Josh and other family members, all in the construction trades, to begin remodeling the inside of the building to suit the needs of all involved. The result is a nearly complete building from the main floor into the basement. Seelhammer was able to move in February 1 after buying the building in November 2019.

The former law office was built back in the 1940s, according to Seelhammer. Her husband recalls it was known as the Wrestler building. New floors, wall coverings, walls, rebuilt bathrooms and room for relaxing in the basement makeup much of the interior work. Seelhammer still hopes to modernize the exterior of the building.

Working with Thrivent Financial resources, Seelhammer is able to provide assistance with insurance, retirement, estate planning and financial services to Christians desiring to be wise with their money. As a fraternal benefit society, they operate as a not-for-profit organization owned by more-than-2-million members. Seelhammer has been working with Thrivent in Wadena since 2012.

Gaustad Accounting

Gaustad will primarily use this site during the tax season, two days a week. He also has an office he recently purchased in Henning from Elmer Newman and runs his businesses out of his home office in Vining. He said he's about doubled his workload upon taking on Newman's clients this year. Gaustad has been working in Wadena since 2012.

American Family Insurance

Leiran, an American Family Insurance agent with locations in Wadena and Perham, will move to the new location Monday, March 30. He said there was no major reason to make the move. He previously had a location on main street and looks forward to returning downtown to see that area continue to thrive. He's been working with the insurance company in Wadena since 2002.

Keith Leiran


"With technology these days we can be anywhere," Leiran said. He splits his time between locations spending Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings in Wadena.

The old law office sports a new interior throughout the building including the new office for Andrea Seelhammer and Thrivent Financial. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in the city of Verndale, Minn., but is bent on making it as country as he can until he returns once more to the farm living he enjoys. Also living the dream are his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
What To Read Next
Get Local