Michael Leonard, a 46-year employee with Canadian Pacific and predecessor railroads, raised the company flag (on Aug. 20) at what is now Canadian Pacific Plaza, the former One Financial Plaza in downtown Minneapolis. Canadian Pacific, which employs 1,600 throughout Minnesota, has moved its 400 headquarters employees from the Soo Line Building, which is being converted to housing.
One Financial Plaza has been renamed Canadian Pacific Plaza. The big railroad is moving 400 employees down the street into a refurbished U.S. headquarters from its longtime home, the Soo Line Building, which is being converted to housing.
Doug McFarlane, who runs U.S. operations from Minneapolis, said in an interview that the CP has hired about 400 people in 13 U.S. states as business recovers from the recession. CP employs 4,000 Americans, including 1,600 in Minnesota.
"We're not back to the business level of 2007, but the trend is in that direction," said McFarlane, who began with CP as a mechanic in Alberta in 1978.
CP's business is driven by farm crops, North Dakota oil, ethanol, lumber and coal shipments.
"We needed a new headquarters facility, ideally downtown," McFarlane said. "This investment demonstrates Canadian Pacific's commitment to Minneapolis and Minnesota."
Hempel, owner and landlord, has made an unspecified, seven-figure investment in upgrading lighting, elevators, restrooms and added a fitness center to the 26-story Canadian Pacific Plaza.
"We're pleased we were able to help Canadian Pacific find a home that met their needs, including the facilities, technical infrasructure and room for expansion they required," said Hempel President Jon Hempel.
CP's biggest Minnesota installation is its 800-employee rail yard in St. Paul.
American consumers got a bad rap after the Great Recession laid bare our propensity to overspend. But that hasn't stopped marketers' quest to answer one never-ending question: Why do we shop? Minneapolis-based agency Little & Co. recently set out to update a groundbreaking study published in 1972 by Edward Tauber, who discovered -- gasp -- that many people don't shop because they "need." Rather, they shop because they need a diversion, or crave self-gratification, or seek a social experience outside of the home.
What's changed? More women are in the workforce and don't have time to linger. Aging baby boomers are done feathering their nests. Millennials have different needs. Technology has made comparison shopping easier and attention spans shorter, but price isn't everything.
"We're smarter and better informed than we used to be," said Mary Haugh, Little & Co.'s vice president of strategy and account management. "We have incredible environments that provide more stimulation and shopping experience. But our expectations are much higher in terms of service, customization, product quality and value."
Little identified six "personas" that shoppers mix and match, which suggest we probably haven't changed much in four decades: inspiration seekers; shopping socialites; treasure hunters; brand worshippers; pampered guests and self-expressionists.
Stratasys Inc. has been selected as part of a team of industry leaders to develop the first "additive manufacturing institute," one of 15 centers of excellence to bring industries together to solve manufacturing issues through innovation and give U.S. manufacturers access to best-in-class technologies. It's part of the Obama administration's National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The Stratasys-related center is funded by $30 million from the government and $40 million from industry.
Jeff DeGrange, Stratasys vice president of direct digital manufacturing, said: "This new institute will accelerate development of additive manufacturing technologies to benefit U.S. competitiveness. Additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing, reduces tooling costs, start-up costs, inventory, raw-material use, energy consumption and the waste stream associated with traditional manufacturing processes." Stratasys, of Eden Prairie, makes Internet-driven manufacturing machines for prototyping and producing plastic parts.
Steve Hirsch, who has served as a top investment executive in Norway, is returning to the Twin Cities to join Greg Kulka at Guardian Wealth Advisors.
Hirsch, who grew up in Edina, has served as deputy chief executive of Norges Bank Investment Management, the investment arm of the Central Bank of Norway managing the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund. Hirsch will become chief investment officer at Guardian. Hirsch is an accountant and MBA out of the University of St. Thomas and University of Minnesota, respectively.
Minneapolis-based American Refugee Committee has been named a "Top Ten Finalist" for the Peter F. Drucker Innovation Award for Nonprofit Innovation. The awards committee recognized ARC for its "I Am a Star" program, which engages the Somali community in Minnesota and around the globe to help shape ARC's humanitarian response in Somalia. ARC was chosen from among more than 600 nonprofits nominated for the award. The "I Am a Star" program was developed in partnership with the local Somali community. The program has since expanded globally -- engaging Somali communities in other U.S. cities, as well as Norway, Sweden, Qatar, Malaysia and the United Kingdom -- to help provide relief in Somalia, home to a continuing humanitarian crisis.
The "I Am a Star" program also has engaged more than 30,000 people online to build a global community of support for Somalia.
CEO Todd Klingel of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce attended the American Economic Competitiveness Forum on Transportation Infrastructure at the White House on Aug. 22. The forum provides an opportunity for business leaders to engage senior White House and administration officials on transportation issues.
"More than 90 percent of our members have told us that they believe the chamber should continue to support efforts to fund new transit projects in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region," Klingel said. "This marketplace will not remain competitive without ongoing investments in infrastructure, including roads and bridges that ensure we can continue to move people and goods effectively despite massive increases in population."