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Continued: Schafer: Minnesota has better luck expanding big firms than luring them

  • Article by: LEE SCHAFER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 19, 2013 - 9:34 PM

Bemis was by then about a hundred years in business, with significant operations in St. Louis, where it started, Minneapolis and Boston. Judson “Sandy” Bemis was about to take over as CEO, and he knew the executive offices should be consolidated. According to the legend, a vote was then taken — and Denver won.

Sandy Bemis carefully considered the results from the balloting. He then announced that as his wife was from St. Paul and they needed to take another vote.

The epilogue, of course, is that Bemis is now based in Neenah, Wis. There were good business reasons to go there, too. By the time the decision was announced in late 2005, there were nearly 10 times as many Bemis employees in Wisconsin as in Minnesota.

Then again, the CEO at the time, Jeff Curler, moved the headquarters about 35 minutes down the road from where his dad had co-founded a company that Bemis later acquired.

Patricia Woertz, ADM’s CEO, grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated with an accounting degree from Penn State. If Illinois balks on the $1.2 million-per-year tax break, maybe Pittsburgh becomes home to ADM’s corporate office.

We know that’s more likely than here. • 612-673-4302

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