Steve Rosenstone, year-long chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, will kick off the new "Leadership Insights" series at the Minnesota High Tech Association on Thursday at St. Paul College.

Rosenstone joined last week with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to announce a "Workforce Assessment" initiative to address the state's growing skills gap. The Workforce Assessment will begin in April and engage Minnesota companies in developing precise projections of how many workers and professionals, with what kinds of skills, will be needed in which regions of the state, for what kinds of jobs.

Rosenstone, a longtime U of M administrator, is wowing the ham-and-egg circuit with his agenda for 54-campus MnSCU as a "partner of choice" to meet state workforce needs.

"Bold initiatives, with aggressive timelines for completion, are already underway," Rosenstone said. "These initiatives will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations and increase the capabilities of graduates so they have the jobs skills needed by Minnesota businesses."

Doors open Thursday at 7:30 a.m. for the $15-a-customer breakfast. Online registration is at:


In a deal aimed at community banks and other financial institutions, Marketplace Home Mortgage has acquired AdvisorNet Mortgage of Minneapolis.

The deal creates the Financial Services Group, a division of Edina-based Marketplace Home Mortgage, to provide "a unique platform through which mortgage services can be provided through community banks and other financial institutions," said President Keith White of Marketplace Home Mortgage.

"This move is part of our strategic growth plan to get Marketplace to $1 billion in annual loan production," said White, a doubling of recent production. "We ... anticipate that this new division will play a significant role in doing so."

The idea is that community bankers, who are starting to see demand rising for residential loans, will benefit without having to create their own mortgage operations from scratch.

AdvisorNet Mortgage President Vaughn Kavlie said joining with Marketplace Mortgage is essential to keeping his 50-plus community bank and credit union clients committed to the mortgage business and growing.

Marketplace has served real estate professionals, builders and home buyers since 1995.


Kirby Payne, the veteran hotelier and consultant, says Carlson's portfolio of hotel brands is positioned to thrive as the economy recovers and business travelers in particular return to the air.

Hubert Joly, CEO of privately held Carlson, told the Star Tribune last week that 2011 revenue rose 7 percent to $4.5 billion in 2011, the Minnetonka-based travel-and-hospitality giant's best year since the 2008-09 recession. Joly said the hotel division, including Radisson and Country Inns & Suites, posted 12 percent higher revenue of $1.5 billion.

Payne said the tony Radisson Blu brand, which boasts more service and amenities, as well as the fewer-frills Country Inns have made huge gains since the recession.

"Occupancy and revenue fell off to unprecedented levels," said Payne, president of HVS Hotel Management, a Rhode Island firm formerly based in Minneapolis. "We're going to see good things from Carlson companies in the coming years."



Lee Lynch, Bishop of Green and a founder of creative agency Carmichael Lynch, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Minneapolis-based agency with a St. Patrick's Day party that started on March 16 and has yet to end, according to well-placed sources.

Lynch actually retired in 2005, accepting what he called the Carmichael Lynch "lead parachute." The eclectic Lynch, who his career started as a teacher, remains active in philanthropy, theater management and boards, and appears about anywhere that permits a green bow tie, particularly for an opportunity to afflict the comfortable and raise money for a good cause.

Lynch, 75 and holding, cashed out in 1998 when huge Interpublic Group bought Carmichael Lynch for about $30 million from Lynch and other employees.

Co-founded in 1962 by Lynch and Jack Carmichael, the agency counts American Standard, Cargill and Rapala as clients of more than 20 years, rare in the ad biz.

Lynch, mitre of humor in hand, led about 500 of the CL faithful in a longtime house favorite, "The O'Gong Show."


Minnesota exporters were the rage at the recent Governor's International Trade Awards ceremony at the IDS center on Thursday. Gov. Mark Dayton honored 10 local companies for finding customers abroad in order to increase revenues and jobs here at home.

Award recipients included Delkor Systems Inc., Digi-Key, GearGrid, Jet Edge, Kwik Rink Synthetic Ice, Mayo Clinic, ME Global Inc., Northwest Grains International, PaR Systems Inc. and ProtoLabs.

Dayton and officials from the Minnesota Trade Office, the Brookings Institution and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also announced plans to double Twin Cities-area exports in five years. It's a tall order. Twin Cities firms boasted $17.6 billion in exports in 2010. They broke a record with $20.3 billion in 2011.



This weekend, nearly 180 nerds from the Nerdery are working 24 hours straight for free to help 18 Minnesota nonprofits build better websites. The fifth annual Twin Cities Nerdery Overnight Websight Challenge has a "street value" of nearly $500,000. The super- caffeinated, sometimes-transcendent event occurs at the Continuing Education Conference Center on the St. Paul Campus of the U of M. It started Saturday at 8:45 a.m. and concludes Sunday at 10 a.m., when the nerds say goodnight and head to the dairy barns for R&R. More info: www.tc2012.overnightwebsite