Staff Directory 10646026

Neal St. Anthony

Columnist, reporter | Business
Phone: 612-673-7144
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Neal St. Anthony has been a Star Tribune business columnist/reporter since 1984. 


St. Anthony's work has spanned corporate takeovers to financial markets, small businesses, and the emergence of women, immigrants and minorities in business. A native of Minneapolis who first joined the Star Tribune in 1981, St. Anthony holds undergraduate degrees in journalism and business, and an MBA. He also has worked for two publicly held companies, including former regional securities firm Dain Rauscher (1997-98). St. Anthony, who is married and the father of two children, has been a volunteer with the Minneapolis parks, several schools and nonprofit organizations.
Recent content from Neal St. Anthony
Software developer Tyler Hanson, left, and Dan Nelson, owner of Olio Outdoors, are working to create Olio Engine, a web-based operating system aimed a

Online platform will help businesses grow without workers, equipment

On the morning of a winter storm warning last week, you would expect Dan Nelson — the owner Olio Outdoors, a company that does snow…
Perforce CEO Mark Ties, with board Chairwoman Janet Dryer, said their strategy includes buying “category-leading niche firms.”

Perforce leads a list of fast-growing, privately held Twin Cities software firms

The company plans to double revenue within 24 months through organic growth and acquisitions.
Cub Foods, owned by Supervalu, opened a store in Oakdale in 2016. United Natural Foods bought Supervalu in 2018 for $2.8 billion in one of the state�

Market for big mergers slumps in 2018 as action shifts to small firms

High-profile deals slumped in 2018, but overall volume held firm.
Noah Patton, left, and Kirk Jacobson work at MDI’s northeast Minneapolis plant, which has grown from 80 to 120 employees.

Minnesota's MDI expands with model that mainstreams workers with disabilities

Minnesota Diversified Industries has a mission to hire and develop employees with disabilities through an integrated-workforce approach.
Amir Berenjian, center, and Travis Hoium, right, launched REM 5 VR lab, with brother Bijan Berenjian managing the food sales.

Entertainment and pizza drive sales so far at St. Louis Park virtual reality 'lab'

REM5 VR Lab in St. Louis Park is a long way from that View-Master from the 1960s.
Bradford Beale, the former president of Comtrol, will serve as the managing director of the Pepperl + Fuchs Comtrol division.

German firm buys Comtrol, a manufacturer that survived founder's legal trouble, recession

Germany's privately held Pepperl+Fuchs, a diversified producer of industrial sensors and other automation technology, plans to invest in and grow Comtrol.
Aneela and Sameer Kumar, winner of the MEDA minority business competition, were pictured last November with the HabitAware Keen bracelet.Photo: Neal.S

Minnesota tech company wins first prize in '$1 Million Challenge' for minority entrepreneurs

St. Louis Park's HabitAware makes a bracelet that monitors repetitive behaviors like hair pulling or nail biting.
Paul Leavitt banked at the TCF branch on W. 50th St. Monday afternoon.

Road to TCF-Chemical Financial merger began in 2015

TCF, Chemical officials have been keeping an eye on each other since 2015
TCF Bank CEO Craig Dahl.

TCF merges with Detroit bank Chemical Financial

The merger of equals transaction will create a financial services company with $34 billion in total and 500 branches across nine states, primarily in the Midwest. The HQ will be in Detroit.
Elux Marine partners Bart Jones, left, and Howard Root introduced their battery-powered pontoon boat at the boat show.

After selling $1B medical products company, Minnesota CEO unveils luxury 'green' pontoon

Businessman Howard Root's latest venture is a sleek pontoon that looks "more like an Italian cruising boat."
After training to be a family therapist, St. Paul native Tom Hubler spent 40 years counseling family-owned businesses.

Family business counselor Tom Hubler started out working with disadvantaged kids

He has spent nearly 40 years counseling family-owned businesses, including in a 2018 book, "The Soul of Family Business."
Over the last 30 years, Mike Temali, CEO of Neighborhood Development Center, left, and retired banker Bill Sands, right, have helped business owners l

NDC turns troubled street corners into areas of opportunity in Minneapolis-St. Paul

For 30 years, the Neighborhood Development Center has been lifting up small businesses in the Twin Cities.
Rolando Diaz, left, owner of Marna’s Cafe, shares customers with Welna’s Hardware in Robbinsdale. The hardware was run by Pat, center, and is now

Welna Hardware takes its successful inner-city neighborhood model to Robbinsdale

Lessons learned operating in the inner-city Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis guide Welna Hardware's suburban expansion.
Tactile Medical systems executive Wade Zander and CEO Jerry Mattys demonstrated a compression device in 2017.

NE. Mpls. medical company now valued at $1B, boasts state's best-performing stock

Tactile Medical Systems went public in 2016, and it's been the best-performing stock in Minnesota every year since.
Former chief executive Ravi Norman left, and founder Richard Copeland of Thor Cos. stand outside of the company's new headquarters as it was being bui

Thor Cos. sued by Sunrise Banks for more than $3 million; receiver sought

Thor Cos., the state's largest minority-owned company, is on the verge of financial collapse, according to the lawsuit filed in Hennepin County District Court.
Ravi Norman, Thor Companies CEO, shown last year outside the company's new headquarters.

Thor Companies runs into financial bind, raising questions

It comes months after the state's largest minority-owned company moved into a new North Side headquarters partially funded by Hennepin County.
Imprint Engine owners Travis Veit, 37; Caleb Gilbertson, 31; and Zach Sussman, 35, show off some of their marketing items.

After landing Uber as client, Twin Cities tech marketing firm went into overdrive

Thanks to the growth of Uber and other clients, Imprint Engine was recognized recently as one of the fastest-growing privately owned Twin Cities companies, as ranked by the Business Journal.
Code42 CEO Joe Payne said the company is moving from its legacy data-backup business to “data loss protection.”

Code42's retrenchment last week is part of its plan for long-term growth

If the strategy of Code42's leadership works, the now 550-employee company could become a much larger outfit.
Code42 CEO Joe Payne

Minneapolis-based Code42 to lay off 55 workers as growth slows

The company said shifting focus to IT security from backup software has been tougher than expected.
After the first full business week since the government shutdown began, executives and entrepreneurs are starting to see more effects. The flow of mon

Federal government shutdown means delays for Minnesota house buyers, small-business owners

After the first full business week since the shutdown began, executives and entrepreneurs are starting to see more widespread effects.
IntriCon CEO Mark Gorder with hearing aids in 2017.

St. Anthony: Has IntriCon stock been a good investment? Depends

One of the best-performing Minnesota stocks of 2017 and into the summer of last year has gone from hot to cold.
Bear year ahead? Trade wars, rising interest rates and a slowdown after the long economic recovery may move the U.S. economy into recession this year.

Volatile 2018 ends on down note for majority of Minnesota's big firms

Among 72 major public firms, only 32 saw positive returns last year.
Tina Rexing, a former IT manager, quit corporate America several years ago to become a cookie entrepreneur in Minneapolis.

Hoping to reopen, T-Rex Cookie caught in middle of Mpls. neighborhood's legal fight

The owner of a giant cookie bakery must makeover her Twin Cities business to survive.
“I wanted to honor my parents’ business … [and] I wanted to create something more representative of me.”
Alyza Bohbot

City Girl Coffee thrives at Midwest Pantry

Alyza Bohbot’s Minneapolis-based coffee business is steaming. Five years after she acquired her parents’ business, Alakef Coffee Roasters of Duluth, and inaugurated an additional brand,…
CEO Ralph Jacobson, left, and Chief Development Officer Eric Pasi of IPS Solar in Roseville, which has grown to 40 employees.

Minnesota's economic vitals are good, but we have work to do

A few observations about a good year in Minnesota business, as the national economy slows in this 10th year of recovery. • The Minnesota economy…
Dan Witkowski, who started out as a high school magician, has evolved from magic shows for corporate meetings to the creative force behind new product

Minneapolis-based MagiCom has evolved from trickeration to innovation

The roots of Dan Witkowski’s MagiCom business are in magic shows he performed in high school and elsewhere 45 years ago. And there’s still plenty…
Steve Rothschild, right, resigned in 1991 from an executive post at General Mills to address high unemployment among low-income black men through the

Founder Steve Rothschild calls it a career at nonprofit Twin Cities Rise

Steve Rothschild, a top executive at General Mills in 1991, retired at 45, and walked away from millions in compensation to take on a huge…
Scott Burns, co-founder of Structural, Bill Emory, CEO of Smart Care and Caroline Karanja, owner of 26 Letters are among the Osborn370’s tenants.

A year in, St. Paul's Osborn370 gains momentum as Twin Cities startup hub

Renovations nearly done at former Ecolab HQ and the building is about two-thirds leased.

Unlikely neighbors add to Osborn370's entrepreneurial energy

Caroline Karanja and Bill Emory lead different outfits in a born-again skyscraper in downtown St. Paul.Karanja, 29, an e-commerce veteran, is the co-founder of two-year-old…
David Sinchi, 22, a Banyan youth through high school, is now a college senior guiding the community’s next generation.

Banyan's $6.4M community center helps bridge gap for low-income kids in south Mpls.

Banyan Community, started in a south Minneapolis kitchen of a teacher turned volunteer tutor in 1990, has gotten pretty good at helping low-income minority kids…
Roosevelt High student Kayla Pollard learned about robotics on a 2017 tour of Graco’s facilities.

Minnesota manufacturers worry most about long-term worker shortages

They are pitching high school kids on jobs that involve advanced training, including paid college courses, as an alternative to launching into college.
Ryan Foudray and Paulita LaPlante, are the co-owners of Prescription Landscape, based in St. Paul.

Female-owned Twin Cities landscaping company has a prescription for growth

Paulita LaPlante said her people, even more than machines, are the high-performance engines of the company.
Bremer Financial CEO Jeanne Crain said the bank’s strategy is always focused creating personal connections to its customers and using innovation to

Bremer CEO Jeanne Crain talks about small business clients, changing industry

One new touch is a living room-style space in the Linden Hills neighborhood, where Bremer bankers may be chatting with prospective clients.
Deb Chorzempa, left, received a kidney from her office colleague Jackie Francis in June.

For Twin Cities officemates, the gift of a kidney makes this a special holiday season

"It's crazy that someone would do something like this for me."
“North Minneapolis is where I’m invested and where my services are most needed.”
Anissa Keyes, owner of Arubah Emotional Health in north Minneap

Nonprofit Minneapolis lender has a big impact in community-development lending nationally

  Last year, CEO Anissa Keyes moved the headquarters of her Arubah Emotional Health from leased space in Brooklyn Center to north Minneapolis. Keyes grew…
T.J., Melanie and Tom McMullen with the ClipDifferent Pro, which helps those with mobility or vision challenges clip their nails.

After 35 years, Minnesota entrepreneur has built a better nail clipper

This fall, McMullen began selling the first product of his "startup company," 35 years after he started tinkering at the kitchen table.
Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton, left, and the Center for Economic Inclusion’s Tawanna Black discussed the issue at a recent forum.

Black venture capitalist tells Minn. investors: More minority businesses ought to be funded

Arlan Hamilton spoke at a forum this month sponsored by the Center for Economic Inclusion.
Aneela and Sameer Kumar with the HabitAware Keen bracelet.

After Minnesota Cup win, tech startup HabitAware works on fundraising round

HabitAware is a health-and-business venture that has blossomed into a technology that's received kudos for its health benefits that already is benefiting thousands and shows promise as a commercial enterprise.
Jason Moreau survived a disabling accident to go to work in 2016 as the first downtown “ambassador” in a wheelchair.

Downtown ambassador Jason Moreau is more than able to serve the public

Moreau, the first Downtown Improvement District ambassador who operates from a wheelchair, had to work hard to land his job.

Alorica to add 300 call center jobs in Mendota Heights, hike base hourly pay by $2

Company also plans to add 300 jobs at its Mendota Heights facility.
Mansco Perry, head of the Minnesota State Board of Investment, oversees an operation that consistently performs well on behalf of taxpayers.

Minnesota's chief investor has been a good steward of state's money

Mansco Perry, by all accounts, is a good steward of funds.
“Minnesota has come a long way, with unemployment dropping from 8 percent in 2009 to under 3 percent this fall. There’s nearly zero-percent unempl

CEO of Minnesota High Tech Association is upbeat and pragmatic

CEO Margaret Anderson Kelliher of the Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) has a busy month ahead for her organization. Last week, MHTA hosted the Minnesota…
Michael Cole, former president of U.S. Bancorp’s Ascent Private Capital Management for the ultra-wealthy, has triggered a legal maelstrom by joining

U.S. Bank's legal fight with former Ascent boss is about trust and big money

Michael Cole, the former president of U.S. Bancorp’s Ascent Private Capital Management, its lucrative business that serves clients worth at least $75 million, spent several…
MEDA CEO Gary Cunningham, right, with Jashan Eison, CEO of H&B Elevators, says MEDA will build “a smarter, bigger machine” to support minority bus

CEO Gary Cunningham grows MEDA's capital, loans and minority businesses

MEDA is growing, and CEO Gary Cunningham says there is much more to come.
Shuji Nakamura, the Nobel Prize-winning Elvis of the LED revolution, spoke at a convention at Aria last month.

Global lighting rock star Shuji Nakamura played to attentive local audience

About 500 building owners, contractors, lighting designers and architects from several states gathered in Minneapolis to listen to a scientist who has illuminated the world.
Tom Welch, Don Samuels, VJ Smith and Ron Cornwall

Scene + Heard: MicroGrants celebrates 'people of potential'

MicroGrants celebrated its 2018 recipients at a fundraiser at the University of St. Thomas Law School’s atrium in downtown Minneapolis. Keynote speaker Adrian Coulter, once…
Developer Kelly Doran warned Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and the City Council in a letter this month that builders and investors would pull out in re

Homebuilders concerned about proposed Mpls. "inclusionary zoning" rule

Resistance is building to a proposed Minneapolis requirement that developers reserve 10% to 20% of new rental units for affordable housing.
Nine-year-old Jack Anderson used the ConfiBoost Eyewear, which is designed to help focus readers’ attention.

Geneticist-turned-educator now focuses on attention-driving technology

Teaching inspired Rod Greder's entrepreneurial foray into educational technology, started nearly a decade ago.
Hays Companies founder Jim Hays. Photo: Neal.St.Anthony@startribune.com

Minneapolis-based Hays Cos. acquired for $705M by Brown & Brown

Brown & Brown will buy the Mpls. firm, which will operate as a regional unit.
Specialist Gregg Maloney works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Is this economic recovery starting to fade?

Nearly a decade into the longest post-WWII economic recovery, there are some concerns about staying power.
Lisa Page, who died unexpectedly in June, was a founder of RexVid with her husband, Jamie, a software company partner.

Rexvid founder moves forward after loss of his wife and business partner

Jamie Page was reviewing a cache of birthday cards one day last year. They were nice. But they cost up to $5 a piece and…
Chef Lachelle Cunningham of Chelle’s Kitchen, Chaz Sandifer of Noir Elite Fitness and Camden Farmers Market, and Mariam Omari of K’s Revolutionary

Startup Week delivered on diversity-inclusion promise

Women and minorities, historically underrepresented, are now a growing part of small businesses startups.
Elizabeth Bierman is a district engineering chief at Comcast and a past president of the Society of Women Engineers.

Women in engineering conference will be the largest this year at the Minneapolis Convention Center

Planners expect 12,000 attendees at the Society of Women Engineers national gathering.
CEO Joe Welu of Total Expert

Total Expert lands $20 million in venture-capital funding

Fast-growing financial software firm previously raised $14 million.
Aneela Idnani, a founder of HabitAware, was named the 2018 Minnesota Cup grand prize winner on Monday.

HabitAware, maker of bracelet that minds annoying habits, wins the Minnesota Cup

The "awareness tracker" helps people overcome tics like pulling hair.
CEO Clarence Bethea of Upsie Technology

Twin Cities Startup Week will have a more diverse look

Several signature events, a couple of big ones driven by minority initiatives, are prominent on this week's agenda.
Executives Dave Augustine, left, and Dana Anderson foresee a rapid expansion of Living Greens Farm of Faribault.

Living Greens unveiling large aeroponic vegetable farm

Living Greens said that its Faribault farm will be the second-largest aeroponics operation behind that of industry leader AeroFarms.
Tech Dump employees gathered recently at their St. Paul facility. Tech Dump photo.

Electronics reconditioning-firm Tech Dump expanding in St. Paul Midway

CEO says the larger space in Midway will allow the electronics refurbisher to double revenue and staff.
PPL CEO Paul Williams, left, resident Gabriel Corbesia, an apprentice carpenter, and AICDC head Michael Goze posed in front of newly built apartments

A small business closes, but the progress continues on multicultural Franklin Avenue

The long-term prognosis of this once-seedy stretch of Minneapolis is good, but it's been a slow, sometimes-halting redevelopment.
Though ex-Regis CEO Paul Finkelstein stepped down in 2012, it’s taken until now to start seeing a turnaround for the firm.

Regis, cutting employees and salons, is making a long-awaited financial recovery

Its strategy has ranged from selling itself to reinventing itself in what has proved a painful corporate drama for many stakeholders.
Jay Meekin and Steve Golat walked their dog Duffy on a walking path in the future home of a park next to the Graco factory with a view of downtown. Th

Settlement between Graco, Park Board means Minneapolis will get riverside park

The agreement ends a yearslong legal dispute over a parcel of land.
Chris Quinn saw his sales grow after he added a separate space called “Fret Central” to his Minneapolis store, Quinn Violins.

Minneapolis-based Quinn Violins strikes chord with guitar section

Chris Quinn needed to expand or he knew he would see his business wilt.
Xcel Energy, a leader in energy produced from renewable resources, powers 20 percent-plus of its multistate system with wind.

Business warming to greener economy that combats climate change

The trends in corporate America, and the environmental movement, are too strong to bend to current anti-environment rhetoric.
Raniga Sheikh and Jacobi Simmons, leaders of the teen-operated Green Garden Bakery. Photo: Neal St.Anthony

North side teens dream big with sweet Green Garden expansion

Green Garden grows vegetables in its community garden, bakes them into healthy vegetable-based desserts for every diet, and markets them using sustainable practices.
Left to right: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a former software firm CEO, with Luke Kjosling and Melissa Kjolsing Lynch of Recovree, and North Dakota

Veteran Minnesota startup-competition manager became a struggling, joyous entrepreneur

Melissa Kjolsing Lynch, 33, who earned a University of Minnesota MBA while she worked for the affiliated MN Cup, is confident enough in the future of her four-person company to quit a couple part-time gigs to go all in on Recovree.
Former Sun Country owner Marty Davis, right, and Capt. Brian Roseen checked out a new Boeing 737 in 2015.

Former Sun Country owner learned a lesson: 'Don't fly under the radar'

Former Sun Country Chairman Marty Davis was humbled and enriched over seven years of ownership that ended earlier this year. Brothers Marty and Mitch Davis,…
CEO Rich Poirier of Church Mutual Insurance Co. said growing religious diversity has helped the company prosper.

Church Mutual Insurance overcomes decline of mainstream churches

With 1,350 U.S. employees, including 750 in Merrill and a growing contingent in Minnesota, Church Mutual has proved adaptable to changing times.
Sentera chief executive Eric Taipale. The Minnesota-based maker of agriculture drones and systems said Wednesday it raised another $14 million in vent

Agricultural drone-and-data firm Sentera raises $14 million in venture funding

Sentera, the agricultural drone and data-analysis software company, said Wednesday that it raised $14 million in institutional funding, following $8.5 million raised in 2016, mostly…
Quality Ingredients CEO Isabelle Day and plant manager Bob Banken said six of their 60 employees are former inmates.

'Great people who have made mistakes': More Minn. businesses hiring ex-offenders

In a tight labor market, employers are willing to expand talent pool.
Pedicab driver Davis Powell gave a ride to Doreen Rusk. “I love meeting new people and new conversations,” said Powell who left a job at a tire sh

Former inmate Davis Powell surviving, thriving as entrepreneur

Employers, who long shunned hiring former inmates, are reconsidering in a worker-hungry economy.
Director Jami Lessard and educational coordinator Elrico Smith at the New Horizon Academy preschool and day care in north Minneapolis.

Not enough progress on getting 5-year-olds ready for kindergarten

At least 40 percent of Minnesota kids still are not ready for kindergarten.
Gina, left, and her mom, Rosa Chunchi, with their cold-treat truck that was vandalized by a stranger at a Minneapolis park.

Immigrant mother-daughter small-business duo fight harassment with goodwill

They were confronted by a knife-wielding man while selling frozen treats from their city-permitted van during soccer games at Northeast Park.
IntriCon CEO Mark Gorter with hearing aids in 2017.

IntriCon's reincarnation has made it Minnesota's best stock to own since 2017

The price has run from about $6 per share in 2016 to a high of $69.50 per share earlier this month.
CEO Tammy Lee of Recombinetics

Gundersen Health is lead investor in gene-editing firm Recombinetics

Gundersen Health makes big bet on Recombinetics.
Jenni and Tom Smude are working with lenders to triple their manufacturing space in Pierz, Minn.

Smude's Sunflower Oil, helped by a pop in popcorn sales, is expanding in Pierz

Tom and Jenni Smude, who live on a 160-acre farm, are working with lenders to expand their manufacturing facility to 75,000 square feet.
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