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
Dorsey Howard Jr., who moved into a home in Golden Valley two years ago, played basketball with his grandkids on Friday.

Ex-inmate got another chance — and made the most of it

A former addict and dealer works up to three jobs weekly, cooking, cleaning and building maintenance, and considers himself fortunate.
180 Degrees Program Manager Ariel McDonald, left, 180 Executive Director Dan Pfarr, and Chris Harris, a former drug addict who works 80 hours a week a

In tight labor market, employers hiring more ex-offenders

The Walz administration's long-term strategy is to reduce incarceration for low-level, nonviolent offenders and curtail technical parole violations that can send former inmates back to prison
Former Payday America borrower Christina Thomas, left, refinanced in 2016 with Exodus Lending, led by Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer.

Where Minnesota Legislature landed on business-related issues this past session

  The split Legislature increased K-12 education funding, lowered slightly the 2% tax on medical providers, failed to compromise on Gov. Tim Walz’s 20-cent-a-gallon gas…
Doran Cos. ranks highly with employees for leadership, communication

Doran Cos. ranks highly with employees for leadership, communication

Midsize companies: Doran Cos.' new CEO emphasizes benefits such as parental leave, profit-sharing.
The JA business company from Edison High, included Takia Thomas, center, and Brandon Arneson, center-right.

Junior Achievement produces several winning companies from Minnesota

  Takia Thomas and the rest of her Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest “company” at Minneapolis Edison High School prove you can take second…
Far and Sam Navab will keep their American Rug location in Minneapolis for drop-offs and may add a coffee shop and dog wash.

Century-old American Rug Laundry outgrows its historic Mpls. site, expands to Golden Valley

Century-old American Rug Laundry on East Lake Street is having a sale this week. That's not big news from Sam and Farzan Navab, immigrant entrepreneurs…
CEO Wendi Breuer of SeaChange Print Innovations of Plymouth

Wendi Breuer revived a print shop. Now she's Minnesota businesswoman of the year.

SeaChange Print Innovations chief executive brought in new technology and energy.
Shena Idoko, at center, in a blue dress, worked with a construction crew of volunteers and professionals this month to build a wall of her future home

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity hits record pace

Shena Idoko is about to trade rent of $1,110 per month for a new house being built in St. Paul’s North End that will cost…
Dennis Frandsen has donated several million dollars to Lakes Region Emergency Medical Services in North Branch. He is seen with a signed photo of the

Meet the North Branch banker who is helping put 100 students through college

Dennis Frandsen, 85, has worked for only himself. And it's worked out better than he dreamed.
Digi CEO Ron Konezny with devices that link industrial equipment to the internet for monitoring and software upgrades.

Minnesota tech firm Digi International's performance is increasing its visibility

Digi International, poised for a conference this week that will include 400 stakeholders and fresh off record first-half results in fiscal 2019, may have achieved…
Meda CEO Gary Cunningham, right, poses for a photo with Jashan Eison, CEO of H&B Elevators.

Twin Cities nonprofit exec Gary Cunningham moving to D.C. with his wife, ex-Mayor Hodges

Cunningham and wife Betsy Hodges will move from Twin Cities.
Nick Alm, Michelle TranMaryns, Precious Drew, Junita Flowers and Mimi Aboubaker form the first cohort of the “Finnovation Lab.”

Finnegans 'Finnovation Lab' launches first cohort of social entrepreneurs

Junita Flowers’ entrepreneurial passion for “cookies and conversation’’ events grew out of her yearslong struggle to escape an abusive marriage and establish an enterprise focused…
Boriana Strzok, a 20-year-old Bulgarian immigrant in 1995, started out working a bakery counter and attending community college. She is the founder of

5ive is a small Minneapolis marketing agency on a big mission

It has built a list of clients that strive for a different kind of brand awareness.
Lake Garda, in Garda, Italy, is the ancestral home of the CEO of Garda Capital Partners, which thrived since it split from Cargill.

Quiet Garda Capital has attracted some attention since spun out of Cargill in 2016

The spinout from Cargill's former financial-investment arm of what is now Garda Capital Partners in early 2016 has worked for the fixed-income specialty investor that…
Personal-care attendant Nora Clark playfully arm-wrestled Scott Semo after helping him eat, exercise and finish other tasks.

Home health care providers say raise for PCAs could force many to retrench

As the Minnesota Legislature enters its final week of high-stakes budget talks, a much lower-profile negotiation is underway affecting 40,000 low-income elderly and disabled people…
Founder Kelly Doran, right, has stepped down as CEO of Doran Cos. and sold 51% of his ownership to new CEO Anne Behrendt, center, and 24.5% to Chief F

Founder of Doran Cos. sells majority ownership to younger executives

COO Anne Behrendt has acquired a 51% stake and has succeeded Kelly Dornan as CEO. CFO Ryan Johnson has acquired a 24.5% stake.
C4Life Founders Jim Zimmerman, left, and Dave Rye formed the company last year after hearing testimonials about the benefits of cannabidiol.

Corporate veterans establishing foothold in wholesale CBD business

C4Life co-founders decided that the fragmented industry was ripe for a farm-to-retailer distribution model.
Architect Jamil Ford, left, real estate developer Devean George and business co-founder Aneela Kumar at a recent conference.

To expand Twin Cities economy of the future, the minority-achievement gap must shrink

Black residents have seen an almost 10% rise in employment since 2013. However, wages for black and Latino workers trail white workers.
Navigate Forward founders Teresa Daly, left, and Mary Kloehn flanked the company’s new owner Anne deBruin Sample.

Navigate Forward founders sell business to kindred spirit

Navigate has grown to 15 people, including independent consultants, and has helped 1,700-plus people seek new jobs or careers with a high-touch approach, working with 300 companies.
Local officials joined Thor founder Richard Copeland, with scissors, to celebrate the grand
opening of Thor’s $36 million headquarters building in n

Thor Construction shutting down in wake of lawsuits

Founder said that other arms of parent company Thor Cos., which provided consulting, design, and development services, will continue in some capacity, though he didn't specify which ones.
At one of the remaining northeast Minneapolis lumberyards, Tom Siwek helped Nan and Steve Brown buy wood for a raised garden bed at Siwek Lumber.

Youngblood Lumber winds down in northeast Minneapolis

Closing of Youngblood Lumber is another sign of the transformation of Central Avenue.
Randi Cowmeadow, left, and Rev. Jeff Cowmeadow, senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church since 1988, have opened with their daughters nearby Prodigal P

Minneapolis pastor opening Irish pub a couple of blocks from his church

The Prodigal Pub has quietly opened a few doors east of Nicollet Avenue, known as Whittier's "Eat Street."
Owner Josh Maslowski and partners have launched Stigma Hemp, including an online and retail store in the North Loop.

Minnesota hemp industry is growing like a weed

Millions is being invested in the budding Minnesota hemp industry, released to grow after several years of testing by the 2018 federal farm bill.
James Touchi-Peters, Berant Meyer and Jeff Meyer, partners in the Horn, are offering an alternative to Facebook that is private.

Owner of Minnesota glass company launches Facebook alternative

The Horn's founders say it's most useful to members who join with other people, such as an organization or affinity group.
Methodist Hospital’s restoration of Minnehaha Creek is part of a trend making environmentally friendly outdoor spaces.

Methodist Hospital turns ditch into an outdoor oasis

Methodist has spent less than $2 million on what has become an $8.4 million project among public-and-private partners.
Robotics teams from the U, Purdue, Wisconsin and South Dakota State competed in “Bot Shot,” held at DeLaSalle.

University of Minnesota among final four contestants in Land O'Lakes Bot Shot competition

Former NBA players David Robinson and Christian Laettner were anything but robotic, mixing with competitors and the admission-free crowd during and after the two-hour event.
Irwin Jacobs, shown in a 1993 file photo, was found dead at his Lake Minnetonka home Wednesday. From a start selling recycled burlap bags, Jacobs buil

Irwin Jacobs built a fortune as corporate raider and entrepreneur

His name had faded in prominence in recent years, but for much of his career Jacobs was a feared and flamboyant investor.
Once the city’s biggest energy hog, the St. Cloud Wastewater Treatment Plant runs on solar arrays and gas produced by waste.

Minnesota is proving that an environmental challenge also can be a great economic opportunity

Mayor Dave Kleis of St. Cloud is a renewable-energy ambassador. St. Cloud has gone from virtually no renewable energy, excluding the city’s hydroelectric dam operated…
Keidy and Gene Palusky invested thousands to develop the XTorch after seeing a need for a reliable light and electricity source on mission trips.

Minnesota couple hopes solar torch can bring light to off-the-grid places

Minnesota couple developed the XTorch to bring light and power to impoverished communities.
Chief Technology Officer Kurt Larson, left, and CEO Scott Schwalbe, both former Logic PD employees, launched NimbeLink to pursue their Internet of Thi

Minnesota's NimbeLink looks beyond beehives to the 'Internet of Things'

NimbeLink's products are part of the building blocks in fast-growing cellular networks that enable companies to remotely track anything and everything.
“I almost feel like I’m obligated to pay it forward,” said Tonia Brinston, a financial educator who works with low-income clients.

Minneapolis planner Tonia Brinston found a path out of debt and now aims to lift a community

Last fall, Tonia Brinston was named one of the Twin Cities’ “Top Women in Finance” by Finance & Commerce newspaper. She was a rare woman…
Technician Alonzo Nelson repaired a flat-screen TV panel for resale at Tech Dump’s used-electronics retail business in St. Paul.

Right-to-repair bill appears headed for first time to floor of Minnesota House

The bill has been a long-sought goal of a consortium of independent repair shops, environmentalists, the Minnesota Farmers Union and others.
Employees and friends gathered at Penn’s original location on Penn Av. S. in Richfield to wish owner Pat Sorensen well.

Freewheel Bike owner plans to ride faster through Penn Cycle acquisition

The discussions began two years ago, said Kevin Ishaug, who also expressed confidence that the consolidation would work.
Linda and Chris Robasse stood for a portrait with their Avalanche snow removal tool Thursday at their production facility in Maple Lake.

Minnesota roof-rake maker grows sales to $2M after long struggle

Local couple turn roof-rake line into big business with international reach.
Minneapolis firefighters climbed stairs during a training session at the Hennepin County Government Center.

Injured workers have another legal tool thanks to the Minnesota Supreme Court

Employment lawyers are buzzing about a recent ruling.
A rendering of the Mino-Bimaadiziwin affordable-housing complex that is scheduled to break ground in the fall.

Red Lake band building $35.8M affordable housing complex by tent city site

An impressive collaboration is at work on a 110-unit affordable-housing complex on S. Cedar Avenue near Franklin.
Actor Wade Thalberg played a combat veteran coping with opiod addiction in an award-winning public-service video produced on a shoestring for nonprofi

Video for Twin Cities veterans nonprofit wins awards for two-person independent company

Todd Obernolte, a one-man band who owns and orchestrates a St. Paul digital-media production company, has proved a couple things in the last several years…
Gonkama Johnson, a graduate of Summit Academy’s IT training program, landed a job at partner-employer Atomic Data.

Demand for workers in Minnesota could expand sharply

If Minnesota doesn't make progress adding trained workers in near term, the state risks losing out on billions of dollars in future economic growth.
Mark Platt, CEO of Recombinetics, said, “You’re trying to accomplish something that’s a lot bigger than yourself.”

New CEO at St. Paul gene-editing firm eyes new livestock, medical products

The new CEO at Recombinetics has a plan for commercialization of what largely has been a genetics-health research firm. Mark Platt, 53, an electrical engineer…
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.
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