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Neal St. Anthony

Columnist, reporter | Business
phone: 612-673-7144
Neal St. Anthony has been a business columnist and reporter for the Star Tribune for 30 years. He also has worked in financial communications for two publicly held companies.
Recent content from Neal St. Anthony
St. Anthony: Marketing Architects sells first of concept-to-product companies it developed

St. Anthony: Marketing Architects sells first of concept-to-product companies it developed

Marketing Architects, a Minnetonka-based agency, has helped launch and promote some 1,000 ­products over its 18-year life. In 2011, the 70-person company created Zoomworks, a…
ReconRobotics tries to right the ship after a big fall

ReconRobotics tries to right the ship after a big fall

By 2012, the confident executives of ReconRobotics had positioned the company, surging thanks to government contracts, as the poster child of a new Upper Midwest…
Bachman's is back in growth mode

Bachman's is back in growth mode

Sales are blooming again at Bachman’s. Along with the flowers. The family-owned florist and landscaping business has had to hoe a long row since sales…
Big Minn. tech recycler goes under amid fines, low commodity prices

Big Minn. tech recycler goes under amid fines, low commodity prices

Materials Processing Corp. of Mendota Heights, a big collector of electronic waste, has shut down in the wake of state fines for improper storage of crushed cathode ray tubes, the loss of a key industry certification that resulted, and the swoon in commodity prices that has hurt the electronics-recycling trade.

Ability Network says board chairman to replace retiring CEO

Mark Briggs will be replaced by Mark Pulido.
Recovering payday loan borrower gives thanks for Exodus Lending

Recovering payday loan borrower gives thanks for Exodus Lending

Exodus Lending combines a refinancing option for payday loans with financial counseling to help debt-burdened people get back on their feet
St. Anthony: Vugo founder missed on Minnesota Cup but found solace in attention over new wrinkle

St. Anthony: Vugo founder missed on Minnesota Cup but found solace in attention over new wrinkle

James Bellefeuille, a 2011 graduate of the University of St. Thomas, was a disappointed young entrepreneur to learn a few days ago that his Vugo,…
Ely couple look to expand Crapola granola business

Ely couple look to expand Crapola granola business

The earthy, eight-year entrepreneurs behind Crapola, a granola maker based in Ely, Minn., plan to take production out of the house and into a larger…
Minnetonka's Verde says it has big solution for prescription drug abuse in its Deterra product

Minnetonka's Verde says it has big solution for prescription drug abuse in its Deterra product

Verde Technologies of Minnetonka asserts that it has a partial solution to the trafficking in prescription drugs. It’s the misused prescription painkillers in medicine chests…
Making older buildings more energy efficient

Making older buildings more energy efficient

Center for Energy and Environment engineers analyzed building operations to identify basic yet effective energy upgrades.
Inside Track updated: Rudick's association bureau, Strom, Abra, Cookie Cart

Inside Track updated: Rudick's association bureau, Strom, Abra, Cookie Cart

After more than a decade as executive director of the Minnesota Commercial Association of Realtors, Dara Rudick resigned in 2012 to launch her own “association…

Former CEO of Voyager Bank pleads guilty to obstructing investigation

Timothy P. Owens admitted to giving false statements during investigations at Voyager Bank.
Officer Elliot Wong, business hero, keeps the peace on the Lower East Side

Officer Elliot Wong, business hero, keeps the peace on the Lower East Side

Officer Elliot Wong has kind of been the Marshal Dillon of the lower Northeast business district for nearly 15 years. Just as TV’s legendary Matt…
The deals, small and large, just kept coming in first half of 2015

The deals, small and large, just kept coming in first half of 2015

213 deals involving a Minnesota buyer or seller reflected strongest market since 2008.
Bristow exits as Code42's financial chief, search begins for successor

Bristow exits as Code42's financial chief, search begins for successor

Amazon.com recruit leaves as CEO settles in.

Aerospace firm Parker Hannifin invests in Minneapolis-based Exosite

The Minneapolis company didn’t reveal amount.
Otter Tail Power Co. finishes pollution upgrades to plant that may be closed

Otter Tail Power Co. finishes pollution upgrades to plant that may be closed

Otter Tail Power Co. is nearly finished and under budget with its $384 million pollution-control upgrade of the coal-burning Big Stone power plant in South…
Keyot founder, former corporate warrior, sets independent course at female-owned firm

Keyot founder, former corporate warrior, sets independent course at female-owned firm

By late 2007, Laura Kelly, a managing director at national IT consulting-and-staffing firm Genesis10, was done as a road warrior. The Iowa native, on her…
Building on the strength of parks in city of Minneapolis

Building on the strength of parks in city of Minneapolis

Win Rockwell, who recently retired as a business litigator at Faegre Baker Daniels after nearly 40 years, has become the inaugural executive director of Green…

Minnesota slips in venture capital money during second quarter, first half of 2015

The state is trailing last year’s deal pace while national totals hit levels not seen since 2000.
$15 million remake of south Minneapolis block has roots in Norway

$15 million remake of south Minneapolis block has roots in Norway

The Norwegians have arrived in Minneapolis. Again. Their descendants are heading back to the old neighborhood now populated by Hispanic and East African shopkeepers. Small-business…
St. Anthony: Case headed for first juncture in retail cleaners-vs.-big cleaning contractor

St. Anthony: Case headed for first juncture in retail cleaners-vs.-big cleaning contractor

Lawyers for Capital Building Services Group have fired back at a lawsuit that alleges it shortchanged wages of janitors, asking a federal judge to deny…

Emerge of north Minneapolis will take over PPL's industrial-and-retail enterprise

Nonprofit will operate a retail and manufacturing enterprise.
CEO focuses on top-line growth at revamped Deluxe

CEO focuses on top-line growth at revamped Deluxe

CEO Lee Schram of Deluxe Corp. has done what he said he would do when he arrived at the declining check and business forms printer…
St. Anthony: Home bakers successfully turned up the heat at Minnesota Legislature

St. Anthony: Home bakers successfully turned up the heat at Minnesota Legislature

Two Minnesota home bakers have dropped a lawsuit challenging a state law that limits the sale of cake, cookies and jams to $5,000 annually after…
Banner Creations founder expands green bag-and-banner business

Banner Creations founder expands green bag-and-banner business

Nora Norby, president of 25-year-old Banner Creations, has restitched her business of reusable shopping bags, tablecloths and banners, despite a business decline since the Great Recession.
New insurance product is helping fuel hot M&A market

New insurance product is helping fuel hot M&A market

The mergers-and-acquisitions business is approaching pre-Great Recession levels in terms of numbers of transactions and deal valuations. There’s a lot of low-cost financing sloshing around,…
Minnesota start-up develops HidrateMe, a smarter water bottle

Minnesota start-up develops HidrateMe, a smarter water bottle

This bottle tracks water intake and nudges users when it is time for more.
Mint Roofing builds sales by helping customers make roofs last longer

Mint Roofing builds sales by helping customers make roofs last longer

Software is the sexy sauce of the digital economy of the last generation. However, somebody still has to keep the roof from leaking.And Kevin Krolczyk,…
Jack Reiter built business around machine-operator safety

Jack Reiter built business around machine-operator safety

One day when Jack Reiter was a boy, he watched his dad nearly lose a thumb when a board he was cutting with a table…
Inside Track updated: Meda honors, N. Mpls development, Code 42

Inside Track updated: Meda honors, N. Mpls development, Code 42

Updates on business developments around the Twin Cities.
At Patina, a series of thefts cost more than money

At Patina, a series of thefts cost more than money

Anxiety among employees, many women, ran high amid a series of unsettling shoplifting crimes
Community engagement becoming more important to employers

Community engagement becoming more important to employers

Employers help workers connect with causes.
U.S. Bank wealth management executive learned from early setbacks

U.S. Bank wealth management executive learned from early setbacks

Margaret Paddock, who runs the Twin Cities private client wealth management business for U.S. Bank, learned early about financial management. Born in Poland, she moved…
JAMF Software taps veteran tech executive as new CEO

JAMF Software taps veteran tech executive as new CEO

JAMF Software plans to announce Thursday that it has hired a new CEO to try and take the fast-growing Apple-only developer to the next level.Dean…
Intercontinental St. Paul-Riverfront hotel latest Mille Lacs Band venture

Intercontinental St. Paul-Riverfront hotel latest Mille Lacs Band venture

By September, the frayed-edged Crowne Plaza Hotel on St. Paul’s downtown Mississippi riverfront will reopen as the overhauled and gleaming InterContinental St. Paul-Riverfront, two years…
Trade Acceptance Group receives exporting award at White House

Trade Acceptance Group receives exporting award at White House

Curt Hanson and Leslie Bergland 25 years ago were international banking veterans at the predecessor banks to U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo, chasing some of…
Minneapolis software firm Code42 looks for new CEO

Minneapolis software firm Code42 looks for new CEO

Co-founder Matthew Dornquast is stepping down.
Community Reinvestment Fund gets boost from Goldman capital

Community Reinvestment Fund gets boost from Goldman capital

Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) has been selected by Goldman Sachs and its foundation for a $5 million investment in the form of a long-term, low-interest…
Wells Fargo clicks when it comes to diversity in hiring

Wells Fargo clicks when it comes to diversity in hiring

Jonathan Meachum was an inner-city high school dropout. Tommy Redae was a penniless Ethiopian immigrant. Ursula McNeal was a single mom with a ­dead-end job.Today,…
Graco takes center stage as U.S. labor secretary talks up training effort

Graco takes center stage as U.S. labor secretary talks up training effort

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez visits Graco and MCTC to praise collaboration.
Venture Bank's big bet on small-business lending pays off

Venture Bank's big bet on small-business lending pays off

Three years ago, Shirley Wikner was at wits’ end with her bank.Her family-owned Aviation Charter and Executive Aviation aircraft services, at Flying Cloud Airport in…
Sterilmed founder's decade-long next act focuses on senior-housing/health software

Sterilmed founder's decade-long next act focuses on senior-housing/health software

Craig Patnode started a winner in 2004 with then-fledgling Sterilmed, a cleaner and refurbisher of medical devices. He hired veteran executive Brian Sullivan to succeed…
Unison's north Minneapolis expansion extends to neighborhood

Unison's north Minneapolis expansion extends to neighborhood

The recent expansion and hiring efforts at HVAC manufacturer Unison Comfort Technologies in north Minneapolis has strengthened the relationship between the company and the neighborhood,…
Entrepreneurs lead block-by-block commercial upgrade of West Broadway

Entrepreneurs lead block-by-block commercial upgrade of West Broadway

When chiropractor Tara Watson lost her leased space in 2008, she took a heartfelt gamble and bought a building at Penn Avenue N. and W. Broadway Avenue, the frayed-edge, east-west commercial artery of north Minneapolis.
Women remaking West Broadway

Women remaking West Broadway

When chiropractor Tara Watson lost her leased space in 2008, she took a heartfelt gamble and bought a building at Penn Avenue N. and W.…
Minnesota small businesses bullish about state economy, U.S. Bancorp survey says

Minnesota small businesses bullish about state economy, U.S. Bancorp survey says

They believe it’s better off than the national, but that hasn’t increased their investments.
Plasti Dip of Blaine accuses Rust-Oleum of stealing trade secrets

Plasti Dip of Blaine accuses Rust-Oleum of stealing trade secrets

Plasti Dip International, the Blaine-based maker of tool coatings that has grown quickly since 2010 and built a global social media ­following, is suing the maker of Rust-Oleum over its spray-on rubberized coating that came out last year.
Rust-Oleum hasn't responded to Plasti-Dip suit

Rust-Oleum hasn't responded to Plasti-Dip suit

We got “dip” trouble in River City. Not dip for chips and nachos. But the booming business of “dipping” or coating, tools, vehicles and even…
St. Anthony: Matt Hunt builds business around lessons of failure

St. Anthony: Matt Hunt builds business around lessons of failure

Matt Hunt, a one-time IT manager on Wall Street who also worked a decade in strategy positions at Best Buy, has targeted an unpopular business…
St. Anthony: At Du Fresne Manufacturing, rebound began on shop floor

St. Anthony: At Du Fresne Manufacturing, rebound began on shop floor

By 2010, CEO Bob Du Fresne, owner of a Vadnais Heights sheet metal fabricator, was done with the sleepless nights over whether his manufacturing company…
Seward Co-op's new store will bring jobs, food to grocery-scarce Mpls. neighborhood

Seward Co-op's new store will bring jobs, food to grocery-scarce Mpls. neighborhood

The Seward Community Co-op of Minneapolis plans to open its second store in October at 38th Street and 3rd Avenue S. in what will be…
Marc Belton talks about what comes after long career at General Mills

Marc Belton talks about what comes after long career at General Mills

Marc Belton grew up in New York City. After graduation from Dartmouth College and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Belton…
Augsburg College hits $50M campaign goal a year early

Augsburg College hits $50M campaign goal a year early

Minneapolis college wraps up capital campaign for its new integrated-learning center ahead of schedule.

Stratasys shares fell 22%

Stratasys shares were down 17% after the company lowered its guidance.

First quarter saw VC funding drop for Minnesota companies

In late March, Novu, a fast-growing consumer-software firm used by health care providers and insurers to connect with patients on online health-improvement programs, landed $20…
Minnesota saw a brisk pace for corporate deals in the first quarter

Minnesota saw a brisk pace for corporate deals in the first quarter

Life Time Fitness' buyout is just one of the deals in a quarter marked by low rates, available credit and companies looking to grow.
March 23: Swelling ranks of small food companies find lower-cost exhibit for big retailers

March 23: Swelling ranks of small food companies find lower-cost exhibit for big retailers

Vendors active in the locally-grown food movement were at Midwest Pantry’s Spring Local Food & Gift Show last week at the Grain Belt Bottling House in northeast Minneapolis.
St. Anthony: Electronics recycler gets whacked by state pollution authority

St. Anthony: Electronics recycler gets whacked by state pollution authority

Materials Processing of Mendota Heights, a big collector of electronic waste, this month agreed to a $125,000 fine by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)…

St. Paul's Green Tree to pay $63M over abusive debt collection practices

The loan servicing firm agreed to settle accusations that it made abusive calls to customers and will pay a federal penalty.

RBC Wealth Management fined $1 million for lax oversight of sales tactics

The $1 million fine is the firm’s third in six years for failing to ensure customers weren’t sold investments that were too risky for them.
Growth of farmers markets shows going small can pay off

Growth of farmers markets shows going small can pay off

Outdoor farmers market season is here. Kirsten Bansen Weigle, who grew up on an Oregon farm, has been the manager of the Maple Grove Farmers Market since 2008.
St. Anthony: Danish computer scientist found love and business in Twin Cities

St. Anthony: Danish computer scientist found love and business in Twin Cities

Torben Rytt, a Danish computer scientist, was about to quit his job in Copenhagen to move to the Twin Cities to woo a Minnesota woman. His boss didn’t want his young company to lose a valuable employee. So he asked Rytt to work from the United States.

Union says Allina contract establishes $15 minimum wage

3,000 workers at Allina Hospitals covered in three-year contract.
Fair Anita creates market for clothing, jewelry made by oppressed women

Fair Anita creates market for clothing, jewelry made by oppressed women

Joy McBrien owns a small business that sells clothing, jewelry and art made by women.McBrien, 25, also is a passionate, big-dreams global entrepreneur and champion…

Norwest Equity Partners raises $2.4 billion for two new funds

Private equity firm said capital raised exceeds its previous high of $1.95 billion in ’08.
St. Anthony: Minnesota Women's Press marks a milestone

St. Anthony: Minnesota Women's Press marks a milestone

This month’s edition of the Minnesota Women’s Press marks not just the 30th anniversary of the monthly feminist publication, but also that of the oldest, continuous women’s publication of its kind in the country.
St. Anthony: Payday lending has slipped off the reform radar

St. Anthony: Payday lending has slipped off the reform radar

What appeared a likely reform of controversial payday lenders at the Minnesota Legislature fell apart at the close of 2014 session. This year, it didn’t…
St. Louis Park-based Novu lands $20 million in equity funding

St. Louis Park-based Novu lands $20 million in equity funding

The company works with health insurers to encourage patients to pursue healthy lifestyles.
Building relationships and public service

Building relationships and public service

“Extraordinary organizations engage with their communities in ways that align with their organizational values.”
Twin Cities electronics recyclers scrambling amid lower commodities prices

Twin Cities electronics recyclers scrambling amid lower commodities prices

In the behind-the-scenes-but-important business of collecting, fixing and recycling tons of used electronics, a big player closed its St. Paul plant several days ago. The plant processed several million pounds of business equipment annually.
St. Anthony: Businesss, education lobbies gear for debate over preschool education

St. Anthony: Businesss, education lobbies gear for debate over preschool education

Seven Sundays’ goal to expand production
St. Anthony: Code42's business 'move' is focused growth with an eye to an IPO

St. Anthony: Code42's business 'move' is focused growth with an eye to an IPO

There was speculation about a sale of what has become one of the Twin Cities’ prized software companies. However, Code42 insiders say there’s nothing imminent other than staying put and focusing on fundamentals for now.
St. Anthony: Akradi invests much of his worth with new Life Time owner

St. Anthony: Akradi invests much of his worth with new Life Time owner

CEO Bahram Akradi, Life Time’s founder and who will continue as the boss after a $4 billion deal, has committed to a “rollover investment of $125 million in Life Time common stock.”
Ameriprise agrees to pay $27.5 million to settle 401(k) suit

Ameriprise agrees to pay $27.5 million to settle 401(k) suit

The financial services firm had been accused of loading up its 401(k) plan with pricey funds and charging excessive fees.
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