Staff Directory 10646026

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
Tech Dump CEO Amanda LaGrange chatted with technicians Dan Saba, left, and Alonzo Nelson as they worked on refurbishing an iPhone and computer board.

Tech Dump CEO Amanda LaGrange on tough market for recycled electronicss

Amanda LaGrange, chief executive of Tech Dump, was recently named one of 24 Bush Foundation fellows who receive up to $100,000 over 12 to 24…
Dunwoody College of Technology has launched the first phase of a major renovation to its Minneapolis campus.

Dunwoody remakes itself for a changing economy

Rich Wagner, a one-time college dropout who became an electrician in the Navy, is the persuasive president of Dunwoody College of Technology. Wagner who earned…
AVI Systems CEO Jeff Stoebner, with his father, Joe Stoebner, who sold the company to an employee stock ownership plan between 1990 and 2009.

Employee-owned AVI Systems outpaces its industry

Workers have a piece of the action at fast-growing audiovisual firm
Virgil Welna

Virgil Welna, longtime hardware store owner, dies at 89

The Phillips neighborhood fixture offered a hand and expertise to all.
Vibes founder's hearing injury led to high-end earplugs growth company

Vibes founder's hearing injury led to high-end earplugs growth company

Vibes founder Jackson Mann is glad he didn't take the bait from a shark last year. A nervous, then-28-year-old Mann, made a January 2017 appearance on "Shark Tank." He declined millionaire Kevin O'Leary's offer of $100,000 for 35 percent, plus $2 for every pair of the high-end Vibes earplugs sold. Mann walked away empty-handed … bettered if not enriched by the experience.
From left, the UMD financial team includes Ryan Woitalla, Reed Leonidas, Nawal Mirza, Frank Takkinen and Ryan Kimbrel.

UMD stock research team heads to international championship competition

The Duluth team team will compete with several other finalists on April 27 at the CFA Research Institute global competition in Malaysia.
Appo Agbamu developed his investment app with $25,000 of his own savings and eventually quit his job as an associate portfolio manager to pursue the p

Taking the mystery out of stock picks for young investors

A former portfolio manager thinks his Ahrvo investment app will do just that.
Sisters Megan and Sarah Bignell are already expanding their Thirsty Whale bakery because it’s playing to overflow crowds.

Sister act has made Thirsty Whale a North Side hit

Sarah and Megan Bignell and partner Kyle Baker already are planning to double the space with a bakery cafe next door.
Specialist Mario Picone works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Friday, April 6, 2018. Stocks are falling again as trade tensio

Local investment analysts see 'clouds forming on horizon'

Market's fundamentals undercut by trade-war discussions, tech cool-off.
Coffee beans are roasted daily at the company’s south Minneapolis roastery and headquarters.

Peace Coffee acquired by CEO and business partner from local nonprofit

Peace Coffee, a "fair-trade" coffee company established by a nonprofit in its basement, has been purchased by its longtime CEO and a business partner.
The number of tech jobs grew 1.6 percent in the Twin Cities last year and more jobs are going unfilled, a trade group said.

Twin Cities tech employment grew 1.6 percent last year, but many jobs go unfilled

Region added 3,300 tech jobs last year and salaries are well above average.

Ceridian looks to raise $200M in IPO

Company's Dayforce HR software is used by more than 3,000 customers.
Houston White, right, modeled some of his clothing at his refurbished headquarters in the Camden neighborhood of north Minneapolis. At left, barber Sh

North Side entrepreneur Houston White has a vision for Webber-Camden hub

Houston White runs a North Side barbershop, a noted clothing design and retail shop, and a coffee bar and community space.
Paul Karos, left, and owners Athena and Nick Karos on a recent Saturday at It’s Greek to Me restaurant in south Minneapolis.

Veteran stock trader traded careers to own Its Greek to Me restaurant

Nick Karos showed up at 6:30 every morning for 30 years at the stock-trading desk at Piper Jaffray and his own firm after he left…
Donald Wans McCarthy

Donald McCarthy, former Northern States Power CEO, dies at 95

Donald “Don” McCarthy will be memorialized as a combat-decorated naval officer in World War II, and a driven but humble CEO of what is now…
Horizon Roofing launched a program last year to train new workers at its facilities near Brooklyn Center and outside St. Cloud.

Horizon Roofing lures workers with higher pay, training

Owner Kurt Scepaniak in 2017 launched an in-house training program that he believes will help meet customer orders and boost growth.
Daniel, Ruth and Taylor Faalele hope to be reunited in the Twin Cities. Daniel is a student at the U and his mom is seeking work.

Mentor's latest good deed: coordinating a long distance job search

Sally Mainquist is a successful capitalist who gives money and mentoring a good name.
TCF Financial CEO Craig Dahl sees a positive path forward.

Under Craig Dahl, and thanks partly to the 2017 tax cut, TCF's outlook is improving

TCF, which underperformed the banking industry over the last decade, has been buoyed recently.
Jacqueline Carmichael is the project lead for the Solavore line of solar-cooking ovens at Minneapolis-based Emerge.

Solar oven company Solavore hopes going small will bring big sales payoff

Anne Patterson, a former California technology executive, is doubling down on her Twin Cities solar-oven business with the introduction of a new, smaller model. She…
IPS Solar is going strong behind CEO and founder Ralph Jacobson, left, and Eric Pasi, the firm’s chief development officer.

Community solar garden program helps power IPS Solar growth

It's a sign of how times have changed in the rising Minnesota solar trade.
Greg and Betsy Amundson displayed a patent they received for InstaTrim, the replacement product for caulk that they developed.

Former homebuilder develops an alternative to caulking

As his homebuilding business faltered, Greg Amundson developed what he says is a better alternative to caulking.

Bridgewater Bancshares closes up 7.4 percent in stock debut

The stock of Bridgewater Bancshares traded up 7.4 percent to $12.62 per share Wednesday, its first day in public trading on the Nasdaq market. Bloomington-based…

Venn Foundation and collaborators push a new approach to philanthropic investment

Little-used investment option will help to boost social-impact causes.
CEO Mark Pulido of Ability Network

Minneapolis-based Ability Network sells to Inovalon for $1.2 billion

A D.C.-area firm will acquire the company in a $1.2B deal; effect on 550 local employees unclear.
Smart Care CEO Bill Emory, who ran the business as a unit of Ecolab, believes it can hit $500 million in revenue in five years.

Smart Care, a former Ecolab unit, is about to become St. Paul's next HQ company

CEO Bill Emory is slowly adding people to a headquarters complement that should reach about 100 employees downtown.
Deynn Hampton is working harder than ever but now feels like “I have a career,” thanks to the Barriers to Entry program.

'Barriers to Entry' program helps turn jobs into careers

It was designed to recruit and train nontraditional tech workers from the ranks of the underemployed, veterans and stay-at-home moms.
The first community garden in North Minneapolis will be built this spring atop Shiloh Temple at 1201 W. Broadway and provide enough electricity to pow

St. Anthony: Mpls.' North Side will get its first solar garden this spring

The first community solar garden on the Near North Side of Minneapolis will rise this spring on a flat-roofed church along W. Broadway Avenue, thanks to an emerging coalition of faith partners, clean-energy advocates, industry experts, job trainers and community members.
Marc McIntosh, a finance professor at Augsburg University, instructed students in the new Hagfors Center.

Augsburg's business school looks to leverage new digs

The $73 million Hagfors Center for Science, Business and Religion opened in January after more than a decade of planning and fundraising.
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, American flags fly in front of the New York Stock Exchange.

St. Anthony: Bridgewater Bancshares leads Minnesota firms entering hot public market for stocks

The Minnesota firms already queued up for IPOs in 2018 are part of a rising stock-offering market.
U.S. Bancorp’s recent guilty plea to federal charges by bank regulators was a $613 million hit to the firm’s reputation.

U.S. Bank's money-laundering oversight is an expensive and humbling black eye

USB long has been known as one of America's most cost-conscious, leanest-run banks. Now it looks penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Securian Financial produced strong financial results in 2017

Securian Financial Group said 2017 earnings increased 28 percent to $259 million thanks to "business growth, operating efficiencies, improved mortality rates and strong equity markets…
Venture Bank founders Michael Zenk and Gwen Stanley

Venture Bank will be acquired by Choice Financial of North Dakota

Choice operates in 17 North Dakota and rural Minnesota communities.
Norway House Executive Director Christina Carleton, a Norwegian immigrant, and Jon Pederson, the board chairman, are planning a $10 million-plus event

Expanded 'National Norwegian Center' in America takes shape in Minneapolis

They plan to break ground in 2020 on a $10 million-plus event center and banquet hall.
Shawntera Hardy, left, of the state economic development office at the Minnesota High Technology Association venture conference in 2017 with Lou DiLor

Venture capital investments rose in Minnesota, nationally in 2017

Money is rushing into fledgling health technology and other promising firms in Minnesota and around the country at rates not seen since the dot-com boom…
From left, Chris Ho, CEO Isaac Tut and Moses Tut are connecting Twin Cities beer lovers and breweries through home delivery.

Running Tap founded by refugee and delivering taprooms to your living room

It claims to be the first delivery service devoted to connecting a growing list of 20 microbrewers with customers who don't want to drive across town.
Former Diversified Plastics CEO Jim Dow, who recently retired, completed the sale of his company to employees.

CEO Jim Dow, 81 signs off after selling his Diversified Plastics to his beloved employees

The Brooklyn Park firm has grown to 80 employees. It became a profitable company with revenue that should top $15 million this year.
CEO Julie Sweet of Accenture North America and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will announce a business-and-tech hiring spurt Friday.

Accenture plans to add 400 jobs in downtown Mpls. by 2020

Accenture employs 1,600 workers at its downtown headquarters and serves dozens of local clients, including Cargill and Xcel Energy.
Lifetouch CEO Michael Meek

Shutterfly to buy Eden Prairie-based Lifetouch in $825M deal

The school photography company had put itself up for sale because it wasn't growing fast enough.
Toro, headquartered in Bloomington, is among the Minnesota companies that survived the Great Recession in relatively good shape. And their stocks move

Minnesota public companies fared better over the last decade than couple years

Dozens of Minnesota public firms outperformed major indexes over past decade.
The career of Cuisine Concepts CEO Wayne Kostroski started humbly, but his Taste of the NFL creation is an enduring legacy.

Launched at '92 Super Bowl, Taste of the NFL still going strong

It has been 41 years since the Vikings have played in a Super Bowl. Wayne Kostroski has a better record. Veteran marketer-restaurateur Kostroski, quarterback of…
The sale of Minneapolis-based Arctic Cat, which had just opened its headquarters in the North Loop of Minneapolis, proved something of a proxy for the

Buying and selling of companies tailed off a bit in 2017

Both the number and value declined nationally and in Minnesota.
The Downtown YMCA will open soon in renovated space in the Gaviidae Common at 6th Street and the Nicollet Mall.

YMCA's new center on Nicollet Mall to be named for Douglas Dayton

Over more than a half century, Dayton donated or raised around $60 million for YMCA buildings and programs.
Matt Massman, head of the Department of Administration, has simplified the process to certify minority-owned businesses as targeted vendors.

State of Minnesota makes progress on minority contracting, employment

Increase comes after 2016 audit highlighted gaps.
CEO Tim Marx, center, jogs weekly with a group that includes employees, clients and volunteers. He lauded partnerships and innovation in making a diff

Catholic Charities CEO says Dorothy Day Place will move homeless to 'higher ground'

Tim Marx believes the two-stage Dorothy Day Place development project will deliver for at least some homeless folks.
Protesters with the Nationwide Fight for $15 Day of Disruption gathered outside McDonald’s in Minneapolis in late 2016.

Minimum-wage battle is far from settled in Twin Cities

A broader discussion, as well as a lot of lobbying, is just getting underway.
Dominic Butcher secured a job at Sunrise Bank after completing a PPL bank training program. “I want to stay with the company,” he says.

St. Anthony: Dominic Butcher found a career through PPL/Sunrise Bank

In April 2015, Dominic Butcher needed a career change. The high school graduate from the White Earth Ojibwe reservation was making $9 an hour, working…
CEO Paul Williams and May Xiong, vice president of employment readiness, are helping PPL expand its offerings.

Project for Pride In Living looks to expand job training services

Organization raising $9 million to expand Minneapolis training center.
Owners Mustafa Farouk and Abdirahman Kahin opened Campus Café at Cedar and Riverside avenues on the West Bank.

Afro Deli founder backs West Bank restaurant

Abdirahman Kahin, the founder of Afro Deli and one of most successful East African restaurateurs in the Twin Cities, is back in business on the West Bank.
Intricon CEO Mark Gorder

Hot stock market outpaced Minnesota stocks in 2017

Tech shares made much of the difference in big year.
Terry Domino of Hudson, Wis., purchased a pair of size 14 Dunham boat shoes from Adrian Coulter at XL Feet in St. Paul.

St. Paul's XL Feet has found traction selling large-sized footwear

Adrian Coulter, owner of XL Feet of St. Paul, has trod fresh ground to provide shoes for men with big feet. Coulter, 34, has survived…
Alyza Bohbot, owner of Alakef and City Girl Coffee, first hesitated to buy her parents’ business, but has led its rapid growth.

Duluth coffee roaster is using City Girl to help drive growth

Owner Alyza Bohbot of Alakef Coffee Roasters has topped the cup with her 2015-launched City Girl Coffee of Minneapolis. “City Girl accounts for most of…
Kelly Doran is a veteran Minneapolis real estate developer. Here he is outside the 412 Lofts in Dinkytown in 2011.

St. Anthony: Kelly Doran has developed $1B worth of projects since Great Recession

And there's another $250 million in Twin Cities projects in the pipeline.
Retired business owner Lee Lynch has written an amazing tribute to Minnesota.

This Christmas, Lee Lynch's gift to state is 'Amazing Minnesota'

The colorful work should get a "thank you" from the Minnesota Business Partnership and economic developers.
Owners Lehman Riley and Paul Dixon of Papa Lemon Book Publishing.

Mpls. cousins honor grandfather (and diversity) with 'Papa Lemon' books

Former corporate warriors want "to get kids excited about reading" with stories about a group of multiethnic pals known as the Little Wanderers.
Mark Welna, left, with wife Cathy, said the new tax bill in Washington favors giant corporations over small business owners.

Minnesota small businesses, others should be wary of this tax reform

Minneapolis couple, in an opinion that polls suggest is shared by a majority of Americans, believe the benefits are tilted toward big corporations and the richest Americans.
Jim Paulsen of The Leuthold Group

Analysts see fast-rising stock market slowing, but no big retreat expected

Inflation, geopolitics could alter that calculation.
Joy McBrien, second from right, founder of Fair Anita, works with artisans in Peru and with collectives in a dozen countries.

Fair Anita taps talented female artisans in world's poorest places

CEO Joy McBrien was a finalist in the social enterprise category of the Minnesota Cup entrepreneurial sweepstakes in 2014.

Minneapolis-based Meda recognized by U.S. Commerce Department

Minneapolis-based Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Association), the expanding nonprofit adviser and financier to minority entrepreneurs, was named the top-performing such agency among the nation’s 44…
Horizontal Integration worked out the kinks of merging marketing and technology and is now a $90 million firm. Above, executives Jeremy Langevin, Sabi

Horizontal Integration was early on the trend of blending marketing and technology

The launch did not take off like a rocket, but something's working now.
“Sales are better than expected,” said deli owner Wendy Puckett of Wendy’s House of Soul on W. Broadway in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis' W. Broadway corridor courting commerce and consumers

The several-year comeback is getting traction as frayed-edge buildings get painted and empty storefronts continue to fill.
Fritz

TT Capital makes $17 million investment in Revel Health

The money will help to fund marketing efforts and technology.
Former Payday America client Christina Thomas, left, refinanced with Exodus Lending, headed by Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer.

St. Anthony: Common ground lacking on payday lending issue

Opponents of payday lending can take heart in the story of one woman who has retired her debt and sworn off Payday America with the help of a nonprofit financier.
Guests mingled this month at an opening reception in the lobby of downtown Minneapolis’ LuMinn Hotel.

Hotelier Harshal Patel launches little LuMinn amid big competition downtown

The last several years have been boom times in the hotel trade.
North Minneapolis etailers, eateries and service providers from on and around W. Broadway are banding together on Black Friday and Small Business Satu

North Side Minneapolis businesses promote 'Black Friday on Broadway'

North Minneapolis event is a sign of area's resurgence.
Mitch Hedlund, center, showed off Recycle Across America’s easy to understand signs with Brent Ostrowski and Megan Dobratz.

Recycling nonprofit is making an impact with local businesses

Recycle Across America CEO Michelle "Mitch" Hedlund is getting traction in her quest to lift recycling results.
There are 40 Chuck & Don’s pet stores in Minnesota and Colorado, like this one in North Oaks, and the company has 400 employees.

Chuck & Don's owners selling company to employees

More than 20 years ago, Bob Hartzell, who grew up in a family manufacturing business, received the cash "offer I couldn't refuse" for the division of the former Hartzell Corp. that he came to own through his late father.
Retired federal judge Miles Lord at his law office in 1992 with one of his TV commercials in the background.

Sunday conversation: Judge Miles Lord was "anti-wrongdoers" not anti-business

Roberta Walburn was a University of Minnesota law school student in 1982 when she became a law clerk for the late U.S. District Judge Miles…
Tim Stoddart died Nov. 6 at his home in Mahtomedi at age 68.

Tim Stoddart, financial adviser, chef and adventurer, dies at 68

Tim Stoddart, a financial adviser known for his adventurous spirit and big heart, died Nov. 6 at his home in Mahtomedi at age 68.He had…
IntriCon Corp. investors are buying CEO Mark Gorder’s long-term plan to disrupt the hearing-aid industry.

Investors buy into disruption story at IntriCon Corp.

Intricon is the best performing publicly traded company in Minnesota this year.
Green Garden Bakery executives: Jasmine Salter, Leensa Ahmed, Jacobi Simmons and other members of the leadership team have helped build an innovative

North Side's Green Garden Bakery is a Minnesota Cup business winner

The executive team already is planning for a big capital investment.
“We’ve got the equipment. We’ll train and bolt on more people as we grow,” said H&B Elevators CEO Jashan Eison.

For north Minneapolis elevator maker, business is headed up

But for Jashan "Jason" Eison, the route to becoming CEO and owner wasn't conventional.
Ameriprise Financial faces a lawsuit from Allstate Financial over claims the Minneapolis firm isn’t just poaching advisers.

Allstate's suit against Ameriprise more about swiping data than big-buck producers

Allstate sued Ameriprise after the company lured an unspecified number of Allstate employees in several states.
Bob Pohlad and his family purchased PaR in Shoreview.

Pohlad family buys robotics manufacturer PaR Systems

PaR, based in Shoreview, has built systems to help with Chernobyl decommissioning and in Japan nuclear plant after the earthquake.
Robert Half regional executives Jim Kwapick and Kathy Northamer said it’s a great job market for IT professionals.

Scramble for tech talent is challenge for recruiters

The demand for IT professionals is as hot as it was in the late 1990s.
“We should be thrilled. That capital will recycle its way through young [entrepreneurs] who will do it again and again,” Michael Gorman said.

Execs in growing Twin Cities tech sector reflect on ingredients of success

A number of Twin Cities tech companies are growing in a good economy, they said, but not all is perfect.
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