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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 more than 25 years. He also has worked in financial communications for two publicly held companies.
Recent content from Neal St. Anthony
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,…
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, no-interest…
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.
St. Anthony: Mankato's 75F lands $650,000 from investors

St. Anthony: Mankato's 75F lands $650,000 from investors

Deepinder Singh, the boss at promising 75F of Mankato, reports that the energy-conservation firm that sells climate control systems to small commercial buildings has raised…

The Nerdery is cutting 23 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce

The Bloomington company said the move is an adjustment, and said it plans to continue to hire tech employees.
Minneapolis businessman now looks to make a difference in Africa

Minneapolis businessman now looks to make a difference in Africa

Last month, Ward Brehm, a Minneapolis business guy with a big heart, drank the sweetest glass of water of his life. Brehm and a few…
St. Anthony: Nobel Forum explores challenges facing business

St. Anthony: Nobel Forum explores challenges facing business

Gary Smaby, the former securities analyst, is a consultant, philanthropist and a thoughtful guy. The Washburn High grad, class of 1967, also has that Norwegian-bred…
Dunn Bros. owners visit Mexican farmers who supply their coffee beans

Dunn Bros. owners visit Mexican farmers who supply their coffee beans

Josh Dexter, owner of five Dunn Bros coffee shops in Minnesota and Wisconsin, gets consumed by the seven-day-a-week demands of inventory management, staffing and serving…
Neal St. Anthony: Hot Dang, other Minnesota firms at center of healthy food trend

Neal St. Anthony: Hot Dang, other Minnesota firms at center of healthy food trend

Tim Murphy quit a good marketing job several years ago in the Yoplait business of General Mills to lead a two-employee “grain burger” outfit called…
On managing wealth, connecting with clients: Martha Pomerantz

On managing wealth, connecting with clients: Martha Pomerantz

In 2011, Martha Pomerantz and four other female veterans left what is now Abbot Downing, Wells Fargo’s investment and trust business for families with assets…
St. Anthony: Mankato-based 75F takes on climate control giants

St. Anthony: Mankato-based 75F takes on climate control giants

75F is a Mankato company looking to become the next big player in climate-control systems for small buildings.
Blind chef dismissed by Chipotle seeks work over disability pay

Blind chef dismissed by Chipotle seeks work over disability pay

local business insights Neal St. Anthony | Carl Nimis, a blind, 51-year-old chef whom I wrote about last year, has been dismissed after three years…
Vidku lands $17 million to launch video technology developed at U

Vidku lands $17 million to launch video technology developed at U

The video communication technology was developed for the classroom, but its backers believe it can reach a broader audience.

Allianz Life reports 36 percent profit growth for 2014

An increased demand is seen for retirement income products paced a 62 percent increase in total premiums.
St. Anthony: Medtronic founder Earl Bakken pens an electric personal history

St. Anthony: Medtronic founder Earl Bakken pens an electric personal history

local business insights neal st. anthony | Earl Bakken was a curious, adventurous northeast Minneapolis kid who hopped freight trains for day trips before World…
St. Anthony: Natural gas heats up as oil prices cool

St. Anthony: Natural gas heats up as oil prices cool

The oil boom may have gone bust for now above the Bakken reservoir of North Dakota and Montana, but the rush is just starting to…
Wayfinder Angel looks for backers to launch new device for the blind

Wayfinder Angel looks for backers to launch new device for the blind

At best, Wayfinder is a revolutionary application of existing communications and sensor technologies that can help the blind get around better on foot. At worst, it is an interesting idea that its sponsors say can’t attract the $250,000 in start-up funds needed to demonstrate its viability.
Insite Software lands $15 million investment

Insite Software lands $15 million investment

Insite Software, provider of business-to-business commerce platforms for manufacturers and distributors, has received an equity investment of $15 million from Volition Capital, a Boston-based growth…
St. Anthony: BMO Harris Bank has growth plan in Minnesota

St. Anthony: BMO Harris Bank has growth plan in Minnesota

BMO Harris Bank of Chicago plans to grow in Minnesota over the next three years. The company, the fourth-largest commercial bank in Minnesota with…
St. Anthony: Lynette Dumalag demonstrates that downtown must be more than metrics

St. Anthony: Lynette Dumalag demonstrates that downtown must be more than metrics

The Minneapolis Downtown Council annual meeting, held earlier this month, always is the place to go to learn about the numbers behind the downtown…

Target gets nod for better e-commerce; Imation heeds activists

Target improves its e-commerce effortsWells Fargo senior analyst Matt Nemer questioned the perception that Target Corp. remains way behind in e-commerce initiatives. “While we believe…
Achieve Services launches a laundry line

Achieve Services launches a laundry line

Achieve Services, a Blaine nonprofit business, has launched Achieve Clean Laundry Detergent in participation with Lube-Tech to generate more employment for people with disabilities and…
Marketing firm Young America plans move to downtown Minneapolis

Marketing firm Young America plans move to downtown Minneapolis

The company, now located in Edina and Norwood Young America, plans to move about 100 employees into the Lumber Exchange Building.
RespirTech has gone from turnaround to growth company

RespirTech has gone from turnaround to growth company

RespirTech, a maker of air-pressurized vests, is enjoying a strong run under CEO Jim Ehlen.
David Mortenson will succeed his father as leader of M.A. Mortenson

David Mortenson will succeed his father as leader of M.A. Mortenson

Generational change at family-led Mortenson, the builder of Target Field, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the new Vikings stadium.
St. Anthony: Home health care CEO wants to clean up his industry

St. Anthony: Home health care CEO wants to clean up his industry

Andre Best, the nine-year owner of Best Home Care, wants to make a buck and a positive difference in an industry that is at the center of millions of dollars in fraud allegations.
St. Anthony: Pohlads slump in late innings of the bank business

St. Anthony: Pohlads slump in late innings of the bank business

Family-owned Pohlad Companies, owner of the Minnesota Twins, saw its banking-industry batting average slip in recent years.The late Carl Pohlad became a billionaire over 50…
A device that won't leave dog owners holding the bag

A device that won't leave dog owners holding the bag

Eden Prairie entrepreneur Tom Zurn has invested $75,000 in his quest to create a does-it-all dog waste removal device.
Minnesota sees strongest M&A action since 2007

Minnesota sees strongest M&A action since 2007

Minnesota saw 416 deals last year, the state’s most active M&A market since 2007.
St. Anthony: Savage-based Fabcon adds plant in Kansas

St. Anthony: Savage-based Fabcon adds plant in Kansas

CEO Mike LeJeune reports that Savage-based Fabcon Precast, maker of precast concrete wall panels for national retailers, data centers and other customers, is…
St. Anthony: Carl Bergquist found business success once he lost the ego

St. Anthony: Carl Bergquist found business success once he lost the ego

Last fall, he sold his privately held Bergquist Co. for $570 million to German industrial conglomerate Henkel.
Small firm, big cases: A conversation with Barbara Berens

Small firm, big cases: A conversation with Barbara Berens

A former stockbroker relishes complicated cases and her law firm was recently recognized nationally for its commitment to equality and diversity.
St. Anthony: Savage-based Fabcon adds plant in Kansas

St. Anthony: Savage-based Fabcon adds plant in Kansas

CEO Mike LeJeune reports that Savage-based Fabcon Precast, maker of precast concrete wall panels for national retailers, data centers and other customers, is…
Sofia Fund receives nearly $4 million for angel fund

Sofia Fund receives nearly $4 million for angel fund

The Sofia Fund received the money, will invest in early-stage companies.

Associated Bank acquires Eden Prairie risk management firm

Associated Banc-Corp of Wisconsin said it has agreed to acquire Ahmann-Martin Co. of Eden Prairie, a risk-management, insurance-and-benefits consulting firm, and merge it into Associated’s…
St. Anthony: Sunrise Banks introduces alternative to payday loans

St. Anthony: Sunrise Banks introduces alternative to payday loans

St. Paul-based Sunrise Banks, which aims to make a buck doing good as it grows its consumer loan portfolio, plans to take on the payday…
St. Anthony: Valspar moves HQ back to Minneapolis campus

St. Anthony: Valspar moves HQ back to Minneapolis campus

Valspar Corp., a cornerstone Minnesota company and one of the state’s best-performing stocks over the last five years, also has been investing at its…
St. Anthony: Antenna has tapped temp worker trend in marketing

St. Anthony: Antenna has tapped temp worker trend in marketing

Back in 2006, Brendon Schrader was a five-year marketing manager at 3M Co. with an entrepreneurial impulse.And Schrader wasn’t satisfied with the contract talent from…
St. Anthony: Veteran headhunter Mark Jaffe spares no necks

St. Anthony: Veteran headhunter Mark Jaffe spares no necks

Mark Jaffe, founder of Jaffe & Wyatt more than 25 years ago, is not the first executive-search professional to write a book.However, Jaffe,…
Ex-CEO of Graco Inc. remembered for his values

Ex-CEO of Graco Inc. remembered for his values

David Koch, 84, died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
St. Anthony: Top Workplaces now taking nominations

St. Anthony: Top Workplaces now taking nominations

The Star Tribune is again teaming with Pennsylvania research firm WorkplaceDynamics to identify Minnesota’s Top Workplaces. Nominations are now open for…
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