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
David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks

Banking program aims to provide lower-cost alternative to payday lenders

Nonprofit, Sunrise Banks team in order to provide an alternative to payday lenders.
CEO Mynul Khan of Minneapolis-based Field Nation and other fast-growing software firms can't find enough local talent.

Shortage of skilled workers challenges Twin Cities tech firms

CEO Mynul Khan of Minneapolis-based Field Nation has a problem common among growth companies in the region's booming software and IT services industry. There's a shortage of experienced talent in the Twin Cities.
Former Metro Transit police Sgt. Waheid Siraach has turned his extensive experience in police work into a business.

Retired Sgt. Waheid Siraach is trying to police a successful business

Today, he is building a small business as a training-and-assessment consultants that leverages his experience. But it's a slow build.
Meda and CEO Gary Cunningham oversee a loan portfolio of about $18M.

Meda plans $1 million business competition for minority-run small businesses

Meda, the growing counselor and lender to small minority-owned businesses, is launching a $1 million Shark Tank-style competition. Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Association) will host…
From left, Sam, Peggah and Far Navab, with the expanding, 30-year-old Navab Brothers Rug Co.

Navab Brothers build a better rug business for 30 years

The Navabs are trying to adapt again, just another stich in their entrepreneurial story.
Adine Momoh, the 100th president of the Hennepin County Bar Association, with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Adine Momoh takes over Hennepin County Bar presidency

At 34, she's also the youngest president the group has had.
Structural CEO Scott Burns and COO Chip House

St. Paul's Structural raises $2.5 million in equity capital

Structural's co-founder, CEO envisions building business into a $1 billion enterprise.
Employees at EMC’s refurbished headquarters in Plymouth.

Fast-growing Energy Management Collaborative has a brighter idea

It has been quite a dazzling run, particularly the past five years, for a low-profile firm that has emerged from the shadows.
Javier Martinez, front row, third from left, pictured with his fellow graduates of the IT-Ready training program in 2014.

IT-Ready helps fill gaps in immigrant, minority employment

The Twin Cities metro is the No. 1 city in America for the IT-Ready program, which places nearly 90 percent of graduates in good jobs that average $39,000 a year after graduation.
Edward Yakobe Sawerengera, the Malawi ambassador to the United States, visited Compatible Technology in St. Paul.

CTI projects American power in Africa through compatible technology that helps farmers

The partnership is good for the U.S., too.
“I grew up with this,” said Randy’s Booth CEO Bert Kissoondath. His father, Randy, founded the custom furniture shop.

Restaurant furniture maker Randy's Booth Co. finds second-generation success

The late Randy Kissoondath, a dirt-poor immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago, began his entrepreneurial journey in the 1970s as a dishwasher at Nye's restaurant on the edge of Northeast.
Perforce Software President Mark Ties and CEO Janet Dryer once were leaders at HelpSystems IT services in Eden Prairie.

Perforce Software CEO Janet Dryer among drivers of state's robust economy

Small, fast-growing companies have driven record employment and a strong Twin Cities economy.
CEO John Norris and David Kensinger, vice president of engineering, of Tower Solutions, make telescopic towers that rise to 80 feet.

Thanks to big contract, John Norris takes his tower business to new heights

Tower Solutions, one of two Norris-owned firms, recently landed a $14.75 million contract with General Dynamics for 50 of its 80-foot "roll-up" towers.
Accenture cloud software architect Catherine Gulsvig Wood, center, who started her career in tech thanks to a fortuitous meeting in a college computer

IT veteran urges less-technical approach to drawing women to tech

Catherine Gulsvig Wood's career has included work with Cray Research and Accenture since 2014.

Minnesota chamber expands-integrates efforts to produce more workers for employee-hungry economy

Center will work with employers to link candidates, openings.
TCF’s stock price has climbed from less than $15 to around $25.

St. Anthony: TCF Financial sheds workers, builds more-profitable machine

In and out of Wall Street's good graces for a decade, TCF has regained widespread investor favor lately.
Chairman David Mortenson of Mortenson Construction and the Itasca Project and CEO Tawanna Black of the Center for Economic Inclusion will announce a s

Twin Cities business and nonprofit leaders tie 'equity' to improved economic growth

Business and nonprofit leaders, impressed with some recent results in north Minneapolis, are aligning efforts to ramp up training and employment for people of color in hopes of igniting economic growth and spreading wealth throughout the Twin Cities.

Confidence growing among Minnesota small-business owners, according to USB survey

Yearly survey finds rising optimism; taxes a bigger concern in Minnesota.
Jacquie Berglund has expanded Finnegans into a $10 million, four-level brewery, taproom, social club and entrepreneurial center in downtown Minneapoli

Developer, social entrepreneur bet big on Finnegans' future

Thanks to deep-pocketed partners, the brand is positioned for significant growth.
Washington, D.C.: While the IRS collected about $3.4 trillion in taxes last year, a former commissioner said there are billions of dollars in uncollec

IRS faces big task with far fewer agents than 20 years ago

The number of angry taxpayers and tax preparers waiting longer to communicate with the agency is up.
Members of the Beer-a-Palooza group enjoy a Saturday afternoon at the Lift Bridge Brewery in Stillwater, in this file photo from April 14, 2011.

Lift Bridge Brewing moving ahead with new $10 million facility in Stillwater

The 35,000-square-foot facility will be about three-times larger than its current quarters, located less than a half-mile away.

Craig-Hallum M&A group leaves to join with former partners at new boutique

The mergers-and-acquisitions investment banking team at Craig-Hallum has left to join with the partners at investment banking boutique Quetico Partners to form a new firm,…
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
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 months to help them develop as leaders advancing their plans.
Dunwoody College of Technology has launched the first phase of a major renovation to its Minneapolis campus.

Dunwoody remakes itself for a changing economy

Dunwoody's growth has been constrained by its century-old building, just west of downtown. The school is underway on the first phase of a remodel approaching $40 million over several years.
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.
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