Piper Jaffray analyst Edward Tenthoff, a global-conference veteran, made his inaugural appearance at the Vatican at the second International Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference in April.

Tenthoff was one of 350 scientists, physicians, religious leaders, industry representatives and others to raise awareness of the therapeutic potential of adult stem cells.

The Catholic Church supports research on adult stem cells as an ethical and moral alternative to research on embryonic stem cells.

Tenthoff, a senior research analyst who works out of Piper’s New York office, said the event cemented his view that “a revolution is quietly taking place in stem-cell medicine.”

“This is such a unique message from the church and such a progressive message to be supporting adult stem cell science and medicine,” said Tenthoff, who was raised Catholic. “I said I want to help get that message out.”

Tenthoff got the conference invite through Dr. Robin Smith, CEO of New York-based NeoStem, an emerging biotechnology company and one of the event sponsors. Tenthoff moderated a keynote panel on regenerative medicine. The conference included topics on medicine, regulation, politics and ethics.

“I don’t think the public, or even investors … quite realize how much progress and how many successes are actually ­taking place in this field.” ­Tent­hoff said. “This is fundamentally going to change the way medicine is practiced. When you cut yourself, it’s stem cells and regenerative cells that heal you. So adults have stem cells in their body. We are talking cures here.”

There is enough interest in the field that Piper co-sponsored the inaugural RegenMed Investor Day in New York on April 17, in which Tenthoff also participated. Tenthoff sees investment opportunities in some wound-care companies and emerging companies focused on heart disease.

Tenthoff reported that Pope Francis met with some of the young patients at the conference who benefit from stem-cell therapies.


Marilyn Carlson Nelson honored

Marilyn Carlson Nelson, board member and former CEO of travel-and-hotel company Carlson, was an early leader in what is now an industrywide mobilization against so-called sexual tourism and human trafficking, or slavery, that disproportionately victimizes kids and women. Carlson Nelson joined the United Nations and a host of human-rights organizations to help mobilize business leaders and establish systems to report suspected human trafficking and work with local agencies and authorities.

Carlson Nelson, also a leader in women’s empowerment and corporate social responsibility, will be honored Monday as one of three recipients of the 2013 Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, is another recipient.

“We knew 28 million children are slaves around the world and that [Carlson] had to take a leadership role,” Carlson Nelson said last week. “It took several years, but we spoke out and now Hilton, Delta, Ford, Coca-Cola, Microsoft and others have signed on. We are part of the business coalition against trafficking. We use … a nonprofit that has a telephone number that our managers can call if they need to report a possible incidence of trafficking … and they will alert local authorities. … We start with prevention and awareness. We’re partners with the U.S. State Department, Department of Justice and immigration authorities.’’

CEO Chris Policinski of Land O’Lakes will accept the award on behalf of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a broad-based network of 400 American businesses and community leaders who promote increased support for the United States’ diplomatic and development efforts.


• Minneapolis law firm Dorsey & Whitney is hanging on to its “Am Law 100” ranking by the skin of its teeth. The latest list of the top 100 law firms in the U.S. by American Lawyer magazine finds Dorsey at 99, down from its 2011 rank at 88th. The trade journal reported Dorsey’s 2012 revenue at $313.5 million, down 3.1 percent from a year earlier. The only other Twin Cities law firm on the prestigious 100 is Faegre Baker Daniels at 66 with revenue of $443 million. It is FaegreBD’s first ranking in the Am Law group since the 2012 marriage of Faegre & Benson and Baker & Daniels of Indianapolis.


• Affinity Plus, one of the larger area credit unions, has purchased the Minnesota-based operations of Oak Trust Credit Union of Illinois. On June 30, Affinity Plus will assume control over the Eagan-based branch of Oak Trust, which has about 4,300 members. Affinity Plus, with assets of about $1.6 billion and 160,000 members, has 26 branch locations.

• The STEP-UP Achieve youth employment program, which places hundreds of Minneapolis public school teens with 60 Twin Cities employers for summer internships, has received a $200,000 federal matching grant to create a system of career pipelines for Minneapolis youth through participating employers. The grant from the Social Innovation Fund followed after AchieveMpls, which supports the schools through business and other contributions, was named a founding partner of Generation Next, a collaboration that includes Greater Twin Cities United Way. It focuses on closing the education achievement gap between white and black students.