Rhoda Olsen, CEO of Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon business, and the late “Fritzi” Haskell, the first person to bring foreign wines into the U.S. after Prohibition, are among eight Minnesotans who will be inducted into the Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame in May.
“These are trailblazers whose business achievements and philanthropic contributions are worthy of historic acknowledgment,” said Mary Quist-Newins, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-MN).
This year’s honorees include:
• CEO Kari Rihm of St. Paul, who took over one of the oldest Kenworth dealers in the U.S. in 2010 after her husband died unexpectedly. Rihm has flourished as one of only three female Kenworth dealers. The company upgraded technology, opened additional locations and increased revenue. In 2017, Rihm Kenworth celebrated its 85th anniversary by acquiring a multi-state truck leasing company and plans to build two new facilities.
•Karen Desnick of Metropolitan Picture Framing, a family-owned business started by Desnick’s parents. The business has grown from a single retail store in Minneapolis to a manufacturer of molding and frames that sells nationally to museums, artists, photographers, galleries and picture framers
•Nancy JP Anderson of Midwest Sign and Screen Printing Supply, St. Paul, one of the largest female-owned businesses in the Twin Cities, and which, in 2014 opented its 10th store, in Indianapolis.
•Kay Kuba, retired leader of GSS Infotech, built a $60 million-plus technology manager known for developing employees through advanced training and tuition reimbursement, and recognized for excellence by MEDA, the Minnesota and the National Minority Supplier Development Councils.
•Barbara Jo Davis, former owner of Ken Davis BBQ Sauce, now a part of Summit Foods, was one of the state’s best-known African American-run businesses. Working in the Betty Crocker Kitchens of General Mills for 20 years helped Barbara Jo Davis develop as a cook and marketer. She also created a cooking show on radio and gives back through a mentoring program at North High School, and through service to nonprofit organizations.
•Rhoda Olsen of Great Clips joined the executive team of the regional chain of 180 salons in 1987. Today, Great Clips boasts 4,100 locations in 185 markets across North America, and sales that topped $1.3 billion in 2016. Olsen plans to step down as CEO in 2018 and remain on the Great Clips board.