Staff Directory 6370513

Evan Ramstad

Business Columnist | Newsroom
Phone: 612-673-4241

Evan Ramstad is a Star Tribune business columnist.


He moved to the Twin Cities and joined the Star Tribune in 2013. Ramstad previously worked for The Wall Street Journal in Seoul, Hong Kong and Dallas, and the Associated Press in New York, Washington and Dallas and briefly at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, where he got a start in journalism at radio station KGRN.
Recent content from Evan Ramstad
A 68-foot module, containing portions of two apartments, is lifted off a flatbed at Pentagon Village in Edina. The module arrived from the Rise Modula

Ramstad: Building apartments in a factory saves time, attracts more people to construction

Rise Modular is building apartments in stackable modules at a factory in Owatonna, Minn.
George Friedman, founder of Geopolitical Futures

Ramstad: The role of rage in American reinvention

Reinvention enrages people but is useful for driving the U.S. economy forward, says geopolitical forecaster and author George Friedman.
The role of immigrants and immigration in Minnesota’s economy touches a nerve with some readers.

Ramstad: You had a lot to say about my first columns, especially on immigration. Here's my response

Readers pointed out some gaps in data and thinking this month.
Tesla now casts a long shadow over the car market and the stock market.

Ramstad: No matter how bro-y and showy Tesla acts, it's just another car company

EV adoption, as Tesla's sales show, is actually getting slower. That's not what happened in the early years of smartphones.
Sri Zaheer, dean of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Business, spoke with guests at the McNamara Alumni center last month.

Ramstad: Outgoing Carlson School dean wonders where all the American Ph.D. students have gone

At the state's premier institution of business education, a troubling trend is clear: Americans are shying away from Ph.D. studies.
Dr. Jakub Tolar, dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, left, shakes hands with Fairview CEO James Hereford with Sanford CEO Bill Gassen

Evan Ramstad: The health care drama between the U, Fairview and Sanford is going to cost us

This is a fight that shouldn't be happening, but it reveals a broken relationship.
Charlie Youakim, CEO of Sezzle.

Evan Ramstad: Minnesota company lost $1B in value as investors fled tech. Here's what it did next.

Sezzle has lost 96% of its market value since peaking in February 2021. But now, it makes money.
CVS and UnitedHealth came from different parts of the health care industry to become competitors.

Evan Ramstad: UnitedHealth and CVS, the unexpected Goliath vs. Goliath battle

From vastly different starts, UnitedHealth and CVS see the same future.
A 2019 file photo of FanDuel Sportsbook’s sports betting operations at Diamond Jo Casino in Iowa.

Evan Ramstad: Minnesota lawmakers should take their time on sports betting

Though popular, there's little data on the effects of such pervasive availability to gamble, and no rush for the Legislature to act.
Baby boomers are retiring, shrinking the nation’s workforce, Minnesota is feeling the effects of an end to cheap labor and cheap capital more than m

Evan Ramstad: Will Minnesotans be able to stay rich without growth?

The decline of the workforce is historic and will impose changes that Minnesotans are just starting to understand.
Marty Davis, photographed last month at a Cambria plant in Le Sueur, Minn.

Minnesota businessman Marty Davis met Trump, pushed Meadows to fight 2020 election loss

In texts and a White House meeting, Cambria owner urged Trump to fight outcome, vowed 2024 support, a political news site reported.
Guillermo Quito, co-owner of Los Andes Latin Bistro in Minneapolis, described how a city-sponsored pilot program for accounting assistance would help

Minneapolis offers accounting help to small businesses trying to comply with worker rules

In a test program, the city will use federal funds to equip businesses with software and professional advice.
The Department of Education has made it possible to download tax info to a FAFSA application, but it’s not always smooth.

It's FAFSA time: Why and how to apply for college financial aid

The federal financial aid application is at the center of one of the most important money decisions in a person's life.
November 23, 1969 Keith J. Dineen, district manager for customer services, stands in the 'Guts' of Univac II When a group of high-class engineers took

Minnesota companies once dominated the supercomputer industry. What happened?

Control Data, Univac and Cray Research designed some of the world's fastest computers. But their success didn't last.
File photo shows workers stocking the women’s clothing section of Nordstrom Rack at the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis just before it opened in

Nordstrom Rack will close at IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis

The store opened in fall 2017, a time when downtown Minneapolis was undergoing a surge of growth.
Tom Petters, right, is serving 50 years in federal prison for one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history.

BMO ordered to pay $563M in Tom Petters fraud

The award represents the largest single amount recovered for people who were hurt in Minnesota's worst business fraud.
Adams Publishing of Coon Rapids bought Yellowstone Newspapers, the largest newspaper group in Montana. Its holdings include the Livingston Enterprise,

Coon Rapids publisher buys largest newspaper group in Montana

Adams Publishing picked up 13 newspapers in small communities across Montana in the deal for Yellowstone Newspapers, boosting its print holdings by 10%.
Mike Klingensmith spent a career in senior leadership roles at Time Inc. before returning to his native state in 2010 to lead the Star Tribune just mo

Star Tribune publisher Mike Klingensmith to retire after 13 years

The Star Tribune's leader built a partnership with one of the state's wealthiest people to preserve a large news operation.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is leading a bill that would limit the ability of Google, Apple and Amazon to prioritize their services over other compan

Klobuchar's battle with tech giants reaches its pivotal moment

The senior Minnesota senator is trying to stop major tech platforms from giving priority to their own products — and they are fighting back hard.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar discussed passage of the CHIPS and Science Act at the SkyWater Technology factory in Bloomington Tuesday. With Klobuchar were

Klobuchar, executives pledge expansions to Twin Cities tech factories

Firms will seek federal grants made possible by federal law that Congress negotiated for two years.
Subodh Kulkarni, CEO of CyberOptics shown in a file photo. The Golden Valley-based maker of equipment used to make computer chips is being bought by N

Minnesota maker of chipmaking equipment is sold for $380M

CyberOptics is being purchased Nordson at a peak valuation.
A tree toppled by high winds from an overnight thunderstorm on May 12 smashed into a Coon Rapids house, splitting it in two.

Minnesota now seeing derechos, haboobs — and higher insurance bills

Make an emergency plan and keep your insurance updated, because Minnesota is seeing natural disasters more often since the turn of the century.
Construction on a small apartment building in Uptown Minneapolis in June.

Apartment building continues to rise in Twin Cities, but drop-off is steep in single-family homes

Homebuilding projects are starting to slow, the latest permit date in the metro area shows.
Workers inside the fab at Skywater Technology in Bloomington. Executives expect a portion of the $50 billion that Congress is spending on the U.S. sem

With new federal aid, Minnesota chipmaker expects to speed up expansions

SkyWater Technology has several projects on the drawing board that will accelerate, its top executive said.
The government’s consumer watchdog on banks investigated U.S. Bancorp’s aggressive sales practices, which the agency says ended in 2016.

U.S. Bank fined $37.5M for creating unauthorized accounts for sales goals

Tactics had included opening credit cards and other accounts in customers' names without their permission.
A rendering provided by Best Buy shows the entrance to the small-scale store that the company is trying out in suburb of Charlotte, N.C.

Best Buy tests small-format store in North Carolina

The store near Charlotte embraces smartphone checkout procedures seen at stores by Apple, Amazon and others.
Target CEO Brian Cornell, shown in a 2021 file photo, told an audience in New York on Tuesday how the decision announced earlier this month to slash i

Target's CEO explains how inventory bloat led to tough call

Just days after reporting disappointing quarterly results, Target executives began thinking they'd have to upset investors again.
Target is remaking the entrance to its downtown Minneapolis store, shown in this 2018 file photo.

Target remodels downtown Mpls. store entrance after period of 'disruptive activity'

The store on Nicollet Mall has been boarded up several times in recent years amid civic unrest.
For Radisson Hotel Group, the deal represents an exit from the U.S. market. The company, begun by the late Minnesota businessman Curt Carlson in the 1

Choice Hotels buys Radisson Hotel Group Americas, remnant of Carlson travel legacy

The $675M deal involving nearly 700 hotels cements a split sought by the Trump administration over fears about China.
The steps for getting financial aid are relatively easy. The choices that come next can be complex.

Here are the first steps for seeking financial aid for college in Minnesota

The federal aid application, and Minnesota Dream Act one that matches it, represent the front door to paying for college.
Ken Evenstad built Upsher-Smith Laboratories into a maker of generic drugs with hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue. Evenstad, his wife

Billionaire's family splits as they sell drug company that made them rich

Attorneys for a divided Evenstad family presented final arguments in a dispute with tens of millions of dollars at stake.
Alexander Potter, Minneapolis-based analyst for Piper Sandler, lowered his price target on Tesla this week citing the COVID-related slowdown in China

Minnesota's Tesla bull reins in some of his optimism on its stock

Piper Sandler analyst Alexander Potter lowered his near-term outlook and price target on Tesla shares.
Laura Dunham, new dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas

St. Thomas taps entrepreneurship chief as next dean of Opus College of Business

Laura Dunham helped build the entrepreneurship school at St. Thomas into a nationally ranked program.
AT&T’s network in Minnesota and nearby states now uses GPS to pinpoint the location of callers to  emergency services. File photo of an AT&T store.

AT&T rolls out location tracking on emergency calls from Minnesota cellphones

The No. 3 mobile carrier will now use GPS signals to spot callers to 911 systems.
A judge rejected claims that leaders of Otto Bremer Trust were seeking to enrich themselves by trying to sell its ownership of Bremer Bank, Minnesota�

Bremer trustees not out to profit by trying to sell bank, judge says

The judge overseeing the Bremer Bank dispute opened the door for a new attempt to put the bank up for sale.
Krista Rakochy, one of the highest-rated Airbnb hosts in Minnesota, says meticulous cleanliness is a key to winning over guests. She and her husband r

Clear marketing and white sheets: How Minnesota's top Airbnb hosts make things run

Minnesota's highest-rated Airbnb hosts offer their top tips for running a short-term rental.
The U.S. economy roared back from the pandemic recession. But now some people worry that the need to cool it down, with the Federal Reserve raising in

There's talk about recession. What should you believe?

This spring, speculation abounds that another recession is around the corner, maybe late this year or next year.
U.S. Bancorp executives said they saw healthy trends in consumer and business activity during the first three months of 2022.

U.S. Bancorp sees sharp gains in interest income coming this year

With interest rates rising, the Minneapolis bank expects the biggest boost to a key revenue component in more than a decade.
Minnesota’s economy recovery matched the nation’s in 2021. File photo of a cargo ship at Duluth harbor.

Minnesota economy in 2021 beat pre-pandemic level even with fewer people working

The state's GDP rose 5.7% last year, in line with the nation's recovery pace, and beat 2019's level in absolute terms.
Financial industry regulator, Twin Cities adviser settle probe with lifetime ban agreement

Financial industry regulator, Twin Cities adviser settle probe with lifetime ban agreement

Paul Koch, a Wayzata-based financial adviser, agreed to a permanent bar from the financial services industry in a deal with FINRA.
Unilever will become the third office tenant in the Dayton’s Project. File photo of spec office space in the remodeled department store in downtown

Unilever moves its Minneapolis office to Dayton's Project

The personal products maker is the third office tenant in the remodeled department store building.
Sun Country Airlines will remain by far the dominant discount carrier at MSP, even if Spirit and Frontier combine.

Even as Spirit, Frontier combine, the low-fare game at MSP is still shaped by Sun Country

Spirit and Frontier accounted for less than 3% of business at Minneapolis-St. Paul International last year.
State of Minnesota and the Otto Bremer Trust summed up their legal case in final documents for St. Paul judge.

State of Minnesota, Bremer Trust file final arguments for control of bank-owning charity

Attorney General's Office and Bremer Trust sum up a month's worth of court testimony in a pair of documents.
Sun Country’s headquarters at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

How a data system glitch spiraled into a holiday crisis for Sun Country

The system that kept track of Sun Country's crews and planes went down at the end of the busiest day of the holiday season. Over the next two days, several thousand of the airline's passengers paid a price.
Sun Country was forced to cancel round trip flights to and from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Tuesday so a data vendor could fix a networ

Second day of canceled flights turns holiday travel into quagmire for Sun Country passengers

The Minneapolis-based airline faced a deluge of passenger complaints as the fix to technical glitch produced a second day of flight disruptions.
Sun Country was forced to cancel most flights at MSP Monday morning — but not due to the latest COVID variant outbreak. A computer outage affected i

Network glitch disrupts Sun Country early-morning flights, causing scheduling bumps all day

All of its flights taking off before 8 a.m. were canceled, producing delays throughout the day Monday.
North Dakota’s oil production fell slightly in October while the global energy market edged closer to balancing supply and demand.

Amid surging demand, North Dakota oil production slipped slightly in October

New well completions are on the rise in the state in another sign of U.S. output catching up to the market.
WomenVenture CEO LeeAnn Rasachak, right, Chief Program Officer Sarah Pike, center, and Vice President of Lending Sue Moses.

How a Minnesota nonprofit became a lifeline for women business owners

The leaders of WomenVenture reflect on what the financial crisis of the pandemic has meant for women entrepreneurs.
Shares in Tesla burst through the $900 level last week and then the $1,000 level this week.

Even at $1T, Tesla's value still likely to climb, Piper Sandler analyst says

Tesla will keep grabbing car market share and disrupt other industries, says Alexander Potter, the Minnesota analyst who predicted it would join the $1 trillion valuation club.
Sparboe Farms agreed to donate 1 million eggs to Minnesota charities, settling a lawsuit brought by the state Attorney General’s Office over pricing

AG settles price-gouging suit with Sparboe for donation of 1 million eggs

The Litchfield, Minn., egg producer said it has never engaged in price gouging and offered the donation to resolve the state's lawsuit quickly.
Figures on both sides of the Bremer battle have accused each other of trying to make more money for themselves.

A key subplot within the Bremer drama: How much trustees and bank executives are paid

Money is at the center of many disputes and the Bremer clash quickly put the spotlight on the pay of the main combatants.
Attorney Michael Ciresi, right, who represents the three trustees of Otto Bremer Trust, questioned Bremer Financial Corp. CEO Jeanne Crain in Ramsey C

Bremer case lays bare a relationship that goes back decades — but may have reached its limit

Nowhere else in America does a charity like Bremer Trust own a bank like Bremer Financial.
Minnesota added more than 17,000 jobs in September, one of the biggest moves upward all year.

Minnesota added 17K jobs in September, one of biggest jumps of the year

The biggest gain happened in the hard-hit leisure and hospitality sector.
Bremer Financial and the Otto Bremer Trust have spent $36 million on legal fees battling each other over their future during the last two years.

Bremer combatants have spent $36 million on legal battle

Bremer's CEO testified she wanted to preserve founder's vision for a "community" bank.
Michael Ciresi, the attorney representing the three trustees of Otto Bremer Trust, framed a question for Bremer Financial Corp. CEO Jeanne Crain in a

Bremer Trust conflicts 'always understood' as deal discussions began in 2019, bank CEO says

But for months in 2019, bank executives and leaders of the trust that owns the bank appeared to be on the same page.
Michael Ciresi, the attorney representing Otto Bremer Trust trustees, standing at right, questioned Bremer Financial Corp. CEO Jeanne Crain during an

Bremer Financial CEO Crain: Trustees chose 'most destructive way' to try to sell bank

The October 2019 announcement that thrust the Bremer dispute into the public eye likely "destroyed value," CEO Jeanne Crain said.
Jeanne Crain, chief executive of Bremer Financial, spent about 20 minutes on the witness stand in a hearing over alleged misconduct by trustees of the

Bremer Financial CEO says her job is not a factor in dispute with trustees

Jeanne Crain, who has led Minnesota's No. 4 bank since 2016, rejected allegations that the company's conflict with trustees shaped by her job and finances.
U.S. Bank reopened a branch in north Minneapolis in the third quarter — and gave away pizza to celebrate.

U.S. Bank's profit leaps after releasing more pandemic rainy-day funds

But its revenue fell as big businesses scaled back loans and consumer borrowing remained light.
Brian Lipschultz, center, one of the trustees of the Otto Bremer Trust, looks over a document as he is questioned by Assistant Attorney General Carol

Bremer Financial execs appeared to favor a merger in early 2019, trustee says

In early 2019, Bremer Bank leaders held talks with South Dakota-based Great Western Bank and planned for the combined firm to take the Bremer name.
Brian Lipschultz, a trustee of Otto Bremer Trust, led a push to sell the charitable organization’s stake in Bremer Financial Corp., which operates M

Bremer trustee Lipschultz saw 'once in a lifetime' chance to sell Bremer bank company

Through summer 2019, Otto Bremer Trust trustee Brian Lipschultz tried to attract buyers for Bremer Financial and do it in a way a skeptical trustee could accept.
In a file photo, a researcher holds a canola sample at Calyxt. The Roseville-based company announced a strategic change of direction.

Calyxt, firm that edits genes in plants, will offer its technology to other firms

The Roseville company until now has focused on using gene-editing technology to develop its own products, including a soybean that had a trans fat gene taken out.
Cargill agreed to buy the Minnesota-based epoxides business of the Dutch chemicals company Arkema. The business operates out of this plant in Blooming

Cargill buys Blooming Prairie business that turns soybean oil into chemicals for home products

The agribusiness is spending about $40 million to buy the epoxides business of Arkema, the Dutch chemical conglomerate.
Andrew Cecere, chief executive of U.S. Bancorp since 2016, agreed to undertake the company’s biggest deal since 2001.

At U.S. Bank under Cecere, doing a giant deal takes 'discipline'

The Minneapolis banking giant waited years to join the industry's latest dealmaking wave as CEO Andrew Cecere applied a tough standard for making a big move.
U.S. Bank will become the fifth-largest bank in California with its purchase of MUFG Union Bank. Shown is the U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles.

U.S. Bank buying West Coast's MUFG Union Bank for $8B

The deal gives a strong lift to U.S. Bank's presence in California, where it will rise to fifth in market share from 10th.
Graco Inc.’s top executives said the Minneapolis valve manufacturer is seeing higher costs “coming everywhere,” including steel, aluminum, coppe

For Minnesota businesses, higher costs are 'coming everywhere'

Inflation is causing disruptions to workflow, threats to profits and tough decisions about passing rising costs on to customers.
The last corn was received in 2019 at the former Del Monte cannery in Sleepy Eye. The facility will now become part of a fast-growing pet food busines

Pet-food maker buys former Del Monte canning plant in Sleepy Eye

The plant will become a central cog in the rapidly expanding pet-food businesses of entrepreneur Stephen Trachtenberg.
Ceece Kelley, founder of Soaring Kite Books

Lerner will distribute books from publishing startup Soaring Kite

Soaring Kite Books, a startup publishing house in Washington focused on minority authors and diverse audiences, will have its books distributed by Lerner Publishing Group,…
U.S. Bank is buying a small company called Bento Technologies that makes a system for small businesses to keep track of employee spending more easily.

U.S. Bank adds to small-business services with acquisition of Bento Technologies

Bento, since 2014, has built a platform that simplifies the way employees keep track of business expenses.
Jean Taylor

Star Tribune chair Jean Taylor will become MPR's new CEO

She has chaired the Star Tribune's board for the last three years.
Electromed said it recently discovered a security breach involving customer and employee data happened in June.

Electromed reveals data breach, offers identity theft protection to customers

The maker of products for chronic respiratory conditions said the breach occurred in June.
Shares in SkyWater Technology reset last week after executives announced a capital spending plan that would eat into short-term profit margins.

SkyWater shares rise 20% as execs explain move to expand production capacity

The company's capital spending plan will erode short-term profit margins but set it up for sustained revenue growth, executives told investors Wednesday.
Land O’ Lakes saw its profit double this spring compared to a year ago, when food demand shifted at the start of the pandemic. Pictured is the compa

Land O'Lakes profit rose 22% as crop-related businesses drive more growth this spring

Demand for butter and milk surged in spring 2020, giving a boost to the farmers' co-op when the broader economy was contracting.
Sun Country was marginally profitable even without the government assistance that it and other airlines received this spring.

Sun Country nearly back at prepandemic operation levels

The Twin Cities-based airline's third-quarter revenue could exceed 2019 levels, executives said.
Ecolab’s latest financial results illustrated the slow comeback of U.S. workplaces as the pandemic started to come under control.

The businesses that needed cleaning changed this spring, Ecolab's results show

As the pandemic started to come under control, more restaurants and offices reopened. And they bought Ecolab's cleaning products again.
A marketing representative for Clearfield Inc. meets with a prospective customer at the Fiber Connect trade show in Nashville on Monday. The Minnesota

Brooklyn Park's Clearfield expands as broadband demand soars

Executives at the fiber-equipment maker cite a "once a generation" moment to grow in key rural markets as pandemic makes customers realize necessity of broadband and government investment pours in.