A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:


Title: Realtor

Age: 46

Realtor Jay Ettinger is focusing on sales in Minneapolis' North Loop, his home neighborhood, after merging with the Cynthia Froid Group, Keller Williams Realty, which specializes in the city's Mill District.

Ettinger, a friend of Froid's for two decades, said he was eager to join forces with her because of "the respect and admiration of her peers and people in the industry" that she enjoys.

"It's been fun to watch her grow her business and see her succeed," Ettinger said of Froid. "She wanted to have someone she could trust when she's taking vacations and spending time with her family, and at the same time she said, 'I can be there for you.' "

While Ettinger has concentrated on the North Loop since he moved to the growing downtown neighborhood last year, he and his team continue to work with clients throughout the Twin Cities area.

Ettinger had worked at Edina Realty since receiving his real estate license in 1999. Before that, he ran a direct-mail business with his mother for five years.

Real estate seemed like a natural fit, Ettinger said, because of the large network of friends he has from growing up in St. Paul and going to school at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a business degree.

His part-ownership of several Minneapolis restaurants, including the North Loop's Borough, also results in referrals and opportunities to advise young employees of those establishments who express interest in working in real estate.

Q: What do you like about living in the North Loop?

A: Walking to Target Field, to all the restaurants. There are new shops going up and down Washington Avenue; all of a sudden there's retail everywhere. There's a great sense of community here and it stretches across the board. It's not just young professionals, it's empty nesters and everything in between. It's welcoming to everybody.

Q: What appeals to you about working in real estate?

A: The best part is you feel like you become part of someone's family. You talk to them 10, 15 times a day. … Whether it's an investment property or it's purchasing for their family, this is probably one of the most important purchases of their lives, so it should be treated as such.

Q: What are your goals in working with Cynthia Froid Group?

A: Having a support staff with Cindy's team, I'll be able to service my sellers much better and give them a lot more attention, network their listings, talk to other agents and spend a lot more time focused on my listings.

Todd Nelson