Monday, March 11, 2019

small business administration

small business administration

Business People: Sunday, March 10 - St. Paul Pioneer Press

Posted: 10 Mar 2019 08:51 PM PDT


Minneapolis-based branding and advertising agency Solve announced the promotion of Ryan Murray to director of account management.


HGA, Minneapolis, has hired Lisa J. Smith as senior associate and business developer.


Walser Automotive Group, Edina, announced the hire of Brad Schafer as vice president of fixed operations.


The Entrepreneur Fund, Duluth, has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration for the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs, providing programming and services for disadvantaged entrepreneurs in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin.


LS Black Constructors, St. Paul, announced the addition of Brandyn King as project superintendent.


Mortenson Development, Golden Valley, has hired Chantily Malibago as director of real estate development and Jaci Obst Bell as development executive.


Sharon K. Sandeen, the Robins Kaplan Distinguished Professor in Intellectual Property Law and director of the IP Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, has been awarded the Fulbright-Hanken Distinguished Chair in Business and Economics for 2019-20, sponsored by the Fulbright Finland Commission. … Law firm Ballard Spahr and investment bank Piper Jaffray Cos. announced the creation of a joint 1L Diversity Fellowship Program for first-year law students in Minneapolis. … Apple Valley High School received the 2019 STEM Excellence Award in the high school category at the national Future of Education Technology Conference.


Gateway Bank, Mendota Heights, announced the promotions of three associates: Matt Bentson from loan operations associate to senior loan operations associate; Mackenzie Geier from universal banker to universal banker II; Jonel DeBoer from head teller to teller operations supervisor. … Personal finance and consulting firms PrairieView Partners and Irwin Schaffer LLC announced the relocation of their offices to 2250 Town Square Tower in downtown St. Paul. … Ehlers Cos., a Roseville-based financial advisory firm serving public sector clients, announced a relaunch of their brand with a new logomark, website and visual communications system. …  Minneapolis-based investment bank and asset management firm Piper Jaffray Cos. announced the addition of Brian Wornow as a managing director in financial services investment banking. … Investment consultant The Leuthold Group, Minneapolis, announced the appointment of Scott Opsal as co-portfolio manager on two Leuthold mutual funds and their respective separate-account strategies: Leuthold Select Industries Fund (LSLTX) and Leuthold Global Industries Fund (LGINX, LGIIX). …


Specialty pharmacy network ExceleraRx Corp., Minneapolis, announced the appointment of Rebecca Rand as vice president, Manufacturer Relations.


The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has honored Xcel Energy's energy-efficiency programs, including MN Home Energy Squad and MN One-Stop Efficiency Shop. Xcel Energy is based in Minneapolis. … Best Buy, Richfield, was named No. 1 on Barron's list of the 100 most sustainable companies; Ecolab, St. Paul, ranked No. 26 and Target, Minneapolis, No. 35. … Civic destination marketing organization Visit Saint Paul was recognized for excellence in marketing by Explore Minnesota Tourism at the state's 2019 tourism conference.


Attorney Kenneth S. Levinson has joined Fredrikson & Byron, Minneapolis, as senior of counsel in the Business & Tax Planning, International, Tax Disputes & Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions and Trusts & Estates Groups. … Law firm Dorsey & Whitney announced that Elizabeth Snyder has joined the firm's Minneapolis office as an associate and the Zeviel T. Simpser has joined the firm's Regulatory Affairs Group as a partner. … Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, announced that Jacob Bean, Heidi Nau and Timothy Sitzmann have been promoted to shareholders, and Christopher Hussey, Joseph Phelps and Matthew Robinson have been promoted to managing associates. … Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr announced that it has opened an office in Minneapolis staffed by eight partners from the Minneapolis office of Gray Plant Mooty: Maxwell J. Bremer, Alfred W. Coleman, Samuel W. Diehl, Stephen R. Eide, Kermit J. Nash, Nancy Quattlebaum Burke, Douglas M. Ramler and Andrew J. Daly. … Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis, announced that Michael Sullivan, Jr. will become managing officer.


Polaris Industries, a Medina-based maker of all-terrain recreational vehicles and motorcycles, appointed Gwynne Shotwell to the board of directors effective March 1. Shotwell is president and chief operating officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX). … John Schleiter has been appointed vice president, legal & business affairs, North America, for
Uponor North America, an Apple Valley-based maker of plumbing supplies and technology for construction.


Recombinetics, a St. Paul-based provider of gene-editing products and services for human health and animal agriculture, named Mark Platt chief executive officer.


HandsOn Twin Cities, a St. Paul organization that helps promote volunteerism, is celebrating its 100 year anniversary.


Greater Mankato Growth has named Robert Hoffman as interim president and CEO. Greater Mankato Growth is a consortium of the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization, Visit Mankato, City Center Partnership, and GreenSeam.


Minneapolis-based financial services firm Ameriprise Financial announced that it, along with its employees and advisers, donated $17 million and recorded 78,000 volunteer hours at nonprofits across the country in 2018.


Christopher Roberts III, president of dairy foods for Land O'Lakes, Arden Hills, has been named to the Meredith Corp. board as a Class II Director. Meredith, Des Moines, Iowa, is a magazine publisher.


Mid-America Real Estate – Minnesota, St. Louis Park, announced that former principal/director of Tenant Representation Mike Sims has started a new venture as a developer with Launch Properties, Minneapolis.


Twin Cities based bicycle and bike equipment retailer Erik's announced the purchase of Two
Wheeler Dealer, Sioux Falls, S.D.


Twin Cities-based disability services providers Community Involvement Programs and ALLY People Solutions announced they are merging. … Smart Care Equipment Solutions, a St. Paul-based provider of commercial kitchen repair services, announced the acquisition of Mid-South Maintenance, Goodlettsville, Tenn. Smart Care Equipment Solutions is a spin-off company from Ecolab, St. Paul. … Office equipment supplier Loffler Cos., Bloomington, announced the acquisition of Northern Office Outfitters of Grand Rapids, Minn. … Eden Prairie-based global freight logistics company C.H. Robinson announced that Robert ("Bob") Biesterfeld has been promoted from chief operating officer to chief executive officer as part of a planned succession process. Biesterfeld has also been nominated to stand for election to the board of directors.


Minneapolis-based bus service Jefferson Lines announced its sponsorship of the Fargo-Moorhead St. Patrick's Day parade.


The Minnesota Timberwolves rank 27th on Forbes NBA team valuations list. Forbes puts the Wolves' value at $1.26 million, up 19 percent from last year.


Range Systems, a New Hope-based developer of shooting ranges and for the public and private sector, has announced the following hires: Keith Taylor, managing director, international; Michael Valenti, managing director, police/law enforcement; Doug VanderWoude, managing director, commercial,


SPS Commerce, a Minneapolis-based provider of retail cloud services, announced that Acumatica honored the company as its ISV (independent software vendor) Partner of the Year for 2018 at the Acumatica Summit 2019. … Parallel Technologies, an Eden Prairie-based reliable data center and intelligent building solutions company, has hired Chris Pinc to lead its Data Center Business. …  Outsell, a Minneapolis-based marketing automation platform for the automotive industry, announced that it has received the 2019 Automotive Website Awards (AWA) for Marketing Automation and, with agency partner DSplus, was named the winner of the Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award (MEA) for the 2018 Toyota CH-R Launch Campaign powered by the Outsell platform. … Ahead, a provider of enterprise cloud solutions, announced the relocation of its Minneapolis office to the Edina Tech Center, 5151 Industrial Blvd.


Pipeline for entrepreneurs: SBA initiative aims to help grow small businesses - Brownsville Herald

Posted: 02 Mar 2019 07:45 PM PST

Just as the Women Entrepreneurs' Small Business Boot Camp has helped many dozens of women (and a few men) become entrepreneurs, a program newly available in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is designed to assist established entrepreneurs in growing their businesses.

Angela Burton, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration Lower Rio Grande Valley District, advocated to bring SBA's "Emerging Leaders Initiative" to the Lower Valley. ELI is a no-cost, intensive entrepreneurship course consisting of nearly 100 hours of classroom time and opportunities to work with experienced coaches and mentors, and make connections with peers, local leaders and the financial community.

Recruitment is underway for the 2019 training cohort. Classes begin in mid-April and run through November. Classes will take place at the UTRGV Center for Innovation and Commercialization in Weslaco. The location was chosen in an effort to draw enrollment from around the Valley, Burton said.

The response has been great so far, she added, and said her office has received a number of inquiries from potential candidates. To be eligible, candidates must generate between $250,000 and $10 million a year in revenue, have been in business at least three years, and have at least one employee other than themselves. Candidates are expected to attend all 13 workshops and seven mentoring sessions, and complete required course work.

"We're really picking folks that are very interested and that are going to be dedicated, and that are going to attend all the sessions," Burton said. "Once we've received all the applications we'll probably do interviews. We need to make sure folks are serious about it."

Burton likened the program to "mini-MBA training" that gives small-business owners the opportunity to "work on their business instead of in their business." Often, small-business owners get caught up in the day-to-day operations and neglect building their businesses for the future, she said.

Burton, who launched the women's boot camp in 2009 as executive director of the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce, said she envisions a pipeline of entrepreneurs from the boot camp to the Emerging Leaders program. The boot camp, now administered by the Women's Business Center Rio Grande Valley, has graduated 221 people since the beginning.

"You may have gone through the boot camp several years ago and you've got a business up and running," Burton said. "I see this as a way for folks to continue their education."

Bringing the Emerging Leaders Initiative to the Lower Valley represents a significant investment on the part of SBA, she said.

"This is to make sure small businesses thrive, and that's what's important to me," Burton said. "My job is to make sure to get the tools out there so folks can be successful."

For more information or to apply, go to, call (956) 427-8533 ext. 231, or email

Chamber forms alliance with SBA - Daily Journal Online

Posted: 26 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

The Small Business Administration announced plans to form a Strategic Alliance with the Farmington Regional Chamber at last week's Business and Community luncheon.

In her introduction of Maureen Brinkley, district director with the Small Business Administration, Candy Zarcone, director of Member Engagement and Business Development for the Farmington Regional Chamber, said she had bonded with the long-time SBA employee after having made several contacts with her.

"Maureen Brinkley has been with the U.S. Small Business Administration since the beginning of her career and was appointed district director for the St. Louis office in January 2016," Zarcone said. "In this capacity she is responsible for delivering SBA programs and services to the 54 counties that comprise the eastern half of Missouri and oversees daily operations of the local SBA office in St. Louis, Missouri."

Brinkley's story is indeed amazing. Having started with SBA as an administrative clerk 52 years ago, she worked her way to the top position by learning the skills for and serving in every position in the district office, including loan service officer, economic development specialist and business development specialist.

Recognized throughout the agency as a subject matter-expert on the 8(a) Business Development Program, she was the lead on a team that re-wrote the Standard Operating Procedures that govern its execution and was instrumental in bringing World Wide Technology into the 8(a) program back in 1992. Today that company is the largest African American-owned firm in the United States and earned $10.4 billion in revenue in 2017.

"A true champion and advocate for small businesses, Maureen launched and led the largest SBA One Stop Capital Shop in the nation, and presided over a Welfare-to-Work Initiative that helped hundreds of women in poverty stricken communities throughout St. Louis realize their independence through small business ownership," Zarcone said. "Through her service on numerous special details for SBA headquarters, she initiated projects that expanded the use of SBA programs across the 48 contiguous states and Alaska, and developed innovative marketing approaches that reached historically underserved communities.

"Maureen is a graduate of the Excellence in Government Fellows Leadership Program and the recipient of the very first SBA Administrator's Award. Most recently, Maureen was awarded the 2017 Mayor's Award by St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson, who honored her for her many years of dedication to helping St. Louis small businesses start and grow. She is the proud mother of two sons and grandmother to Zoe, 'the light of her life.'"

In making her announcement to the chamber, Brinkley said this will be the first rural Strategic Alliance in the state of Missouri, and possibly the first in the entire United States.

"Having the Strategic Alliance in place means we will bring SBA workshops, confidential business counseling and business mentoring to the region with the help of the Farmington Regional Chamber." Brinkley said. "We will have an ongoing monthly SBA presence here in the community.

"We need feedback from the Farmington business community to tell us what you need. We can have a class for anything you need. We can invite individuals in — former business owners, universities, whatever — to come in and provide that training to you. We're going to be down here so much that you're going to say, 'Why doesn't that lady go back home to St. Louis?' But that's not the goal.

"We want to do what we can to help. I'm often asked, 'If you know so much about running a business, why don't you have your own?' The answer is very simple. I have no desire to work 24/7, but I want a paycheck every week — but I congratulate you for the work you do and I wish I had that same motivation."

Zarcone expressed excitement at the opportunities she believes will be made possible by the chamber's alliance with the SBA.

"With the majority of our local businesses being classified as small businesses, we believe these added resources will be a tremendous asset to our region," she said. "This strategic alliance aligns with the mission of the Farmington Regional Chamber to assist in business growth, economic improvement and community development so, this is a natural fit. We are honored to have been chosen for this opportunity and look forward to partnering with the SBA as we work together for a stronger business community."

The U.S. Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business.

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