Leaders

While there are lists and lists of leaders ranked by company size, industry type and more, the following people are leading, or have led successfully, through extremely challenging times.

November 14, 2014

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Carolyn Parnell Carolyn Parnell
Chief information officer
State of Minnesota

When Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Carolyn Parnell to be the state’s CIO in 2011, Parnell was tasked with leading a years-long consolidation of government IT operations. This meant seeing her Office of Enterprise Technology workforce climb from 350 to 1,800 after all of the state’s IT operations were gathered under the same umbrella. Since then, Parnell has overseen efforts that have saved the state $17.4 million in two years on the job.



Chris Coleman Chris Coleman
Mayor
City of St. Paul

Coleman has provided calm, quiet leadership for his hometown since 2006. It’s an appropriate style for St. Paul, and there’s nothing wrong with that. True, the city continues to face challenges—most notably, what to do with the old Macy’s and Ford plant properties. But a new ballpark’s going up, Amtrak now comes into the restored Union Depot and Coleman helped keep University Avenue businesses from being derailed by the LRT construction. St. Paul keeps rolling.



Chuck Mooty Chuck Mooty
President and CEO
Jostens Inc.

If there is Twin Cities family-business royalty, the Mooty family qualifies, with brother Chuck the most peripatetic of the current generation. In just five years he captained International Dairy Queen, became savior of Faribault Woolen Mills, ran Fairview Health Services during a period of crisis and took the helm at privately held, 4,000-employee, $700 million-a-year Jostens Inc. Mooty has taken on the challenge of reinvigorating a business built on recognizing the achievements of high school and college students in a digital age where yearbooks and class rings don’t capture the imagination as they once did.



Dean Vlahos
Partner
Genuine Restaurant Group

Never bet against Dean Vlahos. He invented the modern sports bar (Champps). He redefined local casual dining (Redstone). He beat cancer and survived a business relationship with Tom Petters that busted him. BLVD reminded his west suburban clientele he had more to prove, and he’s back in the game as a proprietor with his most ambitious venture yet, Wayzata’s Cōv. It’s a textbook Vlahos operation—inviting, sure of itself and overflowing with affluent, middle-aged customers. Word on the street was that Cōv took in $350,000 per week when it opened this summer. If so, that would make it arguably the top-grossing restaurant in the state. Vlahos is there every day, his glare reminding employees to sweat the details.



Don Ness Don Ness
Mayor
City of Duluth

In October, Ness made his long-awaited decision: He will not be running for a third term in 2015. Since his election as his hometown’s chief executive in 2007, Ness has become the symbol of his city. The image he has presented is one of energy, accessibility and a willingness to buck old cultural habits that had kept the city bound in rusty chains. He brought his beloved city back from the brink of bankruptcy and attracted new, good-paying employers. Duluth will need his continued leadership—whatever form it soon may take.



Ginny Morris
Chair and CEO
Hubbard Radio

Growing up the daughter of Stanley S. Hubbard, the broadcasting business is one that Ginny Morris knows well. She rose to president of Hubbard Radio in 2000 and has become one of the most influential women in broadcasting in the United States. Under her leadership, Hubbard Radio has completed two large acquisitions, and now broadcasts in seven major U.S. markets that include Washington, D.C., and Chicago. She stresses the imperative that her stations meet the unique needs of each community. She serves on the University of Minnesota Foundation board.



Jeff Hamiel Jeff Hamiel
Executive director and CEO
Metropolitan Airports Commission

When Atlanta-centric Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson calls your airport the best-run in the world, it’s a compliment not to be dismissed. Jeff Hamiel has put MSP at the top of the list, despite weather that offers endless challenges, a facility whose core dates from the early 1960s and lack of the soaring architecture and amenities that make airports modern destinations. MSP just works. Its flaws are the constraints of its modest footprint and age. The challenge Hamiel faces is convincing the region’s decision makers to continue to invest in MSP’s competitiveness and to be able to see 25 years out to define the airport’s future.



Kaywin Feldman Kaywin Feldman
Director and president
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Feldman has kept MIA playfully stylish and up-to-date without sacrificing its fundamental class. Though membership has declined, endowments are up and visitor numbers have been setting records. An example of her approach: When the Codex Leicester—a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific writing and art—is exhibited next year, it will be joined by video art created by DEVO’s Mark Mothersbaugh. In 2015 (MIA’s centennial), she’ll chair the National Association of Museums. With art museums nationwide struggling, Feldman has some bragging rights.



LuAnn Via
President and CEO
Christopher & Banks

Christopher & Banks, a women’s apparel darling of the pre-recession era, had fallen on hard times when LuAnn Via arrived as CEO in 2012. Its stock had fallen to $1 per share, and core customers were fleeing. Via is fighting to right the ship, however, as she implements a strategy returning to C&B’s roots as a destination for middle-aged professional women seeking updated attire. The stock reached $11 this summer before soft traffic resulted in a third-quarter earnings warning.



Mark Mishek Mark Mishek
CEO and president
Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

Mishek was tapped to lead Hazelden in 2008, after a period of tumult for the venerable addiction treatment nonprofit. He joined after a long career in health care, including a stint as president of United Hospital in St. Paul. Amid the changing health care landscape, Mishek engineered the merger of the $140 million Hazelden with the $40 million California-based Betty Ford Center. The merger, completed in February, created the nation’s largest nonprofit treatment organization, with locations in several states. The mission is also personal for Mishek, who is in long-term recovery.



Maureen Steinwall
CEO
Steinwall Inc.

Steinwall, a Coon Rapids-based plastic injection molding company, likes to tout that it’s been woman-owned for nearly 30 years. But when Maureen Steinwall became president in 1985, taking over for her father, Carl, employees and customers quit in protest. Unfazed, Steinwall has charted her company through stormy seas, emerging from the recession to enjoy consecutive years of double-digit growth. The business did $20 million in revenue last year, and Steinwall set a goal of $50 million within a decade.



Mick Anselmo Mick Anselmo
SVP/market manager
CBS Radio Minneapolis

Regarded as one of the modern pioneers of country music radio, Anselmo’s adroit recovery from the dumpster fire that was Clear Channel (now iHeart Media) positioned him as CBS Radio’s country music czar, while guiding the gray lady that is WCCO Radio into the new millennium. Long after pundits wrote off ‘CCO as irrelevant, it remains one of the market leaders in revenue. Anselmo’s team keeps the four-station group relevant (WCCO, WLTE, Jack FM, Buz’n Country), and if he can sweet-talk his corporate bosses, don’t be surprised to see CBS make a serious run at Vikings radio rights.



Olga Viso Olga Viso
Director
Walker Art Center

The speed at which Olga Viso advanced in her field could give a person whiplash. Shortly after getting her master’s in art history, she took the role of assistant curator at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and was named director in a decade. In 2008, she was named director at the Walker Art Center and has focused on ensuring long-term sustainability for one of the nation’s most-visited premier contemporary art museums.



Pat Ryan
President and CEO
Ryan Companies US

Minneapolis-based Ryan, founded in 1938 on the Iron Range, has always been a family company. Pat Ryan is a grandson of co-founder James Henry Ryan. He started working for the business in 1983 and became CEO when his cousin Jim Ryan died in 2009. Those were lean times for construction and development, the staples of Ryan’s business. Ryan fared better than many competitors during the extended market downturn. Today, as the market rebounds, Ryan presides over a company that’s growing again: The firm recently opened a new west regional office in San Diego.



Reggie Clow Reggie Clow
CEO
Clow Stamping

Lead by learning and leaning—it’s Reggie Clow’s m.o. “We practice lean every day,” says Clow. Living lean helped metal fabricator Clow overcome a 23 percent sales freefall in 2009 and will help it absorb a projected 10 percent drop in 2015 due to a soft commodity market. After more than doubling capacity since 2011 and watching sales soar 47 percent to $62 million, Clow’s filling the downtime with projects to gear up for the next big wave. His slogan: “We’re going to get better every day until we get perfect.”



Rollie Anderson
CEO
Anderson Trucking Service

There are many strong trucking companies in Minnesota. Anderson runs one of them, and has kept his St. Cloud-based family firm at the head of the pack by investing in the most up-to-date equipment and technology. He’s also been an active community leader, helping establish the Anderson Center for Management and Leadership Development at St. Cloud State University.



Susan Adams Loyd
President and GM
Clear Channel Outdoor

Do you think Minnesota should have the world’s most interesting and beautiful billboards? Susan Adams Loyd does. In her role at Clear Channel Outdoor, the region’s dominant out-of-home advertising provider, she’s partnering with businesses and nonprofits to create billboards that are elegant and effective. She’s bringing her award-winning TV production background and sensibility—known to locals from four years running WCCO-TV—to the digital advertising platform. Loyd is also excited to be co-chairing, and competing in, the 2015 National Senior Games next July in the Twin Cities. In 2013, she took home gold in the 400 meters.



Susan Marvin Susan Marvin
President
Marvin Windows and Doors

Susan Marvin has one foot in the past, one in the future. During the recession, Marvin and her family-run company worked hard to maintain their long-term commitment to employees and hometown of Warroad: No one was laid off or had their benefits reduced. But Marvin is as committed to innovation as she is to tradition. She sees new ideas such as solar-powered windows and other possibilities as crucial to the firm’s continued relevance and longevity.



Titans

These individuals are No. 1 at their game, each the leading all-star within his or her industry or profession nationally and in some cases, internationally.

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Behind The Scenes

If it weren’t for these individuals, the leaders and companies they work for would be nowhere near as successful as they have been.

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Hopefuls

These individuals hold positions of considerable power; we’re waiting to see how well they’ll use their influence to effect positive results and, ideally, exceed expectations.

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Next-Gen Leaders

Individuals who are leading organizations and causes to help improve the world that we, as well as future generations, will live in.

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Pioneers

Entrepreneurs and successful up-and-comers who already have proven to be enterprising leaders.

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