I’ve mentioned from time to time that TCB produces live events that, like our print and electronic content, are unique, timely and relevant to anyone running a business, or interested in business here in Minnesota. From our annual Person of the Year and Hall of Fame to our small-business and family business awards, these events have been so well-received that TCB is on track to produce 14 this year, and we’ll probably do even more in 2016 (including one in Naples, Fla., in March).
One of our newer events is the Women in Corporate Leadership luncheon, held in April, which pulls together a panel of top executives from some of Minnesota’s most prominent companies to discuss what they’re doing to help more women ascend the corporate ranks. Progress on this front stalled about 10 years ago, and some of us are wondering not only why, but what can be done to change matters? This event, like most of the others we produce, runs in conjunction with a magazine story; this year’s is “All In,” on page 34. We also include a supplement produced by St. Catherine University, a report card of sorts on whether progress was made on this issue during the past year.
Another recently added event is Veterans in the Workplace, held each November to provide the best dialogue you’ll find on what companies are doing to increase their hiring of post 9/11 vets. Minnesota was second-worst in the nation on this front three years ago, hence our annual feature and live event, now entering its second year.
Several of our other events recognize individuals, businesses and families for their outstanding achievements. And as such, with this column I invite you to suggest individuals who should be considered for one or more of these awards. You can do so by e-mailing Caitlin French, our marketing and events manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This July cover story and awards dinner recognizes the accomplishments of leaders who have made a lifetime contribution to Minnesota business – individuals who lead or led enterprises they helped build, are active in the community, inspire others, and have achieved a special level of distinction. Last year’s honorees were Lynn Casey of PadillaCRT, Pat Fallon of Fallon, Mark Larson of Digi-Key, Mark Sheffert of Manchester Cos. and Bill Sweasy of Red Wing Shoe Co.
For the first time we’ll celebrate five individuals and the lives they have influenced. Successful leaders often talk about the importance of great mentors, but rarely do we hear who these mentors are. Help us identify five such individuals, who we’ll profile in the August Twin Cities Business and celebrate at an awards program later that month. Mentees are encouraged to nominate their mentors.
In September, we honor five individuals in our community for improving health care quality, while reducing or maintaining costs. Last year’s honorees included Dave Lagerstrom of Turck Inc., Dr. Andrew Portis of HealthEast Kidney Stone Institute, Barb Rode of Saint Therese, Jeri Peters of UCare and Susan Gunderson of LifeSource.
Every successful business owner knows the value of a key board member to an organization’s performance. This October’s section and corresponding awards dinner recognizes individuals who led changes for the better in the organizations they serve. They also consistently demonstrated integrity and high ethical standards, along with an ability to communicate candidly, constructively and with courage. Last year’s honorees and the board they were most recognized for serving were: Kathy Higgins Victor, Best Buy; John Somrock, Delta Dental of Minnesota; Sally Smith, Alerus Financial and Buffalo Wild Wings; Christopher Policinski, Xcel Energy and Hormel Foods; and Jim Campbell for lifetime achievement.
In November, we honor five outstanding family-owned businesses and the value they add to Minnesota’s economy and quality of life. They are businesses with strong records of success, family involvement, community service and philanthropy, multigenerational culture and effective family business structure. Our honorees for 2014 were Bailey Nurseries, Mathiowetz Construction, Maud Borup, N20Cos. and Nordic Ware.
TCB’s Person of the Year is an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership that strengthened Minnesota's economy and culture, and increased business opportunities in the state. In 2013 this distinction went to Duluth Mayor Don Ness. In 2014, the honor went to Mayo CEO Dr. John Noseworthy.
Do you know a compelling story about a Minnesota small business? Whether it’s about a successful turnaround, rapid growth, unique product or service, notable longevity or overcoming an unusual challenge, we want to know about it. Nominee businesses must have annual revenue of $5 million to $20 million. Ten companies are honored each January; among those recognized this year are Way Better Snacks, Grandma’s Bakery, Anderson Cos., JNBA Financial Advisors and Lube-Tech.
TCB recognizes businesswomen not only for their own achievements, but also for serving and often steering organizations and spearheading causes to improve Minnesota’s culture and economy. At the same time, these winners have helped others pursue their own goals and aspirations, and in the process, are helping create a new generation of leaders. This year’s honorees were Gail Cederberg of American Engineering Testing, Nancy Feldman of UCare, Cindy Kent of 3M, Judy Poferl of Xcel Energy, Mary Brainerd of HealthPartners and Marilyn Carlson Nelson of Carlson.