2022 Minnesota Family Business Awards Finalists

Recognizing successful family businesses and the values they perpetuate.

Merchology 

Headquarters: Plymouth

Inception: 2014

Family members in the business: 3

Employees: 275 

Started by Dick Ward and his children, Andrew Ward and Ally Ward Delgado, Merchology produces and sells branded gifts and apparel worldwide, partnering with high-profile companies like Nike and Under Armour. In-house brand Zusa focuses on sustainable gifts. With Ward’s children now at the helm, the company continues to add brand partnerships and production capabilities. Merchology expects to hit
$100 million in revenue in 2023.


Fehn Cos. Inc.

Headquarters: Albertville

Inception: 1971

Family members in the business:

Employees: 100

Fehn Cos. keeps it local with its excavating, demolition, sand and gravel mining, and trucking services, primarily serving clients within a 50-mile radius. Dennis and Bertha Fehn started Dennis Fehn Sand and Gravel with just a couple of trucks and a loader. When sons Mike and Gary took over, the company updated its name to Fehn Cos., and in 2019, Gary became the sole owner. During that transition, the company set new strategies and goals with an eye toward employee wellness and also opened a new office and gravel pit.


 M&N Structures Inc.

Headquarters: Winsted

Inception: 1991

Family members in the business: 3

Employees: 27

M&N Structures has fabricated steel for thousands of Twin Cities buildings as well as projects across the country. Kevin Niemeier, a structural engineer, started the business with a focus on small and medium-sized general contractors. His wife, Betsy, soon joined, bringing business experience to oversee marketing and finance. Their oldest son, Jim, joined the company in 1995 and is now a sales leader; son-in-law Jonathan Henrikson joined in 2005 and runs operations. That set the foundation for a smooth leadership transition when Kevin retired in 2016. Betsy still serves on the leadership team. In the last five years, M&N has doubled its staff size and annual revenue.


Lightbulbs.com

Headquarters: Maple Grove

Inception: 1951

Family members in the
business:
8

Employees: 80

Mel Jacobson sold light bulbs out of the back of a cargo van he dubbed Mel’s Van O Lite. With the help of business partner Don McLellan, one van became a fleet, and for 30 years, the company delivered light bulbs and batteries. Now known as Lightbulbs.com to reflect the pivot to online, the company sells more than 150,000 items from LED lights to Christmas lights. Today, the co-founder’s grandson, Paul McLellan, is the company president. His goal is to be the top lighting products distributor. Four of his nine children already work at Lightbulbs.


Edney Distributing Co. Inc. 

Headquarters: Lakeville

Inception: 1951

Family members in the business:

Employees: 25

Edney is a wholesale distributor of industrial, agricultural, and lawn maintenance equipment and parts with a Midwestern network of more than 1,000 dealers. Founded in South Dakota by Fred Edney and his sister Ferne, Fred’s great-granddaughter Jenni Edney leads the company today. She’s focused on driving innovation and national growth and advocating EOS, the entrepreneurial operating system program. Edney has an employee stock ownership plan. Edney plans to create a board of outside directors.

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