EOY 2014 Finalists

EOY 2014 Finalists

Edward Cameron

Appliance Recycling Centers of America Inc.
Year Founded: 1975
Headquarters: St. Louis Park
Annual Revenue: $129.1 million
Employees: 341
What it does: Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) started out as an antiques and used furniture business. Cameron discovered a gap in the market for recycling old appliances. He and his company then developed systems to utilize parts and safely dispose of harmful substances—and create a large, successful new business.

 

Jon Carlson

Braun Intertec Corp.
Year Founded: 1957
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Annual Revenue: $92 million
Employees: 500-plus
What it does: Carlson began his career at Braun Intertec in 1988 as an environmental technician, helping the business provide environmental, geotechnical and testing to public and private companies. Since he became CEO in 2009, Braun Intertec’s revenue has grown an average of 33 percent annually.

 

Mike Derheim

The Nerdery
Year Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Bloomington
Annual Revenue: $37.4 million
Employees: About 480
What it does: The Nerdery is an interactive web design and development company focusing on social media, website and mobile-platform projects. Derheim, who became CEO in 2010 under difficult circumstances, has led the company to new growth. The Nerdery opened offices in Chicago in 2010 and Kansas City in 2013, and has been on Inc.’s 5,000 fastest-growing companies for six consecutive years.

 

David Kristal

Augeo
Year Founded: 1999
Headquarters: St. Paul
Annual Revenue: More than $100 million
Employees: 200-plus
What it does: Created out of Kristal’s experience saving his family’s business (the Embers restaurant chain), Augeo is a loyalty-marketing firm working with more than 200 clients, which include PepsiCo, U.S. Bancorp and Home Depot. The company develops loyalty campaigns including points systems and gaming-influenced platforms. Augeo also invests in promising startups.

 

Brad Goskowicz

Microbiologics
Year Founded: 1971
Headquarters: St. Cloud
Annual Revenue: Not provided
Employees: 93
What it does: Microbiologics is a laboratory testing facility that provides services for the detection of microbial contamination in water, food products and the environment. Since Goskowicz became CEO in 2009, Microbiologics has seen a 137 percent increase in revenue, a 42 percent increase in employees, and two successful acquisitions. In 2012, the company nearly doubled the size of its headquarters.

 

Justin Hall

Logistics Planning Services
Year Founded: 1987
Headquarters: Woodbury
Annual Revenue: more than $100 million
Employees: 75
What it does: Logistics Planning Services (LPS) offered one of the first web-based freight management programs in the transportation logistics market. In the past three years, under Hall’s leadership, the company has grown 200 percent and added an office in Belgium. LPS’ technical team develops software that’s compatible with the customer’s on-board operating systems.

 

Christopher Klitgaard

MediRevv
Year Founded: 2007
Headquarters: Coralville, Iowa
Annual Revenue: $12.2 million
Employees: 180
What it does: Klitgaard founded Medi-Revv as a health care management company specializing in helping medical services improve cash flow and increase revenue. MediRevv now is expanding its business offerings, and in October, it broke ground on a new 26,200-square-foot, $3.2 million facility.

 

Michael Lacey

Digineer Inc.
Year Founded: 1998
Headquarters: Plymouth
Annual Revenue: Not provided
Employees: Not provided
What it does: Lacey was only 29 when he founded Digineer, an IT and management consulting firm that focuses on improving the business performance of health care and marketing services industries. Since its founding, the company has grown fast: In both 2012 and 2013, Digineer grew by more than 50 percent.

 

Jim Loffler

Loffler Cos. Inc.
Year Founded: 1986
Headquarters: Bloomington
Annual Revenue: $67 million
Employees: 360
What it does: Founder and CEO Loffler recognized the evolving trends in technology early on; his business evolved along with them, from a copier and fax machine company to an integrated IT service provider. Partnerships with national brands have allowed Loffler Cos. to provide solutions tailored to its customers’ budgets and technological requirements.

 

Krista Erin O’Malley and Josh Hanson

Make Retail
Year Founded: 2011
Headquarters: St. Paul
Annual Revenue: Not provided
Employees: 38
What it does: Make Retail is a design firm that helps its retailer clients with everything from ideation and production to digital marketing, branding, staffing and market measurement. Its wide range also includes collateral materials, custom packaging and store design.

 

John Puckett and John Soranno

Punch Pizza
Year Founded: 1996
Headquarters: Minneapolis
Annual Revenue: more than $15 million
Employees: 300
What it does: After founding and growing the Caribou Coffee chain, Puckett was looking for a new challenge. He approached Punch founder Soranno, and together they expanded Punch into a chain with eight locations in the Twin Cities. Besides its Neapolitan-style pizza, Punch is known for its $10 minimum wage, which received national attention this year from President Obama.

 

Duane Smith

TrueNorth Cos.
Year Founded: 2001
Headquarters: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Annual Revenue: $42 million
Employees: 220
What it does: TrueNorth started as a cluster of insurance and financial services companies and entrepreneurs. In 2010, after some slow-growth years, Smith and his team re-engineered TrueNorth to better reward high performers. From 2012 to 2013, the company grew 35 percent; it now has 13 locations across the central United States.

 

Jennifer Jan Smith

Innovative Office Solutions LLC
Year Founded: 2001
Headquarters: Burnsville
Annual Revenue: $50 million-plus
Employees: 82
What it does: Smith built her office products business using a “stockless” model—she works with wholesalers rather than having her own warehouse. With some traditional office products in decline due to computers, Innovative Office Solutions has added furniture, janitorial supplies and break-room services to its offerings. The company has experienced double-digit growth in recent years.

 

Tashitaa Tufaa

Metropolitan Transportation Network
Year Founded: 2003
Headquarters: Fridley
Annual Revenue: more than $12 million
Employees: 340
What it does: Tufaa started by driving a few homeless students to their schools every day. Fostering relationships with school districts and his own employees, he built a company that provides safe and reliable bus transportation. Since 2003, Tufaa has grown MTN into a fleet of 300 buses, serving more than 15,000 mainstream, special education and homeless students.

 

L. William York

AgriBank
Year Founded: 1916
Headquarters: St. Paul
Total Assets: $87 billion
Net Income (2013): $563.6 million
Employees: 185
What it does: AgriBank is one of the largest providers of credit to rural America, particularly to American agriculture. As CEO, York has guided the bank through the recession and one of the worst droughts in decades in order to continue providing reliable credit services to its customers.