October 2011 More Back issues

Cover Story

Mayo Clinic’s Reformer-October 2011

CAO Shirley Weis is leading a transformation: “We want to be affordable, relevant, and helpful to people not only when they’re really sick, but when they’re trying to stay healthy.”

Featured Stories

How Do We Look?

What Oklahoma City leaders noticed the most when they visited the Twin Cities this summer.

The Secret Life of In Touch-October 2011

What do your employees really think? And what do they know that could improve your business? In Touch gets an earful when it sets up anonymous employee feedback systems for clients.


More Stories

Fast and Fizzy

Joia All Natural premium sodas’ rapid flow from idea to a store, restaurant, and coffeehouse near you.

FDA Seeks More Data Before Kips Bay Clinical Study

Regulators want more information from Kips Bay Medical before allowing the company to conduct a U.S. clinical trial for its medical device; the device is currently being sold in six countries and has been implanted

Belgian Medical Co. Opens Subsidiary in Rochester

Cardio3 BioSciences-which develops regenerative and protective therapies for the treatment of heart disease-hopes the new subsidiary will support its clinical and development activities in the United States and bolster existing ties with Mayo Clinic.

Former MN Bank Executives Face New Fraud Charges

Two former officers of failed Pinehurst Bank and a bank customer are facing new charges through a superseding indictment, which alleges that the men were involved in a $1.9 million "check-kiting" scheme that led to

MnSCU’s New Chancellor Pledges to Keep Tuition Down

Steven Rosenstone, who took office on August 1, also told the board of trustees that he wants to ensure widespread access to educational opportunities among Minnesotans and seek new ways to partner with businesses and

Target Finalizes Canada Real Estate Deal

The Minneapolis-based company has selected a total of 189 leases it plans to buy from Canadian retailer Zellers; it intends to open between 125 and 135 Target stores in Canada and sell the remaining leases

Plato Counter-Bids for Software Co., Offer Matched

Renaissance Learning's board of directors will consider Plato's $15.50-per-share buyout offer but is currently recommending that shareholders vote in favor of an offer from Permira Funds, which was recently increased to match Plato's bid.

Report: 3 State Agencies Sued for Age Discrimination

The state's departments of Commerce, Public Safety, and Natural Resources allegedly violated age discrimination laws by offering incentives such as health and dental benefits to workers who retired at 55-but not to older workers.

Tennant Defends Cleaning Tech. After Rival Sues

Alfred KŠrcher GmbH & Company has sued Tennant Company over claims made about its ec-H2O cleaning technology, but Tennant President and CEO Chris Killingstad called the accusations "baseless" and said his company will vigorously defend

Best Buy to Reduce Temporary Holiday Hires by Half

The company also will reportedly loosen return policies, increase advertising to smartphone users, and expand its Geek Squad technical support to nab sales from Amazon.com during the upcoming holiday season.

Plato Ups Bid for Software Co.; Offer is Rejected

Plato's $471 million bid for Renaissance Learning is the highest offer on the table, but Renaissance's board of directors is recommending that shareholders approve a $455 million buyout offer from global equity firm Permira Funds.

Ameriprise Workers Sue Over 401(k) Funds

Six current and former employees of Ameriprise Financial claim that their 401(k) investments were placed in poorly rated funds that had excessive fees, which resulted in the loss of $20 million; they seek to turn

Best Buy to Sell Online Music Provider Napster

According to the Star Tribune, industry observers estimate that Napster now has 400,000 subscribers-significantly fewer than the 706,000 that it had when Best Buy acquired it three years ago-and Napster hasn't been able to overtake

Caribou Among Hundreds Facing WiFi Patent Suits

Local IP attorney Brad Pedersen indicated that the case doesn't look promising for the company filing the suits; he says that lawsuits with multiple defendants will be kicked out under a new patent reform act-and

Regis Corp. Names New CEO, Plans to Cut Costs

Regis on Monday announced that Randy L. Pearce-who is currently president-will serve as CEO starting February, and that the company plans to lower expenses by $40 million to $50 million over the next two fiscal

Target CMO Michael Francis Leaves for J.C. Penney

A Target spokeswoman said that the departure of Michael Francis, who was leading the retailer's expansion into Canada, will have no bearing on its plans to open stores north of U.S. borders; the company hasn't

MN Businessman Kenneth Dahlberg Dies at 94

The Deephaven resident, who founded Miracle-Ear and pumped money into several companies, was a decorated World War II fighter pilot who also played a cameo role in the Watergate scandal even though he engaged in

Regis, Activist Investor Trade Harsh Words

Shortly after Regis announced a series of strategic changes, the company and one of its largest shareholders-which believes the changes fall short-are exchanging harsh criticisms ahead of an upcoming shareholder meeting.

Report: Huge Disparities Among Mpls.’ Racial Groups

A new report from the Minneapolis Foundation shows dramatic differences between Minneapolis residents of differing races and ethnicities-disparities that begin at an early age and affect education, jobs, housing, and other aspects of life.

U of M Research Spawns Green Start-up

A biodegradable plastic developed by a University of Minnesota biochemist has led to an Arkansas start-up that will manufacture what it claims are environment-friendly plastic bags.

Atmosphere Recovery, Sheerwind Get Cleantech Awards

Atmosphere Recovery was named a regional winner and won a prize package worth up to $20,000-and Sheerwind won a regional sustainability award, which includes $10,000 in cash and in-kind services; both will compete at a

Forbes: 3 MN Cos. Among “Top Brands”

General Mills ranked second on Forbes magazine's list of the top 100 brands in the world-ahead of Google and Apple; Target and Best Buy ranked 21st and 34th, respectively.

Plato Ups Bid for Renaissance; Rejected Again

Plato Learning's newest proposal calls for it to acquire all shares of Renaissance Learning for about $496 million-or roughly $16.90 per share-but the majority owners have pledged their shares to a $455 million buyout offer

The RiverBank Is Second MN Bank to Fail in 2011

The RiverBank, whose six branches have reopened as branches of Central Bank, is the second Minnesota bank to be shut down by state regulators this year; the first, Rosemont National Bank, was closed in April.

Xcel Energy Sues EPA Over Emission Regulation

Xcel says that a new federal regulation that is supposed to reduce coal-fired power plant emissions does not give the company enough credit for emissions it has already reduced at two plants in the Twin

Met Council Considers Legal Options Against 3M

The Metropolitan Council, which oversees wastewater plants in the metro area that send water into the Mississippi River, reportedly believes that proposed state regulations could cost it millions of dollars-and says 3M should have to

Regis: Activist Investor’s Plan Would Put Co. at Risk

In a letter to shareholders, Regis discussed its recent proxy battle with activist investor Starboard-stating that the investor is "advocating uninformed and irresponsible cost-cutting that puts the Regis franchise at risk."

Target’s Online President Exits After Web Site Crash

Steve Eastman is the second Target executive to leave the company this month. His exit was announced the same day that the retailer's new e-commerce site crashed-although the company has said that the departure wasn't

Vikings, Wild Players Practice Philanthropy

Several Vikings players-including Adrian Peterson, Jim Kleinsasser, and Chad Greenway-are set to take part in "Celebrity Waiter Night" at Manny's. In a separate instance of Minnesota's sports professionals giving back to the community, Wild captain

Basilica Wins Popular Vote, $110K in Grant Contest

Through the national Partners in Preservation program, which grants money to historic sites, the cathedral will receive $110,000 to make interior repairs; another $890,000 will be given out next month to some of 24 other

Mpls. Convention Center Cuts Staff

The Minneapolis Convention Center is reportedly cutting about half of its supervisors and transitioning about two dozen other workers from full-time status to having no guaranteed minimum of hours.

Two St. Paul-Area Construction Cos. Merge

Black and Dew is expected to bring in $40 million of revenue in its first year of operations, and its president said the company wants to grow by expanding its footprint geographically.

Advisory Firm Sides with Activist Investor; Regis Protests

Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended that Regis shareholders vote in favor of Starboard Value's board nominees-but Regis says "the firm reached the wrong conclusion," and "this is not the time to disrupt the execution of

Mpls. Gets Low Marks on Small-Biz. Vitality List

Minneapolis ranked 13th out of 15 major U.S. cities in a new "small business vitality" list due to a sharp decline in market share among the city's independent retail shops and dining establishments.

Plato Loses in Bid for Renaissance; Lower Offer OK’d

Shareholders of Renaissance Learning, Inc., accepted a $455 million offer from a company formed by a European private equity firm rather than Plato's latest $496 million bid-but the decision has prompted some lawsuits.

TCF Shuffles Upper Management, Names New CFO

The company says that repositioning some of its top executives will allow it to better manage four key areas-corporate development, enterprise risk management, lending, and funding.