Pioneers

Steve Schussler

Nobody knew much about “eatertainment” before Steve Schussler. The boy-who-never-grew-up designer of nostalgic and fantasy environments has long employed a kid’s sense of wonder to conjure dining and entertainment environments

Tracy Singleton

Twenty years ago Tracy Singleton opened Birchwood Café in Minneapolis. Before food was a movement. Before issues of labor ethics and sustainability dominated discussions of what to eat. Before family
Nate Garvis

Nate Garvis

After leaving a long government relations career at Target in 2010, Garvis has built one of the most creative and influential business development practices in Minnesota. Along with longtime friend
Ravi Norman

Ravi Norman

Minnesota certainly is not a black-owned business hotbed: It has only one of the nation’s top 100 such businesses as ranked by revenue. So it’s probably understandable that CEO Ravi
Mike Veeck

Mike Veeck

Mike Veeck was back in the news this year, basking in the glory of a Saints playoff run and ringing the cash registers at the new CHS Field, which not
Maya Santamaria

Maya Santamaria

Business owner, community leader and event facilitator, Maya Santamaria is building a burgeoning media/event empire focused on the Twin Cities Latino community. The owner of six businesses, Santamaria operates La
Megan Tamte

Megan Tamte

Fast-growing retailer Evereve began with a single store in Edina—known as Hot Mama—where the privately held company is still based. Today, the business, renamed Evereve in 2014, has grown to

Mark McNitt

As a longtime technology development manager for defense contractor BAE Systems and later as a senior program manager with RTI Remmele Engineering, Mark McNitt gained deep experience in R&D. Now
Marty Weintraub

Marty Weintraub

Marty Weintraub opened this all-purpose digital media and display marketing shop in Duluth in 2006, and he’s a key reason why the Zenith City is on the map as a

Kim Bartmann

Kim Bartmann is one of the more prolific and visible of Twin Cities restaurant royalty. Since 1991 she has opened and operated a diverse array of restaurants (Tiny Diner, Barbette,
Kyle Coolbroth & Don Ball

Kyle Coolbroth & Don Ball

Kyle Coolbroth and Don Ball call their collaborative co-working space, CoCo, a “dream accelerator.” The concept behind it? That ideas and innovation flow freely when great minds pursue their passions
John Colasanti

John Colasanti

John Colasanti was CEO of Carmichael Lynch before going out on his own in 2011 to start Solve. It’s a much smaller agency, but that’s what Colasanti wanted—an agency with
Julie Snow

Julie Snow

Julie Snow had never designed a baseball stadium, but CHS Field in downtown St. Paul has drawn rave reviews for its impressive design. That’s no surprise to anyone who’s followed
David Burley & Stephanie Shimp

David Burley & Stephanie Shimp

David Burley and Stephanie Shimp founded Highland Grill in St. Paul in 1993 and have not stopped, building on a vision of a restaurant company rooted in eateries with a

Eric & Andrew Dayton

The Dayton brothers might come from one of the state’s wealthiest families—and with a sitting governor as a father to boot—but they’re determined to make their own mark in the
Damola Ogundipe

Damola Ogundipe

Damola Ogundipe—the 26-year-old co-founder and CEO of St. Paul-based start-up Civic Eagle—first attracted attention as a Minnesota Golden Gopher football player who also scored a degree from the Carlson School.
Bruce Bildsten

Bruce Bildsten

When one assesses the resurrection of Minnesota’s iconic woolen mill, it’s evident that Faribault never forgot how to make great blankets or dropped its small-town work ethic, but the company
Colleen Needles Steward

Colleen Needles Steward

You may remember her as Colleen Needles, a co-anchor of WCCO-TV news during its journalistic heyday. She came to TV production 20 years ago, and today Tremendous! is far and
Allen Berning

Allen Berning

Al Berning is well-known in Rochester as a former IBMer, a co-founder of the engineering company Pemstar and former CEO of Hardcore Computers/LiquidCool Solutions. In his current role as CEO