Verified: Product Recommendations from Business Leaders in 2018

Verified: Product Recommendations from Business Leaders in 2018

Busy executives share the products and services they’re loving, on and off the job.



“I enjoy driving my vehicle, not keeping a mileage log. MileIQ is an accurate, automatic, and relatively simple way to help me separate and maintain mileage records for personal and business use of my vehicle. I challenge the developers to create a function within the app to get rid of rush-hour traffic.”
—Greg Larson, president and CEO, Drake Bank, St. Paul


“I love having a coach for keeping me on track with my daily meditation. You can customize a meditation for as little as 3 minutes. It’s a great way to take a ‘me time’ break during a stressful day. If you want to make anyone else’s day, you have to make your own first.”
—David Wagner, owner, Juut Salon Spas


Under the Influence with Terry O’Reilly

“I look to the CBC’s Terry O’Reilly for cool insights and a unique perspective into today’s media and business.”
—Lynn Barnhart, director of hardscapes for Oldcastle APG, Minneapolis

Why Not Now? with Amy Jo Martin

“It’s like a textbook on social media. Real inspirational.”
—Jennifer Lang, president, Minneapolis Glass Co.

The Moth

“Everyone has a story, and I love real stories of real people—it feeds my soul with inspiration, connecting, and understanding.”
—Amy Langer, co-founder, SALO

99% Invisible

“I never get tired of learning about the creative ways people solve problems.”
—David Saggau, president and CEO of Great River Energy, Maple Grove

Golf Channel’s David Feherty

“Great mix of humor and insight into some of the personalities in men’s and women’s golf. Eclectic conversations with some of golf’s greatest.”
—Renee DeLosh, championship director, 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska

Science Magazine Podcast

“I’ll always be a science geek at heart, so I tend to gravitate toward podcasts in that field. Science Magazine keeps me up-to-date on the latest and greatest in scientific discoveries, which always inspire me to push boundaries.”
—Dr. Simone Xavier, molecular bacteriologist turned co-founder/chief creative officer, Sigma Beauty, Mendota Heights


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

“This book provides a great overview of the issue—our lack of deep work—and removing the barriers to getting it done, including reducing shallow work. Deep work is where the important ideas come from and the hard work gets done. It differentiates important from urgent, which resonates with me.”
—Tom Kileen, CEO, Faribault Woolen Mills Co.

Three Big Words: Engaged Employees, Loyal Customers by Stevie Ray

“Written and developed by Minnesota’s own Stevie Ray, Three Big Words is a formula to continuously grow a company culture of passion and innovation. We have implemented its guiding principles, and Stevie’s approach is thoughtful and engaging, with an infusion of humor.”
—Susan Bachman West, president of Bachman’s, Inc.

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

“A great book about the Nike story—perseverance, grit, and creativity—which is truly inspirational.”
—Andrew LaFrence, senior vice president and CFO, Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Eagan

Hinges of History series by Thomas Cahill

“He is a humanities academic, who dives really deep into particular periods of history and helps the reader learn the significance of that time in history even today. Truly fantastic reading.”
—Kathy Tunheim, CEO and principal, Tunheim public relations

Joycelyn Elders, M.D.: From Sharecropper’s Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America by Dr. Joycelyn Elders

“She was a sharecropper’s daughter, and I was a sharecropper’s daughter. She grew up in Arkansas, and I grew up in Deep South Georgia, so I was curious to see what obstacles she overcame. It is a story that never grows old in terms of how people got into their positions in the federal government, especially blacks. It is also inspiring me to write my own memoir.”
—Reatha Clark King, former president and board chair, General Mills Foundation



“CLEAR adds predictability to the airport security process. Using biometrics to improve your life is the next big disruptor.”
—Shelly Ibach, president and CEO, Sleep Number

Tech Tool

iPhoto Memories

“I’m a visual person and love taking photos when I travel for work or pleasure. The memories feature on my iPhone Photos app automatically curates my photos by people, places, and events, and creates a collection that I can easily edit and share with my work teams or family. It has been put to great use this year capturing and sharing memories before dropping my son off for his first year of college.”
—Christine Fruechte, CEO, Colle McVoy, Minneapolis

LifeSpan Treadmill Desk

“After sitting all day, getting on the treadmill to take calls wakes you up, and gets you moving and feeling less guilty about not having time to go to the gym. I’m actually more focused because I’m a captive audience. (To be clear: I’m moving embarrassingly slowly.)”
—Alana K. Bassin, managing partner, Bowman and Brooke LLP

Read more from this issue


“Every file I need access to is easy to obtain from my mobile, tablet, and desktop. And it’s easy to share forms with my staff. My ‘office’ now fits into a cute Kate Spade bag. No more paper.”
—Mercedes Austin, founder/owner, Mercury Mosaics tile design and manufacturing


ABC Pant by lululemon

“Best travel pants ever. They look good and can even pass for dress pants. I felt like I was wearing sweats at a conference in Chicago. Pair with Cole Haans, and I can wear them all day.”
—Rob Winnick, president and CEO, RAW Logistics, Edina


Wine Storage at France 44

France 44 has a new climate-controlled storage cellar for private collections. “They will take and make shipments, but also let me drop in whenever they are open without having to go through a warehouse manager.”
—Jacqueline Griffith Crowley, managing director, CIBC Private Wealth Management


“I like to gift a round of golf that I can join with the recipient to play. Four-plus hours to breathe, laugh, and share topics of mutual interest.”
—Rick Speckmann, senior business advisor, MRA employers association

Assorted Gifts

“When distance is a challenge, my favorite gift is to send a package with many little mementos to open—inspirational gifts/photos/items relating to the [approaching holiday], similar to Advent gifts we do for our kids.”
—Darcy Olson, co-founder, Let’s Dish!

Minny & Paul gift boxes

“Minny & Paul boxes are a favorite—the quality gift box filled with locally made items is always a hit. It’s also a great way to support local entrepreneurs.”
—Jerry Baack, president and CEO, Bridgewater Bank


Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B

“I’m always listening to music to stay charged and keep up with the frantic, high paced lifestyle of a business owner. Cardi B is currently on repeat.”
—Houston White, owner, Chief Designer, HWMR, a barbershop, coffee bar, and men’s boutique, north Minneapolis