Gray Plant Mooty
* Three GPM lawyers, Sally Grossman, Sheryl Morrison, and Jessica Johnson, have received the 2015 Five Star Professional Estate Planning Attorney award. Based on peer recommendations and consumer research, the Five Star Professional award is presented annually to individuals in recognition of quality client service and care.
* Sarah Duniway and Charlie Maier will become Managing Officers on April 1, 2015. Duniway co-chairs the firm's nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations practice team, while Maier co-chairs Gray Plant Mooty's litigation group.
* GPM attorney Michael Cohen has earned the Certified Information Privacy Professional/Europe (CIPP/E) credential through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Already a Certified Information Privacy Professional for the U.S., Cohen is now one of the few lawyers in Minnesota who holds certifications in both U.S. and European privacy.
* GPM has been recognized by its clients in The BTI Client Service A-Team 2015: The Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance as an unparalleled leader in client services. The latest rankings mark the fifth year in a row that the firm has joined this elite list of client service leaders.
* GPM attorneys Richard Braman, Carl Crosby Lehmann, and Kathryn Nash, were selected as 2014 Attorneys of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer. Braman was named posthumously for his work with The Sedona Conference, and Lehmann and Nash were selected as a team for co-founding trainED, a legal compliance training program for higher education institutions and businesses.
Phyllis Karasov of Larkin Hoffman was recognized by the Twin Cities Cardozo Society with its annual Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award. Karasov joined Larkin Hoffman in 2012 after more than 25 years with Moore, Costello & Hart and several years prior to that with the National Labor Relations Board. The Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award was created in 2000, in memory of Sidney Barrows, one of the founding chairs of the Cardozo Society. This award is given annually to a senior attorney or judge in the Twin Cities who exemplifies excellence in their practice and community.
The Opus Group
The Opus Group has completed four projects for the Minnesota-based retailer Gander Mountain. Opus built three new 52,000-square-foot Gander Mountain stores in Augusta, Georgia; Newnan, Georgia and Algonquin, Illinois; and managed renovations of the retailer’s 96,275-square-foot store in Forest Lake, Minnesota. Opus has also completed The Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota. The renovation and expansion project repurposed a historic 147-year-old building on the school’s campus into an inn with meeting and conference spaces.
Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest
JA Company Program, Junior Achievement's original program, teaches high school students how to create, market and operate their own company. Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest is one of only 14 JA areas in the country selected to pilot the new curriculum this fall. Program highlights include: completely digital platform; uses e-commerce and crowdfunding; shift in focus from a traditional business model to a more entrepreneurial, start-up business model and students can transition their business from the classroom to a personal venture. The new JA Company Program will be available to high schools and out-of-school programs in January 2015.
E Source recognized CenterPoint Energy’s Minnesota energy efficiency program for achieving the greatest energy savings in the nation as a percentage of its natural gas sales (1.16 percent). This result surpassed the company’s state-approved energy savings goal. E Source provides research and advisory services to more than 300 utilities and large energy user. Also, CenterPoint Energy was named one of the Cogent Reports 2014 Utility Customer Champions, based on in-depth responses from 40,000 residential customers of the 127 leading U.S. electric and natural gas utility companies. To be named to Customer Champions list, a utility must have received an index score of at least 710 (out of a possible 1,000 points). And CenterPoint was recognized as one of the top community-minded companies in the country. The Civic 50, an annual initiative that identifies and recognizes companies for their commitment to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business, also ranked the company as its top utility.
Chowgirls Killer Catering/Solar Arts Building/Indeed Brewing Company
Chowgirls Killer Catering has been selected as the exclusive caterer for SPACE, the new event center, at The Solar Arts Building. SPACE has room for 350 people and includes an antique wood bar from Johnny Cash's estate. SPACE spans the entire 3rd floor of The Solar Arts Building which is also home to Indeed Brewing Company. There are more than 100 solar panels on the roof of the building, making Solar Arts self-sustainable.
JD Haas & Associates
JD Haas & Associates was honored as a recipient of the 2014 Better Business Torch Award - in the category of 0-10 employees. This peer-nominated award is the Better Business Bureau’s highest ethical honor recognizing worthy companies that consistently strive to go above and beyond in their dealings with customers, employees, vendors and their community. Haas and all seven of his employees go above and beyond the number of free legal service hours required by the state, as well as volunteering for causes they are passionate about.
PCL Construction has completed construction of the new Reynolds Sports Complex at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. The project involved the demolition of existing fields with a reconfigured field layout linked by a common sports plaza. Facilities include a 1,400 seat football stadium, baseball field and fast-pitch softball field, all with artificial turf surfaces and field lighting. The stadium includes locker rooms, training facilities, and concessions. Six new tennis courts were also constructed within the overall complex.
Top LGBT equality marks by Human Rights Campaign
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender civil rights - evaluated workplace equality at leading employers. The following Chamber member businesses received perfect scores of 100 on the HRC survey: Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Dorsey & Whitney; General Mills, Inc.; Lindquist & Vennum; RBC Wealth Management; Target Corporation and U.S. Bancorp.
Goff Public/Northern Star Council
Goff Public COO Jennifer Hellman received the 2014 Spurgeon Award in recognition of her leadership and community service from the Northern Star Council, which operates scouting programs in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Also, the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Deubener Award to Goff Public in the "For Profit Service Business" category. Recognizing small, innovative businesses for more than 30 years, this award honors organizations with a strong ethic for community giving and service. Finally, Goff's pro-bono client, Innocence Project of Minnesota,honored the company with the "Never Forgotten" award for assisting the Innocence Project in securing passage of a state law that provides financial compensation to people who were wrongfully convicted of crimes.
Five U.S. Bank executives in the Twin Cities metropolitan area are among the “2014 Top Women In Finance,” as determined by Finance & Commerce, a Minneapolis-based daily business publication.The honorees are: Kim Brustuen, CFA, vice president, regional sales manager, U.S. Bank Corporate Treasury Division; Liz Deziel, vice president and managing director, Private Banking, The Private Client Reserve; Sally Mullen, senior vice president, chief fiduciary officer, U.S. Bank Wealth Management. A second time honoree, Mullen was also named to the Top Women in Finance’s Circle of Excellence; Angie O’Leary, senior vice president, head of Investment Solutions, U.S. Bank Wealth Management and Margaret Paddock, senior vice president, Twin Cities Market Leader, The Private Client Reserve.Also, G.I. Jobs Magazine named U.S. Bank one of the nation’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers® for the fourth consecutive year. The 2015 Military Friendly Employers® represent those companies with the strongest military recruiting programs and meaningful job opportunities for transitioning service members and spouses seeking civilian employment. Approximately 2,000 U.S. Bank employees are veterans, including National Guard and Reserve members.
Tom Kosel, director of government relations for the Globe Education Network (GEN), a collaborative body of career colleges, universities and training centers, has been recognized by the Minnesota Career Colleges Association (MCCA) with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award. Kosel has served as the MCCA Legislative Chair since 2000, Kosel and the MCCA Legislative Committee advocate on behalf of students, and build positive relationships with legislative and regulatory officials on both the state and federal level. Also, Globe University has partnered with Minnesota-based Schneiderman’s Furniture to launch the Schneiderman’s Business and Sales Cooperative Training program. The program was developed to help the business attract motivated sales consultants, as well as strengthen the skills of existing employees; giving them the foundation for career growth through academic and hands-on training.
HGA Architects and Engineers
HGA won 3 honor awards at the AIA Minnesota Annual Convention for the following projects: Marlboro Music Cottages at Marlboro Music School & Festival in Vermont, the renovation of Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota and Phase II of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center at Macalester College.
Padilla CRT was honored for their work with Allianz Life with a Global Sabre from the Holmes Report. The Global Sabre is awarded to the top one percent of nearly 5,000 campaigns submitted worldwide. "Heralding the Financial Rise of Women" was the honored campaign, which helps women harness their financial power and secure their future.
metro Connections has announced Kimberly Walters as their new marketing and public relations manager. In her new role, she will be responsible for executing and managing budgets for marketing plan projects, as well as maintaining and supervising marketing and sales databases. Further, Walters will oversee marketing collateral inventory and participate in all aspects of each of the four metroConnections business unit services.
Marco, Inc. is pleased to announce Marco staff Clay Ostlund, sales engineering manager and Nick Thompson, senior network engineer, completed their Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification in Brussels, Belgium. This designation is accepted worldwide as the most prestigious networking certification in the industry. Network engineers holding an active Cisco CCIE certification are recognized for their expert network engineering skills and mastery of Cisco products and solutions. Through a rigorous written exam and a performance based lab, the CCIE program sets the standard for internetworking expertise.
Arc Value Village and Way Better Snacks
Two Chamber businesses were included in the 10 businesses highlighted by Twin Cities Business Magazine in their Small Business Success Stories article: Arc Value Village Thrift Stores & Donation Centers and Way Better Snacks. Arc Value Village had 1 million store visits in 2013 from customers who browse, buy or donate while also supporting its mission to assist people with physical and intellectual disabilities. Way Better Snacks makes & markets tortilla & pita chips that incorporate sprouted seeds, beans and whole grain with project 2014 income between $20-$24 million.
Andy LaFrence, CPA has been elected to Western Bank’s Board of Directors. He is currently the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of SurModics, Inc and is responsible for Finance, Operations, Investor Relations and Information Technology.
University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota staff & faculty successfully competed for $741 million in externally sponsored research - a 6.8% increase from 2013. The 4700 awards (federal, state and private) received was an increase of 337 over last year. Funding from partnerships & collaborations between the U of MN and other universities, businesses and community partners increased the past fiscal year by $10.8 million or 21.6%. And for the first time in its history, the University is part of a group of universities that rank in the top 25 on all nine performance measures that the Center for Measuring University Performance has determined gives a reasonable approximation of the institutions' research performance, accomplishments and strength.
Minnesota Wild/Xcel Center
Xcel Energy Center - home of the Minnesota Wild - and the Saint Paul RiverCentre have been certified to three international sustainability standards - LEED, Green Globes and APEX/ASTM - making it the first complex in the world to receive those three designations. Together, these certifications signify that the venues have a high-performance operation that actively works to minimize its environmental impact. Each certification requires a comprehensive auditing of organizational environmental practices and procedures and compliance with a stringent set of preset standards. Xcel Energy Center is the only National Hockey League (NHL) arena in the U.S. (second in League) that is LEED Certified as an existing building. It's the first in the world to be certified Green Globes and APEX/ASTM.