* 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.
*Marco, Inc. was selected as a 2014 Elite Dealer by ENX magazine and The Week in Imaging, a print and online publication for dealers and resellers of office technology, solutions and services.
*The company was selected as the North Dakota Young Professionals (NDYP) 2014 Best Place to Intern and runner-up for the 2014 Best Place to Work. The awards are a reflection of the creativity and innovation that businesses offer young professionals.
*Company promotions include Mike Welling to director of managed IT services and Clint Dorgan to production systems sales manager.
*Marco purchased Solbrekk, Inc., a business IT services company located in Minneapolis. Their employees have joined the Marco team. Since 2004, Marco has grown from 200 employees to 850 employees and now has 41 locations nationally.
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. Also, the bank announced that Derek Naill recently joined Western Bank as the Vice President, Commercial Real Estate. He was most recently at Community Bank Corp. where he was a Commercial Real Estate Lender. Prior to that, Naill spent six years at both Associated Bank and M & I Bank, progressing from a CRE Underwriter to a Commercial Real Estate Relationship Manager
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.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Upper Midwest
In 2014 Ronald McDonald Charities Upper Midwest served nearly 4000 families at the Ronald McDonald Houses on Oak Street in Minneapolis, the House inside Children's Hospitals and Clinic in Minneapolis and in the Family Room inside Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. An average of 80%+ are from Minnesota and the surrounding states, with the remainder coming from across the country and the world. The average length of stay at the Ronald McDonald House on Oak Street is 146 days.
Gray Plant Mooty
*Maxwell J. Bremer, Samuel W. Diehl, Ashley M. Bennett Ewald, Loren L. Hansen, Jessica B. Johnson, and Monica A. Kelley,were elected shareholders of the firm, effective January 1, 2015.
* Principal Anne Bjerken has been named to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list for 2015. Bjerken concentrates her practice on estate planning for complex estates, estate and trust administration, and preparation of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
Matt Johnson, Senior Vice President and Director of Architecture for Welsh Companies, was named the 2015 President-Elect for the Minneapolis chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). A prominent member of the Minneapolis architectural community, he brings over 25 years of experience to his new role. Johnson also serves on the Minneapolis Regional Chamber's Board of Directors.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts announced an $8-million gift from the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation to endow the position of Director and President. It is the largest endowment gift ever to the museum for a staff position. Kaywin Feldman, who has been Director and President since 2008, will inaugurate the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts position. The gift is given in honor of the upcoming centennial year of the museum, in 2015. Also as part of the centennial celebration, the MIA announced the long-term loan of more than 550 works from the personal collection of the late Myron Kunin (1928–2013). On extended loan from the Kunin family, the 396 paintings, 64 prints and drawings, 21 sculptures, and 77 photographs comprise one of the foremost collections of American modern art in private hands.
Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly LLP
Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP announced the election of two partners Archana Nath (Business Litigation Practice Group) and Jon Stechmann (Finance & Transactions Practice Group.)
Michael R. Moline of the law firm, Lommen, Abdo, P.A. has successfully achieved recertification as a civil trial advocate through the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Moline was first certified in 2005. The elaborate screening of credentials that all NBTA board certified attorneys must successfully complete includes: demonstration of substantial trial experience, submission of judicial and peer references to attest to their competency, attendance of continuing legal education courses and proof of good standing. Approximately three percent of American lawyers are board certified.
John E. Luke, general manager of Hilton Minneapolis, has been honored with the 2014 General Manager of the Year awarded by Minnesota Lodging Association. Minnesota Lodging Association’s “General Manager of the Year Award” recognizes professionalism, innovation, leadership and community involvement.
The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick has selected Hammer Residences, Inc., a Twin Cities-based nonprofit whose mission is to provide individuals with developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience life to its fullest, as its pro bono client for 2015. The firm plans to work with Hammer throughout the year to bring more awareness to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law marking its 25th anniversary in 2015. Together they will address how the act impacts the disability services industry in Minnesota.
Thrivent Financial & Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
Thrivent Financial is the #1 all-time sponsor of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity homes. In 2015 Thrivent and its members will help sponsor and build eight more Habitat home around the Twin Cities. Thrivent's investment of more than $700,000 this year will cover a significant portion of the cost of these eight homes (and result in several more being fixed up through the expanding Thrivent Builds Repair program).
Big Frog Custom T-Shirts
Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More of Bloomington was recently awarded the Rally of the Year award at the Big Frog annual convention. The Rally award is given to the store that shows the greatest percentage increase in sales, over the past year. Big Frog operates 67 stores in 21 states. Big Frog of Bloomington is also a Minnesota Keystone member and supports the community through a free academic t-shirt program for all Bloomington elementary and middle schools.
Hennepin County 21014 Environmental Partners
Hennepin County recognized its 2014 Environmental Partners for their leading efforts to recycle and divert organic waste from the trash through composting, sending food scraps to local farmers to feed animals, or by donating edible food. Businesses become eligible to be recognized as Environmental Partners by completing an application that details their recycling programs, which are then verified by Hennepin County’s Environment and Energy Department staff during site visits. Chamber member businesses recognized by Hennepin County are: Brave New Workshop, Donaldson Company, Inc., Fairview Southdale Hospital, Joseph Catering, Minnesota Twins and Salut Bar Americain – Edina.
An unnamed donor gave $10 million cash to name Augsburg College's new Center for Science, Business and Religion. The gift is tied for being the largest in the school's history with another anonymous donation in2013. The donation brings funding for the new building to $40 million. It will house the college's biology, business, chemistry, computer science, math, physics, psychology and religion programs. The donor family will be named in the spring.
Thor Construction is the only Minnesota company on Black Enterprise's new list of America's 100 largest black-owned businesses. Fridley-based Thor is #37 on the publication's industrial/services list, which is ranked by revenue. The list says Thor had $90 million in revenue in 2014.
Bloomington Theatre and Art Center
On July 1, 2015, Bloomington Theatre and Art Center (BTAC) will change its name to Artistry. BTACserves an audience of 70,000+ per year with theater productions, exhibitions, and arts education programs. The new name and logo will also help audiences, artists, funders, and other stakeholders understand that BTAC is a nonprofit producing arts organization based in the city-owned Bloomington Center for the Arts, which serves as a home for seven independent organizations with varied missions and programs. BTAC’s programming takes place in the Center for the Arts and many other locations throughout the Twin Cities.
M. A. Mortenson Company has hired Dave Foley as a Construction Executive, specializing in healthcare construction, for Mortenson’s Minneapolis office. Foley has more than 30 years of experience in construction. Prior to joining Mortenson, he was vice president of Minneapolis operations at Knutson Construction. Mortenson Construction was named the nation’s fifth largest healthcare builder by Modern Healthcare magazine in 2014, with more than $1.1 billion in healthcare construction. Also, Logan Gerken was hired as director of project development for the Sports Group. Gerken is responsible for providing leadership to the business development team while helping current and prospective customers within the sports and entertainment market achieve their business objectives.
Treasure Island Resort & Casino
Treasure Island Resort and Casino opened their new restaurant - Tako Steakhouse. Literally translated, the Mdewakanton word Tado means beef. A classic steakhouse restaurant, Tado will serving 1881 Omaha Hereford Beef, which is the top 2% of the beef produced as well as a broad range of entrees and side dishes. They will also offer the areas's only teppanyaki dining.
The Opus Group announced an agreement with Carlston Real Estate Company to develop approximately 35 acres within The Oaks Business Park at the northeast corner of Interstate 94 and Interstate 694 in Oakdale, Minnesota. Plans for the site include approximately 450,000 square feet of office and office flex space. The site has a unique combination of locations, offering opportunities with freeway visibility or more secluded sites overlooking natural wetland and water features all within a first-class business park setting.
La Belle Vie and Restaurant Alma - James Beard Foundation Semi-Finalists
Chamber member restaurants listed in the James Beard semi-finalist list are: La Belle Vie for Outstanding Restaurant and Restaurant Alma for Outstanding Service. On March 24, the foundation will announce their finalists in these categories.
Kraus-Anderson® Construction Company (KA) promoted Michael Spence, AIA, FCSI to vice president, director of quality. Spence has served as KA’s director of quality since 2008. He will oversee an integrated process for quality at all levels, including technical and quality-related training and professional development programs. Spence is a 40-year industry veteran in the design and construction industry where he focused on large complex projects.