Creating powerful partnerships to unite and grow member businesses and the region.



2014 Titans of Technology

The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal announced the recipients of the 2014 Titan of Technology Awards.  Chamber members honored include: Community Heros (outstanding achievements in community involvement) Michael Schmaltz - Accenture and Mark Hurlbert - The Nerdery; Technology Advocate (outstanding leadership in advancing the performance of technology companies/community) Arthur Erdman - University of Minnesota; and Technology Inventor (creation of breakthrough ideas or products): Jian-Ping Wan, University of Minnesota College of Science & Engineering. 

Hennepin County Medical Center

The West Metro Medical Foundation and the Twin Cities Medical Society have selected Dr. Michael Belzer, Chief Medical Officer at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), as the 2014 recipient of the Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award. Dr. Belzer has served as HCMC’s Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer since 1990.  The Charles Bolles Bolles-Rogers Award is the highest award given by the medical society and is given to a physician who, in the opinion of the members of the selection committee, by reason of his/her professional contribution on the basis of medical research, achievement or leadership, has become the outstanding physician of this and other years.

Guild Incorporated

At their July 2014 annual meeting, Guild Incorporated elected new officers to their Board of Directors.  Michael Sampson, J.D., was elected to chairperson and Nik Larsen was elected to the role of vice chairperson.  Sampson is an attorney with Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand, LLP and an adjunct professor at Hamline University School of Law. Larsen is President of Urbane Capital Management, specializing in the management of alternative investment funds. 

DataBank Holdings, Ltd.

DataBank Holdings, Ltd., announced the appointment of Bryan Porter as the company’s new Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Mr. Porter will direct all aspects of DataBank’s engineering and product development.  Mr. Porter came to DataBank, through the April 2014 acquisition of Kansas City’s Arsalon Technologies, a premier Hosting and Cloud provider, where he served as President and Co-Founder since the company’s inception in 2001. 

RBC Wealth Management

RBC awarded  a $300,000 grant to Wilderness Inquiry, a national non-profit based in Minnesota. Given by RBC Foundation-USA, the grant will be paid out over three years and will support Wilderness Inquiry’s youth-focused programs, such as Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures (UWCA) and Canoemobile. The grant is jointly funded by RBC Wealth Management-U.S. and RBC Capital Markets-U.S., which employ a combined 8,000 people in the United States. In August,  75 RBC Wealth Management employees in Minneapolis-St. Paul experienced an adventure first hand when they hopped aboard Wilderness Inquiry’s fleet of Voyageur Canoes for an educational trip down the Mississippi River.

Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ)

NAZ president and CEO, Sondra Samuels, was awarded with an AmeriCorps National Leadership Award in September.   She was one of 20 honorees chosen from AmeriCorps alums from all 50 states over 20 years of service.  As a member of the very first AmeriCorps class in 1994, Samuels has made ending generational poverty in North Minneapolis her life mission. NAZ president and CEO, Sondra Samuels, was awarded with an AmeriCorps National Leadership Award in September.   She was one of 20 honorees chosen from AmeriCorps alums from all 50 states over 20 years of service.  As a member of the very first AmeriCorps class in 1994, Samuels has made ending generational poverty in North Minneapolis her life mission. And twelve organizations that help create the environment for the education initiatives of others to succeed are the first recipients of the Bush Foundation’s Education Ecosystem Grants.  The Education Ecosystem Grant recipients support the initiatives of several types of education organizations including schools, nonprofit service providers and government agencies. They assist by creating access to critical data, advancing a favorable policy environment and/or shaping and sharing best practices.  Chamber member Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) was one of the recipients of the $200,000 grant. 


Plekkenpol Builders Inc.

Pamela Velander joined Plekkenpol Builders, Inc. as the newest member of their project management team.  Her position at Plekkenpol Builders as project manager will include planning and design, estimating, and sales of additions, kitchens, baths, whole house remodeling and all other types of residential remodeling and home maintenance. 

Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy employees, retirees and their families and friends turned out in big numbers for the company’s annual Day of Service on September 6.  Volunteer teams worked at 25 different community  projects  that included assembling educational kits,  painting and refreshing a community center, polishing up the Salvation Army’s red kettles  and even removed non-native species from a park area alongside a small herd of goats.  The 660 employee volunteers donated more than 2,000 hours to the communities Xcel Energy serves. 

PCL Construction
PCL Construction of Burnsville announced the completion of a new 31,000 square foot facility for the Northfield Area Family YMCA.  The project includes a natatorium, gymnasium, elevated running track, fitness studios, daycare, lobby and locker rooms.  The project is the culmination of an eight year community effort to fund the community center project.   

Marco Inc.

Fortune Magazine announced in its October edition that Marco, Inc. is among the 50 Best Small & Medium Workplaces in the nation. The Top 50 list, developed by independent research firm Great Place to Work, represents a broad variety of industries and locations. And the company was recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies in Minnesota. The Fast 50 is based on revenue growth from 2011-2013. Marco experienced a 64 percent increase in revenue over the past three years.  Marco also purchased Illinois Valley Business Equipment (IVBE).  This is the 11th acquisition that the company has completed over the past three years.  Since 2003, the company has grown from 141 employees to over 810 employees and now has 39 locations nationally. 

Lommen Abdo

Veteran trial lawyer and commercial litigator, Kathleen Loucks, joins Lommen Abdo's Litigation team after seven years at Hellmuth & Johnson.  In her 15 year career, Loucks has championed individuals and businesses in state and federal courts throughout the region, including general contractors in construction defect cases; individuals in insurance coverage disputes; and plaintiffs and defendants in general litigation matters. She also provides general risk management and legal counsel to individuals and corporations.

Shenehon Company

The International Society of Business Appraisers (ISBA) has recognized Shenehon Company for its excellence and adherence to professional performance standards. The company was recently awarded ISBA’s Gold Seal of Trust in Business Valuation. Shenehon is the only valuation organization in Minnesota to be awarded this honor and is the only recipient in the United States that has a multi-functional practice, handling both business valuations and commercial real estate appraisals.

Marco Inc.  

Marco recently announced the following new hires: Cam Miller, Network Specialist; Chase Knettel, Business Development Consultant ; Royd Hanson, Support Desk Technician ; Kyle Primus, Audio/Video Technician; Ashley Tamm, Technology Advisor ; Brandon Cermak, Technology Advisor ; Dennis Halverson Jr., Field Service Technician, Document Solutions; Corey Johnson, Support Desk Technician ; Aaron Stang, Purchasing Assistant ; Lucas Geraci, Technology Advisor ; Grant Hargett, Business Development Consultant and Jeff Colt – Audio/Video Technician. 

Minnesota Watershed Management Organization

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization was honored as the winner of the 2014 ReScape Award:Environmental Impact Category from Minnesota Brownfields and its participating sponsors. These projects were selected from a list of finalists for special recognition for excellence in brownfield cleanup and redevelopment.

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.

Larkin Hoffman

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 began its partnership with Gander Mountain in 2012 and has since completed work on eight stores for the outdoor sport and recreation retailer.

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.

CenterPoint Energy 

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 users- which help their customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently. 

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

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.  

U.S. Bank

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 14th annual “Top Women In Finance” award recognizes women across Minnesota for outstanding achievements in finance. 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.


















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Minneapolis Regional Chamber
81 South Ninth Street, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 370-9100
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