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



Baker Tilly

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause is merging with ParenteBear to create one of the nation's largest accounting and advisory firms. It will keep Baker Tilly's name and Chicago headquarters at the merger's anticipated effective date of Oct. 1. The firm has about 180 CPAs and professionals in the Minneapolis office. 

U.S. Bank/Aeon

U.S. Bank employee volunteers, along with U.S. Bank Market President, Phil Trier and Alan Arthur, chief executive officer and president of Aeon, the developer, owner and manager of the apartment complex distributed backpacks and school supplies in August at the Sienna Green Apartments, which are developed, owned and managed by Aeon. U.S. Bank has helped Aeon create and preserve housing for lower income families by providing grants, sponsorships, employees as board members and financing for their operations and housing development projects in Roseville, and across U.S. Bank's 25-state retail footprint. The backpacks and school materials were supplied through collaboration between U.S. Bank and Schoolhouse Supplies. 

Lommen Abdo

Keith Broady has been elected President of the Lommen Abdo Law Firm.  Phil Cole, who served as president for many years, chose not to seek re-election as president, but was returned to the board as a member.  And the firm  has agreed to a long-term lease commencing January 1, 2015 in the International Centre located at 920 Second Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis. The move to the International Centre will allow Lommen Abdo to design space that is well suited to the way law firms now operate. 


DataBank Holdings, Ltd.

DataBank Holdings, Ltd., has released plans for development of a new, state-of-the-art, multi-tenant colocation data center facility in Eagan, MN. The company currently owns and operates data center facilities totaling over 180,000 square feet of data center space in the Dallas area, 15,000 in Kansas City, and another 15,000 in Edina, MN. This new 88,000 square foot facility will encompass over 48,000 square feet of raised-floor data center space that will be purpose-built to the highest specifications for a multi-tenant data center in the region.

Bloomington Theatre & Art Center & City of Bloomington

Bloomington Theatre and Art Center (BTAC) announced three “Placemaker’s Idea Prize” winners in connection with the recent launch of the Creative Placemaking in the South Loop project, a long-term initiative of BTAC and the City of Bloomington to engage artists and other creative people from throughout the region in transforming the South Loop in line with the City’s vision for the neighborhood.  One of the winning ideas was selected through a community voting process; the other two were selected by a jury comprising City of Bloomington and BTAC representatives, regional public art administrators, and others. The winners are Nicole Ponath (plane watching gathering space); Jodi Refsland (trail system featuring sculpture which enhance the acoustics of the south loop) and Troy Gallas (a pallet pavilion made of discarded wooden pallets used to create a unique public space.)

Gray Plant Mooty

Gray Plant Mooty announced the following honors:

* associate Loren Hansen was named 2014 Up & Coming Attorneys by Minnesota Lawyer.
* Thirty two of its lawyers have been named 2014 "Minnesota Super Lawyers" while 8 have been named 2014 “Minnesota Rising Stars. Only 5 percent of Minnesota lawyers receive this honor. Rising Stars are chosen by their peers as being among the top up-and-coming lawyers and must be 40 years old or younger, or in practice 10 years or less. Only 2.5 percent of lawyers in Minnesota receive this honor.
*lawyer Jennifer Reedstrom Bishop has been named "Lawyer of the Year” in Non-Profit/Charities Law by The Best Lawyers In America© 2015 list.
*Thirty three of its lawyers were listed in The Best Lawyers In America©  2015.
* James S. Simonson, principal in the firm’s Litigation practice group, has been awarded the Richard S. Arnold Award for Distinguished Service and Lifetime Achievement for the District of Minnesota at the 2014 Judicial Conference of the Federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
* received the “Dream Team: Legal” award at the 2014 Minnesota Manufacturing Awards hosted by Minnesota Business magazine. The Minnesota Manufacturing Awards honor outstanding companies, individuals, and professional services in the Minnesota manufacturing industry

City of Bloomington

Bloomington’s 2014 State of the City: The Art of Creating Community  received the City-County Communications and Marketing Association’s (3CMA) prestigious first-place Savvy award in the category of special events at the organization’s national communications conference. The Art of Creating Community theme celebrated the best of Bloomington and the art of creating a place “where people have all of the things they love.” Attendees heard about placemaking in South Loop, new developments underway, the City’s excellent financial position, the 2013 community survey results and the dedicated people and collaborations that contribute to the high quality of life in Bloomington. The City also received recognition from 3CMA for its printed communications to residents and businesses in the community. The Briefing, the City’s external newsletter, received a second-place award in the category of printed publications. The 3CMA Savvy awards recognize the best in local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing and citizen-government relationships. 

CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy was named a winner of the BBB International Torch Award Ethics presented by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to recognize businesses exhibiting outstanding ethical practices.  The company has previously been awarded winner in the largest business category of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota Torch Awards Ceremony, which recognizes and acknowledges outstanding ethics, customer service and integrity in all aspects of a business’s operations. CenterPoint Energy was also named to the BBB Centennial Honor Roll, which saluted century-old companies that have supported BBB for most or all of its history. 

Western Bank

Western Bank announced the promotion of Nicki O’Connell to Assistant Vice President, Human Resources Manager at Western Bank. O’Connell works at the bank’s St. Paul branch.  O’Connell joined Western Bank in 2000 as a Human Resources/Marketing Associate. And Kathy Bjerke & Jeff Nedlund both joined the bank as Vice Presidents in the Commercial Banking area.  

Bridgewater Bank

Amy Kringler, Director of Compliance at Bridgewater Bank, was awarded the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) designation from the Institute of Certified Bankers (ICB), a subsidiary of the American Bankers Association in Washington, DC. The CRCM designation is awarded to individuals who demonstrate excellence in the field of regulatory compliance. Kringler joined Bridgewater Bank in 2012.


The Opus Group/Goodwill-Easter Seals

The Opus Group  completed the mixed-use student housing and retail complex Venue at Dinkytown. As of mid-September, the six-story building has 97 percent of the 246 beds leased and three committed tenants for retail spaces on the first floor.  One of the 3 tenants is Gina + Will, a new concept store from Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota featuring trendy casualwear and designer clothing at affordable prices. 

Junior Achievement/CliftonLarsonAllen/U.S. Bank

JA bigBowl raised over $675,000 with more than 3200 bowlers on 640 teams from 55 companies.  This surpassed their fundraising goal of $650,000.  CliftonLarsonAllen LLP team raised the most money in the Twin Cities and statewide with U.S. Bank coming in 2nd in both categories.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital

U.S. News & World Report's annual ranked hospital list nationally ranked Abbott Northwestern Hospital in four specialties:  cardiology & heart surgery, geriatrics, gynecology and orthopedics. The hospital scored high in patient safety.  Only 144 hospitals are nationally ranked in a specialty.

Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick promoted Leslie Williamson to vice president. Since joining the firm in 2007, Williamson has overseen communications programs for clients in the health care industry. Her expertise includes reputation management, thought leader program development, data publicity and media relations programs.

University of Minnesota

 The University of Minnesota is ranked on the Forbeslist of best colleges in the nation  at No. 108, up 435 ranks since the magazine debuted the list in 2009.  The University has moved up every year making it the most improved school on the list, which tracks things like student-retention rate, debt burden and high graduate salaries. 

Also, U of MN research created a record 15 startups during the school's 2014 fiscal year, beating their 2013 start-up generation record by one. 

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. 

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. 









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Minneapolis Regional Chamber
81 South Ninth Street, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 370-9100
Fax: (612) 370-9195