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. 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.
* G.I. Jobs Magazine named U.S. Bank one of the nation’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers® for the fourth consecutive year. Approximately 2,000 U.S. Bank employees are veterans, including National Guard and Reserve members.
*The bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation, awarded a $26,500 grant to Defenders of Freedom in Dallas/Fort Worth for general purpose economic opportunities. Defenders of Freedom is a non- profit organization committed to supporting wounded troops in their transition to civilian life and empowering all verified veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn with life & career mentoring, job search assistance.
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 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. Also, 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. And 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.
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. 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
The law firm of Gray Plant Mooty announced that Maxwell J. Bremer, Samuel W. Diehl, Ashley M. Bennett Ewald, Loren L. Hansen, Jessica B. Johnson, and Monica A. Kelley, have been elected shareholders of the firm, effective January 1, 2015.
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).