Glenn Ford to Receive First Ever Minnesota SBA District Director Award during Small Business Week 2017

Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Release Number: 
Sarah Swenty,

MINNEAPOLIS – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Minnesota District Office will present Glenn Ford, SBA’s Emerging Leader instructor since 2010, with the first ever District Directors Award this week as part of the National Small Business Week celebration. Ford was chosen because of his sustained dedication to helping grow small business and through them, both directly and indirectly, inner city communities. 

“Working with Glenn for seven years has inspired me to continue the work I do at the SBA,” says Nancy Libersky, Minnesota SBA District Director. “His knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness and passion to help small businesses thrive is contagious. He has also become a good friend.”

A successful entrepreneur himself with a background in the corporate boardrooms of PepsiCo, American Hospital Supply, and Electronic Data System, Ford is driven to help others succeed. He left a successful career to focus on using his skills and connections to help communities like the one he grew up in thrive. After exploring many opportunities, including work with the Kellogg Foundation saving family farms by helping them out of the commodity business and onto retail shelves with brand building, Ford decided to address the food deserts challenge of the country’s inner cities.

To do that, Ford founded Praxis Foods to start a grocery store chain, InCity Farms, and large scale aquaponics facilities to serve challenged inner city neighborhoods and selected rural and local producers. These stores, aquaponics facilities, and partnered collaborative ventures will be a major catalyst in the economic development of underserved communities with the food deserts.  Ford believes that bringing healthier food options will spark job creation. Construction on the first aquaponics Midwestern site is scheduled to start later this year.

“Inner city communities have a severe balance of trade problem. They gain little community benefit for the value of their dollars spent. I believe this must be rectified and it should start with food,” says Ford.

Focusing more locally to help other business owners succeed, Ford helps metro area small business grow by teaching SBA’s Emerging Leaders course. The program focuses on small, poised-for-growth companies with potential for job creation. The seven-month intensive, executive entrepreneurship education series includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time per participant and provides the opportunity for small business owners to work with experienced mentors, attend workshops and develop connections with their peers, city leaders and financial communities.

Ford has also taught marketing at Concordia University as an adjunct professor and the Fast-Trac program for entrepreneurs at St. Thomas University. He currently sits on the board of three small businesses and continues to help previous students when he called upon.

The SBA, along with the SCORE Association and the Small Business Development Center, will honor Glenn Ford at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards Luncheon this Thursday, May 4, 2017, at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

For more information on Small Business Week, please visit

The Small Business Administration was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The Minnesota District Office provides SBA programs and services to the state of Minnesota. Working with our resource partners across the state, we help businesses start, grow and achieve success. For more information on our programs and services, visit