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Success Stories

Grupo Avance

Juan Ramirez is founder and president of Minneapolis-based Grupo Avance, a business that helps companies expand sales into Mexico, Latin America and U.S. Hispanic markets. A native of Mexico, Ramirez studied business and marketing at the Universidad Vercruzana in Mexico and at Miami University and the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. Prior to starting Grupo Avance, he worked at IBM, GE and other technology consulting firms as a sales and marketing executive.

Grupo Avance works with companies that want to export to Mexico and Latin America, but are unsure of the rules and regulations they may encounter in the target market country. The firm helps clients overcome language barriers and cultural issues, and can identify Mexican and Latin America suppliers. Market analysis, and customization of products and services to meet the specific needs and preferences of Mexican and Latin American markets are additional services offered.

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Women in Business Champion Receives Minnesota and Regional Honors

Susan Lindgren, President of YESS! – Your Extraordinary Success Strategies – and Ideal Coaching, Inc., has been named the Women in Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office as well as the upper Midwest Region.

The Women in Business Champion is selected annually to honor individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of women’s business ownership.

The regional award winner is selected from among the state winners. In addition to Minnesota, SBA’s upper Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Lindgren is a best selling author, Certified Management Effectiveness Coach, internationally recognized seminar leader, speaker and entrepreneur with 15 years experience. Her experience includes working across industries with all sizes of organizations. Sue specializes in the domains of communication, leadership, coaching and organizational effectiveness.... Read More

In Central America, fire stations and emergency medical clinics are often founded by persons who tragically lost someone close. These volunteers do not want to let the same thing happen to someone else in their community. Karin Reichensperger, who spent many years as a volunteer in Guatemala, saw that their hearts were in the right place, but they often lacked the most basic equipment.

In fact, she saw that the brave bomberos (firefighters), in many cases, did not even have fire coats to protect themselves. She immediately went to work to solve this problem. As a result, she is now director of the MESSAGE Program, a non-profit group based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, that provides material and educational support to more than 150 health care facilities and 80 fire stations in rural areas of Central America.

Reichensperger said, “It is not a lack of medical professionals nor facilities that restricts the availability of basic medical care, it is simply the lack of... Read More

Amy and Darrell Hauge are celebrating their first anniversary as owners of Amy’s Classic Confections, a retail store specializing in unique candy baskets custom made for special occasions. Located in the Minneapolis skyway at 6th and Marquette, the business offers a variety of items that will be the delight of any candy lover, and make great gifts for employees, co-workers, teachers, birthdays or to say congratulations or thank you.

Browsing the store is a trip to temptation. Tastefully displayed is a broad assortment of ready-to-go gift baskets with themes such as Chocolate Lover, Midday Munchies, Off to School Survival Kit, Minnesota Madness, and Tower of Treats. Or, Amy will help you custom design your own theme for that special someone or special occasion. There are baskets for the coffee lover and for those on sugar-free diets. Local delivery is offered, which can be a lifesaver for anyone needing a last-minute gift that will be appreciated. Nationwide shipping is... Read More