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Success Stories

Darlene Miller, President and CEO of Permac Industries based in Burnsville, Minn., has been named the Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Person of the year is selected annually based on growth in sales or unit volume, increase in the number of employees, financial strength, innovativeness of product or service and evidence of contributions to community-oriented projects.

Miller was nominated by Steve Saefke of South Metro SCORE and Leanne Baldwin of Associated Bank.

Miller joined Permac Industries in 1992 as a salesperson. Although she really had no background in manufacturing or in running a business, Miller purchased Permac in 1994, a small precision machine parts manufacturing company that, at the time, was in workout condition with the bank. Dave Cleveland of Associated Bank believed in Darlene and helped her get an SBA 7(a) loan and mentored her during those early years.... Read More

Chairman for Comfort for Courage Named the Veterans Small Business Champion of the Year

Andrew Davis, Chairman and Co-Founder of Comfort for Courage, has been named the Veterans Small Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District, the upper Midwest Region, and the Nation.

The Veterans Small Business Champion Award is presented annually in each state to individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to advancing small business opportunities for veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

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. The national award is selected from Regional winners.

Andrew Davis recently left the U.S. Army after achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant and serving three combat tours as a Ranger – two in Afghanistan, and one in Iraq.

Upon his return to civilian life, Davis directed his continuing passion to serve his country by chairing and co-... Read More

Native American Woman-owned Business Named Minority Small Business Person of the Year

Mary Moldenhauer, owner of Greystar Electronics, Inc., Duluth, has been named Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award recognizes Moldenhauer for excellence in her field and for demonstrating leadership.

Greystar Electronics, Inc. is a woman-owned, Native American-owned company specializing in the manufacture of electronics cable, wiring harnesses, and circuit card assemblies for the aerospace and defense industries.

Moldenhauer is a participant in SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program. Greystar Electronics, Inc. is certified as a minority and woman-owned business (M/WBE) with a variety of federal, state, city and local agencies. On a federal level, the firm is certified as a Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) which is concurrent with 8(a) BD Certification.

Moldenhauer’s past and present customers include Goodrich Sensor Systems, Cirrus Design Corporation, the Federal Aviation... Read More

Small Business Owner Receives Advice from SCORE, Expands for Growth

Julie Ann Segal lives her philosophy. “I believe that each person has the capacity to create a living or working environment that reflects their spirit and enhances health and wellbeing,” she says. Segal has built a successful business on her passion for design. She combines interior design and Feng Shui to help her clients achieve harmonious inviting spaces that are an expression of their own style.

Her company, Metropolitan Interiors, is based in a charming Victorian home on Loring Park in Minneapolis. The space not only works in a practical sense, but also is used as a showcase of products and crafts that highlight artists, cabinet builders, furniture manufacturers, and building materials. The house brims with an inviting array of colors and textures, as well as Segal’s positive energy.

Segal has been working as a professional designer for 20 years. In 2003, she became a State certified Feng Shui practitioner. Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of... Read More