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Success Stories

Woman-owned Business Receives Help from SCORE, Achieves High Growth
Making Dreams Come True

Stacey Stratton, executive recruiter and owner of True Talent Group, a sales recruitment company based out of Apple Valley, recently turned a lifelong dream and guidance from SCORE into a thriving enterprise with limitless opportunities.

After working in the industry for six years, Stratton had a strong desire to break out and start her own company. An internet search for “small business help” put Stratton in touch with a counselor from her local SCORE office. “Our team provided resources that helped Stacey overcome her concerns regarding how to start a company, develop a solid business plan and put the basics in place to kick-off her recruiting business.,” says SCORE counselor Greg Boettner.

Stratton attended several seminars offered by her local SCORE office, and with help from the Business Planning Center, diligently chipped away at a working business plan. The results are undisputed: sales at True Talent Group in 2008 were... Read More

Edgardo Rodriguez, Business Consultant at the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), has been named the Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Minority Small Business Champion award is presented annually in each state to individuals who assist small businesses through outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of minority-owned small businesses. Yvonne Cheung Ho, President and CEO of MEDA, nominated Rodriguez for this award.

After decades of working in the corporate sector in senior positions, Rodriguez joined MEDA in 2002 as a consultant and has utilized his wealth of knowledge and resources to benefit the small business community. His specialties include coaching, analyzing complex and challenging business opportunities for growth, mergers and acquisitions, negotiations, document review, certifications and day-to-day business management issues.

George Jacobson, director of... Read More

Thomas H. Koopmeiners, Small Business Program Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been named the Minnesota Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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. Sherri Komrosky, Program Director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), nominated Tom for this award.

Koopmeiners has been the Saint Paul District’s small business program manager since 2002 and a Corps’ employee since 1998, when he started as a contracting officer. As the small business program manager, Koopmeiners assists small businesses in obtaining government contracts.

Under Koopmeiners management, the district exceeded its small business goals for two years in a row, as well as ranked third in the nation, Corps-wide for... Read More

Director of Center for Economic Development Named Women in Business Champion of the Year

Elaine S. Hansen, Director, University of Minnesota (UMD) Center for Economic Development, has been named the Women in Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office. The UMD Center for Economic Development is the Small Business Development Center in Northeastern Minnesota serving St. Louis, Carlton, Lake, Cook, Koochiching, and Itasca Counties.

The Women in Business Champion is selected annually to honor individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of women’s business ownership. Richard E. Braun, Assistant Director of the UMD Center for Economic Development, nominated Hansen for this award.

Since 2003, Elaine Hansen has served as the Director for the UMD Center for Economic Development and the Regional Director for the NE Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC). She is also a certified public accountant (CPA) licensed in the State of Minnesota and in 2003, completed her Master... Read More