Success Stories

JF Kruse employee working on jewelry

Jim Kruse, Founder and Melissa Kelley, President of J.F. Kruse Jewelers based in Saint Cloud, have been named the Minnesota Small Business Persons 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. Gail Ivers, Vice President of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and Barry Kirkhoff, Executive Director of the Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center (CMSBDC) at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN nominated Kruse and Kelley for this award.

As a teenager, Jim Kruse discovered a talent for sales while potting plants at a greenhouse in St. Paul.  In 1979, he was hired at D.J. Bitzan Jewelers in St. Cloud, as a bench jeweler and trained as a diamond setter.  However he soon found himself in sales... Read More

Minnesota 2014 Small Business Person of the Year

Saint Cloud – Scott Warzecha, President and Founder of Netgain, based in Saint Cloud, 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. Gail Ivers, Vice President of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce nominated Warzecha for this award.

Warzecha, a St. Cloud native, started his career as a salesman at Team Electronics, but it was during his 13 years at Marco that he had the idea to do things differently.

The concept was cloud computing. It may seem like old news today, but when Warzecha first talked of the idea in 2000 of providing cloud services to businesses, it was unheard of. His technology employer wouldn’t even consider the idea because they... Read More

Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year
Peter Kelsey, Owner and Baker of The New French Bakery based in Minneapolis, 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.  Kristin Wood, Executive Director of SPEDCO nominated Peter for this award.   “When people tell me this is the best bread they’ve tasted – that makes my day,” said Peter Kelsey.  It’s the reason he became involved in the food service industry.  His love for bread began at age 8, when he tasted his first fresh-from-the-oven croissant in Montreal.  It made him happy and years later, his life’s calling became clear: He wanted to make people happy with food.   Minnesota native, Peter Kelsey, began his career in food in 1979, when he... Read More
Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Andrew Levin (President) and Daniel Perkins (Chief Operations Officer) of Turkey To Go, based in Minneapolis, have been named the Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Young Entrepreneur of the Year is selected annually based on success as measured by sales and profits, increased employment opportunities created by the business, development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods, and demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.  If this wasn’t enough, all of these accomplishments are done before the Young Entrepreneur reaches the age of thirty (30).  Michael Ryan, Director of the Twin Cities Small Business Development Center at the University of St. Thomas, nominated Drew and Dan for this award.

Turkey To Go is an exciting quick service restaurant that has its roots at the Minnesota State Fair for over 50 years.  Turkey To Go serves giant... Read More

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