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