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Success Stories

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

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