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Success Stories

Alexandra Blum, President and CEO of Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, has been named Financial Services Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office as well as the upper Midwest Region.

The Financial Services Champion award is presented annually in each state to individuals who assist small businesses through advocacy efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services.

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.

Blum has served as president and CEO of the Minnesota Business Finance Corporation (MBFC) since 1998. Under her leadership, MBFC has become a thriving $150 million certified development company licensed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to originate SBA 504 commercial real estate and equipment loans... Read More

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

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