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Success Stories

In Central America, fire stations and emergency medical clinics are often founded by persons who tragically lost someone close. These volunteers do not want to let the same thing happen to someone else in their community. Karin Reichensperger, who spent many years as a volunteer in Guatemala, saw that their hearts were in the right place, but they often lacked the most basic equipment.

In fact, she saw that the brave bomberos (firefighters), in many cases, did not even have fire coats to protect themselves. She immediately went to work to solve this problem. As a result, she is now director of the MESSAGE Program, a non-profit group based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, that provides material and educational support to more than 150 health care facilities and 80 fire stations in rural areas of Central America.

Reichensperger said, “It is not a lack of medical professionals nor facilities that restricts the availability of basic medical care, it is simply the lack of... Read More

Amy and Darrell Hauge are celebrating their first anniversary as owners of Amy’s Classic Confections, a retail store specializing in unique candy baskets custom made for special occasions. Located in the Minneapolis skyway at 6th and Marquette, the business offers a variety of items that will be the delight of any candy lover, and make great gifts for employees, co-workers, teachers, birthdays or to say congratulations or thank you.

Browsing the store is a trip to temptation. Tastefully displayed is a broad assortment of ready-to-go gift baskets with themes such as Chocolate Lover, Midday Munchies, Off to School Survival Kit, Minnesota Madness, and Tower of Treats. Or, Amy will help you custom design your own theme for that special someone or special occasion. There are baskets for the coffee lover and for those on sugar-free diets. Local delivery is offered, which can be a lifesaver for anyone needing a last-minute gift that will be appreciated. Nationwide shipping is... Read More

Small Business Person of the Year, Lynn R. Gordon, French Meadow Bakery

French Meadow Bakery was founded in 1985 in the kitchen of Lynn Gordon’s home; it has steadily gown year by year into what is now a $4.8 million wholesale business. The company is committed to baking the most nutritious and best-tasking breads available, while educations customers on the benefits of organic products and support small family farms. As the nation’s first continuously certified organic baker, French Meadow currently produces 26 organic and yeast-free breads, bagels, and pizza crust in its 24,000 square foot bakery in south Minneapolis.

Entrepreneurial Success Award, Kent Johnston, President, Plymouth Plumbing, Inc.

Plymouth Plumbing, Inc. one of the largest contractors in the Twin Cities residential construction market, provides plumbing, heating and air services throughout the eleven-county metro area. The company focuses primarily on new residential construction, a sector that... Read More

Kathleen Meyer, owner of Meyer Contracting, Inc., Minneapolis, has been named Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award recognizes Meyer for excellence in her field and for demonstrating leadership.

In 1987, Meyer founded Meyer Contracting, specializing in the installation of water and sewer mains. The company also does excavation, grading, drainage and road construction, and provides general construction.

The SBA through the 8(a) program has been instrumental in providing bidding opportunities. Meyer Contracting, Inc. is certified as a minority & 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 Disadvantage Business (SDB) which is concurrent with 8(a) BD Certification.

Meyer’s customers include the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Corps of Engineers, and the 934th Airlift Wing. Her... Read More

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