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Minnesota District Office

Success Stories

Success Stories

Defense Alliance of Minnesota Named 2007 Minnesota Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year

Defense Alliance of Minnesota has been named the Minnesota Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Defense Alliance is staffed by Paul J. Wagner, Founder; Commander Chip Laingen, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Director; Kathryn A. Neumann, Veterans Liaison; and Patria Lawton, Facilitator.

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 Defense Alliance of Minnesota is an independent organization founded in 2004. The mission of the Alliance is to network and expand Minnesota’s defense and homeland security industries, to create and retain high quality jobs, and to further promote the state’s important contributions of our men and women of the armed forces.

Integral to that effort is totally free support for:

Veteran-owned business coaching and... Read More
Small Business Owners Named 2007 Small Business Persons of the Year

Tom Grones, CEO and President, and Dan Rudningen, Vice President of Sales, of GeoComm, Inc. based in St. Cloud, Minn., 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.

Grones and Rudningen were nominated by Gail Ivers of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce.

GeoComm is a business that saves lives. Although that is a simplistic description of a highly complex and technologically advanced company, at its foundation, GeoComm exists to save lives. They do it by helping public safety agencies locate people during a crisis through the use of technology and communication systems developed by GeoComm.

Grones and Rudningen started their... Read More

Restaurant Owner Becomes a Caterer - Success Story of Custom Catering by Short Stop

Byron Bjorklund, owner of Custom Catering by Short Stop based in St.Cloud, 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. Gail Ivers, Vice President of the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce, and Barry Kirchoff, Executive Director for the Small Business Development Center – St. Cloud State University, nominated Bjorklund for this award.

If you ask Byron Bjorklund what sets Custom Catering by Short Stop apart from the competition, he’ll discuss customer service, creativity, and food presentation. If you talk with him for 15 minutes, you’ll realize that Custom Catering by Short Stop actually has a secret weapon…and his name is Byron Bjorklund.... Read More

Minority-owned HUBZone Business Owner Named Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year

Elise Hernandez McGuire, owner of Ideal System Solutions, Inc., Pine River, has been named Minnesota Minority Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The award recognizes Hernandez for excellence in her field, demonstrated leadership, and community involvement.

Ideal System Solutions, Inc. is a woman-owned, Hispanic-owned company providing information technology solutions and services to the government, system integrators and commercial customers. Ideal is headquartered in Pine River with its main sales office and technical facility located in Maple Grove. Ideal also has offices located in New Mexico, California, South Carolina, and Virginia and a services organization that expands nationwide. Major customers include the Department of Energy, General Dynamics, and the Department of Defense including the Minnesota Air National Guard.

Ideal is a value-added reseller for leading-edge technology manufacturers including SUN, HP... Read More

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