Success Stories

Executive Director Named Financial Services Champion of the Year

Kristin Wood, Executive Director and Assistant Secretary of SPEDCO, has been named Minnesota Financial Services Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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.

Since 1994, Wood has served as the Executive Director of SPEDCO, a non-profit certified development company whose mission is to help small businesses obtain financing for job creation, to fund business expansion and to promote economic development in Minnesota. Among certified development companies in Minnesota, SPEDCO is well-regarded as customer-focused, ethical and meticulous in its approach. Much of this is a result of Kristin’s energetic, focused leadership. She is a strong advocate of helping small businesses achieve job growth by encouraging participation in... Read More

Business Editor Named Small Business Journalist of the Year

Dawn Peake, Business Editor of the St. Cloud Times, has been named the Minnesota Small Business Journalist of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Small Business Journalist of the Year is selected annually to honor journalists representing television, radio, electronic or print media who show a concerted effort to increase public understanding of the importance of small business contributions to the economy, contribute news and feature stories, editorials, columns and commentary that highlight and analyze small business issues, volunteer community service aimed at enhancing small business opportunity and growth, and other achievements that exemplify the nominee’s media efforts to improve the understanding of the role of small business in the U.S. economy.

Peake joined the St. Cloud Times in October 2004 as a non-profit and religion reporter before accepting a business reporter position in December and helping launch the company’s quarterly... Read More

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

Charles Seashore, SCORE Counselor, has been named the Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Minority Business Champion is selected annually to honor individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to support minority entrepreneurship.

Chuck Seashore is currently a member of Minneapolis SCORE Chapter #2. Prior to joining SCORE, he spent 40 years with Honeywell, Inc. and Alliant Techsystems. He served in a number of research, engineering and program management positions within the corporation.

Since joining SCORE in 1999, Seashore has served as Vice Chair, Chapter Chair and organized the chapter’s 40th anniversary celebration as the oldest SCORE Chapter in the country. SCORE was started in Minneapolis by a group of corporate executives in 1964.

Seashore has led the “Going into Business Seminar” for the last six years and extended its presentation base to include five metro library... Read More

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