Current Issue: February 2011
The Twin Cities have long been dubbed a hotbed of creativity, but we've always had a difficult time explaining exactly how we became so. We explore how this bend in the Mississippi managed to cultivate such an innovative community and what being a creative mecca means outside of the arts arena.
It didn't take a genius to realize that the 2010 midterm election was going to be all about business. With an economy that's technically out of recession but nowhere near healthy, and state unemployment at 7.1 percent right before the election, both Democrats and Republicans campaigned on ways to attract business to the state and encourage existing companies to start hiring again.
In a small shop in St. Paul, master leather-cutters examine leather hides for flaws, a fleet of trained tailors sew together bags on hand-powered sewing machines, and a buffer personally exacts the needed appearance for each bag. It's the American-made sight that is rarely seen anymore, and it's a company starting to make ripples in the fashion world.
Tim Myslajek has built a reputation as a top notch accountant, and he's done it while being an adrenaline-seeker in an industry that is typically buttoned-down. His passion for people and his method of connecting with them has led to his company's perpetual growth.
Health care reform is a change of historical proportion, affecting companies and the benefits they provide to their employees over the next decade. Executives must start planning now for the myriad and complex health care reform provisions-and the financial decisions that accompany them. Failure to do so will bring about costly consequences.
Did you start the new year with more reasons not to join the social media revolution?
Let's get one thing straight: This isn't one of those social media articles. I'm not going to drone on and on about how you have to "engage with your customers." Or about how you have to "get on Twitter." No, those articles have already been written. And you've likely already read them.
Amidst a sea of big-box retailers, there's at least one store that can maintain an old-time, homey feel, albeit within its expansive 20,000-square-foot location. The General Store of Minnetonka prides itself on treating customers with individualized care, and the welcoming atmosphere is what often keeps them coming back for more.
In its first three years of operation, Eagan-based Jade Logistics doubled its revenue, and owner Ni Suphavong is determined to get those numbers even higher. Her journey is remarkable, not just because her company is thriving in a tough economic climate, but because it's required significant perseverance, from childhood to entepreneurship.
Corporate wellness strategies abound, with companies offering everything from in-office yoga to weight loss contests to smoking cessation options. But the results of these initiatives can be tough to track, especially if participation rates are mediocre at best. St. Paul-based Medforma believes it has the answer: a blend of personalization, interactivity, and Stanford University research.