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Businesses can help soldiers reintegrate 2A Company embarks on a new Frontier 7A Rosemount development filling up 8A KARA HILDRETH TAD JOHNSON JESSICA HARPER DATE ##, 2009 MARCH 25, 2010 VOLUME 31, 30, NUMBER NUMBER 4 # VOLUME Dakota County Tribune Since 1884 B U S I N E S S w e e k Inver Grove Heights dealership begins anew Bill Mauer, brother of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, aims for a new image at store formerly owned by Denny Hecker l y INSIDE BIZ FORUM The lack of a separate and distinct state planning agency means we are “bowling in the fog.â€? 4A DANE SMITH FORUM by Jessica Harper business, but did say it was not financed by his brother, Joe, who As several local Chevrolet just signed a $184 million contract dealers prepare to potentially close with the Twins. their doors, another is opening. When asked if he had Bill Mauer, brother of Minany qualms about GM’s financial nesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer, situation, Mauer said: “When GM breathed new life into the Southwent through their bankruptcy, I view Chevrolet building in Inver knew it would come out strong. Grove Heights last month when GM is a great company. ‌ I had he opened Mauer Chevrolet. to believe in them 100 percent or I “I like to think of this as being wouldn’t have done this.â€? new and fresh,â€? Mauer said. “We After being granted the franwill have new ideas, and if we treat chise in January, Mauer hired all people right, we’ll be fine.â€? 29 of the former Southview emThe 29-year-old acquired the ployees. building in July after its former “They went through a trauowner, Denny Hecker, lost it to matic experience – something that bankruptcy. was out of their hands happened,â€? Although he had no guarantees he said. “I thought it was the right Photo by Jessica Harper that he would be awarded ownerthing to do.â€? Bill Mauer (right), brother of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe ship at the time, Mauer immediMauer said the business, Mauer, opened Mauer Chevrolet last month in the former ately began refurbishing the buildwhich now has 48 employees, is Southview Chevrolet building in Inver Grove Heights. Vice ing. like one big family. President John Vecere is one of the former Southview employees Mauer said he and other forCamaraderie was not the Mauer brought on board. mer employees spent five months only reason Mauer kept existing removing trash, drab cubicles and employees – experience was anpainting among making other imother key element, he said. provements. Many of the former SouthMauer said the transition from playing base“We were operating on faith and hope,â€? he ball to selling cars was an easy one. view employees had 20 to 30 years of experisaid. “The auto industry always intrigued me,â€? he ence, he said. The dealership now looks brand new with said, adding that he always favored Chevrolet Combining that experience with Mauer’s polished floors, a brightly lit showroom filled vehicles as a teen and young adult. new ideas is what will turn the business into with shiny new vehicles and a lounge area where Mauer got his start in the industry as a sales- a success, said John Vecere, vice president and customers can snack on donuts and coffee. general manager of Mauer Chevrolet. man at a Chevrolet dealership in Monticello. Mauer also added a personal touch by incorVecere has worked in the auto industry for In 2008, he became a sales manager at porating his love for baseball. Photographs of Southview Chevrolet, which closed in April. 27 years and served as a general manager for Little League players, including Mauer and his Mauer was awarded the franchise by Gen- Southview for 15 months before it closed. brothers Joe and Jake, canvas the walls of a hall- eral Motors in January. The industry is going through a cycle, Vecere way leading to the service area. He said he had no reservations about mak- said. Prior to entering the auto industry, Bill ing such a big leap into ownership. In nearly three decades, it went from conplayed minor league baseball, but retired six sisting of mostly single-point dealerships in the “I never stop learning, though,â€? he said. years ago due to an injury. Mauer declined to say how he financed the See Mauer, Page 2A DAKOTA COUNTY TRIBUNE +&//:800%4 "/ 45"$&:"$,&3. "/%3&8 .*--&3 " PGQSPN PUJPOT FQSFOFV S" "OFXA'SPOUJFS UFTUTZP VOHFOUS " 5ISFBET *OLT SFOUFSUB JONFOU B(SBOE 4MBNGP 70-6 .& /6. #&3 USJCVOFCJ[ EBLPUBDPVOUZ 4JODF  # 6 4 * / & 4 4  X F F L M BEST PRACTICES A growing number of companies are choosing to restore themselves to pre-recession measures through contingent hiring. GLENN 5A STARFIELD BUSINESS 101 Social media allows chances to converse with people you may not have encountered otherwise, and can lead to amazing ERIN marketing. 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03/25/2010 - Dakota County Tribune Business Weekly

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