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This old building Reuse of older buildings gains popularity Also in this Issue: • Midwest Knifemakers Supply • Tami Norberg Paulsen • Special Focus: Professional training


EXPERIENCE

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BETWEEN YOU AND THE WEATHER SINCE 1949! • 1949 Founder, Robert J. Schmidt begins selling siding, roofing and insulation in the Mankato area. • 1968 Opened The Fireplace Shoppe at 505 N. Front St., Mankato. • 1971 Moved to present location on 5th and Madison in Mankato. • 1981 Gary Schmidt & Dale Brenke purchase company. • 1981 Purchased our first seamless gutter machine. • 1986 Purchased ABC Seamless Siding franchise. • 1988 Closed Fireplace Shoppe to focus on siding and windows. • 1989 First playhouse given away. • 1989 Became the Gutter Helmet dealer.

• 1994 First year included in Qualified Remodeling Magazine’s Top 500. • 1997 Became the Renewal by Andersen dealer. • 2001 Became the Temo Sunroom dealer. • 2003 Jim Hockert & Steve Beetch become part owners. • 2004 Selected into Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50. • 2004 Began selling permanent steel roofing. • 2005 Purchased and opened window and sunroom warehouse at 1307 3rd Ave. in Mankato. • 2009 Named to Mankato Area Business Hall of Fame. • 2011 "Above and Beyond" award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, presented by Gov Dayton and General McKinley.

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August 2012 • Volume 4, Issue 12

18

Special Focus: Professional development

36

Every month you can enroll in training courses at the Center for Business & Industry at South Central College in North Mankato. SCC, along with Rasmussen provide ongoing training and professional development for businesses.

Midwest Knifemakers Supply

Tracy Mickley’s knife making hobby grew into a North Mankato business that supplies all the pieces and parts needed to make quality knives. He, his wife, Lora, and their staff sell parts around the world.

22

Preserving historic architecture

The loss of historic buildings in Mankato and North Mankato is well documented and, now, widely lamented. In the past decade, there has been concerted effort to reuse old and historic buildings.

40 Tami Norberg Paulsen

Tami Norberg Paulsen began her career in management and marketing for C&N Sales, her family’s Mankato-based company. She now helps run Paulsen Architects and helped spearhead the CityArt Walking Sculpture tour.

MN Valley Business • August 2012 • 3

Features

F E A T U R E S


D E P A R T M E N T S ■

From the Editor................................. 6 Joe Spear: Mankato’s structural narrative

■ Business Commentary.................... Tony Filipovitch: Creative destruction

Business informer............................. 8

Job trends.......................................10

Greater Mankato Growth................28 Greater Mankato’s new & improved website

Vehicle, retail, construction trends in the area ■

Regional, state unemployment information

Departments

Retail trends....................................12 Auto sales, retail sales and hotel business

Greater Mankato Growth CVB .......33 Pow wow: 40 years of bringing people together

Regional Outlook.............................34 Jack M. Geller: Profile of the Mankato regional center

Area commodity prices ■

Agriculture Outlook.........................14 Agribusiness trends........................15

Greater Mankato Growth Member Activities . ........................30 Groundbreakings, new businesses, relocations and expansions

Kent Thiesse: Severe droughts has lasting impacts ■

Construction, real estate trends.....11 Building permits, housing starts, home prices, interest rates

All in the Family..............................42 Not fenced in

Business memos/ Company news................................44 Hoelmer joins Gislasson & Hunter, McClure Agency ■

Business updates............................16

Hickory Tech unveils bundling plan, Best Buy plans worry analysts, General Growth roaring back, and more

acquired, Lipetzky joins Blethen, Gage & Krause, and more

On the Cover: Bryan Paulsen led the design work on the Mankato Depot renovation. Photo by John Cross

4 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

20


PRESERVING OUR COMMUNITY’S HISTORY. INSPIRING OUR FUTURE.

ARCHITECTURE | ENGINEERING |

INTERIORS |

PLANNING

History is the foundation of a community’s vitality and quality of life. It helps us understand and visualize what came before. Architectural character and attributes have long been used by historians to identify and interpret past civilizations. Embracing and preserving that character is a charter Paulsen Architects is proud to carry.

LEGACY From repurposing out-of-date and underutilized historic structures to new construction that uniquely blends with the past, we can help you discover, plan and design facilities that raise the opportunity to reshape and reinvest in environments that inspire a well-preserved and vibrant community for the future.

PAULSEN ARCHITECTS 507.388.9811 |

WWW.PAULSENARCHITECTS.COM


August 2012 • VOLUME 4, ISSUE 12 PUBLISHER

James P. Santori

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Joe Spear

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Tim Krohn

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

PHOTOGRAPHERS COVER PHOTO GRAPHIC DESIGNER

From the Editor

PAGE DESIGNER

Jack M. Geller Sara Gilbert-Frederick Tim Krohn Jean Lundquist Tony Filipovitch Kent Thiesse Marie Wood Pat Christman John Cross John Cross Jenny Malmanger Christina Sankey

ADVERTISING MANAGER

David Habrat

ADVERTISING ASSISTANT

Barb Wass

ADVERTISING DESIGNERS

Seth Glaser Sue Hammar Christina Sankey

CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

Denise Zernechel

For editorial inquiries, call Tim Krohn at 507-344-6383. For advertising, call 507-344-6390

MN Valley Business is published 12 times a year at 418 South 2nd Street Mankato, MN 56001.

Mankato area builds its narrative

Architecture can say a lot about community

I

t may be difficult to know the character of a city without talking to a number of its residents or leaders, but you can often get a feel for it by walking down its main streets and looking at the structures. This month’s cover story gets at the idea of the area’s structural narrative — what our buildings say about us. It’s always a worthwhile exercise. Residents of a city often identify with historic landmarks. They take pride in being “from here.” Some architecture can even lure residents to live or do business in a city. Who wouldn’t mind living on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, with its historic structures and Victorian homes with wide sweeping porches? A main street business district comes to mind in the same vein. Traveling the East Coast with family one summer, we came upon the historic village of Camden, Maine. The buildings were from the late 1700s and early 1800s and preserved beautifully. All were kept in the consistent architectural styles of colonial America. Considered the jewel of the Maine coast, it is a town of only 5,000 residents that swells in the summer tourism season. It shows you don’t have to be a big place to have a structural narrative. The Mankato area is not without its architectural markers. Architect Bryan Paulsen notes the two steeples of the First Presbyterian Church and Ss. Peter and Paul’s and the historic courthouse are “beacons of our history” as iconic, historical structures. The historic Mankato Post Office and federal Court House, the Cray Mansion and Hubbard House add to the area’s historical narrative. Fortunately, there appears to be a movement afoot to restore and revitalize older structures. The Landkamer Building and the Graif Building are good examples. More businesses and property owners are attuned to restoring buildings now than 10 years ago, according to Paulsen. People have more of a sense of history of the community and about preservation.

6 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

By Joe Spear But it also sometimes just makes sense, according to Mark Cipos, of I&S Group and Cory Brunton of Brunton architects. Some foundations and walls can be re-used, thereby saving the cost of building new. Cipos continues working on projects to redevelop Mankato’s City Center working with others in the City Center Partnership. Projects and buildings he argues should reflect a 24/7 use of downtown not just an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. use. It should be a place to work, live and entertain. But preservation of historic structures is only one part of a city’s structural narrative. Newer structures like the renovated Heco building — now the US Bank building — can be just as important in telling visitors who we are. Architect Brunton even constructed a new building that houses his office in the old style that fits Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato. People are sometimes confused it’s a new building because of the historic style. Mankato and North Mankato have plenty of opportunities to add to our structural narrative. It’s moving in the right direction. MV Joe Spear is executive editor of Minnesota Valley Business. Contact him at 344-6382 or jspear@mankatofreepress.com


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August 26, 2012 1:00pm to 5:30pm Riverfront Park, Mankato The 2nd Annual “Tune it up for the Troops� concert ZLOOIHDWXUHQDWLRQDOFRXQWU\ZHVWHUQUHFRUGLQJDUWLVW Rockie Lynne performing his originals, patriotic FODVVLFVDQG\RXUIDYRULWHFRXQWU\DQGURFNVRQJV

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Monday, August 27, 2012 The golf event is FULL! Donations accepted, please visit WHHLWXSIRUWKHWURRSVPDQNDWRRUJJHWLQYROYHG


Business Informer

Construction Area home sales stronger

The real estate sector looked relatively bright this spring. There were 182 existing homes sold in May and 172 in June. That compares to 140 and 185 sales respectively in May and June of last year. While the number of home sold in the two months was somewhat higher than in 2011, the sales prices were significantly stronger. The median price of all homes sold in June was $140,000,compared to $115,000 a year earlier.

■■■

Employment

Local unemployment claims fall Initial claims for unemployment fell in a big way in June in the nine county area in and around Mankato. The number of people in the construction sector filing for unemployment dropped by 31 percent, while manufacturing claims fell 14 percent and retail claims fell 22 percent.

Energy

■■■

Crude oil falls to $88 West Texas Intermediate crude oil spot price will average about $88 per barrel over the second half of 2012, the federal government’s Energy Information Administration predicts. That’s $7 per barrel lower than last month’s projection. Oil prices should remain roughly at the same levels in 2013. These price forecasts assume that world oil-consumptionweighted real gross domestic product grows by 2.9 percent in both 2012 and 2013.

Gas prices go lower With crude oil prices falling over the last month, the government has lowered the average regular gasoline retail price forecast for the third quarter of 2012 to $3.39 per gallon (state taxes vary). Regular gasoline retail prices, which averaged $3.53 per gallon in 201, will average $3.49 per gallon in 2012 and $3.28 per gallon in 2013

More U.S. oil production U.S. total crude oil production should average 6.3 million barrels per day in 2012, an increase of 0.6 million barrels from last year, and the highest level of production since 1997. Projected U.S. domestic crude oil production increases to 6.7 million barrels in 2013.

Natural gas inventories high Natural gas working inventories ended June 2012 at an estimated 3.1 trillion cubic feet, about 23 percent above the

8 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

same time last year. The Henry Hub natural gas spot price, which averaged $4 per million British thermal units in 2011, to average $2.58 in 2012 and $3.22 in 2013.

Economy slows oil demand The projected pace of global oil demand growth in this month’s outlook reflects less optimistic assumptions about the global economy. The forecast for global economic growth was lowered and is now expected to average 2.9 percent this year and next. World liquid fuels consumption grew by an estimated 0.8 million bbl/d in 2011. The government expects consumption growth of 0.7 million barrels per day in both 2012 and 2013, with China, the Middle East, Central and South America, and other countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development accounting for essentially all consumption growth.

Diesel prices slide EIA expects that on-highway diesel fuel retail prices, which averaged $3.84 per gallon in 2011, will average $3.79 per gallon in 2012, down 11 cents per gallon from last month’s outlook. In 2013, diesel fuel retail prices are projected to decline another 21 cents to an average of $3.58 per gallon.

Hot, but not that hot This year’s summer season has started out with abnormally hot temperatures. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. cooling degree-days during June 2012 were about 14 percent higher than the 30-year average, but 4 percent lower than June 2011. EIA expects that temperatures during the third quarter of 2012, although above normal, will average about 16 percent lower than last year. This reduced need for summer cooling contributes to a projection of a 3.8-percent decline in residential electricity sales in 2012. The government expects total consumption of electricity to fall by 1.3 percent during 2012, and then grow by 1.3 percent in 2013.

Renewables declining After growing by 14 percent in 2011, total renewable energy supply is projected to decline by 1.3 percent in 2012. This decrease is the result of hydropower resource levels beginning to return to the long-term average. The decline in hydropower from the 2011 level more than offsets growth in other renewable energy supplies. Renewable energy supply increases slightly (0.5 percent) in 2013.

CO2 declining further After declining by 2.4 percent in 2011, fossil fuel emissions are projected to further decline by 3.0 percent in 2012, but increase by 0.8 percent in 2013. Petroleum emissions decline in 2012 (0.9 percent) and then rise by 0.3 percent in 2013, while natural gas emissions rise by 5.3 percent and 1.5 percent in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Coal emissions decline in 2012 by 11 percent, but rise by 0.8 percent in 2013.


Employment/Unemployment Initial unemployment claims

Minnesota initial unemployment claims

Business Barometers

Nine-county Mankato region

Major industry

’11

June ’12

Percent change ’11-’12

Construction Manufacturing Retail Services Total*

182 176 63 394 815

126 201 77 281 685

-30.8% -14.2% -22.2% -28.7% -16.0%

2011

2012

130,000

110,000

1,000

A

M

3,374 2,558 1,677 9,769 17,378

2,525 2,545 1,463 7,330 14,263

-25.1% -10.5% -12.8% 20.9% -18.0%

2011

J

J

A

Local number of unemployed Nine-county Mankato region

S

O

N

2011

D

2012

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Minnesota number of unemployed 2011

8,756 7,431

10,000

0

2012

2,782.5 2,826.3

3,000 2,000

M

Percent change ’11-’12

Minnesota non-farm jobs

120,000

F

’12

(in thousands)

126,381 126,805

J

’11

Services consist of administration, educational, health care and social assistance, food and other miscellaneous services. *Categories don't equal total because some categories not listed.

Nine-county Mankato region

100,000

June

Construction Manufacturing Retail Services Total*

Services consist of administration, educational, health care and social assistance, food and other miscellaneous services. *Categories don't equal total because some categories not listed.

Local non-farm jobs

Major industry

2012

209,859 174,074

225,000

8,000 200,000

6,000 4,000

175,000

2,000 0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

June

2011

Unemployment rate

5.8%

5.1%

55,237

56,721

3,042

3,058

2012

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

10 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

J

F

M

County/area

(includes all of Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties)

Number of unemployed

150,000

A

Unemployment rates

Mankato/North Mankato Metropolitan statistical area

Number of non-farm jobs

D

Blue Earth Brown Faribault Le Sueur Martin Nicollet Sibley Waseca Watonwan Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota U.S.

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Counties, state, nation June 2011 June 2012 5.9% 5.5% 7.5% 7.6% 6.6% 5.6% 5.6% 6.4% 7.0% 6.2% 6.7% 9.3%

5.1% 5.4% 6.1% 6.6% 5.8% 5.1% 5.2% 5.8% 6.3% 5.8% 5.8% 8.4% J. Malmanger


Construction/Real Estate Residential building permits Mankato 2011

2012

(in thousands)

Residential building permits North Mankato (in thousands)

$2,638.5 $2,392.8

2011

$3,000

2012

$8,000 $2,000

$6,000 $4,000

$1,000

$2,000 $0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: City of Mankato

$0

Existing home sales: Mankato region 2011

2012

185 172

200

Information based on Multiple Listing Service and may not reflect all sales

20

50

10 M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Commercial building permits Mankato $9,000

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

(in thousands)

$3,053.5 $4,195.1

2012

Includes single family homes attached and detached, and townhomes and condos

2012 8 11

0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: Cities of Mankato/North Mankato

Source: Realtors Association of Southern Minnesota

2011

A

2011

100

F

M

40 30

J

F

Housing starts: Mankato/North Mankato

150

0

J

Source: City of North Mankato

Commercial building permits North Mankato (in thousands) $12,000

$1,183.1 $258.5

2011

2012

$9,000

$6,000

$6,000 $3,000 $0

$3,000 J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

2011

County

2012 4.5%

5.0% 4.5% 4.0%

3.6%

3.5% J

F

M

Source: Freddie Mac

F

Foreclosures:

Interest rates: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

3.0%

J

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: City of North Mankato

Source: City of Mankato

5.5%

$0

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Blue Earth Brown Faribault Le Sueur Martin Nicollet Sibley Waseca Watonwan

2012 first quarter 2011 2012 37 17 8 32 8 17 16 16 6

38 9 12 29 10 15 12 15 6

Percent change +3% -47% +50% -9% +25% -12% -25% -1% 0%

Source: Minnesota Foreclosure Partners Council J. Malmanger

MN Valley Business â&#x20AC;˘ August 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ 11

Business Barometers

$10,000

$2,847.9 $4,764.5


Retail/Consumer Spending

Business Barometers

Vehicle sales

Sales tax collections

Mankato — Number of vehicles sold 666 2011 2012 958

1,200

$500

1,000

$300

600 400

$200

200

$100 J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

$0

D

Source: Sales tax figures, City of Mankato

Lodging tax collections 2011

$45,000

Mankato/North Mankato $31,965 2012 $37,499

$25,000

M

A

M

J

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

J

A

S

O

N

Source: City of Mankato

D

$0

$48,840 $53,493

2011

$75,000

$15,000

F

F

Mankato food and beverage tax

$50,000

J

J

Source: Sales tax figures, City of Mankato

$30,000

$0

Includes restaurants, bars, telecommunications and general merchandise store sales. Excludes most clothing, grocery store sales.

$400

800

0

Mankato 2011 2012 $384.7 $376.4

(In thousands)

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

2012

A

S

O

N

D

Source: City of Mankato J. Malmanger

Stocks of local interest

Gas prices-Mankato 2012

2011

$4.00

$3.75

$3.00 $2.00

$3.55

$1.00 $0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

2012

2011

$3.71

$3.00 $2.00

$3.58

$1.00 $0

July 19

Archer Daniels

$31.29

$26.94

-14%

Ameriprise

$49.65

$50.38

+1.5%

Best Buy

$19.80

$18.21

-8%

Crown Cork & Seal

$34.34

$35.33

+2.9%

Fastenal

$39.69

$44.22

+11.4%

General Growth

$17.18

$17.23

+0.3%

General Mills

$38.65

$38.58

-0.2%

HickoryTech

$10.26

$10.24

-0.2%

$1.78

$1.48

-16.9%

Itron

$39.89

$39.73

-0.4%

Johnson Outdoors

$16.61

$21.07

+26.9%

3M

$87.31

$89.95

+3%

Target

$58.47

$61.45

+5.1%

U.S. Bancorp

$31.52

$33.63

+6.7%

Wells Financial

$18.00

$16.60

-7.8%

$0.70

$0.62

-11.4%

$29.02

$29.10

+0.3%

Hutchinson Technology

Gas prices-Minnesota $4.00

June 18

Winland J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

Source: GasBuddy.com

12 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

N

D

J. Malmanger

Xcel

Percent change

J. Malmanger


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Drought impacts have lasting effect Agricultural Outlook

A

sk most current farmers over 40 Recently, there have been many years old in the Upper Midwest comparisons regarding the drought of about the worst drought that 2012 to the earlier droughts of 1988 they remember, and 1988 would be a and 1983. The drought in 2012 is common response. However, that could rapidly moving toward the crop loss potentially change after this year, as the levels in those previous years. In 1983, drought in many areas of the Midwest there was a 20 percent reduction in the is setting up to be quite severe. national corn yield, which would equate Large portions of Illinois, Indiana, to a national corn yield of about 133 Iowa, Ohio, Missouri and other states bushels per acre in 2012. By comparison are indicating potential for major crop in 1988, considered the worst drought losses, while growing areas of Nebraska, year in modern times, there was a Minnesota, and South Dakota are national corn yield reduction of 30 facing growing drought conditions that percent, which would correlate to a could lower crop yields. In mid July, 83 2012 national corn yield of about 116 percent of the crop producing acres in bushels per acre. Some experts feel that the Midwest were impacted by some we are already approaching the 20 level of drought. percent loss level nationally, and could As of mid July, only 31 percent of the reach the 30 percent loss level or greater, U.S. corn crop was rated good-toif we do not see improvement in weather excellent meaning that significant yield conditions. loss is likely. Only 34 percent of the soybean crop was rated in good-toImpacts of the drought excellent condition. The corn and soybean market prices In other Midwest states the good-toresponded to the U.S. drought with excellent percent was much lower in dramatic market increases. December mid-July. corn futures prices rose to near $7.75 In 1988, the good-to-excellent crop per bushel by mid-July, an increase of rating dropped to near 20 percent for about $2.70 per bushel since mid-June. both corn and soybeans by mid-July. Similarly, the new crop November Minnesota was the only major corn soybean futures reached over $15.90 producing state that was maintaining a per bushel by mid-July, which is an strong rating for corn conditions increase of over $3.25 per bushel since through mid July, with 67 percent of mid-May. the crop still rated as good-to excellent; While the higher corn and soybean however, that rating level has dropped prices may offer some potential benefits by 15 percent since early July. Of to grain producers to offset lower yields Minnesota’s soybean crop, 65 percent from drought conditions, the higher was rated good-to-excellent as of mid prices can also present some challenges. July. If producers forward contract more Much of the primary corn and grain than they are able to produce, soybean production areas of Minnesota they may be forced to buy the contracted received very little rainfall in late June grain at higher prices at harvest time to and early July, and stored soil moisture fill those contracts, which could actually levels were being rapidly depleted. end up costing them extra money. Without some supplemental rainfall, Farm operators with Revenue corn and soybean yield potential in Protection crop insurance do have some many areas of Minnesota is likely to protection when forward contracting start dropping from the mid-July up to the insurance guarantee, due to estimates. the fact that the insurance guarantee Earlier this year, USDA estimated a increases as futures prices rise. record U.S. corn crop in 2012, based The biggest financial impact of the on a national average corn yield of 166 drought may hit livestock producers. In bushels per acre. On July 1, USDA addition to the higher prices, most crop estimated the national average corn producers also have protection from the yield at 146 bushels per acre, a reduction Revenue Protection crop insurance of 12 percent from the previous policies, many with coverage levels at estimate. 75-85 percent of revenue guarantees, USDA dropped 2012 national which will help reduce the financial soybean yield estimate to 40.5 bushels impact of the drought. Livestock per acre on July 1, down 8 percent from producers are not able to similarly offset the previous estimate. the higher feed costs that result from a Since those estimates, crop conditions drought. By mid-July, future corn costs have worsened in many of the major were up nearly 50 percent and soybean corn and soybean producing areas. meal costs were up about 35 percent 14 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

By Kent Thiesse

■ “The biggest financial impact of the drought may hit livestock producers.” from a month earlier. How does all this play out for the bottom-line of livestock producers? The estimated cost of production for pork producers for the third quarter of 2012 was estimated at $72 per hundred weight and was projected to only drop to $69 per hundred weight by next Fall and Winter. Based on hog futures prices in mid July that would result in a loss of about $20 per hog marketed in the next six to nine months. Similarly, the expected sharply higher feed costs are projected to result in large financial losses for the fed cattle and dairy industries in the coming months. The higher feed costs, along with limited hay supplies, and poor pasture conditions, is likely to lead to liquidation of beef and dairy cow herds, and reductions in sow numbers. This will put even more short-term impact on livestock prices, and reduce profitability for producers later this year. However, by the end of 2013, the reduced livestock numbers will likely mean less supply of pork, beef and milk available, which will ultimately raise meat and milk prices at the consumer level. MV Kent Thiesse is a farm management analyst and vice president, MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal. He can be reached at (507) 381-7960 or kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com


Agriculture/Agribusiness Corn prices — southern Minnesota 2012

2011

$8.00

Soybean prices — southern Minnesota

(dollars per bushel)

$7.81

Business Barometers

$12.00

$4.00

$8.00

$7.10

$2.00 J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

$0

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: USDA

Iowa-Minnesota hog prices

Milk prices

185 pound carcass, negotiated price, weighted average

2012

2011

$100.00

$13.45

$4.00

Source: USDA

$94.67

$22.12

$22.00

$80.00

Minimum prices, class I milk Dollars per hundredweight

2012

2011

$24.00

$90.00

$20.00 $93.35

$70.00

$18.00

$60.00 $50.00

$16.83

$16.00

$6.00

$0

2012

2011

$20.00

(dollars per bushel)

$16.00 J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

Source: USDA

D

$14.00

$17.04 J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Source: USDA. Based on federal milk orders.

Corn and soybean prices are for rail delivery points in Southern Minnesota. Milk prices are for Upper Midwest points.

Mankato, MN

J. Malmanger

Weichert WORKS!

St. James 507-375-5464 Mankato 507-345-6653

www.Wilcon-Construction.com Rich Draheim 507.381.0808

Dale Guggisberg

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Dan Hawkes 507.380.1964

Jon Kietzer 507.381.1773

Shawn H. Price 507.384.7771

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FARM LAND SERVICES 300 St. Andrews Drive, Ste 110 Mankato, MN • 507.345.1111 weichertcommunitygroup.com


Updates: Business news, local relevance

■ ■

HickoryTech launches bundle offerings

HickoryTech announced a new bundle offer that allows consumers to bundle Internet, digital TV, voice and enhanced features. The new bundles offer flexible plans that are fully customizable allowing consumers to pick the Digital TV, DSL and voice plan that meets their needs. Customers can create their package and choose a combination of one, two or a triple play of services. When bundling two or more services, customers can choose free enhanced services, such as DVR, high-definition programming or 300 minutes of free long distance every month with a two-year agreement. Triple play service start at less than $52.

Updates

General Growth roaring back

General Growth Properties, the second-largest public U.S. mall landlord, is living up to its name once again. General Growth owns River Hills Mall in Mankato. After the Chicago-based company exited bankruptcy in 2010, its shares recently hit $18.49, a record high. General Growth “is on the right path to delivering solid shareholder returns,” wrote Citigroup, citing rising retail rents, the company’s more effective management and a strengthened property portfolio. At the end of June, the bank upgraded the real estate investment trust to Buy from Neutral and raised its target price to $20 from $17 after meeting with management. During the first quarter, its new leases averaged a rent of $62.12 per square foot, up 7.4 percent compared to expiring base rents. Retailers’ sales rose 9.6 percent to $525 per square foot for the 12 months ending in March, up 4 percent compared to the prior quarter. ■

Best Buy’s plans worry analysts

Investors familiar with Best Buy and who have been following the stock know how hard the company’s public relations team has been trying to get investors to begin associating Best Buy’s transformation plan with Apple’s retail model. But analysts say, the new “transformation” plan looks very little like Apple’s strategy, and a lot more like the one that Circuit City tried to implement back in 2006 through 2008, right before that consumer electronics retailer shuttered its doors in 2009. In 2007, Circuit City unveiled a new smaller store format which was branded “The City.” The new format was supposed to be a game changer for that company. While the exact square footage of the dimensions being proposed by Best Buy for its new store format may not be exactly the same, the defunct logic behind the proposal is, analysts said. ■

HickoryTech confirms outlook

HickoryTech Corp. confirmed its fiscal 2012 outlook, without change and expects revenue to range from $177-$183 million, net income to range from $7.6-$8.6 million, diluted earnings per share to range between 57-64 cents per share and EBITDA to range from $46-$48 million.

16 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

Regis sells Hair Club

Edina-based Regis Corp. is selling its Hair Club for Men and Women division to Tokyo-based Aderans Co. Ltd. for $163.5 million. Like Hair Club, Aderans offers hair replacement and restoration products and services. The move is a continuation of efforts to refocus Regis’ efforts on its North American hair salon businesses. Earlier this year, Regis agreed to sell its 46 percent ownership interest in the Parisbased Provalliance hair salon company to the Provost family for $105 million in cash. Regis said it expects to record a non-operational, after-tax gain of between $8 million and $12 million from the sale of Hair Club. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. ■

St. Paul banks on new development

Downtown St. Paul has worked for years to revive its retail and residential development, and its quality of life. But successes like the Minnesota Wild hockey team have not made up for losses like the departure of West Publishing 20 years ago. Other revitalization efforts like Galtier Plaza in the 1980s, the Cultural Corridor in the 1990s and the Housing 5,000 program a decade ago have not reversed downtown’s fortunes. Now, the city is officially breaking ground on a downtown development thatÕs been in the works for nearly a decade. It means a new grocery store and high-end housing within sight of the state Capitol. And city leaders hope it will help fuel a downtown revival, reports Minnesota Public Radio. Development at the complex, called the Penfield, has already begun. Demolition is under way to make room for Lunds, a 28,000-square-foot full-service grocery store. Cecil Bedor, the planning and economic development director for the city of St. Paul, says the new store site, which will be topped with more than 250 high-end apartments, will build on the city’s other successes. ■

Angel Tax Credit program celebrates

The Minnesota Angel Tax Credit Program has attracted more than $126 million in private investments for small and emerging companies in the state since the program was launched two years ago in July 2010. In 2012 alone, more than 100 businesses have received funding from more than 314 investors and 15 angel funds, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Businesses attracting the most funding are software, medical device and biotechnology firms. Through the program, qualified investors can receive a tax credit of 25 percent on investments of at least $10,000 in emerging companies that specialize in high technology or new proprietary technology. Businesses that receive angel funding must be headquartered in Minnesota and have fewer than 25 employees, with at least 51 percent of the workers and total payroll based in the state. Businesses must have been operating for no more than 10 years and cannot have received previous equity investments exceeding $4 million.


For more information, contact the advancement office at 507.344.7313

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Special Focus: Professional training &

SCC offers a wide array of training courses By Marie Wood

E

very month you can enroll in training courses at the Center for Business & Industry (CBI) at South Central College in North Mankato. The courses teach skills that are in demand: Microsoft Of f i c e , Ad o b e , QuickBooks, Lean principles, Project Management and more. While some community colleges are retracting professional training, CBI is expanding, because South Mark Kluender Central College has experts on staff, partnerships with other institutions, and an understanding of the skills business professionals need in today’s market. “People look to us for what’s happening,” said Mark Kluender, director of professional/continuing education. “We can quickly react to a concern a business has and work with them to effectively solve the problem.” Every year, CBI offers hundreds of online classes and trains up to15,000 individuals from local businesses. The goal is to teach a skill that can be applied in the workplace. The courses are cost-efficient, flexible and online. Here are some popular courses from CBI at South Central College. Project Management Fundamentals A project management professional teaches the concepts needed to plan, implement, control and close any type of project. You’ll learn techniques for project politics, ethics, measurements and closure. The course offers basic tools to get your job done and can be especially helpful to young supervisors. Project Management Applications The class teaches advanced tools of motivating teams, defining objectives, estimating cost and time, scheduling, and use of tracking and control tools. Administrative Lean Workplacelean PILLARS uses an “office at work” simulation to teach teams the importance of improving processes and information flow. Teams learn to use Lean tools to identify and eliminate waste and create an optimized work flow. The primary outcome is when you realize how much waste exists and how to make improvements.

18 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

Computer training These courses update skills and help you fully utilize your software. Microsoft Office Applications: Learn to extract information from Excel, create newsletters in Publisher, manage databases in Access, and create presentations in PowerPoint. Introduction, intermediate and advanced classes available. Adobe Applications: Master the tools of Adobe Acrobat to improve documents, make your Web site more user-friendly with Introduction to Dreamweaver (no Web skills needed), learn desktop publishing on Illustrator, and make your graphics pop with Photoshop training. Network/Security: Introduction, intermediate and advanced courses are available in PC Security to help you protect your data. Networking and Wireless Networking courses offer the basics to set up and operate networks. QuickBooks: These courses are great for the small to midsized business owner to learn how to generate reports, invoice, reconcile accounts, track inventory and more. QuickBooks Payroll is also available. MV

South Central College offerings southcentral.edu/enroll To browse and enroll in courses from the Center for Business & Industry at South Central College, visit southcentral.edu/enroll. Most are six-week online courses with 24 hours of training for $125. Customized training from CBI The Center for Business & Industry customizes training for local businesses. Consultants fully assess your organization to identify your training needs and help you improve performance and productivity through a skilled and engaged workforce. There is no charge for the consultation. Companies do not pay until CBI consultants identify your goal and build you a training program that is laser focused on your business. “We want to come in and find a solution together. We want to know what their pain is and then alleviate that pain,” said Kluender. Often, a customized training is a hybrid of an online class and an on-site training session. For example, a group of employees can take a Microsoft Excel course and then a CBI expert can work with employees on site to generate the data and reports your business requires. Customized training is available in business, technology, workplace safety, healthcare, manufacturing, trade and more. To learn more, contact CBI at 507-389-7203 or visit cbi.southcentral.edu.


continuing education

Rasmussen offers certificates and degrees By Marie Wood

P

eople often call Rasmussen College because they need a certificate, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to be promoted or enter management. This is a common situation that Ashley Eimer, career services advisor at Rasmussen College, can address. Rasmussen offers many certificates and degrees in business, technology and other fields. Most certificates can be accomplished entirely online and many within nine months. “If they want certification, they are already working in the field and they want the flexibility of online education,” said Eimer. “We try to make it as convenient as possible so students have a place to achieve their goals.” Rasmussen College approaches degrees through a Credential Ladder, which supports career advancement as you work toward your goal. For instance, if you enter the accounting program, you can earn a certificate, diploma, associate’s degree, and bachelor’s degree at your pace. “We start with the meat and potatoes of the subject. Students can receive their credentials and can come back to complete their degrees,” explained Eimer. Here’s a glance at several programs at the Rasmussen College Mankato Campus. AcceleratED Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program With online, focused, six-week courses, you can complete your bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months. The program is geared to students with previous college credit who want to transfer the credit and accelerate the timeline. At $260 per credit, the program is competitively priced. “It’s designed to be very specific, fast-paced and convenient,” said Eimer. AcceleratED degrees are available in: human resources and organizational leadership; marketing; business systems analysis; international business; criminal justice; finance; and entrepreneurship.

Computer skills Rasmussen College offers online Microsoft Office and QuickBooks courses so people can update their skills. The QuickBooks course requires an Accounting I class, but if you are working in accounting, that will be taken into consideration. Certificate & degrees Rasmussen College offers Ashley Eimer certificates and degrees that are in high demand. Degrees are available in the following schools: business, education, health sciences, justice studies, nursing, technology and design. MV

Rasmussen offerings rasmussen.edu To learn more about degrees at Rasmussen College, visit rasmussen.edu. Learn online or on campus. Call the Mankato campus at 507-625-6556. Coming Soon: Employer driven online continuing education This year, Rasmussen College is launching a program for employers who need computer training for a team of employees. The online training can be completed in six weeks, one-day tutorials, and other ways. To learn more, contact Ashley Eimer at 507-385-6889 or email ashley.eimer@rasmussen.edu.

KEITH BOLEEN. HELPING YOU REACH YOUR BUSINESS GOALS. 245 Belgrade Ave. NORTH MANKATO MEMBER FDIC

1661 Commerce Drive NORTH MANKATO

1580 Madison Ave. MANKATO

104 Main Street MINNESOTA LAKE

www.frandsenbank.com


Business Commentary

Reusing the commercial center

T

he motto of Detroit, written after a fire leveled the city in 1805, is Speramus meliora resurget cineribus (“We hope that better things will rise from the ashes”). It is the motto of anyone who lives long in one place. The cycle of “creative destruction,” building over the foundations of what came before, can be seen everywhere in cities. My own house was first built around 1880, but every owner every decade since did something to it (I have been no exception) until it only vaguely resembles the original farmstead. I had not yet moved here when urban renewal removed the old railroad-workers’ tenements (they had become the “student ghetto” after that) in the early 70’s. But I can remember the old shopping street on South Front, and roofing it over to make the Mankato Mall, and demolishing part of it to make way for the Civic Center. For a number of years the “Downtown Mall” held its own against Madison East, until River Halls Mall finally put “vacant” signs in the shop windows of both malls. Since Southdale was built in the ‘50s, retail shopping had shifted away from individual shops strung along a main street to “shopping parks” anchored by big-box stores built on vacant land on the edge of cities. Now that model is in decline, too, as increasingly we shop online for the greatest variety of mass-produced goods at the lowest price. But downtown Mankato held on into the 90’s, well past many cities. It was a good run, and River Hills was only the warrant-server, not the cause of its demise. Mankato’s city center declined for two reasons: Unintended consequences of well-meaning decisions, and the shifting sands of time. The “renewal” of Pike Street removed almost half of the pedestrian traffic that would naturally flow through the core of the city — and with it, a large part of the consumer base for the city center. “Build it and they will come” is not a workable business plan for most retail and entertainment activities. Yes, people will travel from all over to get to Disneyland or Dollywood or even the Mall of America, but most of the time shopping and entertainment comes from attracting the local people. The density of city centers discourages casual trips by automobile — they depend on people who work in the area, or who stop in the area because of transit stops, or who walk through the area because they live there. The second reason is changing times. As automobile use became the norm (we now have almost as many vehicles on the road as we have people), assembling shopping and eating venues together with easy, available parking became more important. And the major franchises for shopping and entertainment demanded easy parking and buildings that could conform to franchise specifications. Now times are changing again, and franchise shopping seems to be moving away from bricks-and-mortar to online (think Best Buy). The consumer is also changing. Society is aging; the target population is no longer the young family with children, but an aging population of empty-nesters and a young population of singles and professional couples. So, what does this mean for the Mankato City Center? Fifty years ago, Jane Jacobs warned of the danger of “cataclysmic money” — too much money funneling in so fast that it chokes the liveliness that attracted it in the first place. New 20 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

By Tony Filipovitch

“Mankato’s city center declined for two reasons: Unintended consequences of well-meaning decisions, and the shifting sands of time.”

money has to be counterbalanced by “vintage capital” — older buildings and activities, already paid for but still having useful life. Innovative, risky ideas need cheap digs to prove their worth; new talent needs inexpensive venues. The trick is keep these two forces in balance — enough investment in enough diversity to foster growth and meet the needs of changing times, balanced against older, established activities, and peppered with crazy things that just might work (maybe). Twenty years later, Christopher Alexander described the process by which this occurs — a timeless way of building that grows organically, each new thing arising from and transforming what was already there. The great activities require many small ones to succeed — the soaring cathedral needs many ranks of buttresses to hold it up. The city center needs to build on what it has and fill in what is missing if it is to unfold into its future. I am curious to see what that will become, but if we are successful it will include retaining more of the young talent attracted here by education (they leave now for better opportunity and higher pay in other cities) and engaging the interest and imagination of active seniors. Both of these groups are attracted to the higher density and unique, idiosyncratic quality of buildings and activities in the central city. The character of retail shopping will change, too. Seniors are done shopping; shopping no longer excites us, and besides we don’t need any more stuff. And the youngsters are looking for the unusual and high-quality handcrafts (including food). Where we live will change. Seniors will want to get around without a car (and besides you don’t want us driving). And how we live will change. Seniors will want single-floor, smaller units — with elevator access, if need be. Youngsters also won’t be looking for large places — they got their fill of roommates in college, and besides they can’t afford the rent for space they don’t need. We don’t need to attract people back downtown —the demand is there, we just need to provide attractive places that meet it. A friend asked me recently whether I thought we had too many bars downtown. My reply was, “No, we have the right amount of bars. We don’t have enough other things.” MV Tony Filipovitch is a professor of urban studies at Minnesota State University and teaches and publishes research in nonprofit leadership and management.


Cover Story

The Historic Blue Earth County Courthouse is one of the iconic architectural landmarks in Mankato.

Making the old new again Renovation of historic, older buildings embraced

By Tim Krohn | Photos by John Cross and Pat Christman 22 â&#x20AC;˘ August 2012 â&#x20AC;˘ MN Valley Business


“Yes you have to tear this down. Other times you can often salvage some of it,” Brunton said.

Mark Cipos, who leads Mankato-based I&S Group’s architect and design team.

T

Cipos and his team did the design work on the former Heco building that now includes the I&S offices as well as US Bank.

MN Valley Business • August 2012 • 23

Cover Story

he loss of historic buildings in Mankato and North Mankato is well documented and, now, widely lamented. Progress — from the Schmidt house giving way to the YMCA to the decimation of many downtown buildings to create the Mankato Mall — took away significant pieces of old architecture. The reason it happened — then and to a lesser extent today — is simple. “It’s a heck of a lot easier building a new building than renovating and reusing an old one,” said Cory Brunton of North Mankato-based Brunton Architects. Still, the cities have for the past decade made concerted progress on reusing old and historic buildings, and business owners more readily embrace making the extra efforts to renovate. “It’s an easier sell now then five or 10 years ago,” said Bryan Paulsen of Mankato-based Paulsen Architects. “I think there’s awareness about the history of the community, awareness about preservation, awareness about sustainability.” Mark Cipos, who leads Mankato-based I&S Group’s architect and design team, said a poor economy also made people look at reuse. “After the economic downturn, people started looking at buildings and saying the structural portion of the building has good integrity, so why not eliminate the cost of foundations and walls and roofs.” Brunton said that more people embracing green building and energy efficiency ties in with reuse of older buildings. “There was energy and effort put in when it was originally built and that can’t be ignored when you’re reusing it. We look at what is usable, what part of the structure can we use and what is the cost versus the benefit. Sometimes you have to say,

An architectural hodgepodge The architectural history of Mankato-North Mankato is not defined by any single style. “Some of the oldest buildings in town were homes and their style was all over the board,” Paulsen said. “They go from Greek Revival to Italianate, to Queen Anne, Victorian, Second Empire, Arts and Crafts, Colonial Revival — they’re all over the place. Brunton said Mankato’s collage of styles isn’t unique to many Midwestern cities. “If you were blindfolded and taken to some place like Williamsburg, Penn., and opened your eyes, you’d know you’re in a historic eastern city. If you would come to Mankato, or Willmar or parts of Minneapolis, you wouldn’t be able to identify where you were,” Brunton said. “Which is fine. I’m not a big fan of everything looking the same, and I’m not a fan of trying to regulate what things should look like.” Cipos said the early eclectic architectural styles were influenced by several factors, including an influx of new residents from other parts of the U.S. and overseas. “It didn’t happen by design. It was a matter of different times, different developers and their exposure to different places.” He said that as work continues to redevelop the City Center, the eclectic mix can create a beneficial atmosphere. “We should look at City Center not as an 8-5 place but a 24-hour place to live and work and entertain. So that hodgepodge, that dichotomy, fits in well with an area like that.” Several of the oldest original buildings with significant architecture are churches — structures in which congregations took pride in making imposing places of worship. First Presbyterian, on the corner of Hickory and South Second in downtown Mankato, is a Richardsonian Romanesque style. SS. Peter and Paul, on North Fifth Street, is Gothic Revival.


Cover Story

downtown area, there needs to be some respect for history. But there are different trains of thought among architects.” When Brunton recently built a new building on a vacant lot on Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato — which now houses his office — he strove to make it fit in with the older commercial buildings on each side and along the block. “It’s funny. We have people walk in and say, ‘We love how you renovated the building.’ We say, ‘No, we built it.’ Sometimes they’ll argue with us about it,” Brunton said. Cipos and I&S did the design work on the former Heco building on South Bryan Paulsen, of Paulsen Architects, led the design work during the renovation of the Second Street — now the US Bank Mankato Depot, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Building and home to I&S offices as First Presbyterian, the first religious order in the area, went well as upper-level condos. through three buildings before constructing the current “(The owners) wanted something that spoke to the future of building in 1896. Paulsen said the soaring spires from the two Mankato architecturally,” Cipos said of the building that now churches, along with the tower on the Historic Courthouse, features large expanses of glass, smooth black finishes, brick provide a powerful architectural view of the downtown area. and brushed stainless. “It always struck me that when you drive into Mankato (on “I lean toward paying respect to older buildings, assuming the Veterans Memorial Bridge), you see those three iconic the architecture has value. The Heco didn’t have the history of historic buildings,” Paulsen said. “They are the beacons of our some of the other buildings in the area,” he said. history.” “I’m a contextual architect — I like (renovated buildings) to As for commercial and government buildings, the Courthouse fit within the context of the area.” He said the context of the and the old train Depot on Riverfront Drive, stand out for area around the U.S. Bank Building is a mixture of historic Paulsen, who did the design work on the Depot renovation. buildings such as the Landkamer and Graif buildings, to more “The post office is a beautiful modern looks such as the Wells building,” Cipos said. “And the Fargo and the old Heco, which was Courthouse. Civic buildings need to a decidedly modern building depict some of the pride and grandeur of constructed in the ‘70s. the community.” “The neat thing about South Second Street is it’s a library of Getting the right fit architecture, both modern and Renovating and/or adding on to an old,” Cipos said. older building, or doing new construction When designing for the new in an older area, requires architects to be construction of Pub 500, Paulsen sensitive to the surroundings while also wanted it to look like it had always listening to their clients’ desires. been there, but spiffed up. The lot Paulsen said new buildings can have had been the site of a former gas their own flair, but what’s around them station and repair shop. is important. “A designer has to be “If you sit on the patio and look sensitive to the neighbors, but you don’t on the wall, it looks like there were have to always have it blend in either. garage doors there once and the You can make it fit with a commonality doors were filled in with bricks,” he of some materials.” said of the new building. “And we Brunton said care must especially be used two different brick colors on taken in historic districts. the building to make it look like “I believe you have to be contextually two storefronts that had been on and aesthetically appropriate to the area. the block and connected,” Paulsen That’s important and it’s not always First Presbyterian Church in downtown said. done,” Brunton said. Mankato has Richardsonian Romanesque Two of Paulsen’s favorite projects “Typically when you’re in a historic style architecture. were the design work on the Depot

24 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business


and Old Main. “We did complete exterior and interior renovations. They’re both on the National Historic Register, so you have to follow National Park Service guidelines.” Those guidelines caused some extra headaches for contractors while working on the Depot. While the building was being renovated, a storm sewer line broke and the end of the building began to sink. “The contractor had to pick the brick and stone off the building, photograph it, catalog it and later relay the brick and stone as it originally was.”

Scott Umhoeffer, is president of R.W. Carlstrom Construction, which did the renovation work on Old Main. HeÕs shown here in the Old Main dining room. hammer on it to knock out the partition walls.” His company has done a number of historic renovations, including the Nicollet County Courthouse, Old Main and St. John’s Church. “It’s fun. You get in there and start taking things apart and you never know what you’re going to find. There can be buried chimneys, old piping, all kinds of stuff,” he said. “It’s easier when you have original blueprints, but usually they got lost.” As a builder, Umhoeffer admires what went into building the old structures.

New preservation committee Two years ago Mankato formed an Heritage Preservation Committee to more formally document and try to preserve historic sites. Paulsen, chair of the committee, said the group has formally designated about a half-dozen properties for the local designation. While some properties are listed on the National Register, criteria for getting on the local list is a bit different. “Locally designated means we find them locally historic,” Paulsen said. Private owners of structures on the National Register of Historic Places are under no real restrictions as to what they do with them, as long as there is no federal money involved. The local historic designation doesn’t add any restrictions to the property beyond normal zoning rules. “We aren’t the preservation police,” Paulsen said. He said the preservation committee is likely to set up a review committee that would offer skilled advice if someone is altering a historic building. “It would be a source for guidance

MN Valley Business • August 2012 • 25

Cover Story

Challenges for contractors Renovating historic and older buildings can bring unique challenges for contractors. SS. Peter and Paul Church, on North Fifth Street, is Gothic Revival style. When R.W. Carlstrom started work on renovating and expanding the old Law “The craftsmanship was so good. Everything was done with Enforcement Center, they found out jails hand labor; the workforce had to be so much larger.” were built to last. The Old Main project converted part of the old MSU lower “It was a lot of work. Those things are really well built,” said Scott Umhoeffer, president of the longtime construction campus into an assisted-living complex after fire destroyed other parts of the building. Paulsen was architect on the company. “We had to lift a Bobcat up in there with a pneumatic project. Because it is on the National Register and because of funding sources for the project, there were restrictions on how the renovation could be done. “As far as altering the exterior of the building, there are a lot of restrictions. They want it to look the same as it did,” Umhoeffer said. “You can use modern windows that are energy efficient, but they have to look like the original ones did. There are window manufacturers that specialize in that.”


Professional resources to help grow your business AUTOMOTIVE

Cover Story

Cory Brunton, of Brunton Architects, designed the building, shown behind him across the street, that filled a vacant lot on Belgrade Avenue in North Mankato. on restoration and how to solve certain problems.” The HPC is part of a private/public focus on revitalizing Mankato and North Mankato’s City Center. Cipos is part of the City Center Partnership, made up of downtown business owners, and on the Arts Council, which has expanded public art. “There’s an undeniable push and vibrancy to the City Center that’s not going to stop.” He said the partnership is now looking at the commercial strip on Front Street, from the Mankato Place mall to the Law Enforcement Center. “The idea is to continue down Front Street and look at the bigger picture, not just individual buildings but the larger fabric to create a contiguous framework for new construction or renovations to occur.” Brunton said City Center revitalization is spurring additional interest in the area. “I didn’t realize how fun it is to be downtown until we opened our office. We can go out the door and there’s three restaurants and a convenience store and a post office. It’s wonderful.” Paulsen said the two cities’ programs to provide grants — matched by private funding — for storefront revitalization also is helping the effort. “You can see there’s more pride in properties, all the way from Old Town to Sibley Parkway. Business owners are really taking pride in their properties.” MV Brunton goes over design plans with some of his staff.

Jerry’s Body Shop, Inc. 1671 Madison Ave, Mkto, MN 56001 507-388-4895 www.asashop.org/member/jerrys

EDUCATION MSU Extended Learning MSU-Mankato Campus ext@mnsu.edu 507-389-2572 800-722-0544 x9 www.mnsu.edu/ext

MEDIA The Free Press Media 418 S 2nd Street Mankato, MN 56001 507-625-4451 www.mankatofreepress.com

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH Mankato Clinic Urgent Care 1809 Adams Street Mankato, MN 56001 507-385-4075 www.mankatoclinic.com

For information on including your service to this directory, please contact

Cheryl Olson 26 • August 2012 • MN Valley Business

507-344-6390


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Advancing Business for a Stronger Community

Greater Mankato Growth

Greater Mankato’s New & Improved Website Greater Mankato Growth’s website greatermankato.com has always been more than just a website for our organization, but instead a site that serves the entire business community. Businesses from within and outside the marketplace turn to it for information and resources, and it was with these customers in mind that the new greatermankato.com was created. “While many organization websites focus on the organization itself, this new site focuses on the businesses using the site and what they want and need to find online,” said Jonathan Zierdt, President & CEO of Greater Mankato Growth (GMG). The new site is business development centric, underscoring GMG’s primary role as business development organization. In creating the design and organization for the new site, GMG looked at award winning Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development sites from around the country. “There is so much rich content on our website that we’ve had to be extremely strategic in positioning all the information and resources we have in a way that it can easily be found,” said Zierdt. “The vast majority of this content was on our previous website, but with the new website, but now it’s much easier to find.” The new site does however incorporate some additional new features. One of the most exciting of these enhancements is a new GIS mapping tool for finding available buildings and land, as well as community information. “When site selectors and businesses are looking for a place to build or expand, this is what they want to see on a website for a metropolitan regional center like Greater Mankato,” explained Zierdt. Greater Mankato Growth contracted with GIS Planning to implement the new tool on the website. In 2011, GIS worked with the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED), to create MNProspector.com, which has buildings, sites and community information for the entire state. The buildings and sites from our area that appear on MNProspector.com are automatically fed into the Greater Mankato website. These building and site

listings also appear on GIS’s national website, ZoomProspector. com, a leading resource for site selectors and executives with site selection responsibilities from throughout the country. Another new tool on greatermankato.com is “Business Connection,” which provides a way for businesses to connect with one another in a way they never have before (see page 31 for more information). In addition, other enhancements have been made to the site’s Online Business Directory, Search Tool and Data Download capabilities. The new site also incorporates another valuable feature: flexibility. The site can be changed and updated at any time by GMG staff. “As the needs of our businesses change, so too will our website, because in reality, we are their organization and this is their site,” said Zierdt.

Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development

507.385.6640 • greatermankato.com


2011 in Pictures Manufacturing Events

greatermankato.com markets the region In addition to being more functional and user friendly for businesses, the new and improved greatermankato.com serves another important role: marketing the region. “In the past year we had a business tell us that they made their decision to locate solely from the information they found on our website,” said Jonathan Zierdt. Not surprising, considering that an estimated 90% of site selections start online. When businesses are looking for a place to locate, they use information on the web to “whittle down” their choices and create a short list, and from there may contact Greater Mankato Growth. Given that businesses from around the country using the website to “kick the tires” on Greater Mankato, it was important that the new site project a positive image and position the many assets of our marketplace. “The new sites design is much more becoming of the type of regional business marketplace that we continue to evolve toward,” said Zierdt. And as our marketplace continues to evolve, greatermankato.com will continue to evolve with it.

Join us for the Grand Opening of the new Greater Mankato Website! Dates: August 1 - 31 Location: greatermankato.com/grand-opening Details: Learn about what our new website has to offer and register to win prizes

Manufacturing has changed dramatically over the years, becoming increasingly high tech, often requiring advanced education and providing greater potential for employees. From specialized trades to engineering, opportunities abound in manufacturing. The 2012 Tour of Manufacturing of South Central Minnesota on October 25 will give students, job seekers and the general public an opportunity to learn about what’s manufactured here and the many exciting career opportunities available now and in the future. The event, which is free to attend, is similar to a “Parade of Homes,” with community members able to stop by any participating manufacturer throughout the day to take a tour and learn about the business and industry. Manufacturers interested in participating need to sign up by August 15. The Tour of Manufacturing is put on by the Economic Growth Collaborative of South Central Minnesota and sponsored by the Minnesota Workforce Center and Eide Photos By Sport Pix Bailly. For more information on the Tour of *Manufacturing, visit tourofmanufacturing.com. • march 2012 • 29

Greater Mankato Growth

greatermankato.com Grand Opening

Manufacturers from throughout the region are invited to attend the Greater Mankato Manufacturers Showcase on September 18 at the Verizon Wireless Center. This new event will provide manufacturers with an opportunity to showcase their products and services and to encourage more local supply chain activity among businesses in the Greater Mankato region. Sales staff, purchasing, sourcing and buyers will all benefit from this event. Greater Mankato Growth members who are manufacturers or professional service businesses that support manufacturers (e.g. accounting, banking, engineering, architecture) are encouraged to exhibit. There are 44 exhibit spots for manufacturers and 16 spots for professional service businesses, available on a first come first serve basis. Other companies wishing to share samples of their products with the other attendees will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis with space in the Hallway of events center. For more information on the Greater Mankato Manufacturers Showcase, visit greatermankato.com/manufacturers-showcase.


Member Activities Upcoming Member Events

5:00 - 7:00 p.m. August 7 Chankaska Creek Ranch & Winery September 4 Charter Business October 2 CliftonLarsonAllen

Greater Mankato Growth

2012 Business After Hours Sponsored by

June Business After Hours at North Star Aviation

7:30 - 9:00 a.m. August 15 September 19 October 17

Country Inn & Suites & Conference Center by Carlson HickoryTech Paulsen Architects, Inc.

2012 Business Before Hours Sponsored by

June Business Before Hours at United Prairie Bank - Hilltop

For information on these and other member events visit greatermankato.com/gmg-events.php

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Cavalier Calls on the Newest Greater Mankato Growth members

Nimbus Studios nimbusstudios.com

Business Connection Quick Lane Tire & Auto 1925 Madison Avenue, Mankato mankatoford.com

Smiley Cup 1395 East Madison Avenue, Mankato smiley-cup.com

Wealth Management Resources, LLC 226 North Broad Street, Mankato wmr-net.com

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Greater Mankato Growth

TBEI 52182 Ember Road, Lake Crystal tbei.com

With the roll out of our new website comes a valuable new tool for GMG members. One of the greatest benefits of being a GMG member is the connections made with others in the business community. “Business Connection” makes it possible for you to connect with other members in a whole new way. At its core, it’s a social media community, but created just for GMG members with more flexibility than traditional social media platforms. Members can post their company information events and offers, participate in online forums and connect directly with other GMG members. In addition, Business Connection enables individuals involved in special GMG programs, such as the Young Professionals, to communicate directly with members of the group. Business Connection also can help businesses communicate their news to the outside world as well. When businesses post their news releases and articles about themselves on Business Connect, once approved, they automatically appear in the Business News section on the front page and in the News Room of the Greater Mankato Growth website, as well as GMG’s Facebook, and Twitter sites. The best way to learn about all the benefits of Business Connection is to try it for yourself, so login today at gmgbusinessconnection.com.


Greater Mankato Growth

growth

in Greater Mankato

NEW BUSINESS – Bent River Outfitter 530 North Riverfront Drive, Suite B30, Mankato

NEW BUSINESS – Cross Roads Advanced Clinical Massage 530 North Riverfront Drive, Suite 130, Mankato

GROUND BREAKING – House of Hope 1429 Third Avenue, Mankato

NEW BUSINESS – Natural Pathways 229 Belgrade Avenue, North Mankato

Major removation – Orness Plaza 900 Hope Street, Mankato

NEW LOCATION – US Bank 115 East Hickory Street, Suite 100, Mankato

Does your business have an upcoming miles stone moment, like a ground breaking or ribbon cutting? The Greater Mankato Growth Ambassadors are here to help you celebrate! Call 507.385.6640 to schedule. EXPANSION – Mankato Family YMCA 1401 South Riverfront Drive, Mankato

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40 Years of Bringing People together By Christine Nessler Marketing & Leisure Sales Director before the 1862 U.S. - Dakota War. A $7 button will provide access to the Pow Wow for the weekend. It is open to the public. In keeping with the theme of reconciliation, visitors and participants, native and non-native alike are welcome. The event includes the beautiful regalia of the dancers, traditional music, delicious foods and beautiful crafts. The Mdewakanton Club still works hard bridging the gap through education. The Mahkato Annual Traditional Pow Wow offers a unique opportunity to heal, learn and celebrate. Since 1987 an educational program involving third grade children has taken place in conjunction with the Pow Wow. Children, teachers, parents and a Native American resource participate in a direct cultural exchange. A Learning Center Tent is also made available at the Pow Wow for anyone wanting to learn more about the Native American culture. Take time to discover another culture and learn more about the history of Mankato this September at the Mahkato Annual Traditional Pow-Wow. To find out more about the Pow Wow or the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 go to visitgreatermankato. com

Greater Mankato Growth

For 40 years the Mahkato Annual Traditional Pow Wow Honoring the 38 Dakota has been held in Mankato. This year the event is September 21 - 23 at Land of Memories Park in Mankato. The Pow Wow is especially significant as we remember the US-Dakota War of 1862. It has been 150 years since the US - Dakota War. At least 450 white settlers and soldiers lost their lives, along with many unrecorded Dakota casualties and forced removals. In 2012 we try to understand the events leading up to the conflict, along with the grim outcome - the simultaneous hanging of 38 Dakota on December 26, 1862. It was the largest mass execution in U.S. History. The U.S. – Dakota War also was the largest attack on settlers in the history of the United States. During this year of healing and understanding, the history of the Pow Wow makes the event even more important. The Pow Wow was built on the foundation of friendship. It all started back in the late 1950s because of Amos Owen and Bud Lawrence. Owen was a Dakota elder, pipe maker and a spiritual advisor for many from the Prairie Island Medewakanton Community. Lawrence was a businessman from Mankato. The two friends developed the first Pow Wow in Mankato since the 1800s. It was held at the YMCA in 1965. Beginning in 1972, the event grew to an annual three-day traditional Dakota Mahkato Mdewakanton Pow Wow and has been held on the third weekend of September ever since. Because of the Pow Wow, the Mdewakanton Club was formed with the purpose of bridging the gap in Indian-White relations in the Mankato area. The Mahkato Annual Traditional Pow Wow Honoring the 38 Dakota is a gathering of Native Americans from a number of tribes. The Pow Wow is held at Mankato’s Land of Memories Park, where the Dakota people held many ceremonies and gatherings

The Greater Mankato Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is an affiliate of Greater Mankato Growth (GMG), operated as an LLC under GMC.The CVB is dedicated to the important work of attracting and servicing visitors to Greater Mankato.

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The dynamics of a regional center Regional Outlook

Mankato’s growth trends could catapult it even higher among regional centers

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n late 2008 the status became official: that the Mankato-North Mankato region was changed by the federal Office of Management and Budget from a Micropolitan Area to become Minnesota’s newest Metropolitan Statistical Area. Of course, most local officials knew this change of status was coming as all of the population estimates since the 2000 Census suggested that the 50,000 threshold was near and most expected that this would be confirmed as soon as the 2010 Census was completed. But getting the official status declared in late 2008 was to some an early Christmas present. It opened the door for new levels and categories of federal funding and more importantly, it put south central Minnesota on the screen of many corporations and their siteselection firms seeking to expand to new, emerging and dynamic metropolitan areas. But is the population size of the region the only factor that makes a region dynamic? What about MSAs like Detroit and Cleveland whose size far surpasses south central Minnesota’s, but whose economy has stalled and population decreasing? No, the true measure of a dynamic region is its ability to both serve as a hub and magnet for new job creation and sales; as well as its capacity to reciprocate growth in its smaller outlying region. So it was with great interest that I read a recent report focusing on the “Trade Center Hierarchy in Greater Minnesota” by U of M researchers William Craig and Bruce Schwartau: http://www.cura.umn.edu/sites/cura. advantagelabs.com/files/publications/ Reporter-41-3&4-Craig-rev2.pdf Like many demographic and economic researchers before them, Craig and Schwartau rank greater Minnesota communities by their 2009 taxable retail and service sales. But in addition to this simple ranking of sales, they also examine changes in the population size, retail sales, and sales per capita. For you see, it is in these statistics that one can get sense of how dynamic the economy of a trade center really is; i.e. is the community truly serving a broader region, or is it primarily serving its own population? A simple example of this is to look at the communities of Willmar and Alexandria. Willmar is by far the larger

of the two communities with a 2010 population of 19,610; while Alexandria’s population is significantly smaller at 11,070. Yet the smaller Alexandria had retail and service sales in 2009 totaling $287 million, while the much larger Willmar’s sales were only at $282 million. In fact retail and service sales grew in Alexandria (1990-2009) at a rate of 68 percent, while sales growth in Willmar was less than half at 31 percent. Translated into sales per capita, the smaller Alexandria reported sales of $25,958 per person in 2009, while the larger Willmar reported similar sales of $14,382 per person. Clearly it suggests that Alexandria is serving as a trade center that is drawing upon a much larger area and possibly a more affluent population than Willmar. And as one who visits both of these communities on a periodic basis, I can attest to the significant growth in retail shops, strip malls and hotels in Alexandria over the past decade, while such growth was not as apparent in Willmar. So how did the Mankato-North Mankato MSA fair in these rankings? Well the short answer is extremely well. Of all greater Minnesota Cities it is clear that Mankato deserves its spot at number 4 in the rankings, behind Rochester, Duluth and St. Cloud. While Mankato’s 2009 sales were just shy of $1 billion ($904 million to be exact), the remaining three all surpassed the billion dollar mark with Rochester leading the pack at nearly $1.2 billion. However, what really secured Mankato’s ranking at number 4 was the sales figure for number 5 Brainerd, whose sales were $421 million — less than half of Mankato’s. Clearly, the Mankato-North Mankato MSA deserves its place and status with greater Minnesota’s other metro areas. But what was truly most impressive was the sales growth of the MankatoNorth Mankato region. While sales from 1990-2009 grew at a rate of 39 percent in Rochester; 27 percent in Duluth; and 42 percent in St. Cloud; sales grew in Mankato over the same time period at a rate of 123 percent (from $406 million in 1990 to $904 million in 2009). Translated into sales per capita, the Mankato area actually generated $17,153 in retail and service sales per

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By Jack M. Geller, Ph.D ■ “What was truly most impressive was the sales growth of the Mankato-North Mankato region.” resident, while the similar numbers are $10,976, $10,986 and 10,041 for Rochester, Duluth and St. Cloud respectively. As I noted earlier, having a large enough population to create a critical mass is certainly an important factor in creating a dynamic regional center, but population alone is not enough. Rather the ability of a community to evolve into a truly dynamic regional center for sales, service, health care, education, the arts and entertainment is the true test. And based upon this analysis, it certainly seems like the Mankato-North Mankato MSA is passing this test quite successfully. With a 2010 population of 52,703, the Mankato-North Mankato MSA is half the size of the St. Cloud MSA at 101,206. Yet in 2009 it reported 89 percent of the retail and service sales of the St. Cloud MSA. If this trajectory continues will Mankato jump to the number 2 spot by 2020? MV Geller is professor & head of the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He also serves as director of the federally funded EDA University Center at UMC. He can be reached at gelle045@umn.edu


Up and Coming

Tracy and Lora Mickley (front left) and their staff at Midwest Knifemakers Supply in North Mankato.

Honing their business Mickleys grow knifemaking niche business By Jean Lundquist Photos By John Cross

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The Mickley’s business is tucked away on Lake Street in North Mankato. racy Mickley of North Mankato likes to make knives. Part of being good in business is knowing your customers. He grew to be so good at his hobby that some of the “We sell a lot internationally. One of our biggest customers is knives he made sold for nearly a thousand dollars. He in Russia. Another is in France,” according to Mickley. “Some knew where to find all the pieces and parts needed to make customers are women, but most are men,” she adds. quality knives. The mail order business is a bit unusual in that it has never Tracy’s hobby grew into a business as he started to offer produced a catalog. Its success has all been online. “All of our those parts to other knife makers. As Lora Mickley, Tracy’s business is e-commerce,” says Mickley. Part of that success wife recalls it, “We had products comes through an on line everywhere. Our basement was full, forum her husband runs, our garages, our utility room, the called Knife Dogs. office. We were overflowing.” “Most knife making That was six years ago, when the companies don’t have an Mickleys decided to move their accomplished knife maker. business, Midwest Knifemakers People from novice to highly Supply, to 1350 Lake Street in North skilled come to Tracy for Mankato. With Tracy still working a advice. His experience is a big full time job elsewhere, the business plus for the company,” she fell to Lora to operate. says. In addition to the forum, “I agreed to help out,” she laughs, the company also posts advice “and now look where I am.” Where and tips on its website. “That she is, is in charge of a company that makes us different from our has doubled its business every year for competitors,” says Mickley. the last four years. That’s been an Mickley also credits achievement that is hard to match in exceptional customer service a down economy. and an ever-growing line of Lora Mickley knows her knife products with Midwest making, though she has yet to make a Knifemakers growth. “It’s true knife. “I started a couple last year, but that people make the I’ve been too busy to finish them.” difference,” Mickley says of But watching Tracy over the past two her employees. “The people decades has taught her a lot about not here are the best in the world. just the components of making a They work hard, and they care knife, but what it takes to make a about what’s going on.” good knife. “It takes patience, To provide the best possible practice and finesse. It requires customer service, orders are working with metal, and it results in Some of Tracy Mickley’s finished knives, which are in placed in a box in the a work of art.” warehouse area. A “picker” high demand by collectors.

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Up and Coming

MN Valley Business • august 2012 • 37


Up and Coming

Buffing wheels are some of 4,800 items on the shelves. goes through the order, and picks the products from the shelf. A second person then goes through and checks the order for accuracy. With over 4,800 items on the shelves, there is a lot to check. From the multiple colors of knife handle materials to the sizes of screws ordered, all must all be double checked before leaving the building. Besides selling the components needed to make a knife, Midwest Knifemakers Supply also sells products needed to turn the components into a knife. For example, Tracy designed a “no-weld grinder” for grinding blades. All components for making the grinder, except the motor, are available from the company. “The parts sell for about a thousand dollars,” Mickley explains. “To buy one ready made would cost twice that. We’ve sold thousands of these kits.” “Our business is a niche business,” says Mickley. Within that niche, however, she tries to accommodate all knife makers. From someone making a pocket knife to a tactical knife or a hunting knife, supplies are on hand. Recently, the company has branched out to sell tie-in items. Mickley cites “survival items, safety items, storage items for shops and DVDs and books” as examples. “We want to round out our sales, and provide people with all they want in this area.” “I knew nothing about knife making when I told Tracy I’d help him out,” Mickley says. As she walks through the warehouse area, she points to different areas and materials as evidence of how thoroughly she has learned her business. In the handles materials area, she points to natural materials such as buffalo bone and wood, to the most popular product, called Micarta, which is a synthetic material. In another aisle, she points out different belts and abrasives for grinding blades. In still another, it’s about the different lengths and grades of steel needed to make a blade. Aware of the aesthetics of the business, there is also an aisle with beads for making lanyards and

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the like. “Skulls are huge right now,” she says. S o w h a t’s next for Midwest

High-grade stainless steel blanks are sold to knifemakers to make blades.

Knifemakers Supply? “The future is always a challenge,” says Mickley. “Not a struggle, but a challenge.” One constant challenge, Mickley says, is finding new efficiencies. “The more efficient we are, the more profitable we are,” she says. Mickley also hopes to put out a catalog in the future, if only to promote the art of making knives. With 4,800 products and more added all the time, that could also prove a challenge. For more information, visit USAKnifeMaker.com, and check out the knife makers forum at KnifeDogs.com.# MV

Antlers for making knife handles are a popular item.


Community Group

300 St. Andrews Drive, Suite 110 Mankato, MN â&#x20AC;˘ 507-388-1111

www.weichertcommunitygroup.com


Profile

Tami Norberg Paulsen helped organize the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour in the Mankato and North Mankato city centers. The event is in its second year.

Artistic entrepreneur

Norberg Paulsen has passion for business, civic growth By Marie Wood Photos By by John Cross hen Tami Norberg Paulsen began her career in management and marketing for C&N Sales, her family’s Mankato-based company that sells pool tables, electronic dart boards, video games, and vending services, she was a novelty in the industry, because she was a woman. Norberg Paulsen never expected special treatment and often worked harder to prove herself to male colleagues. “That’s the way I approach everything in my career — doing the best I can,” said Norberg Paulsen. Norberg Paulsen graduated in 1980 from the University of Minnesota School of Business when only 10 percent of the graduating class were women. After graduation, she joined the family business. Norberg Paulsen launched C&N’s pool and dart leagues, which is the largest league system in the country. And she can

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throw. She won a trophy for throwing a 6 darts out, which is a perfect 301 game using only 6 darts. Norberg Paulsen’s aim is still true as secretary/treasurer and director of business & marketing of Paulsen Architects and a civic leader who has helped revitalize Mankato’s City Center. For 18 years, Norberg Paulsen worked along side her father and brother at C&N Sales. Bryan Paulsen, her high school sweetheart and husband, worked his way through architecture school and returned to Mankato, because C&N posed a great opportunity for Norberg Paulsen. “The video game industry was exploding. It was a very dynamic business,” said Norberg Paulsen. In the 1980s, Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Asteroids revolutionized the arcade industry. Norberg Paulsen was at the forefront in video game placement, computerizing C&N’s inventory, opening offices in four states, and representing the industry worldwide.


Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Now the Justice Center is one of the first LEED certified jails in the country, noted Norberg Paulsen. Civic leadership While still in her twenties, Norberg Paulsen was schooled in community service by Denny Dotson and Fred Lutz when she served on the civic center task force in the 1980s. “That was really exiting. That helped form my passion for community service,” said Norberg Paulsen. Norberg Paulsen has continued to serve on a number of boards, including the City Center Partnership, Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, and the 2001 expansion of the Mankato YMCA and Taylor Family Aquatic Center. “I enjoy being on boards and part of steering committees to help our community and make it a better place,” said Norberg Paulsen. Norberg Paulsen has been instrumental in Envision 2020. She served as co-chairperson and is leading efforts to implement the plan in our community. “There have been many important community initiatives that simply would not have moved forward without Tami’s leadership, the most recent example being the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour of which she was a driving force,” said Jonathan Zierdt, president and CEO of Greater Mankato Growth. With public art identified as an Envision 2020 goal, Norberg Paulsen worked with Twin Rivers Council for the Arts to initiate the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour. She gathered support from businesses, which fund about 90 percent of the sculpture tour. “Tami is an artistic entrepreneur,” said Timothy Berry, interim executive director of Twin Rivers Council for the Arts. For Norberg Paulsen, it’s awesome to see so many people with their coffees, children and brochures looking at the sculptures on weekend mornings. “In every one of these experiences, you get to meet people you might not know in the same way. That’s really invigorating to me. In the end I get more out of it than I put in. Those experiences have enhanced my life,” said Norberg Paulsen.

Cutting edge The Paulsens perform different functions at the office, but they are single-minded in their goals for the architecture firm. MV “When Bryan founded the firm, it was to take design to a new level. When I joined in business and marketing, we decided to be on the cutting edge and to be a leader in our industry,” said Norberg Paulsen. The firm made a conscious decision to design and engineer green, sustainable buildings, which was not ■ easy at first, explained Norberg Paulsen. Norberg Paulsen credits Envision 2020 for identifying Director of business & marketing, Paulsen Architects green building as a strategic goal for Greater Mankato. She has witnessed the commitment to green building by Sam Walton Business Leader Award Blue Earth County commissioners, Mankato City Mankato YWCA Woman of Distinction Council members and Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges. Rotary Club of Mankato Service Above Self Award “We’re very grateful by the community and region’s response to sustainability,” said Norberg Paulsen. Greater Mankato Growth 2006 Volunteer of the Year Award The Blue Earth County Justice Center was a pivotal City Center Partnership 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award project for Paulsen Architects. Blue Earth County commissioners pushed for a LEED (Leadership in

Tami Norberg Paulsen

MN Valley Business • august 2012 • 41

Profile

Growing Paulsen Architects In 1998, Norberg Paulsen sold her share of C&N and joined her husband in his architecture firm, to help grow the firm, manage human resources, and direct business and marketing. “When she (Norberg Paulsen) took over business administration and marketing, that allowed me to concentrate on architecture and securing clients. From that point on, we just skyrocketed,” said Bryan Paulsen, principal architect. Paulsen Architects is known for multi-million dollar projects and striking architecture: Rasmussen College, Rosa Parks Elementary School and Verizon Wireless to name a few. They have renovated and repurposed buildings including the St. Peter Food Co-op, Landkamer and Graif buildings. Norberg Paulsen prepares proposals and presentations during the Requests for Proposals (RFP) process when firms bid and secure projects. She produces marketing materials, as well. Plus Norberg Paulsen is called on to inform and engage citizens and stakeholders in new public facilities. Today Paulsen Architects has 18 employees and a renovated office in downtown Mankato. An open area with many windows houses employee work stations and tables to view plans. Wood and glass walls display photos of Paulsen’s projects. Community service is part of the culture. Employees donate their time to nonprofits as part of The 1 percent pro bono design program. Recent projects include Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society’s shelter and Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. Norberg Paulsen described her and Bryan Paulsen as a “good combination.” Both are Type A personalities, but Norberg Paulsen said she is passionate and fired up while her husband is calm and thoughtful. Plus their office duties are separate of each other. “It works really well here. I can’t design a building so I can’t interfere,” said Norberg Paulsen. “Sometimes I barely see him during the day. That’s why it works so well.”


All in the Family Toni King and her father, Rock, operate Sun Up Fence near Madison Lake.

Not fenced in King expands family’s Sun Up Fence business By Sara Gilbert Frederick Photos By John Cross

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oni King was 12 years old when she started helping out at Sun Up Construction, a small landscaping business that her grandfather, Rocky, had started in St. Peter in 1989. At that age, her duties were limited to cleaning, loading and unloading trucks and helping to maintain equipment. By the time she was 18, however, she was installing fences and helping with the landscaping in the field. It wasn’t long before she was also managing the office and doing some of the estimating for new projects. By that point, her father, who had taken over ownership of the business when Rocky retired in 1992, had started focusing more on fencing services and had moved the company to Madison Lake. He was working primarily with utility companies then. When King bought the controlling shares of the company from her dad

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in 2009, she continued in that direction but started expanding the market beyond utilities to include governmental agencies and commercial businesses as well. Fencing is now the centerpiece of the business; landscaping services have essentially been eliminated. Today, King is the president of Sun Up Construction. Her father works as a foreman in the field. But his influence is still present in King’s approach to the business, and her development as its leader. MN Valley Business: Tell me about your involvement in the business. Toni King: I have worked for Sun Up since I was 12 as a shop helper, until I was old enough to start working out in the field on projects. In 2007 I started to manage the office and estimate new


All in the Family The current fencing business, and a related sandblasting business, grew out of Sun Up Construction business started by Toni’s grandfather. projects. I don’t think either my father or I thought much own project planning with the confidence and skills I need. about me taking over the company until 2009 came. I’m grateful for the overall experience and work ethic my father has MVB: Are any other family members involved in the business? passed onto me. I’ve worked hard through several different TK: My two siblings are not, but my uncle, Louie King, has positions at Sun Up, which has given me a well-rounded been there to mentor me on estimating, plan reading and knowledge of what it takes to make the company run smoothly. understanding what a general contractor is looking for in a subcontractor. He has given me confidence in situations when I have to meet with engineers and large general contractors that MVB: Was it important for to you to work with your Dad? TK: I think it was important to me and my father to keep Sun my word, as a subcontractor, has just as much value (as theirs). Up in the family. I was determined to succeed. The challenge of women in the construction industry has never scared me MVB: What are you most proud of about the business? away from a project yet. Knock on wood, I guess. TK: The increase of sales over the last couple of years. It is rewarding to know that hard work pays off. MVB: What have you learned from working with your dad? TK: It’s hard to work with family. MVB: Is there a story behind the name of the business? TK: The name was technically given to the company by my MVB: What do you bring to the business that is different or grandmother in the 1980s, when she went to file the name with the state. My grandfather, Rocky, wanted to call it Sunset adds something new? TK: I have been able to expand our customer list to include Construction. Sunset was taken, so she just changed it to Sun state and federal projects and advertisement. I have worked Up Construction. MV closely with the Small Business Development Center in Mankato, educating myself on project costing and financial projections that help me run Sun Up more effectively. MVB: How has the SBDC been most helpful to you? TK: The best thing I have gotten from the SBDC is financial education. I can go to the bank or the accountant and lead my

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Business Memos/Company News

Lipetzky joins Blethen, Gage & Krause Blethen, Gage & Krause has added Amy L. Lipetzky as the firm’s newest associate attorney. She practices in the areas of family law, employment law, personal injury, insurance and general litigation. She is also qualified as a Rule 114 mediator.

AmericInn a top wedding host The AmericInn Hotel & Conference Center in Mankato received Wedding Wire Bride’s Choice Award in the Ceremony and Reception category. The annual awards recognize the hotel as being in the top five percent of wedding professionals in the Wedding Wire local vendor group, comprised of more than 200,000 wedding professionals in the United States and Canada.

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Amy Lipetzky

■■■ Hoelmer joins Gislason & Hunter David Hoelmer has joined Gislason & Hunter. He has extensive experience from a 34 year career with AgStar where he also served as general counsel since the early 1990s. During that time he also served on Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s Livestock Advisory Task Force. He worked closely with a variety of ag Davis Hoelmer organizations in seeking passage of laws related to agriculture in Minnesota. He is also a lecturer on agricultural issues. Hoelmer is a graduate of Minnesota State University and William Mitchell College of Law. Hoelmer will be focusing his practice on business development activities for the firm with the agriculture and business industries. ■■■ Bluth on Best Lawyers list Joseph Bluth of Manahan and Bluth Law Office of Mankato has been selected for inclusion in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Family Law. Bluth has been listed in the Best Lawyers for more than 10 years. Selection to Best Lawyers is based on a peer review survey by top attorneys in the country. Bluth has been practicing law in Mankato since 1984. ■■■ Doctor named teacher of the year Dr. Vincent D. LaPorte of Marshall received the 2012 Adjunct Faculty Teacher of the Year Award from the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. There are eight University family medicine residency clinic sites in Minnesota, including at Eastridge Clinic in Mankato where LaPorte teaches family medicine residents. Each year one full-time teacher and one adjunct teacher is chosen by the residents to receive the Teacher of the Year Award from among the teachers at all eight sites. LaPorte is retired after 33 years of Family Medicine in Marshall.

44 • august 2012 • MN Valley Business

Frein an “Up & Coming” attorney Blethen, Gage and Krause announce that associate attorney Jessica Frein has been chosen by the staff of Minnesota Lawyer as an Up & Coming Attorney for 2012. Every year Minnesota Lawyer honors a group of lawyers new to the profession as Up Jessica Frein & Coming Attorneys. Nominees for this award come from private practice, government work and in-house legal departments and are nominated by members of the Minnesota legal community for distinguishing themselves early in their legal career. ■■■ I&S Group opens in La Crosse I&S Group has opened a new office in La Crosse. This becomes the sixth office location for I&S Group across Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Chad Surprenant, president of the company, said the office will serve current La Crosse area clients and new business partners, as well as regional and national clients. I&S has a staff of 125. ■■■ McClure Agency acquired Rochester-based C. O. Brown Insurance Agency has acquired the McClure Agency in Mankato. C.O. Brown’s Mankato location, in Old Town, will now have three full-time agents: Deb Cerny, Mary McClure, and Brenda Seys, along with three account managers: Emilee Iverson, Carrie Thorson, and Bridget Satre. McClure has been servicing the Mankato area since 1982. ■■■ Koerselman elected vice chair Eide Bailly elected Linda Koerselman, of the Mankato office, to serve as vice chair of its board of directors. Koerselman, a CPA, has more than 20 years public accounting experience with an emphasis in financial institution taxation and consulting, closely held business and individual taxation, and small business consulting.


Lloyd Management a top workplace Lloyd Management has been named one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Minnesota as a result of an employee-based survey through the Star Tribune. Lloyd Management was ranked 13th on the small company list. ■■■ Bolton & Menk open Rochester office Bolton & Menk Consulting Engineers and Surveyors opened a new office in Rochester on July 1. The office is managed by Brian Malm, who brings over 16 years of civil and municipal engineering experience. ■■■

To submit your company or employee news. e-mail to tkrohn@mankatofreepress.com Put “Business memo” in the subject line. Call or e-mail Associate Editor Tim Krohn at tkrohn@mankatofreepress.com or 344-6383 for questions.

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A Fitting Memorial On July 4th, the Manakto Veterans Memorial Place was dedicated to the thousands of men and women in the region who have served our country. I&S is proud to have donated design and construction administration services for the project. We want to extend a special thanks to those who have given of their time, families, and in many cases their lives in service to our country. I&S Group â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a proud partner in our community. Learn more at www.is-grp.com.

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