Staff Directory 10646026

Neal St. Anthony

Columnist, reporter | Business
Email: Neal.St.
Phone: 612-673-7144
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Neal St. Anthony has been a Star Tribune business columnist/reporter since 1984. 

St. Anthony's work has spanned corporate takeovers to financial markets, small businesses, and the emergence of women, immigrants and minorities in business. A native of Minneapolis who first joined the Star Tribune in 1981, St. Anthony holds undergraduate degrees in journalism and business, and an MBA. He also has worked for two publicly held companies, including former regional securities firm Dain Rauscher (1997-98). St. Anthony, who is married and the father of two children, has been a volunteer with the Minneapolis parks, several schools and nonprofit organizations.
Recent content from Neal St. Anthony
Anna Tsantir, owner of Two Bettys Green Cleaning in Minneapolis, had to abruptly lay off more than 120 workers.

Minneapolis green cleaning firm gets swept out by virus downturn

The owners of many small businesses have been forced into making hard choices they didn't see coming.
Keidy and Gene Palusky of Edina will ship about 2,000 solar-powered XTorches to Haiti and the Dominican Republic this month.

Edina couple's solar-powered XTorch lights the way for low-income people around globe

The solar-powered flashlight, lantern and cellphone charger is a game-changer.
Tina Rexing was forced to close down her new T-Rex Cookie shop in Ridgedale Center, but is determined to keep her promising business going in the viru

T-Rex Cookie founder retains resiliency in face of coronavirus

Tina Rexing's company had to shutter its two-week-old mall location and lay off new workers, among other steps to adjust to the changing economy.

SBA ramps up business loans as Fed pledges action

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) opened the spigot for low-interest federal-disaster loans for working capital to Minnesota small businesses suffering economic injury as a…
Bartender/server Penny Masuku, left, and co-owner Barb Gardiner shut down Hen House restaurant in downtown Minneapolis on Monday.

Twin Cities restaurant workers are among first victims of shutdown

Eateries were ordered shut except for takeout, so many had to lay off employees.
Dan Larson, senior vice president of marketing at Arctic Wolf (left) and Chief Revenue Officer Nick Schneider are based in Eden Prairie.

How Silicon Valley's Arctic Wolf made it to Minnesota's 'Silicon Prairie'

Arctic Wolf looks to double the size of its cybersecurity office in Minnesota.
A federal regulator this month fined a former U.S. Bancorp executive in connection with the bank’s lax money laundering-prevention practices.

Regulators going after wayward bankers

It's further evidence that federal regulators are increasingly targeting culprits on executive row.
Rick Huebsch heads the U’s tech commercialization efforts.

University of Minnesota technology startups have raised $1.15B in capital

The turn started about 12 years ago, amid harsh criticism that the University of Wisconsin was doing a demonstrably better job.
“I believe in our core values of humility, respect and integrity,” said EVS founder Dennis Kim, right, with his son and current CEO Andy Kim. Abou

Eden Prairie engineering firm EVS chased the sun to a bright future in solar energy

The fast-growing civil-engineering firm nearly failed during the building slowdown of the 2007-09 Great Recession but now grows its business in several states, including Minnesota.
Shoppers flooded Costco caused a checkout line at the Maple Grove Costco to stretch to the back of the store Friday.

Some Minnesota stores draw huge crowds as consumers hunt for TP and soup

Big-box stores fill up with nest-building shoppers while restaurants and stores empty out downtown.
CEO and co-owner Keia Isaacson turned a basement startup into Lakeside Floor Coverings of Fridley, which employs 12.

Fridley business owner Keia Isaacson adds 12 years of increasing value at Lakeside Flooring

Contractors leader has had a tough climb up ladder.
John Koneck has served as president of Fredrikson & Byron for 14 years and sees no advantage to joining a larger, national firm.

Fredrikson & Byron president explains why law firm won't lean into merger wave

John Koneck said the Minneapolis-based firm need not merge for scale or geographic diversification, as several Twin Cities firms have in recent years
Patrick Donohue and Nick Ehret of Hill Capital Corp. devised an “equity based note” that doesn’t demand majority control.

Patience a virtue for Minnesota's Hill Capital Corp. as it launches $10 million fund

The Hill Capital crew has taken an organic approach by hosting "Empire Builders" open events and participating in as many as 200 other networking meetings and programs.
Carpenter Alica Whitmore, left, who took control of her personal finances in 2011 thanks to Prepare + Prosper, is seen with P+P Executive Director Tra

Prepare + Prosper prepares low-income folks prepare for an enriched future

Prepare + Prosper, with a small budget of $2.3 million funded largely by foundation, business and individual donors, has a significant impact.
Alonzo Nelson, a Tech Dump electronic repair technician.

'Fair repair' movement gaining ground with Minnesota legislators

"Fair repair" legislation is under consideration in Minnesota to force manufacturers to share their repair manuals and parts with independent repair shops.
A judge set parameters around the sprawling legal dispute over the future of Bremer Bank, Minnesota's fourth-largest.

Judge sets deadlines on Bremer suits; AG's probe to go on

A former top federal prosecutor was also tapped to serve as a "special master" in the dispute.
Patrick Leder, a one-time IT professional, is the founder of Leder Games, a St. Paul-based board game company that has raised capital and is generatin

The IT refugee from St. Paul has become a board-game industry luminary

A roll of the dice pays off big for a St. Paul board game creator.
Suleyman Osman, shown here with his supervisor Katrena Proffitt, was one of the 300-plus high school students placed in internships by Genesys Works.

Google pledges $1M to five Minnesota nonprofit firms

Google this week pledged $1 million to five Minnesota social enterprises. The five are winners of the Google.org Impact Challenge Minnesota competition launched last fall,…
Summit Academy of Minneapolis provides free training that is supported by growing relationships with private employers such as Atomic Data. Jim Wolfor

Minority employment surges among Twin Cities employers

Partnerships are providing jobs for students and workers for businesses. Employment of people of color in the seven-county metropolitan area rose 50% between 2010 and 2018.
Kyla Sharp, an assembler of electronic control panels, sees her job as a career at growing Design Ready Controls in Brooklyn Park.

Technical and artistic, this worker embodies the Twin Cities factory worker of the future

Single mom finds herself building a career after training program.
Gov. Tim Walz, at a 2019 Minnesota Chamber of Commerce event, has shown a willingness to compromise on some spending issues with business lobbies.

Minnesota business getting more comfortable with Gov. Tim Walz

Some Republican legislators gulped when the DFL Gov. Tim Walz proposed a $2 billion capital-spending bill focused on fixing roads, bridges and renovating frayed-edge public…
Justin Butler's small business, Duck Donuts, was spared thanks to a Washington County court ruling against a subcontractor that was not paid in 2019 b

Twin Cities small business wins one against subcontractor in wake of Thor Construction collapse

Owner begins effort to change Minnesota law.
A Minnesota Commercial Railway train headed along the 6.5-mile spurl line from White Bear Lake to a Hugo industrial park.

Small rail operators looking for $91 million in Minnesota help over several years

The economic ripple created by a $1.5 million state investment a few years ago in a freight-rail spur line south of White Bear Lake, has…
The Bremer Bank branch in IDS Center in Minneapolis.

Bremer's profit rose 7% in 2019, and it gave $80M to the trust it's fighting

The financial-services company posted an above-industry average return on equity of 13% last year and return on assets of 1.22%.
Regis salson in downtown Minneapolis.

Regis accelerating transition to all franchise-owned salons

The company expects to its transition will be 'substantially complete' by the end of 2020.
Bloomington-based Toro, an active acquirer in recent years, is spending $167.5 million to broaden its portfolio of snow- and ice-management products.

Minnesota saw more deals in 2019, but with smaller price tags

Minnesota acquisitions, mergers went small in 2019
Sofia Fund principals, from left, Lisa Crump, Joy Lindsay, CEO Cathy Connett and Dee Thibodeau.

Health care drew huge venture-capital investments in 2019

Health care — and sewers — drew big VC investments
Howard Root and Annette Flores of Elux Marine of Mayer, Minn., are ramping up their heir electric-powered pontoon boat compay, Elux Marine of Mayer, M

Former Minnesota med-tech executive hitting gas on his electric pontoon venture

Howard Root plans to double sales of his Elux Marine's Breeze and Stealth pontoons this year, he said recently at the Minneapolis Boat Show.
Great Clips stylist Zariyah Chude cut the hair of Bill Betzler of Brooklyn Center on Thursday. “They give me good service,” said Betzler, a 15-yea

On the cutting edge: Great Clips grows as competitors trim staff

Privately owned Great Clips continues to grow while its competitors have seen harder times
Bare Honey CEO Dustin Vanasse works with solar-energy developers on rural land to plant native plants and maintain hives.

'Solar honey' emerging as a win-win for clean-energy proponents, Minn. beekeepers

Pollinator-based products, from lip balm to honey-infused beer, is a fast-growing trend, Minnesota ag officials say.
Jessica Gerard, owner of Flirt Boutique, left, and Megan McGuire, owner of Up Six Vintage in St. Paul.

Entrepreneurs look to keep it real at the corner of Selby and Snelling

The women who make up the majority of the 25 small businesses within a strong-arm throw of this St. Paul intersection are determined to keep the its commercial face edgy, quirky and independent.
Closure of Alorica call center in Mendota Heights seen as trend

Closure of Alorica call center in Mendota Heights seen as trend

It's among several moves by the company to cut jobs nationwide.

National consolidator GlobalTranz buys Eagan-based logistics firm Cerasis

Cerasis execs, staff of 119 will supply logistics help.
Sunrise Banks CEO Dave Reiling, Aeon worker-resident Santos Mejas and Aeon CEO Alan Arthur.

Sunrise Banks and partners launch affordable-housing fund for Twin Cities area

Sunrise Banks, Aeon and other partners aim to keep rents low and offer a modest return.
From left, Don MacPherson, 51, and Shakeel Nelson, 25, buddies for 17 years, help youth through Inner City Ducks.

A business man and his onetime 'little brother' make Minnesota a better place

With support from Don MacPherson and a growing list of others, Shakeel Nelson is the volunteer CEO of Inner City Ducks.
Owner Wendy Puckett of Wendy’s House of Soul. She is recovering after being shot by an assailant with a pellet gun.

Community stepped up after owner's shooting forced Wendy's House of Soul to close during prime time

The Thanksgiving-Christmas holidays usually are gravy for chef Wendy Puckett, of Wendy’s House of Soul, the small bistro and caterer on W. Broadway Avenue on…
The Bremer Bank branch at the IDS Center in November.

Legal battle grows as Bremer Finanical employee-owners sue Bremer Trust

The lawsuit seeks to block the foundations' effort to force the sale of the financial services company.

Call center in Mendota Heights once slated to expand now will close

It's not clear what changed from the expansion plans announced in late 2018.
Hopkins has agreed to pay developer Kelly Doran an additional $8 million to settle a dispute over a $10.5 million parking ramp for commuters built int

Hopkins will pay another $8M to a developer to settle parking-ramp issue

Developer had sued the city over the payment for a public ramp built for commuters.
Inspire Medical Systems Chairwoman Marilyn Nelson, right, and CEO Tim Herbert, second from right, at the New York Stock Exchange in 2018.

Minnesota stocks soared in '19 but couldn't keep up with sprinting markets

State's Piper index was up 21.6% last year, but lagged the national S&P, which rose 31%
The future for these Minneapolis Edison High students and others is threatened by a $1 trillion federal deficit, wealth concentration among the top 5%

America should do this to advance a stronger economy for the working-to-middle class

The middle class is struggling as the top 10% get richer.
Founder Deepinder Singh, seated at right, in 2017 with some of the employees at Burnsville-based 75F. Over the last year, Singh says, 75F has doubled

Minnesota firms grow an industry focused on renewable energy and software analytics

The small businesses are the growth leaders of the state's economy, at the intersection of energy efficiency, renewables, environmental considerations and next-generation software and technology.
Chef Ann Ahmed, right, owner of Lat14 and Lemon Grass Thai, displayed salads with two student workers from Roots for the Home Team/Urban Roots. The te

Twin Cities teens pitch salads for Target Field and Kowalski's

Roots for the Home Team kids learn to plant, tend and harvest, as well as make savory salads.
Colliers takes big stake in Dougherty Financial

Colliers takes big stake in Dougherty Financial

Canada-based Colliers International will become majority owner of Minneapolis-based Dougherty Financial Group through a deal to buy controlling interest in four subsidiaries.Terms of the transaction…
Jana Bonner, left, with Alliance Housing’s Barbara Jeanetta and volunteer Ted Pouliot at Minnehaha Commons on E. Lake Street.

Recently homeless in Mpls., former businesswoman grateful for studio apartment

Homelessness, particularly among those 55 and over, continues to rise in the Twin Cities and Minnesota.
John Wolf, who had deep ties to the area around Chicago Avenue and Lake Street, says the neighborhood is a “hidden gem.”

Retailer invests in upscale units at once-blighted Minneapolis corner

John Wolf is a $10 million believer in the neighborhood around Chicago Avenue and Lake Street.
Armando Ocampo opened his second restaurant in the Midtown Global Market development that NDC and partners opened in the abandoned Sears building on E

Family investing $2M to expand popular Los Ocampo restaurant on Lake St.

The seven-site restaurant business employs 150-plus and could hit $10 million in sales within a couple of years.
Owner Dan Digre of St. Paul’s MISCO, an industrial speaker manufacturer, has canceled growth plans as the tariff war has cut profits nearly in half.

Farmers not only ones in Minn. angry over U.S.-China trade war

St. Paul speaker manufacturer Dan Digre, who hasn't voted for a Democrat for president for 40 years, says he has had it with President Trump's trade war.
Founder John Mickman and brother Chris Mickman at state land being reforested by Mickman Brothers contributions.

Minnesota wreath maker, one of nation's largest, started with tradition brought from Norway

Mickman Brothers of Ham Lake will post about $20 million this year in wholesale revenue, making it one of the nation's largest wreath producers.
For South High senior Jordan Dotson, the Step Up program “has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve gone from filing papers to finaliz

Accomplished Minneapolis South High senior is a top student, creative soul and Best Buy veteran

Jordan Dotson, who got her first internship the summer after eighth grade, is a recent star of Minneapolis Step Up.
Gene Koehler of Ramsey, Graco’s longest-serving active employee, plans to retire after 50 years next spring. He started at age 19.

Retiring Graco factory worker looks back on 50-year career

Gene Koehler underscores that ethic about the "dignity of work," fair wages and the right of the worker to prosper.
Nystrom CEO Sue Thomas began her career 29 years ago by answering an ad for a junior accountant.

Female CEO leads Minnesota building-products maker to campus expansion

Sue Thomas, 51, doesn't laud herself. But the results at the Brooklyn Park company, which has operations across the U.S., speak for themselves.
The Bremer bank branch at the IDS Center. A dispute has the future of the bank at question.

At heart of the Bremer dispute, a midcentury banker's wishes and the demands of the digital age

Foundation trustees want to sell bank, but executives cry foul.
“Our [2019] fiscal year was driven by key initiatives that the team delivered,” CEO Ron Konezny of Digi told investors.

Hopkins' Digi International has breakout year; earnings jump from $1.6M to $10M

Share prices have jumped by 20% since Nov. 15 alone, after the company announced record fiscal 2019 performance, a promising acquisition and a bright outlook for next year.
A lawsuit filed late Tuesday is Bremer Financial’s response to actions taken recently by the directors of Bremer Trust, who have said a sale would b

Bremer Financial sues foundation directors over sale of bank

A lawsuit filed Tuesday claims foundation directors are seeking to enrich themselves by selling the bank.
From left, Darnell Cage, John Stout, Darrin Levine and Samuel Ndely, a Meda business consultant.

How lawyers at Fredrikson & Byron are reaching out to help young minority businesses get footing

The Accel Group has a dozen Fredrikson lawyers from different practices work with early-stage businesses on issues such as intellectual property, advisory boards, ownership, finance and governance.
Jim Mulrooney, in white T-shirt, worked with family members and friends on a Habitat for Humanity home.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity builds corps of young professionals

A $55 million capital-raising campaign is going on to help Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity double annual production of affordable mortgages to about 230 new and refurbished homes over the next several years.
Duchesne Drew of the Bush Foundation. “Skilled, inspired, committed and connected leaders can do anything. “

Minnesotans start local version of Harvard program for 'rising leaders'

Young leaders from the Twin Cities, Rochester, St. Cloud and Fargo-Moorhead will gather at the U this week to explore inclusive economic development challenges and opportunities.
Alfredo Martel will take over Meda on Monday.

Minority business adviser Meda names Alfredo Martel CEO

Veteran executive joins Twin Cities minority business adviser group.
Phil Schenkenberg of Briggs, Eileen Manning, owner of the Event Group, and Eric Ebner, a founder of St. Paul’s Protocol 46.

Minnesota small businesses must prepare for cyberthreats

The cost of an effective security program doesn't have to break the bank, one expert advises.
Chairman Phil Soran and co-founders Charlie Miller and Jim Leslie, in a 2015 photo, would go on to sell Flipgrid to Microsoft.

Phil Soran, recognized for tech business success, also is known for empathy

Soran will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Tekne Awards celebration of the Minnesota High Tech Association
Bruce Linton, left, in a file photo from Oct. 17, 2018 , passes a bag with the first legal cannabis for recreation use sold in Canada.

Cannabis pioneer Linton joins Minnesota-based Vireo Health

Canadian entrepreneur Bruce Linton to become executive chairman of Minneapolis-based company.
American Indian community leaders Sam Olbekson, Mary LaGarde and Robert Lilligren stand before a mural on the Minneapolis American Indian Center on E.

Native American Cultural Corridor helps rejuvenate E. Franklin in Minneapolis

A housing development is just the latest piece of an effort to remake a once-tired stretch on the South Side of Minneapolis.
Sam Olbekson, who grew up in the Phillips neighborhood, is helping create an American Indian Cultural Corridor there.

Sam Olbekson, an Ojibwe from Minneapolis, is the architect of the American Indian Cultural Corridor

This is all close to home for Olbekson, 48, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, who grew up in the neighborhood, and spent summers with relatives on the northern Minnesota reservation.
Bremer Bank’s skyway branch in the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Voting rights are a central issue in dispute over Bremer sale

A heated dispute over the future of Bremer Financial could hinge on figuring out who controls a majority of the voting shares.It is not as…
The philanthropic trust that controls Bremer Bank, Minnesota's fourth-largest bank by assets, is putting the firm up for sale.

Bremer Bank is for sale after trust splits with management

The move comes at a moment when Bremer Financial is financially healthy but contending with costs of keeping up with new technology. A deal could reap more than $1 billion for the Otto Bremer Trust.
Brothers Adam, left, and Andy Lindus own Lindus Construction.

Lindus Construction's Minnesota success is rooted in founder's fall from tree

Lindus has grown to be a $40 million yearly revenue operation, as well as the nation's No. 1 installer of maintenance-free LeafGuard.
Doran Cos. and the city of Hopkins are said to be in settlement talks over a no-winner ruling by a Hennepin District judge.

Hopkins and apartment developer battle over $10.5M parking ramp

The fight is over who is on the hook for a 189-stall public parking ramp that developer Kelly Doran built as part of the 2018 project.
CEO Joe Welu of Total Expert

Total Expert raises $52 million in venture capital, tops so far this year

The company will add data scientists, designers and others to its workforce of 218 people.
Chairman Chris Heim and CEO Kate Bolseth of HelpSystems.

Chris Heim, of Eden Prairie-based HelpSystems, quietly exits CEO life after more than 20 years

Earlier this month, two East Coast private-equity firms became the third owners since 2014 of fast-growing HelpSystems, the Eden Prairie-based software company that provides operations,…

Google will award $1 million to Minnesota nonprofits in November

Google expands support for nonprofits Google announced Wednesday that it will award $1 million through what it calls the “Google.org Impact Challenge Minnesota,” which seeks…
Michelle Tran Maryns of We Sparkle and Dr. Andres Acosta of Phenomix Sciences were winners at the MN Cup competition.

Two entrepreneurs in different trades put a compelling face on Minnesota business

Michelle Tran Maryns, daughter of Vietnamese immigrants with a master’s degree from Harvard, and Dr. Andres Acosta, an Ecuadorian immigrant and research physician at the…
Founder Angie Conley, (middle row, left) and members of her Abilitech Medical team, as well as Minnesota Cup officials and judges, won the grand prize

Abilitech Medical is winner of the 2019 MN Cup business competition

St. Paul firm is developing a device to aid those with weakened arms.
Dr. Andres Acosta (left) of Phenomex Sciences; co-founder Shawntera Hardy of Civic Eagle and Chaitenya Razdan of Care+ Wear won an aggregate $1.2 mill

Phenomix Sciences of St. Paul wins $500,000 in Meda Challenge for minority entrepreneurs

The Mayo spinoff makes an obesity diagnostic tool.
Co-founder Aneela Idnani’s HabitAware took the grand prize Minnesota Cup and the Meda Million Dollar Challenge minority-entrepreneur competition dur

Twin Cities Startup Week, last year's diversity initiatives working, looks outstate

A winner of two awards last year points to how the event helped in "building connections and building relationships."