Staff Directory 6370535

Neal St. Anthony

Columnist, reporter | Business
Phone: 612-673-7144

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
Drake’s Organic Spirits founders Mark and Kristen Anderson at their farm in Maple Plain.

Drake's Organic Spirits mix includes venture capital

A North Dakota farm boy traded commodities and oil pipes before jumping into the organic foods movement.
Jay Johnson, president of Revol Greens, the Owatonna company that raised $200 million from venture capitalists in the second half of last year.

Minnesota firms pull in $500 million of venture capital in first half of year

But it will be tough to beat the 2020 total because Minnesota companies raised so much capital in the second half of last year.
Butler Square, a 115-year-old warehouse, was the first in downtown Minneapolis to get turned into an office complex. During the pandemic year, its own

Downtown's historic Butler Square completes a yearlong update

The century-old warehouse was first restored in 1974, beginning the overhaul of the city's old factories and warehouses into offices.
Pasquale Presa, an Italian immigrant by way of New York, left a career as a corporate chef to open a pizzeria in Rochester that has grown to 35 employ

Pasquale Presa, the immigrant pizza king of Rochester, proves pandemic-proof

Presa quit a $120,000 corporate chef job to launch a pizzeria that now has a growing frozen line.
Griffin Dooling of Blue Horizon Energy, left, assisted Chris Wyffels of Superior 3rd Party Logistics with solar energy for his company’s building in

St. Anthony: Solar power is glowing in Minnesota

Solar is still a small part of the state's renewable energy mix, but it is growing quickly.
Deepinder Singh is founder and chief executive of 75F, which just attracted its first sizable capital from a strategic investor.

Bloomington software firm 75F closes venture capital round, attracts Siemens as investor

Siemens is the first strategic investor in the Bloomington-based maker of software for controlling building temperatures.
Tonya Jenkins, a working mom, veteran day care worker and manager, plans to open her own center this fall in Sabathani Community Center in south Minne

Wells Fargo makes $12 million in grants to Twin Cities community lenders

The funding is part of an initial payout of $420 million in grants to community finance providers by the nation's third-largest bank.
Erik Saltvold, who launched Erik’s Bikes from his parents’ Richfield garage in 1977, sits on the roof of his company’s new, solar-powered headqu

Erik's Bikes pedals for records from expanded, solar-powered HQ

Like many bike retailers, 2020 was a spectacular year for Erik's Bikes, which has grown to 32 stores in seven states.
The late Nancy Allin Nelson (No. 1081) and her husband, Russ Nelson, (1082) and family and friends at the Minnesota Pancreatic Cancer Network walk in

How Russ Nelson, shaper of downtown skylines, found purpose after wife's death

Nancy Nelson spent her life devoted to social service, and her husband says he still follows her lead.
Project Manager Taylor Smrikárova, left, and Executive Director Chris Romano of Redesign, which has acquired the riot-damaged Coliseum building on 27

St. Anthony: Rebuilding the 'downtown' of Longfellow is going to be a long haul

The Minnesota Legislature watered down a $150 million aid package that was initially designed to help businesses in the riot-damaged sections of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
A 4-year-old girl and her family explored the Mona Moede Early Learning Center in Minneapolis in December 2018.

St. Anthony: Legislature fell short on help for Minnesota's most vulnerable preschool kids

But it did right for the providers of home health services, along with workers and the families who count on them.
BetterYou executives (left to right): Tommy Khoo, Sean Higgins, Bailey Faust and Edwin Melendez

St. Paul app maker BetterYou raises $2.25 million

It's the second infusion of capital for the firm, which created an app that encourages users to build healthy habits.
Founder Nina Axelson of Grid Catalyst

Midwest clean-energy business accelerator to launch in fall

The focus of Grid Catalyst will be on cold-climate technologies.
The Resolute is a $19 million commercial-residential project planned for 1300 W. Broadway Av. in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis-based Meda expanding along with its clients

The 50-year-old agency will quadruple its loan portfolio as it backs projects such as the Resolute on W. Broadway.
Michael Porter, with wife Tenesha Crenshaw-Porter, outside the Motel 6 on St. Paul’s East Side, has transcended a life of alcohol and drugs, includi

Twin Cities hotel 'manager of the year' transcends his troubled past

Michael Porter earns respect and national recognition from the hotel industry.
Randall Darden and Christy Sovereign of Accenture.

St. Anthony: Twin Cities businesses unite in drive to hire 1,000 apprentices, chiefly in tech

Two-thirds of the apprentices will be people of color who will complete at least a two-year degree while building a career.
Nick Alm, founder of Mossier

Mossier helps Minnesota companies take more steps for LGBTQ inclusion

Nick Alm, founder of the Twin Cities consulting firm, said they were inspired by another visionary Minnesota entrepreneur.
Kate Barr, chief executive of Propel.

Minnesota CDFIs get $38 million in federal pandemic relief funding

The government distributed more than $1 billion in recent days to community development organizations that provide capital to ventures that can't get financing in other channels.
Pat Regan, president of Minnesota Coaches and, for now, a part-time driver.

Amid shortage of drivers, owner of Minn. school bus company takes on routes himself

The shortage of school bus drivers began before the pandemic, but it got worse.
As consumers increasingly venture away from home, demand has begun to shift toward services, including restaurant meals. That, plus problems with supp

Minnesota consumers, businesses deal with fast-rising prices

Some believe the fast-rising prices are temporary. Others worry the situation could spiral into something longer lasting.
St. Anthony: How a doctor and friends built Minnesota's most valuable cannabis company

St. Anthony: How a doctor and friends built Minnesota's most valuable cannabis company

Goodness Growth Holdings, known as Vireo Health until last week, got started when a doctor observed that marijuana was better for treating pain than opioids.
Dr. Kyle Kingsley, CEO of Goodness Growth, formerly Vireo Health.

Minnesota cannabis firm expands to research psychedelic medicines

Vireo Health is taking on a new name, Goodness Growth Holdings, as it branches out with a biosciences research subsidiary.
Eric Taipale, chief executive of Sentera.

Ag analytics firm Sentera raises $25 million, will move to St. Paul

The latest infusion is the biggest for the company, which is changing the way farmers analyze their fields and crops.
Calvin Littlejohn is chief executive of Tri-Construction, based in north Minneapolis.

St. Anthony: Commerce, opportunity, hope must trump violence on North Side

Amid a surge in violence, developers and business leaders in north Minneapolis pour energy and money into economic expansion.
Alan Arthur is retiring as CEO of the nonprofit developer Aeon, whose properties include the Rose Apartments in Minneapolis.

Aeon, St. Olaf Catholic Church plan largest affordable housing in downtown Mpls.

A 20-story apartment building is coming along just as Aeon's longtime leader, Alan Arthur, gets ready to retire.
Retired Dr. Tony Stifter and Carol Giuliani, owner of Senior Travel Companion Services, on a tour of Scotland in 2018.

St. Anthony: How a lawyer built a business helping seniors take their dream trips

A couple of years ago, Carol Giuliani was helping an elderly fellow from Iowa dress for a wedding at a resort on a lake in…
Sabrina Jones, left, and Angela Lamb-Onayiga at the Sistah Co-op on the skyway level of the IDS Center. Open just a few weeks, the new retailers are i

'Small waves of tenants' return to downtown Mpls. as Convention Center reopens

Some new businesses are also opening in downtown Minneapolis as entrepreneurs and civic leaders monitor the return to office work.
Mack, who would not give his last name, a North Side mechanic, stood near the burned-out O’Reilly Auto Parts at 1625 West Broadway. He says that he

Pillsbury United Communities launches north Minneapolis rebuilding fund

A new fund aims to raise at least $20 million to redevelop parts of north Minneapolis damaged by violence after the death of George Floyd. And it's already buying properties to redevelop.
MetroConnections chief marketing officer Tom McCulloch, CEO David Graves and chief operations officer Mike Graves.

Minnesota firm found employee ownership helped it get through 2020 downturn

MetroConnections spun "on a dime" to take events and conferences virtual.
CEO Dean Hager of Jamf Holdings.

At Jamf, one of Minnesota's newest public companies, the stock market has been a roller coaster

Jamf Holding, one of two Minnesota companies to go public in an IPO last year, recently delivered another quarter of 35%-plus growth in recurring revenue.…
K.B. Brown, at his shop Wolfpack Promotionals, was part of a documentary produced by the Minneapolis Foundation about businesses that are rebuilding a

Minneapolis Foundation raising $20 million for riot-hurt small businesses

The money is chiefly coming from the charitable arms of large companies in the Twin Cities region.
St. Paul-based Neighborhood Development Center has acquired the site of an arson-destroyed building at Chicago Avenue and Lake Street for $1.6 million

Developer buys burned-out site at Chicago and Lake for redevelopment

Neighborhood Development Center paid about $1.6 million for the site for a commercial and residential project.
Founder-owner Dale Nitschke of Ovative Group, the fast growing digital marketing and analysis firm that is expanding in North Loop’s Nordic building

Digital-first marketer Ovative relies on internal innovation

Dale Nitschke's Ovative Group, the decade-old digital-first marketer, didn't pause for the pandemic.Ovative's revenue grew 42% last year to $36 million and it's up 50%…
“Nobody wanted to come downtown last year,” Rosie Lebewitz, owner of Rosenthal Interiors, said of leaving for Minnetonka.

Rosenthal Interiors moves flagship to Minnetonka from downtown Minneapolis

Sibling owners will keep North Loop location open on a limited-hours basis, with closeouts and specials.
Aaron Shilts, chief executive of NetSPI

NetSPI, a Minneapolis cybersecurity firm, raises $90 million from new investors

It's the second large round of outside investment raised by NetSPI, a provider of cybersecurity services and tests for businesses and institutions.
Dean Hager, chief executive of Jamf

Jamf, Minneapolis-based provider of Apple systems, makes a $400 million deal

Its purchase of San Francisco-based Wandera, a provider of zero-trust data security technology, is the biggest ever for Jamf.
A toddler explored north Minneapolis’ Mona Moede Early Learning Center in 2018. Families with preschoolers have important allies in Minnesota busine

Backing for preschool scholarships grows at Minnesota Legislature

Businesses support bipartisan efforts to help low-income kids.
Junita Flowers and Kayla Yang-Best shared a laugh at Seasoned Specialty Food Market in St. Paul, a shop that sells entrepreneurs’ small-batch foods.

A turnaround with help from cookie lovers, food innovator

When things hit a low point for Junita's Jar last summer, a different conversation — about social justice after Floyd's death — started to have an effect on the business.
Customers at the Northeast Farmers Market kept their distance from others, followed one-way traffic and had fewer vendors to choose from during the 20

Twin Cities farmers markets will bloom again in 2021

There are about 400 small farmers within 90 minutes of the Twin Cities providing food directly to consumer buying groups, retailers and farmers markets.
Gene and Keidy Palusky of Minneapolis presented XTorch, a solar-charged flashlight and battery, on an episode of ABC-TV’s “Shark Tank” last week

Owners of Minneapolis solar flashlight maker turn down chance to sell on 'Shark Tank'

Maker of solar-powered batteries got a spree of orders after appearing on show last Friday.
Chief Financial Officer Joe Delgado, left, and Chief Executive Steve Anderson of Preceptis show the Hummingbird device.

Preceptis moves forward with device that simplifies ear-tube procedures

Joe Delgado, chief financial officer of Preceptis Medical, had a personal reason for leaving a good job at UnitedHealth Group a few years ago.His daughter,…
Target and Cub Foods have open remodeled  stores on East Lake Street, but hundreds of small businesses were shuttered in the metro area after riots an

St. Anthony: LISC Twin Cities and partners deliver first of two riot-recovery funds

Private insurance covered less than half of the $550 million in property damage from the May riots.
Wells Fargo & Co. says first-quarter net income jumped to $4.74 billion from $653 million a year earlier, when the pandemic struck the global economy.

Wells Fargo seems to be getting its Minnesota mojo back

Bank investing in businesses, nonprofits in the home of its roots.
Activation of the Nobles 2 wind farm in 2020 in southwestern Minnesota pushed Minnesota Power to 50% renewable energy in December.

Zero-carbon electricity now provides most power in Minnesota

Clean energy grew in Minnesota last year despite the pandemic and recession.
A former Minnesota Viking player has accused a Wayzata-based investment adviser of mishandling his finances.

Former NFL player accuses Wayzata financial adviser of financial misdeeds

Regulators monitor broker after industry settlement and South Carolina lawsuit.
The arson-destroyed Wells Fargo at Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue was demolished in March and will be redeveloped.

Housing, new bank proposed at Wells Fargo site at Nicollet and Lake

Project for Pride in Living to develop building, hire "diverse workforce."
Executive Director Ed Koerner, left, and Associate Executive Director Wayne Bugg, a 25-year-veteran, at the remodeled St. Vincent de Paul thrift store

St. Anthony: St. Vincent de Paul met surging demand from thousands in 2020

St. Vincent's, rooted in a number of Twin Cities Catholic parishes, proves that discarded merchandise and dated food can still fill a need.
Claire Ferrara, right, president and majority owner of Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, with Dunwoody’s Heather Gay.

St. Anthony: How a young female owner's 'vulnerability' helped heating company through COVID-19

Claire Ferrara went to St. Catherine's and to Dunwoody, then faced the leadership test of a lifetime just a year into taking control of the family business, Standard Heating and Cooling.
Shannon O’Leary of the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation. O’Leary has increased investment in several U.S. manufacturing and distribution companies.

A plan to invest more in America from two Twin Cities investors

Shannon O'Leary, chief investment officer of the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation, was thinking about the vulnerability of supply lines for American companies before COVID-19…
Maricela and Zef Gallarzo at their Planet Smoothie shop on the ground floor of Gaviidae Common. Minneapolis,  MN  Tu

St. Anthony: After couple opened smoothie shop, downtown emptied out but they stayed

They keep it open daily in downtown Mpls. after virus ruined smooth opening.
Jim Luger

Jim Luger, businessman and social justice seeker, dies at 90

Businessman Jim Luger protested the Vietnam War and worked for civil rights for decades.He also was an American warrior.In 1950, Luger, a young athlete from…
David Fhima of Fhima’s: “I think we’ll be 50% to 75% of where we were in 2019 in the fall.”

2 downtown Minneapolis restaurateurs get creative to survive

Fhima's got a break on rent and a new focus, while Afro Deli's owner put his team to work helping charities.
Gevo closed an ethanol plant in Luverne, Minn., in 2020, but its prospects have soared amid hopes for its higher-value, low-carbon isobutanol.

St. Anthony: Once-wilting Gevo shuttered its Minnesota operation, but sprouts new life

The collapse of Gevo has been predicted several times but the maker of renewable fuels has survived. In the past few weeks, its shares have been on a wild ride.
Chief Technology Officer Abdennour Abbas, a U materials scientist; and CEO and co-founder Michelle Bellanca lead four-year-old U spinoff Claros Techno

Minnesota's Claros commercializes 'green-chemistry' pollution fixes

A University of Minnesota spinoff is commercializing "green chemistry" solutions that combat coronaviruses as well as neutralize mercury and other industrial-born pollution"We solve environmental problems…
Tom Goodmanson, chief executive of Calabrio.

Thoma Bravo will buy Minneapolis-based Calabrio from KKR

The Minneapolis software firm's value is estimated to exceed $1 billion.
Vayong Moua, director of racial and health-equity advocacy at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. “We must go after behavior and systems,” Mo

Fight for fair provision of health services in Minnesota isn't over

State health officials worked last week to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates of Minnesotans of color, amid the disclosure that they are being inoculated at
Baheru Haile, who lost his job with other workers at the former Midtown Sheraton Hotel in March 2020, earned a commercial driver’s license and took

One idled Minnesota hotel-industry veteran opted for other work

Baheru Haile, an accomplished guy who moved to Minnesota from Ethiopia in 1978, likes to work.Haile, the son of a subsistence farmer, first earned a…
Christina Thomas, a former borrower at Payday America, refinanced her debt several years ago with Exodus Lending, a nonprofit led by Sara Nelson-Pallm

Payday lenders resist pressure to cut rates from around Minnesota

Interest and fees can combine to create effective rates above 200%.
Meda CEO Alfredo Martel

Meda gets $1 million from Cummins to help Black-owned businesses in region

The contribution is one of several that Cummins made to Community Development Financial Institutions across the country.
Independent pharmacist Elias Usso was able to reopen his remodeled Seward Pharmacy near E. Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue.

Businesses damaged in riots after death of George Floyd still fighting for assistance

Ahmed Muhumud, co-owner of Midtown Eye Care, sought refuge for the business last fall in the Midtown Global Market after it was burned down in…
Best Home Care owner Andre Best, seen with personal care attendant Mesuda Hudug, said smaller agencies may close if state reimbursement rates don’t

Minnesota home-health workers, PCA industry could use a financial boost

Mesuda Hudug, a veteran home-health aide and licensed nursing assistant, is pleased with the recently negotiated contract between the Minnesota Department of Human Services and…
Minnesota Diversified Industries CEO Peter McDermott, left, and Eric Black, who will succeed McDermott as MDI’s chief executive in April.

MDI, a pioneer in workforce inclusion, seeks further expansion

One morning last week, Steve Reinardy, a nine-year employee of Minnesota Diversified Industries in northeast Minneapolis, sanitized surfaces to guard against the coronavirus."I clean everything…
Nick Schneider, Arctic Wolf’s president, and Kristin Dean, senior vice president of people.

Eden Prairie's Arctic Wolf is employee-focused — and growing

Arctic Wolf, a cybersecurity firm that moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Eden Prairie last year, is growing fast.
Juan Salinas powder-coated decorative heat vents last week at JIT Powder Coating in Farmington. JIT used a $550,000 PPP loan to pay 60 employees for 1

Minnesota lawmakers consider matching tax forgiveness on pandemic aid

It took a fight between Congress and the Treasury Department for the pandemic aid to become tax-free on the federal level. State legislators are thinking about whether to do the same thing.
“I didn’t think I was capable of becoming an engineer. I am a minority, first-generation college student.” Tatem Rios, a chemical engineering st

SciTech interns boost future of Minnesota economy

Khalique Rogers and Tatem Rios are the embodiment of the Minnesota SciTech internship program that's expanding the essential pool of talented young interns and employees…
Sara Ausman, Twin Cities regional president of North Dakota-based Alerus Financial. She runs the business from downtown Minneapolis on 6th Street.

How North Dakota-based Alerus Financial built a sizable Minnesota franchise

A North Dakota-based financial-services firm, fresh off a 2020 initial public offering of stock and record earnings, is getting most of its growth from the…
CEO Aaron Shilts of NetSPI, which grew sales 35% for a fourth year in a row and is approaching revenue of $50 million.

Growth accelerates for Twin Cities cybersecurity businesses

Pandemic presents new opportunities as clients depend on e-commerce.
Michelle Tran Maryns, of software maker We Sparkle, with client Tiffany Wilson, owner of VIP Hair & Nail Salon, says the continued Angel Tax Credit is

Minnesota's tax credit for angel investors works, should become routine

Gov. Tim Walz has proposed $7 million for the on-and-off Minnesota Angel Tax Credit next fiscal year.It should go back to $10 million with a…
Jeanne Crain, chief executive of Bremer Financial

Amid pandemic and legal dispute, Bremer Bank's finances held up solidly

Net profit slipped just a little but revenue rose sharply in 'challenging environment.'
Robert Smith, founder of Vista Equity, in a 2019 file photo.

How some bets on Minnesota companies paid off for investor Vista Equity

Some of the biggest wins for a Texas investment fund recently have been with Minnesota tech companies.
CEO Russell Becker of Twin Cities-based API Group, which became a publicly held company in 2019 and acquired several smaller companies in 2020.

Pandemic slowed deal-making in Minnesota last year

The state logged two public offerings in 2020.
Steve Buchanan, 39, is a director of cloud architecture at the Twin Cities office of Avanade, the IT-consultant owned by Accenture and Microsoft.

Twin Cities 'technologist' sees expanding future for young minorities in IT

Steve Buchanan caught a break as a teenager 20-plus years ago when a relative referred him to someone who worked for a small computer-consulting firm.The…
Co-founders Abby Master and Katie Dorn of EmpowerU, an online mental health site which took $1 million in venture capital.

Venture capitalists invested a record $1.9B in state in 2020

Health insurers, food farms drew some of the biggest investments in state history.
Ex-venture capitalist and author Dileep Rao doubts that the founders of Minnesota’s biggest companies would have won any investment contests. “The

Dileep Rao, former venture capitalist, says VCs aren't the answer for all startups

Dileep Rao, a former venture capitalist, isn't celebrating the record $1.86 billion in venture money that flowed to Minnesota businesses last year.He's also not enamored…
Sam Riley

Sam Riley, security chief at PPL in Minneapolis and friend to many, dies at 63

Sam Riley was an engaging, lineman-size man who ran a security business and protected people in Twin Cities inner-city neighborhoods for 35 years.Riley, 63, died…