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
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 Viking accuses Wayzata financial adviser of financial misdeeds

FINRA is investigating and a South Carolina lawsuit sheds light on the dispute.
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…
Raz Bajwa, founder of Industrack.

Minnesota software maker takes prize at national competition for minority entrepreneurs

Plymouth-based Industrack was awarded $100,000 in the finals of the Metropolitan Economic Develoment Association's "MEDA Million Dollar Challenge."
Peace Coffee CEO Lee Wallace saw sales increase 17% in 2020, despite a huge decline in sales to restaurants, hotels and others in the hospitality indu

Peace Coffee, G&B Environmental pruned, then grew to survive pandemic

Big-box retailers, IT firms that helped office workers connect from home, supermarkets and Amazon were among the winners as the U.S. endured the coronavirus pandemic…
Joe Payne, chief executive of Code42, said the Minneapolis tech company is hiring again after cutting back in the face of economic uncertainty last ye

Minneapolis-based Code42 adding employees again, eyes stock offering within two years

The maker of cybersecurity products cutback to preserve capital last year.
“The recruiting sergeant looked at me like, ‘What is this Indian woman doing?’ I scored so highly on the entrance test that he showed me a lot o

American Indian architect leads aeroponics farm plan for Iron Range to Meda finals

Denise Pieratos, who grew up on the Bois Forte Chippewa reservation in northeastern Minnesota, started her career after Tower-Soudan High School as an iron miner.Recession…
Tim Marx, the retiring Twin Cities Catholic Charities CEO, is a business lawyer by training who also was a weekly volunteer with clients, including at

Retired Twin Cities Catholic Charities CEO Tim Marx credited as coalition builder

Tim Marx made way this month for his successor as chief executive at Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis after a decade of record…
Tawanna Black

U.S. Bancorp makes biggest gift to Center for Economic Inclusion

The $1 million grant will help the center's drive to boost employment for minorities in the region.
Chief Operating Officer Karina Zumba, left, and CEO/founder Kristen Denzer of Minneapolis-based Tierra Encantada, a Spanish-immersion day-care center

Tierra Encantada's owner has built the day care business she wanted for her kids

Kristen Denzer was touring a day-care center in Roseville for her two toddlers in 2013 when she spotted particularly unappetizing lunches."I thought if I'm going…
“More companies are looking for ways to mitigate operating expenses. Solar is a safe way to do that,” says Michael Allen, co-founder of All Energy

Minnesota's solar trade tested, but not bowed, by 2020

Michael Allen, co-founder of All Energy Solar of St. Paul, is grateful for a partly sunny 2020."All in all, it was a good year, but…
Frank Dogbe, owner of Minneapolis-based SOS Building Services, got an SBA PPP loan in the second round last year after an outcry that minority-owned a

Third round of PPP has begun, with a headstart for minority-owned businesses

Community Development Financial Institutions started processing PPP applications yesterday.
Co-founders Don Gonse and Megan Diamond of nParallel switched to building dividers, shields and kiosks to keep workers, customers and students safe.

Minnesota conference exhibit maker made COVID equipment to survive 2020

Until last March, nParallel was in the business of making booths, kiosks, stages and other equipment that brings people together at trade shows and conferences.To…
EmpowerU co-founders Abby Master, left, and Katie Dorn offer skill-building and one-on-one counseling online to help students cope and make lasting ch

Twin Cities entrepreneur develops mental health website for teens

EmpowerU has received $1 million in venture capital toward product.
Howard Root, shown with Annette Flores of Elux Marine, said electric boats can redefine the pontoon experience.

Minnesota former med-tech exec Root sells his electric-pontoon boat firm to Seattle maker

Owner Howard Root said merger needed for scale.
Howard Root and Annette Flores of Elux Marine, shown in a 2020 file photo.

Minnesota electric-pontoon boat firm Elux sold to Seattle maker

Elux made its first sales last year, but Root knew it would need a larger firm to lift sales.
Shelby Commons, a 46-unit affordable apartment building at Lyndale and Glenwood avenues, will be constucted in 2021-22 and managed by PPL and Woda Coo

Affordable-housing project near Minneapolis Farmers Market among dozens getting Minnesota funding

An employee-owned housing developer from Ohio is partnering with Project for Pride in Living (PPL), a Twin Cities nonprofit pioneer of affordable-housing and supportive services,…
CEO Tawanna Black of the Center for Economic Inclusion.PHOTO: Center for Economic Inclusion

St. Anthony: Minnesota can do better on Black economic inclusion

Tom Gegax started his business career as a Shell Oil representative on Chicago's south side in 1968.He sold fuel, tires and other products to 14…
Success Computer Consulting’s profit was down this year, owner Erik Thorsell said. “But it was right to give all the profits this year to employee

Success Computer founder found meaning in sharing success

Erik Thorsell, founder and owner of Success Computer Consulting in Golden Valley, emerged from a difficult period of struggle with addiction 16 years ago and…
Don Craighead

Don Craighead, technology entrepreneur, dies at 86

Don Craighead, a St. Paul native and engineer, was a successful technology entrepreneur who ran his own industrial-automation firm for 30 years before selling it…
Software engineer Ja’keh Clark represents Best Buy in Blacks in Technology, engaging in conferences, volunteering and mentoring students.

Diversity efforts expanding in Minnesota technology

Ja'keh Clark, a software developer at Best Buy, is a key contributor to Minnesota's emerging diversity efforts in technology.Clark, 31, has an academic background in…
Ahmed Muhumud, co-owner of Midtown Eye Care. His move into the Midtown Global Market is part of a $2.3 million recovery plan developed by the market o

Midtown Global Market, defended during riots, now plans financial survival

NDC has recovery plan in place to help businesses in the Midtown Exchange.
Ranga Chinongoza, senior manager of the Minneapolis office of EY. The accounting firm announced 12 Twin Cities businesses will join its business accel

EY launches Twin Cities minority-business support program

The accounting firm will give a dozen small businesses priority access to its services.
Vincent Vassallo  apparently owes the Small Business Administration $10,000 for what he thought was an emergency grant.

Complexities of government aid continue to emerge for small Minnesota businesses

The recession has crashed Vinny Vassallo's limo business.Vincent Limousine, founded in 2004 by Vassallo, a then-laid off factory supervisor, had a growth year in 2019…
Värde Partners co-founders George Hicks and Marcia Page. Värde invests in the distressed debt of companies buffeted by recession, restructuring or o

Minnesota-based Värde Partners founder easing out of globe-spanning firm

George Hicks plans to increase his focus on philanthropy.
Jeff Hinck, co-founder of Rally Ventures

Rally Ventures raises $250 million in fourth venture fund

The new fund is the largest yet for the firm that was an early backer of Minneapolis-based SportsEngine.
Rob Wudlick, an Abilitech employee and engineer who lives with a spinal cord injury, is shown with the company’s Assist device.

Minnesota Cup winner Abilitech rolls out key product, sets investment goal

The company's wearable technology is designed for people with limited arm movement.
Founders Greg and Betsy Amundson of InstaTrim, a flexible, self-adhesive trim strip that can be used as a gap filler, a finish trim to tighten paint j

Minnesota contractor's idea for a caulk substitute filled new gaps

But this eight-year, hardscrabble journey is no get-rich-quick story.
Chief Executive Doug Baker & Co. used scale and technology to drive profitability at an outfit also hailed for ethics and environmental stewardship.

Doug Baker wraps up stellar CEO run at Ecolab. What's his second act?

Baker, as candid as he is unpretentious, also isn't perfect.
Meda Chief Executive Alfredo Martel is corralling capital and signing up more volunteers from law, business and accounting to help fund businesses.

Twin Cities-based small-business counselors look beyond 2020 challenges

Meda is looking at requests of up to $20 million that cannot be filled, its CEO said.
Marcus Owens of the African American Leadership Forum and the Black Business Support Collective, with Briana Cress of Gorgeous Looks Salon in Minneapo

How Twin Cities nonprofits pitched in to help Black business owners weather the recession

Briana Cress' Gorgeous Looks hair salon was in trouble after the state ordered it and other personal-services businesses to close when the corona­virus pandemic hit…
Branden Moriarity

Cancer-fighting firm based on U of M research raises $42 million

The amount is a record for any company rooted in scientific research at the U.
Julie Steller saved her business, Steller Handcrafted Goods, which makes mittens, hats and other things from recycled sweaters, by pivoting to making

How a Mpls. clothing maker made it through a difficult year

Forced to close her shop because of the pandemic, owner shifts to mask-making and re-employed 15 workers.
CEO Elaine Wyatt of WomenVenture, left, and owner Keia Isaacson of Lakeside Floor Coverings in 2019. Wyatt is stepping down after leading the nonprofi

WomenVenture CEO started in one kind of crisis and is about to leave after another

Elaine Wyatt took charge of WomenVenture, a Twin Cities nonprofit, when it was in a crisis. She's leaving just as it helped women-owned small businesses through the pandemic recession crisis.
Leaders behind a development along W. Broadway in north Minneapolis gathered at the Capri Theater: (left to right) architect Damaris Hollingsworth, de

Resurgent north Mpls. neighborhood boasts $125M in projects

As the Capri renovation nears an end, other projects are moving forward
CEO Grady Hannah said the company’s initial focus will be working with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense Department.

Twin Cities company NightWare uses technology to treat PTSD without drugs

No-drug device uses Apple technology to gently interrupt nightmares.
Jamil Ford

Behind many new buildings on the North Side are the ideas, designs of Jamil Ford

Jamil Ford has been dubbed “the architect of the North Side.” Ford, 42, a North Side native and founder of Mobilize Design & Architecture, is…
So Good So You co-founders Rita Katona and Eric Hall.

Minneapolis 'health shot' maker raises $14.5M to expand

So Good So You will use the money to accelerate its growth through stores and e-commerce.
MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop, right, visited the under-construction Premium Minnesota Pork plant in Luverne in 2019.

St. Anthony: Out of the spotlight, MPCA picks up a workplace-quality award for everyday work

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency makes headlines on controversies such as taconite waste dumping in Lake Superior or the review of Enbridge’s updated pipeline across…
Owners Lehman Riley and Paul Dixon of Papa Lemon Book Publishing.

Authors of 'Papa Lemon' multicultural kids books still fighting for national following

Paul Dixon and Lehman Riley are trying to land a big publishing deal for their “Papa Lemon” series of children’s books, which bring a multicultural…
Dave Korstad and Izzy Shu, Twin Cities-based co-founders of online, nut-based drink company JOI, which expects to break $3 million in sales this year.

Minnesota couple find their JOI with growing almond milk business

Dave Korstad and Izzy Shu have combined their interest in healthy lifestyles into a fast-growing business.
Teresa Thomas of Women In Networking

This Minnesota people connector made a digital pivot that paid off

Networking consultant shifted from in-person events to focus online.
Dan Larson, left, senior vice president of marketing, and Nick Schneider, chief revenue officer, see Minnesota’s technology landscape as welcoming t

Arctic Wolf will move its headquarters to Eden Prairie from Silicon Valley

With the move, the cybersecurity firm expects to grow from 200 to 350 workers in Eden Prairie next year.
From left, Reell Precision Manufacturing founder Bob Wahlstedt, VP of Global Human Resources Shari Erdman, founder Lee Johnson and CEO Kyle Smith with

Employee-owned Reell Manufacturing is the realization of the founders' hopes in 1970

The owners broadened their approach and employees responded positively to the commitment to inclusivity.
Griffin Dooling of Blue Horizon Group, left, and founder Christopher Wyffels of Superior Third Party Logistics stood on the solar roof of Superior, a

Solar industry-Xcel flap won't dim long-term growth of Minnesota industry

Minnesota solar-energy developers have filed 120 complaints with state utility regulators.
Kira Young, a veteran Metro Transit driver, followed her college-educated daughter, Kadejah Young, into training and a better-paying job as a bus mech

Metro Transit training helps to fuel a Twin Cities family's drive to achieve

The three Young women all graduated within the last year from two-year state university programs.