Connect Business Magazine

Since 1994: The Magazine for Growing Businesses in Southern Minnesota

CURRENT ISSUE: November 2018

Entrepreneurial Insight

Nathan Stolt, Tech Connect Plus

For Nathan Stolt, being a successful entrepreneur means knowing how to use mistakes to identify your strengths. It means asking questions of those that came before you. And it means offering a helping hand to others. “We’ve been fortunate because we get to meet a lot of other small businesses of all types,” says Stolt. “We get to interact with so many different types so we can start introducing them to each other which is fantastic to see.”

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A Day in the Life

Kathy Sanger

Twenty three years ago, Kathy Sanger was a new college graduate working as an evening admissions representative at Rasmussen College. Today, she leads the campus in Mankato that now serves more than 700 students. She has filled a variety of roles in her tenure at Rasmussen including Admissions Manager, Director of Admissions and Director of Campus Operations.

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Cover Story

Wu Lin, Tokyo Sushi & Hibachi LOCATION:

The life of Wu Lin, born in Fuzhou, China 34 years ago, certainly reflects that teaching. From learning the art of sushi, to learning English, to learning how to run a business: Lin says his constant yearning for learning got him where is today. Where he is today, is a long, long way from his birthplace. For Lin that single step was discovering his true passion in the kitchen: sushi. A passion that led him on a journey from China to Japan and eventually the United States.

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Special Reports

Workforce Shortage Looms Large

New Ulm-based Big Ideas Hopes to Bridge the Gap The Big Ideas initiative in New Ulm actually started as a small seed of a concept a few years ago. Mary Ann Christensen of Christensen Farms in Sleepy Eye and Rebecca Fliszar, a registered dietitian in New Ulm, were starting to look at post-secondary options for […]

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Feature Story

Ballman Roofing & Coating
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The materials and tools needed to build or replace a roof may seem basic: an underlayment, shingles, roofing nails, a nail gun and roofing knife. But it’s the tools you can’t see that Mark Ballman really believes makes a difference in his company. “The typical roofer has had some type of tough situation in their life,” says Ballman. “But most have got a good soul and a big heart.”

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Feature Story

Marshall Ace Home & Hardware
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As the oldest of three children in the family, Jennifer (Fox) Johnson was 15 when she began her career at what is now Ace Home & Hardware in Marshall, Minnesota. “One evening, my father, Ray Fox, told me I was going to the store with him the next day and to be ready to learn the hardware business,” she explains.

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Hot Startz!

Hot Startz! features very new or reformed businesses in our reading area. Contact us to be considered.

Inspire Health & Wellness
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Diet and weight loss centers seem to pop up daily, but as Tina McClain watched this happening, she could see a few things that could be done better. “I want to offer people an affordable diet/wellness plan along with the family grab and bake at-home meals to complete what I feel teaches people healthy living without the large yearly fees or initial fees,” she explains.

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The Retz 227
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The city of New Ulm can boast many unique opportunities: Herman the German, The Grand Center for the Arts, Schell’s Brewery and now its own speakeasy. What is a speakeasy? According to the Urban Dictionary, Speakeasies are inspired by the hidden spots to get a drink during the Prohibition in the 1920s.

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Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping, Mankato
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Jeremy and Jacque Whiteford met each other while attending college at Minnesota State University Moorhead. The two became partners in life, getting married, but didn’t know at the time they would also become partners in business.

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Editor’s Letter

Stories of Good, Old-Fashioned Hard Work

When writing this issue, a theme quickly popped out at me: all of our featured characters know the value of good, old fashioned hard work. They all came to learn that at a very young age. Our cover story, Wu Lin, epitomizes what it means to have a dream and do what it takes to make it come true.

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