The Ryter Corp.

There’s nothing more affectionate than a purring kitten settled in your lap, nothing more appealing than a frisky puppy who wants to play. America is a nation of pet-lovers. But, ah, there’s a downside. Pets, uhm, even the best-groomed pets, sometimes create unpleasant odors. So do swine herds, turkey flocks and the mess that’s left after you clean a stringer of walleyes.

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Crown Fixtures, Incorporated

Can a former Wall Street lawyer find happiness running a small Minnesota business? That may sound like the story line for a television series, but it’s real life for Herb Kahler, the lawyer who owns and operates Crown Fixtures, Inc., in Winnebago. “We’re happy to be back in Minnesota,” said Kahler, who left Wall Street to join a large conglomerate, then became something of a roving executive for the company. His assignments included a 14 year stint with one of the company’s subsidiaries in Minneapolis. Now he’s back as a go-it-alone entrepreneur.

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Bob Wettergren

Robert Walton Wettergren, a.k.a. “Mister St. Peter,” reminds you of the man that drives his Model T down the road doing 45, and while you’re passing him he’s glancing over and smiling like he’s the one passing you.

Rock-solid. Traditional. Bob Wettergren does things the old-fashioned way. When he recently celebrated fifty years of marriage with wife, Renee, he was asked their secret for staying together (this, during an age when half of marriages end in divorce). Bob said, “We work at [marriage]. And we pray together. When you pray together, you stay together.”

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