Robert W. Fitzsimmons & Sons

I like my bacon as well as the next guy, maybe better, and inch-thick porkchops simmer on my gas grill every week or so. Pork’s leaner these days, a big improvement, but pigs still smell. Years ago, I knew some pretty sharp hog farmers, nice guys, but even in their good clothes, they brought a certain odor to church. They might sit two pews behind me, but I knew they were there. Although I’d seen their hogs rolling around in the mud, it didn’t diminish my appetite for thin strips of crisp bacon.

Read more

Cuddy Energy Systems

Ever try to sell an idea before its time? Neil Lillo did, enduring a six-month drought without a drop of revenue. “My wife was getting nervous,” Lillo said, recalling the period in 1980 when he came home night after night without ever having made a sale. It was an uncomfortable time for Lillo as well as his wife because in his previous business, he’d been accustomed to “selling something every day.”

Read more

Maureen Gustafson

Maureen Gustafson may be playing out her starring role as president of the Mankato Area Chamber & Convention Bureau (MACCB), but she’s really more the Muse that Pope described back in the 18th Century.

A graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, with a degree in theater, Maureen was trained as a Muse, or actress, to “wake the soul,” “raise the genius,” “mend the heart,” and “make mankind, in conscious virtue bold.” Now, as MACCB president, she’s doing the very same things.

Read more