Connect Business Magazine

Since 1994: The Magazine for Growing Businesses in Southern Minnesota

Archive for July, 1999

Winland Electronics, Inc.

Jul 1999 • Category: Feature Story

W. Kirk Hankins likes to say Winland Electronics, Inc. had three beginnings, one in 1972, another in 1984 and a third in 1995.
Today the Mankato company is recognized as one of Minnesota’s fastest growing electronics manufacturers, guided by a master plan that many of its 125 employees had a hand in crafting. It’s set impressive sales and profit records for three consecutive years, streaking ahead at 40 percent annually, and netting $856,000 on revenues of $18 million in 1998. Earnings per share tripled in that period and more money than ever is being spent on research and development, according to Hankins, who is chief executive officer and chairman of Winland’s board.

Rick McCluhan

Jul 1999 • Category: Cover Story

If a draw on his slow-burning Macanudo and a sip of his Beaujolais Nouveau doesn’t get your blood moving, his in-your-face pragmatism towards politics definitely will. Rick McCluhan, 42, born of a full-blooded Sicilian mother and Scotch-Irish father, carries a zest for life, business and politics that few southern Minnesotans can match.
From his Sicilian mother’s genes he seems to have inherited a blunt pragmatism and a fondness for pasta, cigars, and wine. It was the Sicilians’ neighbors, the Romans, after all, who coined the phrase II vino veritas: In wine there is truth.
On his Dad’s side, his heritage extends back to the feisty Protestants of Northern Ireland, who bred such Revolutionary War patriots as Patrick Henry of “Give me Liberty or give me death!” fame. All three U.S. Presidents with a Scotch-Irish past began or greatly inflamed wars: Polk (Mexican), McKinley (Spanish-American), and Johnson (Vietnam).

Hendrickson Organ Company

Jul 1999 • Category: Feature Story

He owns every issue of The American Organist published since 1929, and every issue of The Diapason back to 1913. Those trade magazines still print today. His bookshelves are crammed full of faded cloth books with out-of-print titles like Organ Building, Vibration and Sound, The History of the Organ in the United States and The Art of Organ Building. A few have German titles: Die Brabenter Orgel and Zungenstimmen. Not everyone builds pipe organs these days. When the company phone rings, Charles Hendrickson, 63, casually picks it up and says “Charles Hendrickson.” He absolutely loves his freedom as owner at Hendrickson Organ Company in St. Peter.