Chad Surprenant – Runner-Up – 2005 Business Person of the Year

In the mid-’70s, young Chad Surprenant’s chin is barely above the kitchen table and almost every evening at dinner he’s engaged in conversational repartee with his parents and three older siblings. They discuss and debate politics, current events, and aspects of their family business. Quite an introduction to the world of ideas. Chad grows up being heard and treated as an equal at home though he’s the baby, eight years younger than his closest sibling. In other words, he is being nurtured by a rock-solid phalanx of maturity.

Today, Surprenant is trying to recreate at I&S Engineers & Architects this same “kitchen table” atmosphere. To a great extent he’s succeeding.

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Lori Wightman – Runner-Up – 2005 Business Person of the Year

Lori Wightman had no intention of staying in New Ulm.

When she accepted an assignment from Allina Health Systems in July 2002 to serve as interim president of New Ulm Medical Center, she intended to keep it exactly that. “I figured I’d be here six months, that I’d just keep things held together until a new president could be found,” Wightman says. “I didn’t necessarily want to stay in New Ulm.”

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