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. Leaving China to experience the rigorous training of a sushi chef in Japan was just the beginning of Lin’s journey. He eventually landed in America, where he is now a citizen raising a family, running a business and making a life in Mankato.
Then there is Mark Ballman, who banked on his reputation to build his roofing company one client at a time out of his home office. A decade later he has his own facility, 35 employees and a company culture built to last.
Jennifer Johnson of Ace Home & Hardware in Marshall started working at the store she now owns when she was a teenager. All of these have remarkable stories that I know you will enjoy.
Happy reading, and hopefully, learning,