Connect Business Magazine

Since 1994: The Magazine for Growing Businesses in Southern Minnesota

Archives for the ‘Feature Story’ Category

Ballman Roofing & Coating

Nov 2018 • Category: Feature Story

The materials and tools needed to build or replace a roof may seem basic: an underlayment, shingles, roofing nails, a nail gun and roofing knife. But it’s the tools you can’t see that Mark Ballman really believes makes a difference in his company. “The typical roofer has had some type of tough situation in their life,” says Ballman. “But most have got a good soul and a big heart.”

Marshall Ace Home & Hardware

Nov 2018 • Category: Feature Story

As the oldest of three children in the family, Jennifer (Fox) Johnson was 15 when she began her career at what is now Ace Home & Hardware in Marshall, Minnesota. “One evening, my father, Ray Fox, told me I was going to the store with him the next day and to be ready to learn the hardware business,” she explains.

Franklin Rogers Park & Mankato MoonDogs

Sep 2018 • Category: Feature Story

During the 2018 season, the renovated Franklin Rogers Park in Mankato has made nearly as many headlines as the final scores of Moondogs games. The team has been playing over .500 baseball, but the ballpark is hitting a homerun with each home game played. Lost somewhere in the box scores is the fact that new ownership took over the Northwoods League team in the off-season, giving the 19-year-old collegiate summer baseball team something it has never had before: local ownership.


Sep 2018 • Category: Feature Story

Business no longer takes place in a monolinguistic world. “The United States is sorely behind all other countries when it comes to linguistic advancement,” explains Tessa Donato, founder of Mankato-based LinguaOne. “Approximately 60-75% of the world’s population speaks, at least, two languages. Throughout Europe, it is not uncommon for people to know four to six languages.”

The Refinery

Jul 2018 • Category: Feature Story

It’s being dubbed a “Retail Apocalypse”. The term refers to the closing of a large number of North American, large chain, brick-and-mortar retail stores. The trend started in 2010 and shows no sign of slowing in 2018. “As I look at these large retailers and department stores struggling, I feel as though so much of it comes from losing touch with their customers and worrying more about the statistics,” says Ashleigh Moelter.

Spring Touch Lawn & Pest Control

Jul 2018 • Category: Feature Story

When Marv Kottke started mowing lawns 45 years ago, he didn’t imagine his customer base would eventually grow from two dozen to 12,000. He didn’t imagine he’d possess the help of more than 60 employees. He didn’t imagine running a fleet of 35 trucks, each with Spring Touch Lawn & Pest Control emblazoned on the side and equipped with tablets and printers. He didn’t imagine having anyone besides his parents to answer the phones, much less a call center with half a dozen employees doing only that.