LinguaOne

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.”

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The Refinery

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.

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Spring Touch Lawn & Pest Control

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.

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St. Peter Lumber Company

Chad DeBlieck grew up around the lumber yard. He didn’t really know it then, but watching his dad manage the operations of Standard Lumber was giving him tools he didn’t even know he would want or need. But that he now knows, helped get him where he is today.

DeBlieck’s father managed the yard in St. Peter for almost two decades, before purchasing it in 1988 and changing the name to St. Peter Lumber Company. And that started a new history for a new family-owned business. As his father eventually sold the business to him in 2011.

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David Milbrath

Runner-Up: Business Person of the Year 2018
Springfield, Minnesota sits quietly on the edge of Brown County in the southern part of the state, surrounded by prime agricultural land. It is a rural community, population of 2,200…give or take. But in the heart of this small town is a giant talent, David Milbrath of Prairie Plans Asset Management. Milbrath founded the company in 1992 and today it manages $500 million for households throughout the country.

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Mike, Pat and Todd Redig

Runner-Up: Business Person of the Year 2018
It was 68 years ago, back in 1949, that a Norwegian immigrant found his way to Minnesota Lake, Minnesota. Building a life there, by designing and building homes for others, as Nordaas American Homes. “Haakon’s story was almost a rags to riches to almost back to rags story. He was on the downside of business when we got involved. It’s taken a lot of years to bring it back. His thought and idea was that you work hard and when you do something, you do it right.”

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