Lorin Krueger – Sailor Plastics

When Mankato native Lorin Krueger drives across southwest Minnesota, he sees more than small towns dotting the map. He sees opportunities.“It’s amazing, isn’t it? I have lived here my whole life, but as I’ve gotten out and around more in southwest Minnesota I find there are a lot of really neat businesses. Last month Connect talked about River City Eatery in Windom. That is a neat business. The Worthington area is really starting to pick up.

Read more

Mankato Golf Club 100th Anniversary

There are many business tools available today that weren’t around 100, 40 or even 10 years ago: smart phone apps, Skype meetings, and super high-speed internet just to name a few. Nowadays there are a LOT of high-tech ways business gets done. However, there is a more traditional business tool that is still thriving, a good old-fashioned way to get business deals made. It’s not in a conference room or an office building…but on a golf course.

Read more

1 Million Cups Initiative in Mankato

Diversity, equity, inclusion. There is a movement sweeping the nation that relies on these three words to bring entrepreneurs together and to elevate them in their communities. It’s known as 1 Million Cups. Founded in 2012 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, it’s based on the notion that entrepreneurs – and all business relationships really – develop over a million cups of coffee. Along with a little conversation.

Read more

Boys & Girls Club of Mankato

“We currently are serving K-8 grades, and while we do not have geographic limitations, our members are from Mankato and North Mankato. We currently have over 100 members enrolled with about 45 attending each day. We are working on transportation so that we can increase our daily attendance,” says executive director Erin Simmons. The Club rents the upper level of the St. John the Baptist Parish Life Center on Broad Street in Mankato.

Read more

Brian Stark

In many ways, starting a business is like creating a piece of art: building a company often involves bringing together different “materials,” then honing and crafting them to meet the vision of what the entrepreneur wants the business to be.

An artist will first sketch a thumbnail of their project, much like an entrepreneur creating a business plan. An artist will then compose the basic elements needed to get the project going, much like a start up securing financing, a location, employees. Then the artist will start creating, one step at a time, adding detail and sometimes going in a different direction than the original sketch, much like a business owner finding the perfect niche for them.

Read more

Exclusively Diamonds

After 38 years in business, Exclusively Diamonds continues to grow prompting a move to a bigger space at 1601 Adams Street in Mankato. “The larger showroom has a more extensive Rolex buildout, increases our bridal/engagement ring space, and provides ample space for us to host our annual Holiday Party and Ladies’ Night complete with live music and catering,” says Maria Person, Vice President of Exclusively Diamonds.

Read more

Betty Ouren

Betty Ouren: mom, community leader and powerful professional. Ouren is Vice President of Human Resources and Marketing for MinnStar Bank. She is responsible for staffing administration, marketing and bank philanthropy. She has been with MinnStar for 22 years…and counting! Ouren was also the 2017 recipient of Greater Mankato Growth’s Hap Halligan Award for leadership, an honor Ouren has certainly earned through her involvement in many civic-minded projects.

Read more