It was a merry Mankato fest this time around in our annual Business Person of the Year competition. Our Minnesota State University College of Business panel of professors judged CEO/president Steve VanRoekel of Ridley Inc. our Business Person of the Year according to our nomination criteria, which includes business results, community involvement, personal character, and leadership.
A tip of the business hat to you, Steve, for a stellar job serving cows, company, and community, and to $568 million Ridley Inc., Steve’s employer, which is the largest business headquartered in Mankato. (This is when we remind you Taylor Corporation is in North Mankato.) Ridley has more than 700 employees and operations in 29 states, and a 500-employee joint venture with Omaha-based Ag Processing, called Masterfeeds, likely Canada’s largest feed business. Masterfeeds revenue isn’t included in the $568 million. To the uninitiated, Ridley Inc. is the proud parent of Hubbard Feeds and soon-to-be primary occupant of yet another Tailwinds Group retail/office project on Riverfront Drive in downtown Mankato.
Our first and second runners-up were Dale Brenke of Schmidt Siding & Window and Chad Surprenent of ISG.
The narratives of these three Business Person of the Year winners should excite and inspire. We hope you enjoy this issue. We thank our readers who created a healthy pool of nominees yet another year.
Sursum ad summum,
Daniel J. Vance