18 Local Small Business Owners Graduate from SBA Emerging Leaders Minneapolis Class



Date: November 8, 2019 Contact: Sarah Swenty, sarah.swenty@sba.gov

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18 Local Small Business Owners Graduate from SBA Emerging Leaders Minneapolis Class

Seven-month program provides growth framework for up-and-coming Twin Cities metro area small businesses

Minneapolis – Eighteen small business owners from the Twin Cities graduate November 7, 2019 from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program, an executive-level training initiative for local businesses on the brink of growth.

The program includes approximately 100 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers and supports the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan.

“For every $200 the SBA invests in Emerging Leaders, a new job is created,” SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott said. “Many entrepreneurs know where they want to take their business but often get stuck on how to get there. SBA’s Emerging Leaders initiative proves a few tools and a strong support network can be the catalysts entrepreneurs need to take their business to a new level.”

Since 2008, when the SBA started offering the Emerging Leaders initiative in cities across the country, its more than 5,000 graduates have created approximately 6,500 jobs, accessed millions of dollars in new financing, and secured more than $3.16 billion in federal government contracts.

“Here in Minnesota we have demonstrated the strength of the Emerging Leaders program. Since 2011 we have helped over 150 small, poised-for-growth companies scale to grow jobs and the local economy,” stated Minnesota District Director, Nancy Libersky.

This is the ninth year the SBA Minnesota District provided the intensive seven-month education series. The 2019 cohort included businesses from a wide range of sizes and industries, all of which came together for the common purpose of helping themselves, and each other, grow.

SBA’s 2019 Minneapolis Emerging Leaders class graduates are:


· Travis Meyer, LaZarre Graphics and Apparel


· Ryan Muhlbaure, Dogtopia of Bloomington

Brooklyn Park

· Heidi Oas, Air Quality Engineering


· Paul Modeen, PMR


· Priya Jain, Performix Business Solutions


· Jeremy Flaten, JerCo Construction

Golden Valley

· Susan Eder, Cue the Accountant

Inver Grove Heights

· Anna Hagen, Hagen and Oats


· Paul Schimnowski, Criterium-Schimnowski Engineers


· Jim Saybolt, Biota Landscapes

· Gus Ortis, Executive Transportation

· Janice Stanford, Flygirl Creative

· Samuel Peterson, Kyatchi

· Christopher Voss, RightSource Compliance

· Nell Rueckl, Spot Spa


· Meggan Kerkenbush, Bridgeman's Ice Cream

St. Paul

· Denise Zaske, Dennis Environmental Operations


· Tina Chute, CC Equine Consulting

Executives of small businesses poised for growth in emerging markets interested in learning more regarding eligibility and how to apply for the 2020 class should visit www.sba.gov/EmergingLeaders for more information.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster.

It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.