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Centers, EveningMBA, Local business, Newsroom

Evening MBA student knows noodles…and negatives

Evening UST MBA students are experts at balancing work, life, and classes.  The vast majority of our students work full time, take one or two courses each semester, and make time for activities with friends and family.  But few evening students pack as many activities into each day as Tony Wang does.

Like many MBA students, Tony had several years of work experience under his belt before starting his MBA, having worked for retail giants SuperValu and Best Buy.  However, Tony also plays the role of  Business Development Manager and trusted advisor to his parents, owners of wholesale noodle manufacturer Canton Foods.  The company, which has been in the family for 36 years, is based in south Minneapolis and was recently profiled in the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

UST MBA student Tony Wang

UST MBA student Tony Wang

In addition to his family business, Tony is a photographer and runs his own company, FireBox Photography.  Tony has even put his talents to use on campus by photographing Commencement, graduation receptions, and holiday parties.

While the combination of professional endeavors Tony engages in may be unique, he exemplifies two major trends in today’s business world:  family-run businesses and start-ups.  The Opus College of Business has developed centers run by staff and faculty experts to help families and new entrepreneurs successfully develop their businesses. 

The UST Family Business Center has five faculty fellows, three full-time staff members, and over a dozen business executives on its advisory board with expertise in operating family-owned companies.  The Morrison Center for Entrepreneurship and the William C. Norris Institute provide valuable financial and consulting resources for start-ups, and the Small Business Development Center offers consulting assistance free of charge to Twin Cities small business owners.  

Tony may not know yet exactly where his career will ultimately take him, but he has plenty of resources at his disposal at UST to help ensure that his next business step is a successful one.

Faculty, Local business, Newsroom

Central Corridor: boon or bane for business?

As most Twin Cities residents know, construction for the long-discussed Central Corridor Light Rail project is now underway, with the line expected to be completed sometime in 2014.  While hopes are high that the billion-dollar project will bring great benefits to both Minneapolis and St. Paul, the construction phase is disrupting business as usual for many retailers along the route.Central-Corridor-Light-Rail-in-Twin-Cities-Region-Map_mediumthumb

Dr. Dave Brennan, Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence in the Opus College of Business, recently commented on the business impacts of the light rail line in an interview with the Pioneer Press.  He believes that the long-term benefits of the new transit corridor will be positive for local businesses, but that unfortunately some small businesses may not survive the disruption of business during the construction period.

Minnpost.com highlighted the actions that Central Corridor businesses are taking to combat the disruptions from construction.  Loyalty cards, discounts, and other perks are being used to lure new customers and keep existing ones visiting local businesses.  The Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce has also instituted a marketing campaign to promote Central Corridor businesses called “Discover Central Corridor.”

In a related story, the Star Tribune reported that the light rail could physically damage the Capitol building in downtown St. Paul.  Apparently sections of the marble on the building, installed over a century ago, could loosen and fall due to vibrations from the light rail trains passing nearby.  The legislature has not yet decided whether or not to allocate funds to strengthen the structural integrity of the Capitol, or to defer repairs until after the Central Corridor light rail opens.

EveningMBA, leadership, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Alumni

Lynn Casey honored for Career Achievement

Women in BizThe Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s 14th Annual Women in Business Awards publication was released late last week.  Lynn Casey, CEO and Chairwoman of public relations firm Padilla Speer Beardsley Inc., was chosen as this year’s Career Achievement honoree and is featured on the cover. 

Padilla Speer Beardsley is the largest public relations firm in the area, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s 2011 Book of Lists ranking the Twin Cities’ top businesses.  The company took in more than $15 million in net fee income last year, more than double that of its closest competitor.

Casey, a graduate of the Evening UST MBA program, manages to find the time to serve as the chair of Meet Minneapolis, the official convention and visitors association responsible for promoting tourism and travel to Minneapolis.  She is also a member of the executive committee of the Minneapolis Downtown Council along with Opus College of Business Dean Christopher Puto.

The Opus College of Business is proud to count Lynn Casey among our alumni, and we congratulate her on her career successes and contributions to the Twin Cities business community!

Environment, FTMBA, Local business, Newsroom, Student Life

Full-time UST MBA students tour “greenest” ballpark

Target Field FTMBA

Target Field received many accolades when it opened last spring for its attractive design and great views from virtually every seating section.  But did you know that it is also the most environmentally-friendly major league ballpark in the United States?

A group of 20 Full-time UST MBA students and staff had the opportunity to tour Target Field on Monday and learned about how the focus on environmental considerations impacted the final design of the stadium.  Our group was surprised (and a bit perplexed) to hear that a 12.5-acre stadium was built on an 8-acre site.  The tour guide explained the design modifications made to accommodate Target Field’s construction, including building some of the access roads and plazas above existing rail lines.  Construction cranes worked from the inside of the stadium, rather than from the outside as is typical of most construction projects.

The U.S. Green Building Council has developed a set of standards known as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  New or existing buildings can apply for LEED certification, which verifies that the building “is environmentally responsible, profitable and a healthy place to live and work.”  As our group learned, Target Field earned LEED quality points in a variety of categories.  The site selected was “brownfield” land which had previous industrial uses.  Because the developers removed waste and remediated the land, it was judged to be a positive addition to the metropolitan area. Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, Local business, Newsroom

Before the Bundt pan: A short history of Nordic Ware

Jennifer and Dorothy Dalquist

Jennifer and Dorothy Dalquist

As discussed in a previous post, being the baker I am, I’m a huge fan of the Bundt pan.  When I heard about a talk being given by Dorothy and Jennifer Dalquist of Nordic Ware, I jumped at the chance to take part.  On Wednesday, April 27,  the American Swedish Institute presented “Before the Bundt: A History of Nordic Ware’s Scandinavian Heritage.”  Dorothy Dalquist, co-founder of Nordic Ware, and her granddaughter Jennifer Dalquist, brand manager of Nordic Ware, discussed the history of the company and specifically the æbleskiver pan. Continue Reading

Career Services, Local business, Media, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Are you having fun at work?

unhappy-worker-April 5 is national “Fun at Work Day,” but according to an article I spotted in the St. Petersburg Times, many people on the east side of the Twin Cities won’t be celebrating.  A study put out by CareerBliss, an online career community, lists Minneapolis at a respectable 15th place out of  the 50 largest U.S. cities in its survey of “The Best and Worst Cities to Work,” while St. Paul finished dead last–the “unhappiest” city in the US in which to work!

I don’t know about you, but I was a tad surprised by this.  In fact, I went so far as to honestly believe the article switched “happiest” with “unhappiest” by mistake.  In general, I don’t know too many unhappy people when it comes to their personal employment.  Perhaps I’ve lived a sheltered existence during my eleven years in Minnesota, but this eye-catching headline drew me in. Continue Reading

Local business, Media, Newsroom

Everything Old is New Again

Mid-century-Modern-Home-Renovation-2

Having recently purchased my first home in July, I’ve become consumed with decorating this 1956 rambler with time-appropriate materials.  Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you my once mild interest in mid-century design has exploded into complete addiction.  Aside from local vintage shops, you can find me perusing estate sales and Craigslist, always on the hunt for another noteworthy “find.”  (Currently, I’m searching for original switch plates for my bedrooms.)  My friends knew that this addiction of mine was here to stay once I purchased a delightful 1950s original pink sectional sofa that is now proudly on display in my basement. 

Mid-century modern design is popular, and according to many designers it will only become more popular in the next year.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Wikipedia defines mid-century modern as an architectural, interior and product design form that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. Continue Reading

Environment, Local business, Newsroom

Four Visions of the Minneapolis Riverfront

Four competing design firms presented their visions in late January for how to improve a large portion of the Mississippi River corridor in Minneapolis north of downtown. The teams were asked to propose how the city can better connect neighborhoods to the river and build on the area’s history, culture, ecology and economic conditions. More details on the process are available from the Star Tribune.

Their visions are available on-line and the winner will be announced tomorrow morning in a press conference at Nicollet Pavilion. This (2-hour) video shows all of the presentations:

From the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition website: Continue Reading

Local business, Media, Newsroom

All Aboard! Express Bus vs. Commuter Rail

nslogo1Metro pass in hand, I board the Ramsey Star Express.  As a commuter living in the northwest suburbs, I have access to riding the Ramsey Star Express (the bus) or the Northstar Commuter Rail (the train).  My choice–the bus.  But why? 

Before I go into why, let’s learn more about both options…

The Ramsey Star Express, operated by Metro Transit, provides Ramsey and surrounding residents with “coach comfort,” on-time service, and four daily rush hour trips to downtown Minneapolis.  The attractive nature of a coach bus was recently overshadowed by the new Northstar Commuter Rail with promises of a safer, shorter, and more reliable commute. 

Minnesota’s first commuter rail service, the Northstar Commuter Rail hit the tracks in late 2009.  The Northstar train travels on a 40-mile stretch along Highway 10 between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis, with stops in Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids, and Fridley.  When first launched, advocates for the train predicted big ridership numbers and huge time savings for riders.  As stated in last week’s Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal article, “Northstar tallied 710,400 rides in 2010, nearly 21 percent below projections. Metro Transit said the service, aimed at rush-hour commuters, was ‘hampered by the weak economy and a 7 percent unemployment rate with fewer people headed to jobs in downtown Minneapolis.’” Continue Reading

Local business, Media, Newsroom

Roof Collapse at Mall of America (Field)

This post by Steve Baird originally appeared on DuetsBlog, which was born out of the chasm that can divide legal and marketing types and seeks to facilitate collaborations among them.

Do you suppose that the Mall of America ever thought about its brand name being associated with a “roof collapse” when it signed on and paid for the naming rights at the aging Mall of America Field, the nearly thirty year old inflatable indoor venue “formerly known as” the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Having seen this image, the above question may seem especially relevant now, given the sheer size and importance of the integrity of the roof at the actual Mall of America, a roof so large that:

I’m thinking that the Mall of America has some pretty impressive public relations and PR talent to have most roof collapse news stories referring to the Metrodome name, not Mall of America Field.

Perhaps unintentional subtlety, or a slavish distinction between a roof and field, but it appears the Metrodome name is being linked more closely with the roof collapse, and the Mall of America Field name is being associated with some harmless snow falling on the empty field, with this headline, as a good example: “Metrodome Roof Collapse Leaves Snow on Mall of America Field.”

I suspect this is a good example of one time when the Mall of America may be happy its naming right to the Metrodome hasn’t supplanted all use of or reference to the Metrodome:

We certainly can all be happy and thankful that the roof collapse didn’t occur during an event, and that no one was hurt during the collapse of the “Metrodome” roof.

Still, I’m left wondering whether the Vikings will be thankful for the roof collapse, especially if it ends up playing a role in obtaining a new home field for the team.

Losing the ability to host two home games in a disappointing and already losing season may be a very small price to pay for some new digs.

Thanks again to Steve Baird and DuetsBlog for allowing us to re-post this here.