Rudy Simondi – Founder of FLIPS


What helps me have a productive day is keeping myself incredibly organized and staying positive throughout the day. As a business owner, I’m always on my toes (in my flip flops, of course). With four decades in retail, FLIPS founder Rudy Simondi has consistently executed business strategies to launch startups and improve longstanding retail operations. […]

Clarence Bethea – Founder of Upsie

Clarence Bethea - Founder of Upsie

Defining a problem is the first step to bringing a new idea to life. I look for problems that may be getting overlooked, and then consider the solutions available. Clarence Bethea is a business entrepreneur, consumer advocate, community leader, coach, mentor and father. Over the years, Clarence has worked with businesses from startup to Fortune […]

Chuck Amos – CEO of GuideK12

Chuck Amos - CEO of GuideK12

This may sound strange, but for small companies, not all growth is good growth. Measured growth is best. I believe that a company needs to pace itself with regard to the promises and commitments it makes both internally and externally. No amount of growth is worth breaking promises to your customers. Chuck Amos, a proven […]

Becky Sturm – Owner and Founder of 3waybeauty

[quote style=”boxed”]I closed it, cried, and then put my big girl pants on.[/quote] Becky Sturm is the owner and founder of 3waybeauty and StormSister Spatique and the co-founder of the HAMMS Event. StormSister Spatique is an online beauty boutique and 3waybeauty is a multi-functional, grooming brand. HAMMS Event – Help A Minnesota Maker Succeed, is […]

Ben Vanden Wymelenberg – Owner and CEO of Woodchuck

[quote style=”boxed”]There is going to be an aspect of your business you despise doing. Get it done, and once you’ve pushed hard enough to reach the next level, you can hire someone else to do it for you.[/quote] As founders’ stories go, Ben Vanden Wymelenberg’s tale can be placed into the—came up with a business […]

Margaret Rode and Becca Feroe – Founders of doublesDate

[quote style=”boxed”]If we were to start again, we would definitely want to be born into money. Not being fed from the silver spoon is the worst decision we’ve ever made.[/quote] Margaret Rode, together with her best friend and co-founder, Becca Feroe, run a Chicago start-up called doublesDate. Margaret and Becca never had a reason to […]

Jay Haase – Founder of Wire Car

[quote style=”boxed”]I keep telling myself: I will succeed.[/quote] Jay Haase grew up in northern Minnesota. During his childhood, his family moved around a lot. Jay remembers switching schools as being a bit scary, and like many of us remembers the feeling of “not quite fitting in”. It was the mid-seventies, during 7th grade, when Jay […]

Matt Hunt – Founder of Stanford and Griggs

[quote style=”boxed”]My failures are the outcomes of my actions, but they do not define who I am.[/quote] Matt Hunt is a professional speaker, blogger, consultant and founder of Stanford and Griggs, LLC. With over 20 years of business and technology experience he has a demonstrated excellence in business strategy, innovation, and leadership development with large […]

John Brownlee – CEO and Co-founder of

[quote style=”boxed”]Network aggressively and authentically. [/quote] It quickly becomes clear that John Brownlee is convinced a few simple technologies in the hands of patients and health care providers can lead to a better health care experience, and improved outcomes. In fact, he makes a convincing case that that they must lead there, or we’re in big […]

Lief Larson – CEO of Workface

[quote style=”boxed”]Stay focused on what success means to you. Too often, the day-to-day distractions get in the way. Don’t let what you think other people’s expectations are of you trump your expectations of yourself.[/quote] Lief C. Larson has been a pioneer in media and Internet technology and has a proven track record in product research, […]