Business People: Afro Deli founder named Small Business Person of the Year
The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Abdirahman Kahin, CEO and owner of Afro Deli and Grill, as Minnesota’s Small Business Person of the Year for 2023. Kahin will compete for National Small Business Person of the Year during National Small Business Week, the first week of May, in Washington, D.C. Since the first location opened in 2010, Afro Deli has expanded to four locations across the Twin Cities.
Primacy Strategy Group, a St. Paul-based lobbying and business promotion firm announced the following staff promotions and additions: Jake Blum, promoted to political director and public relations manager; Calvin Benson, hired to the government relations and regulatory affairs team, and Heidi Esparza, hired as executive assistant to the CEO. Primacy Strategy Group is a partnership between PR firm Synergetic Endeavors and Minneapolis law firm Lockridge Grindal Nauen.
Ceres Global Ag Corp., a Golden Valley-based commodity and energy logistics company, announced it has named Jennifer Henderson vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, effective Feb. 13. Henderson previously held similar executive roles at Believer Meats.
Wold Architects & Engineers, St. Paul, announced the promotions of Rachel Bartling, Tom Clark and Teng Vang to the associates leadership team in St. Paul.
System Pavers, a California-based outdoor-living design and installation company, announced the hire of Brent Schaefer as chief growth officer, based in the Twin Cities. Schaefer previously served as an investment professional at Houlihan Lokey and Morgan Stanley.
Winthrop & Weinstine, Minneapolis, announced that Michael A. Gale-Butto has joined the firm as an associate in the Litigation practice. Gale-Butto is a former assistant attorney with the city of Minneapolis.
The Toro Co., a Bloomington-based maker of lawn mowers and snow removal machines for consumers and businesses, announced that Renee J. Peterson, vice president and chief financial officer, plans to retire in July 2023. Angela C. Drake, currently vice president, finance will succeed Peterson as vice president and chief financial officer, effective March 10. Peterson will continue to serve the organization as vice president, finance, to assist with the transition.
Electromed, a New Prague-based make of airway clearance technologies, announced that Kathleen Skarvan will retire as president and chief executive officer in 2023, after which Skarvan will serve as a non-employee member and chair of the company’s board of directors.
Angel Foundation, a Mendota Heights-based organization that helps meet the financial needs of cancer patients, announced that Kirstie Foster has been named as chair of the board of directors. Foster is the president and founder of Foster Modern PR. She previously held positions at CHS, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and General Mills. … Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota announced the following employee recipients of its 2022 President’s Award of Excellence: Janelle Milling, Kelli Whisnant, Jody Shaskey-Setright, Jenni Carrier, Sheri Swopes, Stacy Abdouch, Taymara Montague, Alissa Dott, and Jennifer Kreps.
IWG, a global provider of hybrid working locations with brands Spaces and Regus, announced the opening two flexible workspaces in Lakeville and Rochester, in partnership with Ryan Semler and Reed Lifka, under the Regus brand.
Minnesota Builders Exchange, a trade group representing the commercial construction industry, announced its 2023 board members and leadership: Board Chair Greg Grazzini, Grazzini Brothers, Eagan; Vice President Michael Carlson, Max Gray Construction, Hibbing; Treasurer Heidi Sedlacek, Bituminous Roadways, Mendota Heights; Secretary David Siegel, MBEX executive director, and Immediate Past President Randy LaFaive, Market & Johnson, Stillwater. Board members: David Brandt, Jason DuVal, Chuck Geisler, Brian Kalla, Sean Ochis, Jason Rentmeester, Andrew Ristrom, Nate Sapik.
Twin Cities Premium Outlets, Eagan, announced the following upcoming openings: jewelry retailer Lovisa; Kids Palace, an indoor park and fun center, and Luxhury, a health-focused personal care brand, relocating from a previous location at the center.
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