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Everyone has heard of 3M, General Mills, and Pillsbury, but did you know that companies such as Best Buy, Digital River, Chun King, and the Greyhound Bus Company began in Minnesota as well? In Enterprising Minnesotans we read stories of the diverse men and women throughout Minnesota’s rich history who have created exceptional businesses. Here are portraits of people driven by an entrepreneurial spirit to found enduring enterprises from 1849 to the present, including Cargill, the Mayo Clinic, Andersen Windows, Ecolab, Schwan’s, and Leeann Chin, Inc. Meet visionaries such as Cadwallader Washburn of Washburn-Crosby (eventually General Mills), James J. Hill of Great Northern Railway, Colonel Lewis Brittin of Northwest Airlines, and Earl Bakken of Medtronic.
Experience the adventurous spirit of James Madison Goodhue, who established the Minnesota Pioneer newspaper, and African American journalist John Quincy Adams, founder of the Appeal, now the Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder. Find out how Rose Totino, a daughter of poor Italian immigrants, advanced from running her own pizzeria to perfecting the production of frozen pizzas, to becoming a multimillionaire top executive with Pillsbury. Learn about the strength of entrepreneurial families like the Daytons and Fullers, and partnerships such as Jimmy Jam Harris and Terry Lewis, who turned their own successful careers as musicians into an influential R and B production company, Flyte Tyme Records.
Through fascinating stories, Enterprising Minnesotans honors the creativity, tenacity, and boldness that enabled these men and women to transform their dreams into success.
StephenGeorge is a management consultant and business writer based in the Twin Cities.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson is chair and CEO of Carlson Companies. She was named one of the “most powerful women in business” by Fortune magazine.
Published in cooperation with the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.