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Class of 2008

Thankful for their success

By Britt Johnsen

Originally ran: January 1, 2009

One is a restaurateur, another a bank leader. One is in marketing while yet another leads an overhead door company. And another sells computers and beer-brewing kits.

The St. Cloud area has a diverse business community, and this year's 5 Under 40 winners show it. They are men and women who come from different cities, different educational backgrounds, and who all work in various industries.

Still, these five share more commonalities than they may know:

They are making their mark on the Central Minnesota business community with their innovation, influence and involvement. Read on to learn more about their stories and their accomplishments.


Class of 2008

Gary Bechtold
American Door Works

Robin Gohman
Liberty Savings Bank

Tara (Tollefson) Gronhovd
Plaza Park Bank

Brandon Testa
House of Pizza and Pacific Wok

Russ Windahl
Windahl Technology LLC


In the news in 2008

Delta acquired Eagan-based Northwest Airlines in April to create the world's biggest airline.

The Republican National Convention took place Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul.

Barack Obama was elected president after a grueling battle for the Democratic nomination and a showdown with the John McCain/Sarah Palin ticket.

An economic meltdown included collapses of Wall Street giants, huge stock market losses, plummeting home prices and a surge of foreclosures. It added up to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

In the U.S., the average price for a gallon of regular gas peaked at $4.11 in the summer, then plunged below $1.70.

China hosted the Olympics for first time.

A huge quake in May killed 70,000 people in Sichuan province of China and left 5 million homeless.

Source: Times archives

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