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Class of 2009

Leaders to learn from

By Britt Johnsen

Originally ran: January 1, 2010

Across these pages you will find extraordinary Central Minnesotans.

They are business leaders who are different in distinct ways. They come from a variety of industries, ranging from agriculture to technology. Some manage a handful of people while others are at the helm of a company with hundreds of workers.

Four of the five are women, which is a first for a 5 Under 40 class. 

But perhaps most striking are the core of values these people hold tightly. Endurance. Work ethic. Commitment. Drive to succeed. Faith.

They are all Central Minnesota natives with entrepreneurial spirits. And they all have a story about where they came from and where they are going.

Read on to learn from their stories of struggle and success.


Class of 2009

Corey Bartlett
Automotive Parts Headquarters

Sandy Hansen-Wolff
AgVenture Feed & Seed

Jody Sayre
GeoComm

Ranadene K. Tapio
Business Office Consultants


In the news in 2009

Granite City Crossing opened 19 months after an inspection found faulty trusses on DeSoto Bridge, the Minnesota Highway 23 crossing over the Mississippi River in St. Cloud.

Brett Favre was among eight Minnesota Vikings who made the NFC Pro Bowl team after Favre led the team to the division title.

St. Cloud was ranked the eighth-safest mid-sized city in the United States by Farmers Insurance Group of Companies.

On Dec. 2, St. Cloud native Tom Petters was convicted on 20 counts of fraud in connection with a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme.

The Great Recession continued as the year ended. Local unemployment in 2009 was as high as 9.8 percent in February and March. Layoffs occurred at many major businesses.

Northstar, the state's first commuter rail line, began regular operation Nov. 16 after 13 years of planning and a $320 million investment.

The professional sports world got attention as tougher rules revealed problems with performance-enhancing drugs.

Tiger Woods was injured when his Escalade crashed into a tree on the evening of Nov. 27, and the circumstances revealed his problems with infidelity.

General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy while Ford's worldwide sales fell sharply.

Casualties on all sides mounted as U.S. forces, with their Afghan and NATO allies, battled the resilient Taliban.

Source: Times archives, The Associated Press

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HealthPartners
Central Minnesota Clinic

Initiative Foundation
of Little Falls