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Class of 2012

Accomplished, ambitious and under 40

By Kevin Allenspach

Originally ran: January 6, 2013

For eight years, Times Media has highlighted some of the best and brightest young people on the Central Minnesota business scene with its annual 5 Under 40 awards. Perhaps never before have the honorees been more aligned toward benefiting others.

By its nature, business is about what one party can provide to another. But Julie Anderson, Katrina Pierson, Dave Smith, Melinda Tamm and Dawn Zimmerman embody the spirit of assistance. They include two medical doctors, two communications experts who often work on behalf of nonprofit organizations, and a dance instructor who has tapped into a special niche of teaching children to express themselves and develop self-esteem.

Anderson is a family physician and Smith is a pediatrician.

Anderson, 38, wants to work to transform health care in St. Cloud, starting in the exam room. She wants to promote better-quality, lower-cost health care and optimal communication between providers.

Smith, 37, wants to catch problems before they start. That's why he's devoted his life to teaching and treating the young. Through education and medicine, his hope is that by giving people the right start in life they can prolong it many years later.

Three of the five largest employers in the area are not-for-profit organizations. Pierson, 26, helps organizations in Central Minnesota meet their missions effectively and efficiently — seeking to solve some of society's biggest issues in the process.

Zimmerman, 32, donates as much as 20 percent to 30 percent of her professional time to nonprofits. Her company offers communications and social media assistance, and she helped start a co-working environment where some new small businesses are collaborating and thriving downtown.

And Tamm, 32, a former Minnesota Vikings cheerleader and NFL choreographer, has centered her business model on giving hundreds of kids a foundation for physical fitness and artistic expression.

They are some of the people who will shape tomorrow for the area.

Class of 2012

Julie Anderson
St. Cloud Medical Group

Katrina Pierson
Vela Strategy

David Smith
Sartell Pediatrics

Melinda Tamm
Ms. Melinda's Dance Studio

Dawn Zimmerman
The Write Advantage

In the news in 2012

Larry Haws, known for leadership in the city park system, Stearns County board and the Minnesota Legislature, died March 27 of brain cancer. He was 72.

A Memorial Day explosion that killed one worker at Verso Paper mill in Sartell led to a decision to close the plant.

Under new ownership, the Northwoods League baseball team based in St. Cloud becomes the Rox.

Alise Post of St. Cloud competes in Olympic BMX racing at the Summer Games in London.

By September, hiring is underway at St. Cloud's new farm implement manufacturer, Geringhoff.

President Barack Obama wins second term.

On Dec. 15, Allegiant Air made its first trip from St. Cloud Regional Airport to Mesa, Arizona, marking the first regular commercial air service via the airport since Delta Airlines shuttered service Dec. 31, 2009.

Source: Times archive

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