Class of 2005
When he was selected for the award, St. Cloud State University graduate Brian Schoenborn talked about his passion for finding the next generation of homegrown businesses in Central Minnesota.
What are you doing now?
Managing partner in St. Cloud for Stinson Leonard Street, a 500-plus attorney regional law firm. As a business and estate planner, I help family businesses and farms successfully transition from generation to generation. Also, never let someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything. Therefore, I don't just talk about business, I live it.
How did the 5 Under 40 award affect your life?
Being in the inaugural class helped me understand that when you do good things for people, opportunities (and recognition) show up. It really pushed me to reach higher, go farther and dig deeper to make a meaningful positive difference in our community.
Other big changes since you received the award?
I've helped drive various significant community initiatives including the renovation and expansion of the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center and Fifth Avenue Live!, between St. Cloud State University and downtown St. Cloud. Those projects also resulted in being awarded the city's 2012 Heritage Preservation Award.
What will make the St. Cloud area greater in coming years?
Servant leadership. "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile." We need people to step forward and do what they can with the talent, energy and resources they have. By doing that, our community will be greater in the coming year and each year thereafter. Currently, too much is expected from too few.
Originally ran: January 1, 2006
Born: St. Cloud
Job: Partner and founder of St. Cloud's Leonard, Street and Deinard office. Partner in Freeze.com, a St. Cloud Internet-based marketing business.
College: St. Cloud State University, University of Minnesota Law School
Family: Wife, Debbie; two children, Kaitlyn, 3, John, 1
What was the defining moment in your career?
(Two law school professors) sat me down and asked me, "Where do you want to end up?" I said, my family roots are here, and I want to make a difference here. They really taught me about the practice of law and the profession. It's really about helping people. It's like medicine — without the blood.
What is the best advice you've received?
Lee Hanson taught me to practice law from your heart. Rick Pepin did, too.
How have you developed such a long, loyal list of clients?
Many of my clients are my best friends, and many of my friends that I grew up with are my clients. I'm very comfortable with the people and the issues they face. Being a good business lawyer takes a good businessman.
How have you emerged as a leader in this community?
I believe you are what you expect. When you sit back and look at what you've accomplished and what's still out there, you realize that the lion's share of the issues we face are still out there.
What drives you daily?
The thing I want to do more than anything in my profession is find the next generation of (homegrown) businesses.
What has been most gratifying?
My involvement in the hockey business and starting the Sioux Falls Stampede. ... I've been able to see what that's done in South Dakota. It's also helped me move more deeply into the sports business, which I really enjoy.
What have you given up for your success?
My wife would tell you a lot of time with family. I've had to give up some friends that are purely social.
What motivates you?
Life is about perspective. When you're at a great point, don't be too excited and when you're at a low point, don't get too disappointed. (My family) believes in hard work and the fact there is always opportunity to do better and grow. We have had illness in our family. I've had illness. Time is what's important and not letting it slip by.
What would you like people to know about you?
I love to teach. I've been an adjunct professor at St. Cloud State on and off for a number of years. As time goes on and I have time, I'd like to do more teaching.
What is the motto you live by and how did you develop it?
Do what you can with what you have. It came from parents, Jerry and Bernice Schoenborn.