Posts Tagged ‘Work of Art’



March 24, 2014

There are those that find the Monday edition of the STRIB to be lacking.  Yes, some sections are smaller; like the “Business Insider” but why is that surprising?  Not much “breaking news” happens on Saturday and Sunday in the business world…but there are usually some great features and great learning opportunities through-out the few pages.  Take this morning, for instance:


Yet another advance in energy; the Buoyant Airborne Turbines float 1000 ft. in the air and can power a dozen homes.  They do not do this as cheaply as a wind farm (where costs are low as 4 cents per kilowatt per hour make it more affordable than coal in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Anything that helps those three environment-polluting states is a big positive)!  Nevertheless, 18 cents vs. 35 cents per kilowatt per hour is a BIG step forward in Alaska.

I’m sure my dad is somewhere observing all this development from the WIND FARMS to the BAT…I’m just not sure if he’s sharing in “colorful” language how foolish this is…or, if he has already figured out  how to make a few improvements!  But one thing I do know, wherever he is, Hap is monopolizing the conversations with his thoughts on these new turbines.



Meanwhile, a round of applause and more is due Devean George for the Commons at Penn Avenue.

Almost twenty years ago, a drive-by shooting killed his 11-year old cousin and motivated George to “become a success, make the NBA, care for his family and create a better community.”

With George Group North, he has been doing just that.  He owns apartment buildings, has refurbished houses and built “Marketplace & Main” , a residential/retail complex in downtown Hopkins.  He is involved in several non-profits, stays connected to Augsburg, and now has launched the “Commons at Penn Avenue” .

Tiffany Glasper, CPED, says it well:  “This is a good project because it activates an inactive corner that has been a magnet for loitering and crime.  People and activity deter crime.  And Devean has gone beyond what most developers do to work with the community.”

The NBA as well as other Pro Sports Teams should listen up!  Many of you might do well getting to know this man and his work.


7401 Metro Boulevard in Edina…you know the area-that sea of buildings between Hwy 100 and France Avenue that all look alike?  Not what you would consider a cultural spot in MSP!

Nevertheless, a law firm housed on the top floor in one of those buildings remodeling with their values in mind, and has created some buzz:

Commitment to Client:  With client privacy in mind, they included new enclosed, frosted glass conference rooms on either side of the entrance to the firm…no more parading clients through a sea of employees.

Commitment to Teamwork and Collaboration among employees called for redesigned work spaces, and,

Commitment to Community is visually displayed by works of art by artists with developmental disabilities.  The non-profit Partnership Resources teamed with the Walker Art Center to provide not only the art itself, but meet-the-artist opportunities at the firm.

Nothing big and splashing, but I am liking this; it could be a model for a new century in the business world!


We know the Polymet copper-nickel mine has raised controversy:  How does one balance 20 years of 350 jobs and lots of tax income revenue for the State of MN with a 200-year threat to the northern Minnesota watershed?  Each of us, based on interests and needs as a strong opinion.

Terry Larken, a private consultant, provided us with a summary of Risk Evaluation from the May 2010 issue of Professional Safety Magazine.  The four categories sound simple, but perhaps difficult to judge.

However, Larken made a good point as he used the North Dakota Bakken oil fields to show that an economic activity originally judged to have “acceptable risk” has become an “unacceptable risk” because of the National Transportation Safety Board report that oil trains used to transport the oil now represent an unacceptable public risk.

Larken then walked the reader through three important questions, advising that if all the answers are YES; then we have acceptable risk.  But if not, then “no amount of economic activity/reimbursement could justify its existence.”

I like this approach; no emotion; just the facts…a 21st century interpretation of that old BI real/win; worth/risk analysis model I still use on occasion.

I will leave you with his parting comment:

Let’s agree that once you crack open hard-rock sulfide ore, you must prevent it from leaching into one of the finest watersheds on the North American continent.  Ever.


Whew.  All that, and I have not even gotten to Sweden’s music makeover through Spotify and its streaming service, nor the “Movers and Shakers” column yet!

With both past and current clients in the Medical Device world, the work featured in Movers and Shakers certainly caught my eye.  I learned that the Technological Leadership Institute at U of M has a new program to “prepare students to understand, anticipate, and manage innovation challenges in the global medical device industry.”

This 30-student program has been designed to give students “knowledge of the industry, of regulatory and global trends needed for a sustained, competitive career advantage individually, and then for their organizations and give them an enhanced capability for innovation and growth for their companies.”

That’s admirable and forward-thinking.  I wonder what role U of MN Rochester might have as this rolls out.