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The MinnWest Podcast
29 minutes | May 10, 2022
Conference Planning w/ Sara Stark Michelich
Discussion Topics: Sara's professional background + a little about her event planning business - Stark Group A breakdown of the 2022 Partners in Ag Innovation Benefits of working with a speaker's bureau The role + importance of conference sponsors How to stay calm while executing a large business conference ;-) Learn more about Stark Group, Inc: starkgroupinc.com Register for MWTC's Partners in Ag Innovation Conference: partnersinag.com/v2/page/WelcomePage Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Sara or Joanna or on Linkedin!
27 minutes | Apr 26, 2022
Business Development + Childcare w/ Scott Marquardt from SWIF
Discussion Topics: An overview of SWIF + some of the big ways they help rural communities The childcare crisis post-pandemic SWIF's history + partnership with MinnWest Technology Campus What is a site selector? What do they do for our region? Gap financing + loan opportunities for small businesses Learn more about the Southwest Initiative Foundation: swifoundation.org Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Scott or Joanna or on Linkedin
38 minutes | Apr 19, 2022
Workforce + State of the Labor Market w/ Luke Greiner from MN DEED
Discussion Topics: Luke's longtime love of economics + finance Valuable tools that DEED can provide businesses looking to hire + retain employees An overview of MN's current labor market + the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic Interpreting unemployment + labor force participation rates The impact of childcare on the job market Expectations of the Gen Z workforce Learn more about DEED: mn.gov/deed/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Luke or Joanna or on Linkedin!
35 minutes | Oct 5, 2021
Tyler w/ PROCORE
Discussion Topics: Tyler's career path thus far - from chemist to customer support... How PROCORE found its home on MinnWest Campus The three values that drive the company culture at PROCORE How to attract + retain talent What is means to be a unicorn company How the pandemic changed PROCORE The next steps for this growing company! Learn more about PROCORE: www.procore.com/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Tyler or Joanna or on Linkedin!
42 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
Developing Community w/ Aaron & Sarah of the EDC
Discussion Topics: Breakdown of the economic development picture within the county Silver linings that came out of the pandemic How do EDC projects + ideas come about? Community broadband initiatives The Elevate Program = a new opportunity for local entrepreneurs One dream project to bring to life in our community... Learn more about the EDC: http://kandiyohi.com/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Aaron, Sarah, Joanna or Liz on Linkedin!
42 minutes | May 26, 2021
How did the MinnWest Campus start??? w/ Ken Warner, WLACC Exec. Dir.
It was 2005 and a group of business leaders had a vision for this community. With jobs disappearing from the once-state owned healthcare facility, many thought the 100 acre property would continue to slip into disrepair and become an eyesore in Willmar...and it almost happened. Businesses are the lifeblood of thriving communities and at the head of those businesses are entrepreneurial leaders with visions of a brighter future. Grab a coffee and take a few minutes to hear the story of how the MinnWest Campus came to be.
35 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Professional Development w/ Kristi DeGree + Bethany Wallace of Life Science Innovations
Some of the good stuff we chatted about with Kristi + Bethany! What is servant leadership? And how do you go about implementing this belief system into an organization? The (somewhat long) process of developing company values + establishing a company purpose. Performance reviews + values… how are they related? How to have productive team meetings. Creating a virtual professional development program. Learn more about Life Science Innovations: https://life-scienceinnovations.com/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Kristi, Bethany, Liz + Joanna on Linkedin!
38 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
The Ladies of LSI
Some of the fun things we chatted about with Katie, Linda + Beth! making decisions about your career path finding mentors... sometimes other people can see things in you that you don’t see in yourself the importance of taking risk + leaning into your strengths advice for females in the workplace Netflix binge watches Life Science Innovations… things you might not know! Learn more about Life Science Innovations: https://life-scienceinnovations.com/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Katie, Beth, Linda + Joanna on Linkedin!
36 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
Eric w/ the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission
The MMDC has been serving regions all across MN since 1974 with a mission to assist + improve the quality of life within small communities. The commission located in Willmar (and as of late - here on campus!) is one of 9 regional development organizations that all work together to have a pretty substantial impact on greater MN. Here's a snapshot of some of the things you'll learn about from Eric: how collaboration is key to making change what types of projects the MMDC has had a hand in bringing to life who is able to benefit from the MMDC's services + access funding opportunities a few exciting upcoming economic development projects currently in the works for our area Learn more about the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission: http://mmrdc.org/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Eric + Joanna on Linkedin!
74 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
Who You Are Matters w/ Liz & Tyler
Curious to find out more about your own strengths? Check out Gallup StrengthsFinder!_________________ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Liz // Tyler // Joanna on Linkedin!
38 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
Find Your Own Way w/ Jamie Duininck
Episode 6: Jamie Duininck On this episode, we sit down to chat with Jamie Duininck, co-President + 3rd generation owner of Prinsco to learn a little more about the family businesses and how it all started in Prinsburg MN nearly 50 years ago. Prinsco first got its start in the water management industry in 1975 making gravity flow storm sewers out of concrete. It began as a solution for the agriculture market - specifically farmers - to help manage the amount of water that stays on their land. The concrete pipes were short lived, as they transitioned to all plastic in the 80’s - but the need for their product continued to grow. With evolution of demand and the customers they serve, Prinsco has since expanded into the residential and storm/sewer markets. A company growth made possible through additional plants (now 7 total) all across the midwest and southwest parts of the U.S. note: the Prinsburg plant still holds the title of most pounds of pipe produced per year! Jamie always had a desire to do something in the family business. After exploring other opportunities after college (including being a private pilot!), he inevitably came back to the Willmar area and started at Prinsco in 1997. Jamie eventually found his way into the Co-President role alongside his cousin, Jeremy Duininck. Staying true to their strengths, Jamie focuses on sales + marketing initiatives while Jeremy focuses on the operations side of things. The two have worked extremely hard to maintain the mission of Prinsco and stay true to their core values of integrity, hard work + relationships. If you’ve ever worked with Prinsco, you’ll understand how those three values are weaved into everything they do. Special thanks to Jamie for the always entertaining conversation, and for giving us more insight into the dynamics of the family business. We’re proud to have your team here on the MinnWest campus! Learn more about Prinsco: https://www.prinsco.com/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: http://www.mnwesttechnology.com/
30 minutes | Oct 21, 2020
The History of The MinnWest Campus
connect with Jill + learn more about the Kandiyohi Historical Society: http://www.kandiyohicountyhistory.com/ connect with Joanna + learn more about MWTC: http://www.mnwesttechnology.com/
42 minutes | Oct 7, 2020
Recruiting Rural w/ Jami and Melissa
Melissa + Jami have been in the human resource and talent acquisition field for a combined 15+ years. So, we were super excited to pick their brains on what all goes into the work and why they love it. Here's a snapshot of some of the topics we covered: company culture + why it's critical to effective recruitment how to engage the next generation of employees what to ask a recruiter in an interview the impact of COVID-19 on recruitment the benefits of an internship or Co-Op program Learn more about: Life Science Innovations // Nova-Tech Engineering Learn more about MinnWest Campus: www.mnwesttechnology.com Connect with Jami // Melissa // Joanna on Linkedin!
45 minutes | Aug 21, 2020
'Public-Private Partnerships Can Make Magic' w/ Kathy and Tim of UofM Extension
Episode 2: Tim Johnson + Kathy Schwantes On this episode, we sat down with Kathy Schwantes and Tim Johnson from the Mid Central Research + Outreach Center (aka MCROC) on campus. Many people are often surprised to learn that the University of Minnesota has a presence on MWTC, so we brought in Kathy and Tim to help tell - and share - the story. Kathy is currently the West Central Regional Director for the U of M Extension AND the Director of Operations at MCROC. She’s had quite the career in the Willmar area, from starting out at Heritage Bank, to becoming a teacher + dean at Ridgewater College, then transitioning into economic development working for the EDC, all the way to her current gig with the U of M / MCROC. These days she spends her time traveling across 10 counties in central MN connecting people to the resources that Extension has to offer. Tim is currently a professor at the U of M’s vet school + the Director of R&D for MCROC. After splitting time between St. Paul and Willmar for a few years, him and his family officially moved “out west” in 2015. Tim has a huge passion for teaching and connecting younger generations with the poultry industry through the research side of things. As he says, much of what his does involves finding ways to “make science sexy.” After many conversations and a lot of hard work behind the scenes, the MCROC lab opened on campus in 2012. Due to the nature of the work, many things that MCROC lab actually does flies under the radar. The large majority of their research and testing revolves around the turkey industry. In fact, many of the projects are spurred from conversations with local ag workers and the challenges they face every day. Which is an advantage of having their rural location - specially of MWTC alongside other turkey/ag related businesses. MCROC is also able to partner with our local college and other M-state schools to provide more opportunities for students to learn about research and all of its applications in the ag industry. In collaboration with Ridgewater College and others, Tim is currently working on launching the U of M’s first 100% online poultry training program. It’ll be starting this Fall, so stay tuned for more info on that! Learn more about the U of M Extension + MCROC: https://extension.umn.edu/ Learn more about MinnWest Campus: http://www.mnwesttechnology.com/
55 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
'I Am Right Where I Want To Be' w/ Jim Sieben
Episode 1: Jim Sieben For the first episode of the MinnWest Podcast, it only felt right to sit down with Jim Sieben. As the President of both MinnWest Technology Campus + Nova-Tech Engineering, Jim has had a hand in things since the beginning. It was fun to spend some time talking (and frankly reminiscing) about how it all began over 15 years ago. Back in 2005, Nova-Tech was around 40 employees strong and outgrowing their space. Jim and Mark Gorans - the founder of NTE, along with Ted, Ray + Rick Huisinga from Willmar Poultry had a “crazy idea” to purchase the former regional treatment center. This would not only allow for the growth of NTE, but also create a community where other businesses could start and grow. It was by no means an easy feat to purchase and transition the buildings to be suited for business, but the MWTC campus officially opened in 2007. Jim was raised on a dairy farm in the area alongside his FIFTEEN brothers and sisters. He falls somewhere in the middle of that large Sieben crew! Ever since he graduated from college with a degree in electronics, Jim has found himself connected to early development companies. It’s what eventually led himself to Willmar to work for NTE in their genesis of streamlining hatchery processes. NTE has been driven by the mission to create revolutionary solutions that advance their customers ability to feed the world. Their unique business model and innovative culture has taken the turkey industry by storm, and has recently gained traction in the shrimp industry. All from their headquarters in Willmar MN, NTE’s products can be found in 59 countries around the world. That equates to impacting nearly 2.6 billion birds per year, and touching 100% of the turkeys in U.S. and Canada. (Some impressive stats that often take people by surprise!) And as far as the campus goes, MWTC is now home to over 30 businesses with nearly 800 employees that spend their work days on the beautiful and historic 1200 acres. Learn more about the campus or come see it for yourself by scheduling a tour with Joanna here! “I have always felt, I am where I want to be. No matter where I was.” Learn more about Nova-Tech Engineering: https://nteglobal.com/
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