For those of you who are new to ACG Minnesota, we are a networking organization focused on growing the middle market through mergers and acquisitions, our 300 local members are driving those deals! ACG members, simply put, are corporate leaders and trusted partners: the attorneys, accountants, advisors and capital sources who get deals done. As an ACG member, you benefit from our global network of almost 15,000 members and over 90,000 investors, owners, executives, lenders and trusted advisors worldwide.
ACG Minnesota hosts over 50 events in the Twin Cities every year, and the BOLD Awards is one of them that honors and highlights the innovative and inspirational organizations that make Minnesota great. This program celebrates the corporate leaders and teams that are behind successful mergers and acquisitions, financing and extraordinary strategies that lead to sustainability, remarkable performance and/or accelerated growth across all industries and size including not for profits. The judging process is intense and thorough, to whittle all nominations down to 15 finalists across 5 categories. The event is a vivid, high-energy BOLD celebration of the businesses that grow Minnesota! We work with SoundMotion Films to create a video featuring all finalists to showcase their efforts and successes. The winners of each category are announced at the event and finally the BOLDest of BOLD winner is chosen at the event via a real-time, live audience vote.
Unlike past years, the 2022 event is open for a 3 year period (1/1/2019 - 12/31/2021) due to COVID,
BOLD MOVE: After 11 years of making totally fantastical® popcorn, the founders stepped out in a BOLD move to broaden their audience and developed BOOMCHICKAPOP! Its innovative, colorful packaging and ingredient transparency were an immediate hit with consumers. The team quickly launched several new flavors, adding to the still-growing BOOMCHICKAPOP lineup.
BOLD MOVE: HabitAware is on the forefront of mental health awareness and care. Their invention is BOLD because it is the first of its kind to serve a community pushed to the side, giving them a voice and reason for hope. Keen is a ground-breaking technological advancement that addresses major limitations in traditional evidence-based treatments for BFRBs. It is “potentially game-changing” for this community (NIH Review Panel quote) and can be a valuable compliment to behavior therapy.
BOLD MOVE: Welding Program: In response to a welder shortage, the agency convened competing area businesses that employ welders. Solutions were identified to grow the number of people choosing welding as a profession and put them on an education fast track. The agency provided funding for local education institutions to develop an Accelerated Welding Institute for individuals to obtain a certificate of completion and immediately start a career as an entry-level welder. A training program was also established for businesses to upskill their existing workers.
BOLD MOVE: Surly not only created one of the strongest customer followings through Surly Nation but has ignited and helped to develop a whole new craft beer industry with the introduction of and subsequent passage of the “Surly Law.” Since this law passed two years ago, at least 15 other brewery/taprooms have opened. With attention to legacy and focus towards the future, Surly is well poised for additional growth. Surly is set to open their new $35M destination brewery expansion next year with plans to quadruple its brewing capacity. Surly has demonstrated BOLD-ness through great beer, innovative product marketing, amazing customer loyalty, political savvy, and a thirst for risk-taking.
BOLD MOVE: Washburn responded to the community’s growing mental health needs when the group launched a $21 million capital campaign, “Creating Space for Young Minds to Heal and Grow,” to build a new 50,000 square foot facility that will create an expanded healing environment and serve more Twin Cities children and families.
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BOLD MOVE: Starkey Hearing Technologies is BOLD. They have reinvented the hearing experience and the hearing aid with Livio® AI. Livio AI is the world’s first Healthable™ hearing aid to utilize integrated sensors and artificial intelligence, and the first to track physical activity and cognitive health. Livio AI also features the first-ever Fall Detection and Alert capability within a hearing aid, has a virtual assistant and translates 27 languages instantly. With Livio AI, Starkey Hearing Technologies has transformed a single-use device into the world’s first multi-purpose hearing aid, a Healthable. Livio AI is so much more than just a hearing aid, it is a gateway to better health, wellness and, ultimately, a better quality of life. Starkey continues to push the boundaries and is challenging assumptions of what people think about hearing loss and aids.
It’s redefining the future of hearing health and providing tools that can help give millions of people, their families and caregivers peace of mind with revolutionary features such as Fall Alert.Providing direct monitoring of physical and cognitive activity, Livio AI raises awareness for the importance of hearing to overall well-being, and links to important health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, fall prevention and cognitive decline in the aging population, among others. Livio AI is BOLD; enabling people to hear better, live better.
2018 BOLD MOVE: Developing innovative, proprietary processes for production and finishing of parts, decreasing the complexity of their manufacturing processes, while reducing the scrap rate, and making the production area cleaner, quieter, and safer for their employees. Innovation drives HED’s continued growth, which means bringing more money and jobs to Minnesota. It is also the catalyst for expansion into new markets and brand recognition for quality and innovation. Bold is overcoming the unexpected loss of the founder’s husband in 2014 and continuing to honor his legacy.
2017 BOLD MOVE: GROWTH!–The Innovative Office Solutions team, led by CEO Jennifer Smith has seen tremendous growth over its short 15 years in business. In just the past two years, Innovative Office Solutions has acquired its largest independent competitor in Minnesota, another firm in Bemidji. Furnished US Bank Stadium with its largest contract ever with over 35,000 pieces. Won the office supply contract for the State of South Dakota and is for the 5th year in a row, a MN top 100 – Best Places to Work.
The Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and Mortenson Construction set out to build a world class stadium that is the most exciting venue in the NFL and to serve the Minnesota community as the best multi-use stadium in the country. The unprecedented BOLD move has exceeded expectations by securing Super Bowl LII in 2018 and the 2019 NCAA Final Four.
U.S. Bank Stadium serves as a prime example of a public-private partnership that has helped reshape a community. The team/private contribution of $609 million, a $132 million increase from the original $477 million commitment, covered 55% of the total $1.1 billion cost of the publicly-owned, multi-use stadium. More than 300 Minnesota businesses contributed to the design and construction of the stadium with approximately 90% of the construction dollars going back to Minnesotans. The stadium has spurred more than $1 billion in surrounding development in Minneapolis’ East Town neighborhood, and more than 300 non-Vikings events and community programs were held at the stadium within the first six months. U.S. Bank Stadium has hired an ongoing workforce of full and part-time staff reaching 4,500 employee.
Designed to honor and recognize innovation, inspirational moves, bold visions and leaders that have made bold moves to positively grow, restructure or enhance their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders. Leaders and their teams (investment bankers, lawyers, bankers, and others assisting the nominees BOLD moves) will be recognized for imagination, innovation and extraordinary efforts to grow Minnesota.
2019 BOLDest of the BOLD, Starkey Hearing Technologies, pictured below