#65 Keith Johnson with Columbia Precision Machine Corp- The Patriot

Keith Johnson, the president & owner of Columbia Precision Machine Corp tells us about his experience in the military, becoming a welder, and working as a machinist, Working at Columbia Precision for two years as its general manager before purchasing the company in 2019. Since taking ownership, the company’s growth has exploded.

#64 Mike Bauer with Bauer Design Build- The “Go-Giver”

This is one of my top three all-time favorite podcast interviews so far. Mike Bauer is a man who means what he says and says what he means, he is a man of integrity, a hard-working son of a gun, and a true inspiration. I promise you you will not be disappointed with this episode of Minnesota Made.

#63 Weston Thone wth Roof Spec Inc- The Problem Fixer

If you have a problem with your commercial building and are not sure where to turn, call RSI. They will investigate and diagnose the issue, then consult with you to design a solution, manage the bidding process, and provide quality assurance to ensure the work is complete as expected.

#62 Brandon Davis with LS Black Constructors- The New Black!

When Sterling Black purchased LS Black from his father, he had a big plan to take the company to the next level, and boy did he ever. Our guest, Brandon Davis, speaks about the growth they’ve been experiencing at LS Black, expanding into new markets, the EOS process, the Davis-Bacon Act, working in his grandfather’s sheet-metal business and his role as the VP of the Federal Division at LS Black.

#59 Lucas Gaughan with Torin Construction- Setting a New Standard

Lucas Gaughan, the co-founder of Torin Construction has a very interesting story, starting way back while working at his father’s company. Lucas tells his story of working in the apartment business, as a real estate broker, going to St. Thomas University and completing their Entrepreneur Program, starting a fine cigar company, working as a financial advisor, to starting Torin Construction with a long-time friend, to now employing 20 people. Lucas goes on to explain how he truly invests in his employees, how he wants to set a new standard in the construction trades, not only in the finished product but also in how tradesmen are viewed by the public. Oh, and by the way, Lucas is only 28 years old! I got a feeling, this guy is going to do great things!

#58 Reg Zeller with Ermak- Bringing Jobs Back

I felt like a little kid again, stepping out of a time machine and back to the 18th century. If you haven’t seen the inside of a foundry before, I highly recommend it. Reg Zeller, President of Ermack (and several other companies) is on the cusp of creating a legacy for his family.  I was amazed and motivated by his story. One of his missions is to bring more jobs back to the United States and by the look of things, he’s succeeding. You need to check this one out!

#52 Ryan Latham with Aerospace Welding Minneapolis, Inc and Aerospace Manufacturing, Inc- Army Soldier Becomes Company President

Ryan Latham, the President of Aerospace Welding, grew up in Virginia Beach, part of a large church-going family, played basketball in college on scholarship, majored in economics, became a high school teacher (hated it), joined the Army, became an officer, started working as a team lead in manufacturing, promoted to manager at Pratt and Whitney, continued to excel, and is now President! Way to go, Ryan, you’re living proof that hard work pays off.

#51 Jessie Otto with Brush Masters- People Trump Profit

Jessie M. Otto, the President, of Brush Masters and Painterati takes us on a journey of her childhood, past careers, working in the family business, and eventually becoming president. Jessie did a great job articulating how people, not profit, are the most important thing to her. Whether it’s clients, partners, vendors, employees, or her own family, doing the right thing and treating people right, is something she’s very passionate about.

#50 Ben Hagemann- American Pressure Inc- Cleanest Business Around

American Pressure Inc, began in 1976 by Dave and Marlene Speltz, was later sold to Gary and Becky Hagemann in 1996, and then sold to their two sons Ben and Josiah, in 2015. American Pressure is the expert source for rugged, industrial, pressure washer equipment and Artic Steamer ice dam solutions. Whether you need a small pressure washer for home use or a big beast of a pressure washer for your business, they got ya covered. Service, sales, parts, or engineered custom solutions. From washing potato conveyors in Brazil, to custom cleaning equipment for the Lowry Tunnel in Minneapolis, or removing ice dams from your home with a gentle cloud of steam, these guys can do it all.

#48 Bill MacLachlan with Hill Hiker- King of the Hill!

Hill Hiker® Inclined Elevators help customers all over the world traverse the most hard-to-reach incline, hillside & waterfront properties. Listen as Bill MacLachlan, Founder & President, explains how the idea for Hill Hiker® came to him when working for a handicap accessibility company, seeing the need that they weren’t willing to fill, then taking the leap of faith in 1997, starting Hill Hiker®, with the help of his father-in-law, who was an MIT graduate in electrical engineering. Hill Hiker, Inc has completed numerous luxury installations, won numerous awards, and continues to expand into commercial applications and vertical lifts. Please check them out at www.hillhiker.com

#46 Leah Steidl with By the Yard Inc.- Giving Back

By the Yard Inc. was started by Debbie and Roger back in 1995 with the goal of being able to more generously give back to the community. Debbie saw a need in the marketplace for better / higher-quality outdoor furniture, Roger had some experience in manufacturing so off they went. Listen to this episode as Leah Steidl, takes on the journey, from Roger and Debbie’s garage to the Minnesota State Fair, to now having 4 showrooms and 100+ employees Check them out at www.bytheyard.net

#45 Jim Sweeney with Mom’s Design Build- Rebel to CEO

Like many business owners, Jim was a bit of a rebel growing up. Not afraid of risk and preferring to do his own thing, Jim and his buddy started mowing yards at age 15, by 18 he had 8 employees and ended up selling the business so he could attend college. Having a close family and a love for this mother Mary, Jim started Mom’s Design Build, originally as a landscape company, but his clients wanted more, so they expanded, and now complete beautiful interior design and remodels. Check them out at www.momsdesignbuild.com

#44 Brad Ahlm with Conductive Containers- The RULER of Static Electricity!

I had the honor of interviewing, Brad Ahlm, President of Conductive Containers, Inc.  Listen to this, when you rub your feet on the carpet, then touch someone, and give them a “shock”, it took about 5,000 volts of static electricity to generate that “shock”. Now picture this, your company makes something like computer microchips, and if your microchip is exposed to even 10 volts of static electricity, it will ruin your microchip, but you need to ship your microchips across the county… now what? I’ll tell you, “what”, you call Conductive Containers Inc because when it comes to protecting products from an electrical charge, they have the answer. They can make a custom container for your microchips or anything else you might need shipped, stored, or displayed. Check them out at www.CorStat.com

#43 Debbie Galvan & Nathan Dills with P & F Machining- A Place Where Everyone Wants to Work

P & F Machining stated in 1983 by Floyd and Patsy Pawlak in New Hope, MN. Floyd spent his nights and weekends operating a small manual lathe in the corner of a warehouse until he was able to quit his day job and be self-employed. Today they have a BEAUTIFUL facility in Otsego, with a waiting list of people who want to work there. P & F Machining, Inc. specializes in precision machining for the medical device industry and by the looks of things, they’re definitely doing something right! Check them out at www.PFMachining.com

#42 Chris Maxson with Acucraft Fireplace Systems- Taking Fire to the Next Level!

If you can dream it, Acucraft can build it. There is no fireplace took complex, or request too unique. For, example how about a fireplace that makes ice? Yes, ice! Take a listen as Chris Maxon, CEO of Acucraft Fireplace Systems tells the story of an electrical fire that literally burns his company to the ground, and like a Pheonix, comes back from the ashes bigger, better, and stronger! Check them out at www.acucraft.com

#40 Minnesota Senator Eric Pratt

Eric Pratt, Minnesota Senator, is my new favorite politician, and here’s why.  Eric walked on to the Division 1 football team, Colorado University, as a linebacker. Of the 24 players who tried out as a walk-on, 23 were cut and Eric was the last man standing. At this time his coach asked him, “why do you want to play football here?,” and Eric’s reply was because “I like to hit people.” My MAN! How can you not love that?  Website: ericprattmn.com

#37 Bart Anderson with US Site Work- Patriot CEO

Bart Anderson is a fellow patriot and the CEO of US Site Work based out of Elk River MN. They are an earthwork, demolition, and utilities contractor. I am amazed how quickly they have grown, opening in 2013 and already employing about 70 people!

#34 Nick Bailey with Two Men and a Truck- More than a Moving Company!

Nick Bailey and this team at Two Men and a Truck are more than just a moving company. Pack, unpack, move something to another room or across America, crates, storage, residential, commercial, and junk removal… they do it all. Nick got his start in his dad’s furniture business, as a kid, and later purchased a Two Men And A Truck franchise with his dad in 1999. Check them out at https://twomenandatruck.com/movers/mn/minneapolis/south

#32 Dave Neville with Infinity Robotics- Robots making Robots!

As a little boy, Dave was fascinated with Robots. Starting with his first Erector Set, to winning the State Championship in Robotics in high school, to now helping companies become more efficient, reduce injuries, and providing alternative solutions for the labor shortage, Dave Neville has a ton of experience and knowledge in robotics. Whether you’re interested in leasing a robot for your manufacturing company, supporting his power storage program, or finding out more about Robots making Robots (WTH!), this episode is for you. Check them out at https://www.infinityrobotics.com/

#28 Gary Kraemer with John Kraemer and Sons- Builder of “Sweet Ass Homes”

Gary contributes his success to treating people right. All people, not only his clients but also the subs, vendors, and everyone else in between. It’s a 3rd generation business started by Gary and this father John back in 1978, but building decks and whatever else they could find to stay busy. Today, Gary and this two sons, John and Jeff, are building some of the most beautiful custom homes in the state of Minnesota. John Kraemer and Sons have received many awards, including four-time winner of the Housing First MN ‘Builder of the Year’ award. Check them out at www.JKandSons.com