Business Memos 9/25/13

Andersen Corp. promotes Abbate


BAYPORT — Andersen Corp. recently promoted Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Salvatore Abbate to chief sales and marketing officer, replacing Former CSMO Craig Evanich, who retired in June after 13 year with Andersen.

Abbate is responsible for leading the development of sales and marketing strategies, initiatives and programs that result in revenue growth and competitive advantage. As part of this new role, he has added responsibility for the company’s logistics and order management area.

“Under Sal’s leadership, our sales and marketing teams are firing on all cylinders as the housing market recovers,” said Andersen Division President Jerry Redmond.

Abbate joined Andersen in 2011 from Solutia, Inc., a specialties chemicals company, with a strong expertise in sales, marketing and engineering, as well as more than 20 more years of experience in building and consumer products manufacturing. He began his career with Armstrong, where he spent 16 years learning all aspects of the business. After Armstrong, he moved to Solutia Inc., where his most recent position was vice president of global sales and marketing of the performance films division. In this role, he was responsible for all product line portfolios, new product development, advertising, promotion and regional sales and marketing plans for go-to-market channels that included direct-to-dealer, third-party distribution and major home centers and retailers.

Abbate earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech in Atlanta and his MBA in marketing and strategy from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

SAHS grad elected to MSBA post

Linda Mealey-Lohmann, a resident of Woodbury and graduate of Stillwater High School, was elected chairwoman of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association for the 2013-2014 term.

Mealey-Lohmann previously served as secretary and employment law committee representative, and has been a member of the MSBA Executive Council since 2005.  Mealey-Lohmann has her own ADR practice, Mealey-Lohmann Mediation and Dispute Resolution Services, and works as a mediator and arbitrator to help parties (with or without lawyers) resolve employment, discrimination and commercial disputes and lawsuits.

Quickfire Pizza wins award

Quickfire Pizza co-owners, Ryan Lettner, left, and Paul Larson, right, along with kitchen manager, Sam Terwey, center, present the “Peoples Choice”-winning pizza, prosciutto arugula, to a packed crowd after the 2013 Pizza Chef Recipe Challenge at the St. Paul RiverCentre. The famous, and highly requested, pizza is featured at Quickfire through the end of the month. (Submitted photo)

Quickfire Pizza co-owners Ryan Lettner and Paul Larson recently earned top prize in the U.S Foods “Food Fanatics Live — 2013 Pizza Chef Recipe Challenge” Sept. 9 at the RiverCentre in St. Paul.

After almost seven hours of preparation, pizza-making and presentation, Quickfire Pizza won the award of ‘Peoples Choice, Best Woodfire/Neapolitan Pizza’ with their fall harvest edition of the prosciutto arugula pizza.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to win such an award,” Lettner said. “The competition was stiff and there were some very notable pizzerias in the lineup. We are ecstatic to have won the People’s Choice award.”

According to Lettner, the U.S. Foods competition invited notable statewide pizzerias to compete in the challenge. Contestants were judged according to taste, creativity, unique recipe and presentation by food critics, judges and attendees of the event. Quickfire Pizza was one of three pizzerias in the woodfire-Neapolitan pizza category, and one of six to receive an invite from U.S Foods.

“It really is an honor to get invited to such an event,” Lettner said. “Quickfire is always looking for ways to grow.”

Since winning the ‘People’s Choice’ award, demand for Quickfire’s prosciutto arugula pizza has nearly doubled, Lettner said. Quickfire Pizza features the award-winning fall-themed pizza on the menu through the end of September. The pizza features Lift Bridge Farm Girl caramelized onions, sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, bacon, basil, arugula, fresh mozzarella and feta, then it’s finished with a Lift Bridge Octoberfest and balsamic reduction.

While Quickfire Pizza purchases meats in Minnesota and cheeses in Wisconsin, they import top-quality flour, tomatoes, prosciutto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Italy, Lettner said. The restaurant’s 6,000-pound wood-fired oven is one of 12 in the country and was shipped in one piece from Naples, Italy.

Quickfire Pizza is located at 116 S. Main St. in Stillwater.

Hudson co-op gets $10K grant

HUDSON, Wis. — Hudson Grocery Cooperative (HGC) has been awarded a $10,000 seed grant through the Food Co-op Initiative (FCI), a non-profit dedicated to enabling faster and more efficient start-ups of new retail grocery co-ops.

HGC was among 10 co-ops chosen to receive funding out of 38 applications, a record high. The grant, which must be matched by local investment, will go toward a professional market study, a pro-forma and financial planning services. It also includes in-kind services from FCI’s experts, including technical assistance, on-site training, and continued mentoring.

“This is a big deal,” said HGC Board President Suzanne Hambleton. “So many people have been working so hard to get this project off the ground. It’s great to have our community’s efforts recognized and supported in this way. We’re excited to move the co-op to the next phase.”

The proposed market study involves hiring a professional consultant to assess three potential sites for a grocery store in downtown Hudson. HGC it committed to a downtown location, which serves the grocery needs of residents, commuters and visitors and draws more people to local riverfront businesses. Downtown Hudson has been without a grocery store since 2005.

The FCI grant must be matched 100 percent by locally-raised funds. HGC seeks new member-owners to make this one-time stock purchase, which gives them voting rights, an opportunity to participate in governance and a potential a dividend once the store opens and is successful.
People interested in getting involved and supporting the effort are encourages to attend an informational meeting from from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Hudson Public Library. Visit or email [email protected] for more information.

Compiled by Avery Cropp – [email protected]