Celebrate Small Business


Celebrate Small Business Luncheon


Join us as we recognize National Small Business Week with our Celebrate Small Business Luncheon! Throughout the week we will feature a number of small businesses through video, social media, and informational emails, all leading up to our celebratory luncheon

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Date/Time Information:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM


Mendakota Country Club
2075 Mendakota Drive
Mendota Heights, MN 55120

Our Panel of Local Businesses
Join us as this panel discusses doing business in Dakota County at different stages of growth.  We'll explore how to balance maintaining a local presence during times of growth, expansion, or adding new locations.
Jill Skogheim
5-8 Grill and Tap
Jill is the president of JBJ Dining, Inc. dba 5-8 Club, a restaurant group most widely known for its juicy lucy burger and subsequent appearance on the Travel Channel's Man vs Food.  During her tenure with the 5-8 restaurant group, she has been responsible for expanding the concept from its original location to its 4 current stores as well as overseeing the marketing, accounting, and operations for the business.  Jill received a BA in Economics from DePauw University, magna cum laude and holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.  Jill has received many awards and accolades, such as Finance & Commerce's annual Top Women in Finance list, the Minnesota Restaurant Association's legislative advocate of the year, the Northstar Council's Spurgeon Award, and Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
Dan Sjolseth
Superior Service Center
Dan grew up in Richfield and started his business out of his garage.  Within a couple of years, he had outgrown the space in Richfield and looked to Eagan for a new home.  He moved to the Cedarvale area, and opened a collision shop.  After 23 years, redevelopment plans would change the location of his business again, and in 2007, Dan opened with an addition of a mechanical shop.  In 2013, he purchased another shop in Apple Valley, which provides mechanical services and tires.
Ray Crowder
GR Promotions
Ray Graduated from Dunwoody, College of Technology in 1960 with a degree in Electronics.  He spent 26 years working for Control Data Corporation, and 4 years with National Computer Systems.  In September of 1994, Ray and his wife Jennifer started GR Promotions.  In 2010, they merged GR Promotions with The Vernon Company, located in Newton, IA.  The Vernon Company has been in business for 144 years, and is in the top 40 Distributers of Promotional Products in the USA.

Chuck & Don's 

Pet Food & Supplies

Alisha Balzer has been with Chuck & Don’s since October of 2009. During that time, she’s seen the organization grow from 15 stores in Minnesota to 44 stores throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado and Kansas.  Alisha began as a supervisor, and through Chuck & Don’s employee development focus, was made store manager of the Eagan location.  Most recently, Alisha was busy preparing for the opening of the West St Paul location, which opened its doors in December 2017.
Thank You to Our Sponsors

Associate Sponsorship Level


Supporting Sponsorship Level

Dakota Electric

First Resource Bank
(formaly Eagle Valley Bank)

Gateway Bank

Minnesota Energy Resources

One2One Marketing

SPIRE Credit Union


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