Scott_TaylorBy Dr. Scott Taylor, Small Business Management

Minnesota’s Commissioner of Transportation, Thomas Sorel, presented Dan Sprague with a special recognition award for his “generous commitment of time, outstanding vision and exceptional leadership to Minnesota’s Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and Workforce Collaborative.” The Collaborative is a forum that works to increase minority participation in highway heavy projects. The objective is to remove structural barriers and increase the number of minority contractors and trained construction workforce. The Collaborative plays a critical role in designating and implementing Federal Highway Administration projects.

Dan was also informed that his attention to detail earned him a perfect vendor rating from the Department of Transportation for last year. The performance was rated on product quality, work performance, conformance to standards, deliverables being complete and on time, cooperation, conformance, contract administration, invoices and progress reports and budget management. “The whole team of faculty and staff deserves applause for making this happen,” said Dan. Chuckling, he continued, “Thank goodness we have Patty Bittner to help us look good.”New Ground for

Minnesota Mentors
Taking Chancellor Rosenstone’s challenge “to do education in new ways” to heart, Duane Hoversten forged a pact with three parties: Riverland’s Contract Training and South Central College’s Center for Business and Industry (CBI) and Minnesota Mentors. SCC’s Minnesota Mentors will be providing online instruction for businesses in the Austin area. Riverland will be delivering the one-on-one instruction that is necessary for the small business management program. South Central College’s CBI will provide the registration and support for this innovative new program. “We were looking for ways to reach out beyond our traditional geographic boundaries and still provide the mentoring support we’re famous for. Everyone pitched in to come up with a solution that provides great education at a distance,” commented Al Brudelie, dean of management programs.

Taking it to the Streets
The communities of Elysian and Belle Plaine looked to Chad Oudekerk to give local business owners some direction in these challenging economic times. Chad presented “Marketing Your Business in the 21st Century” and “Why Businesses Fail” to eager audiences. “The whole world has changed in the last three years and businesses can take advantage of the new ways of doing business. We’re all about helping every community become stronger,” said Chad.

In the News
Scott Taylor was interviewed for two articles in regional magazines. In November, Scott was the source for “Mentor program helps owners with growth and succession” in Finance and Commerce magazine. The article featured SCC student Cathy Collison.

“Cathy Collison, who owns Glass Garden Beads in Northfield, is pictured with a ‘floral’ bouquet; she takes objects such as bottle caps and broken glass and fashions them into jewelry and other objects. Collison praised the Minnesota Mentors Core Program: ‘Because I started out so small I just needed to be able to talk to somebody about what I was doing and if I was crazy or not.” (F&C staff photo: Bill Klotz)

The January issue of MN Valley Business featured Scott’s insights on how businesses can brand a firm’s integrity. This included 10 tips owners can do to enhance their reputation. This article featured SCC student Casey Coulson’s Mark Thomas Company in Sleepy Eye, MN.