2007 Trendsetters



Updated! Our semi-annual profile of the region’s leading companies and their key executives.

Here’s your chance to meet some of Minnesota’s most interesting and innovative professionals–and the stories behind their success.

As one of the first vision care centers in North America to perform laser vision correction, LasikPlus has been helping people regain their natural eyesight since 1991… >> LasikPlus Vision Center

There is no “typical†day at Courage Center for staff physicians Patricia Stewart, Bonnie Warhol, and medical director Jackie Kawiecki. On a daily basis, they help fulfill Courage Center’s mission of helping people improve their quality of life by turning abilities and disabilities into possibilities… >> Courage Center

Suzanne Gilbert wears many hats, that of wife, mom, volunteer, coach, mentor, group fitness instructor, and avid triathlete. While she readily admits that her family is no. 1 in her life, she can’t deny that participating in triathlons to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also has a special place in her heart… >> Physicians Neck and Back Clinics

We live in a big world that is getting smaller and more competitive with the advent of the Internet and personal communications. If a business student is going to be successful, they need to view the world as a  dynamic and ever-changing marketplace… >> G.R. Herberger College of Business St. Cloud State University

Andrew Pearson’s life perspective changed when he volunteered for the Peace Corps. He became more aware of social injustices and flaws in the legal system.

“I strive to seek justice for the disadvantaged,†he says. “I believe in fighting to uphold constitutional rights
for all people…†>> Bradshaw & Bryant, PLLC

Bruce Helmer knows a thing or two about making sense of dollars and cents. He is the president and founder of Wealth Enhancement Group (WEG), a Minnesota-based independent financial consulting firm that started out with seven employees and has since grown to a staff of over 100, he hosts the weekly WCCO radio show, “Your Money,†he teaches seminars across the country, and he wrote two books, the most recent being “Money and the People You Love…†>> Wealth Enhancement Group

In today’s world, Information Technology is the ramp used to launch businesses into the next realm. At Implex, a technology solutions company in Minneapolis, they understand the importance of adapting to constantly changing technology in order for businesses to stay relevant in the digital economy and marketplace… >> Implex

The Sotheby’s name is synonymous with class, luxury, and quality, much like the 263-year-old auction house. Now the Sotheby’s name is linked to yet another outstanding service–luxury residential real estate brokerage… >> SKY Sotheby’s International Realty

Colleen Johnson credits her continued success as a real estate professional to her team; husband Jeff; builder Louis Colson of Colson Custom Homes and an ever-growing number of clients. (Or were they friends first? Sometimes it’s hard to discern which came first.) Relocation clients are welcomed to the Twin Cities area by their warm, friendly manner… >> Colleen Johnson

For Chris Olafson, there is an outdoor sport for every season. In the fall, he hunts. In the winter, he plays hockey. In the spring, he runs. In the summer, he plays golf.

Six years ago, however, Chris worried he’d have to find alternatives to his favorite outdoor activities. He was experiencing back pain so severe the pain began to radiate down his leg, causing numbness and tingling in his left foot… >> Physicians Neck and Back Clinics

Hemingway. Good manners. A well-pressed shirt.

Some things never go out of style, and Twill by Scott Dayton, located in the Galleria in Edina, falls into that category… >> Scott Dayton

Lixivian, a packaging solutions firm, started five years ago with a single employee, president and owner, Todd Sether. In just a few short years, Todd’s expertise in the packaging industry, high quality standards, and his penchant for process has expanded the Lixivian team of experts to five… >> Lixivian Corporation

Minnesota Eye Consultants has emerged as one of the premier refractive research and treatment centers in the nation. Its mission is to enrich each patient’s quality of life through research and innovative methods of enhancing images. Ophthalmologists and surgeons from throughout the world have been trained in revolutionary refractive procedures under the expert direction of its partners and physicians… >> MN Eye Consultants, PA

People with disabilities are remarkable, inspiring, productive members of society. Every life is valuable, and everyone is entitled to a high quality of life.  That’s the message Courage Center wants to send… >> Jan Malcolm

Ned A. Nippoldt, DDS, of Woodbury-based Centre for Distinctive Dentistry knows that a healthy smile affects a person’s overall well-being, and a confident smile has the power of changing a person’s physical appearance and self-esteem. A nice smile can make a huge impact in a person’s life… >> Dr. Ned A. Nippoldt

Metro Urology is a full-service, multi-specialty practice of 20 highly-trained, urological specialists throughout the Twin Cities. The physicians are committed to offering minimally invasive, up-to-date treatment options for even the most diffi-cult problems… >> Metro Urology

Known for integrity and outstanding service, caring financial professionals, and the ability to innovate and adapt to the evolving financial marketplace, Ziegler Wealth Management has built a strong reputation as a leader in the financial services industry… >> Ziegler Wealth Management