Invisible Giants Podcast Series

We want to highlight the stories of Minnesota’s unheralded business leaders. Invisible Giants highlights individuals endlessly working to improve their organization and their community, that may not be receiving the recognition they deserve. These are the real heroes of today. Listen to learn more about how these invisible giants are changing our ecosystem through hard work and innovation.

**NEW** Episode 12 – Kyle Coolbroth
Co-Founder & CEO, Fueled Collective

Co-Working, the shared, creative spaces for small business and start-ups to work, collaborate and be social, is perhaps the fastest growing trend in commercial real estate and hospitality.

We sat down to talk with Kyle Coolbroth, Co-Founder & CEO of Fueled Collective, to explore the humble beginnings of one of the original co-working concepts in our nation. We also discuss the success they’ve seen in the last decade as they uncovered the unrealized opportunities and joy that comes from bringing small businesses and creatives together.

Take a listen to learn more!

Episode 11 – Felecia Boone
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Consultant, Hennepin County (MN)

We’ve all heard it and we all live it – the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace is more important now than ever before. But just how do we own up to our shortcomings and learn how to build a stronger, more equitable and inclusive workplace?

In Episode 11 of Invisible Giants, we were fortunate to sit down with a champion in this space, Felecia Boone, and talk to her about her work with Hennepin County. Felecia brings many tireless years of working for these much needed conversations in our communities.

As popular as the topic may be, it’s important to understand how crucial these lessons are for everyone. Take a listen to learn more!

Episode 10 – Mercedes Austin
Founder and Owner, Mercury Mosaics 

In Episode 10 of Invisible Giants, we will hear the story of a Minnesota native that has had an almost twenty year run with her business, Mercury Mosaics. She talks about her humble beginnings and to where that has taken her company now.

This is one of those “feel-good” stories about the prairie land that makes us excited about this podcast series; to hear how a company in Minnesota started off small and is growing each and every year, all while positively impacting the community .

Episode 9 – Shakeeb Rahman
Software Development Manager, Oracle

Episode 9 of Invisible Giants talks about how you interact with your data matters, and the tools you use to interact with it matter even more.

The importance of data is weighing more and more on startups, small businesses, and enterprise organizations alike.

We sat down with Shakeeb Rahman, Software Development Manager at Oracle to talk about the growing pains of managing your data. Listen to learn more!

Episode 8 – Steve Grunlan
Owner and Sr. Recruiter, Stone Arch Services

Episode 8 of Invisible Giants talks about how developing tech talent can be a burden for organizations that are “heads down” in the weeds of the day-to-day operations.

Steve Grunlan, Owner and Senior Recruiter of Stone Arch Services, knows the professional IT Market int the Twin Cities like the back of his hand. He’s been around for quite some time and has thousands of connections. Throughout his tenure, he has made connections with businesses, IT Professionals, and consulting organizations to partner and place local, qualified talent that fulfills an organization’s immediate need(s).

His love for this community and for establishing lifelong relationships is evident in his work, and we are delighted we got to sit down with him and hear his story!

Episode 7 – Laurie Healy & Mark Peterson
Head of Growth, Fueled Collective
CEO, Traust Consulting

Episode 7 of Invisible Giants talks about how we live in current times where a need for mental health awareness in the workplace is of grave importance.

From training of employees on how to recognize it and deal with it, to support of employees dealing with mental illness in their families or themselves; this allows organizations to create a healthy working environment for all.

We had the privilege of sitting down with two giants in this space, Laurie Healy and Mark Peterson, and they had some good tidbits to share with us from both personal and corporate experience. Take a listen to hear their stories!

Episode 6 – Jenn Schaal
Director of Partnership Marketing, Meet Minneapolis

Episode 6 of Invisible Giants talks about the organization behind bringing all of the large events, conventions, and tourist attractions to Minneapolis.

We sat down with Jenn Schaal, Director of Partnership Marketing for Meet Minneapolis to hear just how this wonderful city pulls off amazing events. As an organization, Meet Minneapolis works directly with organizations both near and far to ensure that tourism is kept at an all-time high in Minneapolis.

 Jenn and her team want to make it possible for everyone to experience it! Listen to how she is just one member of a large team that works year-round to make this city attractive!

Episode 5 – Mary Kay Ziniewicz
Founder, Bus Stop Mamas

Episode 5 of Invisible Giants talks about the growing need for individuals in our workforce being upon us, and how we need everyone who is capable of working filling these jobs.

There is a subset of our population, however, that find it difficult to work: moms. Mary Kay Ziniewicz, Founder of Bus Stop Mamas, sits down with us to talk about the need for women (and men) parents to be actively engaged in the workforce. Time is of the essence to fulfill these open jobs, and just because you are a “mama” shouldn’t preclude you from fulfilling these open roles.

Mary Kay’s passion and commitment to this cause is evident, and comes across loud and clear in Episode 5 of the Invisible Giants Podcast. Take a listen to learn more!

Episode 4 – Justin Erickson
Principal, Essex Capital, LLC

Smaller communities across America are hungry for their fill of a growing workforce, and larger companies are recognizing the benefits of expanding into these communities.

Essex Capital, LLC is a growing organization that aims to connect larger organizations with these smaller communities to further their reach and to embrace the talents of these small, often rural, environments.

Listen to Justin’s story and what he is up to today! You won’t want to miss this interesting story.

Episode 3 – Jack Engel & John Hendrickson
Daikin Applied Americas & MeasureIT

Episode 3 of Invisible Giants tells the amazing story about Jack Engel of Daikin Applied Americas and John Hendrickson of MeausreIT. They sat down with us to talk about the power of a BI Reporting tool and how it can help enhance an enterprise environment.

Daikin Applied was looking for a replacement to their outdated Business Intelligence platform, and with the help of MeasureIT and Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), they are now transforming how their business reports on operations, manufacturing, etc.

These two harnessed their knowledge to showcase their status of “Invisible Giants”!

Episode 2 – Phil Hanson
CEO of Queue-It

Episode 2 of Invisible Giants is focused on Phil Hanson, the CEO of Queue-It, Inc and how his journey from US to Denmark and back to the US evolved and transformed the organization.

Queue-It is a virtual waiting room platform that prevents website and mobile app overload and protects your online business, while providing a fair user experience. Since returning to the United States a few years ago, Phil tells his story of establishing a growing team of Queue-It in North America. Since it’s founding in Copenhagen, this organization has focused on successful years of growth and commitment to their industry.

Listen to learn more about both Phil & Queue-It’s story!

Episode 1 – Shawntan Howell
Founder & CEO of Girls are Powerful Organization

Episode 1 of Invisible Giants is focused on the work of Shawntan Howell and her organization, Girls are Powerful. This organization seeks to instill positive values into the lives of young girls in the Twin Cities Community.

From her experience in a corporate position to her daughter’s experiences as a growing kid, Shawntan felt the need to create an organization that helps remind girls and women that they are unique, kind, determined, and beautiful. Her organization has helped shape the lives of many young girls in the Twin Cities, which certainly makes her one of Minnesota’s Invisible Giants.

Listen to learn more about her story and this amazing organization!