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She Wants to Open People’s Eyes to the Importance of Sleep

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Sarah Moe. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on May 20, 2017.

A 2017 report by RAND Europe notes the startling cost of sleep deprivation among the working population. In the United States alone, sleep deprivation costs the country $411 billion annually. This cost comes from lost work (1.2 million days per year) and decreased productivity while at work.

Clearly, improving their employees’ sleep is an issue that corporations should take seriously. Sarah Moe, in her career as a sleep technician, saw this problem firsthand, and she came up with a solution: employer-sponsored sleep-health education. In 2015, she launched Sleep Health Specialists in order to address this need.

ENTREPRENEUR  PROFILE

Name: Sarah Moe
Age: 34
City you live in: Minneapolis
City of birth: St. Paul
High school attended: Tartan Senior High School, Oakdale
College attended: University of Wisconsin, River Falls, and Minneapolis Community and Technical College

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of Company: Sleep Health Specialists
Website: www.sleephs.com
Business Start Date: April 2015
Number of Employees: 3
Number of Customers: Unknown

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. I actually grew up wanting to be a nurse. I always loved the idea of helping people feel better. As I got older though, I realized my fear of blood was not going away so I looked into other medical fields that would allow me to help in that same capacity. I found the Polysomnography program at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and decided to take a class just to see what it was about — I had never heard of the job of a sleep tech before. I was hooked after one hour — sleep was the most fascinating thing I had ever learned about.

After graduating with my degree in Polysomnographic Technology and passing my boards, I became a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist and performed overnight sleep studies for years. Working with those patients to solve their sleep issues were some of the best years of my life. There is no way to describe watching someone walk into a sleep lab sad and fatigued and walk out refreshed and full of hope. I loved every night. I was then asked to return to MCTC as an Adjunct Professor where I began teaching the future generations of RPSGT’s the in’s and out’s of sleep medicine. It was then that I had the idea for Sleep Health Specialists.

Q. What is your business?
A. Sleep Health Specialists provides sleep health education to local businesses and corporations. Basically, we work with companies to address their employees’ sleep concerns, creating healthier, happier, and more productive teams.

Our services include classes, training, and seminars revolving around sleep. In our workshops, employees will learn everything they need to start achieving the kind of sleep that will allow them to be their best selves.

Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?
A. I have needed quite a bit of help to create a successful business. With my health care background, starting my own business was daunting and confusing at best and seemingly impossible at worst….READ FULL ARTICLE

 

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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Aiming to Make Scheduling Meetings Simpler

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Keith Resar. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on May 6, 2017.

A 2010 study by meeting scheduling tool Doodle entitled “Second International Study on Scheduling Trends” found that professionals spend an average of 4.8 hours per week scheduling meetings. That amounts to 10 percent of a typical 40-hour workweek.

Scheduling meetings takes time, and time is money. Especially for professionals in the sales realm, those extra hours wasted on scheduling represent time that could have been spent going after more sales and commissions. In an age when technology is an increasing part of our lives, it’s surprising that so many people still schedule their meetings the old-fashioned way, over the phone and email.

Having worked in sales himself, Keith Resar understood how much of his time he wasted coordinating calendars in order to schedule and re-schedule his meetings. From this frustration came the idea of Appointment.one, an online meeting scheduler that finds availabilities in potential meeting attendees’ calendars and helps select a time that works for all parties. Appointment.one also builds in the necessary buffer time required to travel to and from off-site meetings. Using Appointment.one, professionals can spend less time scheduling meetings and more time attending them, increasing productivity manifold.

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

Name: Keith Resar
Colleges attended: Carleton College and Carlson School of Management
City you live in: Minneapolis

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of company: Appointment.one
Website: http://Appointment.one
Business Start Date: March 2016
Number of Employees: 1
Number of Customers: Hundreds of customers across all platforms

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. I began with a technical background before spending years in business development and sales. In my career, I found there just weren’t enough hours in the week to do what I needed to do, due primarily to too many no-show appointments. Trying to schedule and reschedule appointments was making it difficult for me to maintain my sanity. That’s where the idea for Appointment.one was born.

Scheduling meetings within an organization is easy since free/busy information is widely available to employees of that organization. However, this disappears immediately when looking between companies. When I wasn’t able to connect with someone via phone to sync up calendars I was wasting my time with endless back-and-forth rounds of email tag.

Q. What is your business?
A. Appointment.one is a web service that takes the guess work out of scheduling appointments, interviews, and product demos.  Once the entire team’s calendar is visible, phone tag and double booked meetings become a relic of the past.

Appointment.one is the new norm for scheduling professional appointments. Whether you’re selling, recruiting, or giving product demos — to name a few — scheduling meetings is the most frustrating part of your job. Once you’ve eliminated the friction from phone-tag and double booking, then everything changes.

Sharing your personal Appointment.one web link with contacts to schedule meetings, rather than suffering through email-tag, gives real-time visibility into the whole team’s calendar. Besides the basics — enabling colleagues to self-schedule appointments — our AI engine optimizes multiple schedules, balances personal/work calendars, and guarantees you’re never on the hook to drive across town for back-to-back meetings.

Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?

A. The metro area has a strong network that helps sound out technology, marketing, and other core contributors to entrepreneurial success. Outside of that, I heavily reference my personal network that is highly represented with sales professionals, freelancers, and others who have the same problem: too much friction scheduling meetings….READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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Be Present to the Good Stuff with Chris Carlson

 A Conversation with Entrepreneur Chris Carlson

Chris Carlson is an entrepreneur, actor,  lawyer and the founder of NarrativePros.  We had the opportunity to chat with Chris about his life as an entrepreneur and the upcoming program Soft Skills Revolution that will be at the Hill Center on June 1st.

What is your business and how did you begin your entrepreneurial career?
I think the best way to describe Narrative Pros, is to think of it as a high tech health club for soft skills. Just like you can go to a gym to feel better and improve your health, we work with people to feel better about their connections with audiences and improve their skill at doing that. Like the personal trainers at a gym, we have what you could call “connection trainers”—professional communicators from theater and business who continue to make their living from connecting with audiences. Instead of treadmills that tell you your pulse, we use audio and video tools to measure your progress. Just like we all know we have to get in shape, pretty much everyone realizes that they can be more genuine, confident and present.

My career as an entrepreneur started as an extension of my work as a professional actor and an attorney. After working professionally as an actor, I went to law school to get some more control over my career (I was sick of waiting tables). At law school, I saw how poorly trained law students were in how to communicate effectively. We spent nine months learning how to write like an attorney, but only a few weeks on how to speak like one. Ever since then, I have worked to bring my acting colleagues as well as other artists together to work with business professionals to help them connect with their audiences more effectively.

What has been the largest hurdle and / or success you have experienced as an entrepreneur?
I think that one of the most significant hurdles of entrepreneurship is the periodic isolation. One of the great things about being your own boss is also one of the hardest—you’re always on the job and you’re always scrutinizing your own work. A network of like-minded people is an invaluable resource to get feedback,  verify assumptions, and provide moral support.

How do you manage being an entrepreneur and what advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
I ask myself how I manage that almost every day… I guess I would have to say it’s a combination of persistence and some sort of cultivated ignorance of the downsides. The more present I can be to the good stuff—doing what I love, having more control over how and when I work—the more I am able to put up with all the other b.s. that goes with being an entrepreneur.

There are a lot more entrepreneurs out there with a lot more experience and accomplishments, but if I had to give advice it would be just that: be present to the good stuff. Hold on tightly to your passion and vision, but let go loosely of the things that don’t matter. The best way I’ve found to do that is to go out and share what I’ve found with as many people as possible. Especially other entrepreneurs. You are not alone and can stand on the shoulders of giants when you open up for advice and feedback.

You come from a diverse background of acting, Improvisation and law.  Can you tell me how those worlds have informed what you do know?
I have come to see each of these diverse disciplines as united by the same thing: listening to, crafting, and retelling stories. Whether it’s an audience or a judge, a play or a client’s claim; many professions primary value can be traced back to their ability to connect with their audiences in a way that moves them to action.

Tell me why you think business professionals could benefit from skill sets that actors and improvisers uses?
Everyone can benefit from increasing their skill to connect better with others. Even though that’s something we do quite naturally with the people who are close to us, many people find that connecting at that level of effectiveness with people we are not as comfortable with is very difficult. The first hurdle to overcome is to recognize creativity, collaboration and communication as skills, not talents. Just like when you learned to ride a bike or tried to perfect your golf swing, these soft skills are skills that can be developed through deliberate practice.

Over centuries, actors have developed a pretty efficient system of developing their abilities to be creative, collaborate with others under pressure and connect with audiences. This is a mental and physical process that is open to anyone who wants to develop the same skills.

What is it about Minnesota and how has it managed to keep you here?
I am fiercely proud of Minnesota. I made a conscious choice about 10 years ago to remain here because of the people and the great quality of life here. Looking back, I may have missed out on some big opportunities by not moving to New York or L.A., but I have been happy with the trade-off. I have enjoyed a much steadier flow of opportunities that I can imagine I ever would have had elsewhere. And, as the world takes more notice of the excellent talent and people here, the larger opportunities are finding their way here as well.

You can find out more about Chris Carlson and his company at NarrativePros.com OR join us at the Hill as we host him and his team on Thursday, June 1st from 1pm to 5pm in a half day intensive training on Soft Skills Revolution. Learn the key steps to unleash your efficiency, effectiveness and maximize your input.

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A Food Service That Thinks Inside the Box

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Frank Jackman. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on April 22nd, 2017.

Subscription box services are gaining popularity in the U.S., especially among millennials. The 2016 Connected Shoppers Report by Salesforce Research found that meal kits and grocery subscription box services are the most popular type of such services among all generations, beating out clothing and beauty product services.

Meal kits make sense. They take the work and time out of planning meals, buying ingredients, and preparing those meals. Instead, individuals subscribe to the service, and the ingredients they need are delivered to their doors, along with an easy-to-follow recipe.

Frank Jackman and Mike Stalbaum were interested in capitalizing on this trend while also adding their own twist: a local focus. Both men wanted their new business to support their communities, and the best way to do that was to use only local ingredients and recipes created by local chefs. To further help the community, they donate a meal to a local hunger relief program for every meal delivery made. This local focus is reflected in the name of their business: Local Crate.

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

Name: Frank Jackman
Age: 29
City you live in: Chanhassen
City of birth: Bellflower, Calif.
High school attended: Russell-Tyler-Ruthon High School, Tyler, Minn.
College attended: Minnesota State University Mankato

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of company: Local Crate
Website: www.localcratemeals.com
Business Start Date: November 2015
Number of Employees: 3 full-time and 7 part-time
Number of Customers: Our ship radius reaches 77 percent of the population in Minnesota

 

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?
A. My co-founder, Mike Stalbaum, and I met while working for a large food manufacturer with a broad reach into the lives of almost every household in America. The projects we were working on day-to-day and the food products we were creating left us unfulfilled with our careers. As our plan started to materialize we were aligned on creating a locally responsible company which meant sourcing as many products as we possibly could from Minnesota, working with Minnesota chefs, and giving back to local hunger relief efforts that have an impact in our communities.

Q. What is your business?
A. Local Crate is an online, direct-to-consumer meal-kit delivery business. Local Crate delivers fresh, local, pre-portioned ingredients and local chef-designed seasonal recipes weekly to your home or office. Plus, for every delivery, Local Crate donates a meal to our local hunger relief partners.

At Local Crate, we want to cultivate local responsibility while truly connecting people to real food and creating a unique culinary experience at home.

Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?
A. Through our time spent in the Techstar’s Food+Tech program at Land O’Lakes and The MN CUP, we have gathered an amazing network of advisers along with our current partners that have been with us since day one. All these people are able to help and advise us when we need it.

Q. What is the origin of the business?
A. Mike and I have a true passion for food and for the story behind the food we eat every day. We feel that over time people have lost their connection to food and it has just become a convenience play. We believe…READ FULL ARTICLE

 

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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Cabinets of Curiosity

With some recent archival projects on our plate an article from MPR News caught the attention of Lindsey Dyer our Director of Library Services. “File this under nostalgia: New book pays tribute to the library card catalog shares information about a new book from the Library of Congress entitled,  “The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures.”  It celebrates catalogs “as the analog ancestor of the search engine.” Library of Congress author, Peter Deveraux, states that “There’s tens of millions of cards here.  It’s a city block long.” This was a very timely article considering some of the historic catalog items we recently found here at the James J. Hill Center.  Lindsey recently took some time to dig up and share a few iconic treats from the vault.

Lindsey: Card catalogs are indeed “cabinets of curiosities” as are the ways we have kept track of information over time. Librarians worked tirelessly to create calm in the chaos of information, cutting and pasting any relevant facts and tid-bits. Take these snapshots in time from the 1980s – gems of nostalgia for Gen Xers and older millennials. What research paper would be complete without the help of the card catalog?

At the Hill, business librarians had a special task of identifying and capturing industry trends – like how Nike is taking over the sneaker industry, or the rise in fax machine sales. While the methods have certainly changed (we aren’t cutting out and taping facts to cards, though I have to admit that sounds cathartic), we still aim to find the best industry information there is, combing databases (paid and free), and translating that information.

We have been, and always will be, an entrepreneur’s best resource!

Visit the James J. Hill Center and it’s reference library Monday through Thursday 10AM to 5PM and check out all of the current resources.  Also, ask one of our business librarians for some assistance with a database and see what gems of knowledge you can find to build you business success.

 

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Reference Transformation & Relevance

We can’t officially wrap up National Library Week without reflecting on the week’s theme of transformation, and what that means to reference libraries like ours at the Hill Center.

When the value of a cultural institution is in question, it’s really the relevance of the institution that’s at stake. For reference libraries many times their relevance is translated into the number of visitors, number of clicks, and number of positive survey results – but even with this data, the impression of relevance can often times be missed. In order to truly understand relevancy, we need to understand our impact on a case-by-case basis and this is often times qualitative.  We need to ask questions like – have we transformed to meet the real needs of our community? Are we providing an inclusive space to think differently, share ideas and take risks? These questions are hard to measure but at the Hill Center we have begun to see the results.

James J. Hill has played a pivotal role in introducing me to the start-up culture. From presenting at 1 Million Cups and attending its many thought-leader panels, I have richly benefited from the proactive resources and seemingly infinite networking opportunities”  Entrepreneur

“The fact that I have this resource available to me, both the facility and research staff, is an absolute relief.”
Business Owner

According to IBISWorld, the Library industry forecasts a slow and steady growth in the next five years – whereas the online database and print book industries are forecasting a decline. This tells us that the nature of the traditional reference library is already transforming into new arenas. At the Hill, this means that beyond offering key business information, we don’t just rely on what we have – we rely on who we know – and what we can do.

At the Hill Center, we meet our community at every point in their entrepreneurial journey. Whether you’re thinking about starting a business or find yourself needing data to branch out into a new market – we have the “secret sauce” that will get you to the next level. What’s the recipe? We like to think our people make all the difference.

Being relevant isn’t just about having relevant information – it’s about having a welcoming space for ideas to fly. The Hill Center creates a space for meaningful engagement in our business community – and it shows. Come to a 1 Million Cups presentation on a Wednesday morning, and you will see the space transformed into a conduit for idea and talent sharing, and just sometimes that right connection to take your idea to the next level.

What I appreciate most about the Hill Center, is the continued commitment from staff to uphold the entrepreneurial spirit of our “founding father,” James J. Hill. The original entrepreneur, Hill didn’t take hard work for granted, and neither do we. We’re here to make that hard work a little easier for you, forging a path that will make a difference – and hard work is always relevant.

“Work, hard work, intelligent work, and then more work.” – James J. Hill


Composed by Lindsey Dyer, Director of Library Services, James J. Hill Center. 
It you have more questions about the Reference Library at the James J. Hill Center please contact 651-265-5500 or hillreferencelibrary@jjhill.org.

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This is Not Your Grandfather’s Golf Shirt

Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews entrepreneurs and 1 Million Cup presenter Matt Stang. As seen in the Pioneer Press, Startup Showcase on April 8th, 2017.

A 2016 article in Forbes entitled “The State of the Golf Industry in 2016” notes that golf is gaining popularity among the younger generation, with 6.3 million millennials playing golf annually.

Matt Stang noticed that these young golfers are not interested in buying expensive golf apparel that is often intended for an older market. He created Swannies to capture this younger market, selling affordable golf apparel that appeals to a younger market.

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE

Name: Matt Stang
Age: 25
City you live in: Minneapolis
City of birth: White Bear Lake
High school attended: White Bear Lake High School
College attended: University of Minnesota

COMPANY PROFILE

Name of company: Swannies
Website: www.swannies.co
Business Start Date: June 2015
Number of Employees: 8
Number of Customers: 500

Q&A

Q. What led to this point?

A. After attending the University of Minnesota, I spent two years in management consulting in Boston. I felt a strong desire to do something I felt more passionately about. After brainstorming the idea for Swannies on the side and garnering initial traction, I launched the company in 2015 with two college friends.

Q. What is your business?

A. Swannies is a lifestyle apparel brand for young and casual golfers. We’re creating modern golf essentials to replace the stuffy, elitist perceptions of the game’s past. Our goal is to change the image of golf by building not just an apparel company but a lifestyle brand.

Our products appeal to young and casual golfers. The Swannies brand and team — being young, casual golfers ourselves — appeals to this group from three key angles:

Price: our products are on average 40% cheaper than most of our major competitors’.

Style and Selection: modern lifestyle designs and clothing to be worn both on and off the course.

Branding: targeting younger golfers whom we believe are currently being unrepresented.

Q. Where do you go for help when you need it?

A. I surround myself with people that are smarter than me and have different skill sets. That way assumptions are being challenged and new ideas constantly arise…READ FULL ARTICLE

You can hear from startups like this one each Wednesday, 9-10 a.m. at the James J. Hill Center during 1 Million Cups St. Paul. The James J. Hill Center is a nonprofit in downtown St. Paul that provides access to business research, educational programming and a place to work. The Hill is open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. To keep updated on what startup is presenting next or to apply to present, visit 1millioncups.com/stpaul.

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Transformation from Innovation

“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to management than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely the lukewarm defense in those who gain by the new ones.”  –  Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527), Philosopher and playwright

I recently ran across this quote by Niccolo Machiavelli at the Hill entrepreneurial center and would have thought it was written today.  Not so, it shows that change has been a process of mis-acceptance for as long as man has innovated on new ideas.  

 I define innovation as the introduction of new and improved ways of putting ideas into action. In an economic sense, an innovation is accomplished with the first commercial transaction involving a new or improved product, process, or organizational business model. Innovation is then intentional attempts to bring about value from change. These values include; economic benefits, personal growth, increased satisfaction, improved group coherence, better organizational communication, as well as productivity and economic measures.  

Sound like entrepreneurism?  I think so, to the entrepreneur that means transformation of creative ideas to accountable, actionable changes.  Maximizing customer value and experience is a core principle in innovation.  The entrepreneur needs to understand that ‘emotion trumps logic’ and that their audience needs to feel and experience the value brought by their innovation.  

We are a society of habit and as Nicolo Machiavlli’s quote shows of the past, the same is currently true.  The creation of new must provide a value proposition that goes beyond current habits to prevent sabotage from those who feel threatened by change.  

To generate “Transformation from Innovation” identify and target market your change agents early so they may become your evangelists to help you articulate and promote your values. 


Jeff Brown p
ositively transforming the way people grow their personal business brand.
• Board Member, Coaching, and Strategy for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups
• Developing and transforming ideas into something superb
• Creating accountable strategies to helping clients where they are stuck or want to go

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The Heart of the Hill

In association with National Library Week we are celebrating our hard working Business Librarians, Leah Kodner and Alex Ingham.  Come in and visit with them and see how they can help you explore your next business steps.

How did you get connected to the James J. Hill Center?

Leah: I first learned about The Hill from reading the job board at St. Kate’s during my last semester working on my Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree. The more I learned about the library, the more I wanted to work there. I was hired in March 2014, shortly after finishing my MLIS, and this became my second professional library job.

Alex: I began my career at the Hill as an intern. Later a position opened in library services and I pursued it.

What does your day as a business librarian look like?
Leah: Throughout the day, I respond to reference inquiries via email, phone, chat, and in person at the library. I spend the majority of the day teaching patrons in the library how to use our databases and introducing them to new sources of information. During my downtime, I work on other projects, such as cataloging and organizing our print and archival collections.

Alex:  No two days are alike here at the Hill. While answering visitor inquiries – whether in-person, on the phone, or virtually – takes up the bulk of the day, a significant amount of time is spent on special projects, too. The Hill is home to a physical collection numbering in the hundreds of thousands and spanning nearly a dozen sub-collections, so tending to its upkeep and organization can be a colossal task at times.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Leah: I love the satisfaction that comes from helping the patrons. It’s great to help someone out who comes into the building stressed and apprehensive about the project they’re working on, and helping them find the information they need quickly and painlessly. Watching somebody leave  with a relieved smile on their face at the end of the day is the best!

Alex: I revel in a challenge and am always eager to give attention to the unconventional question that might come across my desk.

What do you want people to know about you?
Leah: I want people to know that they can approach me!  I’m happy to answer any questions about the library and about our resources. Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question!

Alex: I come from a teaching and learning background and have always been drawn to libraries. The concept of community is one that equally excites me. The James J. Hill Center balances these two elements well and I could not feel more at home here.

What sets our reference library apart from others?
Leah: We’re a really unique institution. We’ve got the best publicly available business reference databases around. Using our resources, you can gather industry and competitive data for a business plan, build sales lists, learn the demographics of your target market, find funding sources, and more.

Alex:  The one-on-one support offered at the Hill is unparalleled. Our reference librarians are very knowledgeable and familiar with the resources we offer.

The James J. Hill Center mission honors the legacy of its founder by continuing to support entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st Century. We offer research, programs, and networking for each stage of business development. Our efforts also include services to the broader community through the hosting of cultural and artistic programming and events.  Visit us in downtown Saint Paul at 80 West Fourth Street, off the corner of Market and Fourth.  

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Introducing: Lindsey Dyer

Lindsey Dyer is the new Director of Library Services at the James J. Hill Center, and comes with experience from both public and academic libraries, as well as Target, Corp. and the Minnesota Historical Society. Lindsey lives in St. Paul with her husband and is the mom of three kids.  We took a few minutes to chat with her about her new position at the Hill.  Come in and join us at the Hill next week during National Library Week to meet Lindsey and her team and participate in free programming.

How did your journey with the James J. Hill Center begin?
The Hill Center inspired me to pursue a career in libraries back in 2005, when I worked here as a volunteer. It is easy to see why – the building draws you in and speaks for itself. Though I had since moved on to new professional opportunities, I maintained an admiration for the mission and staff – particularly the Hill Papers Archivist, Eileen McCormack, whose job I aspired to at the time. I am honored to be back!

What do you want people to know about you?
I am very interested in how library services fit into the broader user experience landscape when it comes to looking for and using information. Libraries have an important task, especially now, to be conduits for authentic and unbiased information that we use every day in business decisions. I think we’ve lost sight of why this is important to talk about. At the Hill Center, we have a unique opportunity to narrow that down to information that entrepreneurs in particular need to get to the next step in their business planning. It’s exciting and inspiring when our information becomes the turning point for a startup.

What has made the biggest impact on your career so far?
Working for both Target and the Minnesota Historical Society gave me a unique perspective on service and management. I like to think that I took the best from both worlds, specifically non-traditional approaches to what accessibility looks like, and have been working to implement some of these things at the Hill Center.

What has been the largest hurdle and success you have experienced in your career?
I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some talented entrepreneurs, and have had some real conversations about what they need to be successful. I am working towards the hurdle of transforming reference services at the Hill Center to best fit those needs. I want the library to not only give entrepreneurs information – I want us to be the difference between success and failure.

What is it about Minnesota and more specifically Saint Paul that keeps you here?St. Paul – or “Small Paul” – has been my home for 13 years, and it’s the ultimate charmer. I am especially drawn to historic homes, and in fact used to be the Site Manager of the James J. Hill House – the historic house museum to rival them all. This city has a rich history, and it shows.

The Hills’ mission honors the legacy of its founder by continuing to support entrepreneurial spirit in the 21st Century. We offer research, programs, and networking for each stage of business development. Our efforts also include services to the broader community through the hosting of cultural and artistic programming and events.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE:

We are pleased to announce the completion of our elevator renovation at the James J. Hill Center. This project was financed in part with funds provided by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society and the F. R. Bigelow Foundation. It will greatly increase our ability to serve patrons with accessibility needs.

Please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit our brand new elevator!

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