May 08–ST. CLOUD — Three area businesses were honored Tuesday at the 2018 St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Luncheon. The 31st annual event celebrated the quality of local business leadership in Central Minnesota.
Joel Bauer and Tim Burg, owners of Midsota Manufacturing in Avon, were selected as the 2018 St. Cloud Area Small Business Owners of the Year.
The 2018 Business Central Mark of Excellence: Entrepreneurial Success Award was given to Dan Pearson, owner of PleasureLand RV Center.
And the 2018 Family Owned Business of the Year was awarded to Anderson Trucking Service and its CEO Rollie Anderson.
Small-town guys making trailers
When Bauer and Berg bought Midsota in 2008, they had 18 employees making around 600 trailers each year. Today, Midsota produces more than 2,600 trailers of all shapes and sizes each year with more than 120 employees. Midsota is known for innovation in the industry.
“We take our role as an employer seriously,” Burg said. “Probably the best part of owning this business is watching the people we employ succeed.”
Midsota added a new, 30,000-square-foot sandblasting, paint and finishing facility in March. A remodel of its welding facility and office space is in progress.
“We’re just small town guys trying to build some trailers,” Bauer said. “We treat our customers and employees the way we want to be treated and the rest will take care of itself. We live that on a daily basis.”
‘Not just one person, it’s a team’
PleasureLand was started in 1971 as part of Plaza Buick, which was owned by Dan Pearson’s father, Vern. Pearson said he started working at the dealership when he was just 11 years old, sweeping the floors and taking out the trash.
Pearson took over the dealership in 1982 with just 20 employees. Today the company is in the largest RV dealership in the Upper Midwest, with more than 200 employees at seven locations.
“The growth through the last 30-plus years has been absolutely incredible,” Pearson said. “But that’s not just one person, it’s a team. We usually get the stage as business owners, but it’s the team of people that make it work.”
‘Doing what is right’ at ATS
“It is important to run a business with high integrity, honesty and fairness,” said Rollie Anderson in accepting his award. “Doing what is right sets a standard that carries on into future generations.”
His father, Harold, who started the company in 1955, won the Chamber’s Entrepreneurial Success Award in 1998. He started with just three trucks, of which only two ran, and two drivers hauling stone and granite.
Rollie Anderson joined the family business in 1972. Now the trucking company has more than 1,000 employees, with a focus on hauling wind energy equipment. ATS is the largest carrier in Minnesota.
More: Anderson Trucking Service strengthens its foothold in wind industry
Have a tip about an innovative, unique or new business in the St. Cloud area? Contact Business Reporter Anna Haecherl at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-259-3662. Follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaHaecherl
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