Minnestar Names Maria Ploessl As First Executive Director

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Via News Release

Minnestar, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating experiences where the passion and potential of the Minnesota technology community come together, has announced the selection of Maria Ploessl as its new Executive Director.

Maria will serve as the first Executive Director of the organization, working to promote the overall growth and sustainability of Minnestar.”

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Microsoft’s CFO Amy Hood Joins 3M Board

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By Sam Schaust, Twin Cities Business

3M added the chief financial officer of Microsoft, Amy Hood, to its board of directors on Monday.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Ms. Hood to our board,” 3M CEO Inge Thulin said in a statement. “She brings her tremendous skill and immense experience to our board, especially in strategic business development, finance, and digitization.”

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I’m Lisa Lavin, Co-Founder + CEO of Anser Innovation, and This Is How I Work

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Thanks to CoCo for sponsoring our new How I Work series!

Anser Innovation is a pioneer of interactive IoT technologies that enable ‘being there from anywhere’. Their flagship product Petchatz became the first digital daycare system for the stay at home pet.

At the helm as CEO is Lisa Lavin, who co-founded the company and continues to drive it forward. We spoke with Lisa to learn about her work habits and the the way she operates Anser Innovation on a typical day — inside and outside the office.

What one word best describes how you work?

Tenacious.

What is your current device/hardware/office setup?

We have an office setting, but we’re all setup so that we can work anywhere at anytime with our laptops. Our team uses the Google Suite for internal communications (especially Google Hangouts and Google Docs for a repository of all of our information). In addition, because we develop a product that needs to work across all platforms, our office has every kind of device imaginable available for testing, but I personally am an Apple user.

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St. Paul Startup Structural Pulls Former Salesforce VP M.T. Ray On Board

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Via News Release

“ST. PAUL, Minn. — (July 27, 2017) — Structural, the pioneer of Employee Success Management, today announced the addition of experienced HR executive M.T. Ray to its board of directors. Ray is currently the vice president of talent at Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha. Previously, Ray served as Vice President of Employee Success and Global Recruiting at Salesforce and led Global Recruiting for ExactTarget for over six years.”
 
 
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How CEO Vicki Holt Aims to Take Proto Labs to $1B In Sales

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By Karen Field, Industry Week

“The only thing slowing down Proto Labs’ bid to become a $1B technology company just may be the time it takes for its customers to catch up. Since its inception in 1999, the provider of rapid manufacturing (and inspection services now) of low-volume 3-D printed, CNC-machined and injection-molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production, has leveraged the power of digital information.”

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Sports Franchises Flock To Sportsdigita

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By Patrick Thomas, Star Tribune

“Working for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning, Angelina Lawton found herself surprised at the number of professional sports teams who were still using PowerPoint, the PC presentation software, in presentations to potential sponsors.

She hatched an idea for a company [Sportsdigita] that would create customizable presentation designs for sports teams, which, at both the pro and collegiate level, have back offices filled with people ginning up sponsorships, ticketing promotions and fan engagement events.”

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Know This Nerd? Meet Sarah German

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Sarah German is a senior back end developer and local freelancer for hire.

 
What initially sparked your interest in technology?

In 8th grade, I was a guitarist in a band called the Ice Cream Señoritas. If you were into the underground alt-rock scene of Prairie Village, Kansas in 1998, you may have heard of us. Anyways, we were in desperate need of a website, so I made us one on GeoCities.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Learned a little QBasic in elementary school, then took an 11 year hiatus from the whole programming thing and later learned ColdFusion in college.

What do you do now?

Back-end development and tech spec writing for Drupal and WordPress projects. I work with PHP and JavaScript mostly. And spreadsheets.

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An Exit Interview With Glafira Marcon of Healthcare.MN

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2016 Minnesota Tech Community Champion Glafira Marcon has been the leader of Healthcare.MN since the initial founders essentially abandoned their baby in 2015. 

After adopting the group in October of that year, it has grown on all fronts, though last month she stepped down as the lead and moved out of Minnesota.   While still connected through the board, Healthcare.MN is about to undergo evolutionary changes in her absence, as things will not be the same without her.

We reached out for an ‘exit interview’ to hear her retrospective take on Healthcare.MN, and Minnesota’s HealthTech industry; those are our words and these are hers:

When and why did you leave Minnesota – more importantly what does your relationship look like with Healthcare.MN post departure?

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