Recent Articles

Meda announces new president/CEO

For the seventh time in its 43-year history, Meda (Metropolitan Economic Development Agency) has announced a new president and CEO. Northwest Area Foundation Vice President of Programs and Chief Program Officer Gary Cunningham is the newly appointed president and CEO, succeeding Yvonne Cheung Ho, who retires June 30 after helming the organization for 15 years. Cunningham will assume his duties August 18. Meda Senior Director of Consulting Services and Financing Jan Jordet will act as interim president and CEO starting July 1. “Meda is primed for transformational change, and with this appointment, the Twin Cities’ business community is stepping up to the plate to address racial disparities through Meda” said Doug Eden, Meda board chair and CEO search committee chair. Continue Reading →

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Keystone Computer Solution: preparing youth of color for IT professions

Couple says creating future leaders is ‘the right thing to do’


By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer


The Richburgs, Joe and Dorothy, have extensive experience with a large number of large local corporations. Between the two, they have worked for Pillsbury, Control Data, 3M, and the Federal Reserve Bank in various capacities. That lasted until the time, as Joe Richburg describes it, that “The light came on. Working for somebody else means you are always at their beck and call, and you will never be truly independent and free; you will never realize your potential working for someone else.”

That realization led to the couple founding Keystone Computer Solutions, Inc. Dorothy, originally from Washington, DC, and Joe, from Philadelphia, had met at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where they both had focused their studies on mathematics and computer science. After graduating, they both had job offers in the Twin Cities: Dorothy with 3M and Joe with Pillsbury. Continue Reading →

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THOR Construction owner receives entrepreneur award



Richard Copeland, owner and chairman of THOR Construction, Inc., based in Minneapolis, has been named the Minnesota Entrepreneurial Success of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Entrepreneurial Success Award is selected from individuals who own and operate or who bear principal responsibility for operating a business. Nominees for this award must own or operate a business that initially was defined as “small” under the applicable SBA size standards, developed into a large business, and must have received SBA assistance to help the business grow. Jan Jordet, director of consulting and financing services at the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), nominated Richard for this award. Richard is the founder and chairman of THOR Construction, founded in 1980. Continue Reading →

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CEO Richburg credits business success to encouragement from others


Encouraging youth is now her passion

By Lisa Bryant

Contributing Writer


Sitting down to talk to Dorothy Richburg is like being with a friend. She’s so warm and kind, it’s easy to forget she’s one of the most influential women in the Twin Cities. Richburg is founder and president of KCS, a Maplewood-based information technology solutions company that she and her husband Joe started 25 years ago. The company employs more than 165 people, does business in seven states, and has numerous clients, including several of Minnesota’s largest employers such as General Mills, 3M Company and Medtronic. Richburg’s KCS has been recognized as the 2011 Black Business of the Year by the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce, the 2011 Supplier of the Year by the Midwest Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), and the 2011 IT Business of the Year by the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) — Twin Cities Chapter. Continue Reading →

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How big is ‘small’? New minority business center focuses on million-dollar-plus companies


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


An October 2010 City of Minneapolis report concluded that locally owned Black small businesses face “particularly acute” discrimination when seeking loans. They often are denied, and if they are approved they are subject to higher interest rates than other applicants by financial institutions, the report added. “One of the biggest obstacles for people of color is limited access to capital,” states Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) Executive Director Yvonne Cheung Ho. She adds that the current economic climate in the country has been “very challenging for small businesses and minority businesses.”

Access to capital “is a typical problem for all small businesses, not just Black businesses,” says local business owner Eugene Banks. MEDA in November opened the Minority Business Development Agency’s (MBDA) Business Center in Minneapolis. Continue Reading →

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