Winners named for 2013 Exceptional Businesswomen award

Celebration will be Tuesday, March 5, in Eagan

Exceptional Businesswoman Award

Eleven women will be honored with the 2013 Exceptional Businesswomen Award during a recognition ceremony and breakfast Tuesday, March 5, at Lost Spur Event Center and Golf Course in Eagan.

This year’s winners in the fourth class of Exceptional Businesswomen are:

• Sharon Hoffman Avent, Smead Manufacturing Company president and CEO, Hastings;

• Ruthe Batulis, Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce president;

• Catherine Byers Breet, ARBEZ Inc. owner, Eagan;

• Jeanne Hutter, Lakeville Convention & Visitors Bureau director;

• Rosealee Lee, Dakota County Technical College hospitality faculty member, Rosemount;

• Debbie McConnell, Medi-Car Auto Repair owner, Rosemount;

• Patti McDonald, McDonald Eye Care Associates business administrator, Lakeville;

• Susan McGaughey, Valley Natural Foods general manager, Burnsville;

• Kristina Murto, Ensemble Creative & Marketing owner, Lakeville;

• Linda Peterson, Beau Monde Salon owner, Burnsville; and

• Stacey Stratton, True Talent Group president, Apple Valley.

The award, which has been given by the Dakota County Tribune and Sun Thisweek since 2010, recognizes women who have distinguished themselves in Dakota County business and community efforts.

This year’s group represents manufacturing, family-run small businesses, teachers, motivators, organizers, innovators and barrier breakers.

Nominations were reviewed by a panel of judges from the Dakota County Tribune, Sun Thisweek and the Dakota County Technical College Foundation.

The newspaper and the foundation are organizing the recognition program, which will include a special print edition of the Tribune profiling the winners and an awards breakfast.

The event, which has previously been held in Lakeville, Apple Valley and Burnsville, will include guest speaker Coldwell Banker Burnet President Robin Peterson of Apple Valley and a chance to meet past and present Exceptional Businesswomen.

A single ticket for the event costs $25. A table of eight may be purchased for $175.

Tickets can be purchased online at

Sponsorship packages are available by calling Mike Jetchick at (952) 846-2019.

Past winners of the Exceptional Businesswomen award have been:

Class of 2012: Sunny Bhakta, Comfort Inn and Budget Host Inn; Connie Braziel, Minnesota Zoo; Jamie Dahlen, Holiday Inn and Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn; Michele Engdahl, Thomson Reuters; Carrie Guarrero, Cornerstone Mortgage Company; Chris Holtan, Lancet Software; Peggy Johnson, Dakota Electric; Sheila Longie, Shred Right; Sona Mehring, CaringBridge; Terri Shepherd, Xact Resources Inc.; and Theresa Wise, Delta Airlines.

Class of 2011: Mary Ajax, 360 Communities; Jan Beeson, Lily Wellness Inc.; Cheryl Caponi, Caponi Art Park and Learning Center; Jennifer Eisenhuth, Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth Orthodontics; Elaine Grundhauser, One 2 One Marketing Inc.; JuliAnne Jonker, Jonker Portrait Gallery; Nicole Nogosek, Double N Equestrian Center; Wanda Oland, Rascal’s Apple Valley Bar & Grill; Nancy Quinnell, Hollstadt & Associates; Barbara Toombs, First State Bank of Rosemount; Janie Tutewohl, Janie’s Home Team and Market on Oak; Denise Vogt; Twin Cities Ballet & Ballet Royale MN; and Linda Young, Lucky’s 13 Pub.

Class of 2010: LaDonna Boyd, Dakota Electric; Marie DeNicola; Mainstream Boutique; Jackie Fritz, Sterling State Bank; Holly Hewitt, Holly’s Centre Stage Dance; Rachel Hollstadt, Hollstadt and Associates; Kathy Klang, Cummings, Keegan and Co.; Beth Krehbiel; Fairview Ridges Hospital; Doris LaMott Hoel, Chateau Lamothe; Maggie Linvill, Linvill Properties; Annette Marquez, The Perfect Occasion; Amy Mayer, BI Consulting Group; Darlene Miller, Permac Industries; Deb Thomas, Partners in Excellence; Julia Thompson, TAGS Gymnastics; and Janelle Waldock, Blue Cross Blue Shield.