Beyond the Skyline-logo

Beyond the Skyline

Business & Economics Podcasts

Beyond the Skyline is a podcast from Finance & Commerce newspaper about economic development, commercial real estate and construction in Minnesota. Above all, it’s a show about what’s next, creativity and the innovation in technology that are changing how we work and shaping the future of business throughout Minnesota.

Beyond the Skyline is a podcast from Finance & Commerce newspaper about economic development, commercial real estate and construction in Minnesota. Above all, it’s a show about what’s next, creativity and the innovation in technology that are changing how we work and shaping the future of business throughout Minnesota.


United States


Beyond the Skyline is a podcast from Finance & Commerce newspaper about economic development, commercial real estate and construction in Minnesota. Above all, it’s a show about what’s next, creativity and the innovation in technology that are changing how we work and shaping the future of business throughout Minnesota.






Interview: Patrick Seeb, executive director, Destination Medical Center

The new leader of Rochester’s Destination Medical Center is optimistic about the new year — and the organization’s ability to position the city as an attractive place for remote workers. Patrick Seeb stepped into the DMC’s executive director role at the start of 2021. He’s taking over for Lisa Clarke, who retired after spending six years leading the organization. The DMC is a 20-year project to convert Rochester into a global hub for health and wellness. This, the DMC hopes, will draw...


Interview: Chris Sherman, president, Sherman Associates

In December, Sherman Associates announced that Chris Sherman would take over as president of the company founded by his father. Chris Sherman first joined Sherman Associates when he was a teenager and later joined as a full-time employee after earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State Smeal College of Business. Most recently, Sherman held the role of senior vice president of operations and capital markets. Sherman Associates has more than $4 billion in commercial, residential,...


Interview: Jim Walston, real estate attorney

During his 35 years as a Twin Cities-based real estate attorney, Jim Walston has served a wide range of clients on everything from commercial real estate purchases to public transportation projects. Walston, a partner with the Ballard Spahr law firm in Minneapolis, has stayed busy of late representing his clients’ interests as states and cities renew restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. In the following interview, Walston speaks with reporter Brian Johnson about how commercial...


Interview: Chad Rempe, manager of preconstruction design services, Kraus-Anderson

From project manager to director of supply chain operations, Chad Rempe has worn a number of hats for Kraus-Anderson during his 20-plus years with the Minneapolis-based construction company. Rempe recently took on an additional role: manager of Kraus-Anderson’s preconstruction design services, a newly created position. In his new role, Rempe works closely with the preconstruction department’s technical teams and helps establish the “front-end vision, budget and goals” for clients, according...


Beyond the Skyline Festival: Bonding Bill and the 2021 Legislative Session

Business uncertainty. Unprecedented events, from pandemic and business lockdowns to social unrest. 2020 has been a year like no other. In part two of our podcast from the Beyond the Skyline online festival, reporter Brian Johnson speaks with an expert panel on the tumultuous legislative session and ramifications of the bonding bill. Our Panelists: Rachel Robinson, Deputy commissioner, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Jessica Looman, Executive director, MN State Building & Construction Trades...


Beyond the Skyline Festival: Commercial Real Estate, 2020 and beyond

On December 15, we gathered online, for our first Beyond the Skyline Festival, a live event where listeners could connect with business leaders, commercial real estate professionals and other experts to discuss the tumultuous legislative session and ramifications of the bonding bill, and take a look at what lay ahead in the Twin Cities commercial real estate market in the midst of pandemic and economic slowdown. In this episode, part one of two, listen to our discussion about commercial real...


Panel Discussion: Child Care in Crisis

This special episode of Beyond the Skyline features a panel discussion on child care. Across Minnesota, child care is in crisis. Panelists look at the latest national and state data, and take part in a free-flowing conversation about the challenges the industry faces and the solutions being implemented to address this critical issue. Topics discussed include the short- and long-term future of the child care industry, child care deserts (which are not just a metro issue) and the direct impact...


Interview: Joe Ryan, CEO and founder, Oppidan Investment Co.

Senior housing has been a priority for Oppidan Investment Co. for several years, but recent demographic trends are encouraging the company to expand its investment in this type of housing even further. Joe Ryan, the company’s CEO and founder, said their increased interest in senior housing projects is due to the nation’s aging population as well as the “great” business opportunity that comes with these developments. Oppidan has also worked on multifamily, industrial and retail developments...


Chris Pinkerton, CEO, Sons of Norway

After a slow start to the year, Minneapolis-based Sons of Norway has seen a spike in sales of life insurance products amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris Pinkerton, the fraternal benefit organization’s new CEO, says the timing isn’t coincidental. “Life insurance is not something that the typical consumer is just rushing out to buy,” Pinkerton said. “But when there is an occurrence that makes you think about your own mortality and the impact that it will have on your family, people will take...


Interview: Aleesha Webb, president, Village Bank

Aleesha Webb got her first taste of the finance business at a young age when she worked as a teller for Village Bank, a financial institution founded in the 1990s by Webb’s father, Donald Kveton. She proved to be a quick study. After earning her MBA at the University of St. Thomas, Webb went on to hold leadership positions at Minnesota Bank and Trust and Sunrise Bank. Two years ago, she returned to the family business as president of Village Bank. In the following interview, Webb talks about...


Interview: Jack Poling, principal, MSR Design

Longtime MSR Design Principal Jack Poling didn’t plan to pursue a career in architecture until well into his college career, when a guidance counselor suggested it might be a good fit. The counselor was onto something. Now, after a decadeslong career in architecture, including 16 years as managing director at MSR, Poling is calling it a career. A native of Texas, Poling graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in environmental design, and he later earned a master’s degree in...


Interview: Russ Fleming, partner, Baker Tilly

As Baker Tilly’s newest partner, Russ Fleming brings nearly three decades of experience to the Minneapolis-based accounting services firm and its construction and real estate clients. Fleming heads up Baker Tilly’s construction and real estate group. He rejoined Baker Tilly two years ago after a six-year run in a similar role with the company’s Detroit office. Among other duties, Fleming works with construction and real estate clients on services related to low-income housing tax credits,...


Interview: Dave Bastyr, executive vice president, Knutson Construction

During his four-decade run with St. Louis Park-based Knutson Construction, Dave Bastyr has put his building and management skills to use on notable projects ranging from stadiums and hotels to hospitals and schools. Bastyr, the company’s executive vice president, kicked off his Knutson career in the early 1980s by working as a land surveyor on the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome project in downtown Minneapolis. He went on to become general manager in each of Knutson’s regional offices. During...


Interview: Lisa Clarke, executive director, DMC Economic Development Agency

To a big extent, Lisa Clarke has been the name and face of the Destination Medical Center initiative in Rochester. Now getting ready for retirement, Clarke has served as executive director of the DMC Economic Development Agency since 2014. The nonprofit agency works with the city of Rochester and others to develop and implement DMC’s mission: a 20-year, $5.6 billion development initiative designed to “position Minnesota as a global center for the highest-quality medical care and to generate...


Interview: Tim Reimann, president, Veit Cos.

Less than a month into his new job as president of Rogers-based Veit Cos., Tim Reimann has hit the ground running with an agenda that includes growing a specialty contracting business and maintaining safe work practices during a pandemic. Reimann has 25 years of business leadership experience, most recently as vice president of operations at McGough Construction in Roseville. His resume includes a stint with the U.S. Navy, and his business experience runs the gamut from working with startups...


Interview: Gary Kirt, Pioneer Banking Club inductee

Gary Kirt bought his first home when he was still in high school, an investment that launched what would become a 50-plus year career in mortgage banking. After stints with Conservative Mortgage and Midwest Federal, Kirt purchased Minneapolis-based Bell Mortgage (then known as the David C. Bell Investment Co.) in 1980. He’s credited with growing the 100-year-old business into the largest privately owned mortgage company in the Midwest with nearly $2 billion in annual closings. Kirt stayed on...


Interview: Mark Kulda, vice president of public affairs, Insurance Federation of Minnesota

In the aftermath of the civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, Minnesota’s insurance industry has found itself in the spotlight. Amid the Floyd protests, looters torched, damaged and destroyed hundreds of Twin Cities businesses. When the smoke cleared, perhaps one of the first calls business owners made was to their insurance agents — a first step toward rebuilding. Insurance will cover damage from riots and looting in many cases, according to the Insurance Federation of...


Interview: Stephanie Brown, executive director, Urban Land Institute of Minnesota

As the new executive director of the Urban Land Institute of Minnesota, Stephanie Brown assumes a leadership role with an organization dedicated to creating, among other things, “sustaining and thriving communities.” That’s a big job in any era, let alone at a time when Minnesotans are dealing with a global pandemic and struggling with issues of social injustice. Brown is also filling some big shoes as she takes the baton from Caren Dewar, who served as ULI-Minnesota’s executive director for...


Interview: Economic Development Association of Minnesota

For more than 50 years, the Economic Development Association of Minnesota has been a go-to source of information and best practices for professionals involved in economic growth throughout the state. The association, founded in 1967 as the Minnesota Industrial Development Association, aims to keep its members abreast of the latest development strategies with an eye toward “collaboration and innovation in the economic development industry,” according to its website. EDAM’s current leaders...


Interview: Judy Johnson, project director, Prosperity’s Front Door

As project director for Minneapolis-based Prosperity’s Front Door, Judy Johnson is part of an organization that sees housing through the lens of social justice, economic stability and community. The organization — a network of business, community, government and nonprofit leaders — promotes affordable and workforce housing and supports people who face homelessness, evictions and foreclosure, among other goals. In her role with Prosperity’s Front Door, Johnson draws on a wealth of public...