THE 2021 LOREN HERBST MEMORIAL 
SMALL BUSINESS AWARD WINNERS!

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Pictured from left: Jesse Owings, CEO O-Wings LLC, Art Shore, Executive Director MBMentors, Steve Johnson, CEO HoldTight Rails, Patrick Guddal, Executive Director, Connect Melanoma

Minneapolis Business Mentors presented the first annual Loren Herbst Small Business Memorial Award on November 15 to Jesse Owings, CEO of O-Wings LLC (1st place), Steve Johnson, CEO of HoldTight Rails (2nd place) and Patrick Guddal, Executive Director, Connect Melanoma (3rd place). All three won cash awards for their businesses. 

The Herbst Award recognizes promising new enterprises while honoring the memory of Loren Herbst, an MBMentors co-founder who passed away from COVID-19 in November 2020. Herbst’s wife, Ellen Herbst, and daughters, Helene (Herbst) Lieske and Cindy (Herbst) Ripple, attended the awards ceremony, held at Choice Bank in Golden Valley, and his son, Steve Herbst, was one of the judges.

 

The 2021 Herbst Award, sponsored by Amplio, was open to any entrepreneur or small business taking advantage of MBMentors’ free 1:1 mentoring service. In addition to mentoring, MBMentors also provides business plan advice, workshops, online resources, advisory council input and CEO roundtables. All services are free to existing and prospective entrepreneurs, except for the CEO roundtables.

Founded in 2017, O-Wings creates and sells portable, air-filled meditation/yoga cushions, branded as ZenGoTM. The patent-pending product was Owings’ brainchild, developed after she realized that a similar solution for meditation and yoga practitioners didn’t yet exist

 

“As an entrepreneur, I appreciate the mentoring and support I’m able to receive from Minneapolis Business Mentors,” said Owings. “Whatever questions I have – from business planning, to accounting, marketing or what have you – MBM has experienced people who are ready to help.”

Award candidates underwent a thorough application process and were judged across a variety of categories, including their overall business idea and story, business plan, completeness of SMART objectives and explanation of how they would use the award money. Preference was given to business ideas that are new, unique, or disruptive within their category or market.

“The Herbst award is a great way to honor Loren’s legacy while at the same time supporting entrepreneurs who are bringing forward the best in new ideas,” said Art Shore, MBMentors Executive Director/Founder. “We’re excited to count innovators like Jesse, Steve and Patrick among our clients.”

A graduate of Shakopee High School and Gustavus Augustus College, Herbst was a longtime bank executive at Norwest/Midland. He was active in several civic organizations and was a board member of the former Bethesda Hospital. In retirement, Herbst served on the boards of Eagle Ridge Academy and SPEDCO prior to joining Minneapolis Business Mentors.

 

“Our mission is to help current and prospective business leaders launch their businesses and solve their toughest challenges,” said Shore. “This award program is another way of MBMentors giving back to the business community and helping the next generation of entrepreneurs and small business leaders.”

Loren Herbst - version 1.jpg

Loren Herbst 4/9/36 - 11/27/20

Ben Marcovitch - Jesse Owings - Paul Richardson
Ben Marcovitch - Jesse Owings - Paul Richardson

1st place award winner Jessie Owings and her mentors, Ben Marcovitch and Paul Richardson

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Patrick Guddal - Marshall Jones
Patrick Guddal - Marshall Jones

3rd place winner Patrick Guddal and his mentor Marshall Jones

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Steve Johnson - Jesse Owings - Patrick Guddal
Steve Johnson - Jesse Owings - Patrick Guddal

The 3 Herbst Award winners. 1st place Jessie Owings, 2nd place Steve Johnson, 3rd place Patrick Guddal

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Ben Marcovitch - Jesse Owings - Paul Richardson
Ben Marcovitch - Jesse Owings - Paul Richardson

1st place award winner Jessie Owings and her mentors, Ben Marcovitch and Paul Richardson

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