Every year Meda recognizes a unique minority business entrepreneur. Meet some of our inspiring awardees:
Meda is proud to name Jashan Eison, H&B Elevators President and CEO, as Entrepreneur of the Year. This prestigious award is given to minority entrepreneurs who have demonstrated industry leadership, business success, economic impact and community involvement.
When Jashan saw his employer, H&B Elevators, consider selling in 2013, he and a co-worker decided to purchase the company. Over an eight-month period, Meda assisted in the complicated acquisition and secured more than $5 million in financing for the venture. Jashan has since shown his entrepreneurial spirit and determination to succeed in business without forgetting his community. After acquisition, Jashan moved the company to North Minneapolis. In doing so, Jashan has always kept an eye on how his company could benefit the community, making deliberate efforts to employ Northside residents in high quality jobs with strong futures.
Meda is proud to name Lili Hall, KNOCK, Inc. Founder and President, as Entrepreneur of the Year. This prestigious award is given to minority entrepreneurs who have demonstrated industry leadership, business success, economic impact and community involvement. In 2001, KNOCK, inc. was founded as an independent, full-experience creative agency driven by design and powered with meaning.
As fearless thinkers and tireless makers, they are exposed to an open culture that values diversity and possibility for clients and one another. KNOCK, Inc. invests their brand expertise in causes that matter — from education and the arts to sustainable environments and safe neighborhoods, to give meaning and perspective.
Hall is devoted to empowering diverse communities by helping them find entrepreneurial success within their businesses. “It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award. I know firsthand the challenges minorities face when trying to start a business. Over the years, I have found through my own success that it is not possible to succeed alone and Meda truly has demonstrated the ability to be an amazing support system that is inclusive to all entrepreneurs,” said Hall. She also serves as a board member at the Children’s Theatre Company, Juxtaposition Arts and Enterprising Women.
From a start-up in her home in 1997, ISSI has become an industry leader in the design and implementations of custom IT solutions to support government, education and commercial organizations nationwide. The company provides its clients with business-driven enterprise solutions, infrastructure management and professional services. ISSI counts as its clients the Departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, the Secret Service and the Federal Aviation Administration, among many others.
Mandeep Sodhi started Select Source International (SSI) in 1999. SSI provides a complete range of professional software consulting services. In 2007, he expanded the company’s presence into Asia with offices in India, serving the growing Asian and Middle Eastern markets, as well as customers around the globe. Meda was able to provide some much needed financing in 2010, which allowed SSI to double its revenues in two years. Sodhi also graduated from the Meda Pacesetter Program in 2011. SSI currently has 230 employees around the world and 140 full time employees in the U.S. of which more than 50% are people of color. http://youtu.be/_Cc-TTHbSzE
Hoyt Hsaio, President and CEO of Shaw-Lundquist Associates (SLA), leads the activities and guides the business’ strategic direction of “Building Better Lives”. Hoyt has brought innovation to the company, managed growth and improved processes and set a strong platform to achieve sustained viability.
Together with his brother Holden, Hoyt successfully transitioned the ownership and management of the company from their father, Fred, who started the business in 1974. Today, SLA ranks as the third largest ethnic minority-owned business in the Twin Cities’ metro area and is one of the largest Asian-American contractors in the USA.
Hoyt’s tenacity and business savvy skills guided the firm through the post-2008 recession, focusing on sustainable buildings and emphasizing negotiated and private-client projects. Notably, Xcel Energy has awarded SLA multiple projects, including a substantial high security project at a Nuclear Energy Site. The Hsiao family understands that communities are built and strengthened through job creation and economic growth. SLA is currently growing at a 45% rate and has more than 100 employees. As a second generation leader, Hoyt is driven by the foundations set by his father: “Improving Lives by Building with Integrity and PRIDE (Professionalism, Respect, Ingenuity, Determination and Ethics).” The Hsiao family has been a consistent supporter of Meda and its mission; they are extremely appreciative and grateful for Meda’s coaching, mentoring and guiding. Edgardo Rodriguez, as lead consultant, has spearheaded Meda’s quest to play an important role in SLA’s path to solid management and a continuous, sustainable growth rate.
Tashitaa Tufaa began Metropolitan Transportation Network, Inc. (MTN) with a single van that provided transportation for homeless students. A phenomenal success story, MTN grew in just 10 years to become a leading transportation company operating more than 300 school buses. Tufaa pays his employees well with benefit packets that exceed industry standards. As a result, turnover is low for MTN’s 340 employees – 66% of which are people of color. MTN currently transports thousands of students to schools across the Twin Cities, and is transforming the school bus industry. http://youtu.be/6bPWD6BCPPo
Salah Tarraf came to America in 1968 from Senegal. In 2001 he began Tarraf Construction, an excavating company that moved into general contracting work in 2005. Recently, Meda was able to help Tarraf gain financing after eight banks turned him down. Tarraf is a 2009 graduate of the Pacesetter Program and is a current participant in the Construction Partnering Program with both Veit and McGough Construction.Tarraf Construction currently has 28 employees of which 35% are women or minorities. http://www.startribune.com/business/122751609.html