Monthly Archives: October 2009

Oct
29

Leave football alone!

By Katie Kieffer

It must be nice to be president. I thought it would be a stressful job in this economy with consumer confidence at an all-time low, our country at war, a swine flu pandemic and multiple national security threats. Apparently I was wrong.

With 32 newly-appointed “czars” to help run the country, President Obama appears to have ample time on his hands for more serious issues like whether NCAA football should convert from a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) system to an eight-team college football playoff system.
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Posted in Sports | 5 Comments

Oct
28

Sickeningly sweet news

By Katie Kieffer

Photo credit: http://tinyurl.com/yhzbqfc

I was reading a local health fitness magazine the other day and came across an article about foods that give you energy. The author surprised me by stating a little-known-fact about one of the biggest culprits to your health: High fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup is subsidized by the government. No big deal? Huge deal. Government corn subsidies total over $56.2 billion. Continue reading

Posted in Health Care | 7 Comments

Oct
27

Need a Halloween costume idea?

By Katie Kieffer

Art by Amie Kieffer.

Halloween is at the end of the week. Last Halloween was a no-brainer if you wanted to dress up as a political figure: Palins, McCains and Obamas were everywhere. If you’re out of ideas, I’ve got a few for you: Continue reading

Posted in Humor | 1 Comment

Oct
26

Chi-Town’s career advice for young professionals

By Katie Kieffer

DowntownChicagoSkyline

If you’re like most young professionals, you want to know when this recession is going to end. We’re young and generally optimistic, but reality is starting to bite. If you’re paid on a commission, you’re drowning. If you’re salaried, you hope your job won’t be cut. So, what can you do for your career during this down-cycle?

Chicago, IL: Rumblings of the recession, its length and its impact sifted up among the rainy skyline. This month, I participated in a conference with about thirty other young professionals in commercial real estate from across the country. We all wanted to know: “When is the recession going to end, and what can we do to boost our careers in the meantime?” To this end, we invited Dr. James R. DeLisle to come present on the economy and capital markets. Here are my key takeaways from DeLisle’s presentation that can help you build your career up during this recession: Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

Oct
23

Find out what top MN money-maker is overlooked

By Katie Kieffer

Bees are essential to our economy. Photo credit: http://preview.tinyurl.com/yhyfu97

Bees are an essential part of our national economy. Did you know that we rely on bees for one-third of our food supply? Pollinators are essential to helping “over 70 percent of the world’s wild and cultivated flowering plants reproduce,” Brian Devore states in his column, “A Sticky Situation for Pollinators,” in Minnesota Conservation Volunteer. There is an “estimated $20 billion in services pollinators provide U.S. crops annually,” says Devore.

Clearly, if the bees continue to fade away, much of our agricultural economy and independence will be at stake. There are various explanations for why the bees are dying off. Ultimately, we want to know what to do to help save them – and protect our food supply. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Energy | 1 Comment

Oct
21

How to keep our country safe

By Katie Kieffer

The Allegory of War and Peace by Pompeo Batoni

Our country is at war in Iraq. We hear of potential terrorist threats on our country on a daily basis. I can’t remember the last time I went to the airport and the Homeland Security Advisory System’s “threat level” was lower than “High” or “Orange.” We are continually bombarded with signs of war and violence. Consequently, it’s easy to become numb to war when most of our daily activities are peaceful. Aloofness puts us in danger, however, of risking the very peace we enjoy.

This past weekend, I went to The Art Institute of Chicago. One of the paintings that jumped out at me was Pompeo Batoni’s painting, The Allegory of War and Peace. This is a famous work of art that can be interpreted in many ways. Here are my takeaways as a young professional on how we can achieve peace in the U.S.: Continue reading

Posted in National Security | 2 Comments

Oct
19

How to stay optimistic in a recession

By Katie Kieffer

Photo credit: http://tinyurl.com/yh8wv69

How do you stimulate yourself to stay positive in this economy? When your friends are losing their jobs and the world seems to be closing in on you at the speed of light, it can be challenging to stay optimistic.

President Obama has tried to stimulate our economy to recover quickly through his economic stimulus package. Clearly, he recognizes that the economy is in a down-cycle. I am concerned, however, about the long-term ramifications of his actions, particularly for young people like me. Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

Oct
15

Bold young real estate firm steps out in recession

Part 4 of 4

This is the fourth in a series on how young entrepreneurs and innovation – not massive government spending – will get us out of our economic recession. The young entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have all started their companies during this recession.

By Katie Kieffer

Anders & Kiel

The Questions:

1.) When did you start the Paradigm Group? Summarize briefly how the two of you decided to come together to start this company?

Kiel: We opened in May of 2009. Anders and I were colleagues at The Geneva Organization and we kept in touch after we both left earlier this year. I came to Anders and we were discussing what was going on in the market and decided it would be a good time to come together and start our own company.

Anders: We did our background research and spoke with a number of companies in the area and realized that even though things are slow, the workload for a lot of companies is still rather high. We recognized that and said to ourselves, “Why don’t we start a company where we can offer commercial real estate services on a short-term basis – hourly or by project?”
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Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

Oct
14

Young designer builds her firm despite sluggish market

Part 3 of 4

This is the third in a series on how young entrepreneurs and innovation – not massive government spending – will get us out of our economic recession. The young entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have all started their companies during this recession.

By Katie Kieffer

Endura Financial Federal Credit Lobby - Interior Design by Evoke

The Questions:

1.) Tell me about Evoke. What’s the story behind your company?

I started Evoke two and a half years ago. I set out to focus on the corporate market and actually work in the Minnesota market for a change. I had been traveling a lot, working on casinos and hotels for the past six or so years and needed to be around more for my new blended family. Continue reading

Posted in Economy | Comments Off

Oct
13

MyCore entrepreneur innovates with energy

Part 2 of 4

This is the second in a series on how young entrepreneurs and innovation – not massive government spending – will get us out of our economic recession. The young entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have all started their companies during this recession.

By Katie Kieffer

Photo credit - Photo credit: http://tinyurl.com/yz6ayzz

The Questions:

1.) What’s the story behind MyCore Industries LLC? How and when did you decide to start this company?

  • MyCore was started in March 2009 after my team and I had spent months researching a project in the renewable energy industry. We quickly realized that if a company or business wanted to start using renewable energy, they were essentially on their own.
  • There was no single, turn-key solution provider to guide them through the process of determining what kind of technology to use (solar thermal, solar PV, wind, geothermal), getting financing, designing and implementing products and systems, creating environmentally friendly marketing campaigns and seeing each piece through from start to finish. We knew we could fill this hole within the industry – this led us to create MyCore.
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Posted in Economy, Energy | Comments Off