2017 MBEA Award Finalists: APPRO and CERRON

Jack and Bruce - APPRO and CERRON MBEA Finalist 2017.jpgMBEA Award Finalists – APPRO and CERRON attend 18th Annual Ethics Award Lunch:

On Wednesday, May 18, 2017, members of the APPRO and CERRON team attended  the 18th annual Minnesota Business Ethics Award lunch. It was quite a journey there – 30 years in the making, really. It is indeed an honor to have made a top three list of finalists!

Read more to learn:

  • What the MBEA is all about
  • How the team at APPRO and CERRON ended up as a finalist
  • How your team or companies you work with, might end up a finalist, too!

18th Annual Minnesota Business Ethics Award:

On May 18, 2017, the Minnesota Business Ethics Association (MBEA) hosted its 18th annual awards luncheon at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The MBEA was founded in 1999 by the Society of Financial Service Professionals – Twin Cities Chapter, and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures (CEBC) at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. Since its inception, the MBEA has recognized 52 Minnesota-based businesses with this prestigious award. The Financial Executives International (FEI) – Twin Cities Chapter joined these organizations as sponsor of this event. You may learn more about the MBEA and this year’s finalists and winners at www.mnethicsaward.org.


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 How APPRO and CERRON became a finalist…

MBEA 2017 Finalist - APPRO and CERRON.jpgThe team at APPRO and CERRON was notified that they had been nominated (by a past client) for this year’s award. At that point, as a nominee, you may choose to submit an application. Going through the application process is both time consuming, as well as rewarding. Our team invested a lot of time to answer the questions and to provide examples, as well as samples pertaining to how we conduct business, how we treat our employees, vendors, subcontractors & clients, the systems we have in place, and  more.  As we completed our application, we would tell our story based on the following criteria: 1. What you say you stand for; 2. How you do what you say you stand for; and, 3. How well you’ve done.

Our team had multiple meetings and conversations as we dug into our history and policies. Our conversations included administrative and project managers, as well as recently retired Office Manager, Kathy Morse, and owners Jack Matasosky, Jim Connelly, and Bruce Rydeen (pictured above). It was a team effort, and we are better for having gone through the process!

Upon completing our application and submitting to the MBEA judging committee, we learned that we had been named a finalist. Out of 90+ nominees, and approx. 30 entrants, our team made the final three for the small business category. An additional eight finalists would round out the rest of the small, mid, and large sized businesses for the 2017 MBEA award. All finalists are encouraged to attend the lunch, and we were able to include part of our overall group on this day to meet other finalists and award recipients.

Representatives and owners from both APPRO and CERRON, joined by spouses and special guests, attended the MBEA luncheon. It was a great event to meet past award recipients (including current and past clients), and to listen to the keynote speaker, before learning who the final award winners were in each category. Our team especially enjoyed listening to Neel Kashkari, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and John G. Taft, former chief executive officer of RBC Wealth Management – U.S. and all that they had to share on the topic of ethical business practices. 

You may learn more about the finalists and winners by visiting the MBEA website at http://mnethicsaward.org/Kashkari and Taft - MBEA Awards Lunch - MPLS-MN.jpg

How your team can get involved in the MBEA:

The next opportunity for nominations is now open for the 2018 Minnesota Business Ethics Awards. You may submit your nomination for a company you believe practices high business ethics in their business and in their local community. You may go to the MBEA website to place a nomination and learn more about this opportunity.

Two of the 52 MN based companies who have received the award in the past couple of years, includes:

Lakeview Bank and Murphy Automotive (You may click on each link to see the current and past projects we have worked on for each company – links to their companies may be found on each page, too!)

The owners of these companies and their teams happen to be good friends and clients and we are grateful to be able to learn from their examples!

Feel free to send us a note by using the form below or clicking on the Contact Us button, if you would like to learn more about this award, our company, and what we stand for.


Best wishes!


Redesigning MN: If We Engage People in Shaping Programs, We’ll All Be Better Off

Redesigning MN

By Jack Matasosky

For more than a year, I have been a part of a group of Lakeville leaders – business owners, clergy, nonprofit leaders, elected officials and others – working with 360 Communities to think differently about how our community meets its most public needs. Above all, we’re focused on finding new ways to deliver early childhood education so that our community’s programs and services are reaching more children and getting better outcomes.

We’re redesigning the early childhood education ecosystem in Lakeville to make it work better within the dollars available, even as the demand for service continues to grow, and that’s no easy feat.

But our community is rising to the challenge of thinking differently about our early childhood programs. It’s an exciting adventure to be a part of.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a meeting that brought together representatives from a broad cross-section of Lakeville early childhood programs collectively identify how we could reach more people with our existing programs. The meeting, convened by 360 Communities in partnership with InCommons, an initiative of the Bush Foundation, was the beginning of a six-month process to get our community focused on improving early childhood education and focusing on outcomes. Film crews for Redesigning MN were on-hand to capture our community-driven conversation as a local-level example of the conversations that need to take place to redesign our public services.

Our community-driven effort has continued to move forward in the weeks since this event. We’re thinking about how to make sure every child in need has access to the early childhood education programs that can help them thrive in school, and how to ensure that every Lakeville parent knows about these opportunities offered by our existing network of community supports. And we’re thinking about how we can improve the programs offered to ensure that every Lakeville child enters Kindergarten on track for success.

As a long-time resident of Lakeville, it’s invigorating to see our community coming together – people from the business and faith communities, educators, parents, and other residents – to create better opportunities for our youngest residents. I know that we’re all committed to creating a better future for Lakeville, and thoughtful conversations like the event convened by 360 Communities and InCommons are equipping us to find that shared vision and craft a collective approach to redesigning our early childhood education programs.

At the end of the day, change needs to be driven by the families that need help. We can’t fit people into programs. We need to engage them in these opportunities – and we’ll all be better off for it.

That’s what we’re trying to do in Lakeville, and I’m proud to be a part of it.


By Pat Simpkins, Project Manager, APPRO Development, Inc. (A Commercial, Design Build Company located in Lakeville, MN)

Mission to live and work by the Golden Rule

This Christmas, my biggest present will be the presence of my middle daughter, back from nearly six months of mission work in Australia’s Outback and in Uganda. She and her older sister are both currently in full time work as interdenominational Christian missionaries, both based off the west coast of Australia. They are leaders in a much larger group of people that trains together for three months, then goes out to different places in the world where they believe the Gospel message is most needed and where there are other physical needs for which they can help. The work pays nothing, living conditions are often lousy and the work often-times physically and/or psychologically challenging. It is the most rewarding work either daughter can think of doing during this time in their lives, however, as their smiles and countenance show.

I believe a sense of mission is needed in everyone’s lives. Many people in the business community have a passion for their customers, in delivering a good or service that is of such high quality and value that it can’t help but impress. Customers come back, not wanting to sacrifice any part of the great experience they just received, often insisting on that person being their contact for all upcoming work they intend to do with the company. A loyalty is built, upon which many years of upcoming work can be derived, and which usually results in a mutually profitable arrangement for both parties for that extended time.

One example I can think of is a friend of mine in the stock trading business who has always tended to pick stocks very well. He has stated on many occasions that what drives him is doing everything he can to maximize his clients’ portfolios over the long run while minimizing the risks in doing so. Since each investor is different, he goes to great lengths to get to know their investing philosophies, to ensure he is the right fit for them, and to know how much risk-taking in buying and selling stocks he should take with their portfolios. While no trader is a winner in every stock transaction, our stocks have done very well under his guidance. His business has boomed, as new clients have realized how successful he has been for others.

It seems the most successful people in business are successful because they are driven to customer satisfaction, even customer delight. This takes dedication, thoughtfulness, an ability to put oneself in another’s shoes mentally or emotionally, and good overall communication. Like my missionary daughters, sometimes prayer is also involved. The golden rule of treating others as one would like to be treated also always applies. These values are at the center of APPRO & CERRON’s business philosophy of going the extra mile to serve our clients well.

So, how about it? Are you ready to dedicate yourself in your daily business dealings to do whatever you can to take care of your customer’s needs? Even when there’s no immediate payoff, and sometimes involves some personal sacrifice? Why not consider it as your New Year’s resolution for 2013? It may not pay off immediately for you. But I promise that, over time, you will cultivate your own loyal customer base wherever you go, for as long as you press onward for “the mission.”

At APPRO and CERRON, we have been blessed with long time friends, subcontractors and clients who join us in our passion for creating property solutions by striving every day to understand what drives our clients’ businesses, so we know best how to find property solutions for them and meet their business needs. This dedication has earned APPRO and CERRON repeat and expanded business opportunities with many loyal clients in the process. I want to take this time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas at this special time of year. Don’t miss the chance to spend quality time with family and friends whenever possible, to make the most of it. Please remember, too, to let APPRO Development and CERRON Properties take care of your property needs in 2013. You’ll be glad you did!

For those interested in being a part of my oldest daughter’s upcoming mission work in Asia, feel free to give me a call.

Pat Simpkins