Bean field now, Minimizer to come
Some gigantic THANK YOUS were passed out to many people and firms who helped point Minimizer of Blooming Prairie to its new future home in Owatonna.
"Thanks for coming out to stand in a bean field with us," remarked Minimizer Operations Vice President Jim Richards as he presided over a brief program and groundbreaking ceremony.
Minimizer announced in August that it was moving the Minimizer operation from Blooming Prairie to Owatonna. The move would be to a location of 13 acres on the west edge of Owatonna, near the Cybex International plant.
Richards announced that the Minimizer plant was shut down for the day on Monday, Oct. 14 to allow all of its employees the opportunity to be part of the groundbreaking. "All of you had some type of role in getting us to this point so we can't say thank you enough," remarked Richards.
"This is really an employee event," Richards emphasized. "This is a great day for Minimizer," he continued.
Benike Construction of Rochester has already started initial landscaping. The plan is to complete the 96,000 square foot building, which will house all of Minimizer's operations, in 18 months.
Richards said it doesn't matter what business you are in, re-building buildings or building fenders. "Without good people, none of us would be in this organization," he said.
Richards saluted Minimizer president and CEO C.T. Thorpe and others at Minimizer who worked with Capital Partners to make this move possible. "Capital Partners has solid people in its organization, and they will do what they can to make us grow," Richards stated.
"It's a little bittersweet moving from Blooming Prairie to Owatonna but moving to Owatonna is a new chapter for us," Richards explained. "We want to be a productive member of the community," he said.
Owatonna Mayor Tom Kuntz, city council members and members of the local chamber of commerce were present at the groundbreaking.
Kuntz said the city of Owatonna "is so happy" to have Minimizer staying in southern Minnesota. Addressing Minimizer's employees, Mayor Kuntz said the city of Owatonna wanted Minimizer employees to be as happy in Owatonna as they have been in Blooming Prairie.
"It's a great opportunity for Minimizer and for the city of Owatonna," Kuntz stressed.
In continuing his litany of thanks, Richards mentioned architects, lawyers, consultants and advisors who helped make this new venture possible.
Richards also pointed to Minimizer's neighbors, Cybex International and Gopher Sports. "We honestly believe that together we can become stronger," Richards said.
Making closing remarks, Richards said, "We owe this to all of our employees." He then invited seven Minimizer employees to grab some gold shovels and participate in the groundbreaking.
Leading the group participating in the groundbreaking was the longest tenured employee, Kenny Jensen.