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AURI Clients Honored

Golden Valley, Minn. – Doug Van Thorre, president of Biorefining, Inc., was presented an “Innovator of the Year” award by the business and financial newspaper, Finance and Commerce, at a September 5 event in Minneapolis.

A panel of editors and Minnesota business leaders selected 15 award recipients from across the state. Those honored have created new products, services, programs or processes that have had a positive effect on their business, industry or community.

Biorefining, Inc. extracts high-value components from carbohydrates found in distiller’s dried grains, sugar beet pulp, citrus pulp and soybeans. The nutraceutical ingredients are used in a variety of specialty products such as sports drinks and fluoride replacements. AURI assisted the company with technology development.

Van Thorre was honored for creating new economic opportunities for the agricultural processing and ethanol industries and for improving the rural economy.

Samuelson named an “Entrepreneur Champion”

Crookston, Minn. – Kim Samuelson, president of RBJ’s Inc. in Crookston, Minn., was honored as an “Entrepreneur Champion” at the 2003 Minnesota Rural Summit in Mankato, Minn., held August 3-5. Samuelson was one of 25 entrepreneurs selected by a Summit committee’s peer nomination and review process for making a real difference in their rural communities.

The Rural Summit, sponsored by a coalition of organizations with rural interests, advocated entrepreneurship as an economic development strategy for rural communities. The event featured tools, information and people available to help entrepreneurs.

“It is quite an honor… it’s wonderful that the Rural Summit is focusing on this unique segment of businesses,” Samuelson says. “I truly love my job and its challenges, as well as the experiences I have encountered along the way.

RBJ’s Inc. has been serving Crookston and its surrounding communities for more than 20 years. Beside its restaurant and full-service catering business, the company manufactures and sells Signature syrups, jams, mixes and honey nationwide. RBJ’s has received technical and product development support from AURI.