The Entrepreneur Fund Announces 2018 Mary Mathews Legacy Award Recipient: Janelle Riley of Syvantis Technologies

Duluth, Minnesota – December 13, 2018: The Entrepreneur Fund is pleased to present the second Mary Mathews Legacy Award of 2018 to Janelle Riley, CEO of Syvantis Technologies (Syvantis). Riley accepted the award during the Open House celebrating the Entrepreneur Fund’s new Women’s Business Center in Little Falls, Minnesota on November 30. The award recognizes outstanding business leaders in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin and was created in honor of Mary Mathews, founding President of the Entrepreneur Fund.

“We are very proud to recognize Janelle Riley with this award,” said Shawn Wellnitz, Entrepreneur Fund CEO. “Janelle’s unwavering commitment to employee development and unique approach to business have helped her build one of central Minnesota’s top workplaces.”

Syvantis was founded in 2000 by Janelle Riley as a local managed services provider out of Baxter, Minnesota. Since then, the company has grown into a leading provider of integrated, industry-specific cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and business productivity software to organizations of all sizes across the country. Syvantis’ services are 100% cloud-based, making the company a cost-effective, remote solution for clients across the country. Riley offers high-quality, professional jobs in rural Minnesota, and takes a keen interest in developing her staff. She’s found that investing heavily in training opportunities empowers employees to accomplish their career goals and grow within Syvantis.

The Mary Mathews Legacy Award honors the work of Mary Mathews, who founded the Entrepreneur Fund in 1989 with the goal of creating a vibrant entrepreneurial culture across northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The award recognizes the success of small business owners who embody Mathews’ entrepreneurial vision through achieving significant milestones in growing revenues, adding jobs, community impact and community leadership.

“I’m honored to accept the Mary Mathews Legacy Award and to celebrate Syvantis’ powerful growth,” said Riley. “This award is a testament to my talented team and their drive to learn new technologies, grow their skillsets and provide excellent customer service. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to achieve together.”

The Mary Mathews Legacy Award recognizes the efforts of local entrepreneurs. Candidates must own businesses in the Entrepreneur Fund’s seventeen-county region in northeast Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin and be a client of the Entrepreneur Fund in a financial and/or strategic capacity.

Candidates are also assessed on the following criteria:

  1. Revenue: The business exemplifies innovation, professionalism and integrity and has shown an increase in gross revenues of at least 10 percent over one year.

  2. Jobs: The business fosters a positive, fair and supportive environment for all employees and the business has added at least five new jobs or two FTEs to a community.

  3. Community Impact: The business leads the way through reinvestment, community-minded business practices, and for the greater good of the community.   
  4. Community Leadership: The business serves their community with vision and integrity through innovation, growth, sound business practices, community responsibility and partnerships.

The Entrepreneur Fund presents the Mary Mathews Legacy Award to deserving entrepreneurs throughout the year. Previous recipients include Tom Hanson, owner of the Duluth Grill, OMC Smokehouse and Corktown Deli, and Erik and Jessica Lietz, owners of The Whistling Bird in Gilbert, Boomtown Woodfire in Eveleth and BoomTown Brewery in Hibbing.

About The Entrepreneur Fund

The Entrepreneur Fund is the resource for entrepreneurs in northeast Minnesota, central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The Entrepreneur Fund has fueled more than 14,000 businesses with expert support and funded over $48 million in loans since 1989. The Entrepreneur Fund is dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurship in the region, while also supporting and increasing economic development. Through this strategic approach, the Entrepreneur Fund promotes the entrepreneurial spirit and helps create economic wealth and diversity in northeast Minnesota, central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. For more information, visit