“Lory Fedo is a dedicated champion of economic development and small business in our region,” said Shawn Wellnitz, Entrepreneur Fund CEO. “For nearly three decades she has helped strengthen the city of Hibbing and surrounding community by making the area a great place to do business.”
Lory Fedo joined the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce in 1991, during a tumultuous time when Iron Range cities were working to rebuild in the wake of mine closures. Fedo believes in the power of community and supports the wide range of industries that lend great strength to our economy.
“I’m very proud of the work the Entrepreneur Fund and the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce have completed together during my tenure as President,” said Fedo. “I’m absolutely honored to accept the Mary Mathews Legacy Award in recognition of everything we’ve achieved for our regional business community.”
Under Fedo’s leadership, the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with the Entrepreneur Fund on several key initiatives to attract and retain businesses to the Hibbing area. Over the years, this partnership has resulted directly in:
- Over $1,000,000 in loan capital for Hibbing area entrepreneurs
- 20+ small businesses receiving digital marketing consulting
- Training and consulting to Hibbing area businesses
- A new Entrepreneur Fund office in Hibbing to provide strategic and financial resources to area entrepreneurs
- Bringing Wi-Fi downtown and providing technology consulting to entrepreneurs through the Blandin Broadband initiative
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, central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. The award recognizes the success of small business owners and business leaders in the region who embody Mathews’ entrepreneurial vision through achieving significant milestones in growing revenues, adding jobs, community impact and community leadership.
“The partnership we’ve built with Lory has resulted in so many opportunities in Hibbing. Her leadership will be missed, but we look forward to continuing to work with the Hibbing Chamber of Commerce and incoming President Vicki Hagberg,” continued Wellnitz.
The Mary Mathews Legacy Award recognizes the efforts of local leaders. Candidates must own businesses or contribute to the business sector in the Entrepreneur Fund’s 17-county region in northeast Minnesota, central 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:
- Revenue: The business exemplifies innovation, professionalism and integrity and has shown an increase in gross revenues of at least 10 percent over one year.
- 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.
- Community Impact: The business leads the way through reinvestment, community-minded business practices, and for the greater good of the community.
- 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; Erik and Jessica Lietz, owners of Boomtown Woodfire Grill in Eveleth, BoomTown Brewery & Woodfire Grill in Hibbing, and The Whistling Bird in Gilbert; and Janelle Riley, owner of Syvantis Technologies.
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 EntrepreneurFund.org.