Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

Grand Jeté’s Ruthena Fink Brings Over Three Decades Of Local Retail Experience To Leadership Role

Fink’s retail entrepreneurship spans over 30 years; she brings love of dance and customers to her 2017 Minnesota Retailers Association Board chair position

Grand Jeté’s Ruthena Fink Brings Over Three Decades Of Local Retail Experience To Leadership Role

The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) is pleased to welcome Ruthena Fink, owner of Grand Jeté on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue, as its 2017 Board chair. In her leadership role, Fink leads 27 Board members representing retailers across the state and a staff dedicated to contributing to the growth of Minnesota’s economy.
Fink, a long-time resident of St. Paul, opened her dancewear store in 1983. Dancing since she was just seven years old, her love of dance and people found a great home in retail ownership following a career as the Student Financial Aid Director at Macalester College.

Having operated in the same location since opening, Fink has remained a constant in the Midwest dance scene. Despite changes in how retail businesses operate and the ways customers shop, Fink’s passion for personal service has not changed since the first day she opened her doors.

As a one-store, local retailer, Fink has worked closely with her neighborhood and city throughout her years, but notes that today local government has a deeper interest in businesses than ever before.

“In my over three decades of retail store ownership, I have never seen local government more interested in being involved in my business and in my relationship with my employees. Minneapolis and St. Paul have already passed ordinances impacting employers--whether they be national retailers, regional retailers, or one or two person shops. One of the challenges for our industry is telling our story at the local level, and MnRA is poised to help retailers across the state do just that. We need a strong voice to help our public partners understand how their decisions impact customers, careers, and communities,” says Fink when discussing her leadership focus for the year.

Fink’s MnRA priorities include adding retail voices to the organization, working with the State Legislature on issues that strengthen retailer contributions to communities, and establishing a framework for local engagement on issues.

Fink succeeds Glen Thompson who served as Board Chair in 2016 representing JC Penney out of the Ridgedale, Minnetonka location. Thompson recently retired after a 40-plus year retail career and resides in Plymouth.

“Glen was an outstanding leader and ambassador of Minnesota’s retail community. He brought a depth of understanding of retail and Minnesota’s workforce to the Association. Glen made sure we strengthened our policy presence at the State Capitol and reacted to local workplace initiatives,” said association president Bruce Nustad. “Ruthena carries on a tradition of strong volunteer leadership at MnRA including 12 years on the Board of Directors, and you would be challenged to find a kinder, more customer-connected retailer in Minnesota.”

Fink received national honors in 2014 when she was named an America’s Retail Champion finalist by the National Retail Federation, recognizing her connection to community and commitment to telling retail’s story.

Grand Jeté has been a MnRA member since the store opened nearly 34 years ago. Fink was elected chair of the Board in January with a term that runs through December 31, 2017.

For more information on Grand Jete and Ruthena Fink, visit www.grandjete.com.

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Minnesota Election Results For Retailers

Republicans take control of Senate and keep House

Minnesota Election Results For Retailers

The 2016 general election in Minnesota saw every single seat in the Legislature up for grabs--201 seats in total (67 seats in the Senate and 134 seats in the House). During the 2015-2016 biennium, the House of Representatives was controlled by the Republican Caucus with a 12-seat margin. The Senate was controlled by the DFL Caucus with an 11-seat margin.

Minnesota House
The Republican Caucus retained control of the Minnesota House of Representatives and increased its majority from 73 seats to 76 seats (with a special election in February to decide a vacant seat in District 32B).That seat, which leans Republican, would further expand a Republican majority to 77 seats.

Minnesota Senate

In the Senate, the Republican Caucus gained 6 seats which flipped control of the chamber from the DFL. The Republican Caucus now has a 1 seat majority at 34 of 67 seats. Tomorrow, the Senate Republican Caucus will meet to begin the process of electing a new Senate Majority Leader, President of the Senate, Chair of the Finance Committee, and Chair of the Taxes Committee.


2017-2018 State Legislative Composition

Given the 2016 election results, both chambers of the Legislature will be in Republican control for the upcoming 2017-2018 biennium. The Governor's office remains in the control of DFL Governor Mark Dayton who has 2 years remaining in his term--continuing divided government in Minnesota.


Minnesota Congressional Races

Minnesota's Congressional delegation remains a DFL majority with five of the eight seats won by DFL candidates.


Mn Retailers IMPACT Endorsed Candidates Results

Ten of the 11 candidates endorsed by the Mn Retailers IMPACT political fund won election.

Endorsed in House:  Dave Baker (elected), Jenifer Loon (elected), Jim Nash (elected), Greg Davids (elected), Dennis Smith (elected), Roz Peterson (elected).

Endorsed in Senate: Ann Rest (elected), Julie Rosen (elected), Paul Gazelka (elected), Paul Anderson (elected), Vicki Jensen (lost election).


Election Impact On The Retail Economy

The election produced the addition of newly elected legislators and the retention of incumbent legislators that demonstrate an appreciation for what the retail industry offers Minnesota's economy and understand the importance of the 788,000 jobs supported by retailers across the State.

It remains to be seen whether the legislature will meet in a lame-duck special session to find a solution to the healthcare premiums situation and an agreement on a bonding or tax bill prior to the start of the 2017 legislative session.

Mn Retailers IMPACT Endorses Candidates

Mn Retailers IMPACT fund says candidates are good for Minnesota consumers, retailers, and communities

Mn Retailers IMPACT Endorses Candidates


Today Mn Retailers IMPACT announced the endorsement of these 11 candidates running for the State Legislature:

Minnesota House
Dave Baker - 17B
Greg Davids - 28B
Dennis Smith - 34B
Jim Nash - 47A
Jenifer Loon - 48B
Roz Peterson - 56B

Minnesota Senate
Paul Gazelka - 9
Julie Rosen - 23
Vicki Jensen - 24
Paul Anderson - 44
Ann Rest - 45

“These candidates have demonstrated an appreciation for what the retail industry offers Minnesota’s economy as the industry supports 788,000 jobs across the State. Each endorsed candidate is a champion for Minnesota consumers, retailers, and our communities,” said Mn Retailers IMPACT treasurer Bruce Nustad.

Mn Retailers IMPACT is funded through personal contributions used to support candidates who appreciate retailer contributions to Minnesota communities.

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