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S.B Foot named tannery of year

S.B. Foot Co. was recently named 2013 Tannery of the Year for the Americas Region by World Leather Magazine.

Representatives from S.B. Foot and Red Wing Shoe Co., which owns the tannery, accepted the award at a ceremony in Hong Kong last month. The distinction comes after nearly a year and a half of surveying and research by a panel of leather industry experts.

"It's a lot like the Oscars. There is a panel of people doing the nominating and they are executives who work all over the leather industry, from leather tanning chemical work to machinery producers to leather consumers like Nike and Boeing and even environmental groups," said Andy Rhein, S.B. Foot technical director and master tanner.

Two tanneries are chosen for each of five regions: Americas, Europe, Africa, mainland China and Asia. Those finalists -- including S.B. Foot -- were each visited by technical and literary representatives from World Leather Magazine who gathered information. The finalists were then invited to Hong Kong to present before a panel of judges.

S.B. Foot is the first tannery in the United States to win the award.

"Our success is due to the family atmosphere within S.B. Foot," general Manager Chuck Caverly said. "We are only as good as our people Gnd we are blessed with hard working, caring employees that take pride in their performance."

• John Wooden, owner of River Valley Power & Sport, has been named one of Minnesota Business Magazine's Real Power 50, a listing of business people who are the "connectors in their industry. The heart of the operation. The ones who make things happen," a statement from the publication says.

The 50 people were nominated by business leaders and judged by the magazine's editorial staff.

Wooden -- with the 49 other professionals -- will be honored at an awards ceremony April 25 in Edina, Minn. He also will be included in a feature article in the magazine's May issue.

• Robert Albright has been named medical director of DaVita Dialysis Center in Red Wing. Albright is a Mayo Clinic physician; the center has contracted with Mayo Clinic to fill the position.

"Serving as the new medical director of Red Wing Dialysis Center is a great opportunity to provide dialysis care to the local residents," Albright said. "I am particularly excited about the ability to team up with DaVita, the Mayo Health system and Mayo Rochester to enhance coordination of care for the patients in Red Wing receiving dialysis."

Albright will continue to serve as a consultant and nephrologist at Mayo Clinic.

• Thomas O. Graff, financial consultant with Thrivent Financial has been awarded a professional degree in the field of long-term care. The program is independent of the insurance industry and focuses on providing financial service professionals the tools needed to meet their client's long-term care needs.

"The field of long-term care is complex. It intersects with other professions such as financial planning, tax law, home care, government funding and elder law. My ability to serve the community depends on understanding what resources, such as housing and services, clients will need as they age and how they will be paid for," Graff said.

• Thrivent Financial for Lutherans has received an A++ or superior rating from A.M. Best. The A++ rating is the highest that the rating agency gives out.

A.M. Best cited Thrivent Financial's strong risk-adjusted capitalization, its favorable and increasing earnings trend, rising assets under management and its strong affinity and name recognition in its policyholder base as the primary reasons for its affirmation. It also noted that Thrivent Financial's overall sound liquidity profile and its ability to meet policyholder obligations remains very strong.

"We continue to be one of the strongest and most stable financial services firms in the industry," senior vice president and CFO Randy Boushek said. "A.M. Best's affirmation of our A++ (superior) rating reflects that strength and stability as well as our ability to deliver on our promises to our members for years to come."

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.