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“St. Cloud Times” Names Shannon Wiger, Moss & Barnett’s Business Development Director, to its “5 Under 40 Class of 2018”

Moss & Barnett is very pleased to announce that Shannon Wiger, the firm's Business Development Director, has been named to the "5 Under 40 Class of 2018" by the St. Cloud Times. This award recognizes five leaders in Central Minnesota businesses who also embrace community involvement that makes a difference across generations. "The award winners innovate, inspire and make Central Minnesota better." This is the 14th year of the 5 Under 40 awards. Winners will be honored with a reception and program on January 15, 2019, at 912 Regency Plaza, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Excerpts from "Meet the 5 Under 40 Class of 2018" (St. Cloud Times, Jan. 6, 2019) appear below:

Making her mark in St. Cloud

SHANNON WIGER, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, MOSS & BARNETT, AND VICE PRESIDENT, SPRING HILL CAPITAL, LLC

If you've ever admired one of downtown St. Cloud's historic buildings, you've likely seen some of Shannon Wiger's work. Take the First National Bank Building, which was restored by the real estate investment and historic redevelopment company she helped found called Spring Hill Capital, LLC. "This is the first building that we did a full historic tax credit renovation on," Wiger said. "My favorite part is that it looks a lot like it probably did in the early 1900s. We found a lot of newspaper articles from way back when that really described the interior exactly, and we were able to use that to guide all of our design decisions."

If buildings don't catch your eye, maybe a hockey game or a concert is more your thing. 

Wiger helped bring Hockey Day Minnesota — one of the state's highest-profile annual events — to St. Cloud last year. She served on the Minnesota Wild and Fox Sports Network's local organizing committee and led the effort to fund-raise more than $600,000 to showcase St. Cloud and benefit youth sports.

Wiger also helped found and launch the downtown Fifth Avenue Live summer concert series that brought live music to downtown St. Cloud in 2018 last fall.

By day, Wiger leads Moss & Barnett's business development strategy, and her passion for historic redevelopment and promoting community events pairs up nicely with her career. She said the two work really well together, and she is fortunate to have landed the perfect job.

"I love meeting new people and finding connections, and I love adding value and learning new things," Wiger said. "By doing all of those things, it allows me to do my job well at Moss & Barnett — understanding our clients, what they're doing, how their businesses work — because I'm out doing things in the community, with them and for them.

"That also lends itself to hearing about opportunities, projects and ways to get involved that betters our community."

Question: What sparked your interest in preserving and redeveloping historic buildings?

Answer: I've always loved history and tradition, and I've always been a really curious person. I grew up wanting to be an archaeologist as far back as I can remember. Through my work before joining the firm, I was an executive director of a college foundation and I learned a lot about grant writing. I also always loved design, and I have an eye for it.

I met colleagues and other partners in the community that were doing this work and joined forces identifying the buildings. My role in that process has been leading the design of the properties and working on the tax compliance and the historic tax credit work.

What accomplishments are you most proud of in your career and your community work?

The work I’ve done repurposing historic buildings in St. Cloud, including the Davidson Opera House and First National Bank building in 2016, and currently, the Whitney McClure buildings. That work not only preserved those community treasures for the next 100 years, but brought several new businesses and jobs to St. Cloud.

The other piece I've been very fortunate to be involved with is emerging companies. I do a lot of work with emerging companies through my work at the firm and working to bring that activity into Central Minnesota and supporting entrepreneurs here in St. Cloud and greater Minnesota — whether that's creating spaces and renovating buildings where they can have their offices, or partnering with the colleges or other local community leaders to make sure that we are retaining those talented people here and keeping them here.

What about St. Cloud makes you dedicated to preserving these buildings and bringing events to the area?

This is where I'm raising my family, where I work and went to college. My husband owns a business here as well, so I really believe that it's important to give back. My parents taught me that we have a responsibility to serve one another, our community and do the best we can with what we have. That really motivates me to contribute to the community that I love and create new places and new activities and companies that my children can benefit from and my friends and colleagues can enjoy.

How do you balance a full-time career with your community work?

I make every decision with my husband. We definitely have a great partnership. He is very entrepreneurial as well — he runs his own company — and we have three small children who keep us very busy. Our lives are very full in a great way, and we wouldn't want it any other way. But it's definitely a partnership, and I wouldn't be able to do what I do without his support and the support of my family.

What inspires you?

I've been very fortunate to have wonderful grandparents and incredible parents, and really, they inspire me. I don't have to look very far to have great role models and great examples on which I've tried to emulate and focus my career and my role as a mom and a wife. They really inspired me to do what I do: to always be curious, always do the best I can with what I have, give back to others and be a great role model to my children.

What lessons did you learn early on in your career that were most impactful to getting you to where you are today?

To use my resources and really value the relationships I have around me, both professionally and personal relationships. To grow them and ask questions and to learn from those around me. To never be afraid to ask for help when I need it and to never be afraid to offer help to others when they need it.

That has really allowed me to develop a great network of people who support me, cheer for me, help me if I need help and that I can help as well. That's what makes life rewarding. It's what makes my career rewarding and I think what has allowed me to have the opportunities that I have professionally.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 20 years of your career?

I would love to see St. Cloud and greater Minnesota continue to grow, thrive and evolve, and really be a community that others look to as an example of collaboration. We have great restaurants and businesses, great companies and colleges, but to really take it to the next level and be a place that people don't want to leave and where people want to stay.

What advice would you give to young professionals who are starting their careers?

Don't be afraid to take the nontraditional path and keep your mind open. Use the people around you who have more experience to guide you, mentor you and really appreciate the feedback and experience they have and take that to heart.

Careers are always evolving and things aren't always in a straight line. Looking back, I see that every experience I had — and sometimes when I felt like I was sitting on the side of the road and I wasn't sure which way to go — was really teaching me something that I have been able to look back on and use in my career. Everything comes full circle and contributes to forward progress. Be patient with yourself, trust yourself, trust your instincts and really value and develop the relationships in the network around you.

Any advice for someone who wants to get more involved in their community?

I have a lot of trouble saying no because everything is exciting to me and I want to do everything. But I've really had to focus my time and energy on things that are very meaningful to me. Find something that is the most meaningful to you and where you think that your skillset and your values align, and that is the place where you'll have the biggest impact. Don't always look at it as a resume builder or something that you should just do. Because if you don't care and your heart is not in it, it's just a waste of time. Find something that you really feel strongly about and put your whole heart into it.

About Shannon Wiger

Age: 37

Occupation: Director of Business Development, Moss & Barnett, and vice president, Spring Hill Capital, LLC.

Hometown: Marshall.

Education: Bachelor's degree in Spanish and economics from the College of St. Benedict

Family: Husband, Nick, and three children: twin sons Jack and Owen (7) and daughter Anne (2).

Community and industry involvement: Greater St. Cloud Development Corp. marketing committee, United Way of Central Minnesota campaign cabinet, Great North Labs advisory board, Kensington Bank strategic board.

Resources