“Above all, I help my clients, community, and friends accomplish their goals, identify hidden opportunities, and prepare for a brighter future.”
Brian provides strategic counsel to private businesses and families with an eye toward preventing problems, contributing vision and creative leadership, and capitalizing on relationships and opportunities. He believes business lawyers should be business people, and he has extensive experience with both. Brian is a comprehensive business lawyer who serves as outside general counsel for many of his clients, focusing on the intersection of business law, business succession, and estate planning. His business background includes more than two decades of ownership and board membership of software technology businesses, real estate development companies, community banks, and sports and entertainment businesses.
Brian has worked extensively with startup and high-growth businesses and their leaders, mentoring and helping them reach new heights. This includes serving as an advisor at Great North Labs and as a mentor at the Pitch in Northeast Minneapolis.
With each new matter, Brian focuses on the people and relationships, providing common-sense solutions and solid judgment. He consistently looks for ways to add value within and outside the practice of law. Brian is a results-oriented dealmaker who looks beyond the impediments that traditionally stall progress.
For many years, Brian has been recognized as the primary hockey business lawyer in the “State of Hockey.” Most of the leading hockey-related businesses, organizations, and families in the Midwest call on his extensive wisdom and experience. He has owned six United States Hockey League (USHL) teams over the past 20 years and is the longest tenured officer, executive committee member, and director in the league. Brian is the founder and co-owner of the Sioux Fall Stampede of the USHL. He has also developed, owned, and operated various sports facilities in the upper Midwest and served as chair of Hockey Day Minnesota 2018 in St. Cloud. He led the effort to create the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center on the campus of St. Cloud State University, including chairing its capital campaign.
Brian is also active with charitable and community causes and initiatives. He is the forum leader for the Anderson Center’s Leading Negotiations Forum and has served on the boards of United Way of Central Minnesota, the Stearns History Center, and the Minnesota Real Estate Foundation; the boards of trustees of St. Cloud State University and the Central Minnesota Community Foundation; the Thrivent Financial regional member network board; the capital campaign committee of CentraCare Health; and the Boy Scouts of America lawn social committee, among many others. He is also the founding director of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corp.
Additionally, for over a decade, Brian has been working to connect downtown St. Cloud with the St. Cloud State University campus. That work includes historic restoration and renovation, public-private partnerships, mixed-use developments, and student housing.
University of Minnesota Law School, J.D.; cum laude; articles editor, Minnesota Journal of International Law; research assistant to Dean Robert Stein and Prof. Fred Morrison
St. Cloud State University, B.A., Political Science, Communication Studies, and Economics; summa cum laude; University Honors Program Scholar; Top 50 College Students in America, Phi Kappa Phi; Harry S. Truman Scholarship national finalist
Classes / Seminars Taught
- Forum and discussion leader, “Leading Negotiations,” Anderson Center
- “Business Succession Planning and Estate Planning,” Federated Insurance, Thrivent Financial
- “Farm Succession Planning,” Central Minnesota Farm Show, Renewing the Countryside
- “Judicial Process, Business Law, and Introduction to Law,” St. Cloud State University
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
Honors & Recognitions
Rock On Award, City of St. Cloud – Hockey Day Minnesota (2018)
Urban Hero Award, St. Cloud Downtown Council – Hockey Day Minnesota (2018)
Urban Hero Award, St. Cloud Downtown Council – Downtown Revitalization (2017)
Top Project Award, Finance & Commerce – First National Bank of St. Cloud (2016)
Project of the Year, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota – First National Bank of St. Cloud (2016)
Heritage Preservation Award, City of St. Cloud – Downtown Revitalization (2012)
President’s Award, Minnesota Hockey (2007)
5 Under 40 (inaugural class), St. Cloud Times (2005)
One of the top 25 business leaders to follow on Twitter, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal
News & Insights
- Midwest Real Estate News, 01.05.2023
- Moss & Barnett Advocate (Spring 2022 edition), 05.13.2022
- Midwest Real Estate News, 12.01.2021
- Bench & Bar of Minnesota, 10.26.2020
- Midwest Real Estate News, 10.01.2020
- Midwest Real Estate News, 09.19.2019
- Investing Closer to Home: Including Greater Minnesota Startups in Your Investment PortfolioVirtual Event via Zoom, 11.17.2022
- American Bar Association – Sports and Entertainment, Business, and Estate Planning Sections
- Minnesota State Bar Association – Business Law Section
- Stearns-Benton Bar Association
- Executive committee and board of directors, USHL
- Member network board member, central Minnesota region, Thrivent Financial
- Founding director, Greater St. Cloud Development Corp.
- Founding board member, All Saints Academy
- Pro Bono All Star, Minnesota State Bar Association
- Advisor, Great North Labs
- College hockey expansion committee, College Hockey Inc.
- Chair, Hockey Day Minnesota, St. Cloud (2018)
- Capital campaign committee chair, St. Cloud State University Herb Brooks National Hockey Center
- Certified level 3 coach, USA Hockey