The Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) program is Minnesota’s only statewide recognition program for young leaders who have made major contributions to our state through volunteer service, community involvement, singular expertise, innovative thought or entrepreneurship.
TOYM honorees reflect the vast diversity of young people making a difference in the community through business, nonprofit and community organizations, education and government service.
MinnPost and MinnPost’s YPN are proud to be a 2011 TOYM partner, sharing the stories of each of this year’s exceptional honorees.
Today’s featured Outstanding Young Minnesotan is Ni Suphavong of Eagan: freight manager, entrepreneur, altruist.
With the help of mentors like Lyn and Mike Rothmeyer — Mainfreight Minneapolis’ managing director and regional director, respectively — Suphavong quickly learned the ropes and developed a passion for working in the freight industry.
In 2007, despite repeated rejections for a commerical business loan and general pessimism among industry peers, Suphavong founded her own full-service transportation and logistics company.
Within its first three years, Jade Logistics had doubled its revenue.
Today, Jade Logisitcs moves tens of thousands of tons of freight around the globe each year and continues to thrive in a tough economic climate.
Since its inception, Suphavong has ensured Jade Logistics is a community-minded company where philathrophy is a top priority.
During the end of the Vietnam War, when Suphavong was only five years old, her family fled Laos and relocated to the U.S. with the help and sponsorship of a Minnesota family.
Suphavong has never forgotten the generosity and kindness that gave her family a chance to build a future and she intends to carry on that spirit of giving.
Jade Logistics donates money and services to local charities and requires its six employees to volunteer at least 40 hours per year, at company expense.
Additionally, the company’s Give Back program donates a percentage of net proceeds from every shipment to a charity chosen by the customer.
With determination, self-assurance and perseverance, Suphavong has gained a foothold in male-dominated industry and become a role model for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
To learn more about Suphavong’s inspiring success story, watch her TOYM video:
Join other notable young professionals in honoring our state’s exceptional emerging leaders!
Stay tuned during this week as we continue to feature profiles of each of the 2011 TOYM honorees. Up next: Major League Baseball right fielder Michael Cuddyer.