Enterprise Minnesota recently added two new professionals to its employee lineup.

Robert Lodge is the new director of digital marketing and media relations.

He comes most recently from the National Sports Center in Blaine, where he spent six years as a graphic designer and marketing manager and then was director of marketing. With a BFA in graphic design from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he has also worked in graphic design for several companies.

“It’s exciting to be a part of a company that has such a positive reputation in the community,” Lodge says. “Enterprise Minnesota has been the voice of the manufacturing industry for a very long time, and it’s fun for me to step into this role and be able to build on our previous success. Communications is critical for any organization to navigate a ‘noisy’ landscape and stay relevant to its customers and stakeholders.”

“I’m looking forward to getting out into the community more and meeting manufacturers,” he adds. “There are great stories to tell about the people behind the products. By showcasing the innovation and community value that our industry provides, I want to help inspire more people to get into manufacturing.”

James Holthaus was recently named a business growth consultant at Enterprise Minnesota. He spent the previous 11 years at Watlow, a Winona-based manufacturer of electric heaters, sensors, and controls for commercial and industrial applications. At Watlow, Holthaus started his time as a staff engineer for the Thermo Solutions Group. In 2012, he transitioned into the functional lead for the embedded software company and quickly gained a passion for implementing lean principles into product development.

As a continuous improvement manager of Watlow’s Winona facility, Holthaus emphasized lean principles in the production environment as well as the office environment, incorporating the use of Agile and Scrum.

“Manufacturing is the lifeblood of Minnesota,” Holthaus says. “It brings jobs and opportunities for everyone. Being a part of helping manufacturers be more efficient and competitive enables me to be a part of keeping this great economic resource growing.”

Before joining Watlow, he served as an engineer at TRW Automotive, also located in Winona. Prior to that, Holthaus worked as a consulting engineer for Omni Engineering, where he worked with companies in several industries, including automobile, aerospace, climate control, and OTRs.

He received a BS in electrical engineering from St. Cloud State University and has also achieved certification as a Scrum Master.

Featured story in the Winter 2019 issue of Enterprise Minnesota magazine. 

Return to Winter 2019 magazine