Richfield Chamber Circle of Excellence: Legacy Award – Steve Lindgren


Legacy Award : Steve Lindgren

Congratulations to Steve Lindgren for winning the 2018 Legacy Award!

The Legacy Awards recognizes an individual, group, corporation, institution, or other entity’s, long standing commitment and contributions to the Richfield Chamber and outlying business community. Their support and their influence on Richfield business has been demonstrated over a substantial period of time. The recipient has demonstrated a commitment to raising the standards of business engagement with the local community, actively encouraged current members to engage, and shows a commitment to the development of future members. The recipient has also built strong relationships with schools and other community organizations in order to increase engagement and is committed to the long-term development of the chamber. Steve Lindgren is the inaugural recipient of the Chamber Legacy Award. Steve’s roots run deep in our community. Born and raised in Richfield, he graduated from Richfield High School in 1967 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1971.  During this time, Steve was elected to the Board of Education in Richfield in May, 1971, while a Senior at the University of Minnesota. At the time, he was the youngest school board member ever elected in Minnesota. Governance of public schools, collective bargaining, curriculum development, and seniority issues topped the long list of statewide concerns during this same period. He went on to work for the State Senate in the Minority Research Department, then as the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the Minnesota Hospital and Homes association until he was elected to the State Senate in 1981. Steve served in the Senate from January of 1981 through December of 1982. This period in Minnesota Legislative history was marked by two regular sessions and three special sessions each year. Most noteworthy of the legislative enactments was the passage of Post Secondary Enrollment Options in 1985 working with House Majority Leader Connie Levi, Senator Tom Nelson and the Administration of Governor Rudy Perpich. After the senate, Steve knew he could continue his work in the private sector, and started his own company, S.Lindgren Limited, in 1983.  Clients during this period included the Minnesota Business Partnership and the Brainpower Compact. In April of 1993, Steve started the position as President of the Richfield Chamber of Commerce until August, 2012. Major projects he helped completed during this period included the Shoppes at Lyndale, Meridian Crossings, Best Buy Corporate Campus, 77th Street, Lyndale Gateway, Crosstown/35W rebuild with Lyndale WestBound Entrance, and Cedar Pointe Commons. Infrastructure improvements to the Lyndale Avenue and Penn Avenue bridges over 494 while disruptive to business were managed to minimize the short-term pain inflicted for the greater good of the metropolitan area and Richfield. The same was true of the 66th and 76th Street bridges over 35W which most would now agree have significantly enhanced the community. Membership increased significantly, and budget increased five-fold. In addition, the Richfield Tourism Promotion Board expanded activities and the chamber launched a relationship with Village Profile (first chamber in Minnesota to do so) to upgrade publications promoting the community. Relationships with the public and private educational institutions in Richfield were emphasized throughout his tenure. Steve was an expert at establishing trusting and meaningful working relationships with every City Manager and Superintendent in Richfield since 1971. He encouraged and supported a ten year upgrade to technology in the Richfield Public Schools  He worked closely with the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce on a coalition in support of expanding Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport at the current location. He also worked closely with Richfield Visions, Inc. . Steve worked with Best Buy in the establishment of their foundation initiatives to support the community of Richfield with the emphasis on serving youth along with many other accomplishments during his 19 years with the Chamber.