Odd Couple founders Shane Montoya and Jason Koenig with the rest of their crew.

The Saint Paul Area Association of Realtors recently recognized the Odd Couple Team and the HIVE Team, both on Grand Avenue, as winners of SPAAR Hero awards. The honor is given to teams or individuals for their community engagement. Each month the Odd Couple Team, which was founded by Shane Montoya and Jason Koenig, serves meals for the Cooks for Kids program at Ronald McDonald House in Saint Paul. The team also supports Keystone Community Services, Joseph’s Coat and the National Kidney Foundation. The HIVE Team, led by Mya Honeywell, has worked with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity since 2016 and more recently has worked with the Sanneh Foundation. Team members have also written 40 grants in honor of their real estate clients through the HIVE Fund.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended the deadline for businesses, private nonprofits, homeowners and renters to apply for a physical disaster loan. Anyone in Ramsey, Dakota, Hennepin and other declared counties who suffered damages caused by the civil unrest that occurred from May 27-June 8 may apply for the low-interest loans. Visit or call 800-659-2955 for information.

The 2020 Saint Paul Business Award winners were recognized by the Saint Paul City Council and mayor on November 4. The winners include Candyland, 435 Wabasha Ave., with the Traditions Award for a business 20 years or older; Karibu Grocery & Deli, 719 Payne Ave., with the New Kid on the Block Award for a business 5 years or younger; Flannery Construction, 1375 Saint Anthony Ave., with the Good Neighbor Award; and Jandrich Floral, 976 W. Seventh St., with the People’s Choice Award. Visit

Women Venture’s 25th annual Women Mean Business fundraiser will take place from 4:20-6 p.m. Friday, November 13. The virtual event will include the comedy of Miss Shannon Paul, stories of award winners, and performances by Dessa and Jearlyn Steele. A happy hour to shop the marketplace and bid on silent auction items will follow. Registration is free. Contact Elaine Wyatt at or 612-224-9564.

Twin Cities MetroIBA will honor independent businesses with its fifth annual Celebration of the Indies at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 17. The online event will include small business video stories and inspiring messages from MetroIBA leaders. The suggested donation is $25. Register at

SCORE Twin Cities has been formed by the merger of the SCORE small business mentoring programs from Saint Paul and Minneapolis. The combined organization is composed of more than 110 volunteer professionals who provide free mentoring, workshops and business development resources. A new centralized office has been created at 2021 E. Hennepin Ave., Suite 220, Minneapolis. For information, call 952-938-4570 or go to

Mya Honeywell, queen of the HIVE Team on Grand.

Ramsey County Workforce Solutions, in partnership with Tech Dump/Tech Discounts and Northstar Digital Literacy, has launched a new Workforce TechPak initiative to provide technology to those who are unemployed due to COVID-19. Each TechPak includes a refurbished laptop computer preloaded with bookmarks to assist in job searches and provide training materials, a hotspot for internet access and QuickStart guides to support the user’s virtual training. To qualify for a TechPak, an individual needs to be a resident of Ramsey County and unemployed or underemployed due to the pandemic. Visit


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Edward McKinley, a 2015 graduate of Highland Park High School who recently completed a master’s degree in government at Georgetown University, is one of 10 young journalists who have been chosen to receive Hearst Journalism Fellowships. The 10 journalists each earned two-year appointments in Hearst Communications’ newsrooms around the country. McKinley was set to join the state capitol reporting team in Albany, New York, for the Times Union. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and has completed internships for the Kansas City Star, CNBC, and the McClatchy newspaper chain’s Washington, D.C., bureau.

Gateway Bank in Mendota Heights decided to cancel its long-running fall festival this year because of the pandemic. Instead, it partnered with Barten Pumpkins to set up fall displays outside senior living facilities, including White Pine and Village Commons in Mendota Heights, and the Waters on 50th in Edina. The bank also donated money to three nonprofits: Neighbors Inc., VEAP and The Open Door.


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