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Two Minnesota organizations join forces to advance growing field of automation and robotic applications

MINNEAPOLIS – (Nov. 1, 2017) – The Pohlad family has acquired Shoreview-based PaR Systems, Inc., a leading provider of integrated robotic automation and specialized material handling solutions, from MML Capital Partners, an international private equity firm.

Terms were not disclosed.

The Pohlad family’s operating companies include United Properties, NorthMarq Capital and Carousel Motor Group amongst others, and span several industries, including the automotive, real estate investment and development, radio and media, high-end jewelry and commercial real estate finance industries. The Pohlad family also owns Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins.

PaR Systems is a world leader in providing advanced intelligent solutions for integrated robotic automation and specialized material handling solutions that drive productivity improvements, product quality and employee safety for customers. Founded in 1961, PaR Systems has strategically grown its offering into a strong complement of custom equipment solutions, technology-driven products and a responsive service offering. PaR Systems serves the aerospace, medical device, marine/defense, nuclear and additional select industrial markets.

“We want to invest in companies that make a difference now and in the future,” said Robert Pohlad. “PaR Systems not only fits that criteria but allows us to expand into a new business line that we believe has great long-term potential. And it’s headquartered right here in our own backyard – sharing the same heritage and values.”

“Through the entire process of getting to know the Pohlad team, it has become clear to the senior team at PaR that the Pohlad family has the same high expectations and values as the people at PaR,” said Mark Wrightsman, president and CEO of PaR Systems. “We are excited to be joining forces with this great team to achieve our long-term vision of all of the companies in our chosen market segments recognizing PaR as ‘a Trusted Partner’ for their automation needs.”

 “PaR Systems has a strong, experienced management team and terrific, highly educated and qualified employees,” said Bert Colianni, CEO for the collective Pohlad operating companies. “We look forward to partnering with management to provide capital and strategic support to help accelerate their growth, both internally through retaining and attracting talented people, combined with appropriate investments in research and development, as well as externally through acquisitions.”

PaR Systems develops solutions and applications for mission-critical operations across a wide variety of industries. These systems range from the very large to small scale. On the large side of the spectrum, PaR created a remote robotic application to facilitate the nuclear handling and decommissioning of the Chernobyl Unit 4 reactor and sarcophagus following the catastrophic 1986 nuclear accident in Ukraine. More recently, PaR Systems undertook a similar project at the Fukushima nuclear site affected by the 2011 earthquake in Japan. On the other end of the spectrum, PaR Systems supports prominent medical device manufacturers by designing and building automation equipment for the manufacturing of small products that are often inserted into the human body – with lifesaving results.

The majority of PaR Systems’ 380 employees are based in three U.S. locations: Shoreview and Oakdale, Minnesota, and Brunswick, Georgia. PaR Systems also has eight global sales, engineering, service and manufacturing centers of excellence throughout the U.S. and around the world.


Media Contact:

Mary Lilja
Lilja Communications

Acquisition will add 200 brokers, 50 million sf of managed properties, 750 employees

CHICAGO, August 15, 2017 – Cushman & Wakefield today announced it has entered into an agreement with NorthMarq Companies, a private holding company of the Pohlad family of Minneapolis, to acquire Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq (CWN) in Minnesota and Cushman & Wakefield Commerce (CWC) operations in Nevada, Utah and Washington.

Collectively, Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq and Cushman & Wakefield Commerce employ 750 employees and manage almost 50 million square feet of real estate across 10 offices.

“This is far more than an acquisition – this is the formal merging of a trusted partner into our company,” said Tod Lickerman, Chief Executive Americas . “This also affirms our commitment to our clients to offer them the best strategic advice and our full platform of services wherever they do business.”

Eduardo Padilla, CEO, NorthMarq Companies, added, “We believe there is a logical and compelling reason to sell our operations to Cushman & Wakefield at this time. Specifically, the industry is consolidating, with sophisticated clients needing a seamless platform irrespective of geography or service. We’re incredibly proud of this team’s achievements and excited to see them merge into Cushman & Wakefield’s operations.” NorthMarq Companies and NorthMarq Capital are not included in this acquisition.

Cushman & Wakefield also announced that the leadership teams in the four markets will remain in place.

“The teams are a great complement to Cushman & Wakefield’s strong capabilities in the U.S., and we’re thrilled that the leadership team will remain in place and will continue their outstanding client service,” said Shawn Mobley, President of Cushman & Wakefield’s East Region. “I’m also excited that Jeff Eaton will expand his role to lead our North Central Region, with oversight of Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit, reporting to me.”

Mr. Eaton has been instrumental in leading the company through several organizational and structural changes becoming president of NorthMarq Real Estate Services in 2008. He led the acquisition of the property management division of Opus Corporation, which added 25 million square feet of management to the company, the creation of a joint venture operation with Cushman & Wakefield in 2011, and the 2013 acquistion of Cushman & Wakefield Commerce.

The sale of Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq and Cushman & Wakefield Commerce is expected to close shortly, subject to customary closing conditions.

About Cushman & Wakefield
Cushman & Wakefield is a leading global real estate services firm that helps clients transform the way people work, shop, and live. Our 45,000 employees in more than 70 countries help occupiers and investors optimize the value of their real estate by combining our global perspective and deep local knowledge with an impressive platform of real estate solutions. Cushman & Wakefield is among the largest commercial real estate services firms with revenue of $6 billion across core services of agency leasing, asset services, capital markets, facility services (C&W Services), global occupier services, investment & asset management (DTZ Investors), project & development services, tenant representation, and valuation & advisory. 2017 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Cushman & Wakefield brand. 100 years of taking our clients’ ideas and putting them into action. To learn more, visit, or follow @CushWake on Twitter.

MINNEAPOLIS – May 23, 2017 – The Pohlad family, through their private family foundation, has earmarked $1 million for one-time transitional support to nonprofit organizations impacted by Greater Twin Cities United Way cuts.

The foundation has invited 40 nonprofit organizations experiencing a budget reduction of 40 percent or more to apply for the one-time transitional support grants. Invited agencies are focused on the Reading by Third Grade and Out of School Time programs, as well as domestic violence prevention.

“We were aware of the challenges faced by these agencies, and wanted to do something to help. This is our way to ensure that the agencies have a little more time to figure out next steps for their future,” said Bill Pohlad, president, Pohlad Family Foundation. “We also hope other foundations will join us in helping cover this unexpected funding gap.”

The foundation expects to award 15-20 grants of up to $100,000, according to Susan Bass Roberts, vice president and executive director, Pohlad Family Foundation.

“The Pohlad family believes in the United Way and understands the challenges it faces. At the same time, they are sympathetic to those nonprofit organizations that provide quality social services to our community’s most vulnerable populations,” Bass Roberts noted.

Applications are by invitation only and are due June 9, and grant notifications will be made the week of July 1.

About the Pohlad Family Foundation
Founded by Carl and Eloise Pohlad in 1993, the Pohlad Family Foundation has a broad mission to help improve the quality of life in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region with an interest in youth programs, community programs and special initiatives. As a family foundation, grantmaking is motivated by needs in the community that intersect with the philanthropic interests of the Pohlad family. has just wrapped up its best single month of web traffic in its seven-year history with over 4.3 million pageviews, served up to an audience of nearly 1.9 million unique users, according to Google Analytics.

Since joining the Go Media family one year ago, the Twin Cities-based news website has solidified its position as the preeminent Minnesota news source for a local millennial audience.

Combined, Go Media has one of the largest social media footprints in the region for a news organization with nearly 200,000 followers, including more than 110,000 on the Go News Facebook page. That’s more Facebook “likes” than Star Tribune (105,000), City Pages (100,000), Pioneer Press (82,000), Minnesota Public Radio (37,000), and MinnPost (22,000).

A closer look at the record-breaking month of August 2016: Over 700 posted stories combined for results the team has never seen before. The team topped its previous best month in the history of the site — 3.25 million in January of 2015 — by over 1 million pageviews.

Among the leading topics of the month: Coverage surrounding the tragic kidnapping of 5-year-old Alayna Ertl, Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending knee injury, Target’s 10 percent discount, a remembrance of a teen hockey player, and Minnesota schools that ranked in Newsweek’s 500 best colleges. The producers also took over the Minnesota State Fair — covering the personality of the Great Minnesota Get-Together, while incorporating cutting-edge platforms Snapchat and Facebook Live into their daily reports.

On October 1, BringMeTheNews will start a new chapter in its history as Go News, aligning with its parent company and radio properties, Go 95.3 and Go 96.3. The combined brands will continue their evolution with a new website at

Designed by Twin Cities creative branding agency Fellow, who provided the modern look to both Go 95.3 and Go 96.3, the new is a mobile-friendly web destination with an impressive range of brand partnership opportunities.

This online portal will feature in-depth news, live-streaming audio and video from both radio channels, and a suite of lifestyle content, including video, photography, and an expanded events calendar.

As Go Media heads into 2017, the future looks bright as the hard work behind the scenes in 2016 becomes public. This is a company positioned to inform, engage, and entertain modern Minnesotans like no other in the local market.

MINNEAPOLIS — (Aug. 16, 2016) — The Pohlad Family Foundation announced today that Susan Bass Roberts has joined the organization as its vice president, executive director. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Most recently, Bass Roberts served as executive director of the Best Buy Foundation in her role as senior director of community relations/diversity inclusion for Best Buy.

In her new role for Pohlad, Bass Roberts will oversee all aspects of the Foundation’s giving and community outreach activities, working closely with family members representing both the second and third generations of the Pohlad family.

“Our commitment is to helping improve the quality of life in our communities, and we are confident that, under Susan’s leadership, the Foundation will be well positioned to continue its work addressing important issues and needs,” said Bill Pohlad, president of the Pohlad Family Foundation.

“I am very excited to join such a prestigious organization whose mission is to improve quality of life in the Twin Cities,” Bass Roberts said. “The Pohlad family has a long history of giving back to our community, and I’m honored to help continue that legacy.”

Bass Roberts brings 20 years of experience in philanthropy, community relations and communications to the Foundation. Since 2010, she has served as senior director of community relations for Best Buy, where she oversaw community outreach and the Foundation. She added responsibility for diversity and inclusion in 2013. Prior to that, she owned a boutique agency specializing in foundation management, community outreach and communications strategy for five years. From 2002-2005, Bass Roberts was vice president of communications and community relations for the Atlanta Falcons Football Club in Atlanta, where she managed public relations, community relations and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. She also worked as director of community affairs and philanthropy for Limited Brands, Inc. Her early career involved stints with media companies, a public school system and a public relations agency.

Bass Roberts holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. She has a long history of community involvement; she currently serves on the boards of the Twin Cities YWCA, Minnesota Council on Foundations and Breck School. She and her family reside in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

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