Since 1990, The John M. Morrison Center at the University of St. Thomas Schulze School of Entrepreneurship has recognized outstanding individuals who personify the spirit of entrepreneurship and demonstrate excellence and ethics in the way they conduct business.

Held each spring in downtown Minneapolis, the Entrepreneur Awards ceremony allows Opus College of Business students to meet and network with alumni, successful entrepreneurs from the community and key St. Thomas stakeholders. The event also allows the university, the Opus College of Business and the Morrison Center the opportunity to publicly renew their commitment to and support of the entrepreneurial spirit.

2012 Award recipients include: Andrew Duff, chairman and CEO, Piper Jaffray; Warners’ Stellian and Angela Kelly Selden ’87, co-chair, Arise Virtual Solutions, Inc.

Andrew Duff was awarded the John F. Cade award. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurial attributes, contributions to the community, ethical standards and integrity.  Andrew has devoted his career to strengthening the local community by building connections between business, arts and educational interests. As chairman and CEO of Piper Jaffray, Andrew Duff heads a leading middle market investment bank and asset management firm serving clients in the U.S. and internationally. He serves on the board of directors of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), the University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees and the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business Strategic Board of Governors. He is the president of the Walker Art Center Board of Trustees, and is an advisor to the board of directors of Great Clips, Inc.


Carla Warner accepted the award on behalf of Warners’ Stellian, which was recognized for their seven-store family appliance business, founded in the early 1950’s by Jim Warner. Built on core values of customer service and high quality products, the company has instituted a recycling program that recycles 90% of all packaging.  The company delivers to 50,000 customers per year across the U.S. as well as outside the country. Actively engaged in the community, Warners’ Stellian donates 10% of all profits to a variety of local programs. Jim Warner’s nine children now own the company, with four members of the Warner family leading Warners’ Stellian today. The company has been recognized with various industry awards.  Carla Warner and Julie Warner currently serve on the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business Family Business Board of Advisors.

Angela Kelly Selden was recognized for her work as co-chairman of Arise Virtual Solutions Inc., Founded in 1997, Arise Virtual Solutions Inc. is the world’s leading provider of virtual business process outsourcing and contact center services for brands seeking to improve business results through their sales and service channels. Arise has grown to employ over 26,000 client service representatives in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom. In December 2009, Angela attended President Obama’s Jobs and Economic Growth Forum at the White House, where she joined a group of 130 business leaders to discuss job creation and expanding the economy. Angela has received honors, including one of Consulting magazine’s “Top 25 Consultants” and The Business Journal’s “Women Change Makers.”