By Ali Lucia

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — He was recently named the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Metropolitan Economic Development Association or MEDA.

Jashan Eison moved to the Twin Cities for a job more than 10 years ago. The Brooklyn Park resident has been working at H&B Elevators since then, but it’s how he went from Project Manager to CEO that makes him a Minnesotan to Meet.

If you’ve been inside U.S Bank Stadium or the newly renovated State Capital building you’ve seen the work of H&B Elevators. President and CEO Eison said his company has manufactured elevators for buildings all over the world.

“The Burj Khalifa (in Dubai), that’s over 100 floors, small to largest, complex to simple, glass or laminate like you find on your countertops at home,” Eison said.

After working in construction in California, the Milwaukee native decided it was time for him and his wife to move back to the Midwest. After all, he had friends close by from attending school at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

“Coming back here felt natural to be with some of the people I had graduated with and gotten to know,” Eison said.

The father of two first accepted a role as project manager.

“I was primarily in New York, but one of the biggest projects I worked on was the city center in Las Vegas, which is one of the largest projects in the country to date,” Eison said. “It’s a campus of convention centers and casinos right next to the Bellagio.”

The recession hit and he moved to a sales and marketing role, then onto director of sales and marketing, and it wasn’t long after that he learned that the owners of H&B Elevators were looking to sell.

“A few days went by after me finding out and I started to feel this real urge and I started to want to give this a shot and then I wanted to feel this urge,” said Eison, when he was contemplating buying the company.

He had no idea how to go about acquiring a business and that’s when he turned to MEDA, a local non-profit that could help him and his business partner with the acquisition.

“It turns out they help people like me acquire businesses, get access to capital and find resources to lawyers and insurance people,” Eison said.

In 2013 the company became his and Eison now oversees 50 employees. He moved the headquarters from south Minneapolis to North Minneapolis. He hopes as his company continues to grow as the Twin Cities does.

“It’s a great to be able to say that the products you build help shape a beautiful staple of our city to say hey this is what we did,” Eison said.

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