MN Tech Mag | Fall/Winter 2022

Inside ISSUE 6 | FALL/WINTER 2022 What’s

Editor’s Note

I t’s been unseasonably warm in Minnesota – how nice to experience fall weather for once! Seasonal transitions offer a pleasant change of pace and an opportunity to reset – whether that be your wardrobe, home décor, or even your mindset. In that vein, transitioning the business is a consistent theme throughout this issue. Transformation is an often overused, buzzy term, particularly in technology, but it’s happening nonetheless. Companies are emphasizing ways to enhance their customer experience, operations, and everything in between through the magic of digital transformation. At Concord, we help clients through that journey every single day. There’s no denying it’s occurring at companies around the world and across industries. We sat down with business and technology leaders to hear about their experience with transformation. At SunStream, Dan Ritch leads his team through an ambitious technology initiative to modernize systems and better support our nation’s farmers and ranchers (page 10). Similarly, Jana Merfen shares her experience leading CrossFirst Bank’s technology team through a digital banking transformation that will vastly improve the client experience (page 06). Starkey Cares gives the idea of ‘transformation’ a whole new meaning – their work with the Special Olympics is changing lives and allowing athletes worldwide to hear clearly for the first time (page 38). Lastly, Florin Ibrani shares how investment in transformation during difficult economic times can seem daunting but is necessary to build a resilient, efficient, and innovative company (page 20). As we head into the holidays, I hope you and your family can slow down and enjoy the remainder of the year before we turn the page to 2023. If you need some gift inspiration, it’s pretty fun to read the stories of memorable presents that our readers received over the years (page 43).


EDITOR IN CHIEF Natalie Sheffield

6 TRENDING TECHNOLOGY Transforming Digital Banking CrossFirst Bank’s CTO, Jana Merfen, is preparing for the future with a client- focused digital banking platform that will transform the consumer experience.

DESIGN Steve Bubb



Personalization and inclusive design take center stage as Eden Brownell and Ryan Decker share their perspective on trends and challenges in user experience.

9 BY THE NUMBERS Is quiet quitting real? We dive into the numbers behind the trending catchphrase.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brea Marsh Dan Ritch Eden Brownell

Florin Ibrani Jake Spano Jana Merfen Kate Huber Kristin Anderson Michael Scholl Natalie Sheffield Pranav Patel Rajat Relan

32 RELEVANT HEALTH ROUNDTABLE Q+A: Rajat Relan As the Relevant Health Roundtable founder, Rajat Relan brings together the brightest minds in healthcare to educate, discuss, and challenge one another.


Uma Wilson, UMB Bank’s CIO, believes instant payments are poised to transform operations for businesses across sectors.

18 THE TOP 12 Meet the must-follow influencers shaping the retail scene with unique insights and perspectives.

Ryan Decker Uma Wilson


Immersion cooling is taking over the red-hot data mining landscape. Kristin Anderson, Global Business Development Manager at Cargill, shares the process behind this sustainable solution. 38 PHILANTHROPY RULES! From the local community to the world at large, Starkey Cares makes a commitment to impacting the lives of people who need it most.

A CONCORD PUBLICATION 509 2nd Avenue South Hopkins, MN 55343

20 UNLOCKING RESILIENCE, EFFICIENCY, AND INNOVATION IN DIFFICULT TIMES Technology investments during times of economic uncertainty can feel risky, but Florin Ibrani, Concord’s CEO, believes there’s far more to lose by hunkering down. 952.241.1090

Leading Through Transparency 10 Dan Ritch, CEO of SunStream Business Services, is emphasizing transparency and collaboration to support the country’s farmers and ranchers.


24 WINNING AT THE CHECKOUT Learn how your retail business can ring up real change that makes both dollars and sense – online and in-store.


43 QUIPS & QUOTES It’s the season of giving! Our readers share the stories behind their most memorable gifts.

Follow us @concordusa

Natalie Sheffield Director of Marketing, Concord Editor in Chief, MN Tech Mag

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