Lee Schafer | Star Tribune
Columnist | Business

Lee Schafer joined the Star Tribune as columnist in 2012 after 15 years in business, including leading his own consulting practice and serving on corporate boards of directors. He's twice been named the best in business columnist by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, most recently for his work in 2017.

Schafer grew up on a southwest Minnesota cattle farm and studied history and economics at Macalester College. He received his masters degree from Northwestern University and worked as a writer and editor for a regional business monthly before returning to business. His work included investment banking but he had the most fun advising CEOs on growth strategy. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Tanya Bell, a real estate development consultant and civic leader, and they have three adult daughters. He's also been active as a volunteer, including for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Neighborhood House and Urban Homeworks.


Lee Schafer: Minnesota, like others, was played by Amazon in HQ2 sweepstakes

Amid the flood of media coverage of the competition for the second headquarters project of Amazon.com were a couple of columns that saw real potential in the project for Minnesota, and they were written by me. What a sap.


Schafer: House-call startup finds new lease on life

A Twin Cities startup that provides health services through home visits is in its second insurance enrollment period.


Schafer: More Minnesota companies are feeling tariffs' bite

It's not just a management headache for big multinationals.


Schafer: CHS grew far beyond a simple business

CHS turned out to be in a whole extra business beyond making a profit on its members' crops.


Schafer: Mpls. investment firm tries to break spell of iPhones in our lives

Here's a possible lesson: If we want to be free of our smartphones, it seems, at least for a while it's going to be up to us.


Schafer: Tracking health spending by location gets tricky, but it's telling

Minnesota now tops the list of states in what's called healthy life expectancy, meaning not just still alive but generally healthy and free of disabling conditions.


Schafer: U economist has seen that investment in kids yields real economic returns

At least once a week the economist Art Rolnick gives a talk on the big economic returns from publicly funding early childhood education, or he…


Challenge getting his hourly work schedule inspired Thief River Falls native's $100M firm

When I Work is one of the state's highest-profile and high-potential software companies.


Schafer: Manova Global Summit called a success ... so far

Maybe one problem with the first Manova Summit was just unfamiliarity.


Schafer: Author takes analytical look at managing household money over a lifetime

"Manufacturing Wealth " is not an easy read. But for those who want to put some work into it, they will learn a great way to think about their finances.