Columnist | Business

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.

Schafer: What do you really need to retire?

Columnist Lee Schafer signs off grateful for the richness of life.

Schafer: How doing business can be a bit more like Christmas morning

One successful entrepreneur in Minneapolis is telling a lot of people: Thanks.

Schafer: There won't soon be another opportunity to rethink the I-94 corridor

The central cities have bore the cost of helping connect those in the suburbs to job opportunities. How can a reimagined I-94 help those who live in Minneapolis and St. Paul?

Schafer: The fruits of Honeywell's long-game dedication to quantum computer now being seen

Planting seeds — be it time, money or effort — today may not show up for years, but the wait can be worthwhile.

Schafer: Strategy without execution is a vision with no plan

Most business consultants want to help companies develop strategy because it's fun and gives bigger fees. But the Pinnacle Performance Group thinks the messy details are what really matter.

Schafer: Inflation is making us uneasy, so how can we find gratitude?

By most economic measures, we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. So why do we feel so crabby?

Schafer: Investing in Minnesota small business is a winning bet

That's where the economic recovery is bubbling up.

Schafer: St. Paul rent control vote turns builders, bankers away from capital city

The Twin Cities needs new multifamily housing and capital is flooding in for projects. St. Paul's voters just assured the city won't get it.

Schafer: Soaring used car prices could have an outsized effect on rural Minnesota

Cars are a larger percentage of household expenses in many rural Minnesota counties. Inflationary prices for used cars could hurt family finances more there.

Schafer: Our supply-chain problems have a simple explanation: We're still buying stuff

The list of factors contributing to our clogged supply chain is long, but the reason really isn't that complicated.