Posted by Jenifer Loon

Paul Grangaard, formerly CEO of Allen Edmond Shoes and CEO/Pres. of  US Bancorp Piper Jaffray has embarked on his latest venture--CircleRock--- combining his strong ties to garment manufacturing and giving back to the community.

Paul Grangaard, a high school classmate of Lyndon Moquist who has been very successful in the business world, described his latest venture, and his philosophy on leadership. After assuming the role of CEO of Allen Edmonds in 2008 and turning the company around, Paul recently launched a new men’s clothing line titled “Circle Rock” and the company is building the brand around “men of character”. The famous quote “In the Arena” by Teddy Roosevelt is used by Circle Rock to help describe their theme. Those who subscribe to Circle Rock receive a uplifting quote via email each week, featuring inspiring leaders from the world of business, sp

orts, or public service.

Circle Rock is an on-line business—no store fronts or sales people. The savings from operating in this manner are passed on to the customers. This trend (started by Amazon) is one that Paul has firmly embraced. Suits can be custom-sized, or from their ready-to-wear line. Shirts and sport coats also have customizing options. All goods sold by Circle Rock are made in the USA—a rarity with only 1.6 percent of clothing currently made domestically. The clothing and leather goods are of very high quality—fabrics for their suits come from northern Italy. A brand of comparable value would be Tom Jones, but at a more affordable price. Circle Rock is the official clothier of the Minnesota United Professional Soccer team.

In addition to their commitment to quality and values, Circle Rock believes in giving back to the community. Five percent of the company’s revenue is donated to College Possible. A recent “Circle of Impact” fundraiser garnered $117,000 for the organization with 200 people in attendance.

Paul’s leadership style is to cultivate a culture of respect. He believes in putting customers and employees first, and noted that you hire the whole person—not just their productivity, which is why it is important to build an open and positive business culture. “Leaders don’t hog the ball”, noted Paul.

Circle Rock is offering a 10 percent discount to Rotarians on their clothing. 



  • Rotary Holiday Party will be December 18, 2018. Meeting start time will be 7:15 a.m. Remember to wear your “best” ugly sweater! Please sign up and note any guests you will be bringing, including children or grandchildren. The EPHS Concert Choir will be joining us again this year to share their beautiful singing, and Santa is rumored to be stopping by—you won’t want to miss it!!
  • There will be no meeting December 25th or January 1st due to the holidays. After December 18th, our next meeting will be January 8th, 2019.


Jay’s earliest claim to fame was being the world’s largest stomach tumor! His parents had been married 17 years—no children—so when his mother’s stomach began to grow, it was a presumed tumor. Surprise—the tumor was Jay! Jay grew up in Austin, MN, attended St. Olaf College (Um-Ya-Ya), and then Drake University Law School. He served as in-house counsel for several companies, changing jobs every 3 to 4 years for about 15 years, and then decided to hang up his own shingle and establish his own practice in 2000. That same year, Jay joined the Eden Prairie A.M. Rotary Club as he thought it would be a good networking opportunity. Jay noted he has stayed a Rotarian for the good work we do and he enjoys being part of the organization. Jay has been married for 29 blissful years, and has two children. His daughter has a master’s degree in medical illustration and works for a nurse anesthetist group practice. Jay’s son works for a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs in investments.



Holly Link is happy to report she completed her preliminary oral comments, one of the steps towards earning her PhD. Matt Crane just returned from a trip to Costa Rica and thanked John Crudele for filling in while he was away.

Dave Duca - Carmel, Indiana Rotary Club

Josh Sprauge - Edina Rotary Club

Molly Zeller and Patrick Yang - Student Interns