Duluth, MN (NNCNOW) - A record crowd turned out for the annual Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce Dinner at the DECC.
More than a thousand people attended the sold-out celebration to hear from one of Minnesota's most prolific businessmen, Lee Anderson.
At the past two chamber dinners Governor Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T Rybak delivered the keynote speech, but this year discussion turned from politics to business.
A record setting 1,300 people turned out to celebrate optimism in Duluth during the past year, from achievements at AAR to the recent legal victories on the fight against synthetic drugs, this year optimism filled the DECC ballroom.
The keynote address was made by Lee Anderson owner of APi, a St. Paul-based private holding company that took ownership of Duluth-based Jamar in 1985.
APi is credited for the boom of economic development in Duluth during the 1990's and generating $1 billion annually in wages and benefits in the city of Duluth alone.
Anderson says Duluth is a perfect city for any business to thrive.
"Duluth has been marvelous we started out with a small business and today we've acquired six different businesses up here and I think our sales are between three and four hundred million, that's just amazing. This is a great place to work, people are wonderful, it was a lucky day when we came to Duluth," said Lee Anderson, owner of APi Group Inc.
Currently APi generates $2 billion in annual sales and employs approximately 10,000 employees many of them right here in Duluth.
Anderson says APi has developed more than two million square feet in the Duluth area since 1985.
Anderson a strong supporter of veterans, explained his company creates specific employment opportunities for U.S. veterans and wounded warriors.