For the past three years, John Folkestad and his business partner, Amy Langer, have labored to make Salo, LLC a giant among Twin Cities’ financial contract placement firms. Today, Folkestad can stand tall knowing that he is recognized by his national peers to be a member of “the next generation of entrepreneurial giants” 1 and the only Minnesotan selected this year to attend the 2005 Birthing of Giants program. Folkestad accepted an invitation to participate in the exclusive Birthing of Giants program, which is jointly hosted by the world-renowned MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. and the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

“This is big,” jokes Folkestad, who recently started the program. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the most influential young business leaders in the world today.”

Folkestad, a 38-year-old Certified Public Accountant with a track record in the sales and recruiting businesses, started Salo with Langer in 2002, growing the firm from sales of $3.4 million in 2003 its first full year in operation to $11.4 in 2004. Salo specializes in contracting its stable of 130 experienced auditors, budgeters, CFOs and other financial managers to Twin Cities’ companies in need of temporary financial leadership.

“Our business growth has been staggering,” says Folkestad, who projects sales in excess of $24 million for 2005. “We are the fastest-growing contract firm in the Twin Cities, and plan to launch more consulting businesses within the year.”

The Birthing of Giants program brings together a select group of 60 entrepreneurs under the age of 40 who lead companies that gross more than $1 million annually. Each year, hundreds of young entrepreneurs apply to the three-year program, which focuses on developing leadership skills, concentrating on six fundamental areas of business: Management, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing & Sales, Operations, and Research & Development.

Prior graduates of the program include Michael Dell and Ted Leonisis.