Minneapolis Breakfast Club

Phygen Coatings Are Harder Than Diamonds!

Early Birds: Starting the new year early were Mark Arnold, Dick Anderson, and Robert Sandberg.

Guests: Jeff Colquette, Spectrum Commercial Services came via Eventbrite. Dave Bell (Dwain Bell’s son) was a guest speaker today.

Honorary Members: Russ Bremner, Tom Donnelly, and Ron Britz came for breakfast.

Newly elected President Chuck Shreffler brought the meeting to order with a ring of the bell and a moment of silence.


  1. Craft talk dates on January 15 and 29 are open. Signup with Craig Blixrud.
  2. Mark Arnold was awarded a gavel (not a watch for a jeweler) for his service as President over the last 6 months.
  3. Chuck Shreffler read a Thank you note from the ECC staff.
  4. Tom Ashbaugh will be out for a few weeks after having appendicitis.
  5. Chloe Czaplewski said Playworks is looking for Silent Auction donations for their annual fundraiser.

Business Networking: None today

Business Exchange: Todd Anderson started off and was quickly followed by Julius Webster, David Goodwyne, Sean Merkel, Bob Alexander, Kelsey (Wolter) Knight, and Chloe Czaplewski

Business Updates: None Today

Table Introductions: So Robert Sandberg didn’t pick a Table for Introductions this week and it backfired as he and Russ Bremner were both seated at Table #1 and Chuck selected that table for intros. They used a theme of “What are your warm weather vacation plans this winter”.

Pot of Gold: Don Thiets drew 5 cards and Russ Bremner won yet again. For a price he will give card folding instructions to increase your chance at winning.

Craft Talk:

Don Thiets introduced Dwain Bell, Founder of Bell Manufacturing.

Dwain has 6 kids, 13 grandchildren, and 8 great-great grandchildren.

Dwain gave us an overview of how his involvement in a downtown Kiwanis club is doing. Membership has dropped precipitously and they have $1M endowment that gives about $50K annually and need members to serve on a grant committee. If you have interest in helping Dwain let him know.

Dwain introduced his son, Dave Bell, of Phygen.

Phygen is a 20 year-old Minneapolis company that applies wear resistant coatings to hard materials via vapor deposition. Their ceramic coating are harder than titanium and many other coatings. Some Breakfast Club members helped provide the seed capital in the early days of the company.

Their coatings are Mil-Spec, USDA and FDA approved, so they can be used in many applications. Some of their customers are Honda, Toyota, Cargill, Mercury Marine, and many military applications.

Dave also gave an update on another of his companies, Steralucent. This company produces sterilization systems that use vaporized hydrogen peroxide to sterilize medical instruments.

Register for the Pot of Gold with Dwain Bell at dwain@bellmanufacturing.com or 612-964-5020.

Looking ahead

January 15 is an open date at ECC.

January 22 is B2B CFO at ECC.

January 29 is an open date at ECC.