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DC grad rises to the top
FEB. 24, 2014

At 34, David Saber named Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 business professionals for 2014

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

One of Dassel-Cokato’s own has been chosen by a leading Minnesota business journal as one of its Top 40 Under 40 business professionals for the year.

At age 34, David Saber, a 1998 Dassel-Cokato High School graduate, was selected as one of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 honorees for 2014.

Saber was nominated by his coworkers at a Minneapolis accounting and business firm, Wipfli LLP, where he has worked on its strategic advisory team for five years.

Each year, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal chooses “40 young leaders who have already accomplished much in their professional lives while also giving back to the community,” according to a recent announcement by the journal.

Saber was chosen from a list of more than 450 business professionals in a 24-county metro area.

When informed he was nominated in December, Saber said that unlikely as it was, it would be “a tremendous honor” to be one of the 40 selected. “There’s a lot of people who could’ve won this award,” he commented.

“I’m really humbled,” said Saber, who is the director of the strategic advisory service group within the financial institution’s practice at Wipfli, and a member of its senior management team.

He specializes in such areas as strategic planning, strategy development, management recovery plans, assistance with regulatory enforcement actions, and mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to his professional work, Saber is involved with the Jeremiah Program, a nationally recognized non-profit that provides single mothers with affordable housing, quality early childhood education, and life skills training.

The program’s goals are to prepare the women to succeed in the workforce, help their children to succeed in school, and reduce generational dependence on public assistance.

What’s rewarding to him about the Jeremiah Project is “knowing that I have, in some small way, contributed to an organization that prepares determined single mothers and their children to transform and succeed beyond their expectations, both personally and professionally. The courage and determination of the women of Jeremiah and their children is downright amazing.”

Saber’s interest in business and serving one’s community all started with what he learned growing up in the Dassel-Cokato community, he noted.

It was on his grandfather’s rural Dassel farm where Saber learned a work ethic that would prepare him to succeed in his professional life.

The son of Terry and Tony Saber, David said he is also very blessed to have parents who taught him and his sister the value of hard work and education. “[They] were extremely supportive and provided us a lot of opportunities to grow and develop,” Saber said.

Saber said he found his passion for business by taking every business class offered at DC High School, which at the time were taught by Joe Harmala.

“I’ve just always loved business,” he said, adding that it makes it much easier to go to work each day when you’re doing something you love.

For him, Saber said he feels fortunate to have a career that he is passionate about. “I’ve been really lucky,” he said.

Being a part of a small community, Saber said he was fortunate to be able to participate in a lot of activities including football, baseball, basketball, National Honor Society, and student council.

Saber said he remembers the community support and that he still believes in the value of community, which is why he is trying to give back in his current community.

From high school, Saber went on to St. Thomas University, where he obtained a degree in finance with a minor in economics.

After graduation, he left the Midwest and moved to New York City, where he worked for three years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

In 2005, Saber moved back to the Midwest and worked for Saber and Associates, based in Cokato. It was later acquired by Wipfli in 2008.

Though everyone defines success differently, Saber said, “success happens when preparation, hard work, initiative, calculated risk, and a bit of luck meets opportunity.”

His suggestion to others: “Find your passion. Get involved. Take calculated risks. Dream big. Travel often.”

An award ceremony will take place in March and Saber will be in a feature publication on the winners in the March edition of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

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