Dave Neuger will tell you he fell into the business of communications and public relations, or that he was born into it, but that doesn’t really tell his story. A 1981 graduate of St. Olaf College, it is true that Dave worked for his father’s public relations firm on and off during and after college and did have a ten-year stint working with his dad later on. But he also worked in the health care industry, tried his hand at owning a company of his own, and worked for his alma mater as the school’s Chief Communications Officer in the late 90’s. He was even once recognized in his early years one of the Twin Cities’ “40 Under 40” business leaders. All of that led to the organization of the Neuger Communications Group – later shortened to Neuger – in 2002.
For twenty years, Neuger has been a cornerstone of the Northfield business community. Dave and his team have fostered a reputation for the highest quality work, the highest quality customer service, and a philosophy of corporate responsibility that sets the bar in the Northfield area and beyond.
With seventeen employees and offices in both Northfield and Minneapolis, Dave said his company will help their clients with “anything that helps them tell their story.” This can range from media relations to social media strategies to collateral material design to trade show work.
They also work across industry lines. Communications is universal, so they work in technology, manufacturing, professional services, and non-profit areas as well. Dave does say that they tend to avoid political campaigns, “like the plague,” because they can be, especially in this day and age, divisive. And contributing to division runs completely contrary to his philosophy.
“Communications makes the world go around,” he said. “So, if it’s done well or used for good, it can make all kids of differences and affect all kinds of change. It can be used for other-than-good purposes as well, and that’s the downside. But if the people [doing the work] are ethical and have integrity, and can seize the day, it’s going to make our world a better place.”
Throughout the area, Neuger has been known to be a company that gives back. Dave said it goes back to something he learned from his father. “He said ‘Volunteerism is the tax you pay for the space you occupy on this planet.’ He taught me to value every person you meet, from the person who shines your shoes, to the CEO next door. Everyone has something to add to this world.
“He also taught me to have an empathetic approach to whatever you do.”
Neuger’s success has led to a strong tradition of philanthropy within the company. They are known for their generosity with time, talent and financial contributions. Dave said they try to diversify how the company gives to the community, and to whom they give. Nueger has been involved with non-profits working in human services, the arts, health-care, education, and the environment.
The groups Neuger tends to work with are ones that can benefit from what Dave called the company’s “strategic counsel,” and groups that inspire both him and his team.
“We believe in what we do,” he said. “So, we have to believe in their mission.”
So inspiring is their work, in fact, that last year the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce recently honored Nueger for their charity work as well, by presenting them with the Keystone Award, which annually goes to three different businesses that have “done something extraordinary to make a difference within their community.”
There is no question the Northfield community has benefitted from having an extraordinary company like Neuger occupying the corner of Division and 5th Streets.
“Northfield is a great town,” he said. He and his wife of thirty-eight years, Ruthie, have never regretted their choice of settling here. Like so many alums of the local colleges, Dave and Ruthie were drawn back to Northfield when they started a family.
“We feel so fortunate to have moved back here,” he said. “It’s amazing the number of people who are doing great work here and are passionate about helping people in this region.”