Visioning, creating, authoring, updating and maintaining more than a dozen websites that achieved #1 page one placement in the major search engines.
Growing a multi-faceted, cutting-edge umbrella of businesses including a fine arts school, a booking agency, a record label, a recording studio, a sound reinforcement division, a DJ company, a live entertainment company, a piano tech and piano moving division.
Mentoring and motivating a happy and successful home office group and well-paid mobile staff to be a leader in music education and entertainment. Many companies tried to play follow the leader, but obviously the copy is never quite as good as the original.
Hiring, Training, Leading and Supervising a diverse team of 50 employees, and serving MN, WI, MI, ND with the largest entertainment company in the upper Midwest.
LiaBraaten’s frugal nature and attention to detail frequently saved the company (10%-15%) with cost-cutting measures quarterly to offset while at the same time increasing salaries, bonuses and perks of his faithful employees year after year.
The S Corporation never existed to pad its bottom line but to provide good-paying jobs and benefits to its workforce and to maintain a fun and place to come to work.
An uncanny ability and versatility to perform on the piano and vocally “authentically” in a wide variety of genres is the hallmark of LiaBraaten Live.
Though being tremendously gifted with inborn talents and gifts earned him accolades and admiration, it was his working and volunteering more than 112 hours in a typical week for decades that earned LiaBraaten the respect of his peers, his community and his competitors. And the mantra: “The hardest working musician in the music business”.
His love of football was played in all four seasons – and especially in winter – with friends and neighbors, most notable Patrick and Marty Crnkovich who lived three doors down when the LiaBraaten Music Center was on First Avenue directly across from Hibbing’s Daugherty Funeral Home – a red brick home now owned by “Timber” Wolf Insurance.
His love of hiking took him on many overnight treks on “the dumps” on the west side of town, and his love of speed began when he and his father built his first mini-bike.
His love of fishing has been life long – spurred at first by his grandmother’s boyfriend John Idman – who took him to Long Lake as a pre-schooler to fish for crappies and bluegills and sunfish – and then to Lakeland Florida to fish in the ocean for red snapper and “sheepshead” – which old John had no trouble fileting and frying. In middle school LiaBraaten’s favorite lakes to fish were Moose Lake, Thistledew Lake, and Crane Lake. In high school it was Lake Vermilion, Island Lake and Swan Lake. In college it was the lakes behind the iron ore dumps. After returning to the range and buying his father a pontoon boat to make fishing easier, his favorite lakes were Side Lake, Mud Lake and Blue Lake. After his father passed away, his favorites were Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods.
His love of pool was passed on by his late cousin Randy Oman, who taught LiaBraaten the fine art of billiards, including “English” and “Masse” and tricks. LiaBraaten Captured First Prize Trophy in the Collegiate 8-Ball Tournament at St. Olaf College as a freshman.
As an adolescent LiaBraaten was an avid bowler who paid for his own fingertip grip ball and matching bag and shoes with his paper route money, and whose high game in middle school was 276. By the 8th grade LiaBraaten had read every book in the Hibbing Public Library on the subject of bowling, and developed a sharp hook on the ball.
A responsible youth, LiaBraaten split the purchase of a home stereo system for the family with his father Jerry while still in middle school. Likewise he split the purchase of his Baldwin grand piano with his mother in 10th grade – just at the right time when the young virtuoso’s artistic and musical and creative potential was growing exponentially. These acts earned him a healthy respect in an area where sports are routinely honored, and where the first thing to be trimmed or cut from school is the music program.
His favorite teacher K-12 was his English teacher at Hibbing High School – Dan Bergan from Hibbing MN – from whom LiaBraaten acquired a deep understanding and appreciation for the rudiments of grammar and usage – the beauty of a well built sentence structure and a vivid vocabulary – and also a healthy respect for the English language, its nuances and subtleties. This led LiaBraaten to author many interesting things: classical CD liner notes, commissioned songs, the theme for his alma mater, college theory textbooks, journals and blogs, sermons, articles, poems, and on and on. LiaBraaten also loves word games, such as Scrabble and the NY Times Crosswords.
His good sense of humor is seen in LiaBraaten’s “Bubbling Wheelie” 3-D cartoon artwork featured on the B-side of the popular trading cards “Oddest Odd Hot Rods”.
His gift for reading poetry and scripture out loud comes from his late mother Esther – whom the artist credits with being able to read a phone book and make it captivating.
His gift for public speaking began in pre-school – when LiaBraaten would mimic the late great evangelist Billy Graham by reading scripture from the large family bible and by pounding with this fist on the lecturn. Thankfully this “gift” has been refined.
A short but captivating list of some of the many facets of the man behind the scenes.