Chris Minus was born in Loilum, Burma. With his family, he immigrated to the U.S. at age seven. He is a naturalized citizen. After his graduation from college with a degree in economics, he started working in the international shipping business in Portland, Oregon. Part of his responsibilities was to oversee the loading of foreign grain vessels. Later, at Matson Navigation he was in charge of loading their bulk carrier vessel. Minus built a reputation of trust and honesty within the industry. Forty years later, the middle managers and trainees that he had worked so closely with are now the senior management. These long standing personal and business relationships now give him access to senior management to discuss corporate ventures.
Twelve years ago as Vice President of Business Development for SSA Marine, Minus was responsible for developing business opportunities for the company’s offices that were contracted directly with Ocean Carriers handling Humanitarian Aid cargoes. SSA Marine secured the warehouse and prepared the products for shipment. As part of this process they worked directly with the Kansas City Commodity Office of the USDA.
But Minus wanted to strike out on his own, and capitalize on his 44 years in the international shipping business. He knew he could add value to USDA and USAID procurments.
So in 2010, Minus retired and moved to St. George, Utah with the intent to start a business. He and his wife, Terri, contacted the Small Business Administration (SBA) office, and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in St George, where they met with Len Erickson, director of the St. George SBDC office. Working closely with Erickson, Minus was able to get his business registered and launched as M Group Partners. Minus said, “over the years, Len supported our efforts which were invaluable in moving the company forward.”
A natural fit was the SBA, government set aside programs, where Minus became a supplier of grain to the Federal Government for their humanitarian food aid programs to the third world countries. Once M Group Partners cleared all of the government hurdles, they became a qualified bidder to the USDA for bidding on these invitations. The M Group Partners have gradually expanded the business. In 2014 their sales grew to over $8 million. In January 2015, they added an additional business segment that will increase revenues even higher as it develops, which they expect to be a significant growth of $13 million.