Curtis Gudmundson, founder of Milestone Hotel Investments, will receive MSUM’s L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award. The award is named in honor of the late L.B. Hartz, the founder of Hartz Wholesale Company headquartered in Thief River Falls. It’s presented annually to an individual who has created economic opportunities for others through innovation, entrepreneurship and community service.

Curtis Gudmundson started his entrepreneurial pursuits during college, first as a rock band promoter and later as the owner of Mama Mia’s Pizza in Fargo. After graduating from MSU Moorhead in 1969, he worked as a loan officer at Moorhead State Bank and from 1970 to 1978 he flew an F-101 fighter for the North Dakota Air National Guard.

In 1987, Gudmundson founded Milestone Hotel Investments in Wayzata, Minn. The company serves as a general partner for hotels, real estate development projects and publicly traded investment partnerships.  Milestone has more than $300 million under management.

Gudmundson, who lives in Wayzata, served as vice chairman of the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul. He became chairman of the board for People Serving People, Minnesota’s largest homeless shelter, where he was instrumental in raising $15 million to acquire and renovate a nine-story building that now houses 300 homeless women and children.

Gudmundson also served on the MSUM Alumni Foundation board of directors. In 2007 he was awarded the MSUM College of Business and Industry’s Outstanding Alumnus award. Gudmundson holds a BA in economics from MSUM. His wife of 40 years, Pamela Hagen Gudmundson, is also an MSUM graduate.

The two L.B. Hartz student scholarship winners are Luis Arellano and Ashley Breberg.

Luis Arellano is a 2007 graduate of Willmar Senior High School. He majors in International Business and Finance. He anticipates graduating from MSUM in May, 2011. Luis is the son of Luis and Carmitu Arellano.

Ashley Breberg is a 2007 graduate of Dawson-Boyd High School. She majors in Finance and minors in Management. She anticipates graduating from MSUM in May, 2011. Ashley is the daughter of Doug and Jenny Breberg.