Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A sense of urgency: Education reform in Minnesota

I appreciated the opportunity to have coffee and connect this morning with Nathan Magel and Jon Bacal, two of the fine folks leading an effort to engage emerging leaders around education reform in Minneapolis, and hopefully, across the state of Minnesota. They assert that there are four areas in particular that challenge innovation in education right now: The Achievement Gap, education funding, societal complacency or disengagement around education, and difficulty in catalyzing change inside large education systems.

Sparked by conversations over the past month and further spurred by a group launch yesterday evening, this small group of concerned citizens is pressing forward to create a sense of urgency and to organize and mobilize those concerned with K-12 education in Minnesota. Could that include you? Are you interested in joining forces and making your mark on education? Keep an eye out for this conversation at the upcoming Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference and contact Nathan if you've got some ideas and energy for this work. In the meantime, Jon abides by and recommends the following video and the book, A Sense of Urgency, by John Kotter.

The Importance of Urgency from Will Forsythe on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Working Together: Fighting Famine in Somalia

I was honored to speak alongside some amazing panelists at the final event in the SIX: Social Innovation Exchange forums hosted by Engine for Social Innovation and Ashoka Twin Cities last week. There was discussion of the need to take care of what we love, recognition that looking at the development of people and generational cohorts is a long-term endeavor, and a sense of hope about what we can accomplish together when reaching across sectors and across our state.

One of my esteemed colleagues, Dana Nelson, urged us to help spread the breaking news that the Mosaic Company announced that they will match all donations to ARC for famine relief in Somalia made on, dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. Mosaic will also cover all transaction fees so that for every dollar you donate, ARC will receive two dollars to fight famine in Somalia.

To learn more and gather together with other Minnesotans around how to fight famine in Somalia, consider attending tomorrow's public forum and discussion with U.S. congressional leaders, including Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Betty McCollum, and Keith Ellison, amongst other local and national leaders in the humanitarian affairs field.

Working Together: A Community Forum to Address Famine in the Horn of Africa

Date: 08/31/2011

Time: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Location: Cowles Auditorium Hubert H. Humphrey Center

Cost: Free


The Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Representative Keith Ellison will host a public forum and discussion on Wednesday, August 31 at 1:30 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium, on the ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa. Panelists will include House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi, Representatives Betty McCollum and Tim Walz, USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah, American Refugee Committee's Daniel Wordsworth, and the Somali Action Alliance's Hashi Shafi. RSVP required at

Monday, August 29, 2011

The world is not happening to us

Image credit: Stock.xchng

"The world is not happening to us. We are happening to it. We are molding it, shaping it, creating the good and bad with our thoughts."

-Iyanla Vanzant

Saturday, August 27, 2011

20 Questions for Minnesota Rising Un/Conference 2011 Network Partners

20 Questions for Minnesota Rising Un/Conference 2011 Network Partners

Thank you for serving as a Network Partner for the Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: Building A Network For What’s Next! Please use any 3-5 questions of the following 20 prompts as a guide for writing your Network Partner blog post (300-600 words) for the Minnesota Rising blog. Please also include your organizational logo or a relevant photo in your email to by Friday, September 9.

1. In two sentences, what does your group/organization do?

2. Who makes up your membership?

3. What was your group/organization’s biggest accomplishment in the past year?

4. If you could have any celebrity/famous person join your group/organization, who would it be and why?

5. Where will your grup/organization be in three years?

6. Which quintessential Minnesota landmark best represents your group/organization?

7. What makes the members of your group/organization unique and rockstars?

8. What other Network Partner do you most want to partner with in the future and why?

9. If your group/organization were a Sesame Street character, which one would you be and why?

10. How do you determine who is on your board/in leadership positions? What does your board/leadership do in your organization?

11. Who has been the best speaker your group has featured at an event?

12. If your board members were cast on a TV show, what TV show would it be and why?

13. What’s the best way for people connect with your group/organization?

14. If your group/organization could only do one thing in 2011 - event, program, resource, etc - what would it be and why?

15. What is your group/organization’s theme song and why?

16. You’re ordering delivery for your board meeting. What do you order and from what restaurant?

17. A genie gives you one wish for your group/organization. What do you wish for?

18. Who has been an outstanding member of your group/organization this year and why?

19. The Governor wants your group/organization to counsel him on an important issue. What issue is it and what do you tell the Governor?

20. What’s one thing your group/organization is going to bring to the table at the 2011 UnConference?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Network Partner Invitation: Join us at the Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference!

Calling all emerging leader and young professional organizations across Minnesota! We're gearing up for an amazing Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: Building A Network For What's Next and are looking for some partners in crime. If your group is committed to the leadership development of its membership, passionate about contributing to our state and communities, and is interested in a bit of cross-promotion, please consider serving as a Network Partner! The deadline's Friday, September 9 and we hope to hear from you and yours soon!

Founded in 2009, Minnesota Rising is the network of emerging leaders in Minnesota. Minnesota Rising works to build relationships, trust, and a shared vision for the future of Minnesota, and engages emerging leaders and young professional organizations to work toward that call both now and in the future. Through Minnesota Rising’s online presence, annual Un/Conference, Minnesota Rising Council, and research, we are building the collective capacity of this generation for impacting Minnesota's future.

The Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: Building A Network For What's Next will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 10:00AM - 6:00PM at the CoCo coworking and collaborative space in St. Paul, MN. The daylong Un/Conference will bring together emerging leaders for innovative learning and dialogue, skills-building, and network-building with their peers.

Being a Network Partner is as simple as letting your membership know about the Un/Conference. During three promotional pushes leading up to the Un/Conference, we’ll provide customizable promotion text, including Twitter, Facebook, and newsletter blurbs, for you to adapt and use in your own social media outlets.

In return for your support, your organization will receive the following benefits:

  • Listed on event materials and website as a Network Partner
  • Opportunity to be featured on Minnesota Rising’s website through a blog post
    • We’ve developed a list of questions that your organization can choose from in order to make writing an informational blog post easy and fun.
  • Cascading Conversation tool kit
    • A tool kit to help your leadership or organization facilitate cascading conversations with your members. This will be demonstrated at the Un/Conference.
  • Highlighted at the event through Network Partner announcement
  • Opportunity to share materials with Un/Conference attendees
  • Priority in the workshop selection process
  • Opportunity to highlight your organization’s events through the Minnesota Rising blog or Facebook page

If you are interested in becoming a Network Partner, please confirm your organizational interest by Friday, September 9, 2011!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

You're Invited: Citizens League Member Appreciation Event

We at the Citizens League highly value our members since it's because of their active citizenship and participation that we have a such a great organization as well as a reason for optimism for the state of Minnesota. And we want to celebrate that! Come on out to the Member Appreciation Event to connect with other inspiring members, catch up on the work of the League of late, and receive some public kudos. And if you're the more humble type still needing to identify your self-interest, remember there'll be light appetizers on the riverside on a lovely last-days-of-summer night!

Member Appreciation Event


Tuesday, August 30, 2011
5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Wilde Roast Cafe
65 SE Main St, Minneapolis

Register Now

Join the Citizens League to celebrate the end of summer and YOU, our members, for our end-of-summer member appreciation get-together.

This is a great opportunity to meet fellow Citizens League members, and learn more about our current policy work and opportunities for you to get involved. Light appetizers will be provided.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

MinnPost YPN5Q: Diane Tran

I was delighted to be featured by MinnPost's YPN and Audra Otto last week on their YPN5Q and given a shout-out by Bridget Ulrich in her interview the week prior! Interestingly, some of the questions have sparked conversations elsewhere in life related to favorite reads and personality types. What have you got to share? And if it's enough for 5 questions, don't forget to nominate yourself or others to be featured on MinnPost YPN5Q!

YPN5Q: Diane Tran


YPN5Q is a weekly Q&A series spotlighting the state's top young business and civic leaders and creative minds -- professionals propelling change through entrepreneurship, the arts, public service, social media, and community involvement.

This week, we hear from Diane Tran, a project manager at Grassroots Solutions, a national consulting firm specializing in grassroots advocacy, organizing, strategy, targeting, and political field consulting.

Outside of work, Tran serves on the boards of Citizens League, Kids 'n Kinship, and the Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT) program of the League of Women Voters Minnesota.

Tran was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans in 2008 by the Minnesota Jaycees, served as a 2006-2007 Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow and was awarded a 2004 Institute for International Public Policy Fellowship. Tran blogs about active citizenship, emerging leadership and the Millennial generation at Minnesota Rising.

Diane Tran
Courtesy of Diane TranDiane Tran

Name: Diane Tran
Age: 27
Residence: South Metro
Current Job Title: Project Manager
Current Employer: Grassroots Solutions

1. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career so far?
Throughout my high school years, I was an active leader with Target Market, Minnesota's grassroots anti-corporate tobacco industry youth movement. I was honored to receive the 2002 Dakota County Youth Public Health Achievement Award and be recognized that same year by then-Minnesota State Health Commissioner, Jan Malcolm, for my youth tobacco prevention efforts.

I continued to educate and organize around public health issues during my college years and upon graduating, managed a local grassroots education and advocacy campaign to advance the Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007, a statewide smoke-free workplace policy protecting Minnesota workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

It was especially moving to be part of an effort over thirty years in the making, the success of which came as a result of the collaborative work of thousands of passionate and dedicated Minnesotans.

2. What is Minnesota Rising and what's next for it?
Minnesota Rising is the network of emerging leaders and young professionals groups that works to build relationships, trust and a shared vision for Minnesota.

The Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: "Building a Network for What's Next" is slated for Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at CoCo St. Paul, and will be an daylong event of skill-building, network-building and leadership development hosted by and for emerging leaders. We'll also be kicking off a two-year tour of cascading conversations, partially designed at the Un/Conference, that will help to build collective consensus and capacity for impacting Minnesota's future.

3. What do you do for fun?
I was given the social title of "The Adventurer" at work. I love exploring and am ever challenging myself to expand my comfort zone.

I bungee-jumped off the bridge that separates Zimbabwe and Zambia over Victoria Falls on its 100-year anniversary, drove stick-shift on the left side of the road through Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa, whilst in-country for the 2010 World Cup, and took in majestic views of an organic coffee plantation on the Mombacho Volcano Canopy Tour in Nicaragua last year.

Locally, I'm a fan of skydiving, go-kart racing and flying airplanes. I recently became engaged to the most incredible person I have ever known, who is the best adventure buddy, and so I'm now embarking on a whole different kind of journey!

4. What is your favorite book, and why?
I adore "Candide, ou l'Optimisme" by Voltaire. Mostly because it pokes fun at me and my sensibilities. A pragmatic optimist, I think we make meaning of our lives. More to the point, I think humility is critical and I appreciate how Voltaire's satire gives the Candide in me a run for my money.

5. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type and do you agree?
I first took an official Myers-Briggs survey in high school and still hold to that initial analysis that I'm an ENFJ. This description I came across seems to say it all; I identify especially with the last part:

"ENFJs are motivated by external human situations, primarily by other people; their talents, their needs, their aspirations and their cares forming the world in which an ENFJ lives. They thrive when able to 'make things right' for others, to enable and empower their co-workers, friends and family through valuing their human strengths and abilities. When gifted with the added ENFJ ability to intuitively adapt their feelings to the way they are affected by others, the ENFJ has a positive drive to find cooperative pathways leading to the best possible outcome for all, including themselves."

To nominate a young professional for "YPN5Q," with the nominee's full name, employer or contact info, and one or two brief sentences supporting your nomination.

Posted by Audra Otto

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Requesting RFPs: Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference

It's that time of year again and we on the planning committee for the Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: Building A Network For What's Next are so excited to announce that we are now requesting proposals for breakout sessions and Show and Tell presentations at this year's event! See below for more details, share them with your friends and colleagues, and please consider submitting something yourself by Friday, September 9, 2011!

Founded in 2009, Minnesota Rising is the network of emerging leaders in Minnesota. Minnesota Rising works to build relationships, trust, and a shared vision for the future of Minnesota, and engages emerging leaders and young professional organizations to work toward that call both now and in the future. Through Minnesota Rising’s online presence, annual Un/Conference, Minnesota Rising Council, and research, we are building the collective capacity of this generation for impacting Minnesota's future.

The Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: Building A Network For What's Next will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 10:00AM - 6:00PM at the CoCo coworking and collaborative space in St. Paul, MN. The daylong Un/Conference will bring together emerging leaders for innovative learning and dialogue, skills-building, and network-building with their peers. Content for the Un/Conference is developed by and for emerging leaders in our community in order to showcase this generation's talent and knowledge. The Un/Conference will feature three periods of five 50-minute breakout session options for attendees, as well as several 4-minute Show and Tell presentations to the large group. The Un/Conference Content Committee is now accepting proposals for presentations of unique topics that would be of interest to our target audience.

We are looking for proposals for 50-minute breakout sessions that fit into the following 2011 Un/Conference Tracks:

Track 1: Me, Myself, and Minnesota | Personal Cultivation
Focused on self-leadership and personal development, particularly as it relates to being an active citizen in Minnesota. Sessions should allow for self-reflection and life skills-building.

Track 2: COM.MN Cause | Organizational Evolution
Focused on skills and practices to improve organizational capacity of emerging leader groups and community organizations. Sessions should highlight organizational development, management, and team-building principles.

Track 3: Making Our Mark on Minnesota | Public Leadership
Focused on opportunities for individuals and institutions to contribute to the existing civic infrastructure of Minnesota. Sessions should leverage tools of collaborative leadership and urge re-envisioning community engagement.

Track 4: State of the State + Future State | Generational Emergence
Focused on question of how emerging leaders can develop relationships, trust, and a shared vision for the future of Minnesota. Sessions should provoke questions that advance strategies around movement-building and developing a common generational agenda or operating principles.

Have an idea you want to test out? Have unique expertise you want to share? Want to begin a dialogue with other emerging leaders about how our generation can improve Minnesota? We invite you to submit a proposal for a session at this year's event! We are accepting proposals until Friday, September 9, 2011 and look forward to your submission!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Stories move in circles

Image Credit: Luminita Lupu

"Stories move in circles. They don't go in straight lines.
So it helps if you listen in circles.
There are stories inside stories and stories between stories,
And finding your way through them is as easy and as hard as finding your way home.
And part of the finding is getting lost.
And when you're lost, you start to look around and listen."

-A Traveling Jewish Theater

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Art of Hosting: Framing Open Questions

As we at Minnesota Rising have embarked upon planning a tour of cascading conversations to be kicked off at our upcoming 2011 Un/Conference: "Building A Network For What's Next," a number of us are in design mode to illuminate just what exactly we are seeking to learn from our statewide convening of conversations. Another tool I garnered at the recent "Art of Hosting Yourself" training includes some guidelines for asking open questions by Caryl Hurtig Casbon. Even as these become useful to the work we're engaging in, hopefully they can be of assistance to y'all in your personal and professional interactions. As the quote from Rilke below urges, living the questions may allow us to live into the answers.
Framing Open Questions
By Caryl Hurtig Casbon

Some guidelines for asking open questions include the following:

1. The best single mark of an honest, open question is that the questioner could not possibly anticipate the answer to it.

2. Ask questions aimed at helping the focus person rather than at satisfying your curiosity.

3. Ask questions that are brief and to the point rather than larding them with background considerations and rationale—which make the question into a speech.

4. Ask questions that go to the person as well as the problem—for example, questions about feelings as well as about facts.

5. Trust your intuition in asking questions, even if your instinct seems off the wall.

6. Consider holding a question rather than asking it immediately, particularly if you're not sure it's a good question. If it keeps coming back to you, ask it later.

7. Allow questions to "bubble up" or emerge, rather than force them.

8. Watch the pacing of your questions. Questions coming too fast can feel aggressive.

9. Avoid any storytelling, or behaviors that call attention to yourself.

10. The best questions are simple questions.

11. Avoid questions with right/wrong answers.

12. Sometimes questions that invite images or metaphors can open things up in ways that more direct questions don't.

13. As you listen deeply to what is being said try to allow questions to come from your heart, rather than your head.

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart . . . Try to love the questions themselves . . . Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, and live along some distant day into the answer."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recruiting Racial Justice Facilitators: YWCA of Minneapolis

Good conversations and questions - the ones that stir your soul or conscience and move you to immediate action or perhaps that stay with you for weeks, months, and years on end - can be hard to come by. To give myself a better shot at coming across them, I try to engage in as many opportunities that appear they would provoke them as possible. That's why I've served as a Racial Justice Facilitator for the YWCA of Minneapolis "It's Time To Talk: Forums on Race" in years past. Considering the opportunity to dig deep, stretch yourself, and talk about the stuff that matters? See more below about how you can not only participate in these discussions, but help to bring them about!


August 2011

It’s Time to Talk: October 18, 2011

Facilitators Needed!

Circle facilitation is a great skill to have for any type of conversation, especially around difficult topics like race and racism.

We are recruiting returning and new facilitators for ITT 2011. You or someone you know can become a trained circle facilitator. Take the first step by completing a volunteer form.

If you are a returning facilitator, please sign up for ITT 2011 and the two-hour skills training session.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Touchstones for trust and renewal

I was thankful to participate in an "Art of Hosting Yourself" workshop a few weeks ago at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. It was a sunshiny summer day and with the lush foliage surrounding and deep inner reflection taking place indoors, things were in full bloom! I wanted to pass along one of the resources our facilitators, both of whom are admirers of Parker Palmer, shared with us that day.

In circle, hosted by our skilled facilitators, we worked to create a physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual space that encouraged meaningful personal renewal. Based on Parker Palmer's and the Center for Courage and Renewal's work, they used the Touchstones for Trust & Renewal to help set the tone for our day together.
  • Come to the work with 100% of ourselves
  • Presume welcome and extend welcome
  • Believe that it's possible to emerge refreshed, surprised and less burdened than when we came
  • There is always invitation, never invasion; always opportunity, never demand
  • No fixing or advising
  • Openness to learn from each other
  • When the going gets rough, turn to wonder
  • Speak for yourself
  • Listen to the silence
  • Observe confidentiality
Do you use these touchstones or similar methodologies for hosting events, gatherings, or conversations? What are some of the techniques or practices you view as most valuable?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Accepting Applications: Common Grounds 2011-2012 Client

As summer begins to wind down, it's time to start thinking about going back to school and getting back to work. In that vein, Common Grounds, comprised of some thirty graduate students from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Law School, is seeking out its 2011-2012 client. Could it be your organization? To throw your name in the ring to be the beneficiary of thirty thoughtful minds seeking to support your work, sharpen your pencils and get ready to fill the Request for Proposal below!

Common Grounds 2011-2012 Client Request for Proposal
DEADLINE: September 1, 2011

The Common Grounds Steering Committee requests proposals for a consulting project for the 2011-2012 academic school year. This year, we are opening up projects for semester or year long timelines in order to better fit client and student needs.

Guided by the principle that complex problems require collaboration across disciplines, Common Grounds brings together approximately thirty students from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, and Law School. Common Grounds engages community issues from an interdisciplinary approach by providing professional research and consultation to businesses and organizations. In addition, Common Grounds provide students with a forum to develop collaborative ideas and to promote integrative leadership.

Members of Common Grounds will work together in groups to research the project over a two-month period. We will ask you to direct us to materials you think we should investigate and take our own initiative to find resources to provide the best research product.

We ask that any participant is able to attend a meeting of our whole group on a Monday morning in early October during which you can present the project and outline several areas of research for our members to pursue. We also would like to schedule a midpoint and final presentation of deliverables where appropriate.

We are happy to answer questions about past projects and our method of working, and find that gaining the basic information this form provides is a great starting place. We would also ask to have at least one meeting with your organization prior to selection so we can shape the project together and set expectations. Common Grounds does not charge for these services, but may ask your organization to contribute something of value for our members, for example a meal for a meeting.


Amelia Brunelle (Chair), Astrid Brouillard, Jay Creagh, Leah Lundquist, Chris Schmitter

If you have any questions, please contact us at:

Monday, August 15, 2011

The way it is

The Way It Is
by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow.
It goes among things that change.
But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cause for Connection: Mark and Lisa Adopt

In the spirit of casual Friday and because personally, I'm excited that my own family will be expanding due to my recent engagement to the best person I have ever known, I wanted to share the adoption website of two my dear friends, Mark and Lisa! The two of them are looking for an open, domestic adoption where they'll be able to be in communication and relationship with the child's "first parents." Because Mark and Lisa will benefit from more and more people knowing that they are ready to be parents, I want to ask you to watch the video and visit their website, in the hopes that you or someone you know may be able to make a family connection!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Announcing the 2011-2012 Humphrey Policy Fellows!

Congratulations to the talented and community-minded Minnesotans who have been selected as this year's 2011-2012 Policy Fellows! See below for their names and affiliations and to get a sense of the diversity and capacity of this group.

As a 2006-2007 Fellow, I'm pleased to now be active with the Alumni group, which recently hosted a conversation with Governor Dayton where he announced that he would be taking action to end the Minnesota state shutdown. As we continue to support the Policy Fellow program's growth and mission, we'll also be looking to increase the number of program applicants and participants from the nonprofit sector. If you would count yourself among that crowd, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what is unique about the Policy Fellows program compared to other nonprofit sector training and leadership programs, what the value is of nonprofit voices in the Fellows cohort, and what might be additional promotional or marketing opportunities in the sector. Drop me a line in the comments below or at minnesota[at] Thanks for your insights and ideas!

2011-2012 Policy Fellows
Center for the Study of Politics and Governance
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

The Policy Fellows program offers practical training in public affairs leadership for emerging leaders seeking new experiences and skills. The nine-month leadership and professional development experience equips participants with core leadership competencies to inspire, organize, and work effectively with others to advance the public good.

The 2011-2012 Policy Fellows will be part of a diverse cohort of 35 people representing Minnesota's public, private, and non-profit sectors. Fellows meet once a month as a group between September and early June, and travel to Washington, D.C., for a multi-day study trip with prominent elected officials and national leaders in public affairs. Fellows also engage in a group project of their own design, working with community partners to address a public policy issue. To read more about the program, please go here.

Congratulations to our newly selected Fellows:

Mr. Jamal Adam, Counselor and Instructor, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Mr. David Asp, Associate, Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen, PLLP

Ms. Karly Baraga Werner, Associate, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Mr. Chad Bell, Senior Director, Best Buy Co., Inc.

Lt. Col. Sandy Best, Director of Government Relations, Minnesota National Guard

Ms. Jessica Beyer, Public Information Director, Blue Earth County

Mr. Nathan Burkett, County Administrator, Todd County

Mr. Mike Buttry, Vice President for Corporate Communications, Capella Education Company

Mr. Sunny Chanthanouvong, Executive Director, Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota

Ms. Elise Diedrich, Manager, Government Affairs, SUPERVALU Inc.

Ms. Valerie Dosland, Director of Government Affairs, Ewald Consulting

Mr. Jeremy Drucker, Director of Public Affairs, Minnesota Department of Human Services

Ms. Carly Eichhorst, Associate Director of Financial Aid, Augsburg College

Ms. Huda Farah, Executive Director, HEAL Institute

Mr. Cuthbert (Curt) Fernandez, Manager, Environmental Health, City of Minneapolis

Mr. Richard Fischer, Global Communications Manager, Medtronic Foundation and
Community Affairs

Ms. Ankur Garg, Program Manager, St. Jude Medical, Atrial Fibrillation Division

Ms. Anika Hagenson, Senior Group Manager, Government Affairs, Target Corporation

Ms. Kate Johansen, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Ms. Emy Johnson, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Target Corporation

Ms. Mariah Levison, Program Director, The Conflict Resolution Center

Ms. Danna MacKenzie, Director of Information Systems, Cook County Government

Ms. Sona Mehring, CEO, CaringBridge

Ms. Erika Mork, Fundraising and Development Manager, Three Rivers Park District

Ms. Kathleen Houlihan Motzenbecker, Director of Membership, Minneapolis Downtown

Ms. Sandy'Ci Moua, Strategic Community Organizer, Community Action Against Racism (CAAR)

Mr. Kavon W. Nikrad, Assurant Health, Inc.

Ms. Pham Thi Hoa, Executive Director, CAPI

Ms. Kenna Poppler, Community Relations Manager, U.S. Bancorp Foundation

Mr. Jim Porter, Chief Financial Officer, Apogee Enterprises, Inc.

MAJ Kent Porter, Training and Administrative Officer, Minnesota Army National Guard

Mr. Laurence Reszetar, Associate, Litigation Practice Group, Maslon Edelman Borman &
Brand, LLP

Mr. Christopher Voss, CEO, RightSource Compliance

Mr. David Wilsey, Assistant Extension Professor / Regional Educator, University of
Minnesota Extension

Ms. Katrina Zabinski, Supervising Attorney/Project Manager, MN 4th Judicial District

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You're Invited: Greater Twin Cities United Way Speed Volunteering

It's official! For the fifth year in a row, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area ranks first in for volunteerism in large cities. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service's annual Volunteering In America report, we're number one! Are you proud to have contributed to the cause? Are you committed to helping Minnesota move from third to first in state rankings for volunteer rate? Check out the United Way's Speed Volunteering events on August 18 and help add hours to Minnesota's total for 2011!
Sign Up Now

Speed Volunteering

Whether you have 15 minutes or an hour, you can make a difference by joining a flash volunteer group in downtown Minneapolis or Saint Paul.

Popular local celebrities and entertainment will appear at volunteer stations to help make Find Your Way Day one to remember.

Find a way to make a difference.
A variety of events will be available for you to participate in.

Healthy Snack Packs

Create healthy snacks and provide essential nourishment to hungry children in our community. In our state, 39 percent of food shelf recipients are children.

Dental Supply Packs

Assemble dental supply kits and provide bright smiles for children and pregnant mothers. Tooth decay is a leading cause of school absenteeism.

Laundry soap

Bring dignity to low-income families by providing them with laundry soap so they can wash their clothes. Government food support programs do not allow recipients to purchase laundry soap and personal hygiene products with the funds.

Education Kits

Help families experience the joy of learning together with early education kits made just for them. Only 51 percent of Minnesota kindergarteners are fully prepared for kindergarten in the areas of language and literacy.


Make a blanket to help comfort a child. 60 minutes = 1 blanket and warmth and comfort to a child in crisis.

Sign Up Now

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You're Invited: YNPN-TC The Insider: Subsector Smorgasbord

If you've only gotten a small taste of the nonprofit sector, YNPN-TC is happy to present a substantial menu of offerings at their upcoming event: Subsector Smorgasbord! Whether you're interested in a particular area of work, curious about how you can transition to another nonprofit field, or just want to meet great leaders in the sector, you'll leave stuffed full of great ideas and connections!
The Insider: Subsector Smorgasbord

You are invited to attend:

The Insider: Subsector Smorgasbord

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

It's a true buffet of informational interview opportunities!

YNPN Twin Cities is bringing those interview opportunities to you. We've assembled a group of highly knowledgeable people across a wide variety of the nonprofit subsectors, and they'll come ready to answer your questions. Want to know what it's like to work in economic development? What it takes to break in to philanthropy? Who the people are to know in the capacity building world? Have we got an event for you! Great for people who:

  • Are currently working in one subsector, but interested in shifting into another
  • Are new to the sector, exploring which subsector they would like to be involved with
  • Know the area they’d like to work, and need to find the key to unlock those opportunities
  • Feel stagnated in a particular subsector and want to get to their career to the next level

Be sure to come with all the questions you've been dying to ask about the nonprofit subsectors!

See the event page for more details, a sample of the line-up, and to register!
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