Monday, December 31, 2012

[Minnesota Rising Dispatch] December 2012

[#mnrising Dispatch] December 2012

For Minnesota, 2012 meant experiences as diverse as Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings rushing 2,097 yards in a single season to nearly break the Hall of Fame record, an election that saw nation-leading voter turnout and energized a new movement of organizers, and "Hot Cheetos & Taki's." For Minnesota Rising, the year included our third annual Un/Conference, working in partnership to broaden the reach of the "Our Minnesota" Cascading Conversations Tour, and being featured on Policy and a Pint and MPR. What was momentous, heart-wrenching, and once-in-a-lifetime for you this year? It all adds up to the story of Minnesota and her Minnesotans. We hope to share these moments and more with you in 2013 and welcome you to come alongside us to continue strategizing, collaborating, and building network for what's next. Happy New Year!

Minnesota Rising 2013 Goals Gathering
Thursday, January 24, 2012
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Grassroots Solutions
Large Conference Room
RSVP to minnesotarising[at] by Tuesday, January 22

Minnesota Rising Blog: Post Playback x 12

2012 In Review

We culled through 268 blog posts this past year to find the ones that capture the essence of 2012 for Minnesota Rising. Through continued collaborative work with Network Partners, bringing new blogger voices to the fore, hosting and co-hosting 18 events to advance the Cascading Conversations Tour, and recognizing emerging leaders' accomplishments and development as they continue to rise, here's how 2012 breaks down: [Read more.] 
Vote No 2012

The most important election of our lifetime? 

Diane Tran, Minnesota Rising Blogger

The turn of phrase comes as regularly as election cycles, but was this last election really the most important in our lifetime? Youth voter turnout, while high, was not record-setting in 2012; and although much has been made of older Americans lamenting the low civic engagement and voting patterns of Millennials, it turns out that today's youth are voting at the same rate the Baby Boomers did when they were our age. Cliched expression and middling benchmarks aside, here are three key observations from the recent election that reflect the transformation of the rising generation's role in politics and change-making. [Read more.] 

News from the Network

Updates and events with our esteemed network partners and collaborators! 

Accepting Applications: Hmong Women's Leadership Institute
Hmong Women Achieving Together (HWAT)
January 2013 - May 2013 Leadership Program
Deadline: December 31, 2012 

MN Council of Nonprofits Session Line up 2013!
Friday, January 11, 2013
10:00am - 12:00pm
Best Western Kelly Inn
Saint Paul
Free, but pre-registration required

Accepting Applications: Solutions Forum Host Committee
Ashoka Twin Cities
"Engaging All Generations of Changemakers"
Thursday, February 28, 2013


Making Our #MNRising Mark!

Don't forget to tag your upcoming emerging leader events, thoughts, musings, and more,#mnrising, on Twitter and Facebook. Let's aggregate and organize ourselves for increased interaction and potential for collaboration! 
Copyright © 2012 Minnesota Rising, All rights reserved.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Minnesota Rising Blog: Post Playback x 12

We culled through 268 blog posts this past year to find the ones that capture the essence of 2012 for Minnesota Rising. Through continued collaborative work with Network Partners, bringing new blogger voices to the fore, hosting and co-hosting 18 events to advance the Cascading Conversations Tour, and recognizing emerging leaders' accomplishments and development as they continue to rise, here's how 2012 breaks down:

Minnesota Rising


1. Julia Quanrud of Fourth Generation and Desiree Culpitt of Leaders of Today and Tomorrow (LOTT), facilitated a fantastic session at the 2012 Un/Conference entitled, "Mentorship and the Emerging Professional." Check out the insights their panelists offered and consider adding your own tricks of the trade in the comments!

2. The Minnesota Rising 2012 Un/Conference: Leveraging Expansive Leadership for Our Minnesota proudly featured 21 Network Partners. For a quick look back at some of them, check out profiles for FUEL Rochester, The Scene, and Twin Cities Rotaract!

3. The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network - Twin Cities continues to publish a fabulous blog chock full of emerging leader ruminations and tips for living a fulfilling life. This year, Minnesota Rising was fortunate to blog about conversations that count and ponder whether the 2012 elections were the most important in our lifetimes, as well as to weigh in on overcoming information overload!


4. Who cares about Minnesota? Jeffrey Miller does. Read on to find out why.

5. Heidi Smith served as Minnesota Rising's first intern through the Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) at the University of Minnesota - Duluth. While she successfully graduated from the program on Saturday, December 22nd, we're hopeful Heidi will continue her experiential learning relationship with Minnesota Rising. Among other great posts, Heidi thoughtfully captured Jermaine Davis' ideas and energy from the March Torch Community event, "Step Up to Diversity! What I Can Do NOW: Being the Diversity Competent Leader."

6. Kate at Perpetually Nesting shares wise life experience and name-drops Minnesota Rising in her post, "Millennial Families: Reinventing [Home] Life, Generation-Sell Style."


7. Minnesota Rising hosted an interactive World Cafe at the end of June to explore these questions: What are the unique and timeless traits that characterize our generation and how will we lead in a bold way that remains relevant to how society, technology, and politics are rapidly changing? How we can make sure that the talents and qualities that help us to engage others and accomplish good work are recognized, validated, and valued? Read the recap of "Millennial Leadership: Different By Design World Cafe" to see what we learned, and stay tuned to the Minnesota Rising blog to engage with this ever-evolving conversation!

8. Minnesota Rising blogger, Diane Tran, made two Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) appearances in September. Catch her on the podcasts for "Policy and a Pint: The Looming Intergenerational War" and on Kerri Miller's The Daily Circuit Friday Roundtable on the topic of "Deception on the campaign trail."

9. #mnrising hosted a table at the first annual Minneapolis Communities Connections Conference, "Building Better Communities Through Neighborhoods," posing the question, "What is the boldest, most inspiring vision you hold for Minnesota's future?" We received dozens of diverse responses, reminding us just how much Minnesotans care about the future of our state and that there are many deep values we all hold in common.


10. Minnesota Rising posted a notice in late June that the National Urban Fellows were accepting applications for their 2013 cohort of America's Leaders for Change. Tanya Schmitt passed the notice on to then STLF co-worker Irene Fernando, who applied and was accepted into the latest class. Congratulations, Irene, and thank you, Tanya, for helping us to network for what's next!

11. A 2006-2007 Humphrey Policy Fellow, I was delighted to see that several members of last year's cohort launched a book early in the year entitled, LIKE: Seven Rules and 10 Simple Steps for Social Media in Your Campaign (for Politics, Business or Otherwise). Get your own copy of the locally-grown guidebook here!

12. Sarah Burt has made it through her second successful season as the owner extraordinaire of Saucy Burt's. This summer, intrepid Minnesota Rising blogger, Heidi Smith, got Sarah to dish on all of the details about her love of food, the value of a mentor, and how she used her entrepreneurial savvy to rise to this delicious occasion!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

MPR = @MinnesotaRising Perspective on Radio

As 2012 draws to a close, it's fun to reflect on all that Minnesota Rising and its network have been fortunate to be a part of this year. In September alone, there were two instances of working with Minnesota Public Radio; including my getting to serve as a guest on Policy and a Pint as well as offering some input on The Daily Circuit's Friday Roundtable. See below for the conversation descriptions and links to the podcasts focusing on some of the key issues rising to the fore in 2012.


Policy and a Pint: The Looming Intergenerational War
St. Paul, Minn. — If we're to believe the wave of recent articles in magazines and newspapers, there's a new inter-generational conflict brewing. The Baby Boomers are sticking it to the Gen X-ers and Millennials: they ran up the debt and blew up the economy, yet they'll still get all the entitlements they expect as seniors - while the younger masses inherit the mess and a much bleaker personal future for themselves.
But is it really that simple? We investigated these questions at another edition of Policy and a Pint, presented by 89.3 The Current and The Citizens League on Monday, September 10th.
Steve Seel was joined by two special guests, economist Chris Farrell from MPR News and Diane Tran from the young professionals group Minnesota Rising, for "Policy and a Pint: The Looming Inter-generational War" at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.

Friday Roundtable: Deception on the campaign trail

This week on the Friday Roundtable, our panel will discuss deception on the campaign trail. When so much of what we hear in political ads (and from the candidates themselves) is factually questionable, what's a voter to do?


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Accepting Applications: Hmong Women's Leadership Institute

Hmong Women Achieving Together (HWAT) is accepting applications through the end of the year for their Hmong Women's Leadership Institute. Targeted to emerging Hmong women leaders, twelve women will be selected to further explore leadership on personal, family/clan, organizational/community, and global levels. From January 2013 through May 2013, participants will develop their leadership skills in a supportive, nurturing environment intended to support HWAT's mission of creating lasting cultural, institutional, and social changes. Learn more below and share the opportunity with your networks!

Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together (HWAT)

About (HWAT)
HWAT has always strived to mobilize Hmong women and girls to actively engage and participate in their families and communities to elevate the status of Hmong women and to shape their own lives. HWAT does not work directly with individuals, but selects projects that cast a wide net towards the community to change in ways that will be more inclusive of Hmong women at the decision making tables, and to inform others about the plight of Hmong women and improve opportunities for their voices to be sought out, heard, and their issues, championed. More»

Hmong Women’s Leadership Institute

Purpose of the Program:

Hmong Women’s Leadership Institute provides emerging Hmong women leaders with the
opportunity to develop their leadership in a supportive, nurturing environment. Twelve (12) women will be selected to participate in culturally appropriate leadership development training from January 2013 through May 2013.  Participants will learn how to use and practice their leadership in a way that creates lasting change on a personal, family, organizational, and global level. They will participate in a total of 1 orientation and team building weekend and 9 class sessions and will conduct a community action project with the Hmong community to build sustainable, systemic wide changes around social change, particularly gender issues.

The curriculum and program emphasizes HWAT’s mission, which is to create lasting cultural, institutional, and social changes.  The program is a combination of education, training, and community building. It combines personal leadership skill development, group discussions, case studies, group coaching, reflection, community action projects, and others.  This year, we will implement a new cultural component to the leadership institute, which will compose of intentional learning activities about traditional practices, history of the Hmong people, and the Hmong language. Participants will also create personal leadership development portfolios that meet personal and professional goals.  Guest speakers and facilitators in leadership will be an essential part of the HWLI workshops.

Curriculum is based on four levels of leadership: 
  • Personal Leadership: developing leadership understanding on a personal level
  • Family/Clan Leadership: developing leadership within a family/clan system
  • Organizational/Community Leadership: developing leadership to work within 
  • organizations and communities
  • Global leadership: developing leadership to effectively address global issues

Applicant Selection Process
The program is limited to 12 participants who identify as Hmong women.
  • All interested individuals will be expected to send in a completed application (with the non-refundable application fee of $50) by Friday December 31, 2012.
  • During the weeks of January 1st the selection committee will contact applicants for a personal interview, to get a better sense of the applicants’ interest and goals for HWLI.  
  • Selection and notification of all final participants will be done during the week of January 7th, 2013.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A conspiracy of love

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos 

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” 
-Hamilton Wright Mabie

Monday, December 24, 2012

A higher plateau

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos 

"Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds . . . to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation." 
-Ellison S. Onizuka

Friday, December 21, 2012

Recommended Reading: Locking Down Your Dream Career

For many, today is the last day before a holiday break from work. To aid your transition into downshift mode, and to begin engaging in the hope and magic associated with this season, I offer LinkedIn's Dream Jobs infographic for your viewing pleasure. While not everyone can be astronauts or mermaids, it's a good reminder that sharing the breadth of our stories can help to distinguish us amidst all of the other fish in the sea!

LinkedIn announced some fascinating stats about cool careers this morning and it reminded me of a conversation I once had with someone about their dream job. When I worked at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, my very first client told me that he dreamed of being a pilot. Being legally blind he knew that flying a plane wasn’t in the cards for him, but after exploring what about being a pilot was so exciting and interesting to him, we were able to find other options that spoke to both his passions and talents. He ultimately landed a job as a project manager for a prominent business where his skills at encouraging different departments to work cooperatively and his great instincts for priority led to a successful career.
It never hurts to dream big and sometimes they really do come true: nearly one in three LinkedIn members say that they either currently have their childhood dream job or work in a related field. But if your childhood fantasy was to become a professional swimmer or an Olympic athlete (the top choice for U.S. men surveyed) chances are you may need to have backup plan. However, if you think about what it is that you love about competition—either in the pool or on dry land— you might find exactly what you’re looking for in the career you already have. And if your dream career is within sight, but you just need a little help bringing it into focus, LinkedIn can help. Here’s how.
Do some digging. Make a list of the people who are working in your dream career and then hit up their LinkedIn Profiles or their employers’ LinkedIn Company Pages. What was their trajectory? What skill sets do they have? Armed with this information, think about what transferable skills and experiences you can bring to your own job that will make your existing career more enjoyable. Are there volunteer experiences that you can add to your career repertoire? If you have a limitation (degree, age, etc.) that prevents you from getting the job done, take a look at what these people did before and after. This may awaken you to other options out there.
Reach out. Once you’ve tracked these people down, they’re the quickest way into your dream career, so connect with them ASAP. Odds are they’ll be happy to help you out—people who are working in their dream careers generally love what they do and are delighted to talk about it. In fact, more than 70 percent of those surveyed said that “taking pleasure in your work” was the most important characteristic of a dream job. Ask educated questions about how to build the experiences and skill sets you need to break into the career, including whether it’s really worth it (we often have fantasies that don’t always reflect the reality of the job). This is the person to ask about the day-to-day ups and downs.
Talk it up. If you’ve had a dream career (and remember that it may be someone elses’ dream job even if it isn’t yours) make sure to add it to your profile. One of the misnomers about LinkedIn is that it’s only for people with traditional careers.  With 150 astronauts and 30,000 wine and beer specialists on the list we can safely say that if you’ve done it, we want to hear about it! Did you join the circus to pay for college or start your career as a quarterback before becoming a businessman? Include it! After all, there are very few people in the world who can claim that they are legitimately a, “Living Logo – Mermaid at Atlantis Resort, Bahamas” who “creates her own functional yet highly exquisite artistic mermaid tails.” The career experiences that you’ve had make you unique and they may be the very things that differentiate you from your competition.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Accepting Applications: Join the Solutions Forum Host Committee

Ashoka Twin Cities invites you to join their Solutions Forum Host Committee, which is working to plan a February 28 event focused on the topic of "Engaging All Generations of Changemakers." Got some time in the new year to connect with problem-solvers and social entrepreneurs? Got some ideas for planning an interactive and intergenerational event with pizzazz? See below for more details and a staff contact to see if being a host with the most is a fit for you in 2013!

Generic Template - Single Column
Ashoka Twin Cities

Join the Solutions Forum Host Committee
Engaging All Generations of Changemakers 
Thursday, February 28th in the early evening
Featuring Ashoka Fellows Dina Buchbinder and Nancy Henkin
 The Solutions Forum is a public event that invites Ashoka Fellows to share their system-changing innovation through community dialogue. We are working to localize the work of the Fellows to the Twin Cities.  Sound interesting?  Join our Host Committee and add to the success of the Forum by inviting your colleagues and friends to participate: contact Joy at for more information. 

"Ashoka has been an unparalleled connector. Ashoka's Twin Cities team was instrumental in helping me scale my work in Minnesota by introducing me to partners such as Twin Cities Healthy Start and a number of other local changemaking organizations" Kathryn Hall-Trujillo

Follow @ashokaus  on Twitter
or check out the Ashoka Facebook page!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You're Invited: MCN's Signature Kick-off to the 2013 Legislative Session!

The 2012 elections are finally over, and as the dust settles around us to create a new foundation from which to govern, MCN invites you to their signature kick-off to the legislative session: Session Line up 2013! The Governor and legislative leaders have been invited to preview the presumptive battles and issues critical to Minnesota in the coming year. Join Minnesota's nonprofit community in naming your concerns and requests, helping to advocate solutions to the most pressing challenges you encounter in your work!
2013 Session Line Up
What are the burning issues facing Minnesota's political leaders in the upcoming legislative session? How will the state's complex economic challenges affect the nonprofit sector in the coming year?

Discover the answers to these and many other questions at MCN's signature kick-off to the legislative session—Session Line Up 2013!

Join the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) on Friday, January 11 at 10 a.m. as several of Minnesota's key political leaders share their priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Guest speakers will discuss the issues they think will dominate the debate in 2013 and give their ideas on how nonprofits can best serve as resources to decision makers at the capitol and beyond.

This year's invited speakers include:
  • Speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Thissen
  • House Minority Leader, Rep. Kurt Daudt 
  • Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk
  • Senate Minority Leader David Hann
  • Governor Mark Dayton

As always, audience members will be invited to present their own questions to members of the speaking panel at the end of the event.

Seating is limited at this free event, so RSVP now to reserve your space at one of MCN's most popular events!
Mark Dayton
2013 Session Line Up
January 11, 2013 
10 a.m. - noon
Best Western Kelly Inn
161 St. Anthony Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55103

Cost: Free

Session Line Up 2013 is co-sponsored by:



Copyright © 2012 Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You're Invited: Governing as Ideology Roundtable

In the final Inter-Generational Roundtable of 2012, the Citizens League Emerging Leaders Committee aims to assist with the transition from the politicking of this past election year to the governance required for the upcoming legislative session in 2013. With help from Tom Horner and Representative Kate Knuth, the discussion will tackle the topic of Governing as Ideology. Join in to offer your take on how we can develop common ground for the common good!

Minnesota Capitol

Wednesday, Dec. 19
 Doors 5:30 p.m. | Program 6-7 p.m.
Ginger Hop
201 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Appetizers are provided | Space limited to first 25 people to register
Free for members | $10 for nonmembers

Join the Emerging Leaders Committee for the final 2012 Inter-Generational Roundtable, a dialogue on governing as ideology, a different perspective on bipartisanship, with two figureheads lauded for their work to seek common ground: Tom Horner and Rep. Kate Knuth.

Spaces are going quick, so register today!

The 2012 Inter-Generational Roundtable Series is generously being sponsored by Target_H_2002_RGB.jpg 

About the Citizens League
For 60 years, the Citizens League has created common ground across parties and ideologies to solve some of the biggest challenges facing Minnesota. On issues like schools, taxes, transportation, health care, and water, some of Minnesota's greatest public achievements have emerged from the Citizens League. Citizens League members connect with other Minnesotans, learn to lead on issues that matter to them and create solutions that achieve the common good.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Ordinary people

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

"Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people." 
-Henry Emerson Fosdick

Friday, December 14, 2012

[Blog Buddies] YNPN-TC Blog: The most important election of our lifetime?

I guest blogged for the YNPN-Twin Cities blog again the other week, engaging in some light 2012 election analysis. Did you vote, knock on doors, make phone calls, or talk to your friends and family? What say you about whether this was the most important election of our lifetime? Comments most welcome below!

The most important election of our lifetime?

by Diane Tran
follow me on Twitter: @MinnesotaRising
The turn of phrase comes as regularly as election cycles, but was this last election really the most important in our lifetime? Youth voter turnout, while high, was not record-setting in 2012; and although much has been made of older Americans lamenting the low civic engagement and voting patterns of Millennials, it turns out that today’s youth are voting at the same rate the Baby Boomers did when they were our age. Clich├ęd expression and middling benchmarks aside, here are three key observations from the recent election that reflect the transformation of the rising generation’s role in politics and change-making.
1. Politics is a pathway; not an end in and of itself.
Pundits forewarned of a so-called “enthusiasm gap” in advance of Election Day, citing that President Obama was not receiving the level of dedication and enthusiasm among his supporters that he saw during his first presidential campaign. However, he handily achieved reelection with 60% of the youth vote this year. While Obama’s first election spoke to more of a movement mentality, engaging cause-driven activists to put their hopes in a specific person, his reelection race was a distinctly political campaign. Much less quixotic in nature, it acknowledged the increasing recognition of this generation that creating the world you want doesn’t culminate in electing a single individual. To create a sustaining vision for the future, Millennials were reminded that our work is still just beginning and includes how we engage daily as active citizens in our workplaces, among friends and families, and in our communities.
2.  This generation is growing smarter, better organized, more effective. Online and offline.
In a speech thanking his young staffers, the President asserted, “It’s not that you guys actually remind me of myself -- it's the fact that you are so much better than I was. In so many ways. You're smarter, you're better organized, and you're more effective. I’m absolutely confident that all of you are going to do just amazing things in your lives." This election saw micro-targeting at its finest, narwhals and ORCAsconducting battle, and a secret weapon of conversations reach across an entire state to defeat a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The burgeoning wave of technological tools to reach the most specifically targeted demographics, meshed with old-school storytelling to discover our neighbor’s values, exemplifies a Millennial narrative that leverages sophisticated tools of connectivity to build and advance meaningful community relationships. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and are charged to use well what we’ve been given to lift our democracy and each other up.
3. The (starting and) lasting impression of political engagement: Campaigns as capacity-building.
Sean Kershaw, Executive Director of the Citizens League, posted the day before the election, “To Minnesotans United For All Families: We will look back in 10 and 15 years and see the next generation of political leaders who began their work here, or excelled in their work here. Their success in organizing so many thousands of Minnesotans, and in assembling such a phenomenal group of leaders from all ideologies, is inspiring and amazing.”
I know a high school freshman who made countless phone calls volunteering for the Vote No effort. I know a young campaign veteran who served as Get-Out-the-Vote Director for the East Metro during the final three weeks of the campaign. While worlds apart in organizing and political experience, each was deeply impacted by the opportunity to engage on an issue they found core to their beliefs and to contribute using (and honing) their organizing, people, strategy, and leadership skills. Regardless of which side of the aisle or issue, opportunities to engage in respectful conversations and to vote their consciences earlier this month have strengthened the capacity of young Minnesotans to tackle big challenges and make momentous decisions alongside each other.
In my analysis, this last election was critical not just because of changing demographics or historic results, but for the same reason why every citizen movement is important – because of the growth and development of the individual people who, through the process of making powerful change in their communities, are challenged to cultivate ever greater capacity to dramatically improve the future of our world. This is the legacy of the 2012 elections, and astonishingly, it’s only the foundation for elections to come. The most important election of our lifetime? It certainly was for some of us. And that will continue to make a big difference for all of us.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

You're Invited | SMBMSP #52: Jumping Tracks - Tales of Radical Career Shifts

We hear talk of career shifters, who started in one industry, sector, or trade, and then leapt elsewhere with minimal connection or relevance. SMBMSP #52: Jumping Tracks - Tales of Radical Career Shifts offers a deeper look inside these stories. If you're passionate about too many things to count or consider yourself a Jack-of-All-Trades, join an inspirational panel that can provide insight about the career path(s) you may already be on yourself!

SMBMSP #52: Jumping Tracks - Tales of Radical Career Shifts

December 21, 8-10am

Meet 4 people who have done that thing that many of us talk about – even threaten – but rarely do. They've jumped tracks entirely, going from one line of work into something completely different.
  • A former editor who is now making animated ebook apps
  • A laid-off architect who created a popular brand of hand-crafted sleeves and cases for mobile devices
  • A behavioral therapist who became a full-time blogger and novelist 
  • A marketing consultant who left it all to run a shared commercial kitchen for food entrepreneurs
Don Ball, founding partner of CoCo coworking and collaborative space (and a recent track jumper himself), will elicit from the panelists the secrets of their success (or hoped-for success).
What made them jump or were they pushed? What preparations, if any, did they make? How did they stay afloat while getting started in their new careers? What did friends and family say? How do they use social media to build support for their new projects? What keeps them up at night? Do they have any regrets? How do they stay sane?
Our panelists will also take your questions. If you're thinking about your own possible career shift, you'll be able to share your idea (anonymously, if you wish) and get an on-the-spot evaluation.
This month's SMBMSP will be held at CoCo Coworking & Collaborative Space in Minneapolis,  on the beautiful former trading floor of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. CoCo is a place where dreamers, thinkers and doers come to work on their big ideas. Stick around after the event for a guided tour!

Don BallModerator
Don Ball (@donmball)
Don Ball considers himself a social instigator. After nearly 20 years as a copywriter and usability consultant, Don founded UnSummit, a conference that explores the nexus of social media, business and community. In 2009, he helped launch CoCo, a coworking and collaborative space with hundreds of members and locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Amber CarterAmber L. Carter (@ambercolorlife)
Amber is the sass-mouthed blogger of An Amber-Colored Life ('s Top Ten Blogs To Watch in 2010, One of the Only Two Personal Blogs Kevin Watterson/@kwatt Reads) and the author of Holiday Chick, All the Things You Never Knew, and Certain Things You Ought to Know.
Two years ago Amber left a ten-year career as a senior behavioral therapist to focus on her true passion, which is writing about boys and feelings. She somehow managed to also become a founding partner and the Director of Social Media & Creative Strategy for Groucho Sports Supply, a local cycling apparel start-up; as well as launch her own company, Very Damn Important (formerly Cyber Dating Sidekick), an online dating copywriting and coaching service.
A former long-time resident and lover of Minneapolis, she now lives in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she leads an incredibly glamorous life but keeps it real by tweeting things like "I'm comfortable in my own skin" and "Who gon' check me, boo?" And while she's not much of an "outdoor" girl, she just bought a North Face jacket, so she's confident that's all about to change.
Angie Davis (@byrdandbelle)
Angie DavisAngie Davis is the designer and maker behind 'byrd & belle', an internationally recognized tech-accessory brand that is manufactured in northeast Minneapolis. Davis started her studio in 2008 after being laid off from her former profession of architecture when the economy slowed. Since that time, Davis has slowly built a sustainable model of in-studio, boutique-scale manufacturing that balances modern design with heritage techniques and materials. Her work and her thoughts on creating and tending a small business have been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine and The Big Enough Company: Creating a Business That Works for You. In 2012, Davis partnered with Room & Board to design and manufacture a line of home accessories which is currently available in all Room & Board stores nationwide. Her work for 'byrd & belle' is made, packed and shipped out daily, direct to customers around the world. She shares her studio with her assistant, Gail and her dog, Gertrude. (Photo credit: Jamie Larson)
Michael MaupinMichael Maupin (@completelydark)
Michael worked as a trade book editor for eight years and former managing editor of Minnesota Law & Politics magazine. He served on the board of the Minnesota Screenwriters' Workshop, co-founding its long-running Script Night reading series. Mike designed the curriculum for IFP-MN's Elements of Screenwriting course, which he taught for eight years. In April 2012 he left corporate publishing to launch StoryShed Media LLC, a digital media producer and publisher. StoryShed's debut product will be Memento Mori, an interactive eBook application for iOS.
Tracy Morgan (@kitcheninthemkt)
Tracy MorganAfter more than 15 years in corporate America, Tracy hungrily embraced full-time entrepreneurship in 2008. Throughout her career, the common denominator in Tracy's roles and experiences has been starting, improving and growing businesses.  Whether launching from scratch, adding new lines of business, or making improvements to existing operations, Tracy's creative intuition and laser-focused insights have helped organizations plan, assess, and find their own way forward.
In 2010, Tracy partnered with a local chef & caterer to create Kitchen in the Market – a shared commercial kitchen space for food entrepreneurs, as well as cooking school and retail shop – located in the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.  Today, Tracy shares her time between running/expanding KITM, as well as supporting a small roster of business development, strategic planning and marketing clients. Tracy recently served on the board of directors for Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op, Minnesota Computers for Schools, and the Bucklin Family Foundation.

Special Offer: Spend the rest of the day at CoCo
CoCo is raising funds this month to support BRIDGEdotMN, a charity that provides broadband-enabled netbooks and tech training for eager and deserving youth. A (tax-deductable) donation in any amount to this cause made on 12/21 earns you a day pass at CoCo Minneapolis. More details at the event.

Event Sponsors

Stanley's Bar Room

Annual Sponsors
Concordia University
514 Studios
CoCo (Minneapolis)
400 S. 4th St., Suite 401
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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Copyright © 2012 Social Media Breakfast - Minneapolis/St. Paul, All rights reserved.

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