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2021-2022 Leadership Minnesota participant profiles

Minnesota’s economic engine is powered by more than 100,000 businesses, a diverse landscape interconnected in ways not understood by the casual observer. For a select group, Leadership Minnesota opens the window to a behind-the-scenes look at what makes our state’s economy tick. This exclusive program also helps you understand how public policy crafted at the Capitol impacts the vitality of each and every Minnesota company. By establishing a rich network of Minnesota business leaders, your shared experiences make you more effective leaders at your workplace.

Check back to this page as more of our wonderful 2021-2022 Leadership Minnesota participants are profiled!

 

Lori

Profiled on January 17

Tell us why you love your company!
Working for a local chamber of commerce, you really get to know the people behind the business. It truly is all about building relationships and working together to make our shared community a better place to work and live. Small business owners are just your neighbors who have a passion for something and are trying to make a difference for their families.

What’s something super interesting about yourself?
Back in high school I won a medal from the U.S .Military for a project I did regarding the oceans. Had any Minnesota college offered a major in oceanography my career path probably would have been very different. 

Who or what are you inspired by?
Servant leaders. People who always put others above themselves, who follow as much as lead…they make the world a better place. 

What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far?
Since I’m all about building relationships, I would say meeting so many other business professionals from so many diverse industries from around the state, whom I probably would not have crossed paths with otherwise. 

What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?
Something I try to live by is to not take things personally. (This is especially hard when you are about building relationships!) It can really cause you to lose motivation and faith in what you are doing when faced with setbacks or rejections.
 

 

Chris

Profiled on January 13

Tell us why you love your company!  
TCO cares about patient care and successful outcomes. The amount of time, effort and tireless dedication to patient success behind the scenes by so many great individuals is a pleasure to be a part of.

What’s something super interesting about yourself?  
That’s a tough one. When I was 4 years old we had a dog named Winkles because we had a wrinkly puppy and I couldn’t say ‘Rs’. A speech therapist helped me out with that. 

Who or what are you inspired by?
I’m easily inspired but when I see young people learning and having success in any area of their lives, it’s heart warming and inspiring.

What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far?  
Seeing how local and global companies work shoulder to shoulder. Actually experiencing how the economy is built first hand is eye opening and makes you realize all the things that have to go right for us to have success within a business, a community, a state and country. 

What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?  
The right combination of skill, talent, intangible qualities and competitive drive at the right time and place is the recipe for success. Identifying how these factors are at play with a team or company is key to being a quality leader.
 

 

 

Ross

Profiled on January 10

Tell us why you love your company?  
We are an American maker! As Minnesota’s longest standing manufacturer, Faribault Woolen Mill Co. has been making wool products since 1865. Our craft has been perfected throughout of 156 years of operation and we have withstood the headwinds of offshore manufacturing. We are proud to still make our products in Faribault, Minnesota!

What’s something super interesting about yourself?  
I wouldn’t say there is anything super interesting. Outside of work, I like to coach my two sons’ basketball teams. We also have a lake cabin in northern Minnesota where I like to spend time waterskiing, running, fishing and pontooning with my family.

Who or what are you inspired by? 
I’ve read every book I can find about Abraham Lincoln. I’m inspired by his vision and steady-hand leading a divided country towards a path of reconciliation and reunion.

What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far?
I am a life-long Minnesotan but never fully appreciated the diversity of our state-wide economy. Leadership Minnesota has broadened my perspective and exposure. Our state and the industries and businesses that reside here are truly unique!

What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?  
People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.  
 

 

kelly jans

Profiled on January 5

Tell us why you love your company!
I love Hollstadt because of the focus we put on the relationships we have with our clients and our consultants, as well as the focus on our core values. The core values are what drew me to Hollstadt in the first place and I’ve spent 10 years now working for an organization that doesn’t just talk about its values but everyone in our organization demonstrates them daily! 
 
What’s something super interesting about yourself?
In college and the few years out of it, I taught snowboarding lessons to “never evers” (kids who had never snowboarded before). I absolutely loved the experience and am looking forward to the day I can teach my own daughter to snowboard! 
 
Who or what are you inspired by?
My daughter. She’s young (just about to turn 3) and she has taught me so much about life in her short life so far! She amazes me every day with how she tackles new experiences and challenges. She’s relentless in her pursuit to learn and it’s such a great reminder that we are never done learning. Not only that, but she challenges me. Sometimes it’s my patience…I used to think I was a patient person…but mostly she challenges me to constantly be better, to show up with a positive attitude, and to give grace to those who are outside their own comfort zones. 
 
What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far?
I have absolutely loved all the exposure to new businesses/companies that I didn’t have before. This happens to be one of my favorite parts of my job (constantly learning about different industries and challenges to those industries) but the Leadership Minnesota experience has amplified that, as well as given me visibility to how different companies/industries work together.
 
What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?
You get out of something what you put into it. I’m a firm believer that in all things (not just work) that the effort, energy and passion you put into something is what ultimately leads to obtaining it. Things don’t get handed to us. We put ourselves in positions and put in the work to get that promotion, build that relationship, build that team, etc. and if we don’t continue to put the work into it we are more likely to lose it. 
 

 

jared

Profiled on January 3

Tell us why you love your company!
The people. Working for the largest frozen food direct to consumer delivery company in the country—which was founded in Minnesota nearly 70 years ago—is full of tremendously talented and fun people. I enjoy my role of empowering people to take smart risks. 

What’s something super interesting about yourself?
My family and I love boating on the St. Croix River and in Voyageurs National Park in northern Minnesota. 

Who or what are you inspired by?
 am inspired by people bringing goodness to others. The easy path these days is to get bogged down in negativity that blinds us from the many people doing good. I was a fan of Mr. Rogers as a kid, and he said “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” 

What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far?
The breadth of industry in Minnesota is truly unique, and the people that I have met along the journey with Leadership Minnesota are passionate about their businesses and the future of Minnesota. 

What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?
Leadership is in all of us and it starts with ourselves. When you know who you are, you will know what to do.