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2022-2023 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 2022-2023 Leadership Minnesota participants are profiled!

 

matt

Profiled on December 1

Tell us why you love your company!  
It starts and ends with the people. I love CLA because of the people I work with and the people I get to serve. The people at CLA come to work each and every day with a clear-cut purpose: to create opportunities for our clients, our people, and our communities. The people at CLA are so much more than accountants — they are colleagues and friends immersed in their respective industries, which means they have the know-how to be real difference-makers for the clients we serve.

What’s something super interesting about yourself?  
I met Marshal Mathers (Eminem) when we were both standing on the street outside my house. Eminem told me he used to live across the street from me.

Who or what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by my wife Becky and our three children: Haley, TJ, and Kane.

What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?  
“Without assistance of that Divine Being….I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail.” - Abraham Lincoln

If you had to pick a karaoke song to sing, what would it be and why?  
If I was pressured into singing karaoke, I would grab a few new friends, muster up all the courage that I could, pretend to be a boy band, and belt out the Backstreet Boys classic “I Want It That Way.”

What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far OR what are you most excited for?
Being new to Minnesota, I have loved the new and rich friendships that have developed. As someone who loves serving manufacturers, I thoroughly enjoyed the tours that allow a behind-the-scenes look of so many great Minnesota companies.
 

 

diana

Profiled on November 21

Tell us why you love your company!  
State Farm is committed to helping people when they need it most, and I love the opportunity to assist. Each of our agents are a small business owner with a passion for serving their community, meaning we serve communities across the nation. The impact is impressive, and the opportunity to make a difference is even greater. I am honored to educate and advocate for our agents and their customers. 

What’s something super interesting about yourself?
Nature is my happy place – let’s find more ways to be outside!

Who or what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by my Dad – he’s a small business owner with the greatest passion for helping people. He models the saying, “If you do what you love, you never really work a day in your life.” His success and passion are not without sacrifice. But all the while, he maintains a positive perspective and a commitment to doing what’s right. 

What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?
Never stop listening. 

If you had to pick a karaoke song to sing, what would it be and why?
Truth Hurts, Lizzo – because it’s a crowd pleaser 😊 

What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far OR what are you most excited for?
I have appreciated the inside access to industry and business leaders that impact the economic fabric of Minnesota. The opportunity to learn directly from industry leaders makes this experience impactful. Of course, the camaraderie of the class is icing on the cake!
 

 

Katie

Profiled on November 10

Tell us why you love your company!  
The people! Our people make the difference in the lives of our patients every single day. Not only do they care about their patients, but they care deeply about each other. 
 
What’s something super interesting about yourself?
When I was little I lived in Switzerland. I went to an all German-speaking kindergarten and could speak German fluently by the time I was 7. 
 
Who or what are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by entrepreneurs who are not afraid of tackling the next big idea and are willing to take risks to chase their dreams. Those individuals always have the confidence to bet on themselves. 
 
What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?
I’ve been fortunate to learn from many great mentors! Here are a few of my favorite pieces of advice they have given me: 

  1. Say yes to the things everyone else is saying no to. Be the hero in solving something no one else is willing to tackle. 
  2. For young professionals always eager for the next raise/promotion – focus on the role you have and do it SUPER well. You’ll get the promotion if you’re good at what you do. 
  3. As with investments – DIVERSIFY! Learn new things, even if they aren’t directly applicable to what you do. If you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. 

If you had to pick a karaoke song to sing, what would it be and why?
I’m not much of a singer, so instead of a karaoke song, I’ll provide my walk up song – Danza Kuduro, by Don Omar! Every time I hear this song, I want to get up and dance. It always puts me in a good mood. And it reminds me of being on vacation. 
 
What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far OR what are you most excited for?
I love all the behind the scenes experiences/tours. The exposure to businesses that I wouldn’t normally interact with is always really interesting and enlightening. 
 

 

Eric l

Profiled on October 21

Tell us why you love your company.
Sun Country connects our customers to their favorite people, places, and memories. And it’s my job to make sure our employees, together with our union partners, are equipped to deliver on this promise every day. As someone who experiences the joy of hugging loved ones outside of baggage claim, knowing that I’m helping bring that joy in others gets me out of bed every morning.

What’s something super interesting about yourself?
I was voted Most Likely To Be The Next Regis Philbin in high school.

Who or what are you inspired by?  
I’m inspired by Teddy Roosevelt’s tenacity, Harry Truman’s decisiveness, and Ronald Reagan’s communication.

What is one piece of leadership advice you’d be willing to share that you use?  
“There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he does not mind who gets the credit.” – Plaque on President Reagan’s desk.

If you had to pick a karaoke song to sing, what would it be and why? 
Piano Man.  Everyone knows it and sings along with you – there are few greater joys than singing together.

What is your favorite part of your Leadership Minnesota experience so far OR what are you most excited for?  
I am having the time of my life helping this Leadership Minnesota cohort know and understand our incredible state and its diverse economy. I am most excited for their trip to Sun Country Airlines where we can talk about our great Minnesota story.