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A new feature for professionals who want to connect

Networking is a new MinnPost section that features Pollen, a networking newsletter for professionals written by Lars Leafblad, left, of KeyStone Search, an executive search firm in Minneapolis.

Networking is a new MinnPost section that features Pollen, a networking newsletter for professionals written by Lars Leafblad of KeyStone Search, an executive search firm in Minneapolis.

Lars Leafblad
Lars Leafblad


Welcome to Pollen vol 15 and our inaugural partnership with MinnPost. We’re grateful to be engaging with you and with the MinnPost community.

“Pollen is a community comprised of civic-minded connectors who share ideas, career and civic engagement opportunities and peer-to-peer recognition to create positive impact and personal and professional growth for its members.”

We asked Pollenites in our last edition to share their thoughts and insights regarding the election of Minnesota’s next CEO/Governor.

Thanks to everyone who participated! A quick summary of poll results is below:

Question 1: Who do you think is most qualified to serve as the next CEO/Governor of Minnesota?
Tom Horner – 34%
Margaret Anderson Kelliher – 26%
Matt Entenza – 15%
Tom Emmer – 13%
Mark Dayton – 7%
Other – 5%

Question 2: Who do you believe will actually be elected to serve as the next CEO/Governor of Minnesota?
Margaret Anderson Kelliher – 32%
Mark Dayton – 27%
Tom Emmer – 18%
Tom Horner – 11%
Matt Entenza – 5%
Other – 7%

Question 3: What do you believe should be the top issues/priorities for the next Governor to address?
# 1 Issue/Priority:
60% – Budget/Revenue Mix
18% – Jobs
13% – Education
7% –  Innovation in state government
2% –  Healthcare

#2 Issue/Priority:
29% – Education
25% – Jobs
17% – Budget/Revenue Mix
10% – Healthcare
7% –  Energy
7% –  Innovation in state govt
5% –  Transportation

You can access all of the responses, including results for Issues/Priority #3, #4, #5 and the very insightful responses shared to the open ended question, “What counsel/advice/ideas would you give to Minnesota’s next Governor on how to address the issues/priorities you just identified?”, by clicking here.

Thanks again to everyone who participated! If you have ideas for future Pollen Polls, please forward your ideas!


Hope Rocks! 2010 – a private concert with Everclear on September 25th  has pre-sale tickets available through July 15th with proceeds to benefit Faith’s Lodge. (via Anna Stier)

Strategy for Good Workshop: Call for Non-profit Participants
Thinkers & Makers, LLC is proud to announce the 1st Annual Strategy for Good Workshop on July 17th, 2010. This workshop will pair non-profit leaders with brand and marketing strategists from agencies around the Twin Cities. At this workshop, teams of planners and non-profit leaders will have time to address strategic issues in their organizations.  Topics to tackle through the morning of strategic planning and  brainstorming will range from social media initiatives to broader questions about brand awareness and marketing strategy. The workshop will be held on Saturday, July 17th from 10am-12/1pm at the Ridgedale Library. Please let us know if you think someone from your team might be interested in participating, or if you know of any other potential participant organizations in the Twin Cities area. More info? Contact Emilie Hitch via (via Emilie Hitch)

Hammer Residences, Inc. whose mission is to help adults and children with developmental disabilities live life to its fullest has its annual fundraising event – Artcetera, coming up on Thursday, July 22 from 6-10 pm. We will be holding it at the Metropolitan Club at Target Field. It will include a silent auction, live auction, music by Billy McLaughlin, games and more! General admission tickets are $40.00. You can buy tickets/find out more details at our website. (via Bridget Ulrich)

The LEAD Project Presents The BOOM Benefit on July 24th!  Proceeds benefit the Smile Network
Date/Time:  Saturday, July 24 8:30pm-12:00am Location: The Carlyle  Tickets: $30 only available here (only 150 tickets are available) (via Bridget Ulrich and Angie Andresen)

Kane Consulting is producing an evening with author, blogger and social media thought-leader, Brian Solis on Tuesday, July 27th at 6:00 pm at Solera, with promotional support from the Minnesota chapter of PRSA and Minnesota Business Magazine. For more information, visit here or here. Solis will be talking about his new book, “Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Cultivate and Measure Success in the New Web.” and discussing how to integrate new technologies and methodologies into everyday business activity. This presentation is for newbies, champions and executives alike who work in business, marketing, branding, interactive, service, and communications. (via Jen Kane)

Join Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, well-known Tibetan Buddhist meditation master, and leadership expert Bill George for a stimulating interactive seminar on August 13-14, 2010 at the Continuing Education Conference Center on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus. “Mindful Leadership” is the meeting of East and West as Mingyur Rinpoche and Bill George explore the integration of the principles of Buddhist mindfulness meditation with True North leadership. This seminar represents a bold new paradigm in which meditation training is combined with leadership principles to develop mindful leaders dedicated to creating a more peaceful and harmonious world. Register here. (via Karla Ekdahl, Bill George, Alene Grossman)

YouthCARE is looking for some committed volunteers to serve on the planning committee for their 18th Annual “Play a City Course for City Kids” Golf Event taking place on Friday, September 17. Duties include attending bi-monthly planning meetings, soliciting sponsorships and auction items, and assisting with event logistics. Please contact Claudia Holt, Event Coordinator, for more details here. (via Claudia Holt)

If you’re interested in making action happen with regards to innovation, entrepreneurship, and community building in Minnesota, consider getting involved with any/all of these organizations/programs:

Minnesota Rising
InterCity Leadership Visit
Social Venture Partners MN
Citizens League
The LEAD Project

American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio seeks a new Chief Development Officer (Managing Director, Development) (search being led by Marcia Ballinger and Lars Leafblad, KeyStone Search) Position profile can be accessed here.

The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (20th largest in the US w/ assets of $2B+) seeks a new Vice President, Programs (search being led by Marcia Ballinger and Lars Leafblad, KeyStone Search) Position profile can be accessed here.

CaringBridge is hiring 8 positions in marketing, finance, and technology (Affiliate Marketing Manager, E-Communications Specialist, Financial Analyst, Healthcare Marketing Manager, Interaction Designer, Marketing Services Manager, Systems Analyst & User Experience Analyst). View profiles and apply here. (via Sona Mehring)

GovDelivery is hiring 5 positions (Communications Manager, Director of Client Services, Director of Product Management, Marketing Manager, & Technical Support Manager). View profiles and apply here. (via Scott Burns)

UM Extension has a new job posting for Program Director, Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities. (via Michael Darger)

Marketing That Matters seeks a couple of independent contract job openings (Account Manager and Media Relations Manager) in our creative, dynamic and growing Minneapolis-based boutique marketing firm. We work with brands in both the nonprofit and for profit sector and have particular passion and expertise for companies, organizations and causes with a social conscience – whether it is their secondary endeavor or singular mission. Contact Lori Schaefer for more information. (via Rebecca Yanisch)

The Minnesota Retailers Association seeks a new President – resumes due July 16! (via Laura Bishop, Mike Logan)

RBC Wealth Management hiring Business Systems Analysts – To apply, go here and search for Position ID 120451. (via Wade Anderson)

The Shinebox is looking to add to their growing team and have several immediate openings.  Senior Account Manager, Copywriter, Senior Art Director and an Interactive Designer. Apply by sending resume here. (via Randall Larson)

The Bakken Museum seeks an HR Manager (via Andrea Kaufman)

Hunger Free Minnesota seeks a Project Manager (via Aaron Street)

US Dept of Commerce seeks to hire 2 new International Trade Specialists in Minneapolis Office – (via Ryan Kanne):

Job 1
Job 2

Vail Place offers Hennepin County residents with mental illness a “clubhouse” location for empowerment and support in employment, housing, social skills and other life skills. We are currently seeking board members committed to our mission of supporting Hennepin County residents with mental illness, and have a particular interest in potential board members with an understanding of health insurance, health care, and/or public policy. (via Stephanie Devitt – email for more info)

Pollenites should also bookmark the “Board Openings” posted by the Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits (MAP for Nonprofits) organization:

There are currently board member openings for 28 different MN non-profits that you can explore:

Bridges to Learning Inc., Community Involvement Programs, The Copper Street Brass Quintet, East Metro Women’s Council, East Side Neighborhood Development Company, Inc., Emergency Health & Community Health Outreach, eQuality – Pathways to Potential, Fresh Energy, Golden Girl Homes, Hostelling International USA – MN Council, Intermedia Arts, Liberia Build Project, Merrick, Inc., Metropolitan Minority Outreach, MN Asian American Health Coalition, Minnesota Land Trust, People Incorporated, Phoenix Alternatives, Inc., Preventing Harm Minnesota, Rainbow Rumpus, The Storefront Group, Tapestry Folkdance Center, Theatre Unbound, Vail Place, Vessey Leadership Academy, Walk-In Counseling Center, West Bank School of Music, & West Suburban Teen Clinic

Click here to learn more.

Great blog post from Tim Morin and Brad Lehrman regarding innovation/entrepreneurship in the US.

The Trust for Public Land recently produced this report: Smart Collaboration: How Urban Parks Can Support Affordable Housing  through its Center for City Park Excellence. Here’s a link to the report. (via Tom Evers who is happy to talk further with any Pollenite interested in doing so –

Curious what was going on with the recent TEDxMillCity program? You can view videos from the event here. Thoughts/ideas welcomed anytime via email.

The Linneman Letter provides interesting summary of economic details related to job growth predictions/recovery, etc. (thanks to Nils Snyder for sharing w/ Pollen)
Read it here.

Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford University commencement address, “How to live before you die”, is a great speech.

There’s always ROI from reading Betsy Buckley (Growth Strategy) and Andrew Eklund‘s (Digital Marketing) blogs on the Minnesota Business website.

Other business/innovation blogs with great ROI:

Gregg Litman
Gene Rebeck
Dana Severson
Leadership & Community
Tim Morin

What blogs do you read?
Share your favorites for inclusion in the next issue of Pollen…

Left off the Aspen Ideas Festival guest list this year? Yep, me too.
(Sidenote – If anyone from the Pollenverse did attend, would you be willing to share your insights from your time at the conference?)

You can access free video content of majority of content here.

(Thanks to Pollenite Bob Rumpza who suggested profiling “hidden gems” in the Minnesota non-profit community. We invite you to submit a description of an organization you’re excited about. Bob kicks it off with the following submission.) – Thanks Bob!

“ServeMinnesota is the organization that manages AmeriCorps in Minnesota. There are more than 1,000 AmeriCorps members throughout the state, serving citizens in 507 locations. AmeriCorps members – frequently new college grads – give a year or two of community service. In return they receive a small living stipend, a scholarship and develop a lifelong commitment to service. AmeriCorps is often called the domestic Peace Corps.

The largest and most visible program is Minnesota Reading Corps, where last year AmeriCorps members tutored more than 15,000 students age 3 to grade 3 who are behind in their reading capabilities.  About 550 AmeriCorps members tutored in urban and rural schools and preschools (such as Head Start), with amazing, measurable results.  A recent Pioneer Press editorial said, “Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, who has pushed for improved reading instruction . . . points to the Minnesota Reading Corps as one program that’s working.”

Other AmeriCorps members are engaged in a dozen other community-based programs including the Minnesota Math Corps, Admission Possible, Habitat for Humanity, Minnesota Green Corps, Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) and more.

Good ideas and great board members are welcomed.  Find out more at here and here.”

Jeremy Lenz on joining the board of the University Enterprise Laboratories’ Board of Directors.

Brian McClung on his new venture – McClung Communications & Public Relations, LLC.

Kate Barr on being recognized by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits as the 2010 Visionary Leader and to Jeff Freeland Nelson on his recognition by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits as the 2010 Catalytic Leadership award recipient.

Attorney Andrew Borene, Minnesota native and Humphrey Institute lecturer, who recently moderated a panel on Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Full video and a transcript is posted on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence website.

Corrie Knudson and all of the Be the Match Foundation team on winning the $100,000 prize from the Pepsi Refresh Project for their “Transplant Grants for Kids” program

Phil Esten on his feature story as new CEO of the U of MN Alumni Association in MSP Business Journal.

Emily Hutchinson and Zach Pettus
(& all nominees) for the new “Twin Cities 25 Finest” recognition from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – presented by Minnesota Business Magazine, Varsity Theatre and Loring Pasta Bar.

Nicole Harrison who was interviewed for the Peter McClellen Show which airs daily at 4pm on AM 1570 Business Radio on “Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses”.

Laura Zabel, Betsy Altheimer & all of Springboard for the Arts on winning the Social Venture Partners/Minnesota Cup – Social Entrepreneurship Category

Gregg Litman, Mike Rynchek, Jen Kane, Beth LaBreche, Jared Roy, Andrew Eklund, & Lars Leafblad
were among those profiled in a Minnesota Business Magazine article “The Case for Social Media” by Drew Wood.

To Brian Peterson & Students Today, Leaders Forever on being the first organization to complete the Charities Review Council Accountability Wizard featuring the Council’s new Accountability Standards.

Jim Davis on his new role as VP, Customer Service for Hawaiian Air (MN’s loss is definitely Hawaii’s gain!)

Robert Freeman on the birth of their daughter, Molly Alexandra!

Dirk Bak and Matt Meents on their selection as 2010 MSP Business Journal Young Entrepreneurs

Matt Kramer on his new role as President of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce (a client of KeyStone Search)

Megan Leafblad who celebrates another year of being a connector, civic catalyst, and wonderful sister/aunt/daughter/friend on July 15th. Happy birthday sis!!

Annoyed by people talking on their cell phone sitting next to you at a sporting event?
Then this video is for you (especially for those who despise the Yankees).

The World’s Largest Skateboard….because who hasn’t wanted to ride a 50 foot skateboard down a hill with ABBA providing the soundtrack?

Amazing break-dancing performance c/o The Robot Remains by the Jabbawockeez….for everyone who still has parachute pants, boom box, and original Breakin’ soundtrack buried somewhere in a storage bin…

RT @Bill_George: My newest column in the @StarTribune: Great Leaders Forge The Way to Win-Win Solutions for All Parties:

RT @alignculture Grt @incmagazine article – 15 Things Every Biz Owner Should Know – “Culture Matters” #3 on the list!!

RT @ernestgrumbles Rep. Mahoney calls out @UMNews to improve on tech transfer (via @medcitynews)

Thanks for your continued referrals, forwards, and invitations to your friends and colleagues to join us.

We’ve grown to 1397 Pollen subscribers and 736 members of our LinkedIn group thanks to your efforts. Thank you!

Welcome to 73 new Pollenites who’ve joined us since June 16th! Note: this # now includes my best effort to welcome Pollenites who are joining our LinkedIn group only (If I missed you, please let me know! If you’re inadvertently being recognized for a second time, a double welcome to you!):

Diane Anastos, Lauren Astry, Laura Best, Dan Bowles, Tom Burke, Jr. Kim Ciresi, Carrie Cisek, Josh Colburn, Art Coulson, Christiana Czarnowski, Sayre Darling, Lindsey Day, Jacque DeBuse, Molly Doran, Kathy Ebert, Jacob Elo, Nels Erickson, Lissa Evans, Adam Faitek, Debby Fehlandt, Jay Friedman, Theresa Gienapp, Brian Grace, Amy Hertel, Patrick Hirigoyen, Lisa Ion, Eric Jensen, Steve Jepsen, Stephanie Johnson, Kevin Johson, Gage Kaefring, Jeanne Kavanaugh, Sarah Kniskern Aughenbaugh, Connie Kotke, Matt Kramer, Melissa Kucharski, Saphia Lesch, Mark Lundgren, Ben Lurie, Mia Lynch, Brian Mair, Ken Marshall, Emmy Matzner, Dan Miller, Phil Miller,  Gayle Ober, Austin O’Brion, Jennie Olson, Katie Olynyk, Marissa Pherson, Quinton Pike, Kimberly Profitt, Marc Ratner, Sarah Richter, Janna Rohlinger, Peter Rozga, Stephen Rueff, Jon Ruzek, Megan Savolainen, Danny Schwartzman, Brian Schweitzer, Shana Steidl, Pat Sullivan, Maria Surma Manka, Bret Sutton, Chuck Tombarge, Ben Tregoe, Bridget Ulrich, Pamela Wandzel, Pam Weier, Griff Wigley, Mike Zipko, & Jason Zotalis

Huge thank you’s to the 23 Pollenites who directly referred a new member to Pollen! (If you were omitted, please let me know!)

Carol Bauer, Zach Burnett, Charmagne Campbell-Patton, Jennifer Chamber Huber, Josh Colburn, Elizabeth Dehn, Karla Ekdahl, Robin Gibson, Becky Hennen, Julie Hoff, Emy Johnson, Morgan Kinross-Wright, Taylor Larson, Margarette Minor, Meg Nodzon, Ben Schein, Cathy Schmidt, Raj Shah, Nils Snyder, Christine Swanson, Greg Tehven, Ellen Van Iwaarden, & Chance Veasey

POLLEN on LinkedIn:
736, yes 736 Pollenites have subscribed to our LinkedIn group (including 50+ new members who joined since our last edition).

Why join Pollen on LinkedIn?

You can share articles, updates, and post questions for immediate comment/feedback from your fellow members in addition to connecting your LinkedIn networks.

Sample member profiles from our Pollen LinkedIn group (if you’d like your LinkedIn profile included next edition, let me know!):

Brad Brown – Social Venture Partners – MN

Duchesne Drew – Star Tribune

Katy Friesz
– Ameriprise

Beth Mammenga
– Goodwill/Easter Seals

Frank Parisi – City of Minneapolis

Maureen Shaver – Shaver Consulting

You can join Pollen’s LinkedIn group here.

Finally, if you find value from Pollen, could you please take a minute and subscribe to Culture Matters, the quarterly e-newsletter produced for our client community here at KeyStone Search.

You can subscribe by clicking here.

Thank you!!


Lars Leafblad
KeyStone Search
Ph: 612-375-8989

Subscribe to KeyStone’s quarterly e-newsletter, Culture Matters, here.

Readers interested in joining Pollen should email Lars Leafblad directly at