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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.

Pollen newsletter Volume 25

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.

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

February 15, 2011
Curated by Lars Leafblad
Principal, KeyStone Search


Welcome to Pollen volume 25!

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What is Pollen?

“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.”

Pollen volume 1 was shared with members on December 4, 2009. We’ve subsequently grown to 1,662

subscribers to this twice monthly e-newsletter and 1,836 members of our Pollen LinkedIn group. Become member 1,837 by clicking the secure link below:

If someone has forwarded this to you and you’d like to become a full-fledged Pollenite, which provides you with the opportunity to contribute content for distribution to the entire Pollen network, join by emailing

SPECIAL WELCOME: We begin issue volume 25 with a special welcome to new Pollenite and new member of KeyStone Search, Nate Perez, who joined KeyStone as Vice President, Research in January 2011after serving most recently as a key member of the research team for Nosal Partners, LLC., a leading national retained executive search firm. He gained previous executive search experience with Battalia Winston International. His previous professional experience includes working in the office of the President for Rockefeller Brothers Fund/Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and the office of Chairman/CEO for Goldman, Sachs, & Co.

An accomplished actor and writer, Nathan’s performance credits include legit Off Broadway stage, a star turn in the SyFy Channel Original Alien Lockdown, and recurring appearances on One Life to Live, Guiding Light, All My Children, and As the World Turns. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Theatre. Nathan is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Full bio

Connect with Nate on LinkedIn

Welcome to Pollen and KeyStone Nate!

Yinghua Academy’s “Lantern Festival Gala” w/ The New Standards & silent auction is the evening of February 19th. A few tickets are still available. (via Lars Leafblad)

AZUL — “a new group of like-minded young individuals eager to actively connect through conservation, education and social events in support of the Minnesota Zoo,” are hosting inaugural event February 19th. Full details. (via Robert Freeman)

Support MN children’s charities at the MN NFL Alumni Gala on Saturday February 26th at RiverCentre in St. Paul. $275/couple, table sponsorships available. More information. (via Jan Unstad)

Tuxedos and Tiara’s on March 5th“an elegant pub crawl” benefitting Children’s Grief Connection (via Molly Doran)

Thinkers & Makers, LLC is proud to announce the 3rd Strategy for Good Workshop for March 19th, location TBD.

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.

Please register as a Captain (a commitment to lead a strategy team for a particular org), Strategist or an Organization so we can get an accurate count. We will be forming teams BEFORE the workshop in this third iteration- please be prepared to brainstorm a bit via email during the week preceding the event! (via Emilie Hitch, Paul Isakson and Team S4GMPLS)”

Flight of Fashion is a fashion show at the Mall of America on Thursday, March 24 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. The event is hosted by Sara Rogers, Mall of America trend specialist and is put on by United Way WINGs, a networking and giving community within Greater Twin Cities United Way. (via Kristin Gast)
For more information

President and CEO, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (search being conducted by KeyStone Search)

President and CEO, Volunteers of America — Minnesota (search being conducted by KeyStone Search) is hiring for several positions in finance, marketing, and product management. For more information, please visit. (via Sona Mehring)

E Group seeks Account Manager and Software Developer (via Paul Estenson)

The Mixed Blood Theatre seeks nominations and referrals for new board members. Interested candidates should contact Bob Schoenbaum, board member, directly at Board roster

Normandale Community College Foundation and Pillsbury United Communities are both seeking new board members. Learn more via the Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits (MAP for Nonprofits) organization. There are currently board member openings for 30+ different MN non-profits at MAP for Nonprofits: Click here to learn more

Check out “Works Progress” — a MN network of “creative collaborators” which designs “multi-disciplinary events, programs and exhibits that inspire, inform and connect—fostering new relationships that cross creative and cultural boundaries.”

On Feb 17, there is a national launch in Minneapolis of the National Export Initiative. The group consists of a number of high-level Obama administration officials including Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, Chairman of the Export-Import Bank Fred Hochberg and US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. Governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak are also a part of this effort. The day will consist of featured speakers and break-out sessions presenting key export topics to assist small and medium-sized businesses expand their export sales. (via Ryan Kanne)

The Bush Foundation is seeking applicants for the 2011 “Bush Fellowship” program. Application deadline is February 25, 2011. More information via the secure link

The KeyStone Search quarterly update was recently shared with clients & friends. If you’d like, you can read it

New networking program “Unleash Your Inner Awesome” from the U of MN College of Continuing Education has networking session at Spill the Wine on the 4th Thursday of the month (via Cecily Sommers and Terri Morawiecki) Info

Check out “Linkage” from Drivetrain’s Dan Grigsby – a new, bi-weekly email newsletter featuring a curated handful of links and analysis that have influenced how they’re thinking about mobile, social and web. See the first issue, or email to subscribe

Nominations open for 2011 “Women in Business” awards from Mpls St. Paul Business Journal. (Recipients last year included Pollenties Shilpa Alva, Kim Borton, Amy Fredregill, Alisa Miller, Paula Prahl, and Nena Street) Nomination forms

Must read counsel from Harvard Business Review – “Five Tips for Smarter Social Networking”

4FRONT initiative – Creativity & Innovation showcase for Minneapolis-Saint Paul – via Jeff Nelson

Betsy Buckley in Minnesota Business magazine “Gifting: As A Growth Strategy” Read it

Recruiters Change Employee-Hunting Tactics –

Contest sponsored by Graduate Management Admissions Council for “Top 20 Ideas For A Better MBA”: Winning ideas

The Chronicle of Philanthropy discusses the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (client of KeyStone Search)

Tim Huebsch shares insights on innovation and empowering employee ideas in a great post on the Leadership & Community blog

Founder of Pandora, Tim Westergren, is a Minnesotan – learn more (via Kathy Grayson)

MPR profiles “25 Influential Minnesotans in DC”

2010 Minnesota Board Index

Check out “Paper Darts” — very interesting MN literary arts magazine curated by Pollenite Jamie Millard

“The Land of (at least) 10,000 Innovators”
in Minnesota Business magazine

The Economist discusses open sourcing innovation & talent

Rosabeth Moss Kanter in Harvard Business Review: “On Twitter and in the Workplace, It’s Power to the Connectors” Great piece

Interesting blog post –> “It’s not the stupid culture, it’s the culture, stupid”

Inc. magazine “How To Build A Corporate Culture of Trust”

Good advice from Harvard Business Review – “The Worst Interview Question (and how to handle it)”

Fundraising consultant Lori Jacobwith hosting “Sustainable Fundraising Strategies — 2011” seminar March 8. Registration details

MN-based @shopmama profiled in current issue of @FastCompany! Read/share here

Another MN connection in current @FastCompany c/o profile of Marc Belton, EVP w/ General Mills. Read

Most read story in 2010 @FortuneMagazine? Their “40 under 40” list…includes a Minnesotan at #13. See who

Great story from @Dwell magazine re: the Navy #111 chair….entrepreneurship + sustainability + design

Can 5-min exercise double your productivity? (via Daniel Pink)

Use Twitter and care about nonprofits? Then follow #NpTalk the online Twitter Chat moderated by Nicole Harrison on Wednesdays from 2-3pm CST. Each week focuses on advancing nonprofit missions through technology – usually a very focused topic. Info for topics and more about chat

2011 Women at the Top® Virtual Leadership Conference: Re-Energize Your Career!

Get the tools and inspiration you need to help re-energize YOUR career! The conference features 21 leadership experts in five core development areas presented over the course of five days, February 28 — March 4 (12 noon CST). The conference is FREE to attend but registration is required. Learn more and register here (via Regina Barr)

Ernest Grumbles, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Lars Leafblad, Nils Snyder & 36 others selected as 2011 “Minnesotans on the Move” by Finance and Commerce.
Read the full list here

Dan Cramer, Bernadine Joselyn, Lars Leafblad, Jon Pratt and several others named to the advisory board of the HHH School of Public Affairs “Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center” at the U of MN. Press release

Nels Leafblad (brother of Megan Leafblad and Lars Leafblad) who was sent to Hollywood with a golden ticket on this season of American Idol during Milwaukee auditions.

Photo album:
Nels & family with Ryan Seacrest

Auditioning in Milwaukee

Holding the golden ticket

Singing in Hollywood

His video interview with American Idol

Terrie Rose on her TEDxTC talk being uploaded to TEDxTalks website

Jon Ruzek on his new role as Director of Alumni Relations at the College of Education and Human Development at the U of MN

Shana Karle on her new role as Marketing Manager at Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Co., LLP

Nils Snyder on being featured guest for “All Things Real Estate” on 100.3FM

Erin Bowley on her new role as program officer with the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies

Katie Clark on being appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to head MN Trade Office

Taylor Carik, Andrew Eklund, Jen Kane in great piece by Dan Haugen in Twin Cities Business talking about social media and business: Read it

To the Ashoka Twin Cities Forum organizers, hosts, and MN-based fellows

Marcia Ballinger, Rebecca Driscoll, Mike Frommelt, Lars Leafblad, Diane Meskan, Nate Perez, and Bob Schoenbaum (the KeyStone Search team) which celebrated its 9th anniversary in February 2011.

Kaley Mauzy on her new role on the development team at Jeremiah Project

Jared Roy on his coverage in Star Tribune about his project w/ McNally Smith College of Music

Joe McCool, columnist for @BW & former editor of “Executive Recruiter News” on his successful visit to MN HR Executive Forum & KeyStone Search. Bio

Mike Guild on joining the Board of Directors for the American Diabetes Association.

Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media names New Advisory Board Members

Kelly Groehler, Megan Leafblad, and all 2010-11 HHH Policy Fellows on their successful trip to DC

Jeff Peterson on his panel participation for annual MN Council on Foundations “Giving Preview”

Lars Leafblad participated on Carlson School of Management executive MBA panel focused on “executive search, career assessment, and talent management”

Pamela Diamond named the Director of Marketing and Communications for the American Craft Council

Matt Oquist on his new role as the National Director of Development with Kids Against Hunger

Andy Brehm, Blois Olson, Brian McClung & others talk “2011 Politics in Minnesota” in Minnesota Business magazine

Jim Delaney and Engine For Social Innovation on their feature in MinnPost

Chris Lambe and Rand Park profiled in Mpls. St. Paul Business Journal story on new fundraising partnership between Carlson School and Mosaic Co.

John Rock on opening his own law firm, Rock Law LLC

Mo Shaver on opening her own public affairs company specializing in public affairs, government relations, lobbying and political commentary.

Natalie Ramier named Vice Chair of Board of Directors
for newly merged Reuben Lindh and The Family Partnership organizations

Christine M. Swanson on the opening of her law firm, Swanson Law Office, PLLC Website
If you haven’t seen the VW commercial with the Darth Vader kiddo, you’re missing out. (via Abraham Piper)

Watch All the Super Bowl XLV Spots via @adage

Jimmy Fallon’s recent appearance on Top Chef prompted this sharing of his awesome rap medley performance w/ Justin Timberlake


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

We’ve grown to 1,662 Pollen subscribers and 1,836 members of our LinkedIn group thanks to your efforts including 200+ new members since our last issue.

You can view the names of new members, companies/organizations they represent, and those members who helped recruit a new member(s) via this secure link to a PDF document uploaded to Scribd.

Pollen volume 25 new members list

LinkedIn Pollen Group:
1,836, yes 1,836 Pollenites have subscribed to our LinkedIn group (including150+ 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.

You can join Pollen’s LinkedIn group

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 at KeyStone Search.

You can subscribe by clicking here.

You can view our most recent issue here.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful start to 2011!!

Thanks for being part of Pollen!

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