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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 40

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 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

Pollen vol 40
November 1, 2011
Curated by Lars Leafblad
Principal, KeyStone Search


I hope you’ll bear with me as I take the liberty of sharing a quick note and some fun facts as we publish our 40th issue of Pollen, but if not you can scroll down to access our normal content.

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We distributed the first issue of Pollen on December 4th, 2009 and in the 39 issues that have followed, we’ve grown from several hundred members to over 4,000 “civic-minded connectors” who share our belief in co-creating opportunities for fellow members to grow, develop and make impact personally, professionally and civically in our community.

Our membership stretches across the entire political and public policy spectrum and across hundreds of corporate, not-for-profit, foundation, and public sector organizations and agencies in Minnesota and beyond.

My dream and vision for Pollen is that we are truly planting seeds that will bear new ideas, new compromises, new relationships and new solutions in the decades to come as a result of this shared and collective experience in the Pollen community.

Thank you for sharing in that dream and vision by reading, by sharing, by belonging, and by co-creating Pollen together over the past several years.

Thank you for entrusting me, and Pollen’s future curatorial stewards with your content, your time, your reputation, and your participation.

It’s an honor…privilege….and gift to be able to build this community with you. Thank you!!

Very sincerely yours,

Lars-Erik Birk Leafblad

Founder and Curator 1.0, Pollen

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Your feedback welcome and encouraged via

And now some Pollen Fun Facts as we look back at our first forty issues together:

What ingredients came together to help germinate the launch of Pollen?!? 

The writings of…..Harvey Mackay, Keith Ferrazzi, Malcolm Gladwell, James Surowiecki, Seth Godin, Dale Carnegie, Daniel Pink, Robert Cialdini, Tom Peters, and Jim Collins.

The actions and inspiration of and from…..Cecily Sommers (The PUSH Conference), Nate Garvis (Naked Civics), Alicia Phillips (Next Innovations), Sean Kershaw (The Citizens League), Joel Spoonheim (Civics Connection), Chadburn Blomquist (TEDxTC), Dan Grigsby/Luke Francl (MinneDemo), Diane Tran (Minnesota Rising), Matt Hemsley/Uri Neren/Jim Delaney/Lan Freitag et al (the LEAD Project), Kim Borton/Nena Street/Ben Marcy/ et al (Common Grounds), Robyn Schein (Fourth Generation/Minneapolis Foundation), Trista Harris (EPIP-MN), Leah Lundquist/Jamie Millard et al (YNPN-TC), Colin Kloecker/Shanai Matteson (Works Progress), Patrick Kuntz (Ignite Minneapolis), Jon Spayde (The Line), Wendy Helgeson/Ellen Watters (InterCity Leadership Visit), Blois Olson (Morning Take), Mary Lahammer (TPT Almanac), Lori Sturdevant/Rachel Stassen-Berger (Star Tribune), Gene Rebeck (Twin Cities Business), Drew Wood (Minnesota Business/, Brad Brown (Social Venture Partners — MN), Tammy Mencel/Mark Reilly (Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal “40 under Forty”), Larry Jacobs/Kate Cimino/Lea Chittenden (HHH School of Public Affairs Policy Fellows), Peter Hutchinson (The Bush Foundation/Bush Leadership Fellows), Carleen Rhodes/Jen Ford Reedy/Dana Nelson (Minnesota Philanthropy Partners/, Mrs. TeWinkel (Calvin Christian School). Scott/Sarah Burns (Citizens League membership drive)

The support of……The Blad Pad — Maren Leafblad, Megan Leafblad, Peg Birk, KeyStone Search — Marcia Ballinger, Rebecca Driscoll, Mike Frommelt, Diane Meskan, Nathan Perez, Bob Schoenbaum, MinnPost — Joel Kramer, Laurie Kramer, Corey Anderson, Stephanie Johnson, Audra Otto, Paper Darts — Jamie Millard, Meghan Murphy Suszynski, Regan Smith

The early cross-Pollenators who recruited new members to Pollen in 2009/early 2010…..

Lee Anderson, Angie Andresen, Regina Barr, Stacy Bee, Karla Bigham, Peg Birk, Sarah Bjelland, Laura Bloomberg, Andy Brehm, Julie Brekke, Amanda Brinkman, Laura Brod, Chad Brown, Virginia Brown, Martha Carlson, Karen Casanova, Jennifer Champer Huber, Kate Cimino, Katie Clark, Dan Cramer, Catherine Day, Stephanie Devitt, Duchesne Drew, Nathan Dungan, Jean Edhlund, Carolyn Egeberg, John Eichten, Karla Ekdahl, Christiaan Engstrom, Liza Etienne, Tom Evers, Barb Farrell, Dani Fisher, Charlie Flinn, Jen Ford Reedy, J. Forrest, Amy Fredregill, Jeff Freeland Nelson, Robert Freeman, Katy Friesz, Angela Garrett, Nate Garvis, Robin Gibson, Jane Goodnight, Natalie Greve, Dan Grigsby, Kelly Groehler, Mike Guild, Catherine Gunsbury, Jake Hamlin, Lindsay Hanson, Nicole Harrison, Trisha Hasbargen, Dan Haugen, Wendy Helgeson, Steve Helland, Joanne Henry, Scott Herold, Brian Hobbins, Nels Hoplin, Deb Hopp, Dan Hoxworth, Tim Huebsch, Julie Hurbanis, Mark Jansa, Ann Kaner-Roth, Beth Kathan, Sean Kershaw, Morgan Kinross-Wright, Karen Kodzik, Andrea Kopfmann, Meghan Krause, Mike Krueger, Elizabeth Lake, Chris Lambe, Taylor Larson, Ron Lattin, Megan Leafblad, Brad Lehrman, Jeremy Lenz, Annie Levenson-Falk, Katie Lichty, Marshall Lichty, Mike Logan, Alex Lopes, Ali Lozoff,…….


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And Ben Marcy, Mark Marshall, Albert Maruggi, Chris Mayr, Jan McDaniel, Beth McMullen, Jeff Meacham, Sona Mehring, Tammy Mencel, Rohn Jay Miller, Margarette Minor, Teresa Morrow, Jason Mosakowski, Katie Nadeau, Joe Nathan, Tom Nelson, Dana Nelson, Uri Neren, Michelle Ness, Jennifer Niemela, Meg Nodzon, Dan Olson, Joan Olson, Blois Olson, Matt Oquist, Christopher Orr, Cathy Paper, Frank Parisi, Stephanie Payne, Steve Pederson, Dave Pelka, Naomi Pesky, Jeff Peterson, Brian Peterson, Jodi Petrich, Alicia Phillips, Dave Pinto, Lisa Pope, Jamie Proulx, Lisa Radzak, Sarah Richter, Heather Riddle, Kristin Robbins, Delinda Rood, Jill Rudnitski, Erin Sapp, Rachel Schaefer, Ben Schein, Robyn Schein, Tanya Schmitt, Eric Schubert, Lynne Schuman, Dick Senese, Raj Shah, Ali Sipkins, Kim Snyder, Nils Snyder, Cecily Sommers, Joel Spoonheim, Keith Stout, Jen Swanson, Christine Swanson, Greg Tehven, Tom Teigen, Joe Thiegs, Jennifer Thompson, Ted Thompson, Hans Thomsen, Ann Ulring, Jan Unstad, Mark Van Note, Bill Venne, Jim Vos, Dave Walstad, Joel Wessman, and Andrea Wood.

My sincere apologies in advance to the dozens I’ve inevitably missed who were fellow early recruiters/ambassadors/cross-pollenators….thank you to each and every one of you for sharing Pollen!

More on the origins of Pollen

Where is Pollen going?

440+ members responded to our poll on this question in March 2011 called “Pollen’s Future” -> read all responses from fellow members via the secure link below. You will need a password to access the data.

Password: “pollenfuture”

Top 4 most-read issues of Pollen:

1)     Volume 34

2)     Volume 27

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3)     Volume 24

4)     Volume 17

The 7-most clicked PDF links in Pollen:

1)     “Interview Questions Asked by CEO’s”

2)     “Preparing for Your Recruitment”

3)     3 “Notes on Bill Taylor’s “Practically Radical”:

4)     “Itasca Project’s Charting a New Course Report”

5)     “Minnesota Business Editor’s Note by Drew Wood Mentioning Pollen”

6)     “HR Magazine: Strong Ethical Cultures Help Bottom Line”

7)     “Notes on Seth Godin’s ‘Tribes'”

The most-clicked links in Pollen:

The Line’s interview with Lars Leafblad on “MN’s Search for a New Identity”

Mpls St. Paul Business Journal’s 2011 “40 under Forty” list

Star Tribune’s “The Fixers” profiles of non-profit arts leaders

Twin Cities Business “The Innovatives”

Twin Cities Business 2010 “200 Minnesotans You Should Know”

Mpls St. Paul Business Journal’s 2010 “40 Under Forty” list 

Minnesota Business “The Minnesota Business Encyclopedia of 2010” incl/ Pollen

Kelly Groehler & Co.’s “Social Media & Political Campaigns Presentation”

City Pages “Twin Cities Thinkers” by Erin Carlyle

Paula Prahl interview w/ Pollen on leadership

MPR’s “Headhunting Minnesota’s next CEO” with Kerri Miller and Lars Leafblad 

Mpls St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 under Forty Alumni Database”

Finance and Commerce’s 2011 “Minnesotans on the Move”

Minnesota Business “The Case for Social Media”

The Line “What Makes the Twin Cities Special?”

Leadership and Community “Who do you know that has “Cube Cred”” by J. Forrest

What is Pollen?

For those of you experiencing Pollen for the first time, here’s a quick overview of who we are:

“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 on LinkedIn
Click here to connect with 3,000+ fellow Pollen members.

Become a full fledged Pollenite!

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, become a member by emailing

Volume 40 Contents:

1)     Pollen special feature2011 Give to the Max Day with GiveMN

2)     Events

3)     Ideas/Inspiration

4)     Pollen Props

5)     Jobs/Internships

6)     Boards

7)     Fun/Etc.

Pollen’s Q&A with Pollenite Dana Nelson, GiveMN Executive Director about 2011 Give to the Max Day, occurring November 16: (full disclosure, Lars Leafblad is a member of the GiveMN Strategy Cabinet)

What is Give to the Max Day?

Give to the Max Day is the Great Minnesota Give Together! It is the day for Minnesotans to come together to raise as much money as possible for nonprofits in 24 hours.  Give to the Max Day started when we launched GiveMN in 2009 and now in our third year, has become a “new tradition” to kick off the holiday giving season.

What is GiveMN?

GiveMN is a collaborative venture to transform philanthropy in Minnesota by growing overall giving and moving more of it online.  We were launched by the Minnesota Community Foundation in partnership with foundations from across the state to leverage technology for the nonprofit sector in Minnesota. 

Through its engaging web platform, GiveMN helps nonprofit organizations of all sizes reach new donors, increases giving through fun and engaging campaigns (like Give to the Max Day!) and significantly reduces overall fundraising costs

GiveMN helps individuals find, learn and contribute to Minnesota and national programs, and facilitates quick and easy online donations by credit card and organizes online charitable contributions in one location.

Why should nonprofits participate in Give to the Max Day?

Honestly, Give to the Max Day is awesome (ok, I am totally biased)!  It’s EASY, fun and is a “ready-made” event for nonprofits to leverage.   We make it as turnkey as possible by providing template emails, logos and other marketing tools — so all a nonprofit has to do is copy, paste and send. 

We will have a great media campaign (last year we garnered an amazing 169M media impressions, huge kudos to Padilla Spear Beardsley) and new this year are partnering with the Mall of America for a live event all day with great new social media elements.

No matter what else a nonprofit organization has planned for their year-end fundraising, Give to the Max Day is an exciting reason to ask their supporters to give to their organization AND to ask their supporters to ask their friends to give.  That is the beauty of social media and online giving.  If you’re still not convinced, check out my Top 10 list here!

How can Pollenites get involved?

  1. Encourage your favorite nonprofits to do something for Give to the Max Day… even if it’s just sending an email to donors and asking their donors to ask their friends to give.  Refer them to the Give to the Max Day nonprofit toolkit where they can open the email to donors, copy, paste and send.  It is literally that easy!  There is, of course, a lot more that nonprofits can be doing to raise more money. 

Click here for a checklist to ensure that your nonprofit is doing everything it can to leverage Give to the Max Day… 

Or better yet, click here to watch the webinar that walks you through how to “hit it out of the park” on November 16!

  1. Mark your calendars now for November 16.  Go to and donate to all of your favorite Minnesota charities that day.  Many nonprofits will offer the opportunity to double your dollars throughout the 24 hours.  And every donation you make gives your favorite organizations the chance to win even more money.

Any last words?

Together we have the power to raise MILLIONS of dollars for THOUSANDS of Minnesota nonprofits in ONE day.  How cool is that?  But don’t just take it from me — read below from Pollenite nonprofit leaders who share their Give to the Max Day faves below.

Lindsi Gish —Second Harvest Heartland

Ann Kaner-Roth —Project 515

Josh Reimnitz —Students Today, Leaders Forever

Read their stories here


November 2 — TORCH Community “What’s Your Story?” event

November 3 — Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce 3rd Annual Chamber Honors Gala

November 7 — 4thBirthday Party Celebration —Solera

November 9 — Citizens League 2011 Civic Celebration

November 10 —AchieveMpls Education Partners Luncheon

November 16 Give to the Max Day 2011

November 16 — Ashoka Solutions Forum (an evening presentation by innovative social entrepreneurs, followed by a community cocktail reception) — Wed 11/16 @ 7:30pm | Minnesota Public Library

November 16 — MN Agri-Growth Council Annual Meeting

December 4 —  Youth Frontiers Integenerational Women’s Brunch: Choosing to Respect Our Authentic Selves. Sunday, Dec 4 at noon-2 p.m. at Calhoun Beach Club. To RSVP email Mindy at



Fourth Generation has selected Nutrition and Food Justice as its focus area for the year.  Members will be exploring the issue and identifying great nonprofit organization working on Nutrition and Food Justice in our community to fund.  Thanks to the generosity of The Jay and Rose Phillips Foundation of Minnesota and The Minneapolis Foundation there is $20,000 available in matching funds for Fourth Generation’s grantmaking.  This is a great year to get involved and amplify your giving.  Find out more and get involved: (via Robyn Schein)  

The Power of Positive Coaching (via Greg Tehven)

Connect with President and CEO of the Wilder Foundation, MayKao Hang, on Twitter

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network —Twin Cities —”Personal Branding” insights

Wall Street JournalStanford d.School teaches innovation 101

Mary Meeker’s 2011 Internet Trends Presentation

Fortunes 2011 “40 under 40″

Harvard Business Review “Become an Extraordinary Leader”

Fast Company “Silicon Valley’s New Hiring Strategy”

MN High Tech Association seeks applicants for 2012 ACE Leadership Program

Five overfunded good projects on

Peter Thiel “We’re in a Bubble and it’s not the internet. It’s higher ed

Poignant eulogy — A sister’s eulogy for Steve Jobs


Pollen Props:

To Megan Leafblad and Michael Gottschalk on their recent engagement

Cheryl Moeller on her new role as Executive Director of High Tech Kids

Katie Nadeau, Beth McMullen, Mark Giga and entire MBP team on another very successful annual dinner

To the recently announced leadership team of

To Greg Tehven and others working to launch TEDxFargo

Diane Tran and the entire Minnesota Rising team and presenters for their very successful 2011 un/conference

Mark Apfelbacher on his new role as Director of Chinook Book

Bobbi Cordano, Tracy Fischman, Cathy Maes, Ethan Roberts, Marsha Shotley, and Sheila Smith on their election to the MN Council of Nonprofits Board of Directors

Laura Bordelon on her new role as SVP, Advocacy with the MN Chamber of Commerce

Denise Stahura on her election to the St. Paul Union Park District Council

Patty Beadle on her new role as Midwest Expansion Project Manager for Youth Frontiers

Jason Van de Loo on his new role as Vice President of International Marketing & Development with Capella Education Company

Chuck Peterson on his new role as Senior Community Relations Specialist with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

Jeff McLaughlin on his promotion to Executive Vice President with Neuger Communications Group

To Isaac “Ike” Johnson for sharing his incredible gift of hospitality at Manny’s — thanks Ike!!

Jamie Millard for her MinnPostYPN 5Q feature



Hammer Residences, Inc. — CEO (via Mike Frommelt and Lars Leafblad)

Hazelden — Corporate Communications and Public Relations Manager (via Lars Leafblad)

MN based Blue Zones & Healthways partnering with Wellmark — hiring State-Wide Leader and a State Operations Director  (via Joel Spoonheim)

Interested candidates should contact Emily Moses with Healthways —

The Jefferson Center for New Democratic Processes — Executive Director (via Scott Hvizdos)

Mosaic — Director, Communications (via Chris Lambe)

Teenwise Minnesota — Executive Director (via Susan Spiers)

University of Minnesota Alumni Association — VP, Outreach (via Phil Esten)

West Suburban Teen Clinic — Director of External Relations and Resources (via Leah Hebert)

Works Progress — Project Assistant (via Colin Kloecker)

womenwinningExecutive Director (via Sarah Taylor-Nanista)

Yinghua Academy — Executive Director (via Lars Leafblad)



Community Shares of MN seeks board members (via Kate Cimino)

Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition seeks board members (via Parker Mullins)

Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the premier book arts organization in the U.S., is looking for candidates for board service. Senior managers from arts-friendly corporations preferred, but will consider other experience. For more information, contact board member Pam Johnson at (via Pam Johnson)

Numerous MN non-profit board openings c/o MAP for Nonprofits



Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s “History of Rap 3”

Inspiration for Halloween 2012 “The Picasso of Pumpkin Carving”


Reminder to connect with Pollen on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter


Join 1,100 + fellow Pollenites who are engaging with one another on Facebook.


Connect w/ over 3,000 fellow Pollenites who are sharing their networks on Pollen’s group on LinkedIn.


Follow Pollen on Twitter by using the hashtag #BePollen

Thanks again for being part of Pollen! Go forth and cross-pollinate!


Curator, Pollen, Principal, KeyStone Search