Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

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 46: Lars shares the love

Pollen members share what they love, plus the usual jobs, inspiration, props and more.

Curated by Lars Leafblad | Principal, KeyStone Search


What is Pollen?

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

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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 Archives

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Special Announcement

There will be a major announcement regarding the future of Pollen shared within the next 60 days. In the interim, a sincere thank you to all of Pollenation for continuing to build, grow, and strengthen this community together. Thank you!!

Volume 46 Contents

  1. Events
  2. Ideas/Inspiration
  3. Pollen Props
  4. Pollen Loves (special section)
  5. Jobs/Internships
  6. Boards
  7. Fun/Etc.


February 17 – Minnesota Zoo’s AZUL 2nd annual “Warm Up in the Wild” fundraiser

February 18 – LEAD Project’s “A Toast to LEAD” – 5 Year Anniversary Party. Le Meridien Chambers Hotel

February 21 – HHH Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center hosts evening panel discussion on “The Non Nonprofit” with Steve Rothschild, Jay Kiedrowski, Sona Mehring, and Sandra Vargas.

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February 21 – Alzheimer’s Association Young Champions Mardi Gras Happy Hour

February 22 – Science Museum of MN “Social Science: Buccaneer’s Ball”

February 22 – Twin Cities Business Peer Network “The Powerful Role of Peer-to-Peer Development in Personal and Professional Growth” evening event

February 22 – MN Private College Council “Private College Scholars at the Capitol”

February 23 – A Net Impact Dinner and Dialogue Event “Green Chemistry and Consumer Choices – The Future of our Supply Chains”

February 23 – Twin Cities Thursday Happy Hours event – Loring Kitchen and Bar

February 23 – National Society of Hispanic MBAs 2012 Kick Off Event – 508 Bar & Restaurant

February 24 – Kids Against Hunger “Drive to Serve”

February 25 – Wishes & More “2012 Winter Ball: A Night on the Red Carpet” (via Christiaan Engstrom)

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February 25 – Kids Against Hunger – “Dancing With Twin Cities Celebrities” fundraiser

February 25 – Animal Humane Society’s “Whisker Whirl”

February 28 – Women Entrepreneurs Conference hosted by Mansfield Tanick & Cohen (via Jeff O’Brien)

February 28 – Citizens League “Transportation Policy Tour”

February 28 – League of Womens Voters: Leaders of Today and Tomorrow Leadership Series event: “Mission Possible: Don’t Let Insecurities Sabotage Your Job Search”

February 29 – Young Professionals of Minnesota Movie Premiere “Eat, Sleep, Hockey”

February 29 – MN Council of Nonprofits “Philanthropy Leaders Series” w/ Wokie Weah, president of Youthprise

February 29 – ThreeSixty Journalism “Mid-winter Mixer”

March 1 – Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce “The WomEn’s Conference”

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March 1-3 – Nobel Peace Prize Forum at Augsburg College and Humphrey School of Public Affairs

March 2 – Baby’s Space Annual Fundraiser featuring Alison Scott

March 3 – St. Olaf College Black & Gold Gala

March 3 – Minnesota’s World Savvy Challenge

March 4 – Save the date for Fourth Generation’s “Graze for Good” on Sunday, March 4th at 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Spill the Wine.  Support Fourth Generation’s grantmaking to local organizations addressing Food Justice in the Twin Cities and get a sampling of food by amazing local chefs from Piccolo, Tilia and Travail Kitchen and Amusements. RSVP.

March 5 – 2012 Minnesota Bike Summit on Capitol Hill

March 12 – “Recovery Day on the Hill” – MN Recovery Connection (via Julia Parnell)

March 16 – Youth Frontiers 3rd Annual “Cultivating Ethics in Business” Luncheon, featuring Chuck Mooty and Chris Coborn. Sponsor a table or RSVP to Mindy Plewacki at 11:45 a.m., Graves 601 Hotel

March 20-22 – Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity presents “A Time for Innovation”

The 24th annual event presented by the University of St. Thomas features three keynotes from high-profile leaders, 64 sessions within eight tracks, a career fair, diversity awards and networking opportunities.

March 24-25 – “The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge”

March 24Early-career and mid-level women wanting to accelerate their transition into leadership roles are invited to a high-impact, high-intensity, one-day seminar, A Women in Leadership Event: “Poised for Leadership” at Concordia University, St. Paul from 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

April 19 – “Dish – Cuisine for Change” gala supporting Second Harvest Heartland

April 20Save the date for an event with Margaret Wheatley at Loyola Spirituality Center (via Lisa Negstad)

April 27 – The 2012 MinnRoast supporting

May 5 – The Basilica Landmark presents “Setting the Stage”

The 5th Annual Emmanuel Masqueray Ball benefits needed capital improvements for The Basilica and its Campus.

May 19 – The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Remembering Our Stars Gala raises funds to support the many programs and services of the Association and is also a time to celebrate the lives of loved ones with Alzheimer’s and related diseases.

June 15 –Playworks Twin Cities 2nd Annual Corporate Kickball Tournament is scheduled for Friday, 11-5 p.m. June 15 at Dunning Field in Saint Paul.  Come out with your colleagues for a day in the sun playing kickball against other Twin Cities professional.  This event is a fundraiser supporting Playworks Twin Cities where we engage more than 4,000 children in active play in nine lower-income Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public schools. If you are looking for a fun rewarding employee engagement event outside in the Spring, this is the one!


Pollen recently sat down with Bob Schroeder, former Chief of Staff to Governor Tim Pawlenty to learn more about this little-known but key responsibility

Joanne Henry and her “365 Days of Thanks” blog mention Pollen.

Jamie Millard post “Myth Busting: Nonprofit Executive Salaries”

Jon Spayde performs “A New, More Dynamic You II: Deeper In! (The Performance Art Therapy Show)” February 19, 26, March 4 and 11 – Doors 6 pm. Curtain 7 pm. Bryant Lake Bowl

Stanford Social Innovation Review “Wanted: Philanthropy CEOs Who Can Shift Out of Neutral”

Lars Leafblad and Phil Miller swap resume reviews and career counsel with one another in this blog post

Inside Facebook’s S-1 Filing via Fast Company

The 50 Most Generous Donors of 2011 per the Chronicle of Philanthropy

Bush Foundation shares a staffing update with the community

Kenyan tale shows power of online giving

Check out the Minnesota Do-Gooders Club

Paul DeBettignies and Lars Leafblad interviewed by Kate O’Reilly in Metro magazine “Finding Work With The Web”

“Best and Worst States for Business” per Chief Executive magazine

“A Platform for the Partyless” by David Banks in Star Tribune

“It’s Saturday Night! From St. Olaf to Second City to Saturday Night Live…Shelly Gossman is on a roll” via St. Olaf magazine

Sign up for the Minnesota Council on Foundations e-newsletters

127 Reasons Why We’re Fascinated By Lists

“Change Sort of Blows Which Is Why We’re Pretty Bad At It” by Nathan Eklund

“The Power of Introverts: A Manifesto for Quiet Brilliance”

The new Fellows announced

World Press Photo 2012 Award Winners

“Turnover in the House: Who keeps – and who loses – the most staff?” via Sunlight Foundation

Star Tribune seeks “Top Workplaces” nominations

“Obama, Explained” by James Fallows in the Atlantic

Wired UK “The Smart List 2012: 50 People Who Will Change The World”

Pollen Props

A belated props to Amy Crawford on her role as Regional Director for Children’s Defense Fund-MN

Brad Neary on his new role as Associate Director of Community Relations & Development with St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development

Scott Cummings profiled in MinnPostYPN 5Q feature

KeyStone Search & Pollenites Marcia Ballinger, Rebecca Driscoll, Mike Frommelt, Lars Leafblad, Diane Meskan, Nathan Perez, and Bob Schoenbaum on their firm’s 10 year anniversary

Tim Grimsrud on being named a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels

Larissa Rodriguez, director of care delivery marketing at HealthPartners and founder of, was named one of the “Power 25” emerging leaders in the aquatics industry by Aquatics International magazine. With as many as 35-50% of U.S. adults unable to swim, Larissa is on a mission to get more adults to learn how to swim to prevent drownings, improve health and reduce disparities.

To the new officers and board members of Minnesota Council on Foundations including Pollen members Brad Kruse, Carolyn Roby, Kari Suzuki, Tim Thorpe, and LaTresse Snead

Megan Leafblad on her appointment to the Minneapolis Arts Commission

David Gillette on the launch of his new “Role of Government” series for TPT Almanac at the Capitol

Erich Mische on his new role as Executive Director of Spare Key

To Andrew Eklund and all of The Big Wu community on their 20th Anniversary

Pollenites Jeff Achen, Joel Kramer and Jamie Millard on their panel for Weber Shandwick’s “Telling Your Story” non-profit workshop

Matt Kucharski and Beth LaBreche profiled in “PR agencies extend their reach through global partnerships” via Star Tribune.

Becky Hoffman and Maren Leafblad for co-chairing a highly successful Lantern Festival Gala with music from The New Standards raising support for Yinghua Academy

Emma Wilhelm has begun blogging for Huffington Post. See her recent posts 1|2

Pollen Loves

In recognition of Valentine’s Day, we asked Pollenites to answer the question “Who or What do you love?”. Below are unedited responses we received from members.

Matthew Lewis:

I love the collaboration and innovations happening at CoCo Minneapolis and St. Paul. As Wednesday marks the Citizens League’s 60th birthday party event at CoCo St. Paul I am reflecting back on the last year and thinking about all the great events I’ve attended at each location – from Minnesota Rising and Social Media Breakfast in St. Paul to the launch party and various networking events at the Minneapolis location. This is coming from a non-member, but a personal tie is also that one of my best friends has been working on the launch of his company, Heroic, from the CoCo Minneapolis workspace. If I wasn’t spending all my work time at the U of M I’d be there even more. Of course I love my family even more than CoCo. They are also innovative and inspiring! Taking classes at Carlson at the same time as my 20 year old brother this year has been a fun experience. (It’s the first time we’ve been in the same school together given our age difference).

Vikas Narula:

Love itself! It is the greatest Force in the universe – man’s saving Grace.

Steve Clarke:

I love my wife.  I love people and connecting them with one another. I love music and I love playing the saxophone. There is nothing quite like it, especially in the depth of improvisation.

I love reaching and connecting with an audience. I love teaching, partially because I am taught in return. There is nothing like seeing the light of understanding in the eyes of a student. It is a moment beyond measure.

Angie Andresen:

My answer to your question, who do you love: Fellow Pollenite Randy Larson. Writing this from Anguilla, where we just got engaged two days ago! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your valentines.

Mike Schardin:

I love human creativity! Our only economic asset.


Allina Hospitals and Clinics – Director, Community Engagement, West Metro

American Craft Council – Director of Education

American Public Media/MPR – lots and lots of openings in CA, MN, and NY

College Possible (formerly Admission Possible) – Chief Advancement Officer (via Lars Leafblad and KeyStone Search)

Circus Juventas – nonprofit circus performing arts and youth development organization located in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, is seeking a consultant or firm to develop a long range plan for the future growth of the organization.   The selected service provider will work with Circus Juventas’ founders, board of directors, and other constituents to develop this long range plan. Consultants or firms interested in being considered for this project should submit an initial letter of interest to Circus Juventas by February 28, 2012.   The complete request for proposal is available online.  Contact information regarding questions is contained in the RFP.  Please feel free to forward or share this announcement with others who may be interested or qualified in this area.

Citizens League – Seeks volunteers for 60th Anniversary Events

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of MN – numerous marketing and communication roles (via Brian Lucas)

Degree of Honor – IT/Administrative Analyst (via Brad Von Bank)

GovDelivery – several jobs open in Client Care, IT, and Marketing

Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation – Executive Director

Greater Twin Cities United Way – Communications Coordinator (via Julie Hessler)

Hazelden Foundation – Individual Giving Officer (via Libby Nickel)

Industrial Fabrics Association International – President and CEO (via Kent Eklund)

Innovators International – VP, Member Services (via Aaron Street and Uri Neren)

Jeremiah Program – Development Director

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies – Administrative Assistant

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies – Head of Evaluation (via Lars Leafblad and KeyStone Search)

Milkweed Editions – Publicist

Minnesota Hospital Association – Communications Specialist/Writer

Policy Innovators in Education Network – Sr. Director, Communications

Project for Pride in Living, Inc. – President, Social Enterprise Business Unit

Students Today, Leaders Forever – seeks co-executive director (via Irene Fernando)

Twin Cities Public Television – Education and Engagement Coordinator

The Soap Factory – Haunted Basement Director

World Savvy – Program Director (via Dana Mortenson)

ZogSports – Twin Cities General Manager (via Jeff Nelson)


The Salvation Army – Twin Cities:

Via Pollenite Amanda Brinkman, “If you are interested in helping launch a Young Professionals group to further the mission of the Salvation Army please join us for an initial meeting on February 28th at 4pm at Yum! in Minneapolis (

We’ll share a brief background of the work the Army does, and discuss potential options for the focus of a Young Professionals group. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Amanda Brinkman at


Youthprise seeks interested board members (via Lars Leafblad and KeyStone Search)

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


Yosemite Timelapse video

The Graffiti Artist who stands to make $200M from Facebook IPO

Learn about the contestant who set the single episode record for most $ won on Jeopardy!

More incredible breakdancing from Marquese Scott aka Nonstop

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

Facebook: Join 1,350 + fellow Pollenites who are engaging with one another on Facebook.

LinkedIn: Connect with 3,800+ Pollen members and have access to sharing jobs, events, and articles directly with fellow members:

Twitter: Follow Pollen on Twitter by using the hashtag #BePollen

Thanks for growing and spreading Pollen together!


Lars Leafblad
Curator, Pollen | Principal, KeyStone Search