YPN5Q is a weekly Q&A series spotlighting the state’s top young business and civic leaders and creative minds — professionals propelling change through entrepreneurship, the arts, public service, social media, and community involvement.
This week, we hear from Diane Tran, a project manager at Grassroots Solutions, a national consulting firm specializing in grassroots advocacy, organizing, strategy, targeting, and political field consulting.
Tran was named one of Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans in 2008 by the Minnesota Jaycees, served as a 2006-2007 Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow and was awarded a 2004 Institute for International Public Policy Fellowship. Tran blogs about active citizenship, emerging leadership and the Millennial generation at Minnesota Rising.
Name: Diane Tran
Residence: South Metro
Current Job Title: Project Manager
Current Employer: Grassroots Solutions
1. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career so far?
Throughout my high school years, I was an active leader with Target Market, Minnesota’s grassroots anti-corporate tobacco industry youth movement. I was honored to receive the 2002 Dakota County Youth Public Health Achievement Award and be recognized that same year by then-Minnesota State Health Commissioner, Jan Malcolm, for my youth tobacco prevention efforts.
I continued to educate and organize around public health issues during my college years and upon graduating, managed a local grassroots education and advocacy campaign to advance the Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007, a statewide smoke-free workplace policy protecting Minnesota workers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.
It was especially moving to be part of an effort over thirty years in the making, the success of which came as a result of the collaborative work of thousands of passionate and dedicated Minnesotans.
2. What is Minnesota Rising and what’s next for it?
Minnesota Rising is the network of emerging leaders and young professionals groups that works to build relationships, trust and a shared vision for Minnesota.
The Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: “Building a Network for What’s Next” is slated for Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at CoCo St. Paul, and will be an daylong event of skill-building, network-building and leadership development hosted by and for emerging leaders. We’ll also be kicking off a two-year tour of cascading conversations, partially designed at the Un/Conference, that will help to build collective consensus and capacity for impacting Minnesota’s future.
3. What do you do for fun?
I was given the social title of “The Adventurer” at work. I love exploring and am ever challenging myself to expand my comfort zone.
I bungee-jumped off the bridge that separates Zimbabwe and Zambia over Victoria Falls on its 100-year anniversary, drove stick-shift on the left side of the road through Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa, whilst in-country for the 2010 World Cup, and took in majestic views of an organic coffee plantation on the Mombacho Volcano Canopy Tour in Nicaragua last year.
Locally, I’m a fan of skydiving, go-kart racing and flying airplanes. I recently became engaged to the most incredible person I have ever known, who is the best adventure buddy, and so I’m now embarking on a whole different kind of journey!
4. What is your favorite book, and why?
I adore “Candide, ou l’Optimisme” by Voltaire. Mostly because it pokes fun at me and my sensibilities. A pragmatic optimist, I think we make meaning of our lives. More to the point, I think humility is critical and I appreciate how Voltaire’s satire gives the Candide in me a run for my money.
5. What is your Myers-Briggs personality type and do you agree?
I first took an official Myers-Briggs survey in high school and still hold to that initial analysis that I’m an ENFJ. This description I came across seems to say it all; I identify especially with the last part:
“ENFJs are motivated by external human situations, primarily by other people; their talents, their needs, their aspirations and their cares forming the world in which an ENFJ lives. They thrive when able to ‘make things right’ for others, to enable and empower their co-workers, friends and family through valuing their human strengths and abilities. When gifted with the added ENFJ ability to intuitively adapt their feelings to the way they are affected by others, the ENFJ has a positive drive to find cooperative pathways leading to the best possible outcome for all, including themselves.”
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