Saint Paul artist Ta-coumba Aiken (center) with Bush staff
Saint Paul artist Ta-coumba Aiken (BF’92) earned a Guinness World Record for building the largest Lite-Brite installation ever with the 12-by-24 foot mural he created for the kick-off of the Forever Saint Paul Challenge. His creation required more than 596,000 Lite Brite pegs, and help from more than 600 volunteers (including some Bush Foundation staff, below).
Mode-sty.com, an online shop for conservative women’s clothing launched by Zahra Aljabri (BF’12), turned heads in 2013 with features on Minnesota Public Radio, the line, TechCrunch, the gloss, FashioNotes and other media outlets.
The National Council on Family Relations elected William D. Allen (BF’95) as its president-elect. Allen is the owner of Healing Bonds, a family therapy practice in Minneapolis.
Lakota artist and art historian Arthur Amiotte (BF’80 & ’02), recipient of the Foundation’s 2012 Enduring Vision Award, worked with the South Dakota State Historical Society in 2013 to gather 31 of his original collages on loan from private collectors and museum collections throughout the United States. The result is Transformation and Continuity in Lakota Culture: The Collages of Arthur Amiotte, an exhibition that opened at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre on April 19.
Twin Cities Business named Margaret Anderson Kelliher (BF’03) one of “100 people to know in Minnesota.” The former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives is now the president and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association.
Terri Barreiro (BF’79) co-wrote Social Entrepreneurship: From Issue to Viable Plan. She is the first director of the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in central Minnesota.
Dan Bergin (BF’01) was nominated for a 2013 regional Emmy Award for Asian Flavors, a documentary he produced about how food connects immigrants with their homeland and culture.
Fast Company magazine talked to Finnegans’ CEO and founder Jacquie Berglund (BF’14) about her efforts to teach other social entrepreneurs how to bring mission-driven businesses to scale. Read the story at bfdn/xJBerg.
Saint Paul Mayor Chris Cole appointed Eyenga Bokamba (BF’06) as the director of Sprockets, a City initiative aimed at creating more learning opportunities for the 80 percent of time youth spend outside of school.
“Everybody is an educator—regardless of status, position, title or bank account. We all have gifts we can offer our youth,” says Mary K. Boyd (BF’86), who created the Every Body’s In coalition, a three-day community-wide conference in October 2013 aimed at connecting the dots between classroom time and community-based education.
Karen Cadigan (BF’02) joined the Bloomington (Minnesota) Public Schools to lead its early childhood development initiative. She was previously the director of the Minnesota Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning.
Ellen Chaffee (BF’77) was appointed to the Des Moines University Board of Trustees in August 2013. She is a senior fellow at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and is the past president of two universities in North Dakota.
The McKnight Foundation honored Sunny Chanthanouvong (BF’12), executive director of the Lao Assistance Center, with the 2013 Virginia McKnight Binger Award in Human Service. Chanthanouvong is only the second Lao Minnesotan to receive the distinction, which recognizes Minnesotans who have demonstrated “an exceptional personal commitment to helping others in their communities but who have received little or no public recognition.”
C. Scott Cooper (BF’07) was named CEO of RE-AMP, a network of nearly 160 nonprofits and foundations across eight Midwestern states working on climate change and energy policy with the goal of reducing global warming pollution economy-wide 80 percent by 2050. He served as the Bush Foundation’s director of communication and engagement from 2009 to 2013.
Gary Cunningham, with Betsy Hodges
Gary Cunningham (BF’91), vice president of programs and chief program officer at the Northwest Area Foundation, stepped into the role of First Man with the November 2013 election of his wife, Betsy Hodges, as mayor of Minneapolis.
Loretta DeLong (BF’90) coordinated the first-ever Weaving Warriors: North Dakota Women in Educational Leadership conference in September 2013. She is an assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of North Dakota.
Bob Derus (BF’88) was named interim city administrator of Dayton, Minnesota, in June 2013. Derus retired as city administrator of Saint Michael, Minnesota, in 2012.
Mark Dienhart (BF’89), recently named president and CEO of the Schulze Family Foundation, spoke with former Bush Foundation Program Officer Sarah Lutman of Twin Cities Business magazine about the future plans of the philanthropy created by Best Buy’s Dick Schulze. Read the story at bfdn.org/xMDien.
President Obama appointed Karen Diver (BF’02) to serve on the Climate Control Task Force. She is the first woman to chair the tribal council for the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis hired Angie Eilers (BF’08) as director, regional outreach and education. She also serves on the board of SciMathMN, a nonprofit, statewide education and business coalition advocating for quality preK-16 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education based on research, national standards and effective practices.
Filmmaker Chris Eyre (BF’07), chairman of The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, spoke with Indian Country Today Media Network about the Robert Redford Milagro Initiative, which is providing scholarships to indigenous filmmakers. “I am really glad that more Native people are working in film and music—the way we are progressing. It takes a whole group of people, with various points of view, to show that there is not just one Native America, but a whole spectrum of places, and people.”
Paul Fate (BF’99) retired from CommonBond, where’s he’s been CEO since 2007. “Paul Fate has been a torch bearer for the affordable housing and community development industry for years,” says Minnesota Housing Commissioner Mary Tingerthal (BF’84). “He has greatly influenced policy and priorities locally and nationally, and because of his leadership, CommonBond has provided the security and dignity of a home to thousands who otherwise would be left behind.” CommonBond is the Midwest’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable housing with services.
Photographer Wing Young Huie (BF’96) chronicled the businesses, residents, street life and cultural diversity of Minneapolis’s Chicago Avenue corridor for his We Are the Other project in 2013, displaying more than 100 photos in store windows between 32nd and 42nd Avenues.
Rebuilder Pamela Johns (Cohort 5) and four Bush Fellows— Tracine Asberry (’07), Tane Danger (’14), Nimo Farah (’14) and Gülgün Kayim (’04)—were named by the Creative Community Leadership Institute as 2014 fellows.
Carol Johnson (BF’92) retired as superintendent of the Boston Public Schools in 2013. A former superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, Johnson serves as visiting professor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College in the Department of Leadership, Policy and Organizations.
Retired Hennepin County District Judge Franklin Knoll (BF’77) was featured in the Star Tribune in February 2013 for the poetry he writes based on the detailed journals he kept during his years on the bench. Read the story at bfdn.org/xFKN.
Rebuilder Jennifer Kolden (Cohort 4) started a new job as director of development at the Native American Community Development Institute in Minneapolis. Her relocation to the Twin Cities will allow her to organize the urban citizens of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, where she is a citizen, around their constitutional revision engagement process.
Media artist Kyja Kristjansson-Nelson (BF’07) collaborated with dancer and choreographer Young Sun Lee and composer Evelyn Ficarra to create soul/soul, an experimental film that debuted at the Ansan Art Center in Seoul, South Korea, in September. Kristjansson-Nelson is chair of Minnesota State University Moorhead’s cinema arts and digital technologies department. Watch soul/soul at bfdn.org/xKyja.
In May 2013, Patrice Kunesh (BF’09) became the deputy undersecretary of rural development at the United States Department of Agriculture. She is of Standing Rock Lakota descent and formerly served as the deputy solicitor for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Former Clinton Administration adviser Paul Legler (BF’90) published his first novel, Song of Destiny, a 1960s-era coming-of-age story set near his family’s Jamestown, North Dakota, farm.
Muralist Jimmy Longoria (BF’10) received the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s 2013 Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award and the Ordway’s Sally Award for commitment to the arts. Longoria is the co-founder of Mentoring Peace Through Art, a teen-driven nonprofit arts group that replaces gang graffiti with vibrant murals.
Marion McClinton (BF’93) directed the Guthrie Theater’s production of Othello in early 2014. Given the chance, here’s the question he’d ask Shakespeare about the play: Why does Othello believe Iago?
Kristine Miller (BF’12) received the 2013 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Award for faculty members who have made significant, demonstrable contributions to the public good through research, teaching and/or public service. Miller heads the landscape architecture department at the University’s College of Design.
The role of Hazelden’s CEO Mark Mishek (BF’85) expanded in 2013 with approved plans to merge with the Betty Ford Center. Mishek will lead the new Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation as president and CEO. Read the interview with Mishek in the Los Angeles Times at bfdn.org/MMis.
Jeff Freeland Nelson (BF’04) invented Yoxo, sustainable creative toys that hit it big over the 2013 holiday season with media coverage from the Pioneer Press to the Today Show. A former technical director at the Minnesota Children’s Museum, Nelson is CEO and founder of Play from Scratch.
Kari Niedfeldt-Thomas (BF ’07), who is the manager of social responsibility at The Mosaic Company, was named to “The (Real) Power 50” in Minnesota Business.
Writer and South Dakota bison rancher Dan O’Brien (BF’01) made the keynote address at the Museum of the American Bison in Rapid City on the first National Bison Day, established in 2013 by a U.S. Senate resolution officially designating the first Thursday of November as a national day of recognition for North America’s iconic herd.
Irish traditional musician Paddy O’Brien (BF’06) published his memoir, The Road from Castelbarnagh: Growing Up in Irish Music.
Gregory A. Plotnikoff (BF’02) co-authored Trust Your Gut for people who suffer from gastrointestinal distress and disease. He is an integrative medicine physician at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing and serves as a senior consultant to the Center for Health Care Innovation.
Frank Pommersheim (BF’83) presented the 2013 Constitution Day lecture at the University of South Dakota. He is a nationally recognized Indian law expert and a professor at the USD Law School.
Sharon Radd (BF’06) accepted a position as assistant professor in organizational leadership at Saint Catherine University.
President Obama appointed Ranee Ramaswamy (BF’96) to the National Council on the Arts. She is the founder and artistic director of Ragamala Dance and will serve a five-year term.
The National Rural Health Association honored Rugby, North Dakota, physician Hubert Seiler (BF’94) with its 2014 Practitioner of the Year Award. “I’ve been a rural health physician for my entire career, over 40 years,” Seiler told The Pierce County Tribune. “I knew that I wanted to be in a place where I could practice all types of family medicine, and rural health allows for that.”
Minneapolis-based photographer Alec Soth (BF’08) captured North Dakota’s oil boom for a New York Times Magazine cover story, “The Luckiest Place on Earth.” Watch a slideshow he narrated about the experience at bfdn.org/xASoth.
Alyce Spotted Bear (BF’88), who led the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations from 1982 to 1987, passed away on August 13, 2013. In 2010, President Obama appointed her to the National Advisory Committee on Indian Education.
Mihailo “Mike” Temali (BF’98) received the 2013 E Pluribus Unum Prize from the Migration Policy Institute. He is founder and CEO of the Neighborhood Development Center in Minneapolis.
Anton Treuer (BF’08), executive director of Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center, won the 2012 Ken Hale Prize for linguistics, in recognition of his academic and community work with the Ojibwe language. His most recent book, The Assassination of Hole in the Day, won the Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History.
Robert Vanasek (BF’85) was recognized by Sokol Minnesota in 2013 for his service since 2008 as honorary consul for the Czech Republic in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. He is former Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives and runs his own consulting business.
Sandra Vargas (BF’95) was named to the board of Independent Sector, a leadership network for nonprofits, foundations and corporations committed to advancing the common good. She is president of the Minneapolis Foundation.
Sean M. Virnig (BF’06) was named a 2013 Rising Alumni by the University of Minnesota for his leadership of the California School for the Deaf, an internationally renowned bilingual school in Danville.