Boreas Leadership Program participants got a visit from a former 4-H state president, dairy princess, Minnesota House speaker and current technology leader recently when Margaret Anderson Kelliher, president and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association, visited the monthly Boreas Insight and Inspiration networking event.
Margaret started her comments by noting how at home she feels on the University's St. Paul campus. She visited often as part of her 4-H experience and had her first job on campus at Coffey Hall. Her experience doing 4-H food demonstrations (before Rachel Ray made them popular) honed public speaking skills she later used on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives and in a run for governor.
In her first terms in the House, Margaret served on the environment finance committee with Chairman Willard Munger, a Duluth hotel operator who became known as Minnesota's "Mr. Environment." Margaret noted how Rep. Munger taught her a key lesson in legislating: Policy and money need to go together for anything to really happen.
Margaret particularly connected to the systems thinking and tools component of the Boreas program. She revealed that she is a "secret geek" who studied systems dynamics at MIT and Harvard, contributing to a model predicting the widespread adoption of Skype. She noted these same systems thinking tools came in handy in managing her responsibilities as speaker.
In a follow-up email after the event, first-year law student Elizabeth Henley wrote that the event "truly changed some of my thinking in a positive and broadening way about who is involved in government and policy. I look forward to attending more events and to increasingly making Boreas a part of my UMN community involvement."
The next Boreas networking event for graduate and professional students and postdocs will feature Danny Schwartzman, founder of Common Roots Café. The event is November 15, 4:30 - 6 p.m. in Learning and Environmental Sciences Room R350.
Photo of Boreas participants courtesy of Kate Knuth