Speaker Date Topic
Kelly Matter Feb 01, 2023
Avivo Village Initiative
Avivo Village Initiative

A champion for economic stability and advancement for all Minnesotans, Kelly Matter has dedicated her entire career of 30-plus years to ensuring that Minnesota’s most disparate community members have opportunities for personal, social and economic success. She is an innovative leader in workforce development and social services, committed to creating pathways for housing, recovery, and careers for ALL individuals.


Since November of 2012, Matter has been President and CEO of Avivo, one of the largest workforce development, housing services, and behavioral health, nonprofit organizations in Minnesota serving approximately 15,000 individuals and their families each year. Avivo's mission is to increase well-being through recovery and career advancement while working to end homelessness. Her accomplishments are in creating systems that impel innovation and integration. Most recently, she has led Avivo in expanding its work of ending homelessness -- specifically with the implementation of the first-in-the-nation, indoor nontraditional shelter of 100 tiny homes. Avivo is also the largest provider of family and employment services for families working hard to move off public assistance and into work. Avivo specializes in and radically welcomes members of our communities who face the greatest challenges to health, and social and economic wellness. Her career is punctuated by strong community outcomes, as the chief executive of Avivo and former executive leader of CommonBond Communities and Goodwill-Easter Seals of Minnesota.

Patti Anderson Feb 08, 2023
North Star Therapy Animals: Love Comes in All Sizes
North Star Therapy Animals: Love Comes in All Sizes

What exactly are therapy animals? And what do they do? Come hear from two local experts (and their furry friends!) who are trained to provide comfort and affection to people needing love, affection and comfort  in a variety of locations from schools to hospitals. Plan to learn, be impressed and have a great story to share with others.

One of the founding members of North Star Therapy Animals and currently on staff at Agile Canines in St. Louis Park, Patti Anderson is a retired school counselor, taught Animal Assisted therapy at St. Mary’s University, and is a C.P.D.T. & Pet Partners Evaluator. As a Therapy Animal Educator, she has been doing therapy work and teaching classes for the past 20 years with seven different registered therapy dogs, two rabbits and 14 guinea pigs. Courtney Cushing Kiernat, a Therapy Animal Volunteer, has partnered with three of her four dogs (Zelda, Ozzy, Ruby) as a registered therapy animal team since 2019. 

Sharon Bloodworth Feb 15, 2023
Annual Financial Outlook
Annual Financial Outlook

One of our most popular annual programs is back! Sharon Bloodworth is the CEO of White Oaks Wealth Advisors, one of the largest independent investment advisory firms in Minnesota wholly owned by a woman. Sharon has been widely quoted and frequently speaks at conferences, and to private organizations and CEO roundtables. Born in the UK, Sharon has lived and studied in Africa, Asia and Europe and speaks multiple languages. She was honored as a 2013 “Top Women in Business” and a 2010 “40 under 40” recipient by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. Sharon has been a member of Rotary Club 9 for 19 years and was elected Governor of District 5950 for 2024-2025.

 

Justin Grammens Feb 22, 2023
Applications of Computer Vision and the Future of Work
Applications of Computer Vision and the Future of Work

Using artificial intelligence with computer vision is a new and fun technology that has seen increased growth and advancement in a number of areas in our lives over the recent years. The applications are amazing! From self-driving cars to smart doorbells that let you know when a package has been delivered to a combine harvester that can discard green tomatoes in real time. This talk will discuss applications of computer vision technology and the power these devices have when connected with others over the internet. As these smart products come in all shapes and sizes, they will continue to influence how we live our lives both in our homes and how they will change the future of work.

 

Jeff Olson Mar 08, 2023
Minnesota Hockey Greats. Homegrown Talent in the NHL
Minnesota Hockey Greats. Homegrown Talent in the NHL

Jeff Olson has coached hockey at a number of levels. He’s coached youth hockey pee wee and bantam teams; high school as an assistant coach at West St. Paul Sibley, New Ulm and Litchfield; and at the small college level as an assistant at Hamline University.He also officiated youth and adult hockey and served as an organizer of the Gunderson Lake Conference Hockey Awards Scholarship Golf Classic for a number of years. Jeff grew up in Mendota Heights with legendary hockey figures everywhere. He played high school hockey at Breck School for Dr. Jack Blatherwick. In his youth, Jeff attended Ken Yackel Hockey School with Lou Nanne as a counselor.

Jeff currently serves as an arbitrator. He served as a referee, part time, at Ramsey County Conciliation Court for over ten years and worked as a trial attorney for over thirty-six years. He has served in a number of capacities with a number of Minnesota nonprofits and charities, including: board chair of STEP Academy, a Minnesota charter school; president of Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota; president of Fort Snelling State Park Association; president of Eden Prairie Rotary A.M. Club; commissioner of Three Rivers Park District; and president of All Saints Lutheran Church of Minnetonka. Jeff and his wife, Sue, live in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. They share a passion for reading, great food, theater, music, hiking, biking, golfing, visiting parks and traveling. They plan to visit all the wonderful state parks of Minnesota and every Minnesota hockey arena.