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Pages tagged "Chris Oien"


Thank you, outgoing board members!

main.jpgFive amazing YNPN-TC Board Members are finishing up their terms at the end of the year: Carl Atiya Swanson, Brandon Boat, Cary Walski, Madeline Graham, and Chris Oien.

How can we say thank you to these individuals who have contributed so much to YNPN-TC?

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Submit your proposal for Five Minutes in Hell!

5 Minutes of HellFive Minutes in Hell is the YNPN-TC program where you, our members, take the stage and wow us with your stories. Through quick, fun, five-minute presentations, you'll sharpen your speaking skills while sharing insights with your fellow YNPNers. 

We're descending deep underground on October 21 to Honey in Minneapolis. This year's theme is Community!

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The Feline Approach: Three Lessons About Life on the Job I Learned From My Cat

Pandora the CatEver since I read Lindsay Bacher’s blog post about what her dog Sam had to teach her about work, I’ve wondered about what lessons there might be for those of us on the other side of the great pet divide, the cat-owners. And I’ll be honest, I can’t claim to have ever learned anything from a cat about empathy or playing nicely with others.

But you know what? I think cats do still have plenty to teach us while they mercilessly bend us to their will. Here are some life lessons I’ve picked up from my cat Pandora, pictured above. (You can also call her Panda for short, for obvious reasons.)

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Lessons Learned From The Lentil Underground

I spent this year’s holiday break doing something a bit unusual—reading a newly-published book about my dad’s life work. Lentil Underground tells the story of farmers in Montana who rejected the industrial, pesticide-heavy trends in agricultural and charted a new, sustainable, organic course (before organic was even a word Montana recognized). My father plays a lead role in this story as a lead recruiter of others to the cause and as CEO of Timeless Seeds, the business enterprise that the movement grew into.

Reading someone else’s chronicle of your dad could be an unusual experience at times: apparently he has the carefree-but-earnest jocularity of a fifties sitcom?!? But it did get me thinking: how much of my life can I see in my dad’s experiences? Does the Minnesota nonprofit world have much in common with some organic farmers in Montana? After a little reflection, I think it does! 

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A Fond Farewell to a Fabulous Four

The end of the year can be a bittersweet time for YNPN Twin Cities. We’ve made a whole bunch of exciting plans that we can’t wait to implement in 2015, but as board terms expire, we know that we’ll be doing so minus a few familiar faces that got us where we are.

This December, we bid adieu to four individuals who’ve been devoting their energy, smarts, and enthusiasm to YNPN for three, four, even five years. Here’s a little about how your experience as member of YNPN-TC is better because of them, and some of their best writing that you can keep learning from even now.

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It's In the Cards: A Gamer’s Guide to Professional Development

Like fellow board member Jamie Millard, I proudly identify as a gamer. But my personal favorites differ a little: instead of getting immersed in a massively multiplayer online game, I’m more likely to crack open a strategy card game like Magic: The Gathering, the premiere and still best example of the genre.

So when I was rereading Jamie’s post on video games for professional development, I was nodding along and pondering the similarities and differences in my experience. Since different games stretch your brain in different ways, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned from years of drawing seven cards and mulling over the proper sequence of plays, and how that can apply to my and your professional life.

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YNPN National Conference Comes to the Twin Cities

Every year, young nonprofit leaders from all around the country gather together for the YNPN National Conference. We head to a different city each time to make new connections, build skills, and get inspired to be stronger leaders in our communities. And we are beyond thrilled to announce that the conference host for 2014 has just been announced as....drum roll please....YNPN Twin Cities!

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Three Ways to Connect Virtually that Won’t Result in a Headdesk

Let’s talk about the one word guaranteed to send shudders down the spine of many a nonprofit professional: meetings. You’re going to have a lot of them, and after you take that important step of joining a board of directors, you’re going to have more meetings that don’t involve a bunch of people who are coming to the same building for work every day.

Once you start trying to get work done with people across varying schedules and locations, travel time to those meetings starts to add up, and before long, you might find yourself sacrificing productivity through all the driving (or biking!) back and forth. Mitigating this issue is something we are working on internally at YNPN Twin Cities, which is one reason I was glad to see our April Emerging Leaders Network lunch with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits focused on connecting virtually. Brendon Liner of Nology led this part of the conversation, where I learned about some tools I’m itching to try out some time. 

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Drawing Up Big Plans

Each year brings a fresh slate of officers to the YNPN Twin Cities board of directors. This is the group elected to keep an eye on the big picture and help the whole board stay in alignment as we work toward meeting our mission and vision and giving you, our members, the best possible experience.

But did you know? This group has quite the artistic streak too! To prove it, we asked the four of them to open up Paint on their computers and draw us a picture to represent what they'd like to see happen during their term. Read on for their artistic inspiration!

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Five Lessons From Five Minutes in Hell

I hope you were able to join us October 29 for Five Minutes in Hell, YNPN-TC’s very first member-driven event. It encapsulated the best of what this network has to offer: the ability to share our many varying interests and ideas with each other, and that we can have a damn good time while we do it. Even from my vantage point of making sure the slides ran smoothly, I was learning a lot at every turn. 

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