Being the 2013 Minnesota Nonprofit Catalytic Leader of the Year

It was late spring and I was taking a day off to recharge after a long legislative session. The weather was perfect. I was walking, more like ambling, toward one of the Minneapolis lakes to sit in the sun. My phone rang. The caller wanted to break the news that the MCN Leadership Award selection committee had just finished and they had selected me to be the 2013 Minnesota Nonprofit Catalytic leader of the year.

I stopped in my tracks on the sidewalk and, to be honest, my actual words were not appropriate for a blog that strives to be professional and SFW. My shock was not because I don’t take pride in my work, but because there is so much talent, ingenuity, passion and dedication in our nonprofit community. For my work to be recognized was, and continues to be, deeply humbling.

The thing about this award that really makes it so special to me is that I was nominated by a group of fellow young nonprofit leaders. It is one thing to have a boss or board member offer a nomination, but knowing that my own YNP community came together, paused from each of their own busy careers and lives and put the spotlight on the work I do is the biggest honor.

It started several weeks before that springtime walk at brunch with some fellow leaders whom I deeply admire. You can read a bit about that brunch in this past post by Kelly Rowan. I really believe it is a sign of how healthy and vibrant our sector is to have leaders within our own community championing one among us. And, it should be noted, I know all these amazing women as part of YNPN­TC.

It is time to revisit and again reflect on how we can continue to lift up and support our peers around us. The nominations for this year's Nonprofit Leadership Awards are open from now through May 2nd. Who can you nominate? Are there others you can ask to join you in your nomination?

But recognizing the work of our friends and colleagues doesn’t have to be a once a year event. We can regularly take time to lift up the amazing work going on around us each an every day. Highlight it on social media, tell someone else about what you’ve witnessed, spread the word.

Our community is strong and will only be stronger when we support one another. What can you do to help strengthen our community?

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