Catalytic Leader (emerging leader award)
Kiley Benson, Director of Operations, Loaves and Fishes, Minneapolis. Kiley cultivates relationships and creates unique partnerships for the benefit of Loaves and Fishes. Through his connections, Loaves and Fishes serves meals to people in programs for addiction recovery, trauma counseling, safe shelter, domestic violence prevention, and homelessness. Kiley’s vision for feeding people began while working at a quick-serve restaurant where he saw bread going to waste every day. By connecting the dots, resources, and passionate people, he was able to re-purpose the bread to feed those in need. Kiley believes in the dignity of every person and sees beyond their circumstances, allowing care and compassion to take the lead.
Visionary Leader (mid-career leader award)
Chris Fastner, Senior Program Manager, Initiative Foundation, Little Falls. Smart, compassionate leadership is Chris' forte. One of his greatest strengths is his depth of knowledge of the issues facing rural nonprofits and his confidence in their ability to thrive. Over the past five years, Chris and the Initiative Foundation collaborated with Propel Nonprofits to develop and provide nearly 50 nonprofit organizations a yearlong Financial Resiliency Program to identify entrepreneurial projects, share successes and failures, and learn with each other. He leads with an ecosystem-perspective that brings together nonprofits, government bodies, elected officials, business leaders, and educators so that the residents of central Minnesota are better served.
Transformational Leader (experienced leader award)
Kate Bottiger, Executive Director, Reach for Resources, Minnetonka. Kate is an empathetic and compassionate leader. Locally, Kate is committed to developing a vibrant mission-focused organization through innovation, risk-taking, and the cultivation of a healthy group culture. Nationally, Kate is a recognized champion, speaker, educator, and policy leader for disability rights and other issues. Along with her role at Reach for Resources, she also serves as executive director for the National Neutropenia Network where she coordinates national efforts to promote awareness and education of neutropenia, a rare blood condition. Kate dedicates significant energy to helping those in need by tackling tough issues at the local, state, and national levels.