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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

Foundation Announces 2013 Awards

September 9, 2013

Foundation Announces 2013 Awards

The Initiative Foundation honored an outstanding business, nonprofit organization, community and philanthropist at its regional Initiative Awards on Oct. 11 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. The event recognizes outstanding leadership, innovation and community impact in Central Minnesota.

Outstanding Community — Braham

The foundation selected Braham to receive its Outstanding Community Award, sponsored by East Central Energy. The rural city of 1,800, better known as “The Homemade Pie Capital of Minnesota,” engaged citizen volunteers to lead community improvement and rebranding efforts with assistance from the Initiative Foundation. Braham’s accomplishments include the recent construction of a new community center, funded almost entirely by profits from a local thrift store. 

Outstanding Enterprise — Microbiologics, St. Cloud

St. Cloud-based Microbiologics received the foundation’s Outstanding Enterprise Award, sponsored by Schlenner Wenner & Co. Locally owned and founded in 1971, the company manufactures quality-control microorganisms to prevent contamination of food, water and the environment around the globe. Recognizing its mission to ensure “a safer, healthier world,” the award will highlight the company’s economic impact, public-private partnerships and culture of innovation. The Initiative Foundation has invested in the growth of Microbiologics through its business financing program.

Outstanding Generosity — Jim & Linnea Anderson, Brainerd

Jim and Linnea Anderson received the Foundation’s Outstanding Generosity Award, sponsored by Bremer Bank. Owners of Anderson Brothers Construction, the couple has anonymously supported a number of charitable organizations, with a special focus on children and families, economic development and environmental preservation. The Andersons have also partnered with the Initiative Foundation to establish a charitable fund to leave a legacy in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

Outstanding Nonprofit — Bridges Workplace Connection

The foundation selected Bridges Workplace Connection for its Outstanding Nonprofit Award, sponsored by Clow Stamping. The organization creates a link between schools and businesses to expose students to local career opportunities, pathways and skills for high-wage, high-demand jobs. Developed in partnership with business leaders and the Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, programs are currently offered in 23 school districts across Central Minnesota. Bridges Workplace Connection has earned several grants from the Initiative Foundation.

“Our award winners represent what is possible to achieve with ingenuity and inspiration,” said Kathy Gaalswyk, Initiative Foundation president. “We’re proud to bring their accomplishments to light.”

Each award recipient will receive an original glass sculpture by artist Michael Tonder, and $1,000 for the charity of their choice.

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