Sona Mehring Joins minne✱ Board

I’m very excited to announce that Sona Mehring has joined the minne✱ board. I have had the honor to serve as a board member at Sona’s organization, CaringBridge, for the last four years. In the August 10, 2012 meeting Sona officially joined the board.

CaringBridge is an amazing Minnesota-based non-profit that Sona started in 1997. From those scrappy beginnings Sona has now built a thriving organization that helps millions of people connect with loved ones, friends and family during health journeys. If you have had the opportunity to have a “CaringBridge moment” when you connect with someone you care about as they go through a health struggle you know that the site provides a vital bond. It is a free service supported almost entirely by individual donations.

As we looked to expand the minne✱ board it was clear that we had a very big gap in non-profit experience. I knew right away that Sona would be the ideal person to join the board given her non-profit background combined with her technical background. Sona spent many years as a software engineer as well as CTO for a startup before she started CaringBridge. She was excited about the opportunity to join:

A strong technology community is and needs to continue to be at the heart of a strong Minnesota workforce. minne✱ helps cultivate that community and make it stronger. Having my entire career within technology, I’m very passionate about helping minne✱ continue to have a great impact.  Its an honor to serve on the minne✱ board.

Sona’s tech and non-profit background is unique and I’m so thankful that she has joined the minne✱ board. You can find her on Twitter at @gogosona.

Jim Bernard Joins minne✱ Board

I’m very excited to announce that Jim Bernard has joined the minne✱ board. Jim and I have known each other for years while we worked at BigCharts and MarketWatch. As a result, Jim has heard and been part of minne✱ events from the very beginning when we did a session at minnebar 1! Growing and expanding the minne✱ board has been one my objectives for this year and in the August 10, 2012 meeting Jim officially joined the board.

Jim Bernard is the Sr. Vice President of Digital for the Star Tribune. He sees minne✱ as a key part of the Minnesota technology community:

I’ve been a long-time backer of minne✱ because of what it offers our creative technology community. At every gathering there is a collection of interesting, smart and engaged people who are making things happen. It is the very backbone of what makes Minnesota a unique and valuable place for start-ups and companies who rely on the forward march of technology. I’m delighted to join the board as minne✱ extends and grows this foundation.

On a lighter note Jim is an active blogger. He gave a great talk at Ignite Minneapolis on How to Manage A Softball Team to a Perfect Record. You can find him on Twitter at @bernardjim.

Jim brings a great executive background to minne✱ with a willingness to role up his sleeves and get things done!

minne✱ Catalysts of the Year

As minnebar, minnedemo and minnebbq have continued to grow and become more complex events it takes a larger and larger group of people to make the events happen. minne✱ is a scrappy non-profit and has no paid staff members. We simply could not make our events happen at the scale and frequency that they happen now without a wonderful, awesome, amazing community of volunteers. Every event in 2012 was supported by an army of volunteers making sure that everything went smoothly. We all see their contributions, and we want to recognize our volunteers as well.

Starting in 2012 we are creating a Catalysts of the Year award. minne✱ founders have long referred to themselves as Community Catalysts. The mission of our organization is to help catalyze the tech community in Minnesota. The volunteers are a huge catalysts themselves! We have created the Catalyst of the Year designation to recognize volunteers that have helped make every event for a year happen. 2012 is the first year we are doing this, and we will continue to do it going forward.

Stay tuned to find out who will be listed as a Catalyst of the Year for 2012!