A Letter from Minnestar Executive Director Maria PloesslMinnestar
Dear Minnestar community,
I’m writing to share with you something that I’ve been working on behind the scenes with the board for the past few months. TLDR (*too long, didn’t read!): 2023 will be a year of leadership transition, and the next few months will be my last serving as the executive director of Minnestar.
As you may know, since its founding in 2006, Minnestar has always been about community—a casual, welcoming and FUN place for anyone interested in tech or entrepreneurship to find their people. We were volunteer-run for over 10 years, so naturally when Minnestar hired our first executive director (me!) in 2017, there was a fear: would this change our unique focus on community?
Thankfully, this was never the case. People remain the center of what we do—each year bringing together thousands of people and showcasing hundreds of examples of local innovation. In the past five years, we’ve grown and evolved, expanding our impact from two beloved cornerstone events (Minnebar & Minnedemo) to a vibrant community with 20+ events and digital resources for year-round regional connectivity. We’ve built strong relationships, and collaborated on a wide range of statewide strategic initiatives to grow and improve Minnesota’s tech & entrepreneurial ecosystem. And in that spirit, it’s important to me and to the board that we are as transparent as possible about this transition and what it means for our organization and the community we’ve built together.
Over the course of the next several months, I will be transitioning and leaving the best job I’ve ever had. As we look to the future, I decided that the time is right for me to make space for new leadership at Minnestar. Thanks to this incredible community, we have a rock solid foundation and I personally can’t wait to see where the organization can go under new leadership.
If you love community building, capacity building, and inclusive events, I encourage you to check out our job posting and apply.
As for me? I’ll be taking a little time to decide on my next role, but my current focus is on supporting an intentional and thoughtful transition for our next ED. I will forever remain a champion, supporter, and superfan of this incredible organization and community. It has been an honor and privilege to serve Minnestar, and by extension the Minnesota tech ecosystem, in this capacity. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together, and can’t wait to see what is to come.
But – for now, back to work! 🙂