BLN Affiliate of the Month - May 2013
Minnesota Business Leadership Network - (MNBLN)
Highlights of the Minnesota Business Leadership Network -
Year that you were established:
The Minnesota Business Leadership Network came into being in 2000/2001 and
achieved 501(c)(3) status in 2003.
How you are business-led?
3M Company is currently the lead employer for the Minnesota Business Leadership
Network. Jay Carter, Quality Manager for 3M, is the Chair of the Board. 3M
Company has contributed financially, as well as, contributing Jays
time. All of our businesses also take turns hosting our monthly member meetings.
What outstanding services are you offering to employers to engage/serve
The Minnesota Business Leadership Network strives to engage our business
employers and our partners in the following ways. We conduct a member meeting
on a monthly basis where a business and/or a partner provides information
about their organization and has an opportunity to provide answers to questions.
We periodically bring in speakers from different areas and facilitate networking
and strategic thinking, as well as, provide information for our clients.
We also host several events such as; a pre-conference session at the
Multicultural Forum, which is a big event in the Twin Cities with speakers
including Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of
Disability Employment Policy; Katherine McCary, Executive Director of the
DC Metro BLN and Martha Artiles, Managing Partner, C5 Consulting LLC. We
also invited a panel of employers and the Commissioner of the Department
of Employment and Economic Development in Minnesota. The MNBLN website is
an additional source of information for our members.
How are you funded/structured?
The Minnesota Business Leadership Network has been a loose organization over
the years in terms of our membership structure and how we are funded. Over
the past couple of years weve moved to a more specific structure where
we have different membership levels and we charge for membership. Membership
levels are available from $100 for small businesses and nonprofits up to
$10,000 for a Platinum level member. We have a Board of Directors comprised
of five members. We are also in the process of establishing a part-time Executive
Director, which should be in place soon.
How has the USBLN® been of assistance to you as a BLN?
The Minnesota Business Leadership Network is also very interested in the
Disability Supplier Diversity Program®(DSDP). We have two members of
our organization that are certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises
(DOBE®'s). The USBLN® has been valuable and even inspirational to
our organization. Both Jay Carter and Vice-chair, Lisa Stock, attended the
national affiliate meeting in Albuquerque, NM in 2011. We receive a tremendous
amount of information at the annual conferences which should be mandatory
for everybody in the disability employment world. We've also benefitted from
individual help from Lynn Kirkbride, Jill Houghton and members of the
USBLN® team with questions and help in areas where we needed more
information. They also provided assistance with hiring our Executive Director.
We get a lot of help from the USBLN® and we really appreciate it. The
USBLN® has built over the past few years to be truly an organization
that is moving us forward together as Jill likes to say.
To learn more about the MNBLN, visit:
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