Congratulations to Community Impact Finalists

High volume of nominations required astute judges

By Steve LeBeau
Thursday, December 10, 2015

Last night I had dinner with one of the judges of the 2016 Community Impact Awards, Tom Hayes, of Riley Hayes Advertising. The nature of the dinner convinced me that the finalists were well-chosen, for Tom has high standards when it comes to doing good for the community. He is the author of Relevance: Matter More – along with co-writers Marian Deegan and Phil Styrlund. The book is about the importance of living a meaningful life, one that find relevance through a combination of authenticity, mastery, empathy and action. That was the topic of our dinner last night, a unifying theme among a group of people from different walks of life – everything from a banker and the head of a tech startup, to the PR person at a major arts institution and a legal consultant that serves on his city council and sits on the board of a nonprofit that does work in Tanzania.

On a side note, Tom commented to me how difficult it was to pick the winners of the Community Impact Awards because there were so many candidates. More than half did not make the cut to become finalists. It may have been a lot of work for Tom – and we appreciate it – but it is a good problem for the community. That means a lot of people at a lot of companies are not simply chasing profits and looking for short-term gain. Thankfully, Minnesota has a strong legacy of corporate responsibility, the feeling that one owes it to the community to give back. The spirit of the Daytons, Pillsburys and Walkers pervades all the industries in the business sector. The Boomers and the millennials are united in their concern for the public good. Many young entrepreneurs are building a sense of purpose into their business plan.

Perhaps the next time I have dinner with Tom will be when we celebrate the cream of Minnesota’s bounteous crop of social enterprise leaders at the Community Impact Awards on February 25 at Aria. (See the finalists here.)

I look forward to seeing you there!

Steve LeBeau

Editor in Chief, Minnesota Business Magazine