Community groups to attend Carlson Mentoring Fairas part of company's Responsible Business outreach

Minneapolis, MN | October 27, 2009

The gift of time can change the lives of young people and affect the quality of life in communities. Carlson employees, along with two dozen local mentoring organizations, are getting together at Carlson's first mentoring fair on Wednesday, Oct. 28, to discuss how to make those positive changes come about.

"The purpose of this fair is to introduce employees to opportunities to enhance their communities through mentoring, and help participants understand the link between leadership development and mentoring," according to Barbara Carlson Gage, president of the Carlson Family Foundation.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Carlson employees to consider the powerful benefits of mentoring youth, to share their passion, and to demonstrate their leadership for the good of the community," Carlson Gage added.

The foundation supports mentoring through the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota, and several other youth mentoring organizations including, Best Prep, Bolder Options, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities.

"Mentoring is a core element of our Responsible Business strategy, which affects our employees and community stakeholders," said Hubert Joly, Carlson's president and chief executive officer. "I am encouraging Carlson employees to participate in mentoring to help children and teenagers of the Twin Cities pursue the possibilities for greatness in their lives."

Joly also announced that Carlson is starting a mentoring partnership in January 2010 with KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. The program will involve on-campus mentoring at Carlson with students from the new KIPP Stand Academy in Minneapolis. The Carlson Family Foundation was part of a local sponsorship group that encouraged KIPP to become part of the Twin Cities community. KIPP Stand Academy, the first free, open-enrollment public school in the KIPP Minnesota region, opened in 2008.

The fair will be in the rotunda at Carlson's Minnetonka headquarters, and will include presentations from Joellen Gonder-Spacek, executive director of the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota; Gloria Lewis, executive director of Big Brothers/ Big Sisters; and Gary Preston, a volunteer with Kinship of Greater Minnesota. The 24 mentoring organizations will have information booths at the fair, and about 250 employees have signed up to participate.

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