AchieveMpls is proud to announce that Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy Chairman, President and CEO, has been chosen to receive the 2019 AchieveMpls Leadership Award. This annual award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership and commitment to the work and mission of AchieveMpls. Ben will be honored at the October 10 Evening of Excellence dinner, which will be held at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center from 5-8:30 p.m.
“We are honored to celebrate Ben's stellar leadership on behalf of our community’s young people, as well as his advocacy for AchieveMpls career and college readiness programs,” says AchieveMpls CEO Danielle Grant. “As this year’s Leadership Award recipient, he has gone above and beyond to further our mission of rallying community support to inspire and equip all of our students for careers, college and life.”
Ben was chosen for this year’s award because of his strong support of the Step Up Youth Employment Program; his leadership of the Itasca Project Career and College Readiness Task Force; his advocacy for the ConnextMSP talent network, an online platform that links Step Up and other college and career readiness alumni with professional employers; and his support of other key initiatives that empower young people to access the education, skills training and on-the-job opportunities they need for rewarding careers.
Ben is passionate about workforce development, and in addition to his involvement with the programs and initiatives mentioned above he is active on several industry and community boards, including the Minnesota Business Partnership, which he chairs. He also served as co-chair of the 2017 Greater Twin Cities United Way campaign with his wife, Kathleen Fowke. He was named 2018 Executive of the Year by Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and received the 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award from the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
“Xcel Energy is proud to support AchieveMpls in offering pathways to success for all students, while building a diverse and dynamic workforce for the future,” says Ben. “By providing our youth with access to education, skills training and job opportunities, this program ensures a brighter future for us all.”
The annual Evening of Excellence dinner gathers over 350 business, education and civic leaders to celebrate Twin Cities young people and support AchieveMpls career and college readiness programs, including 15 Career & College Centers and the Step Up Youth Employment Program.