October 26 2018

Best Buy, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo named 2018 AchieveMpls Champions

These companies join 41 other local businesses and organizations as our 2018 Community Partners

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We're proud to introduce our 2018 Community Partners, 44 Twin Cities businesses, public agencies, nonprofits and foundations that have provided outstanding support to Minneapolis students through AchieveMpls programs during the 2017-18 fiscal year. Our three Champions – Best Buy, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo – eight Advocates and 33 Allies have made generous financial gifts or been significantly engaged in our work as Step Up employers, volunteers for our Graduation Coaches, career exploration events or Step Up mock interviews, members of our board of directors or major project partners.

“Thanks to our generous Community Partners, AchieveMpls connects more young people to career and college resources than any other organization in the Twin Cities,” says Danielle Grant, President and CEO. “These partners understand that their success and the success of our young people go hand in hand. Together we are saying ‘yes’ to Minneapolis youth and ensuring that they have the support, tools and connections they need to imagine and achieve their career and college dreams and become our city’s next generation of skilled, dynamic leaders.”    

AchieveMpls Champions

Our three 2018 Champions have exhibited extraordinary commitment through financial contributions of $50,000 or more, as well as programmatic engagement at the very highest levels.

  • Best Buy: Now in its second year as an AchieveMpls Champion, Best Buy has been the Presenting Sponsor for our annual fundraising event for over a decade, and offers additional financial support for our career and college readiness programs. Best Buy is also a dedicated Step Up employer, providing challenging internships and professional mentoring for students at its corporate headquarters. Mat Watson, Best Buy’s Senior Vice President for Finance and Chief Accounting Officer, serves on the AchieveMpls board of directors, and is one of the dozens of Best Buy team members who have mentored Minneapolis students as AchieveMpls Graduation Coaches, career exploration volunteers or mock interviewers.  
  • U.S. Bank: U.S. Bank has been an AchieveMpls Champion for four years, providing extraordinary program and financial support. U.S. Bank was one of the first employers to join the Step Up program when it was launched in 2003, and since then has hired and mentored 438 interns, more than any other private sector employer. The bank was recognized as a Step Up Employer of the Year in 2016. U.S. Bank Executive Chairman Richard Davis served as Step Up co-chair for 14 years, passing on this role in 2018 to Jennie Carlson, recently retired U.S. Bank Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Kristina Carlson, U.S. Bank Senior Vice President and Chief Litigation Counsel, also provides her expertise on the AchieveMpls board.
  • Wells Fargo: This new Champion has been one of our strongest supporters since our founding in 2002, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars in general operating grants, and hiring over 170 Step Up interns. The bank was named a Step Up Employer of the Year in 2012, and each year ends its summer internships by hiring a handful of interns as permanent team members, thereby creating a pipeline for a new generation of financial services professionals. Dozens of Wells Fargo employees have volunteered as Graduation Coaches, career exploration volunteers and mock interviewers, and the bank’s Senior Vice President and Senior Sales Director, Richard Renikoff, serves on the AchieveMpls board.   

AchieveMpls Advocates

Our eight Advocates made substantial gifts of $25,000-$49,999 during the past fiscal year or were highly engaged in multiple AchieveMpls programs, including Step Up, Graduation Coaches, Step Up mock interviews and career exploration events. These Advocates include:

  • Otto Bremer Trust 
  • Cargill
  • General Mills
  • State of Minnesota (10 state departments)  
  • Target
  • UCare
  • University of Minnesota
  • Xcel Energy

AchieveMpls Allies

These 33 organizations made financial gifts of $10,000-$24,999 or devoted significant time and expertise for our programs with Minneapolis students. See our full list of Allies.

To learn how you can become an AchieveMpls Community Partner, contact Jeremiah Brown at 612-455-1562.