February 28, 2017
Paragon of Leadership Award
Paragon of Leadership Award recognizes a Minnesota for-profit business leader for making a positive impact through service, character and leadership by fostering an environment of corporate giving of money, time through board service or other volunteer activity and/or providing pro bono professional services.
What is your motivation? My mother always said, “I don’t care what you choose to do with your life, just do it to the best of your ability, leave everything better than you found it, and do your part to make the world a better place.”
For example? We have thrown an annual party that incorporates charitable giving. Once we donated $10 for every person who attended to a charity of their choice. Then we realized the party should not be about us, it should be about giving back. We named it our “Boomerang Party” (what goes around, comes around) and the theme now centers on appreciation and giving back. Last year we drew the names of three attendees and donated $1,000 to their charity of choice.
Your primary partners? My business partner, Mary Kloehn. From the beginning, we have donated 3-5% of annual revenue to charities. Also, my husband, Greg Konat. Greg is a selfless leader who has dedicated his life to the work of bringing community together.
Motto? My mother used to say, “Life is a round table. Whatever you put on it, comes back around.”
Biggest challenge for the future? There’s an ever-increasing need for communities to come together to address social issues. We need to do more than just throw our money at our challenges. We have a tremendous opportunity to engage younger generations in the issues we face. We need to open the channels for them to really engage, participate and lead!