28 Years of Leadership

In March 2014, Tom Renier, the founding president of the Northland Foundation, announced his pending retirement. During Tom’s 28 years of visionary leadership, Northland has evolved from a modest grantmaking entity into a uniquely multi-faceted organization recognized for its innovative work on behalf of the region and all of rural Minnesota. The Board of Trustees is implementing a well-designed plan to select a successor by November 2014. Tom will continue to serve the region and state through his engagement on a number of high-impact boards including the Essentia Health East Board of Directors and as Chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.

Highlights of Fiscal Year 2013-2014

Following are some of the shining accomplishments of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. You may also view a Financial Summary of fiscal year activities.

  1. Launched the Rural Aging Initiative, a $2.5 million, multi-pronged effort designed to support older adults in our rural region to age-in-place with independence, dignity, and purpose.
  2. pathwaysEngaged 1,100 high school students in Pathway to Careers, a daylong career and education expo and workshop experience, with support from 43 sponsors and 62 exhibitors.
  3. Awarded $1,346,722 in a total of 194 grants to nonprofit organizations in support of their work serving the communities of northeastern Minnesota.
  4. Began implementing Parent Aware Pathways, a three-year initiative to increase the availability of and access to quality-rated child care in northeastern Minnesota.
  5. north shore manufacturingInvested $3,346,721 through 26 loans to businesses in the region through the Business Finance Program in order to spur job creation and economic vitality.
  6. Welcomed a total of 67 residents cared for by 37 staff members at our Buhl, Hoyt Lakes, and McGregor Northland Village Assisted Living Communities. Northland Assisted Living is a philanthropic program of the Northland Foundation enabling older adults across the economic spectrum to age-in-place in the region’s rural communities.
  7. Renewed our longtime annual partnership with Essentia Health to promote the wellbeing of children, families, and older adults through the Grant Program, KIDS PLUS Program, and Northland Foundation Thrive Initiative support.
  8. Received $475,000 in loan fund capital from the State of Minnesota to support Business Finance Program lending for small and medium-sized businesses in northeastern Minnesota.
  9. kids plusHosted 59 KIDS PLUS Institute and other training opportunities, reaching 3,088 individuals with valuable information shared by respected experts in their fields.
  10. Worked with 45 talented ninth grade students and 10 volunteer adult mentors in the 2013-2014 Twin Ports Youth Leadership Academy, made possible by the sponsorship support of 16 organizations, 12 individuals/families, and more than 30 service project donors.
  11. YIPDelivered the Minnesota Power Foundation Youth In Philanthropy Program for the 13th year, during which a grantmaking board made up of high school students awarded a record $31,844 supporting 37 youth-led school and community projects.
  12. Distributed 456 gallons of paint products to 9 nonprofit and community groups for improvement projects in the region thanks through a fruitful 17-year partnership with the Valspar Foundation.