Notable BIPOC Executives 2021

At a time when conversations about racial diversity and inclusion have finally been pushed to the forefront, it’s important to recognize the depth of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) leadership in Minnesota. Twin Cities Business received an overwhelming number of nominations for this category, a testament to the talent and dedication of BIPOC professionals around the state. The 32 Notable BIPOC Executives featured here aren’t just leaders in the workplace either: they’re also front-runners in their communities and beyond.

Methodology: The individuals featured did not pay to be included. Their profiles were drawn from nomination materials. This list is not comprehensive. It includes only people who were nominated and accepted after editorial review. To qualify for this list, individuals must self-identify as BIPOC, be serving in a C-suite or senior-level role in Minnesota, have at least five years of experience in their current industry, and have shown the ability to create significant, positive, and measurable results in their field.

To nominate other best-in-class executives in there fields, click here.

Aimee Norasingh

Aimee Norasingh

Senior relationship manager, Optum Financial
In her role at Optum Financial, a business unit of Minnetonka-based Optum, Aimee Norasingh provides ongoing strategy and support for clients that offer her company’s financial services products to their
Deepti Pandita

Deepti Pandita

Chief health information officer, Hennepin Healthcare
At Minneapolis-based Hennepin Healthcare, the care system that includes Hennepin County Medical Center, Dr. Deepti Pandita has developed programs that use technology to improve care delivery for underserved and marginalized
Priti Patel

Priti Patel

Vice president and chief transmission officer, Great River Energy
In 2017, Priti Patel joined Great River Energy, where she oversees the Maple Grove-based utility’s electricity transmission business. She is also an executive sponsor of Great River Energy’s BIPOC+A employee
Maria Raines

Maria Raines

Vice president and chief nursing officer, M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center and Masonic Children’s Hospital
In 2020, Maria Raines helped lead the transition of Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul from a long-term acute care facility to one of the nation’s first hospitals dedicated entirely to
Rudy Rodriguez

Rudy Rodriguez

Vice president of diversity and inclusion, Ameriprise Financial
Rudy Rodriguez leads Minneapolis-based Ameriprise’s diversity and inclusion strategy, which focuses on recruiting diverse candidates and developing the next generation of leaders. Under his leadership, the company has increased recruiting
Don Samuels

Don Samuels

CEO, MicroGrants
Longtime community leader and former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels now leads MicroGrants, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that boosts economic self-sufficiency for low-income individuals by providing grants to start a
Alan Seiffert

Alan Seiffert

Former executive director, Paisley Park
Before joining Chanhassen-based Paisley Park in October 2019, Alan Seiffert was president of live-entertainment company Midnight Blue Management; previously, he held senior positions at Viacom, NBC Universal, and Fox Television.
Damon Shoholm

Damon Shoholm

Partner, Ballinger Leafblad
Damon Shoholm has been a leader in the Twin Cities nonprofit sector for over a decade, working in leadership development, civic engagement, and facilitation training programs and services. From 2014
Vinny Silva

Vinny Silva

Managing director, Accenture
As managing director at the Accenture offices in Minneapolis, Vinny Silva works at the intersection of business and technology to deliver client results. When the pandemic hit, he worked with
Sharon Smith-Akinsanya

Sharon Smith-Akinsanya

CEO, Rae Mackenzie Group
Sharon Smith-Akinsanya leads Rae Mackenzie Group, a Minneapolis-based diversity, equity, and inclusion marketing firm that works with companies and nonprofits on strategies to attract, recruit, and retain BIPOC talent. She
Keiko Sugisaka

Keiko Sugisaka

Partner, Maslon LLP
Keiko Sugisaka leads Minneapolis-based law firm Maslon’s governance committee and co-chairs its tort and product liability group. She is also dedicated to advancing equality, protecting civil rights, and ensuring social
Tony Tolliver

Tony Tolliver

Senior director of partnership and impact, Center for Economic Inclusion
Tony Tolliver has been with the St. Paul-based Center for Economic Inclusion since its founding in 2017. He is responsible for developing workforce programming and public engagement strategies. His work
Anne Sempowski Ward

Anne Sempowski Ward

CEO, CURiO Brands
During her eight years as CEO of Minneapolis-based CURiO Brands, which manages several lines of beauty, wellness, and home-fragrance products, Anne Sempowski Ward has led a successful founder exit and
Teto Wilson

Teto Wilson

Founder and owner, Wilson’s Image Barbers & Stylists, Image Renewal Organics, and Image 73 Apparel
Serial entrepreneur Teto Wilson’s North Minneapolis-based businesses comprise Wilson’s Image Barbers and Stylists, a barber shop and retail store; Image Renewal Organics, an all-natural skin and hair care line; and