Plugged In-April 2012

Plugged In-April 2012

The best opportunities for networking this month.

{ April 9 }

Minnesota Twins Home Opener 

Watching the Twins play the Angels might not feel like networking, but it will undoubtedly draw a large number of business and civic leaders. “The Twins opener is a good thing to go to, no matter what,” says Archie Givens, president and CEO of Legacy Management & Development Corporation. “You’re going to run into people—there’s no question about it.” Although you’re likely to see people you know while taking your seat or getting a brat at Kramarczuk’s, if you want the high-level VIP experience, spring for the top-tier tickets behind home plate, which come with access to the exclusive Champions Club dining room and lounge. Another good spot to mingle is the Legends Club, open only to Legends Club ticket holders and guests in the stadium’s 54 private suites, most of which are owned by businesses. 3:10 p.m., $20–$88, Target Field, Minneapolis, 800-338-9467,


{ April 20 } 

CommonBond Communities’ GrandeGala 

Collaborative community support for CommonBond—its board includes St. Paul’s chief of police, a pastor, executives from Target and Best Buy, and a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet—has helped make it one of the biggest nonprofit providers of affordable housing in the Upper Midwest. That support is on display at the GrandeGala, which welcomes 900 people ranging from business executives and government officials to philanthropists and young professionals. 6 p.m., $200, Saint Paul RiverCentre, 651-288-8693,


{ April 21 } 

Page Education Foundation Spring Gala 

Pro football player turned state Supreme Court justice Alan Page has a unique network of well-wishers, and his foundation’s gala reflects that mix. Guests represent politics and sports, as well as business and legal spheres. The 1,000 attendees celebrate the foundation’s Page Scholars—promising students of color who receive scholarships to continue their postsecondary studies. 7 p.m., $125, Target Field’s Metropolitan Club, Minneapolis, 612-332-0406,


{ April 24 } 

Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards

The U of M’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs has alumni in all types of public service, and it’s a good network to tap into. One way is through its annual public leadership awards, which attract a diverse cross-section of the school’s extended family, from prominent legislators and judges to CEOs and students. “[It draws] top policymakers, a variety of shakers and movers,” says Peg Birk, president and CEO of Interim Solutions. For optimum mingling, get there early for social hour, which is followed by dinner and the awards program. A feel-good bonus: The awards raise money for the school’s scholarship program, thereby empowering the state’s future leaders. 5:30 p.m., $150, McNamara Alumni Center, Minneapolis, 612-626-8571,


{ April 25 } 

MIA’s Art in Bloom Gala Preview Party

Art in Bloom is one of the quintessential local events that signals spring has arrived. For 29 years, the festival has been combining artist-created floral arrangements with the fine art that inspired them, featuring speakers and demonstrations. Greg Kurowski, president and CEO of Periscope, calls it one of the “must events” in April—and a good place to run into other local creatives. “My experience at MIA events in general has been a really solid mix of businesspeople—particularly those involved in the creative or creative services industry,” he says. For more formal mingling, get a ticket for the Wednesday-night kickoff party, which includes a cocktail hour, floral preview, sit-down dinner, and silent auction, all benefiting the Friends of the Institute’s programs. 6 p.m., $150, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 612-870-3045,

{ April 26 and 28 } 

SCPO Presents Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s concerts are always a good occasion to run into involved Twin Citians. These two late-April concerts are particularly noteworthy as the SPCO and artistic partner Roberto Abbado kick off a three-week celebration of Felix Mendelssohn that will take the German composer’s works across the metro to area churches. For the initial concerts at the Ordway, the SPCO will perform two of Mendelssohn’s five symphonies: Symphony No. 1 and Reformation Symphony. 7:30 p.m. on April 26, 8 p.m. on April 28, $10–$40, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, St. Paul, 651-291-1144, 


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