Kathy Annette


Blandin Foundation




The Grand Rapids-based charitable foundation, which celebrates 75 years in 2016, wants urban Minnesota to understand the crucial importance of rural Minnesota’s economic contributions. While Blandin continues to make major investments in education and community leadership development throughout the state, focusing on its home base in Itasca County, its highest-profile project is rural broadband, which it sees as essential to Greater Minnesota’s educational options, health care and economic opportunity. The state of Minnesota has provided some funding, but much more is needed. Kathy Annette and Blandin will be working for more.