Insight News

Saturday
Nov 22nd

Business

SBA names Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion

SBA names Minnesota Minority Small Business ChampionSharon B. Banks, Senior Project Manager at the University of Minnesota, has been named the Minnesota Minority Small Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

The Minority Small Business Champion award is presented annually in each state to individuals who assist small businesses through outstanding advocacy efforts on behalf of minority-owned small businesses. Yvonne Cheung Ho, President and CEO of MEDA, nominated Banks for this award.

Banks, a native of Pittsburgh, has lived in the Twin Cities since moving from Atlanta in 1979.  She describes herself as a "problem solver” and considers her organizational and interpersonal skills her greatest assets.  As Senior Project Manager in the University of Minnesota’s Office for Business and Community Economic Development, she is responsible for the inclusion of women, minorities and person with disabilities on University construction projects. Prior to joining the University, she was Manager of Career Development and Diversity at Northwest Airlines.
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Giving feedback? Give encouragement too

Giving feedback? Give encouragement tooAbri wrote to Insight News because she can’t stand her boss.  Usually it takes two to tangle.  Next to every bad manager is an employee complaining about their bad manager, and usually, they are both part of the problem.  When it comes to giving feedback, though, the manager’s style is often a big part of the problem. 

Abri is a Quality Editor.  Her job is to edit surveys before they go back to a client.  She checks for typos and grammar issues and verifies that the scores make sense.  Every time Abri completes a project, her manager reviews her work and sends feedback in an email.  The manager calls it feedback; Abri calls it torture.  Opening those email critiques is painful.  She knows they list, in a thick block paragraph, single spaced, the microscopic details of her errors.  “It’s all negative,” says Abri.  “Am I really that bad?”
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2010 "Power and Possibilities" leadership conference

2010 Burnsville Mayor and St. Kate’s alumna Elizabeth Kautz will headline the 2010 "Power and Possibilities" leadership conference at St. Catherine University Wednesday, April 21, 3–5:30 pm in Rauenhorst Ballroom in Coeur de Catherine on the University's St. Paul campus, 2004 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, 55105.

Kautz is currently serving her sixth term as mayor of Burnsville, MN and is president of the United States Conference of Mayors and chairperson of the Suburban Transit Association, as well as co-chair and co-founder of the Minnesota Regional Council of Mayors. She received her master’s degree in counseling psychology from the Alfred Adler Institute of Chicago and bachelor’s in theology with a focus on psychology from St. Kate’s.
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Secure Waiting Space: Men in transition

Secure Waiting Space:  Men in transition This morning, people all over America woke up in a bed, hit the snooze on the alarm, and eventually dragged themselves through a shower routine and out the door.  They might have thought, “this is going to be a great day,” or they might have thought, “I hope I don’t get fired today.”  The challenges of getting a job and keeping it are daunting enough.  For the homeless, reporting to work or school every day is a challenge that must seem insurmountable. Add, I hope I can find a place to shower, to the morning thoughts list, and having a great day takes on a completely different meaning.  Fortunately, for homeless men in the Twin Cities, a place called Secure Waiting Space makes the morning routine possible.
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Put on those shoes and dance

Put on those shoes and dance Seasoned workers, you know who you are. You are the people who remember video cassettes, and life without them. You are the people who still polish your own shoes and iron your own jeans. You are the people who did things in the 70s that you are no longer proud of. You are experienced, knowledgeable, reliable and hire-able, and the reality is, you are unlikely to retire any time soon.
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Social Security to provide helpful health care information to over 3 million disability applicants each year

Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced the agency is providing helpful health care information and website links to the more than three million individuals who apply each year for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. The website links take disability applicants to two U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) websites – www.healthfinder.gov where they will find information and tools to help them better understand and cope with their conditions; and www.healthfinder.gov/rxdrug where they may be able to get help paying for prescription drugs.
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Energize your job search: A get smart approach

If you are tired of looking for work, it might be that you’re tired of not finding work.  With all the internet sites out there, it is easy to waste hours online and see little in return.  Technology is a useful tool.  To your job search, technology is a tool the way oxygen is a tool for your lungs; things are easier when you use it.  We have talked a lot in this column about how to get a job or promotion using the www.  Yet, people still tell me they feel like they are spinning their wheels. 
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