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University of Minnesota Foundation announces Kathleen Schmidlkofer as president and CEO

January 10, 2014

Twin Cities business executive and community leader Kathleen Schmidlkofer was selected today by the trustees of the University of Minnesota Foundation to be the next president and chief executive officer. A graduate of the University’s Carlson School of Management, Schmidlkofer comes to the foundation from GREATER MSP, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to providing public and private sector leadership, coordination and engagement to grow the economy of the 16-county Minneapolis-Saint Paul region. She was executive vice president and a founding leader of the organization.

"Kathy brings more than two decades of demonstrated leadership in both the private and nonprofit sectors," said Deborah Hopp, chair, Board of Trustees and vice president of Publishing, MSP Communications. "The trustees were seeking a leader who can succeed in a complex organization, who can be a voice of collaboration and influence and who can drive an already high-performing team to even greater achievements. Kathy has demonstrated those qualifications and skills. In addition, she has a profound passion and deep appreciation for the critical mission of the University of Minnesota."

Schmidlkofer has extensive private-sector experience. Prior to her roles with GREATER MSP, she held a variety of increasingly responsible finance roles over a 25-year career at General Mills. Her most recent assignments were vice president of finance for the Meals and Yoplait divisions and for the Canadian subsidiary in Toronto. There she successfully led the integration of Pillsbury Canada after its acquisition in 2001. Leading into her role at GREATER MSP, Kathy served as a loaned executive for the Itasca Project, a CEO-led civic organization where the focus was the job growth initiative in the Twin Cities region.

"I am delighted to have Kathy leading the Foundation," said University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. "She has terrific management experience and her time with the Itasca Project and GREATER MSP has prepared her for meaningful relationships with donors and the business community."

"I am thrilled to be able to join the University of Minnesota Foundation," said Schmidlkofer. "I know firsthand that a strong university is any region’s economic engine. For the last three years, I have been one of the University’s greatest ambassadors, ensuring that business leaders and community partners understand the full value proposition of this great public research university. Raising private funds to fuel the University’s mission is work that I will be proud to lead."

A longtime community volunteer, Kathy is past chair and continues to serve on the board of Tubman, a Twin Cities nonprofit that promotes violence-free communities, families and relationships. She is on the board of the Saint Paul Foundation and a member of the Minnesota Women’s Economic Roundtable.

"The University, its research strengths, and its production of a highly talented workforce are a central part of what we emphasize at GREATER MSP when we talk about what differentiates this region," said Michael Langley, CEO, GREATER MSP. "Kathy's vision, passion and energy will be great assets in leading the foundation that supports one of Minnesota's great institutions, and we look forward to deepening our collaboration with the University."

A certified public accountant, Kathy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Schmidlkofer will join the foundation on March 3, 2014. She will take the place of interim president and CEO, Becky Malkerson, who filled the position upon the retirement of past President and CEO, Steve Goldstein, on February 1, 2013. As announced last spring, Malkerson will continue to lead the development team as executive vice president and chief advancement officer.

About the University of Minnesota Foundation
The mission of the University of Minnesota Foundation is to engage the resources of the private sector to build and sustain the excellence of the University of Minnesota, its sole beneficiary. It is the central development office of the University, providing services, support, leadership and coordination to all campuses, colleges and departments, and affiliated foundations. 

Kathleen Schmidlkofer
Kathleen Schmidlkofer

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