2014 Outstanding Directors Awards

Honoring five who bring their standard of excellence from their day jobs to the boards they sit on.

by Burl Gilyard, Christie Washam, Gene Rebeck, and Jake Anderson

September 19, 2014

These days, many perceive board members to be rubber stamps for a company’s management. But the directors profiled on the following pages make clear that’s not who they are, because simply approving management’s plans isn’t what makes a director valuable.

To be sure, all of the 2014 Outstanding Directors honorees are energetically team-oriented achievers—they pursue collaboration and share numerous values. They spend long hours on committees that guide a company’s financial and hiring practices. They dig deep into the industries in which their board companies compete in order to provide well-informed guidance.

But as one of this year’s honorees, Best Buy board member Kathy Higgins Victor, observes, “It’s important to challenge one another’s assumptions and perspectives.” A great deal of the value a director adds to the company he or she serves is a courageous candor—making it clear that business as usual often isn’t good for a business’s continued vitality and profitability.

For 19 years, Twin Cities Business has honored some of the most accomplished members of local business boards. In compiling this year’s list of nominees, we worked with the following panel of judges: Linda Hall, entrepreneur in residence, the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management; George Kehl, managing partner, KPMG Minneapolis; Mark Sheffert, chairman and CEO, Manchester Cos. Inc.; and Michael Vekich, president, National Association of Corporate Directors, Minnesota Chapter. They were joined by Dale Kurschner, editor-in-chief of Twin Cities Business.


Kathy Higgins Victor

For Service To Best Buy Co.

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John Somrock

For Service To Delta Dental Of Minnesota

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Sally Smith

For Board Service To Alerus Financial And Buffalo Wild WIngs

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Christopher Policinski

For Service To Xcel Energy And Hormel Foods

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James Campbell

For Lifetime Achievement

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