Each year at our Civic Celebration, we gather Minnesotans from diverse backgrounds, political parties, and ideologies for an evening to appreciate what makes us unique: an enduring civic culture, innovative leadership, and a commitment to public service.

We continued this tradition at the 2024 Civic Celebration, where hundreds of attendees — a diverse array of civic leaders, policy thinkers, and community builders — gathered for an evening to celebrate the people and ideas that make our state unique, and to recognize our honorees, Cyndi Lesher and Laysha Ward.

2024 Honorees

We are thrilled to recognize our 2024 Civic Celebration honorees for their leadership, community engagement, emphasis on inclusivity, and significant impact of two outstanding Minnesota leaders: Cyndi Lesher, retired president and CEO of Northern States Power Company (now Xcel Energy), and Laysha Ward, strategic advisor at Target.

With their civic-minded leadership, unique perspectives, and attention to the communities around them, both honorees have woven their professional careers and volunteer service together to make a positive impact.

Click their photos to learn more about our honorees.

Civic Changemaker Award

Citizens League is excited to announce a new award in 2024, presented at this year’s Civic Celebration!

The Civic Changemaker Award recognizes an emerging leader who is making a difference in their communities and enhancing Minnesota’s civic culture in positive ways. We put out a call for community members to nominate their colleagues and friends, seeking nominations for those who demonstrate unique or creative ways to engage in their community and embody the Citizens League values and approach, including inspiring Minnesotans, convening conversations, and implementing innovative and effective policy solutions that improve lives in our state.

We want to congratulate the inaugural recipient of this ward, Sina War! Sina is a dedicated advocate for local food systems in Minnesota, at the forefront of promoting farmers’ markets across the state, tribal nations, and the country. As the Director of Engagement and Inclusion with the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association, Sina champions local food producers and entrepreneurs, with a focus on historically underserved communities. Click Sina’s photo for more info about her.

Congratulations, Sina!

2024 Honoree Videos

Our thanks to our partners at Mojo Solo for producing these short videos on our honorees!

Citizens League
400 Robert St N, Suite 1820
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 293-0575