Recognizing Everyday
Leaders in Minnesota


The Citizens League is pleased to announce the return of #MNCivicLeader, a social media campaign and event to uplift and celebrate everyday civic leaders who go above and beyond to make a difference in Minnesota.

We’re recognizing and celebrating people who stepped up, helped out, and made a difference in their community. On October 14, 2021, we gathered for a virtual event celebrating the everyday civic leaders nominated by our community. Hosted by Mayor of Richfield Maria Regan Gonzalez, we highlighted those in our community who have done great things for their fellow neighbors and community members, but have not been largely recognized for their contributions to the state.

We asked individuals throughout Minnesota to nominate friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others in their lives who continue to step up to lead in unique and impactful ways every day.

We received nominations from all across Minnesota highlighting individuals from different backgrounds and sectors. Join us as we recognize them, and learn more about their efforts, the challenges they face, and the impact they are making.

Watch the full event from October 14, 2021:

Our host, Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez

As a public servant with an unconventional path to leadership, one of the most important messages I am passionate about spreading is that each one of us has innate leadership skills that are needed in our community right now and to not be afraid to take the leap!

Maria Regan Gonzalez is part of a movement to change the face of politics and leadership as the first Latina Mayor in the state of Minnesota. She leverages her passion and skills to support institutions and companies in better including and serving more people and create equitable outcomes for all in her roles as mayor and as a Principal Sustainability Design Consultant in Population Health at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Maria is committed to advancing racial and social justice issues by bringing people together to improve health outcomes, ideate and pilot innovative solutions and create more equitable systems and policies. She is known for her authentic leadership style and connecting the needs of the community to corporate and government strategy. Maria’s heart is in mentoring youth, women, and people of color as they grow their leadership.

Among her achievements Maria is most proud of is her role as a co-founder of La Red Latina de Educacion Temprana, a network of over 350 Spanish speaking childcare providers working to change Minnesota’s early childhood system and grow healthy and school ready children.

Our #MNCivicLeader Panel


We’re recognizing and celebrating people who stepped up, helped out, and made a difference in their community.

#MNCivicLeader Nominees

We called for nominations of leaders throughout Minnesota, and the community responded with submissions of amazing individuals who have gone above and beyond to make Minnesota a better place to live and work for everyone. Click the photos to learn more.

Other nominees include Ben DeNucci, Paul Gilje, Brenda Kluck, Tom Nikunen, David Olson, Ken Ricker, Calvin Saari, Ruth Sejnoha, and Clarence Shallbetter.

#MNCivicLeader Sponsors

Champion Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Jeff Peterson

Sponsor our campaign and event! Click here for sponsor levels and benefits.