Land O'Lakes employees engage with and inspire student-athletes

Monday, July 15, 2019 - 1:00pm

When it comes to helping U of M student-athletes explore a vast world of career opportunities and develop leadership skills, few organizations have done as much as Land O’Lakes. 

From serving as mentors, to providing advice and tips at job fairs, Land O’Lakes employees engage with and inspire Gopher student-athletes on a regular basis. 

2018-19 Gopher-Land O’Lakes employee engagement highlights:

Golden Goldys: Land O’Lakes played a key role in recognizing the achievements of top U of M student-athletes at the 13th annual Golden Goldys gala, held on April 29, 2019. This year, Morgan Kinross-Wright, vice president of community relations and executive director of the Land O’Lakes Inc. Foundation was on hand to present the Land O’Lakes Outstanding Achievement Award in Leadership and Service to diver Jeremy Moser and hammer throw champion Temi Ogunrinde.

Leadership U: This year, Land O’Lakes continued to make a difference through Leadership U, a program that helps student-athletes, coaches, and administrators grow as leaders. Land O’Lakes president and CEO Beth Ford was the speaker at the April 10, 2019, Leadership U event, while former president and CEO Pete Janzen, who was a speaker in May 2018, continued to work with the program’s advisory board. 

Women Invested in Leadership and Learning (W.I.L.L.): Over the past year, 14 Land O’Lakes staff members served as mentors to 150+ women student-athletes from seven teams through the W.I.L.L program. W.l.L.L. helps young women develop critical job competencies and prepares them to become the business leaders of tomorrow. Click here to learn more and to see the complete list of 2018–2019 mentors from Land O’Lakes.

Pro Day job and internship fair: Land O’Lakes was the headlining sponsor of the 2018 Pro Day job and internship fair for student-athletes, held in November. Land O’Lakes staff had a major presence at the event and in the days leading up to it. Talent acquisition manager, Nick Koewler, and college relations event coordinator, Heidi Riese, helped with practice interviews and resume reviews, while Koewler shared video tips on how to prepare for the event.

Classroom reading buddies: On March 27, 2019, Catherine Bell, Claudine Barbetti, Julie Vieburg, Heidi Riese, and Julie Benick from Land O’Lakes teamed up with Gopher Football players to share books and stories with second graders at Turtle Lake Elementary School. This outing was organized through the Maroon and Gold Impacting Community (M.A.G.I.C.) program, which helps Gophers gain crucial leadership skills by going out into the community to volunteer and help others. 

Photos: Gopher Athletics, Turtle Lake Elementary School