The word “community” brings to mind many different images and associations. There’s the community at large, the city you live in, the neighborhood you grew up in. Then there’s the more immediate ideal: a family, a close group of friends, a church congregation. It harkens to a sense of comfort, of closeness, of belonging to something greater than just yourself. Whatever meaning that word may have for you, taking an active role in a community is no small feat.
On Thursday, February 23, the 2017 Community Impact Awards were held at Aria in Minneapolis. The Community Impact Awards honor businesses, social enterprise organizations, nonprofits, initiatives and individuals making a significant impact on communities in Minnesota. Categories included Workplace Giving, Sustainability, and Social Enterprise, to name a few. Ciceron was honored to be among the list of nominees, specifically Best in Class Small Company, as well as Andrew Eklund, our CEO and Founder, for the Paragon of Leadership Award.
Ciceron believes in advocacy by telling stories that bring awareness of the problems of our society and the solutions to them. Our daily work with Children’s Minnesota is a reminder of the impact great healthcare has on kids and families. Ciceron has also partnered with People Serving People, MacPhail Center for Music, the Sexual Violence Center as well as the BrandLab. To quote Mr. Eklund: “…life circumstances are so important. As leaders, we have to recognize that we can impact those circumstances and environments. We can help build connections to resources and other people.” While Ciceron may not have taken home any awards this time around, the distinction of being in the same room with so many inspiring organizations was truly reward enough. We heard from institutions and individuals striving to make a difference all over the Twin Cities Metro area, including advocates for local farmers, sustainability, newborns, cancer research, families in need, the arts, and many more.
So often the cliche of “MN Nice” is tossed around, an expression that evokes kindness tinged with the infamous passive aggressiveness so well known to the upper Midwest. Nothing resembling that phrase could be found in the room that night. Instead, there was a feeling of genuine hope and caring, a sense that in these divisive times, working together could truly make a difference. Ciceron continues to strive to add a voice to the conversation and to be a leader in its community whenever and wherever possible.