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Blandin Foundation welcomes three new trustees

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (Mar. 3, 2020) – Three Minnesotans have joined Blandin Foundation’s board of trustees, filling positions of three who completed terms of service in December.  Blandin Foundation’s 12-member board are Minnesota-based community leaders who provide strategic leadership and governance, fiduciary and financial oversight for the foundation. They serve up to 12 years and represent a variety of perspectives from across rural Minnesota.

“We are grateful that these amazing Minnesota leaders have stepped into these important roles on behalf of Itasca area residents and rural communities across our state,” said Heidi Korstad, Bigfork, who chairs the Blandin Foundation board. “We continue to be well-served with excellent leaders and stewards of Mr. Blandin’s legacy who bring expertise and passion for building vibrant rural Minnesota communities that work for every person. These new trustees continue the tradition of Blandin Foundation having one of the most skilled and community-minded nonprofit boards in the state.”

New additions to the Blandin Foundation board of trustees in 2020 are:

Dustin Goslin – Dustin (Pam-Mbwit-M’ko), of Brainerd, brings expertise in addressing rural Minnesota housing shortages from his role as vice president of business and economic development for Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, which operates casinos, hotels and non-gaming operations in east central Minnesota. He previously served as an executive for Grand Casino and Indian Health Service.

Dustin earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from St. Cloud State University and holds a master’s degree in organizational development from The College of St. Scholastica. He has served on the Culinology and Hospitality Management advisory council for Southwest Minnesota State University and on the board of directors for Central Lakes College Foundation. He is a is a member of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation.

Bukata Hayes of Mankato provides deep knowledge of southern Minnesota communities large and small. He is executive director of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council. He previously was diversity support services program coordinator for Mankato Area Public Schools, and the multi-ethnic center coordinator, admissions counselor and instructor of sociology at Bethany Lutheran College. He also is the founder of Love & Struggle, a consulting company that works with organizations and communities on issues of race, inclusion and equity. He also developed WRITE on RACE, a two-year curriculum and process designed to raise community awareness of racism.

Bukata earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology from The College of St. Scholastica. He serves on the boards of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, the Mankato chapter of the NAACP, the Mayo Clinic Health System – Mankato Hospital, and is a member of the City of Mankato Race, Equity and Leadership Team.

Nadege Souvenir – Nadege brings a lifelong passion for the arts and deep connection to the Minnesota philanthropy community to her role as trustee. She is senior vice president of operations and learning for the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (SPMF), a statewide community foundation that serves all of Minnesota. Previously, she was the SPMF’s associate vice president of community impact, focused on team operations and leading Saint Paul Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation which focused on racial narrative change. Before moving to the philanthropic sector, Nadege was an attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and Maslon LLP.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in dance from Iowa State University; a master’s degree in arts administration from St. Mary’s University; and a juris doctor from Hamline University School of Law. Nadege is vice chair of the Minnesota Opera board of directors and serves on the Minnesota Compass governance committee. She also has served on the board of Trademark Theater and gala committees for Walker Art Center and Guthrie Theater. She lives in Minneapolis.

Trustees who completed their board service in December were: Yvonne Cheek of Minneapolis, president of Millennium Consulting Group; Martin Jennings, program officer with the Northwest Area Foundation; and Bonnie Rietz of Austin, Minn., former mayor and community leader.  Retiring earlier in 2019 from the board was Dr. Brian McGinnis of Duluth, who relocated out of Minnesota.

The three new trustees emerged from a statewide search conducted throughout 2019. They join nine current trustees on the board – including three from the Itasca area who began their terms in January 2019. Details on roles and background summaries for all Blandin Foundation trustees are available at the Foundation’s web site,




About Blandin Foundation

Blandin Foundation stands with rural Minnesota communities as they imagine and claim ambitious, vibrant futures.  Based in Grand Rapids, Minn., it is one of only a handful of foundations in the U.S. focused exclusively on rural communities and the largest rural-based private foundation in Minnesota. Information on Blandin Foundation grant-making, leadership development programs and public policy initiatives are at

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For additional information, contact:

Allison Rajala Ahcan
Director of Communications, Blandin Foundation
direct: 218-327-8717
cell: 218-259-2893

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