1st Tuesday

The Carlson School of Management's 1st Tuesday Speaker Series began in 1992 to provide an opportunity for alumni and friends of the Carlson School to continue their management education. The 1st Tuesday Speaker Series features top executives addressing hot topics in business and leadership.

Held on the first Tuesday of every month at the McNamara Alumni Center, the program attracts alumni and business leaders from throughout the corporate community, and has become an attractive spot for professionals in the metropolitan area to network.


WE Communications Agency Partner and Co-Founder Pam Edstrom
Communications: A Strategic Asset for Business

Pam Edstrom

Pam Edstrom is agency partner and co-founder of one of the largest independent strategic communications agencies in the world. In her role at WE Communications, she oversees the Insights and Analytics team and leads the evolution of WE Infinity—a proprietary data mining platform that helps clients evaluate the impact of their communications campaigns. Edstrom brings her technology and PR expertise to advise clients such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), MasterCard, Dell, Boeing, Intimate Brands (IBI), and Microsoft.

Edstrom's ingenuity and future-focused vision have garnered numerous industry accolades. In 2008, she was named Woman Executive of the Year by the Portland Business Journal, and she has also been recognized as one of PRWeek’s 50 Most Powerful Women in PR and one of its 100 Most Influential PR People of the 20th Century.

She holds a BA from the University of Minnesota, and a master's degree from Portland State University. Edstrom serves on the board of directors of the LAGRANT Foundation, a non-profit that provides scholarships, mentorships, professional development and support for ethnic minorities pursuing advertising, marketing and public relations careers.


FEBRUARY 2, 2016

Xcel Energy Chairman, President, and CEO Ben Fowke 
The Energy Future

Xcel Energy Chairmain, President, and COO Ben Fowke

Ben Fowke is chairman, president, and CEO of Xcel Energy, a major U.S. electric and natural gas company that operates in eight states. A recognized environmental leader, Xcel Energy is the No. 1 provider of wind energy in the nation, a distinction it has held for a decade. 

Fowke has extensive operating and financial experience in the energy business, having served as Xcel Energy’s president and chief operating office as well as vice president and chief financial officer. He also led the company’s commodities trading and marketing operations.

Widely respected in the industry, Fowke serves on the board of directors of the Edison Electric Institute, Electric Power Research Institute, Nuclear Energy Institute, Energy Insurance Mutual, and Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. In the community, he serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Business Partnership and Greater MSP and is an advisory board member of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association. An outstanding advocate for hiring military veterans, Fowke has testified in connection with the issue before Congress, established significant veteran hiring goals for Xcel Energy, and lent his support to other veteran hiring efforts. 

He holds a bachelor of science degree in finance and accounting from Towson University, and obtained his CPA in 1982.


MARCH 1, 2016 

Phil Soran

Vidku Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Phil Soran

Phil Soran is a serial technology entrepreneur who founded three companies that have generated thousands of jobs. Most recently, he and his two partners launched Vidku: a sharing app start-up based on technology concepts developed at the University of Minnesota. 

In 2002, Soran founded Compellent Technologies in his basement, and cultivated it into one of the fastest growing storage companies in the world. Dell acquired Compellent for $960 Million dollars in February of 2011. Previously, he served as chief executive officer and president of XIOtech Corp, a network storage vendor that he co-founded in the same basement in 1995. Seagate purchased XIOtech for $360M.

The Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal recently selected Soran as their inaugural Lifetime Achievement inductee to the Titans of Technology Hall of Fame. He was also recognized as the 2008 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and 2007 El Dorado Ventures Entrepreneur of the Year. 

Since retirement, Phil has focused much of his time on philanthropic efforts such as education. He is a Trustee on the University of Minnesota Foundation. He holds a BA from the University of Northern Colorado. 


APRIL 5, 2016

Mosaic Senior Advisor, Retired President and CEO Jim Prokopanko 

Mosaic Jim Prokopanko

James “Jim” Prokopanko served as president and CEO of The Mosaic Company for eight years before retiring on August 4, 2015. He remains connected to the firm as senior adviser through January, 2016.

The Mosaic Company is the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash crop nutrients. Under Prokopanko’s leadership, the organization addressed critical global food security challenges by optimizing the world’s food supply chain.

A 35-year veteran of the agriculture industry, Prokopanko was previously corporate vice president of Cargill, Inc., where he led retail agriculture businesses in North America, Brazil, Argentina and the United Kingdom.

He serves on the Board of Directors for Mosaic, Vulcan Materials Company, and Xcel Energy. Prokopanko is a member of the Minnesota Public Radio Board of Trustees and a director on the Board of Overseers at the Carlson School of Management. He holds bachelor of science and commerce degrees from the University of Manitoba and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario.


MAY 3, 2016

Cargill Chairman and CEO David W. MacLennan 

Cargill Chairman and CEO David MacLennan

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David W. MacLennan joined Cargill in 1991, and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2008. He previously served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer at Cargill. MacLennan held management positions within the financial, risk management, energy, and animal protein platforms.

Prior to joining Cargill, he worked in the futures and securities trading sector in Chicago and for U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis.

MacLennan serves on the boards of the Minnesota Business Partnership and the Greater Minneapolis St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership. He has served on several corporate and non-profit boards that expand access to education for  under-privileged youth. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Amherst College and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago.


JUNE 7, 2016

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Chairman and CEO John P. Wiehoff


1st Tuesday Corporate Tables

We value the partnerships with companies in the Twin Cities-area and want to continue to bring the business community together on a monthly basis. To continue our partnership with the business community, we invite you to purchase corporate tables for upcoming 1st Tuesday events!

Benefits of a 1st Tuesday Corporate Table:

  • Priority seating near the front of the room 
  • Recognition of your company's table
  • Ten seats for the price of nine ($315)

For questions about 1st Tuesday events, please email Maggie Flaten, Events & Communications Manager, Alumni Relations, at mflaten@umn.edu.

1st Tuesday

1st Tuesday is hosted at the McNamara Alumni Center.


$35 (includes lunch and program)


11:30 a.m.   Registration and Networking
11:50 a.m.   Lunch
1:00 p.m.   Program concludes

Parking & Directions


1st Tuesday is presented by:

Wells Fargo

Promotional sponsor:

Twin Cities Business logo

Supporting partner:

McNamara Alumni Center logo

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