Nora Mcinery

Nora McInerny
Minneapolis Author

Nora McInerny is a humorist, essayist, and the founder of the Hot Young Widows Club and non-profit organization Still Kickin.

While in her 20s, bouncing from boyfriend to boyfriend and job to job, she met Aaron Joseph Purmort, a charismatic art director in New York City. They were kindred spirits, making mix tapes (and pancakes) into the wee hours of the morning, finishing each other’s sentences. They just knew. When Aaron was diagnosed with a serious form of brain cancer, they didn’t let that hinder their courtship. They got engaged in Aaron’s hospital bed and married right after his first brain surgery. They had a baby when he was on chemo and they shared an amazing summer filled with happiness and laughter. A few months later, Aaron died in her arms in another hospital bed. Aaron’s wildly creative obituary, which they wrote together, touched the world.

In her debut book, It’s Okay to Laugh (Dey Street Books), McInerny shares hysterical, moving, and painfully honest stories about her three-year journey with Aaron. McInerny explores universal themes of love, marriage, work, (single) motherhood, and depression through her refreshingly frank viewpoint. 


Cindy Kent

Cindy Kent
President and General Manager, 3M Infection Prevention Division

Cindy Kent is a healthcare veteran with more than 20 years in the industry. She is currently the president and general manager for the 3M Infection Prevention Division, a $1.6 billion business committed to keeping patients safe from healthcare associated infections and complications. She is a member of 3M’s Healthcare Business Group’s Global Operating Committee as well as a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Conference—which is 3M’s top 100 executives.

Prior to 3M, she was vice president and general manager of the Gastro/Urology Therapies business unit at Medtronic—the world’s largest medical technology company.  Under her leadership, her unit became one of the fastest growing businesses at the company.

Kent is an accomplished leader. In 2014, she was named one of the “Top 35 Women Leaders in Healthcare” by the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST of Minnesota, and one of six “2015 Wonder Women,” an honor bestowed by Twin Cities Business Magazine on professionals who use their influence to help others. She is a member of the board of trustees for the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

Kent holds a BS in industrial engineering from Northwestern University as well as an MBA in marketing and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University.