Monthly Archive: June 2016

Search Completed! Generation Next – Executive Director

Update: Generation Next and CohenTaylor are excited to announce that Michelle Walker, CEO of Saint Paul Public Schools, will be the new Executive Director. CohenTaylor search partners, Chris Cohen, Don Taylor and Katie Erickson, worked diligently with the Generation Next Executive Director search committee, Executive Committee and Leadership Council, and confirmed Ms. Walker’s appointment at a special meeting on August 31. Click here for the full press release.

On behalf of our client, Generation Next, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for their Executive Director

The Mission: Generation Next harnesses the community’s knowledge, expertise and actions to ensure every child can thrive.

The Vision: Every child has the academic, social and emotional skills to thrive in a globally-fluent world.

No exceptions. No excuses.

The Opportunity: The Minneapolis/Saint Paul region has one of the widest student education achievement gaps in the nation, with unacceptably low graduation rates among children of color and children from low-income households. Educational disparities matter because a growing body of research demonstrates that students who do not succeed educationally will not succeed economically in the workplace of the 21st century. Studies also demonstrate that the health of cities, states and nations is increasingly connected to the percentage of their citizens who reach high levels of educational attainment and skill.

The Organization: To address the achievement gap crisis and align community expectations and efforts around best practices and desired outcomes, a group of Twin Cities leaders from government, education, community and business formed Generation Next. This unprecedented collaboration is working to improve student achievement by creating a common set of expected outcomes and inspiring collective action to deliver on those expectations and improve the lives of youth. Generation Next operates as a convener, capacity builder and catalyst to deliver consistent educational achievement for all students.

The Role: The Executive Director (ED) must exhibit high energy and enthusiasm for improving the educational systems for all children in the Twin Cities and inspiring others to believe that closing the achievement gap is possible. The ED oversees all Generation Next work, including: managing governance and community groups, engaging funding and program partners, creating and supporting networks around priority strategies, identifying and tracking expected community level outcomes, and managing implementation of priority strategies.

Click here to view the full position profile: Position Profile – Generation Next, Executive Director

To apply, please send your resume to
All inquiries will remain confidential.


Search Completed! Director of Development – Voyageur Outward Bound School

Update: Courtney Kupsch joined the staff of VOBS in September 2016. Click here to learn more about VOBS programs.

On behalf of our client, Voyageur Outward Bound School, CohenTaylor Executive Search Services is conducting a retained search for their Director of Development

The Mission: The mission of Voyageur Outward Bound School (VOBS) is to change lives through challenge and discovery. VOBS delivers world renowned experiential learning programs to help people of all ages and all walks of life discover that “there is more in them than they thought.” This discovery helps students build strength of character, the ability to lead, and the desire to serve.

The Values: We teach and work by the values of Compassion, Integrity, Excellence, Inclusion and Diversity.

The Organization: VOBS is one of 11 members of the national Outward Bound network, a non-profit educational organization focused on character development, leadership skills, and service to community. VOBS uses the power of adventure and challenge to push participants to discover what they are capable of as individuals, teams, and communities. Whether in a classroom, on a river, high ropes course, hiking trail or on a rock climbing wall, students gain skills consistent with the 21st Century Learning Initiative. Skills include critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

The Role: Over the past four years, VOBS has more than doubled the number of donors and has grown its fundraising by more than fifty percent, to almost $1 million per year. The new Development Director has the opportunity to grow and broaden the donor base, and build a strong development team. There is significant opportunity as VOBS has grown its reach to serve more young people in the Twin Cities, and has begun to reach out to its thousands of alumni. This role will focus primarily on growing the base of individual donors, with a secondary focus on foundations and corporate giving. Fundraising is national in scope, but localized as well.

Click here to view the full position profile: Position Profile – VOBS – Director of Development

To apply, please send your resume to
All inquiries will remain confidential.


Bakken Museum becomes Minnesota’s first Smithsonian affiliate

The Bakken Museum was recently named an official affiliate of the Smithsonian, becoming the first affiliate in the state of Minnesota. CohenTaylor partnered with the Bakken to place their new Executive Direcor, Michael Sanders, last year.

Click here to view the full article from the Pioneer Press.


Star Tribune features Kristine Fortman, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation CEO

CohenTaylor has partnered with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation on two important searches. First, to place their new CEO, Kristine Fortman. And more recently, a new VP of Research & Dissemination, Michael Ujhelyi. We are honored to partner with a nonprofit and leaders who are doing such great work in our community and nationwide.

The Star Tribune recently ran a feature story on MHIF and Dr. Fortman:
Last fall Kristine Fortman became the top executive at one of the state’s most active health care research organizations, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, with the goal of growing the endowment and pushing new medical research while keeping the storied organization nimble and responsive. Fortman came to the nonprofit following stints with Medtronic’s cardiac devices division and the company foundation, and before that the HealthPartners research foundation. Click here for the full article.