CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger receives Women in Business award as “Industry Leader”

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May 20, 2010

CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger

College of Saint Benedict (CSB) President MaryAnn Baenninger was honored by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as an "Industry Leader" at the Women in Business Awards Luncheon Thursday, May 20 at the Minneapolis Hilton.

This award honors professional women who are recognized as accomplished leaders in their respective industries. The winners are applauded for their track record of success and their involvement in the community. There were more than 900 people in attendance at the luncheon and nominations were up 50 percent from 2009.

Baenninger has led the College of Saint Benedict since 2004. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Independent Colleges, the Minnesota Private College Council, and the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Her tenure at CSB has been marked by the early completion of the college's largest capital campaign, significant increases in annual giving for scholarships and the near doubling of its endowment.

"MaryAnn Baenninger has been a true leader among her peer college presidents and I am delighted that she is being recognized with this leadership award," said Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges.

During Baenninger's presidency the college has earned national recognition for its international and global programs, stewardship of resources to produce excellent student outcomes, commitment to first generation students, environmental sustainability practices and high-quality shared governance. Baenninger has also overseen a major expansion of the college's national award-winning Benedicta Arts Center and construction of the Gorecki Dining and Conference Center, a model facility for dining and community activities.

"I am grateful to receive this award on behalf of the entire College of Saint Benedict community," Baenninger said. "CSB's achievements over the past several years are a reflection of the commitment and team work of faculty, staff, students, alums, board members and benefactors."

CSB '82 alumna Judith Poferl was also named an "Industry Leader." Poferl has been president/CEO since August 2009 of Northern States Power Company-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy Company with responsibility for the company's electric and natural gas operations in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

In addition to the 25 "Industry Leaders," the journal also honored 25 "Women to Watch," featuring those women who are rising stars in their industries. Honorees are selected based on their accomplishments, drive and community involvement. One of those recognized was CSB '97 alumna Amy Fredregill, vice president of the Cooperative Network, a trade organization that represents cooperative businesses in a wide range of industries. She oversees the organization's Minnesota division with more than 1,000 co-ops.

The luncheon also included a Career Achievement award which went to Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings.

Editors at the Business Journal select the winners. This is the 13th year of the Women in Business Awards.

Photo: CSB President MaryAnn Baenninger and CSB '97 alumnae Amy Fredregill, Women in Business award winners.