Past Winners

2012 Winners

Margaret Murphy '90 

When she was only 17, Murphy didn't try to get a summer job at a retail mall.  Instead she leased her own fast-food restaurant, hiring her brothers as employees. That youthful move put her on a career track that's only gained momentum.

After getting a BA from the College of Saint Benedict and later an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, she became a top performer at Carlson Marketing for 15 years.  There she gained recognition as the youngest recipient of the company's top honor for customer service.  She made a move to Denali Marketing in 2007 to become the 4th employee.  With her leadership the firm grew to more than $20 million in revenue.  In 2010 Denali was sold to Olson, a fastest growing, award-winning ad agency.  Six months later Murphy was named president and chief operating officer. Her leadership style is collaborative and authentic, and her approach has led to consecutive years of double-digit growth and an enviably high employee retention rate.

Murphy's commitment to her community is just as robust. She served as an original founding board member for Faith's Lodge, a place designed for parents and families facing the serious illness or loss of a child. She's also worked to support St. Joseph's Home for Children, a program offering shelter and stability for families.  Her volunteer commitment to CSB is many hours logged as a mentor to students and alumnae and employer of many student interns.

Click here to watch Margaret's speech

Cary Musech '80

Musech founded Tonka Bay Equity Partners, a private equity fund, in 1998. With $350 million of capital under management, Tonka Bay has made investments in twenty-seven portfolio companies to date.  Musech enjoys using his years of finance and operations experience to give advice and counsel to CEOs on "building bigger, better businesses."   He has been an active member of the board of directors of several private, public and nonprofit Boards.  Musech is a frequent speaker and writer on private equity and has been a judge in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.

Prior to founding Tonka Bay, Musech gained valuable operating experience as a member of the senior management team of a privately held manufacturing company. He also worked in the leveraged and structured finance groups of U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, after beginning his career at Ernst & Young.

Musech's other passion is Catholic education.  He has chaired the Board of Benilde-St. Margaret's High School, has chaired a capital campaign for Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, and has served on the Board of Regents of Saint John's University. Musech is a faithful Saint John's alumnus and served as the Chair of the Saint John's Alumni Association. 

Musech graduated from Saint John's University and attended the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.  Outside of his day job, Musech enjoys spending time with his wife and three children in pursuits such as boating, snowboarding and international travel.

Click here to watch Cary's speech.

Joe Cavanaugh '81

Cavanaugh is a nationally known advocate promoting timeless values and personal character to audiences of all ages. With over 25 years of experience working with young people, he is one of the foremost communicators to youth on the topics of respect, integrity, courage and compassion.  
In 1987, Cavanaugh founded Youth Frontiers, Inc., a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that partners with schools across the country to create more positive school communities. Through programs that help young people realize the importance of living a life of character, Youth Frontiers is transforming the day-to-day experience in schools across America so that our schools - and therefore our kids - can thrive. 
Youth Frontiers is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that delivers programs to improve school climate and strengthen student character. Its purpose is to let young people know there's a better way to live, to teach character, and to honor and support educators in their critical work with young people.

This past school year YF delivered 680 retreats for youth adding 90,000 youth served to their total of over 1 million youth served in the life of the organization..  YF now has outreach staff reaching youth in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota.  Youth Frontiers' work has impacted more than one million students in 4th to 12th grades.  Their work with students and educators has received national acclaim. YF's primary work is to provide powerful retreats with the vision of changing the way young people treat each other in every hallway, lunch line, and classroom of every school in America so that today's young people can make tomorrow's world better. 

Prior to starting Youth Frontiers, Cavanaugh was the Youth Minister at Lady of Grace Church in Edina.   Cavanaugh has been the subject of countless newspaper articles as well as radio and television interviews including "The Osgood Report" on CBS radio and a 90-minute PBS television special titled Respectfully, Joe Cavanaugh. He has been recognized by General Colin Powell of America's Promise as being a leader in our nation's effort to rescue America's young people. He currently serves on boards and committees for St. John's University and Catholic Charities of St. Paul & Minneapolis.

Click here to watch Joe's speech.


Click here to hear the 2012 winners advice to others