2020 Virtual Benefit Breakfast

Missed the event, want to relive your favorite parts, or share the program with a friend? Click above to view the full event or click here to view on YouTube.

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Fresh Energy’s Fifth Annual (and First Virtual) Benefit Breakfast brought together Minnesotans from all corners of the state. Even though this year’s breakfast looked and felt a little different, the message was still the same: together we can create a future rooted in an economy that is carbon-free and equitable. While we certainly missed sharing a meal in-person this year, our “Zoom room” was still buzzing with positive energy and excitement. 

More than 450 people joined us live and many more have already tuned into the event recording to hear our speakers and hosts have a conversation critical to our current moment, focusing on how clean energy can be at the center of rebuilding our economy, and how we can ensure that happens here in Minnesota.  

Fresh Energy’s executive director, Michael Noble and Janiece Watts, Senior Policy Associate, Energy Access an Equity, were a co-hosting dream team and facilitated a fast-paced and engaging discussion with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and keynote speaker Dr. Leah Stokes. The conversation put into laser-focus how public policy can be used as a lever to achieve change at the scale of the climate problem. Those of you who watched in real time noticed that we promised some “bonus content” for everyone making a donation in connection with the breakfast. Stay tuned for a special message on that topic next month!

Here are some of our favorite moments from the program: 

  • Janiece Watts let everyone know that Fresh Energy’s board of directors approved a new strategic framework. Stay tuned for our big rollout next month! 
  • We played a quick video-snapshot from staff sharing how they’re making change in 2020. 
  • Governor Walz shared some of his clean energy vision for Minnesota and emphasized that we don’t have the luxury for slow and incremental change. “We lost two years, and in this fight for climate, two years is way too much. We’re going to continue to push folks that clean energy is the right thing to do in terms of climate and the economy.” 
  • Dr. Leah Stokes brought her trademark energy to our virtual stage and put into clear focus Minnesota’s role in the national clean energy landscape. She challenged Minnesota to both pass strong policy and focus on implementing it effectively. We appreciate her shoutout that this is a strength of Fresh Energy. 
  • Guests shared which VIP meal they plan make first from the recipe cards that were mailed and emailed in advance of the virtual breakfast. Michael and Patsy Noble’s Paleo Oven Pancakes won the popular vote! View and download the recipes here.

At this moment, with recent wildfires, hurricanes, and COVID-19 laying bare the challenge in front of us, Fresh Energy is here to make positive change. At our 2020 Benefit Breakfast, we’ve promised that Fresh Energy will seize this moment to prove to the world that we can and must achieve bold positive change now. 

Special thanks to our event sponsors and table captains, Event Chair Jeffrey Broberg, and everyone who logged in at the crack of dawn to make this event a success! Together, we raised $315,894 to support a clean energy future.   

Thank you to our event sponsors!

Title Sponsor

Fair of the Future Sponsors

Atomic Data
District Energy St. Paul
Ever-Green Energy
Great River Energy
Impact Power Solutions
Rahr Corporation
Xcel Energy

Friends of the Future Business Sponsors

All Energy Solar
Askov Finlayson
Best Buy
Bremer Bank
Cogent Consulting PBC
Design 45
Hannon Armstrong
iDEAL Energies
Keystone Compensation Group LLC
Minneapolis Foundation
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Nokomis Energy
Old National Bank
SolAmerica Energy
TruNorth Solar

Friends of the Future Family Sponsors

Donna W. Allan and Bill Mahlum
Conley Family Foundation
Will and Claudia Kaul
James P. Lenfestey
Raj V. Rajan and Kavitha Sitaram

Match Pool Sponsors

Randy and Bird Anderson
Joe DeVito and Holly Kuznia
Hayden Family Fund
Kathy Iverson and Mike Menzel
Ralph Jacobson and Cynthia Bartoo
Sarah F. Lang Fund
Kevin Lawless and April Egan
Cotty Lowry and Laurie Jacobi
David and Kate Mortenson
Charles and Candice Nadler
Jan and Rick Neville
Michael and Patsy Noble
Novel Energy Solutions
Chris O’Brien
Willie and Markell Rahr
Federico and Nassim Rossi
The Van Steenburgh/Ladner Family Fund
Mary Woollen and Clark Heindl