TRUST Mentor of the Year Award

Why Reward Mentors?

Mentorship, both formal and informal, can be an important ingredient to career success and trajectory, yet it is often something that, while prized by recipients, is rarely rewarded. In 2016, the TRUST established the Mentor of the Year Award to highlight the importance and skill of mentorship and the powerful impact a single person can have on the lives of many. The award is presented annually to an individual who positively affects others via the demonstrated qualities of mentorship.

Many thanks to Fathom Consulting for continued sponsorship of the Mentor of the Year Award!

Criteria for Nominees

  1. Demonstrates mentorship attributes including: connector, strong communicator, compassionate, wisdom, integrity/genuine, accessible/approachable

  2. Attributes are demonstrated, exhibited, taught, confirmed, visible, “lived”

  3. Recognized for their impact on the professional development and career trajectory of others

This award is based on the experiences of the nominee’s formal and informal mentees, not the mentor’s personal career achievements. Anyone (member or not) may nominate someone for the award, but each nominee should be a current member of the TRUST.

Past Winners

Danielle Hansen2018 Mentor of the Year
Danielle Hansen

Among the comments submitted by her nominators: "One of her jobs is as an educator and I had the pleasure to participate as a guest in her MBA class at the University of St. Thomas and was impressed at how she was able to coach her students as well as industry professionals. She was perceptive in her observations and delivered concise and useful feedback to her students as well as the industry professionals visiting her class." "Danielle's desire to help and impact others transcends just the work environment." " She makes an honest effort to catch up with people and stay in touch in a way that is not forced, but consistent."

Samantha Hanson2017 Mentor of the Year
Samantha Hanson

Samantha’s leadership style makes people open up and feel safe to speak without the fear of controversy or backlash. She’s someone who offers smart advice from the heart in a way where you feel respected and trusted. She’s very selfless and empowers others to thrive and lead. She’s so transparent and willing to speak up on the issues that she gives others in the organization the comfort to do the same. Her ability to communicate effectively, seek consensus, and demonstrate a leadership style of inclusion has resonated with those around her and has made her one of the most powerful mentors at Children’s Minnesota — and elsewhere.

Jill Johnson2016 Mentor of the Year
Jill Johnson

Jill has had widespread impact on her alma mater, Drake University. Her nominator first met Jill through a networking event held by Drake to connect current students with alumni. It was immediately evident Jill had a strong passion for mentoring Drake students. Jill has worked closely with many students. She has helped first-year students trying to figure out what they want to study, and seniors who are graduating and cannot decide what job offer to take upon graduation. Jill has been more than willing to speak with those who have asked to benefit from her professional expertise. The faculty and staff in the College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) at Drake know Jill extremely well.

More about the Award

Robin CarpenterRobin Carpenter was a compassionate leader, visionary entrepreneur, and respected member of the TRUST community. A trailblazer, Robin’s diverse career included leadership roles at Burlington Northern Railroad, political and government work in the U.S. Senate, and entrepreneurship as founder of Evantage Consulting. Robin served as founding board member for both the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association and Health 2.0 Twin Cities. A champion of women leaders, Robin received the Woman Business Owner of the Year Award from the National Association of Women Business Owners-Minnesota in 2009, was involved in the Women Presidents’ Organization for many years and served on the board of the TRUST from 2009 until her passing in 2015.

Of her many accomplishments, perhaps Robin’s most lasting impact will be felt via the lives she touched as a gifted mentor. Generous with her time, her mind, her network and with a talent for insightful feedback, Robin was regarded as a mentor by many, helping to inspire and propel leaders everywhere she went.

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