The "50 Over 50" list celebrates and recognizes Minnesotans over the age of 50 who have made significant contributions and achievements in their communities. 


For the inaugural list, more than 350 people visited to nominate leaders in their community in one of five categories: arts & culture, nonprofit, business, community building, and disruption. A transparent cohort of distinguished peers then took on the near impossible task of narrowing down the list to fifty of the most inspiring and accomplished leaders from across the state.


Terri Barreiro

Jodi Harpstead

Candice Harshner

Fran Heitzman

Kausar Hussain

Val Johnson

Matt Kramer

Margaret Lovejoy

Rebecca Rom

Paul Williams


Betsy Bowen

Luisa Cabello-Hansel

Ananya Chatterjea

Bill Cottman

Carolyn Holbrook

Judy Hornbacher

Ranee Ramaswamy

Bill Svendsgaard

Laurie Van Wieren

Bee Yang

“Famous Dave” Anderson

David Beito

Marcia Ballinger

Kim Bartmann

Ralph Bernstein

Lynn Casey

Daniel Klassen

Holly Morris

Richard Murphy Jr.

Philomena Morrissey Satre

Sylvia Allen

Marvin Roger Anderson

Bev Bales

Dr. Rose Wan-Mui Chu

Arlene El Amin

Linda Krug

Philip McNairy

Dr. Kusum Saxena

Wyman (Wy) Spano

Verna Toenyan

Ann Bancroft

Gail Chang Bohr

Scott Cole

Michael Matthew Ferrell

Sam Grant

Lorrie Janatopoulos

Paula Maccabee

Sandra Menefee Taylor

Eric Schnell

Dr. Douglas Wendland




AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 650,000 in Minnesota and nearly 38 million nationwide that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security, and personal fulfillment. AARP volunteers offer community programing across Minnesota including: AARP Tax Aide, AARP Experience Corps, AARP Fraud Watch Network, Life Reimagined and the AARP Safe Drivers program. To learn more, visit

Pollen helps people break down barriers to build better connected communities. Founded in the belief that connecting is about more than exchanging business cards, we share the stories behind individuals, we turn opportunities into realities, and we champion getting off the couch to learn about the world. Started in 2009 by Lars Leafblad to take professional community building to a new level, Pollen uses moments of connection and visceral storytelling to inspire and grow ideas. We engage our readers, members, and followers in new and exciting ways that propel interest and content sharability. On an ongoing basis, Pollen now reaches more than 10,000 actively engaged civic-connectors, entrepreneurs, community-builders, and up-to-somethingers.