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


People from across Minnesota 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.


Bob Bardwell, Stewartville

Dr. Richard Bohr, St. Paul

Claire Chang, Roseville

Paula Hart, Minneapolis

Greg Lais, Minneapolis

Gary Medin, Shoreview

Gayle Ober, Mendota Heights

Audrey Suker, Edina

Tina Welsh, Duluth

Otis Zanders, St. Paul


Jeanne Calvit, Minneapolis

Nancy Chakrin, Minnetonka

Tom Christiansen, Lutsen

Venus DeMars, Minneapolis

Steve Heckler, St. Paul

Ellen Michelson, Minneapolis

Dr. Pamela Paulson, Minneapolis

Jessica Roeder, Duluth

John Salminen, Duluth

Hedy Tripp, St. Cloud

Peg Birk, Minneapolis

Nancy Burke & Marg Penn, Minneapolis

Julie Burrows, Minneapolis

Dave Kvamme, St. Louis Park

Mark Lacek, Minneapolis

Susan Adams Loyd, Burnsville

Jill Pavlak, St. Paul

Marty Weintraub, Duluth

Shirley Wikner, Medina

Dr. Barbara Butts Williams, Minneapolis

Tamara Gray, Minneapolis

Cynthia Huse, Madison

Andrea Jenkins, Minneapolis

Dr. Bernadeia Johnson, Brooklyn Park

Dian Lopez, Alexandria

George Moore, Baxter

Robin Raplinger, Virginia

Paul Robinson, Blaine

Jerry Sparby, Cold Spring

Sandy Vargas, Minneapolis

Weida Allen, Bloomington

Zarina Baber, Andover

Jacquie Berglund, Minneapolis

Mark Hiemenz & Charlie Rounds, St. Louis Park

Bernice Koehler Johnson, Minneapolis

Syl Jones, Minnetonka

Brad Lehrman, St. Louis Park

Phyllis Moen, Minneapolis

Mary Jo Schifsky, Minneapolis

Fred Woolman, Rochester



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

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