It is time to show Minnesota the true face of aging—vibrant, experienced, dedicated individuals who are making an impact in our state and show no signs of slowing down. 



AARP Minnesota and Pollen's "50 Over 50" list celebrates and recognizes Minnesotans over the age of 50 who have made significant contributions and achievements in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, in the arts and community, and in disrupting our outdated beliefs about aging.



Individuals working to grow and strengthen the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors including educational institutions.

Artists, writers, musicians, performers, thespians, filmmakers, and other creatives who contribute to Minnesota’s thriving culture.

Business leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs who are growing Minnesota’s economy while being good stewards of our resources and talent.

Individuals working to make their communities stronger by volunteering, organizing, or serving in public office.

Individuals who challenge outdated beliefs about aging and live their life without limits.


A transparent cohort of distinguished peers

Dr. Kathleen Annette
President and CEO of the Blandin Foundation

Bill Blazar
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

John Davis
Founder and Executive Director of Lanesboro Arts

Chris Farrell
Senior Economics Contributor at Marketplace and Economics Commentator for MPR

Rodolfo Gutierrez
Executive Director of HACER (Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research)

Carolyn Holbrook
Writer, educator, arts activist, 2016 50 Over 50 Honoree

Philomena Morrissey Satre
Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness Consultant at Wells Fargo, 2016 50 Over 50 Honoree

Eric Schnell
Chief Operating Officer of Aeon, 2016 50 Over 50 Honoree

Lucy Swift
Former Vice President of Minnesota Productions and Partnerships for Twin Cities Public Television



Nominees from each of the five categories are judged on what they’ve done to lead and inspire others, make an impact on their community, and show the value of older Minnesotans through their actions.

Through the stories of these Minnesota leaders, we can highlight the opportunities that come with age and dispel the myth that an aging population will be a burden to our state.




Nominees must meet the following requirements:

  • Nominee must be at least 50 years old as of May 13, 2017.
  • The achievements, accomplishments, or service on which the nomination is based must have an impact on at least one community in Minnesota.
  • The recipient must live in Minnesota.
  • This is not a posthumous award.
  • You cannot nominate yourself.
  • Couples will be counted as a singular nomination.





The final list of "50 Over 50" honorees is determined by AARP-MN, Pollen, and a selection committee comprised of cross-sector community leaders from across the state. Two selection committee members each review nominations within the nonprofit, arts, community building, business, and disruption categories.

The nomination period is open until May 13, 2017.  AARP-MN and Pollen will conduct an initial review of nominations and submit a robust list of nominees to the selection committee, who will make the final determination of which ten nominees in each category are chosen.

The "50 Over 50" list will be announced in late-August.


  • Avoid generalizations. Be specific.
  • Tell a story that distinguishes your nominee from other accomplished leaders in the state.
  • Provide concrete details about your nominee's accomplishments.
  • Give specific examples about how your nominee makes a positive impact on people's lives.
  • Give specific examples about how your nominee's contributions make your community better or different.
  • Demonstrate patterns of professional milestones over time.
  • Look to the nominations of these 2016 honorees for inspiration.

brought to you by

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.