Kim Nelson Receives Inaugural “Woman of Power” Award
Those who know Kim Nelson well say she speaks the truth, breaks down barriers and is not afraid to share the power. Once the highest-ranking African American woman at General Mills, she retired at the end of last year with a lifetime’s worth of accomplishments (many times over) behind her.
The YWCA Circle of Women committee selected Kim Nelson for the inaugural “Woman of Power” award for her distinguished and influential leadership, both in her career and community work.
Creating Inclusive Workplaces
As an executive at General Mills, Kim Nelson wielded her influence to make General Mills a more inclusive workplace for women and people of color. She co-founded Black Champions and Women in Marketing networks to boost the success of women and black colleagues at General Mills, mentored other women and people of color in the company and helped General Mills earn the title of Best Company for Multicultural Women by Working Mother magazine.
Mentor to Many, Role Model to All
A mentor to many and a role model to all, Kim Nelson has committed her life to making a better, more just world. As a dedicated YWCA Minneapolis supporter, Kim served two consecutive terms on the YWCA board, including two years as Board President. She also served on the planning committee for the first It’s Time to Talk: Forums on RaceTM and was a member of the Power to SoarTM capital campaign committee. Her passion to close the education opportunity gap for children of color in the Twin Cities led her to serve as a leader and board member for education-focused nonprofits, including Northside Achievement Zone and Generation Next.
A Lasting Community Impact
Colleagues say Kim is a powerhouse leader – someone who has a gift of commanding the room, while simultaneously helping each person to feel included and valued. Creating authentic, lasting relationships has helped Kim build her network, rise through the corporate ranks and make an incredible impact in the community.
“Standing Up and Standing In Our Power”
“It is an incredible honor to be the inaugural recipient of the YWCA Minneapolis ‘Woman of Power’ Award,” says Kim Nelson. “The idea of a ‘Woman of Power’ Award is very timely. We are at a crossroads in our nation and in the world, as it relates to women, power and living in the #MeToo movement. We are standing up and standing in our power. My prayer for all women is that we live every day as women of power – confident, courageous and willing to help others.”
“Woman of Power” Award
YWCA Minneapolis established the “Woman of Power” award this year to honor women across the Twin Cities who have demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm and support for the mission of YWCA Minneapolis. The “Woman of Power” award is presented to an individual who has shown extraordinary leadership, dedication and achievement in all of YWCA’s core values – peace, justice, freedom and dignity.
The award was presented to Kim Nelson during the Circle of Women event on May 10, 2018. Below, a few of Kim’s colleagues and friends describe her commitment to YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women and her positive influence on others and the community.