When we dreamed up Morning Fill Up a few years ago, we didn't realize how many wonderful people would be willing to say "yes" to an invitation to spend 24 hours immersing themselves in conversations with people from across our Black Hills region. We have been humbled by their presence, and have learned from their wisdom.
Our second guest ever--back in December 2014--was Jen Ford Reedy, president of The Bush Foundation, an organization that has been an important champion of this conversation series from the very beginning. Today, we are excited to announce that we'll be sitting down with Jen again when we take Morning Fill Up on the road this May for bushCON.
Morning Fill Up: The bushCON Edition will be held on Tuesday morning, May 10. We'll be going from our 1928 historic motor service building in Rapid City and super-sizing Morning Fill Up for one morning only in an 1899 historic train depot. We'll be presenting Morning Fill Up in the exact same format: A conversation, not a presentation. A dialogue, not a pitch. Two chairs, a table and a community of interested people.
Morning Fill Up Co-Founder and Bush Fellow Matt Ehlman will sit down with Jen to learn more about her, and her personal priorities and vision for the future, in a Charlie Rose-style interview. We'll talk philanthropy, society, community development, and more.
Then Jen will turn the tables and ask the questions, discovering with Matt and co-founder Ted Stephens III, the “how and why” of this series, and what it could mean for your community. We'll also convene a group for dinner the night before, and for two small group discussions afterward.
Jen has been president of The Bush Foundation since September 2012. The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native Nations. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jen served as chief of staff and vice president of strategy for Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, where she led the creation of GiveMN.org, Give to the Max Day, and the Minnesota Idea Open. Jen was also a consultant with McKinsey and Company for nine years and was the first director of the Itasca Project, a CEO-led regional civic initiative in the Twin Cities.
Matt is a co-founder of The Numad Group, The Garage coworking space and Morning Fill Up. After volunteering on the Pine Ridge Reservation for two years, he left briefly to earn an MPA from Indiana University, and then at the age of 26, returned to live on the reservation and serve as vice president for advancement for Red Cloud Indian School, raising more than $70 million in five years, a 44 percent increase over the prior five years. In addition to leading Numad’s fundraising efforts, he has his hands in a number of grassroots community development initiatives that are transforming Rapid City and the region. Matt is a 2015 Bush Fellow and is writing his dissertation on donor motivation for a Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies.
Ted was Iowa-born and raised. He left at the age of 25 to pursue an MFA in acting as the Grinter Fellow at the University of Florida. Equity acting gigs and starving actor realities in New York City followed, leading him to who he is today: an artist, writer, designer, creator and dreamer. A friend and collaborator with Matt Ehlman for nearly 20 years, he is a co-founder of Morning Fill Up, The Garage coworking space, and The Numad Group, where he leads the firm’s creative communication efforts. His work has been seen on larger-than-life marquees in Times Square, The Today Show, and in The New York Times. Today, he calls Beacon Hill in Boston home, when he isn’t in South Dakota.