Broadband 2020: Oct 6: Day One: Digital Showcase

Welcome to the first day of the new online format for Broadband 2020: Connected We Stand. We start with a welcome from Blandin Foundation’s Bernadine Joselyn.

The were followed by The Digital Showcase: A series of fast-moving presentations and demos by people from around the state who are using technology and the internet in innovative ways. Emphasis on fast paced – but we did make time for some dancing!

Below are bios followed by PPTs when available.


PCs for People

PCs for People refurbishes donated computers to distribute to low income households. They also offer affordable tech support and Internet access (where available).

Mary Lucic holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University and is currently the Community Outreach & Fundraising Manager at PCs for People. Her passion for nonprofit work is shown through all the unwavering dedication to closing the digital divide. Mary works closely with the Blandin Broadband Communities Program to distribute refurbished desktop computers to low-income families within each community.

Winona Friendship Center

The Friendship Center began virtual programming via Zoom in 2012. What initially began as offering remote exercise online for isolated older adults has grown to total virtual programming during a pandemic. Learn how we convince the “I’ll never use a computer” person to partake in programs via a tablet/iPad.

Malia Fox has been the Director of Winona Friendship Center for 26 years. She has a degree in Music Therapy with 35+ years of working in gerontology. She is on the National Council on Aging/National Institute of Senior Centers executive committee and chairs the Best Practice committee for innovative senior center programming. The Winona Friendship Center remains the only nationally accredited senior center in the state of Minnesota.

Kairos Alive!

Kairos Alive! has been developing exciting interactive 2-way webcast creativity and health engagement programs based in dance, music, story and research learning for older adults in intergenerational communities via Zoom for 3 years. Our current webcast, Creativity Together™, is reaching audiences in the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota and NE Wisconsin, and is attracting participants from around the country.

Maria Genné, founder/director is a dancer, choreographer and educator, recognized as a pioneering leader in the intergenerational interactive participatory performing arts, and arts and health fields. Her national award-winning work is designed to tap into the artistry and creativity of older adults and invite them to be central collaborators in the artistic process of dance, music and storytelling. It models a new and vital role in society for the community based professional performing artist, and new possibilities of intergenerational community enjoyment and understanding. In 2001, Maria developed The Dancing Heart™, a nationally recognized, evidence-based program which engages older adults of all abilities in weekly, intergenerational, interactive arts participation and health education. Kairos was featured in the 2012 PBS documentary, Arts & the Mind, and is recognized as a model arts involvement program by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA), and winner of awards for program innovation by the American Public Health Association, American Society on Aging, and others.


Minnesota Libraries & Libraries Without Borders bring literacy, digital literacy and library services to folks in and outside of a library. Learn about pilot projects happening in Minnesota – especially with laundromats and manufactured housing parks.

As a State Library Program Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Education, Hannah Buckland administers state aid to Minnesota’s public libraries and supports statewide library initiatives related to digital inclusion, civic engagement, and workforce development. She previously worked as the Director of Library Services at Leech Lake Tribal College in Leech Lake Nation. She is a member of the American Library Association’s Policy Corps, where she works on federal broadband issues affecting libraries, and also serves on the Minnesota Library Association Board of Directors.

At Libraries Without Borders, Adam Echelman creates partnerships and strategies to promote access to information, working with public libraries, trade associations (like laundromats), and public agencies. Adam is a Visiting Professor of Practice at John Jay College, where he teaches on outreach, organizing, and access to information for vulnerable communities. He has worked with RAICES Texas and Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, CT. A Yale graduate, Adam speaks Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese.

Minnesota Children’s Press Story Scouts

Boreal Corps is a program that is using technology to help kids help others to tell stories. They have been working on COVID communication in their community.

Anne Brataas is an award-winning newspaper reporter and columnist turned children’s book author, teacher and publisher of child-authored and -illustrated publications. Anne covered science, health, medicine and the environment for 20 years for major metropolitan newspapers before moving to Grand Marais, Minnesota in 2015.

In 2003, Anne pioneered the practice of children grades 4-6 writing and illustrating their own newspapers with the goal to amplify the voices of youth and the impacts they have on community, as well as to help the earliest learners create portfolios for practical 21st Century digital communication fields.

As a science writer, Anne specializes in bringing creative clarity to difficult ideas. In founding the educational non-profit Minnesota Children’s Press based in Grand Marais, she now teaches the youngest learners, grades 2-8 in rural Minnesota to do the

Wolf Creek Online High School

Wolf Creek Online is an innovative Online Public School Option for all Minnesota students grades 9-12 and up to age 21. They have been teaching successfully teaching students online for years.

Tracy L. Quarnstrom has served as the director of Wolf Creek Online High school since 2003. Wolf Creek is Minnesota’s only hybrid online high school which offers students an online experience while still offering the advantages of face to face interactions several days per week. Quarnstrom has been very involved in the creation of online learning legislation in the state of Minnesota as well as in organizations that promote quality online choices for students and families. She served on the Minnesota Association of Charter Schools board of directors from 2009-2011 as well as on the government affairs committee. She was a founding member of the MNOLA (Minnesota Organization for K12 Online learning Alliance) group and served as a member of legislative committee for several years. She has taught in a adjunct capacity for Hamline University teaching classes on topic of leadership in organizations.

GigaZone Gaming

An annual community focused gaming competition hosted by Paul Bunyan Communications. The event draws participants from all over northern Minnesota to compete in tournaments in various popular on and offline video games for a chance to win cash, prizes, and prestige. It is currently in it’s fifth year of operation.

Leo Anderson,Technology Experience Manager, Paul Bunyan Communications

Precision Agriculture

Precision Ag with Land o’Lakes; they talk about how their work with their members to use technology to streamline and improve agri-businesses in the field.

Katie Kruger,


Great Plains Telehealth Resource & Assistance Center (gpTRAC) helps healthcare providers develop and implement telehealth programs. Their mandate is to promote telehealth through training, technical assistance (consultation), and outreach activities.

Mary DeVany is the Associate Director for the Great Plains Telehealth Resource and Assistance Center (GPTRAC), within the Institute of Health Informatics at the University of Minnesota. She has been involved with telemedicine activities since 1993 when she served as the state-wide telemedicine activities coordinator for the State of South Dakota.  Since then, she has served as the Director of Telehealth at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, Director of Avera Telehealth and before that as the Telemedicine Coordinator for Sanford Health. “Every time I visit with someone just beginning to think about telehealth, I get excited and re-energized about the many possibilities and for what the future holds.”

gpTRAC slides

This entry was posted in Blandin Broadband Summit 2020 by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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