I’m able to blend my two passions – community organizing and education – to help make Minnesota and its schools better.
Nicholas most recently served as a senior account executive in investor relations and corporate communications in the Minneapolis office of communications firm Padilla Speer Beardsley. There, he managed integrated campaigns for companies ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500s. Previously, Nicholas cofounded and served as director of the annual American Classic 5K – Race for Humanity in Washington, D.C., which raises money for Habitat for Humanity. He also conducted marketing for the American University Library while earning his master’s degree in public communication. There, he played a key role in developing the library’s nationally award-winning marketing campaign, which has since been published to aid other libraries with community engagement.
As a recent campaign manager for a state senator, Nicholas’ fundraising surpassed spending limits and his voter engagement work led to record-breaking numbers of doors knocked and house party attendance. Nicholas sits on the board of directors for the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, the resource and development committee for Way to Grow and the emerging leaders and communications committees for the Citizens League. As an avid runner, he chaired the media relations committee for Twin Cities Marathon Inc., in 2008 and 2009.
Nicholas earned his bachelor’s from American University in communications, legal institutions, economics and government. He interned with the office of Minnesota U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, The Center for Public Integrity, The Council for Excellence in Government and the New South Wales Chamber of Commerce in Australia. The Minnesota Jaycees named Nicholas one of “Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans” in 2011.
I aspire to be like Will Steger. Here's why:
Will Steger, an unrivaled modern-day arctic explorer, leads creative and hands-on education enrichment opportunities for schools in Minnesota and across the country. By engaging educators and students on an entirely different level, Will and his foundation teach timely and vital science, technology and environmental education.
Why I love my job:
Minnesota is the best place to live, hands down. In recent years, our public schools have slipped. As part of Minnesota’s education reform advocacy organization, I’m able to blend my two passions – community organizing and education – to help make Minnesota and its schools better.
My connection to public schools:
While at Padilla Speer Beardsley, I represented some of the largest school districts in Minnesota to promoting the healthy learning environments that eco-friendly schools provide. I’ve also supported my former K-12 public school district in several capacities over the past five years through levy referendum campaigns and community-centered curriculum development.
What I'm bad at:
Making coffee. Not a good thing for someone who runs on four cylinders 24-seven.
The image that represents why I work at 50CAN:
An extension ladder. Each rung is a hurdle we need to overcome to provide each child access to a great public school. The extension is our opportunity to continually set the bar higher. As we enact policies that support this vision, we steadily climb the ladder.