Women's Leadership Conference 2014

Keynote Speakers

Bobbi "Bobbi" Cordano, Vice President of Programs, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Roberta "Bobbi" Cordano leads strategic initiatives and operations for Wilder Programs at the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. Her work supports school, home, and community based services to assist low income children, families, and older adults residing in Saint Paul. The Foundation directly serves more than 8,000 individuals. Its programs and services help children succeed in school, older adults age gracefully in the community, vulnerable youth and families create healthy futures, and individuals and families maintain long-term, affordable housing.

Bobbi Cordano

Cordano's extensive and diverse career spans the non-profit, government, higher education, and healthcare sectors. Before joining the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, she served as interim president of the Center for Healthcare Innovation at Allina Health System, and as president of Park Nicollet Institute. Cordano brought her talents to the University of Minnesota, first as director of disability services for the Office of Equity and Diversity, then as assistant dean at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She worked for a decade as assistant attorney general for the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

Cordano is an active member of the community. She founded, and 17 years later led the merger of, the Metro Deaf School (grades K-8) and Minnesota North Star Academy (grades 9-12), the first bilingual charter schools for deaf and hard of hearing children in the country. She also served as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Court Interpreters, which worked to increase access to the courts for non-English speaking people, including deaf and hard of hearing individuals. She has been active in politics and represented the state of Minnesota at a national political convention in 1996. She is a board member of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, a co-chair of the Minnesota Leadership Council on Aging, a member of the St. Paul Children's Collaborative, and a member of the board of trustees of Charles Thompson Memorial Hall as well as the non-profit organization Ecumen.

In 2003, Cordano was the recipient of the inaugural Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs' Public Leadership Award. In 2005, she received the Access Award from the Minnesota State Council on Disabilities.

Cordano holds a BA with honors from Beloit College and a JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Inside the Boardroom

Inside the Boardroom™ is a rare glimpse into the experiences that shape America's female business leaders. Through this unique forum, chief executives and local business experts share and discuss their understanding of core business principles and experience in building a successful enterprise.

Janeé L. Harteau, Police Chief, Minneapolis Police Department

Janeé Harteau is the first woman to hold the position of Minneapolis Police Chief, and one of only three women police chiefs serving in large U.S. cities today. The Minneapolis Police Department provides public safety services that
elevate the quality of life of 380,000 residents in Minneapolis. Appointed to chief in 2012, Harteau leads the organization by demonstrating commitment, integrity, and transparency.Janee Harteau

Harteau's experience in law enforcement began in 1987 when she joined the MPD where she worked as a beat cop in north, south, and downtown Minneapolis. She has served in the narcotics, organized crime, and license investigation units. From 2006-2009, Harteau led the First Precinct in downtown Minneapolis, where she helped launch the Downtown SafeZone Collaborative and Downtown Court Watch program. The initiatives tapped the power of private security workers and concerned citizens to cut crime. In the same role, she was credited with improving relations with the Cedar-Riverside Somali community and enacted the position of Somali Liaison Officer.

Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak favored Harteau's approach to the "human side" of crime. Instead of pressuring officers to simply make more arrests, she takes a holistic approach to crime prevention and engages social services to strengthen communities and solve long-term issues.

Harteau holds a BA in police science and an MA in public safety administration from St. Mary's University. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University's School of Police Staff and Command. She is an adjunct instructor at both institutions.

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