Minnesota Public Radio News operates out of our headquarters at the Kling Public Media Center in St. Paul, MN and has long been recognized as one of the foremost journalistic organizations in the Upper Midwest, reaching news consumers across all platforms. We are fortunate to have many talented journalists working at MPR.

Recently MPR News’ Mukhtar Ibrahim has been honored twice for his extraordinary work in the field of journalism.

The Milwaukee Press Club honored Ibrahim as a 2017 Excellence in Journalism Awardee for best Multi-Story Coverage of a Single Feature Topic or Event for the series “Documenting Hate” focused on the recent increase in hate crimes across Wisconsin, and the rise of hate groups that target ethnic and religious minorities. The investigative team named by the Milwaukee Press Club included Ibrahim, Alexandra Hall, Riley Vetterkind and Coburn Dukehart.

Ibrahim has also been named a 2018 Above the Fold Award recipient by the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communications. This award honors alumni under the age of 40 who have made exceptional contributions to their fields.

The Current’s midday host is celebrating 10 years at APMG, and she was kind enough to answer some questions about music, career and life.

Josh Holt, end user support, IT Department has just celebrated five years with APMG, so we asked him some questions about working here.

Q: Congratulations on five years at APMG, Josh! What do you like most about working here?

 A: Thanks, I was honestly shocked to see I’ve been here 5 years. There are a lot of things I enjoy about working here, but it is probably the people. Everyone is friendly, patient, smart, and excellent at what they do. It gives me a genuine belief that everyone is happy to be at APMG, and they’re fully engaged in their job. 

Q: You started out in Member and Audience Services. What was that like?

A: Starting out in Member and Audience Services was one of the best things to happen in my career here. I got a great broad overview of the departments and how they interact, because I had to be knowledgeable about whatever the listener would want to know about. That nature of not knowing what the person on the other end of the line might want also prepared me really well for my shift into IT . 

Q: What do you wish someone had told you before you started working in end user computing?

A: That I would never ever know everything there was to know about end user computing and technology, and to be comfortable with that. 

Q: It’s not unusual to see you leaving or coming back from a run with colleagues. Are you marathoner?

A: I’ve run a marathon and a couple of half marathons as well as a lot of 10 miles and 10ks. 10k is my absolute favorite distance as you can focus a lot on speed rather than conservation of energy. 

Q: You’ve gained a reputation as the building’s animal wrangler. How did that happen?

A: My very first day here as a temp there were a couple of mice in the stairwell by the front desk. No one else wanted to go near them, much less touch them. I put some gloves on and scooped them into a little cup and took them up to the wildlife rehab center. This resulted in me getting direct emails anytime there was an animal inside or around the building. This led to me helping a sparrow, two pigeons, and eventually a Canada goose. Though that’s a story for another time. 

Q: Aw come on, tell us about the goose.

A: Gus the Goose was found outside the loading dock on a fateful MPR day. He spent most of the morning running away from me and hissing. While doing his best to get hit by traffic on 7th Street and Minnesota Street. Eventually we were able to capture him in a soft blanket and put him in the front seat of my Volvo — in a large cardboard box that looked like it would do the trick.

I was driving him up to the wildlife rehab center, and I had just merged onto Hwy 36. I heard a small ripping sound and looked over to see what looked like a scene from an all goose rendition of The Shining. Gus the Goose had managed to use his beak to break through a small tear in the box, and was now looking up at me with just his head and wing poking out from a now mostly ripped apart box. He then burst forth into my lap while I was still driving on the highway.

I managed to wrangle him out of my face, and force him back in the demolished box (at this point the Star Trek fight theme was definitely playing in my head), and tie the box front back up with the blanket we’d use to catch him in the first place. I think the employees at the rehab center must’ve been very confused with me as I showed up looking like I’d been through some kind of horror movie with an undulating, box that had obviously seen better days. 

Q: What happened to the goose?

A: I can’t recall what happened after that, but I hope Gus is now more comfortable and hopefully a continent or two away from me.

 

A lot of APMG employees pitched in to make their communities better in 2017. We’re proud that charitable work is part of our culture – in fact, every year our workers get paid time off for volunteer activities.

Some of our folks choose to do additional work at the end of the year as well. For example, MPR’s Warm Clothing Drive raised 131 new items of clothing for kids in need.  About 300 kids received warm winter clothes (coats, scarves, gloves and mittens) in early December at Fairview Park and Recreation Center in Minneapolis. The event was sponsored by the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council.

APMG employees Kassira Absar and Kate Moos, and a lot of winter coats.

The Marketplace staff also got into the spirit of things with the “Marketplace Cares” initiative.  In early December the New York Bureau kicked things off by donating and wrapping gifts for New York Cares. Our staff in LA made more than 150 lunches that were delivered to My Friend’s Place and the Downtown Women’s Center. They also sorted donated clothing at My Friend’s Place which assists homeless youth in Los Angeles. They’ve also been helping to prepare hygiene kits for selected charities and sorting food donations at the LA Food Bank

Thanks to everyone at APMG who did extra for their communities this year!

Danielle Stellner, APMG’s managing partner for business planning, was recently honored with the First Decade Award from her alma mater, Augsburg University in Minneapolis.

Photo: Eamon Coyne

According to Augsburg’s own site, the First Decade award is….

….presented to Augsburg graduates of the past 10 years who have made significant progress in their professional achievements and contributions to the community, and in so doing exemplify the mission of the University: to prepare future leaders in service to the world.

Danielle Stellner graduated from Augsburg in 2007 and is an inspiration to just about everybody she meets, someone who benefited from encouragement and mentorship early in her career, and who has never forgotten to do the same for others. She went on to earn an MBA from the Carlson School of Management. She serves on the board of the Friendship Academy of the Arts, a blue-ribbon school that serves predominantly African American students; co-chairs the Augsburg
Women Engaged (AWE) group; and former Secretary of the board of Isuroon , an organization committed to self-sufficiency of Somali women and their families.