piper jaffray president deb schoneman at first friday podium

First Friday

Since 1991, St. Thomas alumni and friends have been drawn to First Friday Speaker Series to engage with the community’s most interesting thought leaders, innovators and changemakers. The speakers’ often candid – and always relevant – messages offer a unique perspective on the common good and divulge what’s next for Minnesota and beyond.

2022-23 Season

The 2022-23 season is underway! Check back frequently for updates on upcoming speakers and topics.

30+

Years of thought leadership and meaningful dialogue

2022-23 Speakers

environmental photos of MayKao Hang and Bill George

October 2022

In October, attendees enjoyed a virtual conversation between business leader, bestselling author and executive fellow Bill George and Dr. MayKao Hang, vice president and founding dean of the Morrison Family College of Health.

Read Bios or Watch on YouTube
Environmental photos of Yohuru Williams and Dave St. Peter

November 2022

Register to better understand a consistent underlying theme in American sports: race. Dave St. Peter, President and CEO of the Minnesota Twins, and Dr. Yohuru Williams, Distinguished University Chair and Professor of History, and Founding Director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas will discuss this important topic.

Learn More and Register

Watch Video from Last Year

2021-22 Speakers

In-person or virtual, from the podium or as a fireside chat, these featured speakers provided valueable insights across many disciplines.
Environmental photos of Mayor Melvin Carter and Dr. Yohuru Williams

November 19

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Dr. Yohuru Williams, founding director of the Racial Justice Initiative at the University of St. Thomas discussed racial equity, educational disparities and where we go from here.

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Headshots of Jennifer DeCubellis and MayKao Hang

February 4

Jennifer DeCubellis, CEO of Hennepin Healthcare and Dr. MayKao Hang, founding dean of the Morrison Family College of Health at University of St. Thomas discussed the challenges and opportunities in transforming health care.
Read Bios or Watch On YouTube
Headshots of Karyn McCoy and Ozzie Nelson

March 4

Ozzie Nelson, chairman and CEO of Nelson, and Karyn McCoy, AVP of Alumni, Career and Corporate Engagement at St. Thomas, discussed surviving and thriving in a hybrid world, with lessons to be learned on building culture, connection and careers.
Read Bios or Watch on YouTube
Environmental Photos of Shari Ballard and Stefanie Lenway

April 1

Shari Ballard, CEO of Minnesota United FC and Dean Stefanie Lenway discussed and shared life-long lessons learned from their executive experiences.
Read the Bios or Watch on YouTube
greg cunningham seated on stage and speaking at first friday

Watch From Home

Couldn't make it to a First Friday? Watch previous speakers on our YouTube channel. Recordings of the 2020-21 season can also be found above.