New Experiences added to the Bids & Bytes Benefit — support the future of Minnesota’s STEM workforce!

benefit featured image
August 22, 2017

MHTA — New C-Level experiences have been added to the list of items for bidding at the MHTA Foundation’s Bids & Bytes Benefit, which will be held on September 12 at The Aria.

The C-Level “Experiences” up for auction include:

Behind the Scenes Customized Tour at MSP Airport – Offered by Rick King, EVP/CIO, Thomson Reuters

Custom tour hosted by MAC Commissioner and Thomson Reuters EVP/CIO Rick King. From baggage claim to the tower, guests will see how MSP airport operates in this special, behind the scenes tour. The winner will choose which places to visit from a wide variety of airport areas.

Behind the Scenes with Xcel Energy – Offered by David Harkness, CIO, Xcel Energy

Winning bidder will have the choice between one of two unique Xcel Energy experiences:

Choice #1 – Power Plant Tour for 12 people. Choice #2 – Executive Lake Cruise for 4 people.

Music and Dinner for Four – Offered by Tom Baden, Commissioner and Chief Information Officer, Minnesota IT Services, State of Minnesota

An evening out for four including a live performance by Commissioner Tom Baden and his band. Dinner to follow featuring wood fire cooking with a variety of hand-crafted cocktails.

Behind the Scenes — Technical Tour of the Xcel Energy Center – Offered by Jim Ibister, Vice President, Facility Administration, Minnesota Wild & General Manager, Saint Paul RiverCentre

The tour will consist of a behind the scenes tour of Xcel Energy, Home of the Minnesota Wild, from the Press Box to the Ice Level and will highlight all the technical components along the way that few in the public, ever see. Open to 10-15 participants.

Mississippi River Boat Cruise – Offered by Cris Ross, CIO – Mayo Clinic

Up to 6 people can join Cris for a ride on the Mississippi River on his antique classic cruiser.

We will also be announcing more details on experiences available for bidding from:

  • Anudeep Parhar, CIO – Entrust Datacard
  • Kim Skanson, President, Cargill Business Services

In addition to the experiences for auction, the event will also include activities during the social hour:

The Works: Engineering Design Challenge — Sail Car Racing
Customize a sail car, test its performance and participate in a race.

High Tech Kids: Robot Challenge
Players use robots to compete against each other to gather as many game pieces while blocking their opponent’s robot.

The Bell Museum: Astronaut Glove Box Challenge
Participants will wear gloves and attempt to assemble puzzles or work with nuts and bolts in the shortest time.

Donating to the MHTA Foundation is an investment in the future of Minnesota’s workforce. Together, we can pool our resources and excitement to become a top-competing state for technology business, which we’re accomplishing in three ways, by:

  • Educating and supporting students through our STEM scholarships and hands-on experience,
  • Communicating the need for STEM-educated college graduates, and
  • Partnering with the local science and technology community to build strong connections and resources.

This work is necessary; Minnesota will need to fill nearly 155,000 STEM jobs by 2020. Our most recent Workforce Update found nearly 11,000 open STEM jobs. This talent shortage will have negative implications for local businesses and our statewide economy if we don’t address it.

Kristal Jameson

Kristal Jameson

The MHTA Foundation’s work is making a difference. 2013 STEM Scholar Kristal Jameson said, “The MHTA scholarship was incredibly helpful financially, first and foremost. It allowed me to focus more on school and what I wanted to do, rather than worrying about incurring more debt. Secondly, the recognition of this prestigious award helped me see myself as a successful STEM student, giving me an extra boost of courage to go after my goals.”

Make a difference and support the future success of Minnesota – and your organization – by participating in the benefit and donating to the MHTA Foundation.

Tickets are just $65! You can also buy two tickets for $120, a savings of $10! Register today at

The MHTA Foundation appreciates the generous support of the sponsors of the 2017 Bids & Bytes Benefit:

Presenting: Dell EMC

Supporting: Baker Tilly, Minnesota Computers for Schools, Forsythe, Optimity Advisors, Slalom, St. Jude Medical, Thomson Reuters, ThreeBridge

Printing: Unisys


  • Check out today's IT Workforce Wednesday report! There are more than 9,500 IT job openings in the Twin Cities.…
  • Thanks also to @unisyscorp for sponsoring today’s @MHTA CIO Panel!
  • Thanks again to our sponsors, our panel, and to our emcee, @deethibodeau from Charter Solutions for making this yea…
  • Not surprised to hear a question to the CIO Panel about tech workforce issues, but fascinating to hear the increase…
  • We’re grateful for the support of @Dahl_Consulting at today’s @MHTA CIO Panel. Thank you for sponsoring! Learn mor…
Follow Us ›