By Greg Hugh
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Minnesota Chapter recently observed National Philanthropy Day by hosting a celebration to honor individuals and groups whose philanthropy has improved our communities and the world. More than 400 guests attended this event held in the grand ballroom of the JW Marriott at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The following were recognized at this year’s celebration: Outstanding Philanthropists, Bill and Teri Popp and David and Patty Murphy; Outstanding Professional Fundraiser, Mort Naiman; Outstanding Philanthropic Organization, Federated Insurance Company and Jennie Hsiao, Outstanding Philanthropist.
According to the biography presented in the program booklet on each honoree, Jennie Hsiao was described as follows:
“Jennie Hsiao has been an active and recognized leader in Minnesota’s Chinese-American community for more than 60 years. She is described as a shining example of generosity, honesty, initiative, leadership, and dedicated involvement in causes she cares deeply about. A native of Hunan Province, she came to Minnesota in 1958 to marry Feng ‘Fred’ Hsiao, who co-founded Shaw-Lundquist Associates, Inc., the largest minority-owned construction firm in the Midwest, where until recently, Jennie served as a director.
“Like many Chinese-Americans, Jennie’s early giving reflected her desire to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture – first for American-raised children and then for her community.
“Jennie has broadened her passion for philanthropy through many gifts to a diverse group of Chinese-American cultural and social organizations to enhance understanding of Chinese culture. She has also been generous of her time in support of the University of Minnesota, promoting the Chinese garden and the many wonderful programs offered to students and the public about Chinese language, culture and society.
“Jennie has been a generous donor to the University of Minnesota, including the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, China Center, Confucius Institute, and Gopher Athletics. Jennie provided the lead gift for a Chinese Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. In 2001, she and Fred established the Hsiao Scholarship and in 2005 the Hsiao-Shaw Lundquist Fellowship at the China Center, benefiting more than 100 students to date.
“Jennie’s passionate support for students through the scholarships she and Fred established through Minnesota China Center from donors in the Chinese-American, University, and Minnesota communities.”
Videos showcasing each honoree’s contributions were shown, followed by comments from the honorees. All of them spoke candidly about their call to philanthropy. Hsiao proved to be an excellent example of how the Chinese American community could be a more active participant to encourage and advance philanthropy in our community.
Hsiao was nominated by Joan Brzezinski, University of Minnesota China Center, Sherri Gerbert Fuller, Minnesota Historical Society, Peter Moe, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and Susan Hommes, University of Minnesota Foundation and selected by an AFP committee to be an honoree.
To learn more about AFP, visit www.afpminnesota.org.