Candy's story is nothing short of remarkable. A journey that began with academic aspirations ultimately led her to the pinnacle of leadership at Exhibit Partners, all while making significant contributions to her industry and community.
Education: A Foundation for Excellence
Candy's educational journey started by following her father’s footsteps in computer programming and kicked off with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the prestigious University of Minnesota. Armed with a solid foundation in technology, she embarked on a path that would eventually lead her to the world of business.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Candy pursued an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, broadening her horizons and equipping herself with the skills necessary to navigate the complex landscape of modern business.
But Candy's thirst for knowledge didn't stop there. She adorned her resume with a multitude of industry-recognized certifications, including IT, Manufacturing, and Project Management. Notable among these certifications are the PMI-ACP (Agile Project Management) and the Certified Scrum Master, showcasing her commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends.
Awards and Recognition: Celebrating Excellence
Candy's dedication and hard work didn't go unnoticed. Throughout her career, she received numerous awards recognizing her excellence in data analytics, continuous improvement, production results, and the power of inclusion. Her contributions to prestigious accolades like the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, Minnesota State Quality Award, and Innovation Excellence Award cemented her status
as an industry trailblazer.
Beyond the professional realm, Candy's commitment to giving back and volunteering has also been acknowledged. She made her mark with organizations like Technovation, Barriers2Entry, and the Executive Mentor programs, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to community and mentorship.
Career: A Diverse and Impactful Journey
Candy's career was a tapestry of diverse roles and industries. She began as a software developer at Computing Devices International out of college and then ventured into IT, Operations, Strategic Planning, and Leadership.
Her IT expertise spanned various sectors, including government defense, construction, finance, commercial banking, marketing technology, talent management, and manufacturing. Candy was not just a cog in the wheel; she delivered subject matter expert presentations at conferences, served on expert panels, and contributed to customer advisory boards in the United States and Canada.
Before joining Exhibit Partners, she held the position of Senior Operations Program Manager at 3M, where she led continuous improvement programs and teams across North America.
Exhibit Partners: A New Chapter in Leadership
Her journey reached new heights when she joined Exhibit Partners in January 2023 as the Director of Operations. Her rapid rise within the company culminated in her promotion to President & Chief Operations Officer in August of the same year. In this new role, she now oversees the day-to-day operations and is instrumental in executing the company's long-term vision.
Other Interests: A Passion for Sports and Community
Outside the boardroom, Candy's life is enriched by her love for sports, fitness, and the outdoors. She recently retired as an ice hockey official after dedicating 15+ years to the sport. Her officiating career included noteworthy achievements such as officiating at multiple levels, including high school, DIV I & III college, and even Olympic qualifiers. She has officiated in a magnitude of National Championship
Tournaments at the highest levels.
Not one to slow down, Candy continues to work with professional sports teams, supporting game day operations for the National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Soccer, where her technological expertise shines.
Personal: Minnesota Roots and a Love for Family
Born and raised in Minnesota, Candy has deep roots in her community. She cherishes spending time with her family, including her parents, brother, sister-in-law, and six nieces and nephews, all of whom live locally. She is particularly close to her uncle, Walter, who resides in Edmonton, Alberta Canada who is also a successful business owner in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Her appreciation for the outdoors and water sports is only rivaled by her affection for her loyal Sheepadoodle companion, Mango. Candy is grateful to have a close inner circle of friends who provide unwavering support and share in the joy of creating lasting memories.
She has a passion for squeezing every ounce out of life and what it has to offer. Her goal is to bring that to each and every day. Her favorite song verse, “What good is living a life you’ve been given if all you do is stand in one place?”, encompasses her Work Hard-Play Hard mentality. When not in working mode, she can frequently be found enjoying time on the boat, wake surfing and hanging out on the water.
Candy's journey from academia to leadership is an inspiring tale of determination, continuous learning, and an unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in both her professional and personal life.
Her story serves as a testament to the endless possibilities that lie ahead for those who embrace education, community, and a passion for excellence.