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Blandin Foundation welcomes Carolyn Olson

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Carolyn Olson joins Blandin Foundation as executive administrative assistant

In November, Carolyn Olson joined Blandin Foundation as the Administrative Executive Assistant for our CEO, Vice President and Director of Human Resources and Board Services. In this role, she handles correspondence, travel and meeting logistics, and document management.

To get to know Carolyn better, we asked her a few fun questions:

What can’t you live without?

I love my family, and I love to travel…so traveling with my family would be difficult to live without!  Two summers ago my husband and I took our children to Sweden, Norway and Denmark.  It was the first trip we have taken outside of the United States or Canada.  It is fun to feel that the world has just become a little closer not only for me, but for my children as well.  I like canoeing, hiking, and camping as well as reading and music.

What is your proudest moment?

For the last 10 years I have largely been raising my two girls full time.  Before they learned to talk, I taught them sign language to communicate with us.  One day, my husband and I were walking through a hallway in the high school where he taught.  He was carrying my daughter, and we were involved in a conversation, when we realized she was signing “bird”.  Upon looking around, we realized my husband was wearing a shirt with a cardinal emblem.  In that moment I realized by teaching her sign language, I had empowered her to express her own thoughts.  While getting my masters in chemistry was a proud moment in my life, I feel that I have made more of an impact on the world by investing time and passion into the raising of my children.

How did you get into your line of work?

You mean that being a chemist is not a logical precursor to administrative assistant?!?

Prior to staying home with my children I taught college chemistry laboratory classes.  In many ways, the administrative work involved in teaching has similarities to the administrative work I do here for the president, vice president, and the Board.  The intellectual energy and motivation I feel from the people I work with at Blandin feels very similar to that of a college campus…that makes me smile each time I step foot in the Blandin Foundation offices.

What does a vibrant rural community look like to you?

Coming from an academic background I believe education is an integral part of any vibrant community.   I also value the richness that cultural perspectives and heritage bring to a community.  A community where the strengths of all members are acknowledged and the voices of every member are heard, and where all people come together to solve problems and celebrate accomplishments.

Click here to meet the other Blandin Foundation staff members.

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