Best Buy and Target Continue Longtime Support of Humphrey School Through Public Leadership Awards Sponsorship

June 8, 2022
Mike Hiltner of Best Buy and Isaac Reyes of Target on stage at the 2022 Public Leadership Awards
Mike Hiltner of Best Buy, left, and Isaac Reyes of Target make remarks at the 2022 Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards dinner on May 25, 2022. Photo: Bruce Silcox

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is pleased to acknowledge Best Buy and Target for their major sponsorship of the School’s 2022 Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards.

The two Minnesota-based companies are longtime supporters of the annual awards event, which recognizes individuals and organizations that contribute to the common good through leadership and service.

This year’s gala, which took place on May 25, recognized Reatha Clark King, a pioneer in chemistry at NASA, in higher education, business, philanthropy, and community service; Acooa Ellis, senior vice president of community impact at Greater Twin Cities United Way; Tracey Williams-Dillard, CEO and publisher of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder; and Xcel Energy.   

In addition, Humphrey School alumna Lee Wallace (MPP ‘05) received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Wallace is the owner and CEO of Peace Coffee. 

Sponsorship of the Public Leadership Awards helps the School raise funds to support scholarships for students. 

Best Buy

“We are proud to be a premier sponsor of this inspiring event, and a longtime supporter of the Humphrey School,” said Mike Hiltner, vice president of public affairs at Best Buy, at the event. Hiltner noted the challenges of the past two years brought on by the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. 

“As we’ve seen many leaders step up to advocate for a more equitable and inclusive Twin Cities community, we owe so much gratitude to each of them for setting the tone and inspiring us to be better colleagues, better neighbors, and better humans,” Hiltner said.

“We’re grateful to the Humphrey School for the important work you do to support the incredible leaders of today and cultivate learning development in the talent of tomorrow,” said Hiltner. “Thank you for leading us toward a stronger, more equitable, and inclusive future. Best Buy is deeply grateful to be part of this work and to be able to support it.” 


“We’re thrilled to be a presenting sponsor [of the Public Leadership Awards] and to support the Humphrey School,” said Isaac Reyes, senior vice president at Target and a member of the Humphrey School Dean’s Advisory Council, at the event. “We at Target are asked to support so many good and worthy causes in the Twin Cities. The Humphrey School is always at the top of our list.”

Reyes noted the Humphrey School is consistently ranked as one of the top public affairs graduate schools in the country. 

“It’s great to have such a nationally recognized institution in our hometown,” he said. “The work that the Humphrey School does is critical. It’s important to the community, and it’s important to the students” who are being trained as the next generation of leaders. 

The companies’ support of the Humphrey School fits in with their long-standing commitment to community engagement. Employees of Best Buy and Target typically donate tens of thousands of hours of volunteer service each year. They have each begun funding scholarships for BIPOC college students and provide training opportunities for teens. 

Dean Nisha Botchwey said she is grateful to the sponsors for their ongoing support of the Humphrey School. 

You continue to make a meaningful impact in the lives of our students,” she said. “The Public Leaders Fellowship Fund creates opportunities for those students and it creates lasting change. Through your sponsorship, you are supporting our legacy of advancing the common good in our diverse world.”