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Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership

The Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership honors an outstanding individual who, through his/her work, has demonstrated the principles of ethical leadership. The award is presented at the annual Hendrickson Forum.

2015 Award Recipient

The 2015 Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership will be awarded to Mary Brainerd, President and CEO of HealthPartners, the largest consumer governed nonprofit health care organization in the nation. HealthPartners both insures and provides health and dental care to 1.5 million people, operating seven hospitals and more than 50 clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and employing more than 22,500 people. Brainerd joined HealthPartners in 1992 and was promoted to CEO in 2002.

Brainerd is also one of the founding CEOs of the Itasca Project, a group of 40 government, civic, and business leaders addressing the issues that impact long-term economic growth, including jobs, education, transportation, and economic disparities. She serves on the boards of Minnesota Life/Securian, Minnesota Council of Health Plans, The St. Paul Foundation, Minneapolis Federal Reserve, and SurModics.

Born and raised in St. Paul, Minn., Brainerd has earned well-deserved recognition for her work. She was Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 2007 Executive of the Year and was named as one of the Business Journal’s Most Influential Women in Business, 1999 and 2002.

Brainerd earned an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota.

Award Criteria

Nominees for the Award will be ethical leaders that reflect and have demonstrated the following principles noted in Doing Right in a Shrinking World by Brother Louis DeThomasis and Neal St. Anthony:

  • an attitude that embraces diversity, differences and ambiguity;
  • an appreciation for the gift of globally diverse cultures including our own;
  • a creative imagination that leads not to change, but to transformation;
  • the language of stewardship and abundance that transcends ideology;
  • an acceptance of and enthusiasm for the positive integration of faith and finance;
  • an unwavering commitment to do good and to give more; and
  • faith that the outcome of giving more is that we receive more for ourselves, and for all of humankind.

Nominees should demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Makes a significant contribution to the community
  • Employs ethical approaches that are innovative or creative, whether for a business or the community
  • Provides an example of an ethical decision that was in some way transformational for others (employees, customers, volunteers, the community) and the resources and influence used to accomplish this
  • Serves as a role model for young and emerging ethical leaders


The medal may be presented to any individual who is an ethical business leader and lives in the 11-county Twin Cities metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, or Wright counties) or the three-county Winona area (Olmsted, Wabasha, or Winona counties).

Those not eligible for this award include employees, current students and those involved in governance, on a paid or volunteer basis, of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.