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Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest announces new CEO, Sara Dziuk

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest - Greater Mankato

St. Paul, Minn. – Sara Dziuk has been named President & CEO of Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest (JAUM) by the organization’s board of directors effective July 1. She was selected following a comprehensive search to replace Gina Blayney, who announced her retirement last summer after 15 years as CEO of the organization.

Sara was most recently the chief advancement officer for College Possible, overseeing the organization’s fundraising, communications, and external relations at the national level. She joined College Possible in 2010 as executive director of the Minnesota site. During her tenure, College Possible Minnesota doubled the number of students supported and grew revenue from about $2 million to nearly $6 million.  Founded in 2000, College Possible helps make college admission and success possible for low-income students through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. 

Sara is not new to the Junior Achievement organization. Prior to joining College Possible, she was a JAUM senior leader responsible for both development and program functions, including the introduction of new programs, overseeing educational evaluations, and developing relationships with donors, schools, and community partners. Prior to joining the JA team in 2007, Sara served on the JAUM Advisory Board in Mankato and helped inspire local students as a classroom volunteer. She also served as vice president of the Greater Mankato Convention & Visitors Bureau, managing strategic, financial, and day-to-day operations 

“We are thrilled to welcome Sara back to the Junior Achievement team,” said JAUM Board Chair Jan Kruchoski. “She is an extraordinary leader with a personal commitment to our mission and the students we seek to inspire. Her outstanding accomplishments in the education field make her an ideal candidate to lead the organization in enhancing its digital strategy to support students in this new distance learning environment.”

“I am honored to return to Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest as CEO,” said Dziuk. “The organization has been an important part of my professional life since I started as a JA volunteer after college. I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to continue impacting students in our region with important lessons on financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship.”

In 2013, Sara was recognized as a Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree for demonstrating exceptional business savvy, leadership, and community involvement. She received an MBA from Minnesota State University in Mankato and a bachelor’s degree in management from Gustavus Adolphus College. She volunteers for several community organizations and resides in Apple Valley with her husband, Mark, and three young children. 


About Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest has been serving students in Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin since 1949. During the 2018-2019 school year the organization reached nearly 170,000 students in grades K-12 with financial literacy, work and career readiness, and entrepreneurship education. JA programs are implemented by more than 10,000 volunteers, mostly business professionals, who share their skills and experience to motivate and inspire students to succeed. Learn more at www.jaum.org.


For More Information, Contact:

Lori Dossett – Director of Marketing & Communications 

Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest

Cell: 612.298.0050




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