Steve Rothschild, shown in a 2012 Star Tribune file photo.
Steve Rothschild, who retired as an executive at General Mills at age 45 to start a Twin Cities nonprofit that has helped empower and train for employment thousands of high-school dropouts, ex-offenders and others, has retired as chairman of Twin Cities Rise.
Rothschild was an executive vice president after 21 years when he left Mills in 1991 to explore societal interests. He funded Twin Cities Rise out of his own pocket and was its first CEO in 1993.
Rothschild, 73, was gradually surrounded by like-minded business-and-community supporters over the years. He built a successful model that addressed the high unemployment and generational poverty in the metro area, particularly among African American men.
Rothschild spent Thursday chairing his last board meeting and visiting with Rise participants and staff at its North Minneapolis headquarters. He said the time had come to move on: ‘’I am confident that TCR will continue to do well and make great impact in our community.”
The Rise board elected businessman Craig Bentdahl as chairman to succeed Rothschild.
Rise, under Rothschild and several CEOs, pioneered several initiatives that helped it serve 1,400 unemployed and underemployed people annually. It has placed thousands in jobs that often start at $25,000-plus, with a career path, often doubling or more a participant’s annual income.
Rise’s programing includes ‘’empowerment’’ training that includes humility, listening and personal responsibility. It is taken by Rise trainees, and taught to interested business people, community volunteers and prison inmates who often train with Rise after incarceration.
Bentdahl said: "Steve's visionary leadership in founding and guiding TCR over the past 25 years has been instrumental in transforming thousands of lives out of poverty. He's a remarkable leader who combines great compassion with innovation, drive and outstanding executive skills. I'm energized by our mission to help chronically unemployed people turn their lives around and find meaningful employment."