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2009 Annual Report Helping Students Succeed in the 21st Century


“If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work on brass, time will efface it. If we rear temples, they will crumble to dust. But if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we impress on them high principles,... and love for their fellow men, we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.” ~ Daniel Webster

Serving the 21st Century Student As we share the successes and accomplishments of the past year, we are also excited to be looking forward to the future of MCFS, our partner schools and organizations, and the students we serve. Adopting the perspective of the International 21st Century Skills Partnership, we are putting our energy into understanding and addressing the needs of Minnesota’s 21st Century Student. Minnesota students need an education that incorporates the skills required to succeed in a global economy – critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration – and technology plays an essential role. This isn’t just about academic success; it’s about setting the stage for lifetime achievement. In 2009, we are proud to have provided 3,070 computers, bringing our total to 54,000 computers placed. More than 295,000 Minnesota students – nearly a third of the state’s student body – were touched by this technology. And last but certainly not least, MCFS recycled more than 276,000 pounds of computer-related waste in 2009 benefiting the companies who donated, the schools and the environment. Our inmate workers, staff and board of directors are proud of our accomplishments this past year. Our work and vision for the future just keep building, and our impact is felt throughout the system. In the Forest Lake school district – where our computers impacted more than 3,000 students – administrators estimate saving more than 1/3 of their computer budget by purchasing through MCFS. Additionally, the district recycled their own technology with us, completing the circle. As you know, MCFS relies on commitments from technology donors, financial contributors and our partners at foundations, nonprofits and government to ensure that Minnesota students have access to these computers. As we celebrate 2009, we also thank you for your continued support of MCFS. We could not do it without you. Thank you. Sincerely, Tammy & Steve

Tamara Gillard Executive Director

Steven Willems Chair


2010 Board of Directors MCFS Staff


Tamara Gillard

Steve Dess

 xecutive Director E Learning for Leadership Charter School

Bruce Lindberg

 xecutive Director E Center for Strategic Information Sys. & Security

Executive Director

Brian Beaupre Production & Tech Support Manager/Webmaster Jim Christiansen Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Dopkins

Business Manager

Dave Kanipes

Intake Manager

Jim Thirsten

Inventory Manager

Tom Tieman

Production Manager

Gary Urban Director of Operations and Customer Service

Officers Steven Willems Chair VP - Information Solutions Board of Pensions ELCA Steven Bartholet Vice Chair Chief Operating Officer Dave Scheffler Secretary Sr. Finance Director U.S. CRDM Sales West Area- Medtronic Kate Andrews Treasurer CPA

Barbara K. Mednick P  R & Marketing Consultant BKM Consulting, Inc. Kim Meek Principal Caliber Partners, LLC Mary Mehsikomer

 etwork Coordinator N NW-LINKS/Region 1

Scott Moen

Attorney at Law

Tracy Morgan

 onsultant | Owner C Segnavia Creative

Jim Ogren

 etired Consultant R CFPIM, CIRM, CSCP

Kate Richards

 xecutive Consultant E KLR Consulting, Inc

Dave Saunders

 usiness Solutions Manager B Keane

Eric Vercauteren

 ttorney at Law A Oppenheimer Wolff and Donnelly LLP


“If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him.  An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.� ~ Benjamin Franklin

2009 Revenue & Expenses Revenue Expenses Product Sales




Cash Contributions



$ 79,500

Scrap Revenue

$ 51,000

Inmate Wages

$ 36,000

Interest Income

$ 1,300

Marketing & Travel

$ 28,700


$ 19,600


$ 10,000

Sales by Month January through December 2009 $ in 1,000's 140

Dollar Sales

120 100 80 60 40 20 0










Oct09 Nov09


Sales Summary January through December 2009

Computers/Related Equipment %72.60 Contribution 18.66 Scrap 6.73 Shipping 0.95 Sale of Assets 0.56 Consignment Sales 0.51 Total $672,968.58

By Item


MCFS 2009 Highlights Schools New Schools – During 2009 there were 31 new school customers.

Thank you to our 2009 contributors • 3M Foundation

Computer Technology Placements – MCFS placed 3070 computers and laptops in Minnesota schools and educational nonprofits in 2009.

• CH Robinson Worldwide Foundation


• Medtronic Foundation

Marketing & Communication – During 2009 MCFS launched its new website. We published our first newsletter and distributed three issues in 2009.

• Qwest Foundation

Social Media – In 2009, MCFS:

• Steve and Cathy Bartholet & Ameriprise Financial

• C  reated a Facebook page at

• Caliber Partners, LLC

• C  reated a LinkedIn profile at

• Ecolab Foundation • Fred C. Katherine B. Andersen Foundation • Pentair Foundation • STAR AT Reuse • Travelers Foundation

• B  ruce Lindberg & Minnesota State Colleges and Universities • Craig Pratt, in honor of Steve Willems

Annual Report – During 2009, MCFS created its first • Dave Saunders annual report highlighting the accomplishments • Dave Scheffler & The Medtronic Foundation in 2008. • Jim & Mary Thirsten


• Eric Vercauteren & Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly

Booths – During 2009 Tammy and staff marketed MCFS by attending a variety of events including MISF, STEM Fair, MASA, TIES, MSAE, SWSC, NWSC, Lakes Country Coop, MHTA Spring Conference, MEMO Fall Conference, MNSAA and Industrial ED Conference.

“Computing is not about computers any more.  It is about living.”

Tekne Finalist – MCFS was named a Tekne Finalist in the Green Category for the MHTA Tekne Awards. Over 1000 individuals in the technology field were in attendance. The Tekne Awards honor companies and individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership in Minnesota. The Green Award honors businesses that practice environmental awareness/responsibility and incorporate sustainability principles into their overall business model.

~ Nicholas Negroponte


The 21st Century Student In the past 30 years, the manufacturing economy has given way to one based in service and driven by: • Information

New jobs require:

• Knowledge • Innovation

• Creativity & innovation • Critical thinking & complex problem solving • Communication & collaboration • Information & media literacy • Flexibility & adaptability • Social & cross-cultural skills • Productivity & accountability • Leadership & responsibility

An uphill battle • S chools are being asked to do more, with less… or nothing • T  echnology access for students can be limited to just a few hours a week

MCFS helps by:

• S chools rely on outdated textbooks or library resources

• R  aising awareness – lack of up-to-date technology in Minnesota schools is limiting student potential

• T  eachers need more professional development around technology

• O  btaining computers and funds vital to supporting the program for schools

• T  here are high levels of attrition and layoff among teachers in schools

• R  efurbishing technology – providing information access, communication and skills to be productive

• A  dministrators face tough decisions between retaining staff, meeting academic standards and maintaining infrastructure

• Recycling waste – protecting the environment • D  elivering value – able to provide more technology for the dollar, allowing schools to direct savings to other 21st Century Student needs

Ideas adopted from the work of the 21st Century Skills Partnership at


Why Transform Technology? Simple. Reusing technology benefits everyone: • T  he donor organizations that need to make way for updated technology • T  he environment by eliminating technology items in our landfills • S chools and other nonprofit programs by providing cost-effective computing solutions • A  nd the students, who need access to technology to develop their 21st century student skills Addressing the student need is paramount for MCFS. Technology is a key component of building skills because it provides access to information, tools for using information, real-world learning experiences and the ability to interact with others both inside and outside of their local community.

New Spirit School I am writing this note to let you know how appreciative New Spirit School is for the donations you set up for us through Minnesota Computers for Schools. We would not have otherwise been able to provide the computer lab for our Primary school. As you know many schools, especially Charter Schools, have budgets that are so tight, it makes it hard to spend money on technology we know will help prepare our students for the world beyond our school campus. ~ Jeffrey Thul New Spirit School

Students in the K-12 system today have come of age in a digital world. These students readily use technology to access information – at their fingertips – 24/7. Schools are attempting to educate them with rapidly aging and defunct technology, requiring students to “power down” to come to school. In addition, the growth of online learning options and resources is changing the face of education as we know it. MCFS plays a critical role in transforming technology effectively and efficiently while empowering students and schools.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” ~ Nelson Mandela


“If you plan for a year, plant a seed. If for ten years, plant a tree. If for a hundred years, teach the people. When you sow a seed once, you will reap a single harvest. When you teach the people, you will reap a hundred harvests.” ~ Kuan Chung

How does it work? MCFS accepts any type of computer equipment from businesses or schools. If equipment cannot be refurbished, we use it in our recycling program. This equipment is demanufactured and salvageable components are reused. The rest is recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. Any value received from the recycling process helps to benefit our program.

The MCFS way: • C  omputers are rebuilt using industry manufacturing standards, including a 24-hour burn to ensure system stability • Systems can be customized to meet a school’s IT infrastructure • A  ll systems receive a genuine Microsoft licensed operating system and an educational software bundle • All systems come with a warranty and technical support

Training MCFS provides training and on-the-job work experience for approximately 40 inmates at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater. Inmate workers in the MCFS program make a valuable contribution to society and to their personal rehabilitation through their labor to refurbish and rebuild technology equipment.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi


Donations Ever try to dispose of a computer or a monitor at home? If you can even find a place, you’re likely to pay exorbitant rates, drive across town or partially take the computer apart on your own. Now, multiply that by an entire division of a business getting upgrades – how do you get rid of 15, 50 or 100 computers? MCFS provides a safe, reliable place to handle this process. • Company ownership is transferred to MCFS upon donation • Data on hard drives is removed to U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) standards • No company liability for improper disposal • No follow-up, licensing or technical issues required for donated technology – it’s out of your hands

The MCFS Difference

Computer Donor Benefits

• C  omputers donated by companies are refurbished, cleaned and tested before school placement

• C  orporate image is enhanced with a quality product being placed in Minnesota schools

• M  CFS deploys a 24-hour burn process to test all components and ensure quality control

• Data on hard drives is removed to DOD standards

• S chools receive technical support and a three-year warranty on computers • E  very component of an end-of-life computer is recycled • E  ach machine’s serial number is traceable to a de-manufacturing date

• M  CFS prevents future liabilities relating to improper disposal • C  ompanies can add proper disposal methods to their “green” programs • D  onors have no need to worry about subsequent inquiries or requests for assistance from past donations

Customer Benefits • C  ustomers receive a reliable system that meets specific requirements • S aves customers money for licenses and significant time in deploying machines • M  CFS provides value-added capabilities with bundled applications • S ystems are customized to a school’s IT infrastructure • C  ustomers can return end-of-life computers for environmentally sound disposal • C  ustomers receive the best warranty in the business!


“What we are living with is the result of human choices and it can be changed by making better, wiser choices.” ~ Robert Redford

Did you know? Recycled Aluminum In 2009, MCFS recycled: • 101,261 lbs of metal • 60,742 lbs of plastic • 55,984 lbs of CRT’s • 6,430 lbs of copper • 3,496 lbs of aluminum • 1,441 lbs of screws Baled Metal

Dear Tamara, I just wanted to thank you for all of your support throughout the years in the form of donations (computers), for our Arlington BioSMART students!

Recycled Copper

Make no Mistake, these kids are poor, and with the support of your program, you DID make a difference in the lives of our students!! For that, I cannot thank you enough! Thanks Again, Sincerely, ~ John Witzmann

Recycled Memory


2009 Hardware Donors A total of 65 companies and government agencies donated computer hardware to MCFS in 2009. We thank the following companies for helping us to transform technology into student success! • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Activar, Inc. Aerospace Welding, Inc. All Saints Catholic Church American Red Cross/Bayport Applied Engineering Technologies Beacon Academy Berry Bros., Inc. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Cargill Grain Child Care Works City of Blaine City of Bloomington City of Brooklyn Center City of Columbia Heights City of Ham Lake City of Shoreview Cooperating Community Programs CRE Strategy Cystic Fibrosis Foundation District Labor Council DV-Ent Artist Group Emmons Olivier Resources Environments Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Highway DOT First State Bank General Dynamics Information Systems Girl Scouts Great River Energy Green Solutions of North America Hellmuth & Johnson PLLC Hennepin County Icon Insignia Systems, Inc. Lake Area Bank Medtronic Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Department of Transportation Minnesota High Tech Association Minnesota Legislative Auditors Office Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota Department of Corrections MTS Systems Corporation Pace Analytical

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Randall Berger Consulting Regions Hospital Reliable Medical Supply Rice Memorial Hospital Safety Features Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution Inc. St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce St. Stephen’s Human Services Star Services, Inc. Computer recycling. Three Rivers Park District Travelers Foundation U.S. Customs and Border Protection United States Secret Service Velocity Tech Solutions Inc. Washington County Administration/Central Services Division • Wells Fargo • White Bear Glass • Youth Service Bureau In addition to the above mentioned companies, MCFS provides a venue for 28 schools for computer recycling.


“At Murray Junior High School we have utilized the services of Minnesota Computers for Schools on  several occasions, and found them to be very reliable, and all of the equipment to be of good quality.  The very reasonable prices have allowed us to replace several outdated computer labs which we could  not have otherwise afforded to update.� ~ Dr. Winston H. Tucker, Principal

Nonprofit Programs Eager to Learn MCFS worked through our partnership with the Fred C. & Katherine B. Andersen Foundation to provide computers to forty families. The Eager to Learn (E2L) program addresses the tutoring needs of students in grades K-12. They employ teachers, college students, pre-service teachers, and community volunteers to focus on teaching children the basic skills in mathematics, reading, writing and mentoring for post-secondary education. This has been a very successful partnership with MCFS providing technology for 21st Century skills and E2L providing the training required to help these students become successful by teaching and instructing the children/ families in the use and care of the technology, how to infuse technology into daily learning and then, send the learning tool home with the family.


Nonprofit Programs AVID MCFS is working with AVID staff through our partnership with the Travelers Foundation. MCFS placed 40 laptops in the Highland Park AVID program in the first collaboration. This February we started our second collaboration and placed 25 laptops in the Ramsey Jr. High program. These laptops were put into use in April.

Hands Across the World High Tech Kids Minnesota Computers for Schools, through funding by the 3M Foundation, provided 2 laptops to High Tech Kids for their First Lego League tournaments to run each teams’ points tabulation and scoring. High Tech Kids delivers fun, hands-on science, engineering and technology programs and events that help Minnesota kids in their formative pre-teen years.

Wired for 2020 MCFS was a program partner of The Mentoring Parnership’s Wired for 2020 event held at the Mall of America in April. MCFS donated 30 laptops for student training that day.

With the help of the C.H. Robinson Foundation, Minnesota Computers for Schools partnered with Hands Across the World which put fifteen laptop computers in use with their immigrant families. HAW works with refugee families who have lived in the U.S. less than five years, have young children and minimal computer experience. Students that are enrolled at HAW learn English, mathematics, and other life skills to help them become competent, competitive workers in the United States.


“Everyone, young and old, must have access to the knowledge  and skills to participate in the evolving economy.” ~ James H. Douglas

Schools, programs & projects Minnesota Computers for Schools is very happy to report that through funding by the Qwest Foundation we were able to provide computer technology to six schools in Greater Minnesota. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School in Hastings Minnesota took advantage of MCFS’s computer systems to significantly upgrade their existing computer lab. Principal Rita Humbert was able to place Pentium 4 dualcore Gateway all-in one Computer Technology in her school which replaced aging Pentium 3 technology in their main computer lab. This technology enhancement will be a big boost to the computer lab and it’s responsibilities in helping enhance the education of the students at the Catholic grade school.

Edison High School

Minneapolis Foundation – Digital Inclusion Fund Through the Digital Inclusion Fund by the Minneapolis Foundation, MCFS provided 80 students in low-income areas with laptops. The laptops were distributed through schoolbased programs that include the student “tech teams” approach – students were trained in computer maintenance and operation, and agreed to assist users. Some of the tech team students became the “go-to” for those teachers needing assistance. 40 laptops were placed with students at Patrick Henry High School in the afterschool computer program. 40 Laptops were placed with students at Edison High School who participated in A+ and Computer programming classes. Equipment was repurposed from MCFS equipment donations. Students completed their training or coursework to earn their laptop.


Schools, programs & projects Chemistry Simulation Labs

Urban Academy

Urban Academy Thanks to the Travelers Foundation partnership, MCFS was able to provide laptop technology to improve technology access for students at Urban Academy, which will prepare them for academic success. Adams Spanish-Emersion Magnet School is working with a difficult student population and is experiencing a serious technology budget shortfall. Thanks to Ecolab Foundation funding, MCFS helped to place Dual Core computer technology in the school. This equipment made a big impact on both the school and its students.

Through project support by the Medtronic Foundation Minnesota Computers for Schools in partnership with Bitwixt Software, Inc. placed computer labs and Chemistry Simulation software in Spring Lake Park and Fridley High Schools.

“The computers in room 103B have been a huge success. They are being used by multiple departments within our schools to support our instructional programs… With multiple classes each day using this room, it is used by more than 100 students  every day.” ~ Dave Webb, Principal Fridley Sr. High

Sr. Tresa Margret, Principal of St. John’s in Vermillion said “This program is very helpful to small rural schools like ours. We would not have been able to purchase any computers otherwise. The teachers are able to integrate technology with the curriculum they teach.” Fridley High School

St. John’s

Our Mission:

Our Vision

Minnesota Computers for Schools (MCFS) improves student success by transforming donated computer technology into greater educational opportunity for K-12 students in Minnesota.

To work collaboratively with our customers and partners to provide essential access to computer technology for all K-12 children in Minnesota by 2012.

Our History: MCFS established by Governor Carlson as a prgram of Minnesota Children, Families, & Learning.

Minnesota Dept. of Corrections provided facilities and labor to refurbish donated computers.


Funding provided by Minnesota Legislature for 3 years... until

June 2000

Summer Minnesota High Tech. Foundation helped secure funding

2000 MCFS becomes an official Non-Profit organization.






and reshape the organization to fund itself.

50,000 Computers placed.


Placed 54,000 computers and served 35 schools in 92 communities

Contact MCFS at: - or Tamara Gillard, MCFS Executive Director 651-779-2816

Minnesota Computers for Schools 2009 Annual Report  

A snapshot of accomplishments and financial reports from 2009.

Minnesota Computers for Schools 2009 Annual Report  

A snapshot of accomplishments and financial reports from 2009.