Renee Cardarelle

Renee Cardarelle

Candidate for House in District 29A

I have been asked many times why I chose to run for office. While I do have a passion for public service, it was not a path I would have chosen had I not been asked to run in 29A. When I received a call from the minority leader at the DFL and was asked to run, I was hesitant. Campaigning is a tough process that takes a lot of time and it is not something you get paid for. There is a lot of risk, both financially and personally. However, my community members encouraged me to run and have promised their support. I have pledged to use this opportunity to further support our working in making Wright County a vibrant place to live.

  • Political Ideology:Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party
  • Year of Birth:1965
  • Born In:Bemidji, Minnesota
  • Message:United Together to Build Strong, Healthy Communities
Renee Cardarelle

Education

Doctorate in Public Administration, Public Administration

Hamlin University

(2011-2022)

Studying Workforce Development for a Doctorate in Public Administration

Master's Degree, Sociology

St. Cloud State University

(1989-2004)

Masters Degree in Social Responsibility

Career

Assistant Executive Director

Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota (LACM)

(2017-Present)

As Assistant Executive Director of LACM my goal is to provide technical assistance in strengthening the services provided to the changing Laotian refugee and second generation Laotian American population.

Executive Director

Nexstar Legacy Foundation

(2008-2017)

Promotes careers in the plumbing, HVAC and electrical service industries. As Executive Director I worked to reduce the stigma around trade careers and show young adults the opportunities found in alternative careers paths, including careers in the trades.

Fund Development Director

Girl Scouts of MN and WI Lakes and Pines

(2001-2008)

Managed a multifaceted fund development and communication department. Developed new innovative approaches and ensured continued cultivation of donors as the council changed including the creation of an alumnae committee. Oversaw all marketing and public relations for the Council.

More Highlights

About

I was born and raised in rural Minnesota, although I did spend a little time in Texas and in New Zealand. No matter where I lived, I always looked forward to coming home to Minnesota and our wonderful countryside and lakes. Some of my favorite childhood memories are summers on the lake near Waconia.

When my grandparents left their home in Annandale in 1988, I moved there to raise my family. Annandale has many happy memories for me and my two daughters, Kate and Genna, who were active in sports and Girl Scouts in the area, although they are both now in college and live away from home.

My career path has been long and varied. I started at Dayton-Hudson Corporation when I was twenty, and worked in the retail industry for several years while completing my Bachelor’s Degree from St Cloud State University. When I completed my degree I decided to change careers and began working in the non-profit industry. I’ve worked at both the Girl Scouts and at a small non-profit that focused on recruiting individuals into the skilled trades. Both these jobs gave me so many opportunities for growth and I learned how to manage volunteers, run programs, market to different audiences, write budgets, read financial reports, strategize and much more.

Sadly soon after 2000 I was divorced from my husband of nineteen years and forced to raise my two daughters as a single mother. This experience taught me the challenges of raising children on small income. It is an experience I would never recommend to anyone. We struggled a lot with the grief the divorce brought, poverty and a lack of time to be a family. We were focused solely on survival. I am proud of the way my daughters have fought back from depression and despair and are making lives for themselves.

One of the things that has always helped me through tough times has been my community. During some of the darkest days of my life I have found that my involvement in community organizations such as the Girl Scouts and the Annandale Area Community Team gave me the strength to get through the tough times. I love working with others in the community to overcome challenges and to make a brighter future.

I have been asked many times why I chose to run for office. While I do have a passion for public service, it was not a path I would have chosen had I not been asked to run in 29A. When I received a call from the minority leader at the DFL and was asked to run, I was hesitant to say yes. Campaigning is a tough process that takes a lot of time and it is not something you get paid for. There is a lot of risk, both financially and personally. However, my community members encouraged me to run and have promised their support. I have pledged to use this opportunity to further support our working in making Wright County a vibrant place to live.