True Blue Gala 2018

Event raises $35,000 to support DCTC students

The Dakota County Technical College Foundation hosted the annual True Blue Gala, Thursday, April 26, 2018, at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville, Minnesota. The gala’s theme this year was The Price Is Right. The purpose of the True Blue Gala is raising money to fund student scholarships at DCTC while honoring individuals and organizations that have advanced the college mission.

“On behalf of the DCTC Foundation Board, thank you for making the 2018 True Blue Gala a tremendous success,” said Michelle Boe, JD, interim director of the DCTC and Inver Hills Community College foundations. “With your overwhelming generosity, we raised $35,000 to help students in need cover additional expenses related to attending college, including the cost of books, rent, transportation and more.”

Volunteers contributed greatly to the gala’s success. Patrick Lair, DCTC director of student success, served as emcee; Dave Bellows, former Dakota County sheriff, served as auctioneer for the second year in a row; board members, faculty and staff helped with The Price Is Right games; students were on hand to assist with event duties even though semester finals were on the horizon.

Special thanks to Bob Barker for enthusiastically setting the tone for a fun-filled evening.

“We greatly appreciate everyone who participated in our event, provided sponsorships, and donated or purchased auction items,” Michelle added. “Thank you for your steadfast support of the college mission ‘Education for Employment.'”

Supporting DCTC and Inver Hills foundations

Ryan O’Gara with SKB Environmental works to assist students at a technical college and community college

Ryan O’Gara

Ryan O'Gara

Ryan O’Gara

Government Affairs Liaison, SKB Environmental
DCTC Foundation Board Member

Ryan O’Gara has worked for SKB Environmental for more than 20 years. For the last 17, he has served as the company’s government affairs liaison. He is responsible for monitoring and lobbying issues at the Minnesota State Capitol as well as political issues at the county and city level. Ryan has a B.A. in English from the University of Colorado.

Ryan O’Gara Q & A

Why did you join the DCTC Foundation Board of Directors?
Working for SKB, I have seen firsthand the benefits that the DCTC Foundation has provided for students in our community. I was honored when I was asked to serve on the Board.

Why do you think it’s important for business and industry to support local two-year colleges?
I believe that two-year colleges are uniquely capable of adapting and responding to the workforce needs currently and in the coming future. They are well suited to tailoring programs and degrees to prepare students for available positions in the market. While there will always be a place for the classic four-year degree, business and industry need to support and grow two-year colleges to ensure the workforce we need will be prepared for the jobs we provide.

How does SKB Environmental support the foundations of both colleges?
For many years, SKB has provided financial support and contributions to DCTC and Inver Hills. We have sponsored events and activities where the proceeds go directly to the program recipients. SKB has also contributed to targeted programs such as TuitionMatch-MN that leverage additional funding sources. In addition, serving on the DCTC Foundation Board as a volunteer has allowed me the opportunity to support the Foundation in that way as well.

What advice would you give business leaders thinking about joining a college foundation board?
I can’t overstate how rewarding it has been serving on the DCTC Foundation Board. The diverse backgrounds and expertise of my fellow Board members has, selfishly, provided me with many opportunities to learn and form new friendships.

But the truly rewarding part comes when you get to meet the actual students whose lives are benefited by the Foundation’s work. It is very heartwarming when you realize that growing the Foundation’s programs doesn’t just add numbers to a spreadsheet line item—it actually is impacting the lives of real people who are striving to better themselves (and in turn our community as a whole).

More about SKB Environmental

With over 35 years of recycling experience, SKB Recycling is Minnesota’s longtime leader in innovative processing, recycling, and total waste management solutions. SKB provides hauling, waste processing, recycling and environmentally sound waste disposal services. SKB Recycling, a subsidiary, serves the construction and demolition industry by providing complete recycling services and recycled products for green-building programs.

Learn more by visiting SKB Environmental.

True Blue Gala 2018 gallery

For more event photos:
Visit True Blue Gala 2018 on Flickr

Minnesota Historical Society project and upcoming 50th Anniversary joint celebration

DCTC and Inver Hills are collaborating with the Minnesota Historical Society on a three-phase project leading up to the 50th Anniversary campaign in 2019 followed by a joint celebration in 2020. The Minnesota Historical Society provided a grant to fund Phase I of the project, which focused on collecting oral histories from key constituents from both colleges, including community members, faculty and leaders.

A second grant will fund historical-context research regarding changes and events in Dakota County and the Minnesota State system since the inceptions of DCTC and Inver.


Bob Barker Sponsors $5,000

Showcase Showdown Sponsors $2,500

“Come on Down” Sponsors $500

Table Hosts

Special recognition to the DCTC Landscape Horticulture Club for generously donating $5,000 to support fellow students pursuing their academic and career goals.

For more information about the DCTC and Inver Hills foundations, contact:

Michelle Boe, JD
Interim Executive Director of Foundation
Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College
DCTC Office: 651-423-8236
Inver Hills Office: 651-450-3519

Amy Eppen
Foundation Development Director