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Douglas Dayton epitomized progressive Minnesota business leadership

Date Published: 07/08/2013

Author: Dane Smith

The Star Tribune's fine piece summarizing the remarkable contributions of the late Douglas Dayton contains this passage.  

Dayton and his brothers established one of the first corporate-giving programs in Minnesota and Dayton said he took great joy in researching and investing in effective nonprofits.   He said donating money was more satisfying than making it.“You bet your life it is,” Dayton said. “After all, we made our life off the community.”

Some wealthy corporate leaders who achieve great success pose as  heroic and egotistical Atlases and fierce adversaries  of government and taxes.    Douglas Dayton,  a mastermind behind  the fabulously successful Target store concept,  and who created tens of thousands of jobs in Minnesota and around the world,  chose a humbler route.    He became a leader not only in philanthropy  but of  progressive public-sector  efforts to equalize opportunities and outcomes for low-income and minority communities, even if it meant raising his own taxes.   

We are honored at Growth & Justice to have been one of the non-profits that Douglas and Wendy Dayton supported,    He epitomized Minnesota's distinct brand of business leadership and a mindset that understands how private-sector success is built on a foundation of public-sector and community investment.    Or more succinctly, they do better when we ALL do better.

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