North Branch resident Kathleen Aho was recently named as a 2020 Women in Business award recipient by the Minneapolis Saint Paul Business Journal.
In an Oct. 7 award ceremony, Aho shared the virtual stage with 50 talented women business leaders from a range of disciplines, including Career Achievement Honoree Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President and Chief External Engagement Officer of Target Corporation.
For over four decades, Aho has built a career on providing financial advice to public sector entities. Having owned her own consulting business for 35 years, ultimately employing a staff of up to 80 people, her partners and she combined their firm, Springsted Incorporated, with the accounting and consulting firm, Baker Tilly. Aho joined Baker Tilly as a partner and was assigned to assist with integrating the firms and expanding services being offered to the public sector.
While working collaboratively with clients to help accomplish their goals has always been the most satisfying part of her job, Aho has also lent her talents locally and nationally by having served as board member and chair of the North Branch School Board, board member and president of the Minnesota Institute of Public Finance, and board member and president of the National Association of Municipal Advisors, (her field’s professional association).
Her work most often has involved helping her clients access the capital market to borrow funds for important community projects ranging from small but critical projects for smaller communities to larger, more prominent projects such as the MSP Green Line LRT, Minneapolis Convention Center, and CHS Stadium.
Aho’s advice to others pursuing a career?
“Creating opportunities for ourselves has been brought to the forefront recently in remembrances of Justice Ginsberg. If you find yourself facing a career roadblock, acknowledge it, be thoughtful and then agilely alter course and attack it from a different perspective. Your life and career experiences are a continuation of your education so use them to learn and grow ... and always bring your A game.”