WorkForce Partnership Testimonials

“In a word? WOW. Carolyn took an idea for an event and somehow managed to pull together three different host organizations, and over 20 speakers for an event that knocked all our socks off … in just 6cthe day and I was well-taken care of from beginning to end. Carolyn is an exciting visionary who also knows how to get it done. If you want an event they’ll be talking about for ages, look no further; Carolyn will get it done. And she’s great fun to boot.” – June 28, 2010, Catherine Byers Breet, Chief Stripe Changer / Career Coach / Strategic Recruiting, ARBEZ (

“A master organizer and producer, Carolyn makes great things happen and brings high value to her clients and the community. She takes concepts and turns them into reality. Carolyn led the successful Change Your Stripes event at Normandale CC in conjunction with DEED and the MN Workforce Center that was attended by more than 600 people. Her relationship building skills, positive attitude and innovation exceed expectations at any project or event that she manages. Carolyn gets the Law of Attraction. It is always a pleasure to work with her. I highly recommend Carolyn.” Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, Creative – June 23, 2010, ANNE PRYOR, M.A.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Carolyn in 4 capacities. I know Carolyn as:

  1. A Teacher. She has brilliantly facilitated and/or co-facilitated a number of classes that I have attended at Normandale. She is a knowledgeable, fun, engaging and motivating instructor.
  2. An Events Coordinator. Carolyn organizes, manages, promotes and delivers a seamless production! Her project management and client support / interaction skills are amazing!
  3. The Workforce Partnership and Development Specialist. Carolyn very much impresses me with her sincere need to understand and appropriately meet the needs of dislocated workers. She is changing the meaning of the word ‘partnership” and is putting Normandale on the map for people in career transition!
  4. A Healer. I am honored to have had Carolyn facilitate a healing for me! It was supportive, interactive and transformational. I have no words to describe her sound healing work; it needs to be experienced.

Carolyn has managed to successfully integrate professional and spiritual elements into her own personal brand. She is an inspiration. Kudos to Carolyn!”- July 21, 2010, Claire K. Nelligan, Employment Counselor, State of MN


This letter is in support of the value of continuing Carolyn Vinup’s position, as Workforce Partnership & Development and Program Specialist for Continuing Education & Customized Training. The position seems to have been designed for her since she has natural talents as a collaborator, event planner, facilitator, and, of course, sincere passion. From concept to follow through, Carolyn has many unique talents that would lend themselves to her continuing in the position and, hopefully, take this partnership to the next level.

Hennepin South Workforce Center has been very fortunate to have a successful partnership with NCC from Day One which has involved many collaborative events (classes, Job Fair, Educator or the Day, and Rebranding event) which have involved many of our staff and your staff, and our partners, and which have served hundreds of job seekers which we hope to continue. Many of these events have involved stimulus funds but others, like the “Rebranding”, have mostly been successful as a result of dedicated people like Carolyn who put in many long hours to make it a huge success. As you know, she coordinated the overall event and since she knew the Normandale staff and I knew our staff and the networking groups, we were able to combine our knowledge and work together effectively. She quickly bonded with our DEED and partner staff, and I told her “we considered her family”.

It takes a collaborative individual like Carolyn to be a liaison between both our organizations and she has offered many times to do what she can to do foster this partnership. Carolyn came to almost every class we offered to enhance her knowledge about what we do and gave valuable insight as a “participant observer” and I am impressed that she had the initiative (and time management skills) to go through the Global Career Development Facilitator training. She also aptly presented the details and results of various events and got others involved..

Most recently, I noted her leadership and event planning skills in the “Rebranding Your Career” event which attracted 600 participants and many volunteers. From an event that started as a two hour workshop, it quickly expanded and I was drawn into it (despite many other time commitments) as a result of her passion and my desire to maximize our partnership and, consequently, we had many late night marathon email dialogues and spontaneous meetings when she was here including with other staff. She provided enough, but not too much, direction for Pat Thiewes, who served as the Volunteer Coordinator, so that Pat could do her own thing and Carolyn had every detail covered (unless, perhaps, it was a rainy day which, thankfully, it wasn’t).

Based on our April 20th meeting, there was interest in co-sponsoring addition community events such as a Health Care Expo with health care related schools, recruiters, and organizations and it would be most valuable for us to work with Carolyn again. I am not sure about her other duties, but, if she does everything else like she has done in working with us, she must always give more than 100% to the position. In addition, she is very pleasant and easy to work with. I am looking forward to continued cooperative ventures with Carolyn and the rest of the Normandale staff and faculty. – June 8, 2010, Laurie Trach, Workforce Specialist – Hennepin South Workforce Center


Global Career Development Facilitator Training Recommendations

It is with great pleasure that I recommend Carolyn Vinup, founder, HPSS Global, Inc., for the Global Career Development Facilitator certification program inclusion for the exceptional work that she is doing with Normandale Community College and the Minnesota Workforce Centers on behalf of creating career development programs and providing coach services for the Twin Cities career transition community. Carolyn is a trusted advisor and is a master at seeing, knowing and activating people’s dreams to assist us all to do our highest and greatest good. Her mission is to “deliver excellence and to help people find ways to create beauty and to celebrate life”. She lives her brand of paying-it-forward by always being positive and available to assist others in networking, connecting and implementing their dreams.

Her futuristic ideas have resulted in many beneficial program development and business development opportunities for the career community. I will never forget the last words that Carolyn said to me as I departed my last meeting with her, “Anne, just dream, dream big and I will find a way to implement them.” Imagine someone with the confidence, unselfish love and commitment to say that to others. The best part is she means it and she carries it out. I am honored to have Carolyn as my friend and colleague. I highly regard Carolyn for this certification. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions. Be well – Anne Pryor, Pryority Partnership, Inc.


I write to recommend Carolyn Vinup for a Global Career Development Facilitators Certificate. Throughout her varied and deep career she has developed a bevy of skills including leadership, values and vision. Those skills are exemplified through her experience in a corporate setting, retail environment and as an entrepreneur as well. Acting in many roles, peer, manager, colleague, and leader, she exhibits her various skills in a fluid manner.

Carolyn and I have been friends for thirty seven years. We have raised our children together and, shared family events and the problem solving confluent with all of those interactions. She models big picture thinking and small detail attention, simultaneously. I believe her family focus in conjunction with her career skills are a combination difficult to replicate. As a host for multiple au pairs, over many years, she also esteems cultural traditions and diversity and honors the individuality of all people regardless of their race, religion, or abilities.

Carolyn has an amazing enthusiasm for life and a positive outlook on the challenges she encounters. She shares joy and success with those around her in an unselfish and gracious manner. It is my privilege to recommend Carolyn Vinup for the GCDF and I encourage you to contact me if I can add further detail. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to Carolyn’s continued success. Regards, – Maura Steblay, MAEd, Licensed Parent Educator 

I have worked with Carolyn Vinup in many roles since 2006. In that time, she has demonstrated incredible talents beyond normal capacity. Her skills as a program and training visionary, an event coordinator and a workforce liaison have amazed me and our entire college. And, as a colleague, she has taught me many valuable skills and has modeled a way of thinking that is extraordinary.


Partnership and collaboration: When I watch Carolyn working with people, organizations or groups, you can see that she is magical. I would say her greatest strength is her approach to working with others. She is always about partnership and how what she does is for the benefit of everyone. She is a master connector and relationship builder and develops trust with everyone she works with. When she is creating programs for Normandale’s continuing education department, she is thinking strategically and holistically, considering what is going to work well for everyone, not just her own vested interests. She knows that this is the key to long-­‐ term relationships and true success. As Carolyn has grown in her position as a workforce liaison, she has forged many rich and meaningful relationships with workforce counselors, directors, and dislocated workers. This has laid a solid foundation for our group to work with these organizations to provide the much needed training and development that our community’s dislocated workers require and need to be productive and competitive in this difficult employment times. As an event coordinator for one of our key integrative health programs, Carolyn has developed a life-­‐link to this group and a point of contact that helps our partner feel valued and continually recognized.

Strategic Thinking and Visionary: Carolyn has a gift that is very rare. She has the ability to think, plan, and develop at a very strategic and visionary level while at the same time, manage projects down to the minute detail. This skill is extremely valuable in a time when we cannot afford to just be lofty visionaries but also must be do’ers. She once told me that the worker of tomorrow is the individual who can re-­‐invent themselves and wear many hats. She is the perfect example of this worker. I keep that quote with me at all times and continually learn from her.

Charisma and Attitude: Working with someone like Carolyn is such an honor. When she approaches challenges or possible opportunities, she is energized, enthusiastic and always thinking about how to make things happen, not about how it cannot work. Her attitude of “can-­‐ do” is infectious and allows our team members to tap into the positivity, thereby creating an environment of opportunity versus that of negativity.

Multi-­‐dimensional Talents: As mentioned before, Carolyn has a thirst for continual growth and learning and has a keen ability to create connections and ties between all that she experiences and learns in her life. As a small business owner, she has the business and financial acumen to understand successful business and marketing processes and models. As an event planner, she has project management and time management expertise and experience that she utilizes in everything that she does. As a holistic health practitioner, she understands human development and interpersonal communication/relationships and as someone who has worked in the service industry for many years, she understands the true essence of customer service. Using all these talents, Carolyn has provided Normandale with 110% in every role she has been in.

Working with Carolyn is an honor. I consider her a cherished colleague as well as a mentor. I continually look forward to what will come next and what partnerships will develop with Carolyn’s careful guidance. — Sunny Ainley, Director, Health and Wellness Programs/Normandale Community College


It is an honor to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Carolyn Vinup. Over the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Carolyn Vinup.  

I am confident that Carolyn will continue to make significant contributions to the field of career development and will exemplify the competencies of a Global Career Development Facilitator. Carolyn models the principles of effective leadership and mentorship. She is collaborative and future-oriented. She is an excellent listener and communicator.  She integrates reason with foresight when making recommendations and critical decisions. Through her career, Carolyn has utilized her expertise in the areas of business development, training, facilitation, marketing and event management to make meaningful contributions in her work with higher education, unions, workforce development agencies as well as nonprofit, healthcare and business organizations.

Carolyn’s approach to management and team building are also noteworthy. She is known to be enthusiastic, approachable, responsive, practical and creative.  Carolyn inspires and motivates those who work for and with her. She offers encouragement and tangible support to individuals and teams as they work to achieve their goals.

As a leader, Carolyn oftens taps into her talents for teaching and communicating. Carolyn is respected by academic, business and professional groups as a facilitator who uses research, logic, humor and experiential learning activities to enhance the skills and abilities of individuals, work teams and community groups.

Carolyn’s energy, passion and professionalism are truly admired. She is an ethical and trustworthy person. She sets and meets her goals while always remembering to include and acknowledge others in her achievements. People find her credible warm and engaging. I give Carolyn Vinup my highest recommendation. –  Brenda Dickenson, Dean of Continuing Education, Normandale Community College