Category: Education

“The Italians” Continues to Define the People of Italy

The Italians by Luigi Barzini pic

The Italians by Luigi Barzini

Financial executive Jeffrey Steven Drobny, based in Minneapolis, MN, heads the global alternative investment firm Garda Capital Partners as its chief investment officer and a managing partner. In 2015, Jeffrey Drobny and his partners established the company with an emphasis on disciplined and strategic portfolio management designed to sustain long-term gains. In his time away from the office, Jeff Drobny, who also owns a home in Scottsdale, Arizona, devotes his energies to vintage automobiles, fine wines, travel, and Italian history.

In the book The Italians by Luigi Barzini, readers will find a time-tested guide to forming an impression of Italian people throughout history. Politician and journalist Barzini was born in Milan and educated in the United States. His father, also a journalist, edited the renowned Corriere della Sera newspaper. During World War II, the younger Barzini suffered imprisonment for his opposition to the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini.

After an extensive career as a foreign correspondent covering political crises in Europe, Asia, and Africa, Barzini brought his erudition, experience, candor, and wit to writing the book The Italians. Published in English in 1964, The Italians has earned widespread praise from readers, many of whom regard it as a contemporary classic of nonfiction. Reviewers have noted both its trenchant criticism of the problems endemic to the Italian society of its time and its genuinely warm tone when discussing the country’s people and their many outstanding cultural achievements.


The Edina Education Fund Innovation Grants

Edina Education Fund pic

Edina Education Fund

Outside of his work, Jeff Drobny is an active community member, contributing to numerous charities. Among the charities he supports is the Edina Education Fund.

The Edina Education Fund is a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that Edina schools have the resources needed to produce an environment conducive to academic excellence. It was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who wanted to introduce computers into Edina Schools. The fund supports this aim by distributing grants for innovative new programs, to support partially funded projects, and to school districts as a whole. It also provides scholarships for exceptional public school students.

The Edina Education Fund Innovation Grants range from $1000 to $5000 and aim to support specific and new programs for children in Edina public schools. Since 1995, the fund has given out 300 of these grants. This year’s grants funded a diverse array of programs, from commissioning an authentic piece of world music for a school band from a Colombian composer to creating a virtual reality video using the latest technology and footage of the school.

The Edina Education Fund and the Ecademy

The recipient of a master of business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Jeff Drobny served in executive roles with Cargill, Incorporated, for 20 years and is currently a principal in its subsidiary firm, Black River Asset Management. Active in his Minnesota community, Jeff Drobny is a substantial contributor to the Edina Education Fund.

Founded in 1995, the Edina Education Fund generates supplementary funding for elementary school classrooms in Edina, Minnesota. This nonprofit organization produces a superior academic experience for youths by distributing “Innovation Grants” at the beginning of each calendar year. The initiative inspires people to develop exceptional programs that teach children about science, engineering, technology, and world languages.

During a recent grant cycle, the Edina Education Fund financed an innovative initiative to enhance learning in the area, called the “Ecademy.” The “Ecademy” functions as a digital learning environment for students. Teachers produce web videos covering subjects ranging from reading the periodic table of the elements and using a triple-beam balance to solving algebra problems and learning hands-only CPR. Parents and children within the school district can access these district-approved instructional webcasts. To learn more, visit