The Edina Education Fund Innovation Grants

Edina Education Fund pic

Edina Education Fund
Image: edinaedfund.org

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 Basics of Commodities

Jeff Drobny received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Union College and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and has been working in the financial sector for more than 20 years. Currently serving as a CIO at Black River Asset Management, Jeff Drobny expertly leverages his knowledge of commodity trading as a part of his position at the commodity-related hedge fund business.

Commodities are physical products that are traded on a qualified exchange in a similar manner to stocks. The small markets for commodity trading allow individuals to become more familiar with each commodity, making trading more profitable and effective. There are four basic sectors of commodities: grains or agricultural, which includes such items as wheat and rice; metals, including gold and silver; energy, which includes such things as crude oil; and livestock and meat.

Due to the seasonal nature of some commodities, the market is a little more predictable than the stock market. Many commodities move in predictable and relatively smooth patterns over long periods of time because they react to supply and demand along with reports about crops’ progression while in season. However, they can still be unpredictable in the short term due to how much they may be affected by sudden weather changes or events.

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 http://www.edinaedfund.com.

Cargill, Incorporated’s Trade and Structured Finance Division

Based out of Minnesota, Jeff Drobny is a principal of Black River Asset Management, the daughter company of Cargill, Incorporated, where he earlier served for 20 years. Jeff Drobny’s responsibilities included managing the firm’s financial division, particularly the trading of financial instruments throughout developed markets.

Founded in 1865, Cargill at that time ran a single grain-storage facility. The company expanded significantly over the subsequent 150 years. Since establishing its first location on the Western frontier, Cargill has spread to 67 countries and currently employs more than 143,000 workers. Still focused on feeding people, the company provides food, agricultural, and industrial products and solutions to corporations, farmers, and other groups across the world.

Liturgical Ministries at Our Lady of Grace

Jeff Drobny, a graduate of Union College and the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business, has worked with Cargill since 1994. Outside of work, Jeff Drobny is an active community member involved with local and national charities as well as the Our Lady of Grace Catholic Parish in Edina, Minnesota.

There are a number of liturgical ministries individuals can take part in at the Our Lady of Grace. The Ministers of the Word ministry dedicates itself to promoting the Word of God. Members of the congregation need only to have received Confirmation in order to be eligible to join the Ministers of the Word. The Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist is a second ministry open to all church members who have undergone Confirmation. Because the church needs more than 50 Eucharist ministers every week, Our Lady of Grace urges its members to learn more about this ministry and get involved. In addition to several music ministries – the Schola Cantorum, the Contemporary Ensemble, and the LIFETEEN Group – all ministries are in need of ushers and altar servers.

Types of Risk Management

Jeff Drobny began his career at Cargill in 1994 as a senior trader. Since that time, Jeff Drobny has taken on a number of roles at the company, including risk management and commodity trading.

Risk management is one of the most important tasks that financial professionals handle, particularly those who are responsible for investing on behalf of high-net-worth clients. Risk management is conducted using a variety of strategies that assess the potential of each investment and seek ways of minimizing the likelihood of failure. Risk management can also be applied to an entire portfolio rather than a single investment; diversification, in fact, is a popular form of risk management that many amateur investors employ without even being aware of it. Diversification involves investing in dissimilar markets to safeguard against a particular market crash, though investors must make sure that the markets are not interdependent.

Two basic and extreme forms of risk management are risk avoidance and risk acceptance. Risk avoidance occurs when investors decline to invest in any situation that poses even the slightest degree of risk. While this may seem like an approach with some merit for conservative investors, risk avoidance disqualifies the vast majority of investment options and is often the most costly form of risk mitigation. Risk acceptance, as its title infers, is the practice of investing with no concern for risk. While this may seem like an anti-strategy, large corporations are not always eager to spend large amounts of money to mitigate risks that may never materialize.

Edina Education Fund Expands The Writers Block Progam

Jeff Drobny has gained two decades of experience in risk management and bond arbitrage, among a number of other financial services, during his time with Cargill. Outside of work, Jeff Drobny is involved with a number of local institutions and organizations, including the Edina Education Fund.

The Edina Education Fund is a not-for-profit group dedicated to supporting the Edina Public Schools. In addition to providing general resources and funds to local schools, the Edina Education Fund sponsors innovative academic projects. Most recently, the fund expanded The Writers Block, an initiative that began five years ago at Edina High School. The writing center began as a place for students to meet with English teachers and trained students and receive help with essays and other writing assignments. The Writers Block has now expanded its services to online conferences, allowing students to get help when they are working on an assignment at home. The concept was introduced by two of the program’s 20 student writing coaches. The online portion of The Writers Block will utilize Google Docs technology.