Companies frequently refer to their people as their most valuable asset. To succeed, a company needs resources, including its people. Even companies that rely on big physical assets will discover that these have little worth without the necessary personnel to manage these assets and perform the work. It can be challenging to find skilled people who are familiar with how a company runs, and they may be even harder to replace. To increase corporate performance, every business should focus its efforts on finding cost-effective ways to satisfy employee requirements and wants. Dani Kimlinger, CEO of MINES and Associates, has a strong commitment to her team, clients, and supplier partners.
Dani participated in honour societies and community service during her time in college. While attending college, she held four part-time jobs, including ones at a daycare, a fitness centre, administrative support for a psychiatrist, and assisting with event planning. After graduating, she made the decision to take a year off from school and think about what she wanted to do next. She worked at MINES in the intake centre and took a job working overnight in a homeless youth shelter. At MINES, she developed professionally and determined the course of her career. While working at MINES, she completed her master’s and doctoral degrees, transitioned into a number of different roles, completed an executive leadership program, and accepted the CEO position in 2016 for appointment in January 2017.
Inception of MINES and Associates
The founder, Dr. Robert Mines was raised by a pharmacist and a nurse in a remote part of Nebraska where there was little access to medical care and no treatment for mental illness or substance abuse, which served as the foundation for MINES. Growing up around family and friends who needed assistance but did not get it made a lasting impression. It developed into a dream to offer mental health and substance use disorder services as our founder, Dr. Mines, went through college and discovered his love for psychology. The company was founded in 1981 with the following goals and objectives: The ambition of MINES is to positively impact our fellow humans and the environment via service and education.
Dani Kimlinger is energetic and passionate about people, running, animals, the outdoors, lifelong learning, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. She is an avid runner. She credits running with changing her life. She became a CEO at the age of 30 and pushed herself to the limit, to the detriment of her health. It was an application for key person insurance, not a claim. Her health information was so inadequate that she was completely denied insurance. At that point, she made the decision that she needed to change her health. She decided that running would hold her to a different standard of accountability because she could do it anywhere and had to be mindful holistically about her health. She vowed to run her first marathon by January 1, 2018 ( It was her new year’s resolution), but did not run her first marathon until November 2019 and she kept her word. Her commitment to completing her first marathon improved her health, caused her to drop close to 40 pounds, and generally made her feel better both mentally and physically. She qualified for the Boston Marathon in November of 2021 with a marathon time of 3 hours and 25 minutes. She plans to run the Boston Marathon in April 2023.
“Having purpose and a passion for what I do helps drive my energy AND I wouldn’t be where I am without my relationships. I had people open doors for me. I had people believe in me, give me chances, and mentor me and teach me. “— says Dani Kimlinger.
Dani has a strong passion for people. She deeply cares about the people she works with and the community she serves. She participates in a number of professional and community boards and does volunteer work regularly. She holds positions of President of the Board of Directors for the Self-Insured Educational Foundation and State Director for the Colorado Society of Human Resources Management. She also sits on the boards of several other charitable organizations, including the United Labor Agency of Nevada, The Lockwood Foundation, and The American Obesity Association. The Colorado Inclusive Economy is a state-wide campaign spearheaded by CEOs and executives with the goal of making Colorado the most inclusive economy in the country. She also serves on the Task Force of the National Behavioral Consortium. Most recently, she was appointed to represent an employee organization, Colorado SHRM, on the State Apprenticeship Agency’s Interagency Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship.
The people who make up MINES are its most valuable cultural component. The team is dedicated to helping one another, in addition to having strong and varied knowledge and being dedicated to the clients they serve. Dani is most pleased with the team and the culture that they have created and are maintaining. Team MINES has literally saved many lives and helped others heal, live better lives, grow and succeed as people, families, and communities.
“I love the people that I work with, both as employees and partners. I have a strong support system of friends, family, and colleagues,”-says Dani Kimlinger.
Dani says that although MINES has been in operation for close to 42 years, there is still an entrepreneurial spark present. It is constantly seeking methods to enhance both the services and the mental health sector. In roles across the entire organization, Dani states that her team is a group of outstanding employees who are tremendously compassionate, committed, creative, and bright. They are still here after 41 years thanks to the past and present team. For example, they did not begin offering the well-regarded employee assistance programmes (EAP) until the mid-1980s. An intern at MINES suggested they take into account launching the EAP service. That changed the entire game. On the microscale, service enhancements, innovative partnerships, and systems changes come from the innovative staff.
Responsibilities and Roles
The CEO’s responsibilities begin with culture! Dani thinks they would not have had a chance without the people and a robust culture. One of her roles involves connecting with her coworkers at all levels of the organization and serving, assisting, and strengthening the teammates’ culture. She is also responsible for the vision, social responsibilities, strategy, profitability, organizational structure, business development, thought leadership, and bringing in new business, and supporting operations.
She is externally focused for approximately 65% of each weekday. As she searches for market opportunities, she engages in thought leadership activities like speaking at conferences and events, writing, meeting with important stakeholders and local leaders, and relationship-building. The remaining 35% of her week is spent internally, including weekly meetings with her direct reports, connecting with the larger MINES team, taking part in internal meetings, facilitating the integration of the internal and external, attending meetings of the culture committee, and consulting on HR-related tasks.
Advice for New Leaders
Dani Kimlinger advises aspiring leaders to constantly learn something new from peers, superiors, and coworkers. Take advantage of whatever opportunity you are presented with, read new books and articles, and so on. She exhorts you to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses.
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