Community building is Eagan businesswoman’s mission

Michele Engdahl directs Thomson Reuters’ partnerships within Eagan

Michele Engdahl

by Jessica Harper
Dakota County Tribune

Thomson Reuters has for years strived to build strong relationships with legislators and community members in Eagan. This is a goal that has been driven in large part by Michele Engdahl since 2006.

“We have enjoyed a strong partnership with both Dakota County and the city of Eagan for over 25 years and expect that to continue,” Engdahl said.

The Inver Grove Heights resident has served as Thomson Reuters’ government and community affairs manager for six years. During that time, she has worked closely with federal, state and local officials on issues affecting the company and built relationships with area business leaders.

While building partnerships, Thomson Reuters has made a philanthropic commitment.

“I am proud that Thomson Reuters supports worthy causes through programs that include matching gifts and paid time off to volunteer,” said Engdahl, who is a director on two nonprofit boards.

Thomson Reuters is a leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals and provides technology to aid those in the financial, legal, accounting health care, science and media markets.

“Our products are a wonderful marriage of world-class content, including sensitive data,” Engdahl said. “We are keenly aware of our duty to protect our sensitive data while delivering the products customers want.”

As the company’s government and community affairs manager, Engdahl discusses topics of concern with legislators and regulators to strike a balance between the two aspects.

In recent years, Thomson Reuters has broadened its priorities to include working with professionals in corporate governance and compliance. It also has begun investing in rapidly developing economies such as Brazil, India and China.

At the same time, Thomson Reuters’ legal business is constantly developing tools and services for law firms.

As economies worldwide took a nose dive, Thomson Reuters officials began to re-examine its way of doing business.

“The global economic downturn forced our customers to change – to focus on efficiency and better workflow – and that has created new opportunities for us to partner with customers and to really understand how they spend their time … and money,” she said.

Thomson Reuters has 55,0000 employees at its headquarters in New York and major operations in Eagan and London. The company has maintained operations in Eagan to attract and retain highly skilled employees, Engdahl said. Thomson Reuters has 7,000 employees at its Eagan campus.

In addition to representing Thomson Reuters, Engdahl said she hopes to use her role to minimize threats to the business community and advance education reform.

“I believe the delivery of education can be improved to even better prepare our students for success in the workforce,” she said.

Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, Engdahl served as community relations director for the Insurance Federation of Minnesota. Before that, she spent more than a decade overseeing community relations at State Farm Insurance.

Though she has had a successful career, Engdahl said the best decision she ever made was to marry her husband, Mark, and raise children with him.

When asked what advice she would give fellow business women, Engdahl said: “You must be authentic. Seek feedback, too, from people who are not your biggest fans.”

Engdahl also advises business leaders to step away from the Blackberry or iPhone from time to time.

Her motto is: “Be interested and you’ll be interesting.”

Jessica Harper is at [email protected]