Purposeful and smart, Jenny left us too early

I wanted to tell you about a woman I’ve known for many years now… who passed away this morning… Too young… Too promising… To have lost her battle with cancer.
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The following column was written by BringMeTheNewsFounder Rick Kupchella.

I wanted to tell you about a woman I’ve known for many years now… who passed away this morning…
Too young…
Too promising…
To have lost her battle with cancer.

Jenny Engh, 52, was most recently the Government Affairs Director at Cargill… I knew her over many iterations of her career… with Dorsey Whitney… and when she was an Assistant Revenue Commissioner with the State of Minnesota.

But it’s the WHO she was… more than the WHAT she was… that kept me connected to her over so many years.

She was a break-through person. The real deal. One of those rare folks who knew WHY she was doing what she was doing. I think I first met her in her government gig… a job she approached with real passion. She was a tremendous ‘watch dog’.

She was the kind of government person you meet and go “Wow… I’m so glad there are people like this working for the people of this state today.”

She was razor sharp. Super smart. Incredibly hard working.

When I was working more full-time as a journalist… I always knew – when working on issues of broad public interest… tax issues… government policy… or even more general areas of business and law… she would help me understand what was going on. She never violated public trust or any ethical standards.

The way I saw it – her sense of public purpose… extended to helping those documenting significant issues of our time… understand what was going on. She was generous with her time. And her insights always made me smarter – which in turn, made our public smarter.

As I moved more into business… she facilitated introductions… and connected me with more – very smart – people. She was a budget hawk wherever she was. Even when I lost deals with her in business… I walked away learning a lot from the experience.

Jenny lived a very good life… she had a tight knit group of high-octane friends… and I admired very much who she was… and how she lived. She had purpose. She lived a life of meaning.

I’m grateful for the years that I knew her. I’m so sorry we have lost her… after a years’ long battle with cancer.

Say a prayer for her today, will you?

Rick Kupchella is president and CEO of BringMeTheNews. He worked as an investigative reporter and television news anchor in Minneapolis and St. Paul for more than 20 years. 

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