Kendall Qualls will speak in at 5:30 p.m, Thursday, Sept. 23, at the Timbers Event Center in Staples. The event is sponsored by Crossroads Conservatives.

During his childhood, Qualls lived with his divorced mother and siblings in public housing projects of Harlem, N.Y. Before middle school, Qualls was separated from the other siblings and moved in with their father in a trailer park in Oklahoma. Neither of his parents finished high school.

Despite the challenges and turmoil of his early life, Mr. Qualls worked full-time to pay his way through college, served as an officer in the U.S. Army, earned three graduate degrees and worked his way up the ranks to become a vice president at several Fortune 100 healthcare companies.

He was a mentor at Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge, serves on the Board for Lundstrum’s Performing Arts Center in North Minneapolis as well as Hope Farm School, a school for at-risk boys from Minneapolis.

Qualls is the founder of TakeCharge, an organization committed to supporting the notion that the idea of America works for everyone regardless of race and station in life. It believes that individuals should own their future by embracing the idea of taking charge of their lives, their families, and communities. Qualls champions the principle of meritocracy and supports the notion that free enterprise, and the private sector, are the fastest and most equitable ways to lift people from poverty to prosperity, including Black Americans.

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He and his wife Sheila have been married for 35 years and have five children.

The Timbers Event Center is located at 1212 NE 2nd Avenue in Staples. Lodging information is available at

To help with planning, reservations would be appreciated. RSVPs may be directed to Diane Carlson at 218-296-1348. You may also respond by email to Special menu options will be available, and the program will begin following dinner.