Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren has earned the "2015 Business Honoree" Award from The Sanneh Foundation.
Tony Sanneh, the former St. Paul soccer standout who went on to play professional soccer for MLS and FIFA, recognized Warren as an "exceptional individual who has made significant contributions both public and private to the Twin Cities community." He presented Warren with the award during the foundation's fifth annual Gala4Goals event this past Saturday.
"Kevin Warren personifies everything we look for in this award because not only is he the highest-ranking African American executive in the National Football League, but locally he and his wife Greta have used their own personal success to make multiple philanthropic gifts to large numbers of Minneapolis children in need," said Sanneh.
Currently in his 11th year with the Vikings and his 17th year in the NFL, Warren has been actively involved in the Minneapolis-St. Paul community, particularly with child-related causes, since his move to Minnesota. In December 2014, he and his wife, Greta, announced a personal donation of $1 million to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital to establish "Carolyn's Comforts," a children's cancer emergency assistance fund named in honor of Warren's late sister and designed to help families manage the difficulties that come with the diagnosis of cancer. Over the past three years, the family has donated approximately 2,300 backpacks filled with school supplies for the entire school year to every student at Lucy Craft Laney Community School. The donations have come as part of the Warren family's broader commitment in 2012 to "adopt" Lucy Laney, a school that is predominantly African-American and has 98% of its student population coming from underserved communities. In addition to the backpacks and school supplies, the family has also purchased basketball uniforms for both the boys and girls basketball teams, school uniforms for some individual students and has agreed to design and fund the cost for an on-site computer lab at Lucy Laney that will be dedicated in 2015.
Previously serving as the Vikings Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer, Warren was named to Chief Operating Officer on February 12, 2015. In his new role, Warren oversees all aspects of the team's business operations and creates strategic efforts for each department.