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Cameron “Papillon” Cegelske

Home Forums MNFurs MNFurs 2021 Elections Forum Meet the Candidates Cameron “Papillon” Cegelske

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    Tell us about yourself. My name is Cameron Cegelske or Papillon in the Fandom (or Killer Bunnies online in gaming circles).  I am a 43-year-old gay man living out in South Maplewood and have lived in this house for about 3 ½ years.  Before that, I lived in East St Paul for 12 years, London for a year, and various other places around the Twin Cities.  

    I served on the Richfield Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2007 after I lost a partner to AIDS, and I started looking for ways to ensure the way I was treated never happened to others.  I was able to get Richfield to proclaim June as GLBT Pride Month for the first time in their history back in 2004.  It was controversial enough that the Mayor at the time would not sign the proclamation.  After returning to the US from London, I moved to St Paul, where I joined the St Paul Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission from 2007 to 2013 and served as the Vice Chair for 2 years during my time on the Commission.

    I also served as the St Paul District Director on the League of MN Human Rights Commissions, as well as a 2 year stint as President of the organization.  The LMHRC is a 40+ year old human rights organization whose mission is to develop and further the missions of Human Rights Commissions around the State of Minnesota.  During my time as President, I administratively reorganized the organization, eliminating numerous unnecessary committees, and developed a cohesive branding strategy and website.  

    I served as Vendor Coordinator for a Wisconsin based spiritual festival called Summerland for a year as well, so I have some experience with large events.  

    I have started two businesses in my lifetime.  The first was back in 1999-2001 and was a free Twin Cities magazine called UPmagazine targeting LGBTQ youth.  Our mission was “Queer Culture for the Young and Mighty”.  We were in business for about 18 months with a distribution of about 20,000 issues around the Twin Cities and beyond.  

    Another business I started was called Keys of Paradise, which was a metaphysical product manufacturing company and shoppe located in St Paul. We had a line of herbs, essential oils, natural body care products, intentional oils, perfumes, incense, stones, and many other items for a persons’ spiritual path.  We made 3000+ products ourselves in various fragrance based mediums.  We were in business from 2009 to 2015 and located in Dayton’s Bluff and then Frogtown.  We also had a brief presence in the UK.

    I have a 20+ year Human Resources background and am a technical human resources consulting manager for a large global consulting company where I focus on process engineering, project management and business analysis.

     

    What brought you to the furry fandom? 

    I had been interested in the fandom since I was much younger, but there was a stigma attached to being a furry.  Being an impressionable young person (way back when), I stepped back from showing any interest in the fandom but still fostered a curiosity through the years.  

    It wasn’t until about ten years ago that my former business/shop had a booth at Gaylaxicon, and the MNFurs had a presence there.  I didn’t go into the MNFurs con suite, but I did note it.  I even bought my first tail there too!  It was more for my two employees’ shock value as they got a kick out of the lion’s tail wagging back and forth when I walked around.

    Within the last three to four years, I was dating a furry named Nero.  Being a furry himself, he introduced me to Telegram and the Furry groups online, and I dove right in, feeling confident enough to do so finally after all these years with him by my side, answering questions about what I was curious. 

    He was from Dallas and brought me to my first furry convention (Furry Fiesta) before COVID-19 shut down many events worldwide. His being a furry opened my eyes to the fandom even more than I could have done on my own, and I’ve met some great people.

     

    How will you continue to volunteer in the community after being elected to the board? 

    I am involved in several other organizations and will always be interested in social advocacy, education and making the world a better place.  I hope to bridge certain communities and provide more opportunities to MNFurs to further their mission via connections to other organizations throughout the area and beyond.  I’d like to develop and encourage diversity and inclusion within the community and set goals for achieving same.  

     

    How do you view events like Furry Migration and Midwinter Frolic impact the Minnesota Furs community today and tomorrow? 

    Furry Migration and Midwinter Frolic are opportunities for the Minnesota Furs to showcase what it means to be in this community.  It is an opportunity to dispel myths that may still be around, while showing that we are a fun, diverse group of people from all ages and walks of life.  I’d like to see more diversity in the fandom and encourage an inclusive community

     

    What are your strengths that you will bring to the board? 

    Project management, Human Resources, process development, connection to other community organizations, creativity, unique way of looking at problems and being able to come up with solutions.

    I am exceptionally good at helping to build bridges between people and groups, showing them how to relate to and rely on one another. I am good at helping others find meaning in the unpredictability of the world around them provides a sense of comfort and stability in the face of uncertainty.  I enjoy solving problems. The challenge of analyzing symptoms, identifying what’s wrong and finding a solution energizes me.  I have a way of bringing calm to a situation which helps me step back and give others a different perspective or even a more targeted perspective.

    I am skilled at connecting the dots from the past, present and future in order to give others perspective, guidance and hope.

    I am very creative and appreciate originality. I relish free-thinking experiences such as brainstorming and discussion groups. I have a natural capacity to consider issues from multiple perspectives and revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so people can view it from a new angle.  I think outside the box.  I am fascinated by new ideas and concepts and these things come easily to me. 

    And I love ideas.  No idea can be too profound, silly, novel, clarifying, contrary or bizarre. I get a jolt of energy whenever a new idea comes to me!

    One thing that I hate is inaction or doing things a certain way just because that’s the way they’ve always been done.  I’m a change agent and one that always feels that there’s an opportunity to streamline the work we do.  I tend to make decisions quickly, take action, and learn from the results. 

     

    What do you feel are areas where you want to develop yourself further? Why? 

    I enjoy constantly stretching myself further. One of the ways I want to develop myself is to use this as an opportunity to get to know more people in the community and broader fandom.  Step outside of my comfort zone and be more active.

     

    How can Minnesota Furs reach out to other communities local and national in furry and other fandoms? 

    I think the first step is identifying all organizations with similar missions and not just those in the fandom or other fandoms, but community organizations where we can be mutually beneficial to each other. 

     

    What are two things that you would like to see accomplished/improved during your tenure? 

    I’d like to set up a mentorship program to encourage more youth participation in the organization from a board perspective. This will ensure there is a pipeline of new talent that will want to continue on the work of the board and bring new experiences and knowledge.

    I’d like to develop relationships with other organizations in other communities to further develop opportunities to work together beyond fandoms in general.

     

    One goal of MNFurs is to promote education. How do you intend on helping promote education? 

    There are many avenues MN Furs can take to further develop their educational mission.  One such way could be to encourage young artists through developing relationships with local educational institutions, such as specific programs at the universities and colleges.  Working with these institutions and other artist based non profits could be a way to develop that kind of community talent.  We could think about encouraging these organizations to engage with our community to host programming for Furry Migration or other workshops.

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