Sonja Hoel Perkins Kicks Off Vesterheim Innovators & Inventors Lecture Series
Decorah, Iowa

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Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, is excited to pair the new exhibit “Innovators & Inventors” with a free lecture series that will bring together some of the most creative and inspiring Norwegian-American leaders, thinkers and artists working today. The exhibit and lecture series are sponsored by the Tomson Family Foundation.

The series will kick off on September 22 at 7:00 p.m. with an online presentation by Sonja Hoel Perkins, a venture capitalist from San Francisco who is paving the way for women in both the tech and finance industries. Visit to register for the Zoom link.

In 2015, “Worth” magazine included Perkins in their list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Finance in the World. She has over 30 years of experience investing in the technology sector and has gone on to launch two investment funds – The Perkins Fund, which “invests in people and companies that matter,” and Broadway Angels, an angel investment group made up of women who are world-class investors and business executives.

In addition to her groundbreaking work in the venture capital industry, Perkins is also the founder of Project Glimmer, a non-profit serving at-risk teenage girls and whose mission is to inspire every girl to envision and realize an empowered future. Perkins lives in San Francisco, California, with her family.

Opening at Vesterheim on September 24, the exhibit “Innovators & Inventors” celebrates the creativity and ingenuity of Norwegian immigrants and their descendants in America. The exhibit covers everything from Karsten Solheim’s ergonomic golf putters to the pacemaker, invented by Earl Bakken.

In addition to patents, drawings, models, and artifacts, Vesterheim will share the stories behind the creations and shine a light on some unknown Norwegian immigrants and their descendants who helped make the world a better place. The exhibit also prominently includes contemporary innovators and inventors.

More presentations by Norwegian-American innovators from around the country will be scheduled through the winter and spring. Look for an updated schedule at

Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in the conversation of the American immigrant journey through the lens of the Norwegian-American experience. Vesterheim offers innovative and interactive exhibits, classes, and programs, both at the dynamic campus and park in scenic Decorah, Iowa, and online at and Vesterheim social media. For more information on exhibits, classes, programs, tours, membership opportunities, and ways to donate and volunteer, connect at, (563) 382-9681, and Vesterheim, 502 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.


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