Foundation board

Meet the board of directors for Children’s Health Care Foundation. An asterisk (*) denotes people who serve on both the hospital and foundation boards.

Russell Becker, Board Member]

Russell Becker*
CEO and president, APi Group, Inc.
Chair, Board of Directors of Children’s Minnesota Foundation

Russ Becker is the president and chief executive officer of APi Group Inc., the billion dollar holding company for 42 independent construction and construction-related businesses. Mr. Becker began his career as a field engineer with Cherne Contracting. In 1994, Mr. Becker joined Ryan Companies as project manager on Liberty Paper’s Greenfield Recycled Fiber Paper Machine project. The $80 million project was delivered under budget and three months ahead of schedule. Upon project completion, Jamar offered Mr. Becker its manager of construction position. His career grew from manager of construction to vice president to president. Jamar’s revenues reached from $24 million, when Mr. Becker started, to $60 million in 2002. He held the role of president until he was promoted to president of APi Group, the parent company of Jamar, in 2002.

Since Mr. Becker assumed the role of CEO in 2004, APi Group has grown to more than $2.0 billion in annual sales and owns more than 42 companies specializing in fire protection, low voltage and industrial and specialty construction. He also serves on the board of directors of Dunwoody Institute, and is an active member in the YoungPresidents’ Organization. Mr. Becker resides with his wife, Trish, and three sons in Dellwood, Minn. He is active in his passion for hockey; coaching youngsters to high school-age hockey teams.

Charles Maxwell, Board Member

Charles J. Maxwell, Jr.
Chairman and CEO, Meristem Family Wealth
Vice chair, Board of Directors of Children’s Minnesota Foundation

Charles J. Maxwell, Jr. is chairman and chief executive officer of Meristem Family Wealth and has more than 30 years of experience in family wealth management. He spent his early years providing fee-based financial planning and insurance solutions to closely held business owners through his affiliation with CIGNA Financial Advisors. In 1999, Mr. Maxwell founded Advisors Financial Services, and RIA, to independently serve his high-net worth client families. Realizing the importance of business succession and scale, he merged his firm to create Meristem, a wealth management firm. In 2005 and again in 2006, he helped Meristem merge two separate Minneapolis multigenerational family offices into the Meristem family office service model. Today, Meristem serves more than 150 family households with clients in multiple states. Assets under advisement are in excess of $2.2 billion. Mr. Maxwell is a certified financial planner and graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Mr. Maxwell sits on the Children’s Minnesota Foundation Board, is involved with the Minneapolis Club, Dunkers and Bearpath Country Club. He also serves on the board of Social Venture Partners Minnesota and is a former Trustee of the Courage Center Foundation and former board member of Fraser. He and his wife, Tara, are parents of triplets, Cole, Bennett and Grace.

Irv Kessler, Board Member

Irv Kessler
Chairman, Silver Bay; Partner, Provident Real Estate Ventures
Treasurer, Board of Directors of Children’s Minnesota Foundation

Irvin R. Kessler is chairman and the largest individual shareholder of Silver Bay, the first public REIT focused on strategic residential real estate investments and purchasing single homes to rent with hubs in Minnesota, Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Georgia. Silver Bay evolved from Provident Real Estate Advisors LLC, a company Irv founded in 2007. Irv continues to manage two mortgage backed securities hedge funds, with approximately $400 million under management in these real estate-related entities. Recently, Irv partnered in a new venture, Provident Real Estate Ventures, which was set up to look for opportunities in commercial real estate.

Mr. Kessler’s career began in 1978 as an independent floor trader on various Chicago exchanges. His successful start led to the formation of Kessler Asher Clearing, a clearing member of the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, National Securities Clearing Corporation and Options Clearing Corp.

In 1994, he co-founded Deephaven Market Neutral Fund, a multi-strategy hedge fund focused on providing institutional clients with excellent risk adjusted returns. Until the end of 2001, Mr. Kessler served as chief executive officer and chief investment officer of Deephaven, which had $1.3 billion under management and generated an average annual return to investors of 22 percent with only one losing quarter over the eight years of his stewardship.

Mr. Kessler has also served on the board of the Chicago Board Options Exchange and on the Cincinnati Stock Exchange. He attended the University of Minnesota. He lives in Minnesota with his wife, Barbara. Mr. Kessler’s interests include golf, classic cars and his family, which include three children and a grandchild.

Hayes Batson, Board Member

Hayes Batson*
President & CEO, Tinket

Hayes Batson is president and CEO of Tinket, an early stage scheduling software company. During his career as a consumer digital, health and education entrepreneur, he has built numerous products and businesses, working closely with private equity, regulators and politicians. In addition, Mr. Batson has worked in corporate finance at William Blair & Company and management consulting at McKinsey & Company.

Mr. Batson is chairman of the Children’s Minnesota hospital board and a member of the Children’s Minnesota foundation board. He is also a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He received his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.  He and his wife Alicia Kunin-Batson reside in Saint Paul, Minnesota with their two children.

Brian Beh, headshot

Brian Beh
President and Principal, First Light Asset Management

Brian Beh has 30 years of experience in the investment industry and currently serves as president and principal for First Light Asset Management, where he oversees the marketing and client services functions. Before joining First Light, Mr. Beh served as chairman and chief executive officer of Roxbury Capital Management, a $3 billion Minneapolis-based firm, where he was instrumental in making Roxbury a nationally recognized, multi-product, institutionally focused investment organization. Mr. Beh initially became involved with Children’s Minnesota nearly 17 years ago when his daughter was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at just 10 weeks old. She spent six months receiving inpatient care at Children’s and went into remission after her first round of chemotherapy. Today, she is a healthy high school junior. Following this experience, Mr. Beh and his family helped raise funds for Children’s through multiple events. More recently, Mr. Beh served on the Cancer and Blood Disorders task force which raised $2 million for the program. He also recently joined Children’s investment committee.

Karen Benz, Board Member

Karen A. Benz
Community Volunteer

Karen Benz has been a dedicated volunteer and supporter of Children’s Minnesota for more than four decades. She has held leadership roles on several boards, including her position as president of Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) from 1982 to 1983, and as CHA community annual gift chair in 1988. She was a trustee of the Children’s Hospital Foundation of St. Paul from 1992 to 1995 and director of the Children’s Foundation from its inception in 1995. She also was a founder and board member at Mounds Park Academy from 1981 to 2000. Additionally, Ms. Benz served as president of George Benz & Sons., held leadership positions at Oak Hill Montessori and the Ordway Performance Center, and worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cessna Aircraft Company earlier in her career. In addition to her role on Children’s Minnesota’s Foundation board she also currently serves on the board of her family foundation, the Mercedes Foundation.

Gary Blackford, Board Member

Gary Blackford*
Healthcare Executive

Gary Blackford was chairman and CEO of Universal Hospital Services, Inc. (UHS) from 2002 through 2014. UHS provides medical equipment management and solutions to more than 4,800 hospitals and 4,500 alternate care facilities in the United States. UHS is a leader in driving process and technology improvements to achieve lower costs, improved efficiencies and better patient outcomes. Mr. Blackford is a leader in the use of continuous improvement in the healthcare arena. He received his bachelor of business administration in accounting from the University of Iowa and his juris doctorate from Creighton University. He currently sits on the board of directors of Wright Medical Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: WMGI) and has been a board member of several other healthcare-focused companies over the years.

Jay Cavanagh, headshot

Jay Cavanagh
Managing Partner, Wealth Transfer, The KNW Group

Jay Cavanagh is a co-founder of The KNW Group and a managing partner in the Wealth Transfer Division, focusing on sophisticated wealth transfer issues involving life insurance for individuals, families and family offices. By listening and gaining a clear understanding of a client’s personal and business goals, Mr. Cavanagh is able to help preserve wealth and transfer assets to support subsequent generations, business succession or charities. Mr. Cavanagh is a registered representative and an investment advisor representative with Kestra Investment Services, LLC. A graduate of St. John’s University (Collegeville, MN) in 1991 with a degree in economics, he holds Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative), 7 (General Securities Representative), 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam) and 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam) securities registration, as well as life, health and variable annuity insurance licenses in several states. Mr. Cavanagh is very active in the community. In addition to serving on the Children’s Minnesota Foundation board, he is a member of the Partners Financial Advisory board of directors and the Mount Olivet Board of Life & Growth. He is a previous member of the Children’s Minnesota Legacy Advisors board. His continued commitment to Children’s Minnesota stems from the hospital system’s extraordinary patient care and dedication to educating the community to drive support for prevention, treatment and innovation. Mr. Cavanagh, his wife Betsy and their two children live in Edina, MN.

Michael Ciresi, Board Member

Michael V. Ciresi
Founding Partner, Ciresi & Conlin L.L.P.

Michael V. Ciresi is a founding partner of Ciresi & Conlin L.L.P. Mr. Ciresi was previously with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi for 43 years, first as a clerk during law school and then as name partner and chairman. Throughout his career, he has acted as counsel for corporations, individuals and governmental entities, and he has taught and lectured nationally and internationally to various professional and business groups. Mr. Ciresi is one of the few number of lawyers who has been recognized on two occasions in the National Law Journal’s annual list of “Ten of the Nation’s Top Trial Lawyers,” and in 1997, 2000 and 2006 was named by the Journal as one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.” He has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1989 and was honored by the Australian National Consumer Law Association as “Product Liability Lawyer of the Year” in 1989. In 1998, he was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Minnesota Association for Justice. In 2001, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon Mr. Ciresi by Southwestern University School of Law, and in 2002, Mr. Ciresi was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Foundation, Inc. Mr. Ciresi is one of 289 lawyers listed in The International Who’s Who of Patent Lawyers 2005 and is named in The Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Mr. Ciresi serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of St. Thomas, the Board of Governors of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Board of Trustees of St. Thomas Academy, and Board of Directors for Parent Aware for School Readiness, Minnesota Early Learning Foundation and MinnCAN. He has completed terms on the advisory board for the Centre of Advanced Litigation at Nottingham Law School, Nottingham, England, as well as the board of directors for Equal Justice Works, The Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Regions Hospital Foundation and Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation. He served as chair of Children’s Minnesota’s Foundation board of directors in 2013 and 2014 and was formerly on the hospital board for six years.

Shannon Evenstad, Board Member

Shannon Evenstad
Community Volunteer

Shannon Evenstad has been involved with Children’s Minnesota for years. She was first introduced to the hospital when one of her sons was admitted to the ICU with a chest infection, which resulted in a significant surgery. Deeply impacted by the effective care given to her son and the compassion that the entire Evenstad family received from Children’s doctors, nurses and staff over an eight-day stay, Ms. Evenstad became a committed partner to the hospital. In addition to joining Children’s Foundation board, Ms. Evenstad is an active member of The Mother Baby Center Task Force committee. Beyond her work with Children’s, Ms. Evenstad has consistently volunteered in the broader Twin Cities community. She has served in a number of capacities, including committee membership and fundraising support for St. David’s Center for Child & Family Development, Breck School, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners and the Minneapolis Club. Previously, Ms. Evenstad was a legal assistant in the intellectual property litigation group at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P.

Greg Frankenfield, Board Member

Greg Frankenfield
CEO, Magenic

In 1995, Greg Frankenfield co-founded Magenic based on his passion for solving business technology challenges and creating a great place to work. He uses that same energy to grow Magenic, expertly directing the strategies and vision. As CEO, Mr. Frankenfield now oversees Magenic’s nationally growing business to offer customers innovative solutions based on the Microsoft platform. Mr. Frankenfield has more than 20 years of experience in software development and consulting. Prior to founding Magenic, he worked in MIS-related functions for Procter & Gamble and General Mills, managing projects ranging from research and development information systems to large-scale SAP implementations. Mr. Frankenfield holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a master of business administration from the Carlson School of Management. In addition to enjoying time with his wife, four children and community activities, he frequents the theatre — both on and off the stage.

Lynn Freeman, Board Member

Lynn Freeman
Representative, The Children’s Association – Minneapolis

Lynn Freeman was the 2016 president of the Children’s Association – Minneapolis, an organization dedicated to raising funds to support Children’s Minnesota. She has been a committed supporter of Children’s Minnesota for more than 25 years. Throughout her time with the Association, she has volunteered in the Storybook Gift Shop and chaired multiple Association events. In addition, Ms. Freeman also works at Children’s Minnesota as a Program Assistant in the Minnesota Sudden Infant Death Center and the Family Resource Center where she provides additional support to families and patients. Previously she served as a volunteer at her children’s schools and served on the Eastview High School Hockey and Lacrosse Booster Club boards.

Scott Gill, Board Member

Scott Gill
CEO, Milestone AV Technologies

Scott Gill is currently chief executive officer of Milestone AV Technologies, a position he has held since 2005. Milestone is the leading global provider of innovative projection screens and mounting solutions for flat panel TVs and projectors. Milestone’s products are sold under the Chief, Sanus, Da-Lite and Projecta brands globally. Prior to Milestone, Mr. Gill was a senior principal at The Parthenon Group, a strategic advisory consulting firm, where he led engagements for companies in both consumer and industrial markets. Prior to Parthenon, Mr. Gill worked for General Electric Power Systems in various technical management positions.

Mr. Gill graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He currently resides in Edina, Minnesota with his wife, Jennifer, and their four children: Christopher, Thomas, Elena and Matthew. Mr. Gill has been on the Children’s Minnesota Foundation board since 2014.

Greg Goven, Board Member

Greg Goven
Retired senior vice president, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

Greg Goven is retired senior vice president of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., a global transportation and logistics company. Mr. Goven joined C.H. Robinson in 1973. He was promoted to vice president in 1987 and senior vice president in 1998. As senior vice president, he oversaw all of C.H. Robinson’s profit centers. During his tenure with the company, he was cited for his leadership, knowledge of the business and for positioning C.H. Robinson for both growth and success. He retired in 2002. Mr. Goven holds a bachelor’s of science from North Dakota State University. He and his wife Jane have two adult children and four grandchildren. They divide their time between homes in Utah, Arizona and Minnesota.

Steve Hockett
President, Great Clips, Inc.

Steve Hockett has spent over 20 years with Great Clips, Inc. in three separate segments, serving in various positions from franchise owner to president. He has worked extensively in Great Clips’ marketing and operations departments and was heavily involved in the massive growth of the system from 150 units when he joined as a franchisee, to today, as the largest hair care brand in the United States with over 4,000 operating salons. Prior to rejoining Great Clips in 2008, Mr. Hockett was president of Rapid Refill Corp., franchised retail stores offering retail and commercial print solutions; and FranChoice, Inc., the premier network of franchise referral consultants. Mr. Hockett serves on the board of governors for Hazeltine National Golf Club, and is a member of the executive committee. In addition, he serves on the board of Holy Family Catholic High School and has been a member of the finance committee for 14 years. Joining the Children’s Minnesota Foundation board provides an opportunity for him to give back to the organization and the broader community. In addition, it serves as a way to say “thank you” for the tremendous care and treatment of his daughter in 1990 when she had emergency surgery at age two and spent 30 days at Children’s Minnesota in St. Paul.

Hooman Hakami
Executive Vice President, Medtronic

Hooman Hakami is the executive vice president and group president of Medtronic Diabetes, where he provides overall strategic direction and operational management of the Diabetes group’s three global business units. He also serves as a member of Medtronic’s Executive Committee. Mr. Hakami came to Medtronic after more than 20 years at General Electric where he last served as president and CEO of Detection & Guidance Solutions of GE Healthcare. In that role he led that company’s business specializing in x-ray based technology solutions. Previously Mr. Hakami served as president and CEO of GE’s Interventional Systems business based in France, and the Global Clinical Systems Services for GE Healthcare.

Matt Majka, Board Member

Matt Majka
Chief operating officer, Minnesota Wild

Since joining the Minnesota Wild in 1997, Matt Majka has been instrumental in fostering the unique connection between the team, its brand and the fans. A passionate hockey fan himself, Mr. Majka inspires the organization to continue creating a greater State of Hockey. He has held leadership roles in various aspects of the company including business operations, marketing and corporate sponsorships. Currently, Mr. Majka is Chief Operating Officer and oversees day-to-day business operations. Mr. Majka’s leadership skills were evident from the start. He helped build Rollerblade, Inc., from a young privately-held company grossing $1 million to a thriving organization with $200 million in annual revenue 13 years later. Mr. Majka’s vision for the Minnesota Wild is to simultaneously use the brand’s influence to continue improving the organization that, in turn, contributes to fostering a stronger community. The fan experience sits at the forefront of the Wild’s brand promise and Mr. Majka has carefully tended to the development of the relationship between the team and its fans since the beginning. The Wild’s dedicated fan base is one of the most revered in sports and the team and Xcel Energy Center are consistently ranked among the top for “Best Stadium Experience” by ESPN The Magazine’s Ultimate Standings, among others. Mr. Majka enjoys coaching youth hockey as well as quiet time at home with wife Kym and their two sons, Sam and Nick. He serves on several boards including Children’s Minnesota, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, United States Hockey Hall of Fame and the BEL13VE in Miracles Foundation. One of his great passions is mentoring young people and helping inspire them to follow their passion.

David Miller, Board Member

David Miller
CEO, Minnetonka Moccasin Company

David Miller is chief executive officer of Minnetonka Moccasin Company, a manufacturer/wholesaler of casual footwear. Mr. Miller’s non-profit board experience includes Trustee Lake Forest College, Young Presidents’ Organization, Minnesota Early Learning Design (MELD), Sholom Foundation, Jane Goodall Institute and Sing for Hope. He has also sat on a number of for-profit business boards that include both public and private companies. Mr. Miller graduated from Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Ill., and lives in Minneapolis with his wife.

Sharon, head shot

Sharon Murphy Garber
Community Volunteer

Sharon Murphy Garber is a dedicated volunteer and supporter of Children’s Minnesota. Over the past 27 years she has held a number of volunteer leadership roles. Ms. Murphy Garber currently serves as chair of Children’s Pain, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine task force. She also co-chaired Children’s 2016 Shine Bright Bash, which raised funds for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program, and will co-chair the event again in 2017. Ms. Murphy Garber previously served as president and communications chair of The Children’s Association – Minneapolis, an organization dedicated to raising funds to support Children’s Minnesota. In addition to her support of Children’s, Ms. Murphy Garber is a board member of the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation, vice president for the Midwest Interscholastic High School Sailing Association and board director for the National Interscholastic High School Sailing Association. She also volunteered for Como Zoo for more than 40 years.

Donna Roback, Board Member

Donna Roback

Donna Roback is an attorney who has practiced business and employment law as well as alternative dispute resolution. She and her late husband, Dr. Stacy Roback, a pediatric surgeon, have been involved with Children’s for many years and consider Children’s a second home. Ms. Roback believes community support, medical excellence and exceptional leadership have enabled Children’s to become the nation-leading system it is today and she is dedicated to supporting Children’s in its next stage of growth in her role as board member of the foundation.

Patrick Ryan, Board Member

Patrick Ryan
President and CEO, Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Patrick G. Ryan is president and chief executive officer of Ryan Companies US, Inc., a national builder, designer, developer and real estate manager specializing in fully integrated solutions for more than 70 years. Mr. Ryan leads overall operations and senior staff activities as well as Ryan’s national business development initiatives in industrial, retail, public sector, office, mission critical, health care, alternative energy, hospitality, higher education, and multi-family and senior housing. Mr. Ryan is a member of the Urban Land Institute, past chair of the University of St. Thomas School of Law Board of Governors, past president of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), a current member of the World Presidents’ Organization (WPO) as well as a member and past director of the Twin Cities Chapter of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). In 2007, Ryan Companies US, Inc. was awarded NAIOP’s National Developer of the Year award.

His community work includes serving as a chair of the board of directors of Children’s Minnesota, trustee and past president of Children’s Cancer Research Fund, past president of Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School and past board member of Catholic Charities. He is a founder of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, which is an inner-city college preparatory school for under-resourced children. Mr. Ryan is co-chair of the Spring Point Project, which is focused on finding a cure for diabetes. Mr. Ryan graduated from the University of St. Thomas, with honors, where he received a degree in business administration finance. Additionally, he earned a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN.

Sharyl Sicoli, Board Member

Sharyl Sicoli
Representative, Children’s Hospital Association – St. Paul

Sharyl Sicoli was the 2016 president of The Children’s Hospital Association – St. Paul, a volunteer non-profit organization that raises funds to support programs at Children’s Minnesota. She joined The Association’s Lunch Bunch Guild several years ago and formally became a member of The Association in 2014. Ms. Sicoli is a strong advocate for volunteering and has been on the Hastings, Minn. Special Olympics board of directors for 10 years. She also volunteers with the Autism Society of Minnesota, where she helps out in a number of capacities and serves as a staff nurse for the organization’s summer camps. Ms. Sicoli received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Sisters of Charity School of Nursing in Buffalo, N.Y. After receiving her degree she was a medical surgical nurse at the Sisters of Charity Hospital and then served as a travelling nurse for a number of years. She was nominated Nurse of the Year two years in a row during her time at the Sisters of Charity Hospital. Ms. Sicoli, along with her husband, Robert Sicoli, MD, are longstanding supporters of Children’s Minnesota. Dr. Sicoli joined Children’s in 1993 and is now the co-medical Director of Children’s Emergency Services. Under his leadership, Children’s became a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center.