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.

Mike Hanson, Foundation Board

Mike Hanson
President and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Electric Corporation
Vice Chair, Board of Directors of Children’s Minnesota Foundation

Mike Hanson has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Electric Corporation since 1996. He began his career at Hunt in 1985 as assistant project manager and worked his way through various senior and executive roles until he was promoted to his current position. Mike is a former Board Member of Hunger Solutions, and currently serves as a Board Member of Dunwoody College of Technology. Passionately committed to philanthropy, he is a long-term supporter of Children’s Minnesota. He participated in the Pain and Palliative Care Advisory Council and is a current member of the Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Task Force. Mike received a BA from the University of Minnesota, an ABA from Dunwoody College of Technology and an MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. He and his wife Shelly live in Brooklyn Park.


Ryan Bartley
Senior Vice President – Market Officer, Link Logistics

Ryan Bartley is the Senior Vice President-Market Officer for Link Logistics Real Estate, a Blackstone Company founded in 2019, and board member and immediate past President of NAIOP Minnesota. Prior experience includes Vice President of Industrial Brokerage for Paramount Real Estate Corporation. He is a graduate of Iowa State University – Ivy College of Business and Cretin-Derham High School in St. Paul. He and his wife Christine and three daughters live in Highland Park in St. Paul.

Martin Bassett

Marty Bassett
President and CEO, Walman Optical Company

Martin L. Bassett has been the president and CEO of the Walman Optical Company, the largest independent wholesale optical company in the U.S., since 2001. Prior to that, Mr. Bassett served Walman in the areas of finance and operations. Walman has 1,200 employees and serves 9,500 customers through 41 offices located throughout the U.S. Walman is recognized as one of America’s 100 largest employee owned companies. Mr. Bassett has served on the Board of Directors of the Vision Council, where he served as the chairman, vice chairman, chair of the Government Relation and Advocacy Committee as well as serving as the secretary and treasurer. During his tenure as chairman of the Vision Council, Mr. Bassett was instrumental in building alliances throughout the industry in support of the growth and expansion of the Think About Your Eyes consumer awareness campaign. Mr. Bassett serves as the immediate past chairman of the Governance Board of Children’s Minnesota.

Mr. Bassett is a member of the World Presidents’ Association (WPO) and The American Institute of CPA’s. Mr. Bassett holds a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from the University of Minnesota.

Russ Becker

Russell Becker
Chief executive officer and President, APi Group, Inc.

Russell (Russ) Becker is the chief executive officer and president of APi Group, one of the largest providers of specialty services in North America and the largest provider of life safety services in the world. Mr. Becker’s continued commitment to overall excellence has inspired APi Group to create a culture of leadership by building an exceptional learning and development program, a highly selective Leader Development Program, and an award-winning veteran’s hiring program.

After graduation from Michigan Technological University with his bachelor and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering, Mr. Becker began his career as a field engineer with Cherne Contracting. He moved on to become a project manager for Ryan Companies during the construction of the Greenfield Recycled Paper Mill project for Liberty Paper. Upon completion of this project he joined APi Group’s subsidiary, The Jamar Company, in Duluth, Minnesota. He started as manager of construction and was named president in 1998, where he served until joining APi Group as president in 2002.

He previously served as a member of Dunwoody Institute’s board of trustees. He is the former chair of the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota board of directors and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Foundation board of directors. He currently serves on the Children’s Foundation board of directors, the Liberty Diversified Industries board of directors, and the Marvin Companies board of directors. He also serves on the advisory board for the School of Engineering at Michigan Technological University and the board for the Construction Industry Round Table (CIRT). Mr. Becker is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Minnesota Business Partnership. Russ resides with his wife, Trish, and three sons in Dellwood, Minnesota.

Jon Biermann
Associate Director of Reporting and Analytics, Optum

Jon Biermann is currently Associate Director of Reporting and Analytics at Optum. With over 15 years of experience in data analytics, Mr. Biermann has built a career helping businesses tell a story through their data while providing insights on standardizing metrics. He is presently focused on optimizing data architecture in the cloud with a concentration on AI/ML functionality. Mr. Biermann has been involved with Children’s Minnesota since 2018 when is his daughter had a brief stay in the NICU and was blown away by the care both his daughter and family received.

Mr. Biermann holds a B.A. in Economics from St. John’s University. He resides in Eden Prairie, Minnesota with his wife Laura and their three children.

Traci Bransford
Partner, Stinson, LLP.

Traci Bransford is a Partner at Stinson, LLP, where she serves as general counsel, entertainment, media and sports attorney to her clients. She is a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Division at Stinson and is the co-chair of Stinson’s Entertainment and Media Law Group and a member of the Sports and Outdoor Recreation Group.

Traci also serves as general counsel to collegiate, professional and retired athletes in their individual business and philanthropic pursuits. She works closely with Stinson’s charitable planning professionals to coordinate the implementation of her athletes’ charitable planning.

Traci has decades of experience negotiating with entertainment venues related to artist performances and tour representation.

Traci has negotiated several multimillion-dollar entertainment agreements with worldwide entertainment companies, for publishing administration, merchandise, recorded music and performing rights organizations. Traci also works to closely protect her clients’ intellectual property content through social media influencers, option and literary rights, life story rights agreements and non-disclosure agreements.

Traci previously served as general counsel for an internationally recognized recording studio where she advised on legal strategies for the business and entertainment entities.

Traci combines her deep understanding of client needs with a strong commitment to the tenets of diversity and inclusion, offering comprehensive solutions to key legal challenges to benefit the firm and its clients. She is an active member of several charitable and professional organizations and is a sought out speaker on entertainment law, sports law, celebrity philanthropy and diversity.

Traci received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College and her Juris Doctorate degree from New York University School of Law and she is licensed to practice in California, Minnesota, New York and Georgia.


Terry Clark
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, UnitedHealth Group
Chief Marketing and Customer Officer, Optum

Terry Clark was named chief marketing officer for UnitedHealth Group in 2014 and added responsibility as chief marketing and customer officer for Optum in 2022. In his role, Clark leads UnitedHealth Group’s marketing, brand and customer experience efforts – focusing on transforming how people experience our products and services. Previously, Clark served as chief marketing officer, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement, leading UnitedHealthcare’s direct-to-consumer efforts. Clark joined UnitedHealthcare in 2006 from IAC/InterActiveCorp, a consumer marketing and technology company comprised of leading digital brands, where he last served as executive vice president, sales and marketing, for the Entertainment Publications division.

Jacqueline Lloyd Cunningham

Jacqueline Lloyd Cunningham, MBA
Vice President of Marketing and Communications, YWCA Minneapolis

Jacqueline Lloyd Cunningham is vice president of marketing and communications for YWCA Minneapolis. Ms. Lloyd Cunningham has over 20 years of experience as a strategic marketing leader. She has a passion for understanding what drives behavior and uses that insight to develop integrated marketing plans that drive brand relevancy and business results.

Ms. Lloyd Cunningham currently sits on the Foundation Board of Directors of Children’s Minnesota and is co-chair of Star Gala 2023. She was also appointed by Governor Tim Walz and serves as a Public Member on the Board of Nursing. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY; an MBA degree from Fordham University Graduate School of Business in New York and completed Continuing Education courses at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, including Healthcare Delivery Innovations.

Ms. Lloyd Cunningham is married, has two adult children and enjoys spending time walking and at the lake.

Sharon Murphy Garber

Sharon Murphy Garber
Community volunteer

Sharon Murphy Garber is a dedicated volunteer and supporter of Children’s Minnesota. Over the past 32 years she has held a number of volunteer leadership roles. Ms. Murphy Garber has served as chair of Children’s Minnesota’s Pain, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine task force. She also co-chaired Children’s Minnesota’s 2016 and 2017 Shine Bright Bash and she has served on the planning committee of Shine Brighter since 2018, which raised funds for Children’s Minnesota’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program. 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 Minnesota, Ms. Murphy Garber is a board member of the Minnetonka Public Schools Foundation, District Committee 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.

Archelle Georgiou, MD

Archelle Georgiou, MD
President, Georgiou Consulting
Chair, Children’s Minnesota Board of Directors

Archelle Georgiou, MD, is a nationally recognized physician, health executive, medical reporter and author who is known for her commitment to patient advocacy. She maintains a diverse portfolio of advisory relationships with companies and organizations that improve health and the health care system. In addition, she is an executive in residence at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Dr. Georgiou is also an on-air medical expert with a weekly segment on KSTP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and has covered over 1,600 medical topics. In 2017, Dr. Georgiou published her book, Health Care Choices: 5 Steps to Getting the Medical Care You Want and Need – a book that explains how consumers can be an equal partner in their care and have a voice in their medical decisions. From 1995 to 2007, Dr. Georgiou served as chief medical officer of UnitedHealth Group. She has served on boards of directors for non-profit, private and publicly-traded companies.

Dr. Georgiou graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and was board-certified in Internal Medicine.

Marc Gorelick, MD, president and CEO

Marc Gorelick, MD*
President, chief executive officer, Children’s Minnesota

Marc Gorelick, MD, was appointed chief executive officer of Children’s Minnesota in December 2017. He joined Children’s Minnesota in March 2017 as president and chief operating officer. He is deeply committed to identifying sustainable ways Children’s Minnesota can continue to deliver exceptional care in an evolving health care environment.

Dr. Gorelick previously served as executive vice president and COO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  A pediatric emergency medicine physician by training, his prior experience includes faculty positions at Medical College of Wisconsin and University of Pennsylvania, and clinical and leadership roles at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, AI DuPont Hospital for Children, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

His education includes an A.B. degree in history from Princeton University, an M.D. degree from Duke University, and a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gorelick trained in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, and in pediatric emergency medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Gorelick’s interests include running, cycling, and paddling; homebrewing; and playing the tuba.

Simone Hardeman-Jones

Simone Hardeman-Jones
Executive director, GreenLight Fund Twin Cities

Simone Hardeman-Jones is the founding executive director of GreenLight Fund Twin Cities, an organization that partners with community, nonprofit, government, academic, philanthropic and business leaders to bring socially innovative solutions to the Twin Cities to fill unmet local needs, break down entrenched barriers and address deep-rooted disparities in order to create opportunities for children and families to thrive.

Ms. Hardeman-Jones has a deep understanding of the role that systems play and the impact they have in the lives of some of the most underserved in our communities and has committed her career to dismantling them. She served as national director of policy and partnerships at Educators for Excellence (E4E), a national education non-profit. She also served in the Obama Administration in a variety of roles, including Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education where she served as a key advisor to two U.S. Secretaries of Education. Ms. Hardeman-Jones spent six years as policy advisor to two United States Senators, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the late Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and also spent time working on multiple political campaigns including as Director of African American Outreach for Senator Klobuchar’s 2006 Senate race.

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Ms. Hardeman-Jones currently resides in the Twin Cities with her husband and toddler son. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a Senior Fellow with the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and the Breck School Alumni Council. She serves on the boards of the Minnesota Alliance With Youth and Ed Allies. Ms. Hardeman-Jones holds both a Bachelors and a Master’s degree from The American University in Washington, D.C.


Chris Hedberg
Chief Operating Officer, AB CarVal
Foundation Board Immediate Past Chair

Mr. Hedberg is chief operating officer for AB CarVal. In addition to leading operations globally for the firm, Mr. Hedberg is responsible for developing and executing an integrated commercial strategy and managing all product development, capital formation and investor relations activities. He serves on the Executive and Portfolio Investment committees for the firm and co-chairs AB CarVal’s Responsible Investing committee. Mr. Hedberg joined AB CarVal in 2002 and has held a variety of financial management positions, including serving as the firm’s chief financial officer and global controller for AB CarVal’s corporate credit business. Prior to joining AB CarVal, Mr. Hedberg was with Cargill and Dain Bosworth. He received his M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and his B.S. in finance, magna cum laude from the University of Colorado.

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Jessica Henrichs
President, Colle McVoy, Inc.

Jessica Henrichs is a brand transformation and turnaround specialist. Working with many of the world’s best brands, she has a proven track record in building high-performing teams, helping brands influence consumer behavior and driving business growth.

As President, Jessica set a course for Colle McVoy to become an agency that’s truly built for change by reinventing the agency’s model, investing in emerging capabilities and fostering transformational leadership. Her innate passion to blaze new trails, combined with her mastery of client relationships, make her a trusted strategic advisor and inspirational leader.

Jessica has more than two decades of experience creating award-winning integrated strategies and solutions for global brands. At Digitas for more than a decade, she became an expert in data- and technology-led creative that led to 100+ awards, including a Cannes Lion Grand Prix for Data, while overseeing management of the Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, JennAir, Bank of America, Sprint, P&G, General Motors, PPG and Goodyear accounts. Prior to Digitas, Jessica spent nine years in charge of marketing and sales promotions for CBS television stations.

Nestor Jaramillo

Nestor Jaramillo
President and CEO, Nuwellis Inc.
Foundation Board Vice Chair

Nestor Jaramillo, Jr. has been a key player in health care industry for more than 30 years and has led commercial organizations in both multinational and startup companies.

Mr. Jaramillo spent 23 years at Medtronic in sales and marketing roles, both domestic and international assignments. In addition, Mr. Jaramillo also spent seven years as a managing director of health care investment banking at both Cherry Tree & Associates and Craig-Hallum Capital, both firms located in Minneapolis.

Prior to Nuwellis, Mr. Jaramillo was president and CEO of Innerspace Neuro Solution, Inc., a Tustin, Calif.-based commercial-stage medical technology company that developed, manufactured, and distributed an intracranial pressure monitoring system. He also worked in a variety of capacities at startup Transoma Medica, and Abbott (St. Jude Medical). He served in the board of directors of Accumold Inc. (DesMoines, IA) and NPI Medical (Ansonia, Conn.)

Mr. Jaramillo holds an electrical engineering degree from the University of North Dakota and a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. He serves on the Finance Committee of the Basilica of St. Mary Landmark Foundation. For ten years he was on the board of NPH, serving as chairman for two years. NPH is a non-profit organization supporting abandoned and disadvantaged children in Central and South America. Mr. Jaramillo lives in Edina with wife Laurie where they raised their children Carmen and Nicholas, now adults with children of their own.

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Briana Koch
Business Operations Manager, Ryan Companies US Inc.
Children’s Council Representative

Briana Koch is the Business Operations Manager for Ryan Companies US Inc. Ms. Koch is responsible for day-to-day business operations at Ryan’s corporate headquarters. She is responsible for strategic planning and execution of initiatives that drive business efficiencies, cultivating culture, welcoming new employees into the Ryan family and mentorship.  Briana’s dedication to collaboration and building lasting relationships creates an atmosphere for Ryan employees to thrive. She has six years of commercial real estate and construction experience. Prior to Ryan, Ms. Koch spent eight years in the banking industry in various roles throughout Wells Fargo. Through her experiences, Ms. Koch has created spaces and platforms for team members and leaders to connect and share vulnerability to humanize themselves and enhance true connection and collaboration. She believes that any process can be improved and done more efficiently. We can never get back time, so the best thing we can do is be efficient and protect people’s time.

Briana was introduced to Children’s Minnesota while caring for her son Aiden in 2015.  Aiden was diagnosed with Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome II and was the 46th case in the world.  Aiden lost his fight with Mitochondrial Disease in June 2015 at 14.5 months old. Without Children’s, Briana and her family likely would have not received a diagnosis. To say Aiden made an impact on Briana and others’ lives is an understatement. The family continues to give time and support to Children’s in honor and memory of Aiden. Briana has been on the Executive Children’s Committee since 2021. She served as a co-chair for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House. Aiden has helped his family look at life with a new lens of empathy, compassion, service., and giving back.

Ms. Koch was born in East Aurora, NY. She graduated from the University of Buffalo with a Bachelor of Social Sciences- Early Childhood Education. She arrived in MN in 2009, and although her intent was to go back to NY, she fell in love with MN. She received her Certificate in Small Business Management in 2010. She married the most supportive husband, Nick, in 2013.  Together they have their angel baby Aiden, Greyson and Owen.  The family resides in Maple Grove, MN.

Jeryn Konezny

Jeryn Konezny
Lawyer and community volunteer

Jeryn Konezny is a non-practicing lawyer and community volunteer.  From 2008-2014, Ms. Konezny served on the Board of St. David’s Center in Minnetonka from 2008-2014, on the Board of the Hennepin History Museum from 1999 to 2002, and from 1998 to 2000 served on the Minnetonka Heritage Commission. She practiced law at Dorsey & Whitney from 1994 to 2000, specializing in the areas of nonprofit, tax-exemption, and health care law.  While practicing law, Ms. Konezny volunteered for a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Junior League of Minneapolis, Tulip Foundation, and Free Arts for Abused Children of Minnesota. Ms. Konezny earned her law degree from the University of Michigan and her political science degree from the University of St. Thomas. She and her husband live in Deephaven and have three daughters, Adelaide, Emma, and Hannah.

Paul Lapadat

Paul Lapadat
CEO, Dessert Holdings

Paul Lapadat is currently CEO of Dessert Holdings, the leading manufacturer of premium desserts in North America. Dessert Holdings is backed by Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco based private equity firm. Prior to joining Dessert Holdings, Mr. Lapadat partnered with Gryphon Investors to create Flagstone Foods, a healthy snacks company where he was the CEO from 2010 – 2014. Flagstone Foods sold to Treehouse Foods (NYSE: THS), a Chicago based public company in 2014. From 2003-2010, Mr. Lapadat was president and chief operating officer of the $3 billion Snack Foods Group of ConAgra Foods (NYSE: CAG), overseeing consumer favorites such as Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher’s, ACT II and David Seeds, along with all of ConAgra’s private label business units. Mr. Lapadat started his career in finance at General Mills Inc. and later held senior level brand management, marketing positions at Kraft Foods in Chicago and the Pillsbury Company in Minneapolis. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas, 1988. He also has an MBA in Marketing from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, 1993.

Mr. Lapadat has been a board member of the Gryphon Investor Portfolio companies, he has helped to build along with being an Independent Director for Inventure Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: SNAK) from 2013 – 2017. Mr. Lapadat and his wife Laurie live in Dellwood, MN and have three children.

Rebecca Lieberman

Rebecca Lieberman*
Vice president, People, Optum
Foundation Board Chair

Rebecca Lieberman is known as an inspiring, transformational leader who builds winning teams. Her hallmark trait is engaging and partnering with senior leaders to develop innovative solutions and expand their capabilities in fast-paced, everchanging global environments.

Ms. Lieberman is currently the vice president, people for Optum Technology. In her role she is focused on advancing the business through forward thinking people strategies, building teams with the skills needed to meet current and future customer needs and creating an inclusive culture.

Prior to joining Optum in 2021, Ms. Lieberman spent five years at Radisson Hotel Group in a variety of roles, most recently as chief human resources officer leading the human resources, communications, responsible business and facilities functions for the Americas. In this role, she was responsible for leading and enabling the business to deliver on the achievement of strategic and operational business goals. Additionally, she developed and deployed globally aligned strategies throughout the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific regions for both Performance and Talent.

She was the owner and principal human resources consultant for RTL Consulting, where she specialized in HR strategy and organizational effectiveness for various companies going through M&A and divestitures. Ms. Lieberman also spent 10 years at Target Corporation serving in a variety of roles and leading organizational transformations for both corporate and store divisions.

As a community volunteer, Ms. Lieberman has served in various roles with Children’s Cancer Research Fund, YPO and Junior League of Minneapolis. She previously served in a chair position for the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. Rebecca holds a BA in Mass Communication and Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University.

Ann McGarry

Ann McGarry
Head of enterprise marketing & branding, Securian Financial Group

Ann McGarry is the Head of Enterprise Marketing & Branding at Securian Financial Group. At Securian, Ms. McGarry leads all business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing efforts to drive consideration of Securian Financial. She also oversees brand strategy and reputation management, as well as corporate communications. She has more than 30 years of financial services experience and has held strategic marketing roles at United Health Group, Wells Fargo, Mackenzie Marketing, and American Express.

An active supporter of the local community, Ms. McGarry has served on the board of her children’s schools, volunteered as the manager of her daughter’s soccer team, and currently volunteers at the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. Ann earned her BA in Business Administration from the College of St. Benedict and her MBA with an Emphasis in Marketing from the University of Saint Thomas – School of Business


Raquel Melo
Vice President of Product Innovation, Dairy Farmers of America

Raquel Melo is Vice President, New Products at Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a farmer-owned cooperative. Prior to this capacity, Ms. Melo has held roles as Vice President, Innovation and New Business Development at Land O’Lakes Inc as well as other marketing and innovation roles in the Twin Cities including General Mills.

Ms. Melo was most recently the Chair of the Board for The Brand Lab. She has held board or board chair roles with Rainbow Families, The National Society of Hispanic MBAs (Twin Cities chapter,) The MN AIDS Project, RI Project AIDS and the Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL).

Ms. Melo holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. A native of the Dominican Republic, Raquel grew up primarily in NYC and Boston, and has lived in the Twin Cities for 25 years. Ms. Melo holds a BA from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She and her wife adopted their three children Tyler, Sofia, and Bennet (now young adults) through Hennepin County.

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Cathy Muggee
Community Volunteer

Cathy Muggee retired from 3M after a long career recognized as a collaborative leader with a passion for organizational efficiency. She worked in a variety of functional areas at 3M, including IT, Global Supply Chain, and Mergers & Acquisitions, developing cross-functional teams who delivered results.

In addition to her role on the Children’s Minnesota Foundation Board, Ms. Muggee is involved in a variety of volunteer activities including serving on the Planned Giving and Endowment committee at the Greater Twin Cities United Way, Board Member of Spirit Song Choir, Finance Council at St. Pascal Baylon Church, and has served with Loaves and Fishes at Catholic Charities.

Ms. Muggee has been a long-time supporter of Children’s Minnesota and cancer research, beginning when her youngest son was diagnosed with leukemia and received comprehensive care at Children’s Minnesota in St. Paul.

Her academic background includes a B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Ms. Muggee and her husband John enjoy spending time with family and friends, learning more about our world through travel, and indulging their passion for music as members of two choirs. They have three adult children.

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Anne Novak
Wealth Advisor, Cresset Capital
Vice President, Cresset Trust Company
Legacy Advisors Representative

Anne is a Wealth Advisor at Cresset and Vice President of Cresset Trust Company. She brings over 20 years of experience working in family office.  She is responsible for providing highly sophisticated, customized and comprehensive financial solutions to ultra-high-net-worth clients and their families. Anne’s client advisory role is enhanced by her extensive experience in accounting and tax. She also manages and oversees the growth and operations of Cresset Trust Company.

Anne earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of St. Thomas. She is a CPA, CTFA, PFS.

Mara Ryan

Mara Ryan
Brand builder + food allergy and NICU mom

Mara Ryan is a former Fortune 500 marketing leader with 15 years of experience building global brands, leading marketing strategy and digital transformation efforts. Most recently Mara was at The Mosaic Company with oversight of advertising and public relations campaigns, global brand management as well as the evolution of digital properties and social engagement strategies.

Ms. Ryan was first introduced to Children’s Minnesota as she and her family navigated their first daughter’s food allergies. The journey inspired her to become an advocate and investor in advancing the food allergy care model.

In early 2020, the Ryan family’s relationship with Children’s Minnesota deepened as they navigated a high-risk pregnancy and welcomed their third daughter via emergency C-section at 26 weeks gestation. Ms. Ryan and her daughter spent a combined 129 days at The Mother Baby Center, Children’s Minnesota and Maple Grove Hospital NICUs.

Ms. Ryan currently sits on the Foundation Board of Directors of Children’s Minnesota and is co-chair of Star Gala. Previously, she served on the executive committee of Children’s Council as well as the Corporate Giving Committee and Marketing Advisory Committee. In addition, Mara has served on the board of directors for Avivo, WomenUnited for Greater Twin Cities United Way and The LEAD Project.

Ms. Ryan holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the Opus College of Business and an undergraduate degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of St. Thomas. She’s also attended courses at Stanford University and Aspen Institute. Ms. Ryan is most proud of her husband, Colin and three strong-willed daughters Cooper, Quinn and Whitney.


Steve Ryan
Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Steve joined the Minneapolis law firm of Briggs and Morgan, P.A. in 1994 as a real estate and finance attorney, became a shareholder in 2001 and was named the firm’s Chair in 2015. He served as President and Managing Partner of the firm from 2017 to 2020, and presided over Briggs and Morgan’s merger with Taft Stettinius & Hollister in 2020.  Steve served as Partner-in-Charge of the Minneapolis office until 2021 and currently serves on Taft’s executive committee.

Steve has nearly 30 years of experience representing a broad range of clients in the areas of banking and finance, capital markets and real estate. Among other significant matters, Steve represented the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins on the financing, development and construction of U.S. Bank Stadium and Target Field, respectively.

Steve is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota Law School.  He and his wife Anne live in Orono, Minnesota and have six children.

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Eva Spenny
Children’s Hospital Association Representative

Eva Spenny has been working with Children’s Hospital Association for over 10 years in various roles as Guld member, Guild leader, member of the CHA board.  In 2022 she served as CHA President. Eva has enjoyed the many   hours volunteering and supporting fundraising events to help fund the programs for Children’s MN. Eva has worked in the financial industry for more than 20 years, currently, she is with The Standard Insurance Company.  Eva is a native Minnesotan and a graduate of the University of Minnesota.  Eva splits her time between St. Paul and Tampa.

Tawnya Stewart

Tawnya Stewart
Chief of people and culture, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures

Tawnya Stewart holds the position of Chief of People and Culture at Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures (MLCV). As an entity rooted in Indigenous ownership and operations, MLCV stands at the forefront of equality advocacy and diversity celebration, with our greatest potential for impact lying within our organizational boundaries. In her role as Chief of People and Culture Officer, Ms. Stewart collaborates with business leaders across the portfolio to integrate racial equity strategies while reinforcing an inclusive culture.

Ms. Stewart’s academic achievements include an Executive MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor’s degree in business and communications. She also possesses a Master’s degree in Human Resources from Loyola University Chicago.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Ms. Stewart has an affinity for music, travel, reading, podcasts, and theatre. She resides in Golden Valley, Minnesota, with her son, and invests time in understanding her Ojibwe heritage. Anchoring her philosophy is the tenet to “let love rule”.

May Thao-Schuck

May Thao-Schuck
Vice President of Career and Professional Development, St. Catherine University

May Thao-Schuck is the Teresa Rolling Radzinski Vice President of Career and Professional Development at St. Catherine University, where she leads work to make career development central to the student experience. May has more than 20 years of leadership experience in various industries. She successfully transforms culture and propels businesses, and her experiences include working in workforce development, higher education, strategic business and operations, leadership development, and organization development fields. She is a change agent and an impactful collaborator, connector, and partner who builds inclusive work environments where individuals and teams thrive. May has an MBA and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Organization Development from the University of St. Thomas. She is also an active leader in the Coalition of Asian American Leaders and enjoys time with her family and friends, hiking, reading, and traveling.

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Stephanie Thomes
Senior Investment Consultant, Mercer

Stephanie Thomes is a Senior Investment Consultant within the U.S. Insurance practice at Mercer.  Her expertise includes investment and risk strategy, alternatives, asset allocation, and capital efficient investing for general accounts.  Prior to joining Mercer in 2023, Stephanie was the Head of Investment Strategy and the Head of Alternative Investments for Allianz Investment Management across a $150b GA.  She formerly worked in asset management for firms including AB Carval Investors and Black River Asset Management, and was a Controller for a technology start-up company.  Stephanie currently serves on the Foundation Board and Investment Committee for the Childrens Hospital of Minnesota, and was a prior member of the Advisory Board for OWNS; an impact ETF focused on equality in minority home ownership.

Stephanie recieved her B.S. in finance and economics from St. Cloud University and her MBA in finance from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School.

Maria Troje

Maria Troje
Vice president of sales and service, Minnesota Wild

Maria Troje is in her 21st season with the Minnesota Wild and fifth as vice president of sales and service. In her current role, she oversees the Wild’s Season Ticket Holder base to continually provide excellence in customer service and fan experience, which has led to renewal rates that have consistently exceeded 90%. Her duties also include managing ticket sales for the Wild, including season ticket packages, groups and single game tickets.

Over the past few seasons, Ms. Troje has instituted an overarching customer service philosophy campus-wide for the organization, called Service First, which connects full and part-time staff as well as key partners of the Minnesota Wild to focus on service and culture at the core of the business. She also serves as the lead contact with Levy Restaurants.

Ms. Troje played an integral role in two ground-breaking initiatives: the first-ever Wild Fan Advisory Board to gain fan insights and steadily improve the fan experience; and Wild Rewards, a loyalty program designed to reward Season Ticket Holders with merchandise and one-of-a-kind experiences. She also led the organization s task force for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series weekend that took place Feb. 20-21, 2016, at TCF Bank Stadium and was one of the leaders on the task force for the 2022 Discover NHL Winter Classic that took place Jan. 1, 2022 at Target Field.

Ms. Troje received her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Catherine and her Masters from the University of New Haven, Connecticut. She currently serves on the Foundation Board of Children’s Minnesota and on the Schubert Club Board. She has been with the Wild organization since its inception in 2000 and was named one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journals Women in Business in 2018.

She and her husband, Chris, have three children, Connor, Brady, and Addison. The family resides in Blaine, MN.

Walter White

Walter White
Community volunteer

Walter White is an independent director of Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz), and previously served as the President and CEO of the company from 2012 through 2021. Prior to joining Allianz, Mr. White was president of Woodbury Financial Services, and led the formation of the company after Hartford Life purchased Fortis Financial Group in 2001. At Fortis, held various senior management positions in marketing, operations and finance. Prior to Fortis, Mr. White was president of MONY Brokerage, then a subsidiary of the MONY Group.

Mr. White earned a BA in history from Yale University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds the Chartered Life Underwriter and Retirement Income Certified Professional designations from the American College.

In addition to his role on the foundation board of Children’s Minnesota, he is a member of the general board and the audit committee of the YMCA of the North, a long-serving board and executive committee member of Senior Community Services, and honorary co-chair of a capital campaign for Keystone Community Services.

He and his wife Karen have two children, and reside in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Nico Wyrobek

Nico Wyrobek
CEO and owner, Northstar Ballons, LLC
Foundation Board Treasurer

Nicola “Nico” Wyrobek is the CEO and owner of Northstar Balloons LLC and co-founder of Morris Packaging Minnesota. She is a mother of seven, an attorney, a volunteer, and owner of two businesses. Prior to owning Northstar Balloons LLC and Morris Packaging Minnesota, Ms. Wyrobek served as assistant general counsel for Excelsior Energy from June 2004 to January 2011. She was a Sloan Fellow at Stanford Graduate School of Business and her prior experience includes working as a law clerk for Kaplan, Strangis & Kaplan.

Ms. Wyrobek earned a B.A. in Biology/Environmental Studies and Economics from Middlebury College. She then earned her JD from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s in Management from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Ms. Wyrobek is a youth hockey coach for both boys and girls for the Edina Hockey Association. She and her husband, Kristian Wyrobek, live in Minneapolis with their seven children.