Meet the board of directors for Children’s Minnesota. An asterisk (*) denotes people who serve on both the hospital and foundation boards.
Meet the board of directors for Children’s Minnesota. An asterisk (*) denotes people who serve on both the hospital and foundation boards.
Gary Blackford has over 30 years experience leading health care services and technology companies. He most recently served as chairman and CEO of Universal Hospital Services, Inc. for more than 13 years. Mr. Blackford currently sits on a number of public, private and not-for-profit health care boards, including the Children’s Minnesota Foundation Board, Wright Medical Group, N.V., Halyard Health, Inc., EnteroMedics, Inc. and PipelineRx, Inc.
Our Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of community leaders and Children’s Minnesota staff members who are selected based on their experience and expertise.
Martin L. Bassett has been the president and CEO of the Walman Optical Company, a national wholesale optical firm, since 2001. Prior to that, Mr. Bassett served Walman Optical in the areas of finance and operations. He also serves as a director of The Walman Optical Company, Hydrogel Vision Corporation and The Vision Council of America.
From 2008-2012, Mr. Bassett served as director of Christopher & Banks Corp. He is also 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.
Henry Chang is currently Vice President of 3M Connect, a corporate digital innovation effort. Henry joined 3M in 2005 and has held a number of strategic and operational leadership roles within 3M’s Healthcare Business Group. Prior to 3M, he served as an advisor in Private Equity, Investment Banking and Management consulting. Henry is a former board member of Children’s Minnesota Foundation and Family & Children’s Services (now known as The Family Partnership). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management.
A married father of two, he is an avid golfer and enjoys travel.
Alvin Abraham is the founding dean of the Dougherty Family College at the University of St. Thomas, which welcomed its inaugural class of students in August 2017. Abraham started his career as an elementary educator with Teach for America and then continued teaching in Houston, Texas. A proven leader, Abraham quickly ascended into educational administration as an assistant principal then principal in Houston. Abraham relocated to Minneapolis in 2012 to lead KIPP Minnesota. Abraham holds a B.S. from Texas A&M University and a M.Ed. from the University of Houston. He also currently serves on the board of directors of Great MN Schools, the leadership council of MN Comeback, and the national advisory board of Teach for America – The Collective.
Matt Bilunas is the chief financial officer for Best Buy Co. Inc. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing all aspects of global finance and strategic planning, as well as audit, procurement and pricing functions.
Since joining Best Buy in 2006, Matt has served in a variety of financial leadership roles, both in the field and at the corporate campus. He started as a territory finance director in Los Angeles and has worked in the company’s domestic and international businesses.
Matt has been a key finance leader during Best Buy’s transformation. Prior to becoming CFO, he was senior vice president of enterprise and merchandise finance. He also has held finance roles in retail, e-commerce and marketing.
Before Best Buy, Matt worked at Carlson Inc., NRG Energy Inc., Bandag Inc. and KPMG. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Iowa State University.
Angela Kade Goepferd, MD, is the Senior Director of Interprofessional Education, Vice Chief and Medical Director; Gender Health for Children’s Minnesota and a general pediatrician in the Children’s Minnesota – Minneapolis Primary Care clinic. Dr. Goepferd has been with Children’s for 11 years, and in that time has been an advocate for advancing equitable healthcare for all children, helped to create and cultivate The Children’s Way values to ensure a positive experience for patients, families and professional staff, and has been an engaged member and leader on several committees, strategic planning teams and other initiatives across the organization.
Dr. Goepferd has a passion for working with underserved and at-risk kids and families, speaks Spanish and cares for a diverse community of patients in her primary care clinic. She is seen as a leader in the LGBT community who is driving equitable care for LGBT youth, particularly transgender and gender diverse youth and she is a sought after speaker and trainer on these topics. She was a member of the LGBT Standards of Care Advisory board, developing the first healthcare standards for LGBT people in the state of Minnesota, and is currently a member of the Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant advisory board to advance health equity for LGBT people across the state.
Marc Gorelick, MD, was appointed chief executive officer of Children’s Minnesota in December 2017. He joined Children’s in March 2017 as president and chief operating officer. He is deeply committed to identifying sustainable ways Children’s 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.
Linda has served on public company, private company and non-profit healthcare boards. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for DentaQuest and IRET where she is a member of the Compensation and Nominating & Governance Committees.
Linda’s consulting work includes clients; Minnesota Cup semi-finalists, Stemonix, Mayo Clinic, Virtuwell, Shape, Children’s HeartLink, BCBS of MN and Xylo.
Linda has held executive positions with Accurate Home Healthcare, CEO, MinuteClinic, CEO, Ceridian Performance Partners, President, Honeywell serving in several capacities, Vice President Worldwide Consumer Business Group, Director HVAC Commercial Controls, Director Traffic, Customer Service and Distribution , Director Information Technology – Residential and Commercial Controls Division, Manager International Marketing – Commercial Controls Business Unit. Linda’s career began in Social Work/Special Education in school districts in both Minnesota and Michigan. Linda earned an M.S.W. and PhD from the University of Minnesota and B.S. and M.A. from the University of Michigan.
Jean Kane is the chief executive officer of Colliers International. A key contributor to the company since 1987, Jean is an industry leader and integral member of the commercial real estate sector. Under her leadership, Colliers Minneapolis/St. Paul thrives and has grown to 240 professionals, recognized as a top commercial real estate provider throughout the Midwest. Jean has been instrumental in supporting company initiatives to create best-in-class solutions, not only for clients, but also for the company’s employees and brokers.
Active in the business community for over 30 years, Jean’s local influence extends to a national level. She has served as a member of NAIOP’s distinguished National Executive Committee, and served as National Chairman in 2014. Jean currently serves on several executive committees for various local and national business associations and is committed to working with other corporate and community leaders to cultivate economic growth in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota. She has been a featured speaker and panelist at events across the country, sharing her insights and unique perspective on the industry with other professionals.
JJ Kuhn is Vice President, Ethics and Compliance for the Medtronic. In this role, JJ provides leadership and strategic vision for Ethics and Compliance with a focus on promoting ethical culture at all levels within the organization by overseeing, monitoring and reporting on the business’s ethics and compliance program.
JJ has been with Medtronic since 2006 and most recently as VP, Ethics and Compliance for the Cardiac and Vascular Group (CVG), prior to that, he was Senior Director of Ethics and Compliance in Medtronic’s Neuromodulation Business. In addition, JJ has served in several legal and compliance roles in Medtronic’s Cardiovascular Group.
Prior to Medtronic, JJ worked as a business attorney at Gray Plant Mooty and as Director of Legal Services and Business Development for Miga Solutions in Minneapolis. He is originally from Portland Oregon and is a graduate of Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Law School.
Kelly Lemieux, MD, is a primary care pediatrician and owner at Wayzata Children’s Clinic. She is also the Children’s Minnesota chief of staff, and a director on the Children’s Health Network board and past chair of its clinical operations and performance committee. Dr. Lemieux currently volunteers at Bridge for Youth, where she performs intake health assessments on homeless youth and provides recommendations for ongoing medical care. She was previously on the board at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development. Dr. Lemieux completed medical school in 1992 and pediatric residency training in 1995, both at the University of Minnesota.
Jim was the co-founder & CEO of Flipgrid which was successfully integrated into Microsoft. Jim then served as General Manager, Flipgrid for Microsoft until he retired in April 2019. Jim was a member of the Board of Directors for Orion Energy Systems; a Member of the Board of Trustees for The Blake School; and EVP Strategy & Business Development for Datalink. He was Founder & CEO of Midwave Corporation; President of OPM Information Systems; and Vice President Benchmark Computers.
Jim earned a BS, Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley.
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, an 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 $3.2 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, Children’s Minnesota Hospital Board and the Fetal Initiative Steering Committee. He previously served on the board of Social Venture Partners Minnesota, as a Trustee of the Courage Center Foundation and as a member of the Fraser board. He and his wife, Tara, are parents of triplets, Cole, Bennett and Grace.
Raised by two entrepreneurs, Bonnie Speer McGrath received an early education in business that has served her well in all aspects of her life.
After working in London with Arthur Young, and New York at Chase Manhattan Bank, she discovered an unmet market need in technology training and at the age of 24 started her first company called Speer. Speer pioneered technology training for bankers and lawyers and expanded to 350 trainers serving 40 percent of the nation’s premier banks and law firms. She eventually sold that business to Kaplan and the Washington Post, a signature milestone in her career.
Most of Bonnie’s career, she was fortunate to balance leading a company with motherhood. But when she and her husband added a fourth child – her role as a mother required every ounce of her. Their adopted Russian daughter was 11 when she joined the family. Sweet, kind, and beautiful, she had never owned a pair of shoes, used shampoo or read a book. There were no roadmaps or obvious answers to help her adapt. Instinct, sheer will, and the diagnosis of a hearing loss, helped Bonnie assemble services and rally a team to help her daughter reach remarkable heights.
Bonnie returned to the work force as President of TruScribe, a whiteboard video animation production studio and software company that launched a creative communications tool called Squigl. She then was the Managing Director of The Abbay, an educational experience for Fortune 1000 CEOs and their spouses with entertainment inspired by the 2018 Super Bowl. She is an advisor to startups and non-profits. In her spare time, she hosts edutainment events on topics of interest to her. Pre-COVID-19, she hosted 85 businesswomen to celebrate and support the launch of four new women-led ventures.
Jill’s past business experience includes COO and CEO of Robeco-Sage Investment Management; Director, Knight Equity Markets; Attorney at Law, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Associates; VP, Investment Banking, US Bancorp Piper Jaffray; and Officer, United States Army. Jill is a member of the Board of Directors and Investment Committee Chair for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; a Board Member of MacPhail Center for Music; President of the Board of Trustees of Breck School. Jill earned her BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and her JD from Columbia University School of Law. Jill lives in the Kenwood area of Minneapolis with her wife, Beth Ford, and their three children.
Prior to Way to Grow, she served as Vice President of sales and marketing at Twin Cities Rise! and as Executive Director of the Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council. Before entering the nonprofit field, Ms. Smallwood was the Director of Supplier Diversity with ADC, The Broadband Company, and held a variety of senior level positions with US Bancorp. During Carolyn’s corporate career, her influence helped earn ADC national recognition as the “MEED Corporation of the Year,” and “Supplier Advocate of the Year” as well as a designation as one of the “Top 25 Companies in Supplier Diversity.” In addition, Minnesota Monthly magazine awarded Carolyn Smallwood, “Small Business Advocate of the Year.”
Carolyn earned her BA in Marketing & Finance from the University of St. Thomas; Master’s in Public Affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Executive Leadership and Early Education from Harvard Business School; Executive Leadership and Strategic Planning from Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management; Project Management and Development from University of Minnesota. Carolyn was named one of the Twin Cities’ “Top African-Americans of Influence” by the Star Tribune in 2014. She currently serves on the Ciresi and Walburn Foundation Board of Directors; the African American Leadership Forum Board of Directors; Minnesota Comeback Board of Directors (Co-Chair); MinneMinds Executive Committee.
Carolyn also sat on Governor Mark Dayton’s Early Learning Council for four years. In 2014, she was selected by Mayor Betsy Hodges to co-chair the Cradle to K Cabinet. She also served on the boards of MacPhail Center for Music, the College of Saint Benedict, the Jeremiah Program, the Citizen’s League and the Children’s Theatre Company, Greater Twin Cities United Way’s Early Learning Executive Committee as well as Promise Neighborhood Solution Action Group.
Deneen Vojta, MD is the Executive Vice President of Research & Development at UnitedHealth Group. Dr. Vojta previously served as Vice President of Research and Innovation for UnitedHealthcare. Prior to that, Dr.Vojta held several senior management positions in health care including serving as CEO of MYnetico, a company she founded to focus on the childhood obesity epidemic facing the nation. Dr. Vojta has more than 20 years of executive experience in health system and health plan administration.
Dr. Vojta has served as a board member of non-profit health care institutions, and earned numerous federal and foundation grants to investigate complex health care concerns. She is widely published and frequently invited to speak on a number of health issues.
Dr. Vojta earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine.
She lives in Edina, Minnesota, with her husband and three children.