Board of Trustee Profiles

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					Board of Trustee Profiles

   September Conference, 2008
   15 Members
   1 University Student Trustee
   1 Community College Student Trustee
   1 Technical College Student Trustee
   1 Trustee for each of the 8
    Congressional Districts
   4 At-Large Trustees
Chair, David Olson
   Congressional District #3
    Legislative District #42A
    At-Large Seat

   Term Dates: July 1, 2004, through
    June 30, 2010

   David Olson, Minnetonka, is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
        The Minnesota Chamber represents over 2,600 Minnesota companies, 130 local chambers and
         65 business trade associations at the Minnesota Legislature on a variety of issues that impact
         Minnesota’s economy.

   Prior to that, Olson was president of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota’s
    largest local chamber.

   Olson earned a Master of Science degree in Public Administration from Minnesota State
    University, Mankato (formerly Mankato State University) and a Bachelor of Arts degree
    in Urban/Political Science from St. Olaf College in Northfield.
University Student Trustee,
Allyson Lueneberg

   Congressional District #1
    Legislative District #31A

   Term Dates: July 2, 2008, through
    June 30, 2009

   A student enrolled at Winona State University, where she is studying biology
    allied health and pre-dentistry. She is in her third year at Winona State.
Community College Student
Trustee, Jacob Englund
   Congressional District #5
    Legislative District #59A

   Term Dates: July 2, 2008, through
    June 30, 2010

   Jacob C. Englund, Minneapolis, is a student enrolled at Normandale Community
    College in Bloomington, where he is pursuing an associate degree in business
    administration. At Normandale, Englund is the Vice President of Student Senate, Vice
    President of the International Students Association, member of Phi Theta Kappa, the
    International Honor Society for two-year colleges, and a member of Kappa Beta Delta,
    the International Honor Society for Accredited Business Programs.
   Prior to Normandale Community College, Englund attended Berklee College of Music
    in Boston, MA. While attending Berklee, Englund co-founded Dropping Daylight, a
    national recording artist signed to A&M Octone Records. Englund continues to play
    music locally with worship bands and independent artists.
   As a youth growing up in Burnsville, Englund assisted in opening a local teen center.
    The GARAGE, founded in 1997, maintains its popularity as a reputable music venue
    and teen hot spot. Englund continues to support Burnsville’s music scene by advocating
    for other venues including the newly commissioned Burnsville Performing Arts Center.
Technical College Student
Trustee, Terri Thomas
   Congressional District #1
    Legislative District #30A

   Term Dates: July 2, 2008, through
    June 30, 2010

   Terri Thomas, Rochester, is a student enrolled at Rochester Community and Technical
    College, where she is pursuing an associate degree. She has earned three certificates for
    computer-aided drafting. Thomas has been active in the student government at the
    college and is a member of the Rochester Diversity Council.
   Thomas was an active soldier in the United States Army and spent over 18 months in the
    Gulf War.
Congressional Dist. 1 Trustee
Duane Benson
   Congressional District #1
    Legislative District #31B

   Term Dates: July 1, 2004, through
    June 30, 2010

   Duane Benson, Lanesboro, is the executive director of the Minnesota Early
    Learning Foundation.
   Was the executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership from 1994
    to 2003.
   Served in the Minnesota Senate from 1980 to 1994 and was the Senate
    Minority Leader for a period during that time.
   He graduated with honors from Hamline University.
   Benson was drafted into the NFL and played 11 seasons as a linebacker for the
    Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Oilers.
   He continues to own and operate a cattle farm outside of Lanesboro.
Congressional Dist. 2 Trustee
Ruth Grendahl
   Congressional District #2
    Legislative District #37A

   Term Dates: January 26, 2005, through
    June 30,

   Grendahl, Apple Valley, is an owner of RnD Products, a business that markets electrical
    construction products nationally.
   From 1991 to 1999, she served as deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of
    Public Service.
   Member of the Apple Valley City Council since 1997.
   In 2004,she was appointed chair of the Minnesota Livable Communities Advisory
    Committee by the Metropolitan Council
   Has served as commissioner, treasurer and finance committee chair of the Minnesota
    Valley Transit Authority.
   Served on the College of Science, Engineering and Technology Industrial Advisory
    Board at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
   She holds bachelor's degrees in political science and urban and regional studies and a
    master's degree in public administration from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Congressional Dist. 3 Trustee
Clarence Hightower
   Congressional District #3
    Legislative District #45A

   Term Dates: July 2, 2008, through June 30,

   Clarence Hightower, Plymouth, is the Executive Director of the Community Action
    Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties
   Guides the work of an agency first established in 1964 as a program of the War on
    Poverty, and is involved in grassroots public policy and community engagement
    activities. His responsibilities include management of a $20 million budget, a staff of
    300, and oversight of more than 30 sites.
   For 10 years, Hightower served as President/CEO of the Minneapolis Urban League,
    where he gained a national reputation for programming, planning, and the delivery of
    needed services to the community.
   Hightower received a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Minnesota State University in
    Marshall and a master’s degree in human and community service from George Williams
    College (IL). He is an ordained minister, a devoted husband, and proud father of one
Congressional Dist 4 Trustee
Cheryl Dickson
   At-Large
    Congressional District #4
    Legislative District #65B

   Term Dates: July 2, 2008, through
    June 30,

   Cheryl Dickson, St. Paul, retired in 2001 as president and chief executive officer of the
    Minnesota Humanities Commission, a position she held for 24 years.
   Dickson served on the board of the Federation of State Humanities Councils and
    continues to serve as a panelist and reviewer for the National Endowment for the
   Dickson has been active as a volunteer, most recently as a member of the board of
    Harriet Bishop Academy and the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. She also served
    many other organizations as a board member, such as St. John's University, the
    Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and Phalen Lake Elementary Site Council, and
    volunteered for many years as a panelist for the St. Paul United Way.
   Dickson was honored as one of 25 outstanding graduates of Metropolitan State
    University, was named Outstanding Minnesotan in 1996 by Bemidji State University,
    and was a recipient of a Bush Summer Fellowship award.
Congressional Dist 5 Trustee
James Van Houten
   Congressional District #5
    Legislative District #60B

   Term Dates: July 1, 2006, through June 30

   (Jim) Van Houten, served as president and CEO of the Mutual Service Insurance Group
    in Arden Hills, Minn., from 1989 until his early retirement in 2002.
   He also has been sales manager for Canada with the insurance division of General
    Motors, vice president of marketing for the non-automotive U.S. subsidiaries of
    Volkswagen of America, division vice president for the Wausau Insurance Companies,
    and vice president - chief marketing and strategy officer for Country Insurance and
    Financial Services.
   Prior to his appointment to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board in
    2006, Van Houten was a senior lecturer at the Carlson School, University of Minnesota,.
   He also designed and co-taught the most popular course at the Humphrey Institute of
    Public Affairs, and has been a visiting professor at the Vienna University of Economics.
   He was a member of the Minnesota high school Math Standards Committee, and the
    Minnesota K-12 Comprehensive Assessment Committee for Reading and Mathematics.
   Van Houten earned a bachelor's degree in English from St. Mary's University, San
    Antonio, Tex., before graduating at the top of his M.B.A. class at Illinois State
    University, Bloomington, Ill.
Congressional Dist 6 Trustee
Christine Rice
   Congressional District #6
    Legislative District #56A

   Term Dates: July 1, 2006, through
    June 30, 2012

   She served as deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health from 1995
    to 1997, as assistant commissioner of the department from 1993 to 1995 and as director
    of public and legislative affairs from 1991 to 1993.
   From 1987 to 1991, she served as assistant to the minority leader of the Minnesota
    House of Representatives.
   Rice is a member of the Commission on Judicial Selection and the Board of Examiners
    of Nursing Home Administrators. She is a former board member of the Minnesota
    Partnership for Action Against Tobacco, a current board member and former board
    president of the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, and a former gubernatorial
    appointee to the Advisory Council of Community Based Planning. Rice received a
    bachelor's degree in speech and communication from the University of Wisconsin-Eau
Congressional Dist 7 Trustee
David Paskach
   Congressional District #7
    Legislative District #21A

   Term Dates: July 2, 2008, through June 30, 2014

   Paskach is an attorney in Cottonwood, Minnesota.
   He was an executive with the Schwan Food Company until 2006,
   He began his career with Schwan in November of 1989 as a Corporate Attorney.
   Paskach served as Interim Chief Operating Officer of the Southwest Initiative
    Foundation for a year after leaving Schwan.
   Before joining Schwan, Paskach practiced law in Iowa and served four years on active
    duty as a judge advocate in the United States Air Force.
   Paskach received his J.D. in 1983 from the University of Illinois College of Law in
    Champaign, Illinois, and his bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1980 from
    Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
   Paskach is a member of the Board of Directors of Boys Hope Girls Hope and Pioneer
    Public Television, and President of Lakeview Dollars for Scholars. He has also served as
    adjunct faculty at SMSU. He and his wife Kyong Ae reside in Cottonwood with their
    four sons.
Congressional Dist 8 Trustee
Thomas Renier
   Congressional District #8
    Legislative District #7A

   Term Dates: July 1, 2004, through
    June 30, 2010

   Thomas Renier is the founding President of the Northland Foundation since its inception
    in 1986.
   He was with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission for 11 years, working
    primarily in economic and community development.
   Current affiliations of Mr. Renier include:
        Board of Trustees, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
        Board of Directors, Area Partnerships for Economic Expansion (APEX)
        Board of Advisors for the School of Business and Economics of the University of
         Minnesota – Duluth
   Renier is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a lifelong resident of
    Duluth. He has served the Northeast Region throughout his entire 33-year career.
At-Large Trustee
Dan McElroy
   At-Large
    Congressional District #2
    Legislative District #40A
   Term Dates: July 1, 2006, through
    June 30

   Dan McElroy is the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and
    Economic Development. He was appointed to this position by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in January
   He formerly served as the governor's senior advisor on innovation, after serving almost two
    years as the governor's chief of staff.
   McElroy served as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Finance from January 2003
    until February 2004. In that capacity he was the state's chief financial officer.
   He was the architect of the budget which addressed a $4.56 billion budget deficit without
    raising taxes.
   McElroy served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003..
   McElroy was mayor of Burnsville (1987-1994) and a member of the Burnsville City Council
    In the private sector, he was active in the travel agency business from 1979 to 1994 and in the
    travel agency software and consulting business from 1994 until 2003.
   He was a director of American Bank Burnsville, a member of the Burnsville Rotary Club, the
    Burnsville Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Taxpayers Association, the Citizen's League
    of the Twin Cities and the Center of the American Experiment.
At-Large Trustee
Louise Sundin
   Congressional District #5
    Legislative District #

   Term Dates: July 2, 2008, through June 30, 2014

   Louise Sundin, Minneapolis, is executive vice president of the Minneapolis Regional
    Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
   She chairs Working Partnerships, a labor-community services program dedicated to
    improving the lives of working families and promoting economic justice in Minneapolis
    and the west metro area.
   A career ninth-grade English teacher, Sundin served 25 years as a national vice
    president of the American Federation of Teachers and 22 years as president of the
    Minneapolis Federation of Teachers.
   She is a co-founder of TURN, the Teacher Union Reform Network, which works to
    transform unions into agents of change
   Sundin created a union masters degree program in which more than 500 teachers earned
    their master’s degrees or education specialist degrees.
   She holds bachelor’s degrees in language arts and speech and English from the
    University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the
    University of St. Thomas.
At-Large Trustee
Scott Thiss
   Board of Trustees Treasurer
    Congressional District #3
    Legislative District #

   Term Dates: July 1, 2006, through
    June 30

   Scott Thiss, Edina, is president and chief executive officer for Sailforth, Inc., an Edina
    holding company with selected business investments.
   He previously served as president and chief executive officer for S&W Plastics, LLC, in
    Eden Prairie.
   Thiss serves on several boards - Park Industries, Innovance, Inc. and Minnesota
    Business for Early Learning. He previously served as chair of the board for the
    Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business advocacy organization.
   He also is past chair of the board of the Normandale Community College Foundation.
   Thiss served the Bush Administration as a member of the inaugural Manufacturing
    Council, chaired by the Secretary of Commerce and is past co-chair of the Minnesota
    Manufacturers’ Coalition.
   Thiss received a bachelor's degree and an M.B.A. from Northwestern University in
    Evanston, Ill., and holds a CPA certificate. He is a resident of the Third Congressional
    District and is appointed to an at-large seat on the board.
Executive Committee
   David Olson, Chair
    Ruth Grendahl, Vice Chair
    Scott Thiss, Treasurer
    David Paskach, Immediate Past Chair
    Duane Benson
    Tom Renier
    Christine Rice
Academic and Student Affairs
   Dan McElroy, Chair
    Christine Rice, Vice Chair
    Duane Benson
    Cheryl Dickson
    Jacob Englund
    Louise Sundin
    James Van Houten
Advancement Committee
   Christine Rice, Chair
    Cheryl Dickson, Vice Chair
    David Paskach
    Thomas Renier
    Louise Sundin
    Terri Thomas
Audit Committee
   Scott Thiss, Chair
    James Van Houten, Vice Chair
    Jacob Englund
    Dan McElroy
    David Paskach
Diversity and Multiculturalism
   Duane Benson, Chair
    Clarence Hightower, Vice Chair
    Allyson Lueneburg
    Tom Renier
    Louise Sundin
    Terri Thomas
Finance/Facilities and
Technology Committee
   Thomas Renier, Chair
    Clarence Hightower, Vice Chair
    Duane Benson
    Ruth Grendahl
    Allyson Lueneburg
    Dan McElroy
    Scott Thiss
    James Van Houten
Human Resources
   Ruth Grendahl, Chair
    David Paskach, Vice Chair
    Cheryl Dickson
    Jacob Englund
    Allyson Lueneburg
    David Olson
    Christine Rice
    Scott Thiss

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