Ecumen honors Margee Polanka for her 40 years of dedication and service to others.
Board of Trustees
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Darrell Tukua, Chair
Darrell currently serves as a member of several corporate boards of directors including Capella Education Company, Constellation, and Gate City Bank. He is a retired partner of KPMG LLP, a global provider of audit, tax, and advisory services. Darrell has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit organizations. In addition to serving on the board of trustees of Ecumen, Darrell currently serves on the board of directors of Allina Health System.
He is the past board chair of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. In addition to Catholic Charities, Darrell previously served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, Vail Place, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Washburn Center for Children, and West Hennepin Counseling Services.
Darrell graduated from the University of South Dakota with a B.S. in Accounting.
Debbie Cervenka, Vice Chair
Debbie Cervenka was a part of Phillips Plastics Corporation for 34 years serving as Director of Marketing, Vice President of Marketing & Sales and Executive Vice President, as well as an officer on Phillips Plastics Corporation's Board of Directors until the Cervenka's sold the company in December 2010. Debbie was instrumental in establishing the in-house marketing agency at Phillips and was responsible for all internal and external communication.
Debbie was educated at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, graduating with a major in Journalism and Communication.
Debbie has dedicated the past seven years to non-profit work and has served as a trustee on several non-profit boards including: Junior Achievement; The Big Sur Land Trust; and The President's Advisory Committee for new curriculum at the University of Wisconsin - Stout. Currently she serves on the board of trustees for The Nature Conservancy and Northland College.
Ann Barkelew, Treasurer
Ann Barkelew’s 35-year public relations career includes C-suite experience in the public sector (Los Angeles County Office of Education), the private sector (Dayton Hudson Corporation, nka Target Corporation) and with a major international agency (Fleishman Hillard).
In 1995, Ann was named by her peers internationally as “Public Relations Professional of the Year;” in 1999, was named one of the Most Influential Women in Business in Minnesota by CityBusiness; in 2001, received Fleishman-Hillard’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and in 2003, received the Arthur W. Page Society’s Distinguished Service Award for contributions that have strengthened the role of public relations in society.
Today Ann is actively involved with VocalEssence as a member of the board and with womenwinning: Minnesota Women’s Campaign Fund as a past board member. She twice chaired the Children’s Theatre Company Board of Governors. She was a public member of the Minnesota News Council for six years and chaired the Council’s first board of directors. She was a founding member of United Way’s “Success by Six” program and was actively involved with the Greater Minneapolis Girl Scout Council. She served two terms on the boards of the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Minneapolis Club. She is a member of the Minnesota Women’s Forum and the Twin Cities Communications Council.
Ann began her career as a high school English and journalism teacher in Missouri and California. She headed public information programs in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles California as a school administrator before moving to the corporate sector in 1981. She earned her bachelors’ degree from Central Missouri State University and her master’s from the University of Missouri.
Gail M. Olson, Secretary
Gail M. Olson previously served as general counsel for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities since 1997. Prior to that, she was a deputy attorney general for the State of Minnesota. Her current legal practice includes governance, employment law, and higher education law; she previously practiced in human services issues and long-term care rate regulation.
Gail is the lay leader of the Saint Paul Area Synod and is a director and officer for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services in St. Paul.
She is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and Augustana College, Sioux Falls.
Dr. Robert Hoffman, Immediate Past Chair
After completing his doctorate in education, Bob returned to education as assistant superintendent of schools in Worthington, Minn., and superintendent of schools in Waseca, Minn. In 1975, Bob joined Brown Printing Company in Waseca as director of marketing. Following positions of vice president of manufacturing and senior vice president of sales and marketing for Brown, he joined Taylor Corporation in 1988 as group vice president of the commercial division. He was a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees for six years and served two years as the chairman.
Dr. Susan J. Crockett
Susan J. Crockett, Ph.D., R.D., is an Adjunct Professor in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Until January 2013, she was VP & Sr Technology Officer for Health and Nutrition at General Mills where she led the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition. Until 1999, she was Dean and Professor in the College of Human Development at Syracuse University.
Crockett has degrees in Nutrition & Dietetics, is a Registered Dietitian & Fellow of the American Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. With support of a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship, she completed a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the U of MN.
Crockett has published research about nutrition education in schools, effectiveness of nutrition interventions on the eating behavior of children & seniors. She received an award from the Secretary of Health & Human Services for Innovation in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Her research has been funded by the Retirement Research Foundation & the National Institutes of Health. She has taught a wide variety of nutrition courses including clinical nutrition & nutritional biochemistry.
Crockett chaired the Board of Directors of the International Food Information Council (IFIC), was active in the International Life Sciences Institute & is an advisor to the National Academy of Sciences about nutrition for seniors. Crockett helps lead a project to provide support & affordable housing for ex-offenders. She is an Elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church, past secretary to the VocalEssence board & past president of the Board of the United Theological Seminary.
J. Michael Dady
Michael Dady is the founder of Dady & Gardner, P.A., a 10 lawyer boutique firm that limits its nationwide practice to helping franchisees, dealers, and distributors solve their business-threatening issues with their franchisors and suppliers. He and his colleagues have successfully resolved business-threatening disputes for their clients in over 350 different systems. According to Chambers USA, which annually surveys lawyers nationally, by specialty, Dady & Gardner has been deemed to be the best franchisee law firm in America.
Michael is a graduate of St. John's University and the University of Minnesota Law School. He has served as the Chair of the Board of both the St. John's University Board of Regents and of the Board of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Michael Dady particularly enjoys his ongoing role as the "head cowboy" on his working cattle ranch in northeastern South Dakota- much to the delight of his wife, Kim, their children, and their four grandchildren, and other family members and friends.
Dave Durenberger served as U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1978 to 1995 and is the only Republican Senator in Minnesota history ever elected to three terms. After his retirement he served as the founder and chairman of the National Institute of Health Policy at the Opus College of Business of the University of St. Thomas.
A graduate of St. John's University and of the University of Minnesota School of Law, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army, as a partner in a South St. Paul law firm, chief of staff to Republican Governor Harold LeVander, and Counsel for Legal and Community Affairs at H. B. Fuller Company.
Senator Durenberger served as either chair or ranking Republican in the health subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee for 16 years and shaped Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security reform efforts for 16 years. He served 12 years on what is known as the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee, and eight years on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In long term care financing reform, Durenberger authored the Medicare Catastrophic Act of 1988, was vice-chair of the Pepper Commission, vice-chair of the Mainstream Group of reformers in 1993-94, and chairman of Citizens for Long Term Care in 1999-2000. He also served eight years on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and has been a member of the Kaiser Commission of Medicaid and the Uninsured since 2002 and on the National Coalition of Health Care since 2010.
Durenberger is married to Susan B. Foote, formerly on the faculty of the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and retired Director of the Division of Health Services Research and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. They have six children and 12 grandchildren and live in St. Paul, Minnesota and San Rafael, California.
Ms. Kro is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Mill City Capital, L.P. Mill City Capital is a private equity firm specializing in acquiring consumer and industrial companies based in the Midwest region of the United States and central and western Canada. Prior to Co-Founding Mill City Capital, Ms. Kro was a Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer and Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, Inc. from 2004 to 2010.
Ms. Kro started her career in public accounting and enjoyed 17 years of working at KPMG. She joined the Minneapolis office in 1987 and was admitted to the partnership in 1998. During her tenure at KPMG, Ms. Kro spent a year in KPMG's Munich office and served as the Practice Leader for the Retail, Food & Manufacturing practice in the Midwest.
Ms. Kro currently serves on the boards of directors of Herman Miller, Inc., and three privately held companies, Wholesale Produce Supply, Impact Confections and JMH International. In addition to her for-profit board responsibilities she is also active in the non-profit sector. Ms. Kro currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Portico Benefit Services, an $8 billion health benefits company.
Ms. Kro graduated summa cum laude from Moorhead State University and is a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive).
A. Richard (Dick) Olson
Dick was an international marketing executive with a record of expansion of markets for IBM products in Asia and the South Pacific through agent sales channels. He was involved with product development of mid-range computer solutions and played a key role in implementing the Japanese language (Kanji) on IBM computers.
When the opportunity arose, he took early retirement from IBM and moved to Singapore as Managing Director of a computer solutions company. He moved to Vietnam when the US lifted its embargo and established a consulting company to enable clients to enter that market.
He has served on the board and as treasurer of Mill City Commons in Minneapolis, a villages approach to community building for older urbanites. Ecumen helped shape Mill City Commons and serves as its strategic partner. His board service also included two terms as president of Sawgrass Association Inc., which managed a large retirement development in Florida. He is currently an active participant in startup businesses in the Midwest.
Dick has a BA in mathematics from Luther College and a Master’s degree from Vanderbilt University. He taught mathematics for two years before joining IBM.
John Petraborg brings more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in the public and private sectors. Mr. Petraborg is recently retired from Hewlett Packard (HP). At HP, he was the Client Industry Executive responsible for the development of health and human services solutions for HP’s State and Local government customers. Through his leadership of business transformation engagements with many government agencies in the US and abroad, he has focused on the use of innovation, application of best practice, and deployment of technology to restructure government health and human services.
In addition to many roles in government, Mr. Petraborg served as Commissioner (Acting) of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the state’s largest agency. Mr. Petraborg pioneered innovative policies for health care, welfare reform, children’s services, and child support. He led the successful business re-design and system development for several Minnesota programs.
Mr. Petraborg received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, the Public Service Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Children’s Champion Award from Children’s Defense Fund. He served as national President of the Quality Control Directors Association. He recently served as Chairman of the Human Services IT Advisory Group of Tech America, the leading technology trade association in the US.
Jim Schowalter joined in the Minnesota Council of Health Plans as its President/CEO in January, 2015. In this role, Jim works with all of the state's non-profit health plans to pursue high quality and affordable health services for all Minnesotans.
Prior to assuming this role Jim served in leadership roles at the State of Minnesota. Most notably, he was appointed by Governor Dayton as his Commissioner at Minnesota Management and Budget. In this capacity, Jim was a key advisor on critical fiscal, budget and policy issues of the last four years. He and his team directed Minnesota's financial and workforce activities that extending over $30 billion in annual spending and 35,000 employees.
Jim has served in many additional capacities at the State, including appointments by Governor Pawlenty as Deputy Commissioner and as Assistant Commissioner/State Budget Director. Jim's professional development totals over 20 years in state service and also includes experiences at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the Boston Regional Office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Jim received his master's degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and his bachelor's degree with a major in economics from Macalaster College. He and his wife Stephanie live in Eagan and have two children.
Nancy Thompson Ulvestad
Nancy Ulvestad is currently working as an outreach and engagement manager for the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and has over 35 years' experience in health care. Before joining the School of Nursing, Nancy worked at the Center for Bioethics. She currently is the President of the Westminster Counseling Board and has previously served on the boards of the Children's Hospitals, Colonial Church in Edina, Stevens Square Foundation, the Downtown Council to End Homelessness, and continues to volunteer in efforts to end homelessness, serve vulnerable populations and end-of-life initiatives.
Nancy has a B.S. in Nursing from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.A.R.T. from United Theological Seminary.