Leadership Team

Kathryn Roberts, President & CEO
Kathryn Roberts
President & CEO

Kathryn Roberts was named president and CEO of Ecumen in 2003. In that time, she has led the Shoreview-based non-profit company’s transformation from being a nursing home provider to a diversified senior housing and services company working to shape the future of aging and living. Under her leadership, Ecumen has become known for innovation, bringing new empowering technologies to seniors and their families; developing initiatives such as "Awakenings," which is reducing the use of antipsychotic medications among people with Alzheimer's; expanding housing options to new markets, creating a national senior housing development business; and shaping a workplace culture that has led to Ecumen being named 8 years as one of the "Best Places to Work" by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

Kathryn has a distinguished career in public service and leadership and is one of the few people to be appointed to leadership positions by a Democratic, Republican and Independent Governor. The Minneapolis Star Tribune once called her "state government's #1 management doctor." She led the transformation of several Minnesota state agencies, including the Minnesota Zoo, which she was appointed to lead at age 34. Kathryn, who had no prior zoological experience, became the country’s first woman to lead a major zoo. Through entrepreneurial approaches, the zoo’s attendance and revenues reached all-time highs. One of several innovative partnerships that occurred under her leadership was the creation of the only environmental studies high school located within a zoo.

As chairwoman of Minnesota’s professional sports agency, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, she led efforts to sue Major League Baseball and successfully stop contraction of the Minnesota Twins. In 2008, Kathryn was appointed by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to a five-year term as chair of the Minnesota Veterans Health Care Advisory Council. She also served on the Governor’s Veterans Long-Term Care Advisory Commission. She was recognized by the University of Minnesota’s College of Education as one of its "100 Distinguished Alumni" for the College's first 100 years. She also was named in 2008 as one of the Twin Cities’ "Best Brains" by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine. Kathryn serves on the boards of LeadingAge in Washington, D.C., United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and VocalEssence in Minneapolis. Prior to joining Ecumen, Kathryn served as vice president of the Minneapolis Foundation, where she administered a $30 million annual grant program.

Kathryn earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, her M.S. in Special Education from Mankato State University and her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota.

Dennis Johnson
Dennis Johnson
Senior Vice President & CFO

Dennis leads Ecumen’s accounting operations, financial budgeting, planning and reporting, and investment management. Before joining Ecumen, he was vice president and controller of International Multifoods, a multi-national Fortune 500 company. As a member of International Multifoods’ senior leadership team, Dennis oversaw International Multifoods’ Securities and Exchange Commission financial reporting, internal management financial reporting, planning and budgeting, financial due diligence for acquisitions, corporate tax planning, and corporate financial policies and procedures. Dennis helped negotiate and structure a number of major transactions, including the acquisition of the $400 million Pillsbury and related brands business from General Mills in 2001. Dennis is a graduate of the University of South Dakota, where he received a B.S. in Accounting.

Robin Dunbar Balck
Robin Dunbar Balck
Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Strategic Alignment

Robin leads Ecumen’s human resources practice and is responsible for aligning Ecumen’s strategic initiatives. She leads Ecumen’s annual planning process to fulfill the goals of our 5-year strategic plan and works closely with other members of senior leadership to continually challenge the status quo and move our vision forward. People are at the core of innovation, and her leadership is key to making Ecumen a great place to work by attracting, developing and retaining top talent. During Robin’s leadership tenure, Ecumen has been recognized seven times by the Minneapolis - St. Paul Business Journal as a Best Place to Work and also has been recognized as a top workplace by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Monthly Magazine. Robin joined Ecumen from Safetran Systems, where she served as head of human resources. She has a diverse generalist background providing human resources strategic support to national companies. At Safetran, she was responsible for developing corporate human resources practices and delivering HR consultation to their United States and Canadian divisions. Robin received her B.A. in human resource management from St. Thomas University.

Judy Blaseg
Judy Blaseg
Vice President of Philanthropy

Judy has over 25 years of experience, including several leadership positions in the philanthropy and fundraising arenas. Most recently, Judy worked as a fundraising consultant for the Jeremiah Program, a nationally recognized non-profit organization that uses a holistic approach to transform families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. In this role, Judy worked as the national fundraising consultant on Jeremiah’s expansion into Boston, Fargo and Austin, Texas.

Judy was the associate director of development for Catholic Charities. She also worked with VocalEssence, leading the fundraising efforts and consulting on their campaign and annual fund.  A few of the clients Judy has worked with include the MN Women’s Foundation, KIPP Stand Academy, The Mississippi River Fund of the National Park Foundation, Minnesota Veteran’s Home and the McKelvey Foundation.

Judy has served on many boards, including Mill City Summer Opera, Citizens League, DeLaSalle High School and MinnPost, to name a few. 

A native of South Dakota, Blaseg holds a degree in Political Science from Northern State University, Aberdeen, S.D.

Larry Jorgensen
Larry Jorgensen
Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Larry leads Ecumen’s information technology (IT) function, existing IT investment and assures that Ecumen’s technology infrastructure supports our operations and growth. Larry joined Ecumen from Green Tree Servicing (formerly known as Conseco Finance), where he served as vice president of application development and support. He has vast experience helping both small and large businesses overcome IT challenges and realize new opportunities. At Green Tree, he was responsible for the organization’s technology strategy and technology services that supported corporate and divisional operating groups. Larry received his B.A. in organizational management and communications from Concordia College in Saint Paul.

Shelley Kendrick
Vice President of Operations

Shelley brings extensive leadership and operations experience to her role as Ecumen's new Vice President of Operations. Shelley leads a team of Regional Directors in both Housing and Care Center/Campus communities, where she oversees the operations, strategic development, financial performance, quality, and product innovation. Prior to joining Ecumen as Vice President of Housing in January 2012, Shelley was the Campus Administrator at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis. In that role, Shelley was responsible for leading campus operations, including a skilled nursing care center, memory care, and domicillary care for the more independent veterans. Serving our community's most vulnerable veterans was a humbling and rewarding mission for Shelley. Prior to joining the Minneapolis Veterans Home, Shelley served in Executive Director positions for 15 years, leading the operations of both small and large health care facilities in Ohio and Minnesota. Shelley began her career in human resources, soon discovering a passion for health care operations. Shelley received her Bachelor of Science Degree in English Language and Literature from Eastern Michigan University and achieved a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.

Cindy Mowan, Vice President of Finance
Cindy Mowan
Vice President of Finance

Cindy works closely with the CFO to manage all financial matters of Ecumen, including financial reporting, treasury, financial planning and budgeting, capital structure, internal controls, external financial audit, governance and operations and project development. Cindy joined Ecumen in 2006 as controller and was promoted to vice president of finance in 2013. She started her professional career as an auditor with Arthur Anderson in 1985 and then spent almost 20 years working in financial reporting for large, publicaly held companies and specialized in SEC reporting. She graduated from the University of Montana with a BS degree in accounting. She is a Montana native but has lived in Minnesota for the past 28 years.

Julie Murray
Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Business Development

With 14 years of senior housing experience, Julie has been a valued member of Ecumen's Business Development team and brings a wealth of real estate development, senior housing sales and marketing, and market research experience to her role of Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Business Development. Julie joined Ecumen as Director Real Estate Development in 2007 and guided the development of new Ecumen housing in Apple Valley and Maplewood, both winners of the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal's "Best in Real Estate" award for senior housing communities. Prior to joining Ecumen, Julie worked for Greystone Communities, Inc. in Dallas, Texas where she was responsible for the sales and marketing of multiple entry-fee continuing care retirement communities as a Regional Director of Sales and Marketing. Julie is a graduate of Texas Tech University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management.

Carolyn Perron
Vice President of Organizational Development

Carolyn's leadership has been vital in helping build Ecumen's brand and culture. Her work as Vice President of Organizational Development supports and strengthens employee education, employee development and leadership development. Carolyn also develops strategy and tools to support succession planning, talent assessment and performance management.

Carolyn joined the Ecumen Human Resources team in 2007 as an interim Director.  In this role she helped develop Ecumen's workforce planning tool and applicant job shadow program. She soon became the company's first Director of Training and Development. In this role, she created Ecumen’s first online training module, which brought leaders together from across a multi-site geography for education and dialogue. 

In leading Ecumen Way training across the company, she has helped employees discover their personal brand and how personal brand interrelates with and helps advance the Ecumen brand.  As lead facilitator of Velocity, Ecumen’s Leadership Development Program, she has made The Ecumen Way the cornerstone of our year-long personal development experience and other education and development initiatives.  These include the EMAPS performance management program; Lean Training, which has helped streamline job processes and eliminate wasted time that can be frustrating for an employee; and NEON, Ecumen's new employee orientation program.

Eric Schubert
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

Communications and collaboration are at the core of progress and change that makes lives, businesses, and communities better.  Eric Schubert combines these areas as Ecumen's Vice President, Strategic Initiatives. Providing leadership and management to Ecumen’s innovation process, Eric is responsible for capturing ideas, and collaborating to develop and launch them as new products or services that support Ecumen's overall mission in creative ways and cultivate new revenue streams.  In this role, he also works on other strategic initiatives to advance Ecumen's mission.

Eric joined Ecumen in 2004 and launched Ecumen's communications department.  During his tenure as Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, he led Ecumen's communications, branding and public affairs strategies. In 2014, he was appointed as Vice President, Strategic Intiatives.  While at Ecumen, he led the non-profit company's name change and rebranding efforts; social media expansion, development of the Age Wave study, the largest survey of Minnesota boomers' views on aging and living; external and internal communications; creation of the AgePower Tech Search to support the growth of new tech innovations, and has worked with many others in helping Ecumen become recognized for excellence and innovation. 

Before joining Ecumen, he was a member of the leadership team of the leading Minneapolis-based public affairs firm Himle Horner Inc. Earlier in his career he worked in marketing communications with the public relations firms Manning, Selvage & Lee in Atlanta and Weber Shandwick in Minneapolis. During his career he has worked on a variety of issues and initiatives, providing communications strategy and skill that have contributed to saving the Minnesota Twins from contraction by Major League Baseball, gaining grassroots support for passage of the Minnesota smoking ban, helping Coca-Cola gain the largest college beverage contract in the country, helping defeat a billboard ban in Saint Paul, raising awareness of childhood homelessness,helping achieve legislative funding, and guiding a number of organizations through crisis communications. 

Very involved in the Minneapolis/St. Paul community, he is a past recipient of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's "40 Under 40" award and the Citizens League's Civic Leadership Award.  He is a member of the civic group Twin Cities Dunkers, a board member of the Citizens League, a member of The Twin Cities Communications Council, a mentor at The Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy & Civic Engagement at Saint John's University and formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Housing Partnership, Saint John's University Alumni Board, and Saint Paul Neighborhood Network. He is a former community columnist for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press and has been a frequent commentator on civic issues, leadership and innovation in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Saint Paul Pioneer Press opinion pages.

Eric received a B.A. in English from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. and was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.