Vice President, Member Relations, Land O’Lakes.
Leah is a results-driven, relationship-focused senior leader in IT demand and delivery management, technology and security strategy, risk management, governance, and communications. In her current role at Land O’Lakes, she actively partners with executive business leadership to develop technology strategies aimed at driving competitive advantage. Leah holds an M.B.A from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and a B.A in Mathematics with concentrations in Computer Science and Financial Management from St. Olaf College. Leah lives in Arden Hills, MN with her husband and daughter, Julia. In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, downhill skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, boating and traveling.
Owner, Insight Edge.
Karen Black has more than two decades of experience providing professional services to businesses in such key management areas as leadership development, team-building, conflict resolution and executive coaching. Since 1991 Karen, through her company Insight Edge, has worked with multiple businesses and organizations to help them increase their overall organizational effectiveness and substantially contribute to bottom line improvement. Karen initially was trained in the field of Special Education, receiving her B.S. at St. Cloud State University. She also holds an M.S. in Management and an M.A. in Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution, both from Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas. Karen has also been an active volunteer helping individuals and communities and has been recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Women’s Employment Network.
Global Leader, Training and Development, Honeywell.
Rich Braden has a passion for excellence in training and education. He has successfully led commercial training organizations in multiple best in class Fortune 500 companies including Thomson Reuters and Medtronic in the TC market. Rich holds a BS and M.Ed degrees from the University of Minnesota, an MBA from Northern Illinois University, and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt from Honeywell. He resides in Shoreview, MN with his wife, Sharon. They have three children.
Consultant – Independent Consulting (via CloudGen Systems).
Vinoth was born in India, and after completing his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering came to the United States to pursue a Master’s in Computer Engineering in Wayne State University, Michigan. Prior to working at Land O’ Lakes in various different roles with in IT Delivery, Operations and PMO, Vinoth worked as an independent consultant implementing strategy,vision, process and systems. He is currently working as an independent consultant helping clients with strategy, vision and achievement for digital marketing, project management and optimization (logistics). Vinoth is passionate about entrepreneurship, digital marketing, Friendly Artificial Intelligence and enjoys different kinds of food, Badminton and being outdoors. His favorite quote is from the female poet ‘Avvaiyar’ – “What you have learned is a mere handful; What you haven’t learned is the size of the world.”
Director, HR and Payroll Services, Ecolab.
Previous to Ecolab, Marla spent 21 years with IBM and ADP, in both Sales and Sales Management Roles. Marla has served on a number of nonprofit boards, throughout her career including: LEHRN, Prairie Oaks Institute, Ecolab E3 Women’s Networking Group, Professional Women’s Network of St. Croix Valley, International Association of Human Resource Information Management and NorthStar Chapter of the American Payroll Association. Marla completed her degree at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN with a double major in Life Sciences for Secondary Education, Communications and Advertising. Marla enjoys camping, motorcycling and bike riding. Marla lives in Maplewood, MN with her husband Dean and pets Harper and Riley.
|Deborah Johnson, Board Chair
President, D J Consulting, L.L.C.
Deborah Johnson has more than 35 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Prior to D J Consulting, Deborah held several executive positions with U S West, Qwest and CenturyLink in the Product Management/Development area focused on creating solutions for Business and Government customers. Deborah joined the Minnesota Computers for Schools board to leverage her experience and passion focused on the utilization of technology in the education and development of students.
Grants Specialist, Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners.
With a firm belief that quality marketing programs improve people’s lives, Valorie’s career in marketing and customer service centered on recognizing customer needs and meeting them with efficient, sustainable products and services. For twenty years, she led world-class call center and marketing programs for West Publishing and Thomson. She spent 10 years with Capstone Publishers, driving strategic marketing of quality children’s library books that struggling readers genuinely love, and several years at a food ingredients company helping position them for radical growth in response to changing consumer preferences. In 2013, she made good on a promise to herself to use her expertise in the nonprofit sector, where she is now taking on the most important targeted marketing of her career, writing grant proposals to fund poverty alleviation in the west metro area. Everyday, she knows she is making a difference that matters. Valorie has a BA in French from the U of M, and MBA from the Carlson School of Management.
|Erick Maki, Vice Chair
Vice President, Bremer Bank.
Erick Maki is a vice president of Nonprofit Banking at Bremer Bank. With more than 12 years of banking experience, he specializes in understanding the financial needs of nonprofit organizations and how to best meet their objectives with banking solutions. In this role, he works closely with executive directors and their leadership team. Prior to working in nonprofit banking, Erick worked in commercial real estate at Bremer Bank, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and NorthMarq Capital. Erick holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University.
|Deb McGahey, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
HR Options LLC.
As the Founder and Principal Consultant of HR Options LLC, Deb has over 25 years of experience in Human Resources, and understands the need to develop a strong understanding and appreciation of the company’s organizational structure, corporate culture and business objectives in order to develop and implement Human Resources programs and processes that are aligned with and sensitive to the corporation’s organizational values and objectives. Deb helps clients establish and implement Human Resources efforts that effectively communicate and support the organization’s vision and strategic vision. Areas of expertise include succession planning, talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, training and development, employee relations, compensation and benefits management, compliance and employee communications. Deb has a B.A in Human Resource Management, and holds the SPHR and SHRM-SCP credentials which make her a recognized expert and leader in the HR field. Deb has held various volunteer roles within HR professional associations and now wants to focus her volunteer time on community programs.
Accounting Manager, Lutheran Social Services.
Previously, Doug worked for Wilkerson Guthmann, a CPA firm in downtown Saint Paul, where he practiced public accounting for eight years auditing manufacturing companies, automobile dealerships, printing and diverse not-for-profits including low-income housing, foundations, colleges and universities as well as voluntary health and welfare organizations. Doug also worked in the printing industry for sixteen years prior to returning to school and earning his accounting degree from Metropolitan State University in 2002. He has been a CPA since 2007 and is as member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Minnesota Society of CPAs. Doug also served as a member and former Chair of the supervisory committee for Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union from 2006 to 2010.
VP of Application Technology, Allianz.
Paige is an IT executive with more than 25 years of technical and leadership experience. She currently leads Allianz’s technology strategy and business systems for variable annuities, fixed index annuities and sales. She is also responsible for developing the Allianz Life e-commerce strategy as well as the delivery of projects, solutions and IT services that support the company’s technology solutions.Prior to joining Allianz Life, Paige was a technology manager for Wells Fargo in Minneapolis where she directed the performance of the consumer lending group which supported the middleware components for a loan product portfolio of nearly $2 trillion. Prior to that, Paige was vice president of Legal Technology with Thomson Reuters in Eagan, MN. where she implemented large-scale, multimillion dollar offerings for the legal market in the United States and Canada. During a 9-year tenure at US Bank in St. Paul, Minn., Vinall held multiple leadership roles as a senior vice-president application development leader and head of information security. Before that for more than 13 years, she held a series of technical roles with IBM in San Jose, CA.
|Erin Wait, Treasurer
Finance & Expense Management, Travelers.
Erin Wait has been with Travelers for 15 years in various roles. Prior to joining the MCFS Board Erin served for several years on the Board of Directors for East Side Neighborhood Development Company. Her undergraduate business degree is from Drake University and she has an MBA from Carlson School of Management. Erin lives in Stillwater with her husband and two children.