Meet the Team

Meet the Team
Doug Loon

Douglas B. Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held since September 8, 2015.   The Minnesota Chamber represents more than 2,300 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 assuming leadership of the Minnesota Chamber, he spent 20 years at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 17 of those in Minnesota. As the vice president for regional affairs and advocacy, he managed the seven regional offices that provide political and grassroots outreach across the nation. He also managed the U.S. Chamber’s Midwest Region that includes Minnesota. He was intimately involved in supporting state and local chambers and businesses to move public policy in a direction that helps them be successful.

Previously, Loon served as director of congressional and public affairs at U.S. Chamber headquarters in Washington, D.C. There, he served as one of the organization’s chief lobbyists before Congress on issues critical to the American business community.

Before joining the U.S. Chamber staff in 1995, Loon was legislative director to Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. In his 10 years on Capitol Hill, Loon also served as acting staff director for the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and on the Senate Commerce Committee. In addition, he worked for Senator Larry Pressler of South Dakota.

Loon received his bachelor’s degree in government and international affairs from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. He is a graduate of the Congressional Research Service’s Institute for Legislative Staff as well as the Federal Election Commission’s program on campaign finance laws for incorporated trade associations and membership organizations. He also graduated from Leadership Minnesota, an exclusive program of the Minnesota Chamber addressing the economic and public policy issues of Minnesota businesses. He is past chair of the Eden Prairie Foundation Board of Directors.


President
Doug Loon
Bill Blazar

Bill Blazar is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development. Blazar directs Grow Minnesota!, the Chambers statewide business retention and expansion program. This year, Grow Minnesota! completed retention visits with over 900 Minnesota businesses and provided direct assistance to 200 of them.

Blazar represents the Minnesota business community on several task forces and study groups, for example, the United State Chamber of Commerces Labor Relations Policy Committee. He is a past member and chair of the board of the Minnesota Government Relations Council. Blazar has also served in a leadership capacity for Minnesotas P16 Education Partnership, the Minnesota Health Data Institute, the Citizens League and the Lake Calhoun Sailing School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and the Loppet Foundation. Prior to joining the Chamber, he was Manager of Government Affairs for Target Corporation from 1987-1992. Before working for Target, Blazar was a freelance public policy analyst, specializing in state and local fiscal policy, economic development and telecommunications.

Blazar has a B.A. (Political Science) from Northwestern University and a M.A. (Public Affairs) from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.

Bill and his wife, Mary Hunstiger, are 30+ year residents of southwest Minneapolis. They have 3 adult sons, one daughter-in-law, and most recently, one granddaughter!


Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development
Bill Blazar
Laura Bordelon

Laura Bordelon is senior vice president for advocacy at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a position she has held since November 2011. In her role, she leads the organization’s public policy, grassroots and political engagement strategies.

She directed the Minnesota Chamber’s education, telecommunications and energy policy from 2000-2004. She was a policy director for Governor Tim Pawlenty from 2004 to 2005 and then was named director of legislative and cabinet affairs in 2006. She most recently was director of corporate state government affairs for Medtronic Inc.

She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota. Her community involvement includes being a board member of the Minnesota Government Relations Council and the Minnesota Zoo.


Senior Vice President, Advocacy
Laura Bordelon
Annette Kojetin

Annette Kojetin is Vice President, Finance and Administration for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  She directs and oversees all aspects of the accounting department for the Minnesota Chamber and its affiliate organizations.
She is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  She graduated with honors from Minnesota State University, Mankato earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting, Business Administration and Speech Communications.
Annette has served in a variety of capacities with numerous organizations and Boards, including Director of Finance for the Minnesota Association of Legal Administrators, Financial Advisor for the Edina Historical Society, President and Treasurer for the Eagan Ice Crystal Figure Skating Club.  
In her free time, Annette spends many hours in ice arenas watching her older daughter figure skate and younger daughter play hockey.

Vice President, Finance and Administration
Annette Kojetin
Jenny Munyer

Jenny is responsible for the organization’s membership development and engagement efforts overseeing membership programs, events and sales strategies.  She also directs Leadership Minnesota which is an exclusive opportunity for 35 business leaders to tour Minnesota’s changing economy and the issues that will shape its future. 

Jenny has been with the Minnesota Chamber since 2000.  Prior to that, she was the Director of Programs for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.  She has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

In her free time, Jenny likes to spend time with her husband Dave and their two children, Ally and Blake.


Vice President, Member Development and Engagement
Jenny Munyer
Vicki Stute

Vicki Stute is the vice president, programs and business services of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She is responsible for strategic development of Grow Minnesota!, Energy Smart, Waste Wise, EverythingHR, and Minnesota Chamber Business Services.

She brings more than 25 years of combined executive leadership experience through her work in the Chamber of Commerce industry, having served Dakota County Regional, Saint Paul Area, TwinWest, River Heights, and Red Wing Area Chambers of Commerce. Vicki is actively engaged in several Twin Cities-based community organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives and as treasurer of the Metro Advocacy Coalition of Chambers.

Prior to returning to the Chamber industry in 2013, she served as president of Angel Foundation, a Twin-cities based non-profit organization serving adults with cancer and their families. Vicki holds a Bachelor of Science degree and is a life-long resident of Dakota County. She is an avid hockey fan and enjoys reading, fitness, golf, and spending time with her husband Nick, and their two daughters.


Vice President, Programs & Business Services
Vicky Stute
Laura Bordelon

Laura Bordelon is senior vice president for advocacy at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a position she has held since November 2011. In her role, she leads the organization’s public policy, grassroots and political engagement strategies.

She directed the Minnesota Chamber’s education, telecommunications and energy policy from 2000-2004. She was a policy director for Governor Tim Pawlenty from 2004 to 2005 and then was named director of legislative and cabinet affairs in 2006. She most recently was director of corporate state government affairs for Medtronic Inc.

She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota. Her community involvement includes being a board member of the Minnesota Government Relations Council and the Minnesota Zoo.


Senior Vice President, Advocacy
Laura Bordelon
RaeAnna Buchholz

RaeAnna’s role involves a wide range of policy work: legislative support including bill tracking and correspondence, compilation of annual voting records, grassroots and outside agency outreach, election support including administration of the Chamber Leadership Fund PAC, and maintaining government affairs issue files.

RaeAnna earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota in 2016. She also worked there during her college years, first as an administrative assistant and then in HR/accounting. During her college career, she completed an internship at the Minnesota State Senate as a legislative intern and worked with Senator Mary Kiffmeyer.

RaeAnna is an avid follower of all things political. Aside from politics, she enjoys reading, riding horses and watching dressage, spending time with her pets and family, archery, hunting, home projects, cooking, baking, and volunteering. She has a very adventurous side and looks forward to traveling and experiencing new things. RaeAnna loves studying everything French, from the language and culture to the history and current affairs. Elle parle français de temps en temps.


Policy Administrative Assistant
RaeAnna Buchholz
Jennifer Byers

Jennifer is responsible for directing the Minnesota Chamber’s grassroots outreach, candidate recruitment efforts and supporting local chambers of commerce across the state.  She manages the Minnesota Manufacturers Coalition, and is engaged in a wide variety of issue advocacy coalitions.  She also directs the activities of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives (MCCE), the professional association for local chambers and enjoys many days on the road with members, local chambers and volunteer business leaders across Minnesota. 

Jennifer is an alumni of the University of Minnesota, with a degree in communications.  She is also a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management.  A long career in the chamber profession includes a staff position with the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce and the president of the Stillwater Chamber before joining the Minnesota Chamber in 1991.

She serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives; the Mid-America Chamber Executives; and Jobs for Minnesotans.  Outside of Jennifer’s professional career, she plays a leadership role with the Lakeville South Hockey and Lakeville South Lacrosse  booster organizations.  She and her husband Rich are parents to three teenage boys.


Vice President, Grassroots & Chamber Relations
Jennifer Byers
Bentley Graves

Bentley Graves is the Director of Health Care and Transportation Policy at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  He joined the Chamber in October 2013. A native Iowan, Bentley made his way to Minnesota and the Chamber by way of Washington, DC, where he spent nearly eight years working on Capitol Hill for an Iowa Congressman. Bentley began his time on the Hill as an intern, fresh out of college, and throughout his tenure moved on to hold a number of positions in the Congressman’s office, including Legislative Assistant, Legislative Director, and Chief of Staff. Bentley’s policy experience includes work on small business concerns, health care, transportation, taxes, education, foreign affairs, defense, and federal appropriations. As Chief of Staff, he managed all aspects of the Congressional office and served as a liaison between the Congressman and community, business, and state and local government leaders.

Bentley graduated cum laude in 2005 from Hillsdale College in Michigan with a degree in Political Economy. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Minnesota Community Measurement, a non-profit that provides public reporting about health care costs and quality in the state; a member of the Board of Directors of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Excelsior, Minnesota; a member of the Consumer and Small Employer Advisory Committee of MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange; and a member of the Advisory Panel for Own Your Future, an initiative designed to help Minnesotans prepare for their Long Term Care needs. Bentley lives in Excelsior with his wife, who is a native Minnesotan, and their four young children.


Director, Health & Transportation Policy
Bentley Graves
Beth Strinden Kadoun

Beth joined the Chamber in October 2012. Prior to joining the Chamber, she was Administrator for the Minnesota Senate Tax Committee in the 2011 and 2012 sessions and was Assistant Commissioner for Tax Policy with the Minnesota Department of Revenue.   Beth also was Senior Policy Adviser on tax, labor and economic development issues for Governor Tim Pawlenty.  In the private sector, Beth lobbied the Minnesota and North Dakota legislatures on behalf of an energy services company. In addition, she was Finance Policy Director for the Minnesota Business Partnership from 1995-2000.

Beth graduated with honors from William Mitchell Law School and from University of North Dakota with a Bachelor’s degree in banking and finance.

Beth enjoys spending time with her husband and attending her son and daughter’s sporting events.  She also enjoys reading,  hiking and spending time at a family cabin in Otter Tail County.


Vice President, Tax & Fiscal Policy
Beth Strinden Kadoun
Tony Kwilas

Tony is responsible for representing the Minnesota Chamber’s positions on environment and natural resource issues before the legislature and state agencies.

Tony joined the Chamber in 1996 after serving in numerous capacities in the Minnesota Senate, the last position from 1988-1995, where he was the Committee Administrator for the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Kwilas was also Regional Manager of Northern Minnesota.

Tony likes to be outdoors, hunting, fishing or golfing. Huge hockey fan. Also enjoys spoiling Jen and Kendall when he gets a chance!


Director, Environmental Policy
Tony Kwilas
Stacey Stout

Stacey Stout serves as the Minnesota Chamber’s Education & Workforce Development, Elections Director.  

Stacey brings a strong policy, legislative and legal background, having served as a legislative assistant and legislative counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate from 2000-2005.  She managed congressional oversight activities and served as attorney-adviser in the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs from 2005-2010. 

Her Minnesota public policy experience includes national and state regulatory policy development for the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation and most recently as a research consultant and committee administrator for the Minnesota House of Representatives Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee. 

Stacey holds a B.A. from Oklahoma City University and a J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law.  She lives in Mahtomedi with her husband and two young boys, where she is active on the White Bear Area YMCA Board, the 916 Education Foundation Board, the Mahtomedi Finance Advisory Commission and St. Andrews Lutheran Church.


Director, Education & Workforce Development, Elections Policy
Stacey Stout
Lauryn Schothorst

Lauryn is responsible for developing and representing the Minnesota Chamber’s positions on energy, labor/management, and telecommunications issues before the legislature and state agencies.

Lauryn joined the MN Chamber of Commerce in August 2018. She comes to the Chamber from Washington, DC where she served as a Chief of Staff for two members of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives. In this capacity, she had direct experience supporting their respective assignments to the House Committees on Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means. As Chief of Staff, Lauryn was responsible for the strategic operations of the Washington, DC and district offices. This included comprehensive communications, legislative, and political strategies, public relations and coalition development in addition to logistics/operations and personnel matters. Prior to this role, she served as Legislative Director, where she developed and advanced legislative initiatives for a broad portfolio of issues including energy, environment and telecommunications. She also served in a variety of other legislative roles before achieving her leadership positions. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown University, where she was also captain of the nationally ranked women’s varsity lacrosse team.

An East Coaster until 2018, Lauryn enjoys getting up to speed on all things Minnesota and exploring her beautiful new home state with her husband (a native Midwesterner) and their two active young children.  An avid sports fan, she was delighted to see the Philadelphia Eagles win Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis and still finds great pleasure in re-watching the Philly Special.  


Director, Energy & Labor/Management Policy
Lauryn Schothorst
Bill Blazar

Bill Blazar is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development. Blazar directs Grow Minnesota!, the Chambers statewide business retention and expansion program. This year, Grow Minnesota! completed retention visits with over 900 Minnesota businesses and provided direct assistance to 200 of them.

Blazar represents the Minnesota business community on several task forces and study groups, for example, the United State Chamber of Commerces Labor Relations Policy Committee. He is a past member and chair of the board of the Minnesota Government Relations Council. Blazar has also served in a leadership capacity for Minnesotas P16 Education Partnership, the Minnesota Health Data Institute, the Citizens League and the Lake Calhoun Sailing School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) and the Loppet Foundation. Prior to joining the Chamber, he was Manager of Government Affairs for Target Corporation from 1987-1992. Before working for Target, Blazar was a freelance public policy analyst, specializing in state and local fiscal policy, economic development and telecommunications.

Blazar has a B.A. (Political Science) from Northwestern University and a M.A. (Public Affairs) from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota.

Bill and his wife, Mary Hunstiger, are 30+ year residents of southwest Minneapolis. They have 3 adult sons, one daughter-in-law, and most recently, one granddaughter!


Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Business Development
Bill Blazar
Vicki Stute

Vicki Stute is the vice president, programs and business services of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She is responsible for strategic development of Grow Minnesota!, Energy Smart, Waste Wise, EverythingHR, and Minnesota Chamber Business Services.

She brings more than 25 years of combined executive leadership experience through her work in the Chamber of Commerce industry, having served Dakota County Regional, Saint Paul Area, TwinWest, River Heights, and Red Wing Area Chambers of Commerce. Vicki is actively engaged in several Twin Cities-based community organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Executives and as treasurer of the Metro Advocacy Coalition of Chambers.

Prior to returning to the Chamber industry in 2013, she served as president of Angel Foundation, a Twin-cities based non-profit organization serving adults with cancer and their families. Vicki holds a Bachelor of Science degree and is a life-long resident of Dakota County. She is an avid hockey fan and enjoys reading, fitness, golf, and spending time with her husband Nick, and their two daughters.


Vice President, Programs & Business Services
Vicki Stute
Deb Broberg

Deb serves as the President of the leadership board for the Human Resources Executive Council and has had a longstanding interest in education and the critical need to plan for future market needs when considering options for post-secondary education and training.  Deb is active on the Alumni Board for Macalester College as co-chair of the career development committee.  She served on the Carlson School of Management Undergraduate Advisory Board for nine years, where she gained insight on the early Itasca Project research which fueled her interest in workforce readiness for the state of Minnesota.   Deb is also an active member of the Board of Trustees at her church, serving on the Personnel and budget committees.

Deb has had a successful 25+ year career with Northwest Airlines and Wells Fargo.   At Wells Fargo, Deb held positions over the last 16 years with responsibility for Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development, and Talent Management.   During her tenure with Wells Fargo she gained a keen appreciation for the importance of talent pipeline management from sourcing to placement to development.   Deb has her MA from the University of Minnesota’s HRIR program and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Macalester College.

In her free time, Deb enjoys skiing – snow and water; music – vocal & all types, biking and traveling.


Executive Director
Deb Broberg, executive director, Real Time Talent
Erin Olson

Erin’s research career spans economic development, housing, transportation, and workforce analysis, bringing new and intersectional approaches to addressing labor recruitment and retention challenges in Minnesota. She designed and directed research investigations at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Center for Transit Studies (CTS) with partners including Project for Pride in Living, local neighborhood associations, and the City of North Saint Paul covering topics from urban food deserts and downtown revitalization to healthy housing and transit accessibility. She also has an extensive record working internationally as a consultant, providing survey development and program evaluation support to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization of Rwanda, Habitat for Humanity of Mozambique, and Vedor LDA - a Mozambican planning and architecture consulting firm.

Erin holds two Masters Degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health from the University of Minnesota, where she focused on community economic development, housing, and population studies. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.

Erin enjoys traveling and exploring local culture as much as she can—from trying and cooking the local cuisine to learning new languages and taking up traditional instruments.  She plays the Rwandan Inanga (harp) and Mozambican Nyunga Nyunga and Dzava Dziro Mbira (thumb piano), in addition to singing and playing the piano.  Her husband, Ernesto, is from Mozambique and shares her passion for music, travel, and food.  They are involved in several African music and dance groups around the Twin Cities and enjoy the sense of community found there.  Erin speaks Portuguese and some Changana, Swahili, and Spanish.


Research Strategist
Erin Olson, Research Strategist, Real Time Talent
Kathi Schaff

Kathi is responsible for the development, management, and training needs of the over 70 local chambers and economic development entities that comprise the Grow Minnesota! partnership. In addition, she is involved in statewide business assistance on concerns resulting from partnership business retention visits.

Hired in 2006, Kathi is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. She also holds a master’s degree in Community and Economic Development from Penn State University. Prior to joining the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Kathi served over 9 years as the president of the Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce. She has experience in community development, serving 8 years as a city planning commissioner.

Kathi is an avid sports fan. 


Director, Grow Minnesota!® Partnership
Kathi Schaff
Nicole Hanger

Nicole is part of the Grow MN! Partnership with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. Along with local chamber partners and the Grow MN! team, Nicole conducts business visits throughout the state to learn more about the needs and concerns of Minnesota businesses and identify specific opportunities to help individual businesses stay and grow in the state. Nicole also oversees the MN Supplier Match program to highlight and expand Minnesota’s robust supply chain; increasing business-to-business activity in the state.

Nicole holds a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and has more than 10 years of marketing experience in both non-profit and corporate industries. Most recently, Nicole was the Education & Associate Member Coordinator for the Minnesota Bankers Association – developing educational programs for Minnesota bankers and connecting businesses to the financial services industry through the Associate Member program.

Prior to her work at the MN Bankers Association, Nicole led the B2C marketing efforts for national accounts at a legal insurance company; managed public relations campaigns for a non-profit blood donation center in Des Moines; and worked at the Midway Chamber of Commerce in St. Paul and Uptown Business Association in Minneapolis. 

Nicole and her husband live in Woodbury with their young son. They enjoy cheering on the Minnesota Vikings, trying out new restaurants and exploring our beautiful state!


Business Development Coordinator
Nicole Hanger
Sean O'Neil

Sean is responsible for coordinating business assistance, research and analysis, and data management efforts through the Grow Minnesota! program. Additionally, he provides staff support to the Small Business Policy Committee, which enables small businesses to play a role in shaping the Minnesota Chamber’s policy priorities.

Sean joined the Grow Minnesota! team in November 2015. Prior to joining the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, he worked for the St Anthony East and Holland Neighborhood Improvement Associations in Northeast Minneapolis where he coordinated neighborhood revitalization and community development initiatives. Sean holds a Masters of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from Bethel University.

Sean and his wife have two young children and live in Northeast Minneapolis where they enjoy the multitude of nearby parks, arts, and wonderful restaurants. In his free time, he serves on the Board of Directors for UpWorks, is an active member of Church of the Cross in Hopkins, and loves reading and learning about American history and politics.


Business Development Coordinator
Sean O'Neil
Rob Friend

Rob Friend is a Senior Sustainability Specialist with Minnesota Waste Wise working with Ramsey and Washington County businesses to help increase recycling. He has more than 19 years of experience in the commercial composting and recycling industry working in sales and safety before focusing on organics recycling development. Rob has worked with waste haulers, generators and public entities to increase organics recycling collection and processing through presentations, tours and creating of educational material.

Rob graduated with a B.S. in Business Management from Mankato State University in Mankato, MN and completed the Midwest Extension Composting School in 2013. Rob also serves on the Recycling Association of Minnesota Board of Directors.


Executive Director, Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation
Rob Friend
Patrick Deal

Patrick works alongside Minnesota businesses to identify and implement energy saving opportunities through on-site consultations.

Before joining Energy Smart, Patrick was a residential energy auditor with the Neighborhood Energy Connection. By performing diagnostic testing, Patrick identified opportunities for Minnesota home owners to save energy, improve comfort, and lower their energy bills.

Patrick graduated from Saint John’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Art. He spends his free time in Southern Minnesota on his family’s hop farm, and taking photographs for clients around the twin cities.


Energy Efficiency Specialist
Erin Hertog

Erin joined Waste Wise in July 2017. As a Sustainability Specialist, Erin works with businesses in Scott and Washington Counties to help implement recycling and organics programs. 
Prior to joining Waste Wise, Erin worked as a Sustainability Coordinator at the Wedge Co-op where she helped improve waste diversion and energy efficiency. She also spent a couple of years working on and managing organic farms. Erin graduated from Hamline University with a BA in Political Science and Economics.
Erin is passionate about waste reduction and loves geeking out about recycling. But when she’s not doing that, she enjoys gardening in the backyard, cooking, camping, and traveling.

Sustainability Specialist
Erin Hertog
Jon Klapperich

Jon started working with the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation in November of 2014. Jon has his master’s degree in Forest Biology and Conservation Management. He is passionate about the sustainable use of renewable materials. Jon has sales and marketing experience in the lumber industry, and spent over two years teaching English in South Korea. Jon grew up enjoying the outdoors in Northern Wisconsin and he hopes that his work with Waste Wise and metro area businesses will help to preserve our natural environment for future generations to enjoy.


Waste Wise Program Manager
Jon Klapperich
Adam Mehr

Adam works with businesses in Ramsey, Washington and Scott counties to implement recycling, organics and other waste reduction programs.

Adam has an undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. After earning his degrees, he served two AmeriCorps terms through a partnership with Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa and the Renewable Energy Alliance where he supported initiatives to make solar energy accessible to people of all income levels. Prior to joining Waste Wise in October 2018, he worked for three years managing a solar training and workforce development programs with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.

Outside of work, Adam spends his time gardening, cooking, and learning about food. He also enjoys jogging, volleyball and spending time in nature.


Sustainability Specialist
Adam Mehr
Bonnie Nord

Bonnie joined Waste Wise in October 2018. Bonnie helps businesses in Washington and Ramsey Counties implement and improve recycling and organics programs.

Prior to Waste Wise, she worked at Second Harvest Heartland, one of the largest food banks in the US, and LeanPath, a food waste reduction company. There she worked in food waste prevention and re-allocation as well as advocating for clients to reduce waste and increase cost and energy savings. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a BA in Environmental Studies, with a focus on Economics. 

Outside of work, Bonnie enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, walking her dog, baking and cooking. 


Sustainability Specialist
Bonnie Nord
Michelle Palm

Michelle works with businesses in Washington and Ramsey Counties to encourage them to reduce waste, conserve resources, and implement recycling and organics programs through waste assessments, grant assistance, and other resources.

Michelle joined Waste Wise in January 2016. Prior to joining Waste Wise, she worked with the Clean Energy Resource Teams for three years as their Southeast Coordinator. There she helped provide resources to communities of all types in the southeast region of the state to help them with energy efficiency and clean and renewable energy projects. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a BA in Environmental Studies, focusing on International Issues and Peace Studies.

When not at work, Michelle enjoys running, brewing beer and Kombucha, and exploring the state while hiking and camping. She also loves to grow and make new things while gardening, sewing, and wood working.


Sustainability Specialist
Kendrick Paulson

Kendrick works with Minnesota businesses to reduce their energy use by implementing energy-efficiency measures. In particular, he enjoys helping businesses improve their bottom line while reducing their overall impact on the environment.

Before joining Energy Smart, Kendrick worked for HealthPartners in their Sustainability Department. Kendrick assisted hospitals and clinics in reducing their energy use and conserving natural resources. Kendrick has been leading events, around the Twin Cities, for over 4 years to educate residential customers on energy-efficiency programs. Kendrick graduated from St. Olaf College in 2014 with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor’s in Biology.

When not at work, Kendrick spends his time playing volleyball and line judging for the Big Ten. Kendrick and his fiancé live in New Hope with their young son and enjoy playing board games with friends.


Energy Efficiency Specialist
Kendrick Paulson
Chris Rustad

Chris works alongside Minnesota businesses to help them identify and implement energy-saving measures. In particular, Chris often works with Minnesota businesses that are part of the Spanish-speaking community.

Chris has over five years of energy-efficiency related experience working with residential customers of both Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy. Chris graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a Bachelor’s of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. Soon after, he became an AmeriCorps volunteer through the Conservation Corps of Minnesota. During that time Chris took part in an Xcel Energy pilot program called the Home Energy Squads. Chris’ bilingual skills allowed the program to expand its reach to much of the Spanish-speaking community. Upon completion of his AmeriCorps service term Chris was hired on at the Neighborhood Energy Connection as a Home Energy Squad crew leader and ultimately home energy auditor.

In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife, Elizabeth. Together, they love to cook and entertain for friends and family at their home in the East Side of St. Paul. They also enjoy going out for walks, gardening and bargain shopping at Arc’s Value Village.


Senior Energy Efficiency Specialist, C.E.M.
Chris Rustad
Kevin Zickert

Kevin works with Minnesota businesses to identify and implement energy conservation measures identified during on-site assessments. Most of his time is spent providing remote technical assistance applying for financial incentives to help make recommended projects more accessible for business owners.  

Before joining Energy Smart, Kevin was a residential energy auditor at Center for Energy and Environment. There, he conducted diagnostic assessments to identify health and safety concerns, energy-saving measures, lower homeowner utility bills and improve comfort.

Kevin graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a Bachelor’s degree, having studied physical geography and environmental studies

In his free time, Kevin enjoys outdoor recreation including, exploring the Superior Hiking Trail along the North Shore of Lake Superior, biking the trails of Minneapolis and fishing any time he gets the chance. He and his partner enjoy cooking at home, trying new restaurants with friends and taking their dog, Murphy, to the park.


Energy Efficiency Specialist
Kevin Zickert
Anne Mason Yoder

Anne directs strategic communications for the MN Chamber, including branding, marketing, earned and digital media. She leads the communications team to raise the Chamber’s visibility, strengthen its reputation with members and the public, and reach its organizational mission.

Anne has a strong background in strategic communications and public affairs operations in Washington, D.C. and Minnesota. She has handled marketing efforts, earned, digital and social media and grassroots outreach for several organizations, including ClearWay Minnesota, the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and congressional offices and campaigns for Congressmen Erik Paulsen and Mark Kennedy. She also served as a presidential appointee in the George W. Bush Administration and an intern in the White House Office of Political Affairs in the fall of 2001.

Anne graduated from Drake University in 2002 with a degree in Politics. She serves on the Alumni Board for the Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ Policy Fellows program, and is active in professional international exchange programs through the U.S. Department of State. In her spare time, Anne and her husband Kasey spend time with their young daughter in her hometown of White Bear Lake or in their cabin in Minong, Wisconsin.

 


Senior Director, Communications
Anne Mason Yoder
Jim Pumarlo

Jim is responsible for the Minnesota Chamber’s overall internal and external communications and media relations. He develops and implements the communications strategy to build the visibility of the organization and its members.

He has been with the Minnesota Chamber since 2004. He worked 27 years at daily newspapers in International Falls and Red Wing, Minn., including 21 years as editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

In his spare time, Jim and his wife, Diane, like to spend time in the outdoors and are avid spectators of their grandchildren’s numerous activities.


Director, Communications
Jim Pumarlo
Grant Erickson

Grant is helping to expand the current communications team to reach new members through creative content, grow Chamber visibility with the public and increase digital interactions and engagement. 

Prior to working at the Chamber, Grant worked at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He began as a session-only legislative assistant and eventually served as the committee legislative assistant for the Property Tax Division. Most recently, he worked as a communications specialist for three years serving 11 representatives from around the state.

Grant graduated from Bethel University with degrees in Political Science and History. Outside of work, Grant is a big Gopher sports fans and covered University of Minnesota football and hockey for Gopherhole.com. He and his wife love traveling and trying new restaurants.

 


Communications Content Manager
Joan Rausch

Joan Rausch, CMP is Director, Special Events at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  Joan is responsible for coordination of member meetings and events including Session Priorities, Business Day at the Capitol, Annual Meeting & Business Conference educational seminars, the golf tournament and Board of Director meetings.  Joan has been on staff since 1992 and has worn several hats at the Minnesota Chamber with committee assignments ranging from working with the small business members on the White House Conference on Small Business to managing the Chamber’s Foundation Board of Directors.  Prior to joining the staff at the Minnesota Chamber, Joan was Director, Member Services for the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.
 
Joan has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and is a graduate of the U.S Chamber Institute of Organizational Management.  She earned her Certified Meeting Professional designation in 1999 and served on the Minnesota Chapter of Meeting Professionals International Board of Directors from 2005-2007.  She continues to be active in the chapter.
 
Joan was honored as the Meeting Planner of the Year in 1998 by the Minnesota Chapter of MPI and received an EMPI award in 2008 for Best Meeting/Event of the Year.  In February 2009, she was inducted into the Minnesota Meetings & Events magazine’s Hall of Fame as the Best Special Events Planner for 2008.
 
Joan lives with her husband, Mark, and two daughters in Prior Lake and is active in her community.  
 

Director, Special Events
Joan Rausch
Allie Hancock

Allie provides assistance whenever needed to both the membership and events teams. She manages the registration process for all events and is responsible for communication with members about their accounts.

Allie is a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and majored in Hospitality and Event/Meeting Planning. While in college, Allie was a Programs Intern for the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce and was also a Food and Beverage Intern for the Milwaukee Country Club.

In her spare time, Allie likes to cook, sew, go to concerts and spend time with her friends and family. 


Event Coordinator
Allie Hancock
Elizabeth Sherry

Elizabeth Sherry is the Sponsorship Manager for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.  She works closely with the Events Team to secure sponsorship for large projects like Session Priorities, Business Day at the Capitol, the Annual Meeting and more.  Elizabeth is new to the staff but has been a member of the chamber for years prior to coming on board.  She serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications on the board for Meeting Professionals International and is the Program Manager for The Twin Cities Wedding & Event Professionals.  She has won three International Live Event Association awards in the past couple years.  Elizabeth has been a three time speaker at national Special Event Conference in 2013, 2014, 2015.

Elizabeth Sherry most recently comes to us from the Guthrie Theater.  Her responsibilities there were focused on venue logistics and event orchestration.  One of her largest projects with the Guthrie was successfully planning eight Super Bowl events, all taking place within 52 hours leading into the big game.  Prior to this Elizabeth came from Mintahoe Catering & Events as their Event Coordinator for the Van Dusen Mansion.

Elizabeth enjoys as much family time as she can get.  Her husband Michael, daughter Payton, two high-energy dogs and her like to spend time at the park and outdoors.  Elizabeth is surrounded by a lot of in town extended relatives and loves the opportunity to play board games with them.

 

 

 


Development & Engagement Manager
Elizabeth Sherry
Jenny Munyer

Jenny is responsible for the organization’s membership development and engagement efforts overseeing membership programs, events and sales strategies.  She also directs Leadership Minnesota which is an exclusive opportunity for 35 business leaders to tour Minnesota’s changing economy and the issues that will shape its future. 

Jenny has been with the Minnesota Chamber since 2000.  Prior to that, she was the Director of Programs for the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce.  She has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

In her free time, Jenny likes to spend time with her husband Dave and their two children, Ally and Blake.


Vice President- Member Development and Engagement
Jenny Munyer
Kim Anderson

Kim is a Member Services Specialist at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and has worked at the chamber for 5 years.  Kim works to ensure that our members get the most out of their memberships by being available to assist them find the Minnesota benefits and services that best fit their needs.   She is available to answer any questions members might have on billing, events, committee involvement, and all other benefits offered by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Before coming to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Kim worked at HealthEast Medical Imaging for two years, and for Mayo Health System for 18 years.  Kim received her Associate of Arts Degree at Rochester Community College, and her A.A.S. Degree from SouthEast Technical College.

Along with being an avid reader, Kim loves to camp, hike, and spend time with her Yorkie and her granddaughters.


Manager, Member Services
Lia Capaldini

Whether you’re paying membership dues or registering for an event, you most likely have talked to Lia! Involved in both the Membership and Events departments, Lia spends her days fulfilling membership wants/needs as well as organizing registrations for Chamber events. Working closely with both teams, she has enjoyed learning the ins and outs of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Lia is a graduate from Augsburg University and majored in Film and Communication Studies with a minor in Spanish. While in college, Lia was President of the Augsburg Student Activities Council where she first discovered her passion for event planning. Along with her extensive background in customer service as well as her time in real estate, Lia has found that she loves working with people whether in a customer or team setting.  

Lia loves all things film/movie/TV related and always jumps at the opportunity to have a conversation about them. She also enjoys discovering new restaurants/bars, traveling, and spending time with her family/friends and her black lab Sammy.


Member Services Assistant
Lia Capaldini
Steve Jaffee

Steve is responsible for recruiting new members and actively developing new prospects. While consistently meeting with business leaders across Minnesota, he excels at illustrating the important role these companies have in growing economic opportunities here in our home state. He also participates in Chamber functions and lends a hand wherever needed.

Prior to working at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Steve was the Executive Director of the Mesabi Humane Society in Virginia, Minnesota. He was an Ambassador and an active member on the Legislative Committee of the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce. Steve was also the Vice President of the Rotary Club and Treasurer of the Apple Tree Learning Center board of directors. Steve earned a B.A. from Holy Cross College in 2011, majoring in business, and is an Eagle Scout.

His interests including playing golf, hockey, and fishing. He also enjoys spending time with his family and his Siberian Husky, Kali.


Membership Account Executive
Steve Jaffee
Dennis Parkinson

Dennis is responsible for new member sales, tracking all new prospects, securing appointments and helping prospects make the decision to activate their membership. He is also involved in special events as well as helping design marketing efforts.

Dennis has been with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce since 1999. His responsibilities revolved around growing the membership base. Prior to that he has spent 20+ years in Commercial Sales development with companies such as Waste Management, Dale Carnegie, The International Coalition, the Village Family Service Center as well as sales in the Insurance Industry. He is a North Dakota native and graduate of Minot State College and moved to the Twin Cities in 1996.

His interests include football, baseball, boating, fishing, and golf. He also enjoys movies, reading and writing and tracking the political issues of the day.


Membership Account Executive
Shawn Zobel

Shawn is responsible for leading the organization’s new member sales strategy. He leads a team overseeing the recruitment and onboarding of new members for the Minnesota Chamber.

Prior to working at the Chamber of Commerce, Shawn owned Zobel Sports Consulting where he consulted and recruited for agencies and businesses providing services to professional athletes. He previously worked at the NFL league office and coached high school football at Eden Prairie. He has a B.S. from the University of St. Thomas.

In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Micki and their two dogs.


Manager, Membership Sales
Shawn Zobel
Brenda Beaudet

As the human resources/office manager for the Minnesota Chamber, Brenda manages all staff recruitment, benefits and employee relations projects. She is the liaison with building management and vendor relations, in addition to partnering with the manager of finance and database around IT department and technology needs. 

Brenda owned a business from 1988 to 2004 in the commercial glazing Industry. Since then, she has worked in banking and city government, and most recently was the manager of human resources for a printing company.

Brenda enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, and traveling with friends. Brenda also works with the Lexington Fire Relief Association to raise money through charitable gambling to helps the community, and allows the fire department to purchase equipment without tax dollars.


Human Resources and Office Manager
Becky Beaudet
Julia Pfeiffer

Julia Pfeiffer provides executive administrative support for the President, Chairperson and the Board of Directors and delivers assistance whenever needed to both the membership and events teams.

Prior to joining the Minnesota Chamber in 2018, Julia has gained over 20 years of progressive experience as an Administrative Professional, Executive Assistant, and Event Program Manager coordinating multiple responsibilities and providing effective support for executives within large corporations in the Twin Cities area. While working full-time, Julia achieved highest honors from Saint Paul College and was awarded the Outstanding Student Award for the Business Management degree program.

Julia is from Minneapolis, a proud veteran supporter and military spouse, enjoys traveling, organizing events, networking and spending time with her family and friends.


Executive Assistant
Julia Pfeiffer
Annette Kojetin

Annette Kojetin is Vice President of Finance and Administration for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. She directs and oversees the accounting, human resources, facilities and IT functions for the Minnesota Chamber and its affiliate organizations. Annette is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Annette has served in a variety of capacities with numerous organizations and Boards, including Director of Finance for the Minnesota Association of Legal Administrators, Financial Advisor for the Edina Historical Society, President and Treasurer for the Eagan Ice Crystal Figure Skating Club.  

In her free time, Annette spends many hours in ice arenas watching her older daughter figure skate and younger daughter play hockey.


Vice President, Finance and Administration
Annette Kojetin
Amanda Farrell

Amanda primarily assists the Vice President of Finance with the management of accounting functions and the day-to-day operations of the Finance department. She also works closely with IT to coordinate projects, and with database consultants to help develop a robust database that functions efficiently.
 
After graduating with a B.A. degree in Business Communication from Metropolitan State University in 2005, Amanda gravitated towards the accounting field and spent the following years gaining experience within different aspects of accounting and business. Working in Property Management, Public Accounting, Software and now, Non-Profit, has provided Amanda opportunities to hone and develop her knowledge and skills.
 
Amanda enjoys discovering new restaurants and local music, reading, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.  She is married and has two high-maintenance cats that she adores a little too much.
 

Manager, Finance & Database
Jennifer Rudesill

Jen is our first point of contact for the organization. She manages the activities of the front office, which includes the phone, greeting visitors and staff support on special projects.

A graduate from UW-Stout, Jen worked for ten years at a large printing company in St. Paul. After the family came, she was fortunate to stay home and raise three children. She rejoined the workforce in 2012 as part of the Minnesota Chamber staff.

Jen likes to meet new people and talk on the phone. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, taking walks with her husband and dog, Leo, and antiquing with her girlfriends.


Manager of First Impressions
Jennifer Rudesill