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Public Policy

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 timeon 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
Director, Energy & Labor/Management Policy

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