Board of Directors

Paul Healey - Chair

Risk Manager, GE Capital

Paul is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who spent 2 years working as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer in Mali, West Africa. His first exposure to CTI was through an internship for CTI in the early 1990's prior to attending the Monterey Institute of International Studies where he studied development. In addition to an MA in International Policy Studies, he holds a BA from Occidental College in Los Angeles and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

Paul has held a variety of positions in Operations and Risk management since joining GE Capital in 1998. Paul, his wife Becky Dankowski, and their 3 young children live in South Minneapolis.

Cathie Hartnett - Co-Vice Chair


Cathie Hartnett is a non profit and business consultant in strategic planning, marketing, leadership transition, and crisis management. Cathie was raised in Minnesota but spent 17 years in Washington working in politics as well as starting an entrepreneurial management company that launched new national non profits and small companies. Most recently she is an investor and Director of First Equity Mortgage Inc. Cathie formerly hosted a weekend radio talk show host for Hubbard Broadcasting on FM 107.1. She is a regular on KSTP television providing political commentary and often does public speaking with her "Polichick" show partner on the need for a civil dialogue with those with whom you most disagree.

Her volunteer work in Board service reflects her passion for entrepreneurial work in the non profit and for profit sector including; Mental Health Resources, Sobriety High Foundation, Minnesota Women's Economic Roundtable and Theater Latte Da, St. Paul Almanac and EdVisions.

Cathie was chosen as an American Council of Young Political Leaders – Mexico Delegation, MS Magazine – "80 Women to Watch in the 80's", U of M Alumni Magazine – "40 graduates under 40", President's Leadership Award – Spina Bifida Association of America and Distinguished CLA Graduate of University of Minnesota.

Cathie lives in St. Paul with her husband, John Monto, an artist. She parented two stepsons and has two grandchildren.

Adam Rix - Co-Vice Chair

Founder, Watermark Initiative, LLC

Adam Rix is the founder and managing member of Watermark Initiative, LLC and the author of the Hydro Perspective®. Rix directs Watermark’s global team of Hydro Diplomats from an office in the United States alongside mobile offices worldwide to ensure each client has the right resources to implement their vision. Rix brings to water business, policy, and technology leaders "boots-on-the-ground" experience gained in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. His background includes co-managing a private equity and venture firm focused on water reuse technologies, as well as serving as Chief Licensing Officer for a groundwater diagnostics company.

Rix holds a Masters of International Development and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver, in addition to a B.A. from Trinity College, Connecticut. He lives in southern Wisconsin with his family, animals, and big red barn.

Carl Schroeder - Co-Vice Chair

Retired Chief Operating Officer, Schroeder Milk Co.

Carl Schroeder worked for 28 years in the dairy and food processing industry for Schroeder Milk. The family business was sold to Agropur, Inc. in 2008 and in spring 2010 Carl was free to take on his next adventure. He has a great depth of operations experience and knowledge in manufacturing liquid beverages including milk, soy, chicken broths, soups, nutritional drinks, meal replacement and cultured products. He was instrumental in Schroeder Company's strategic move to develop manufacturing capabilities to produce aseptic (shelf stable) products allowing for national distribution of products.

Carl and his wife Kristin have a strong interest in global food and water issues and recognize these issues as some of the most important global topics.

Michelle Cooper - Treasurer

Retired, Senior Vice President, Product Management, UnitedHealth Group

Michelle Cooper retired in 2013 from UnitedHealth Group, where she had Product Management responsibility for UnitedHealth’s Medicare Advantage plans for seniors and the disabled. Michelle’s previous roles at UnitedHealth Group include VP of Strategic Development, Chief Financial Officer of Ovations Pharmacy Solutions, and Chief Financial Officer of Senior & Retiree Services. Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, Michelle served in various financial management and business development positions at Ecolab, Inc. (a provider of industrial cleaning, sanitizing and infection control products and services) and at The Pillsbury Company (a consumer food, restaurant, and agri-products company at that time).

Michelle received a B.S. degree in Industrial Administration from Iowa State University, a B.S. degree in Astrophysics from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Management degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Mark Kalla - Secretary

Partner, Lapp, Libra, Thomson, Stoebner & Pusch LLP

Mark Kalla is a Partner at Lapp, Libra, Thomson, Stoebner & Pusch LLP in Minneapolis. Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Mark was parnter with Barnes and Thornburg LLP, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, and Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly. He has also served as a bankruptcy clerk for the Honorable Dennis D. O'Brien. Mark earned his B.A. from Saint John's University in 1980, and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1984.

Mark has volunteered his services either as a board member or as a volunteer for numerous organizations, including Arc Greater Twin Cities, Habitat for Humanity and The Advocates for Human Rights.

Ronald L. Christenson - Past Chair

Retired, Corporate VP and CTO, Cargill

Ron retired from Cargill in 2009 after 38 years of service. During his career with Cargill he lived in Argentina and Canada and several locations within the USA while engineering, building and operating food processing plants. He had been responsible for Plant Operations, Food safety and Environment, Health and Safety and Engineering. 

Ron has an interest in continuing to help people in the developing world through technology and education. He is supporter of Engineers without Borders. Ron also chairs the Dean's Advisory Board for the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota. He has supported the University through scholarships, fellowships and by endowing a chair in renewable energy. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1972. He is a registered professional engineer.

Ron is member of the Board of Trustees of Science Museum of Minnesota. An avid outdoorsman, he owns a small woodland that he stewards for wildlife.

Patrick M. Arenz

Attorney, Robins Kaplan L.L.P.

Patrick is a trial attorney with Robins Kaplan L.L.P. in the Firm's Intellectual Property Litigation Group where he focuses on patent litigation. He represents plaintiffs and defendants ranging from individual inventors to Fortune 100 companies across a vast range of technologies and in numerous courts across the country.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.

Jared Brewington

Jared leads business development for Current Motor Corporation of Ann Arbor, MI. He studied advanced technology in Minneapolis, MN. He held senior sales and brand management positions in renewable energy technologies, cloud infrastructure management and business services, consulting with hundreds of businesses.

Jared was active in legislative affairs regarding renewable energy standard and policy, and an active collaborator with The United States Green Building Council. Jared is a native of Minneapolis, MN (5th generation).

Susan Cornell Wilkes

Founder and President, Adventures in Giving LLC

Susan is the Founder and President of Adventures in Giving, LLC. Her company provides management and consulting services to family and small foundations on effective international grant making and organizes trips for foundation families and groups to developing countries to meet potential partners and visit grant sites.

A Native of Washington, D.C. and educated at Harvard, Susan launched her career in the independent sector as a co-founder of internationally acclaimed Up With People Inc. She has since collaborated with corporate, private and community foundations in a broad range of philanthropic and international development activities in 30 countries, as well as in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York, Minnesota and Arkansas, where she worked with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Prior to creating Adventures in Giving Susan spent two years collaborating with members of the Rockefeller family in an innovative effort to involve foundations and corporations in stimulating the creation of venture capital funds in Africa and Latin America through profitable investments in entrepreneurship and sustainable economic development for positive social impact. An advocate of microfinance, Susan and her husband Jim Klobuchar, well-known Minnesota columnist, author, mountain climber and adventure travel leader, published "The Miracles of Barefoot Capitalism", the story of microcredit organizations, programs and clients whom they interviewed on three continents.

Susan is a family member Trustee of the Peter C. Cornell Trust, established in 1949 in Buffalo, New York by her great uncle, father of the famous American actress, Katharine Cornell.

Doug Dunlay

Vice President, Corporate Plant Operations, Cargill

Doug Dunlay was named Vice President of Plant Operations for worldwide Grain, Cotton, Salt  and Animal Nutrition businesses in 2004. He joined Cargill in 1985 as a production supervisor trainee at Cargill's port terminal in Tampa, Florida. Doug has held numerous plant and regional plant operation positions including Reserve, Louisiana, Southeast Missouri region, Portland, Oregon Export group and Operations Leader for U.S. grain business.

He received his bachelor's degree in Agriculture Economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1984. Doug along with his wife Terry and three sons Zachary, Andrew and Benjamin reside in Minnetrista, Minnesota.

Dan Fasold

Research & Development Director, General Mills

Dan Fasold has worked in the food industry for nearly 20 years and has held management, research & development, quality, regulatory, and production supervision accountabilities at Companies such as Safeway, The Pillsbury Company, Campbell Soup Company, and General Mills. While at General Mills, he worked for nine years internationally across developed and developing countries based out of Minneapolis and Miami and had an opportunity to visit over 30 countries. Currently, he leads a disruptive innovation group within General Mills cereal division.

Dan earned a BS in Food Science from The Pennsylvania State University and an MS in Food Science from the University of Minnesota. Dan is a native of Pennsylvania and prior to his career in the food industry he served in the US Navy. In his free time, Dan enjoys outdoor activities with his family, reading, and playing sports. Dan lives in Chaska MN with his wife and four children.

Stephen H. Fochler

Attorney, LeVander, Gillen & Miller, P.A.

Steve was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a 1989 graduate of Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. After college, Steve moved to the Twin Cities and worked for a large financial institution before attending law school at Hamline University School of Law. Steve is 1992 cum laude graduate of Hamline, where he served on the Hamline Law Review and on the moot court team. During Law school, Steve was a legal intern at a major Twin Cities financial institution and served as a law clerk at a growing St. Paul computer company.

After law school, Steve served as the judicial law clerk to the Honorable H. Richard Hopper, in Hastings, Minnesota. Steve joined the law firm of LeVander, Gillen & Miller, P.A. in February 1994 where he primarily practices law in the areas of Estate Planning and Administration, Business Transactions and Real Estate. Steve has been involved with CTI on the Board since 2005.

Steve enjoys fresh and saltwater fishing, golf, and spending time with his wife, Margo and daughters Libby and Jane.

Mark Lucas

Business Consultant at Platinum Group, Vice President Business Development at Brighton Development

In business Mark values working on projects and deals that are of broader benefit to our community, economy and environment. He has been with organizations ranging from large public multinationals to small private start-ups, in a variety of industries including consumer products, medical devices, real estate and renewable energy.

Mark is from Minnesota, but “went away” to Haverford for college and Northwestern for business school. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, two daughters and has recently taken up urban beekeeping as a hobby.

Scott J Montgomery

Director, Flour Fortification Initiative, A Private-Public-Civic Investment in Each Nation

Scott joined Cargill, Incorporated in 1980 as a trainee at Cargill's Oilseeds Processing Plant in Washington, Iowa. After serving in supervisory positions for Cargill Flour Milling in New York, Chattanooga and Kansas, he was named Regional Superintendent for Cargill Flour Milling 1989 and Manager of Operations for North American Flour Milling in 1993.

In 1996, Scott was named Vice President, Global Wheat Flour Milling Operations, which included flour mills in the United States, South America and India. In 1999, he was named Vice President, WorldWide Dry Milling Operations, which added the dry corn mills in the U.S. and U.K.

In 2002 Worldwide Citrus was added to Scott's responsibilities. Scott was seconded to Allied Mills, a joint venture acquisition in Australia, for just short of one year in October 2002 as General Manager. He then returned to the United States as Vice President, Dry Milling/Citrus Operations.

Scott was named Vice President, Corporate Procurement Leader, North America in November 2005. In July 2006 he was named Vice President, Global Procurement Leader. He retired from Cargill in June 2010.

In August 2010 Scott started working with the Flour Fortification Initiative as the Industry Liaison. In March 2011 he was appointed Director.

Scott received a B.S. degree in Milling Science and Management from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, in 1980.

Peter L. Olson

Assistant Chief IP Counsel and Assistant General Counsel, 3M Company

Peter Olson is a managing attorney in the Legal Department at 3M Company. He joined 3M in 1990, and is a graduate of the Institute of Technology at the University of Minnesota (B.S.M.E. 1988) and of the University of Minnesota Law School (J.D. 1991). He was a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington D.C., and has held legal management positions for 3M at its operations in Austin, Texas and in Brussels, Belgium.

Peter lived in Ankara, Turkey in the 1970s, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Take Heart America.

Al Sullivan

Research Analyst, Lake Street Capital Markets

Al Sullivan is a Research Analyst at Lake Street Capital Markets, a boutique investment bank, where he focuses on innovative energy companies, specifically those related to the transition to natural gas as a transportation fuel. He is intimately familiar with energy trends/developments, as well as the opportunities and challenges renewable energy companies face in capital markets. Before his tenure at Lake Street, Al worked at a Chicago-based private equity firm managing a portfolio of healthcare IT companies.

Prior to his career in finance, Al was a software engineer with Minneapolis-based FICO. He holds an undergraduate degree in computer science from Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and a MBA from Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Al lives outside Minneapolis with his wife and son. He enjoys ice-skating in the winters and pretty much anything gets him outside in the summer.


Heidi Thom

Heidi Thom Consulting

Heidi brings over 25 years of experience in consumer marketing, business to business marketing and executive leadership. Her focus is on enterprise strategy, brand development, and optimal team design. She specializes in architecting, leading, and driving change. She is adept at simplifying complex issues, driving alignment across boundaries and unifying people toward a common vision.

Heidi began her career in 1986 at The Pillsbury Company in the finance function and then transitioned to her marketing career, holding successive levels of increasing responsibility. As Category Vice President, Frozen Products, Heidi was responsible for Pillsbury’s $1.2 billion frozen food portfolio.

In 2000, Heidi joined Land O’Lakes, Inc., a $14 billion agricultural cooperative as Vice President, Marketing Services and Business Development. In this role, Heidi strategically repositioned the Land O’Lakes brand, developed a pipeline of innovation, and realigned the marketing services function.

In 2003, Heidi engaged with Capella Education Company, a $420 million for-profit online university as Senior Vice President of Marketing. In this role, Heidi developed and launched the strategic brand architecture, in alignment with the overall organizational strategy. She constructed the marketing team, developing critical functional capability to scale in support of the company’s rapid double-digit growth.

After two years consulting with Astrion Partners, Heidi joined Ecolab, a $12 billion B2B market leader, as the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications. Heidi was responsible for orchestrating and launching the overall corporate foundational strategy, including purpose, vision, values and customer differentiation. This work was instrumental in supporting the company through
two major acquisitions and a time of explosive growth, doubling in size. She restructured and reenergized the corporate marketing team and built capability and community across the 500+ person global line marketing organization.

Heidi has a bachelor’s degree in Economics andManagement from Minnesota State University – Moorhead and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.