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 UnitedHealthcare’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, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Mark Kalla is a Partner in the Finance, Insolvency and Restructuring Department with the law firm of Barnes and Thornburg LLP in Minneapolis. Prior to joining Barnes and Thornburg, Mark was a partner with the Minneapolis firms of 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.

Gary Ballman - Executive Member at Large

Sr. Vice President of Marketing and Product Development, DeCare Dental

Gary leads marketing, product development and market research initiatives for DeCare Dental where he heads the company's Broker and Small Group Support Services department. In addition to developing employer-group products, he oversees the company's individual product portfolio. Prior to leading the company's marketing areas, Gary headed DeCare's claims and customer service divisions and currently reports to the CEO. He has 25 years of experience in marketing, product development and research, insurance operations, customer service, customer satisfaction measurement and quality management.

Gary served on the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award Program for three years and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Peter L. Olson - Executive Member at Large

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.

Patrick M. Arenz

Attorney, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.

Patrick is a trial attorney with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi 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).

Jay Erstling

Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law
Attorney, Patterson Thuente Christensen Pedersen

Jay Erstling is a professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law and of counsel at Patterson Thuente Christensen Pedersen, an intellectual property law firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At William Mitchell, he teaches primarily in the area of international and comparative intellectual property law, and he has a particular interest in the intellectual property systems of emerging countries. He also created and directs the William Mitchell Intellectual Property Law Clinic. At Patterson Thuente, he counsels clients on their international intellectual property strategies and advises on changes in intellectual property law and practice.

From 2002 to 2007, Jay served as the Director of the Office of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and Director-Advisor to the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. He oversaw the development and implementation of PCT policies, including large-scale regulatory and operations reform, and he had responsibility for the processing and examination of more than 150,000 international applications a year.

Jay has written and lectured widely on topics relating primarily to the PCT, Chinese and Indian patent law, international intellectual property policy, and intellectual asset management. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Cyprus and Sri Lanka, and he served as an intellectual property consultant and speaker in South Asia, the Middle East, Western Africa, and the Caribbean for the United States Agency for International Development, the U.S. State Department, and The Asia Foundation. He earned J.D. and B.S. degrees from Cornell University.

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.

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 the 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 that gets him outside in the summer.

Katherine Walker-Griffith

Philanthropist, Community Volunteer

Katherine Walker-Griffith is a native Minnesotan who returned to the state in 1990 after living in both the East and inter-mountain West. She is an antiques dealer living in St. Paul and a member of both the MN and WI Antiques Dealer's Associations. As a mother of 3 and grandmother of 4, she knows the importance of clean water and adequate nutrition for children and their families. Ms. Griffith feels CTI's emphasis on simple, workable technologies to address these fundamental human needs is important work.