Board of Directors

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​Alex Cirillo, Jr., Chair

Alex Cirillo, Jr., serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation.
Alex has had a distinguished scientific and business career. After earning a Ph.D. in Chemistry and working as a post-doctoral student in France, Alex joined 3M's Central Research Laboratories and rose through the ranks to become a 3M Research and Development Vice president. Subsequently he held posts as President and General Manager of 3M Canada, then a 3M Division Vice President, Vice President of 3M Community Affairs, and Vice President of the 3M Foundation.
Alex's other affiliations include the MENTTIUM 100 Program; the Itasca Project working group; Chair of Biobusiness Alliance of Minnesota; and founding member of the board of MinnCAN. Alex was appointed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees.
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​Julie Brunner, Vice Chair

Julie Brunner, J.D., retired Executive Director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation.
Julie has served as the Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, County Administrator for St. Louis County, and Director of Child Support Enforcement for the Ramsey County Attorney's Office. She has been active in the health law and administrative law sections of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She currently serves on the board of the Center for Victims of Torture, Portico Healthnet and Hearth Connection. She is also a member of the Health Law Institute Advisory Council of Mitchell Hamline Law School.  Julie's past affiliations include Board Member of the MN Community Measurement; member of the Health Reform Advisory Council of the Minnesota Department of Health AND member of the Harvard University Executive leadership program. 
Julie has been awarded the University of Minnesota Education Policy Fellowship Program Alumni Award as well as the Public Attorney Award of Excellence for In-house Agency Counsel.
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​Judy Kishel, Secretary

Judy Kishel serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation. Judy has extensive volunteer, leadership and board service experience with a wide range of organizations throughout the Twin Cities metro area. She also currently serves on the boards of Regions Hospital Foundation and the Ramsey County Historical Society. In addition, Judy is chairing the 2016 WAM Bash for the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota and the 100th Anniversary celebration for the Junior League of Saint Paul in 2017 as well as serving on the capital campaign committees for the Lakeshore Players and Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries. She has also served on the boards of directors of Children’s Hospital of Saint Paul, Children’s Hospital Foundation Convent of the Visitation School, Courage Center Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Girl Scout Council of the Saint Croix River Valley, Home of the Good Shepherd, Junior League of Saint Paul, Association of Junior Leagues, International, Minnesota Orchestral Association, Ramsey County Libraries Foundation and WAMSO, Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association.
She has volunteered in leadership and fundraising capacities with the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Children’s Theatre Company, Minnesota Public Radio, University of Minnesota and the YWCA. Judy earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a registered dental assistant certificate from the University of Minnesota, and certified dental assistant and teaching certificates from Century College. She held leadership positions on the boards of the Minnesota Dental Assistants Association and the Saint Paul District Dental Assistants Society, was a consultant to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, served on the Education Committee of the Minnesota Dental Association and sat on Advisory Committees for Dental Assisting Programs at Hennepin County Vo-Tech, 916 Vo-Tech and Normandale Community College.
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Gary Christensen

Gary Christensen, J.D., serves on the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation and is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Securian Financial Group. Gary's past affiliations include Board Member of Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest; United Way Campaign Chair at Securian; and several Church leadership positions.
 
 

 

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Patrick Donovan

Patrick Donovan was president and chief executive officer of Bremer Financial Corporation, an $11 billion regional financial services company with locations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. He started with the company in 2003 as Chief Operating officer of Bremer and became CEO in 2009. He retired from Bremer Bank December 31, 2016.
Patrick is a former member of the Federal Advisory Council (FAC) for the Federal Reserve Board. The FAC is composed of 12 representatives from the banking industry, who are selected by each district’s Reserve Bank to consult with and advise the board on all matters within its jurisdiction. 
Patrick is committed to the well-being of the broader community and has served on a number of nonprofit and corporate boards throughout the Twin Cities. These include: Bremer Financial Corporation, Guthrie Theater, Science Museum of Minnesota, Twin Cities Public Television, Greater Twin Cities United Way and St. Catherine’s University.
He also served as chair for these community-based organizations: The Saint Paul Foundation, St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, and Minnesota Children’s Museum.
In addition, he has served on the following corporate boards: Alpha Cellulose Corporation, Walk America Inc., Health East Corporation and Aero Engineering Systems, Inc.
 

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Robyn Hansen

Robyn Hansen recently retired as Shareholder at Stinson Leonard Street after a more than 30 year practice in the area of public finance.
Robyn is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and an Emeritus member of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan State University Foundation. Robyn also actively works with Park Square Theatre and the Minnesota Museum of American Art.  
 

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Fred Harris

Fred Harris, Jr., a retired Vice President of 3M, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation. He is currently Chair of the HealthEast Board of Directors. Fred has also served as Director of the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation; a member of the Capital City Partnership; and a member of the Board of Directors of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.
 
 
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​Rahul Koranne, M.D.​

Rahul Koranne, MD, MBA, FACP, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation and senior vice president for clinical affairs and chief medical officer for the Minnesota Hospital Association. Previously Dr. Koranne served as Vice President/Executive Medical Director, HealthEast Community Services and Bethesda Hospital.
Rahul is a member of the University of Minnesota's Healthcare Collaborative, Office of Community Engagement for Health; a member of the University of Minnesota's Medical Industry Leadership Institute; a mentor of the Carlson School of Business MBA Program; a Fellow of the American College of Physicians; a member of the American Geriatrics Society; a member of the American Medical Association; and a member of the Minnesota Hospital Association and MHA Physician Leadership Committee.
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​Fayneese Miller​

Dr. Fayneese Miller is the president of Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has 30 years of academic and higher education experience. Fayneese was the first coordinator of education studies and the founding chair of ethnic studies at Brown University, where she served on the faculty for 20 years. More recently she served as the dean of the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont for nearly 10 years.
Fayneese is a social psychologist who specializes in the psychosocial development of adolescents, with a focus on socio-political and identity development. She serves on the boards of the Minnesota Private College Council, the New American Colleges and Universities consortium, Twin Cities Public Television, and the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities. ​Minnesota Governor Dayton appointed her both to the Minnesota Governor's Residence Council and to the Young Women's Initiative of Minnesota, a public-private partnership with the Women's Foundation of Minnesota to improve the lives of young women.
She has authored or co-authored numerous books and an extensive number of journal articles and has been an invited lecturer at institutions throughout the U.S. and in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, China, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
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​Eric Nicholson 

Eric Nicholson is Managing Director of Mergers and Acquisitions for BMO Harris. As an investment banker, Eric advises closely held businesses, public companies and private equity groups on mergers and acquisitions.
Prior to joining BMO Harris, Eric was an investment banker with Piper Jaffray, a corporate lawyer at Dorsey in Minneapolis, and an analyst in the Tax Analysis Division of the Congressional Budget Office in Washington D.C., where he earned the CBO Director’s Award for Outstanding Service. Eric has been a member of the adjunct faculty for the University of Minnesota Law School, a discussion leader for the Anderson Center’s leadership and management forums for executives in greater Minnesota, and a member on the board of directors of the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation.
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​Joan Thompson

Joan Thompson is the Executive Vice President/CFO of Minnesota Wire and a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation. Joan also serves on the boards of Allina Hospitals & Clinics; AUSA; United Hospital Foundation; and Minnesota Wire.
Joan's past affiliations include the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee; Park Midway Bank; Chair of St. Paul Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation; St. Paul College Advisory Board; United Hospital; Governing Board of St. Paul/Roseville School to Work; Twin Cities RISE!; and the Workforce Development Council of the City of St. Paul.
Joan has also won numerous awards, including the Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal 2006 Women in Business, Women to Watch award; the United Hospital Foundation 2006 Trustee of the Year; and the Sam Walton 1999 Business Leader Award.
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​Dr. Alyssa Kaying Vang

Dr. Alyssa Kaying Vang is the first Hmong-speaking licensed psychologist in Minnesota and has both a master’s and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Alyssa has been treating individuals with a broad range of mental disorders for almost 20 years. She has treated clients in a variety of settings including correctional facilities, community clinics, crisis centers, school-based agencies, in-patient hospitals, and outpatient hospitals.
Alyssa has specialized training in trauma-informed care as well as infant/early childhood mental health. She has expertise in treating Hmong children and immigrant / refugee populations. Alyssa is currently a consultant for Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties (Headstart) and for Ramsey County Sexual Offense Services.
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​Ann Wynia

Ann Wynia serves on the Board of Directors of the Wilder Foundation and is President Emeritus of North Hennepin Community College. 
Ann has also served on the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota. During her career in education and government, Ann was a political science instructor at North Hennepin Community College; a Minnesota state legislator; Commissioner of the Department of Human Services; and the 1994 Minnesota DFL candidate for the U.S. Senate.
 

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