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MPGC Board of Directors Bios

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Jennifer Foth

Jennifer Foth | Chair

Jennifer Foth is the Gift Planning Officer for 50th Reunion Programs at Carleton College. Prior to Carleton, she lead the Major and Planned Giving program at Jennifer also served as an Associate Director of Major and Planned Giving at Lawrence University. She holds a Masters of Arts in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University and a Bachelors of Arts from Lawrence University. Jennifer volunteers for the City of St. Paul as a garden steward and hosts an international student through St. Catherine University’s Friendship Family Program. She resides in St. Paul with her husband Ray and loveable pooch Riley.

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Marie Ruzek

Marie Ruzek | Chair-Elect

Marie leads Planned Giving and Endowment-building for the Greater Twin Cities United Way, uniting caring people to build pathways out of poverty, thereby improving individuals and the community. She has over 15 years experience building capacity for local nonprofit organizations, including volunteer management, major and planned gift, fundraising, annual fund, and board development. Marie has a special interest in unleashing the power of women’s philanthropy, which she shares with anyone who will listen.

Prior to joining United Way, Marie led the gift planning program at William Mitchell College of Law for nearly eight years. She has been the Director of Development for the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, a Staff Attorney for the Minnesota Justice Foundation, and a Volunteer Coordinator at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Marie earned a B.A. in Business Administration from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, MN, and holds the CFRE designation.

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Alex Bakkum

Alex Bakkum | Treasurer – Executive Committee

Alex joined US Bank in 2016 after nine years in the banking field. Alex provides customized solutions and advice to nonprofits, private foundations, and individual philanthropists.

Prior to banking, Alex worked directly for nonprofits including, St. John’s University, The River Keepers, and College Possible. In addition to his efforts on behalf of nonprofit organizations, Alex is an active member of the Minnesota Planned Giving Council where he serves as Treasurer and sits on the Conference Committee and Finance Committee.

Alex is a Notary Public and is a Certified Trust and Fiduciary Specialist.

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Tara Mattessich

Tara Mattessich | Past Chair — Executive Committee

Tara Mattessich is an attorney and partner with Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd. Licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Tara specializes in estate and charitable planning, business succession planning, tax strategies, disability planning and post-death administration. She also counsels nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations in a number of areas including planned giving, governance, legal compliance issues and tax matters. She holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College and received her law degree cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School. She is a frequent speaker and lecturer on estate and charitable planning and nonprofit law.

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Ruby A. Pediangco

Ruby A. Pediangco | At-Large Board Member

Ruby is the advanced strategies counsel for Securian Financial Services in St. Paul, MN. As a technical planning resource to the Securian field force, Ruby promotes philanthropy through advisor training and by crafting planned giving articles and marketing materials. Prior to her position with Securian, she worked as the director of planned giving for the Minnesota Orchestra and as a gift planner for the Lutheran Community Foundation (now InFaith Community Foundation) for a total of 14 years. She also served on the board of the American Council on Gift Annuities. Originally from the west coast, she earned her B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Irvine and her J.D. from the University of Washington.

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Tom Glass

Tom Glass | At-Large Board Member

Tom is the Senior Director of Planned Giving at the University of St. Thomas. Prior to joining St. Thomas in 2009, Tom was a partner in the financial services firm of Deegan & Glass, LLC. The firm provided specialized wealth management and estate planning for affluent individuals and corporations. He is a frequent speaker on charitable planning and family wealth management. Tom has extensive experience serving in a leadership capacity on many nonprofit boards. He is currently serving on the Edina Tax Referendum Committee, the Social Justice Board at St. Patrick’s Church in Edina, and the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Planned Giving Council, where he also serves on the Program and Education committees. A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Tom resides with his wife CoCo and four children in Edina, Minnesota.

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Anne Rodenberg

Anne Rodenberg | At-Large Board Member

Anne Rodenberg is the Major and Planned Gift Officer at Second Harvest Heartland, one of the country’s largest food banks. In this role, she leads efforts to develop and implement a planned giving program to proactively attract planned gifts and steward legacy donors. She has 20 years of experience leading communications strategies in support of development goals at nonprofits including the Catholic Community Foundation, WomenVenture and Dunwoody College of Technology. Anne has a B.A. in journalism from UW-Eau Claire, and will complete her Master of Arts in Leadership at Augsburg College in May 2016. She serves on marketing and development committees at Metro Area Meals on Wheels, Loyola Spirituality Center, and St. Odilia School. She is married to Jeff, a visual artist; they live in Shoreview with their very fun 8-year-old twins, Sara and Aaron.

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Ben Webster

Ben Webster | At-Large Board Member

As a Trust Officer in Charitable Services for The Private Client Reserve of U.S. Bank, Ben specializes in working with nonprofits and administering charitable trusts and foundations. In his role, Ben works with his clients and their tax and legal advisors to resolve financial, tax, investment and legal issues affecting his clients and trusts.

Ben began his career in the banking and financial services industry in 2010. Prior to joining the Charitable Services Group, Ben held the position of personal trust relationship manager in The Private Client Group at U.S. Bank. Before he joined the bank, Ben worked as an attorney in private practice in the area of family law.

Ben has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is a volunteer attorney for Hennepin County Legal Access Point. Ben is married and enjoys golf and travel in his free time.

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Alison Roberts

Alison Roberts, CFRE | At-Large Board Member

Alison is a Gift Officer at Children’s Cancer Research Fund and works with major and planned giving donors who are supporting research to better treat and find new cures for childhood cancer. Prior to Children’s Cancer Research Fund, she was a Project Manager for the fundraising consulting firm Bentz Whaley Flessner where she advised clients throughout the U.S. and Europe on fundraising best practices and philanthropy trends. Alison has a strong knowledge of effective fundraising strategies, campaign management, planned giving program administration, and prospect development. Prior to, she was also the Planned Giving and Major Gifts Coordinator at the Minnesota Orchestra. Combined, she has over 10 years of experience connecting donors with causes they are passionate about and helping them achieve their philanthropic goals.

Alison is an incoming board member of the Minnesota Planned Giving Council in 2016 and has presented at their annual conference. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and an active fundraising volunteer and board member for the Minnesota Zoo Foundation’s young professionals group, AZUL. Alison lives in Eden Prairie and loves the outdoors, wildlife, skiing, and playing tennis.

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Jon Rusten

Jon Rusten | At-Large Board Member

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Alison Roberts

Jennifer Nelson, SMIF | At-Large Board Member

As part of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s (SMIF) leadership team, Jennifer Nelson directs the fundraising and communications efforts to increase awareness and financial support for SMIF. Nelson started her career in 1999 at the Foundation and became part of the leadership team in 2012.

Nelson has extensive knowledge and experience in fund development, donor stewardship and communications.  She builds strong partnerships — both internal and external to further the mission of the Foundation and works closely with staff, board and partners to steadily increase program and endowment funds for SMIF as well as support the Affiliate Fund program focused on the growth of financial resources for communities utilizing the Foundation’s 501(c)(3). In recent years, she launched additional programming for SMIF – a farmland retention program and a planned giving platform on SMIF's website. Nelson also played an integral role in the next strategic plan as well as the Foundation’s rebranding effort.

Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. She is a graduate of the Blandin Community Leadership Program and Brisk Walk Through The Basics, as well as completed course work in grant writing through Indiana University Center of Philanthropy Fund Raising School. She is a member of Leave A Legacy – Mankato as well as a steering committee member for the statewide Leave A Legacy group since 2016.

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Jay Kautt, Advanced Sales Counsel, Securian Financial Group | At-Large Board Member

Jay Kautt serves as Advanced Sales Counsel at Securian Financial Group in St. Paul, MN.  In this role he assists Securian Advisors and Wholesalers with tax and estate planning cases for Securian clients.  Jay also travels and gives presentations to Securian Advisor groups and other business partners on topics ranging from retirement planning to business succession planning to Social Security claiming strategies.  Jay has a diverse background that includes practicing estate planning and real estate law and time as a Financial Advisor.

Prior to joining Securian in 2017, Jay most recently spent seven years as a Planned Giving Officer with the University of Minnesota Foundation. Jay's specialties included working with gifts of real estate and life insurance that benefit the University of Minnesota. In addition, Jay provided Planned Giving Support to several medical corridors and colleges at the University.

Jay graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1998 and William Mitchell College of Law in 2005. He is a native of St. Peter, Minnesota, and currently resides in Lakeville, MN with his wife and two daughters.

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Anne Walters, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys | At-Large Board Member

Anne Walters is the Chief Development Officer with Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, the non-profit that serves 30,000 girls in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin and supports 10,000 volunteers.

Anne comes to Girl Scouts after working at the College of Saint Benedict as a senior development officer, where she secured major and planned gifts for the college’s $100 million Illuminating Lives capital campaign. Prior to this, Anne served as the development director for the statewide Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota organization and in the roles of development director and interim executive director at Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity. Anne has 15 years of fundraising experience and her background includes building programs for major and planned gifts, corporate and foundation giving, alumnae relations, special events, and board engagement with fundraising.

Anne is an alumna of the College of Saint Benedict and she also earned her certificate in fundraising management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

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Greg Diehl, Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation | At-Large Board Member

As Development Officer for the Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation, Greg is responsible for developing new and existing funds. He also oversees donor relations and services. Greg joined the FM Area Foundation in 2014.

He previously served as Administrator of the Emergency Food Pantry of Fargo-Moorhead. Before that he was the Executive Director of the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo-Moorhead from 2005 to 2013. From 1988 to 2005, he served as the Sales and Marketing Manager of Red Flag Green Flag Resources.

Greg has served on the United Way Cass Clay Campaign Cabinet and is a past board member of the North Dakota Alliance for Children's Justice and Prevent Child Abuse North Dakota. He's also the founder of the Red River Men's Action Network.

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Thank you to MPGC Benefiting Sponsor, Crescendo Interactive, and Supporting Sponsor, US Bank Charitable Services Group

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