Advisory Board Minnesota

Cheryl works as an independent policy consultant on conservation issues, focusing primarily on conservation budgets and funding. Since 2003, she has provided research and analysis to a variety of conservation organizations, including the Minnesota Campaign for Conservation which supported passage of Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment in 2008.

Daniel Avchen, FAIA, is the Executive Director of Strategic Growth at HGA Architects and Engineers in Minneapolis, where he also served the past 19 years as CEO.

Ms. Birkeland was a partner in the commercial real estate practice at Faegre & Benson until 1995. From 1995 until 1998 she was an Associate General Counsel at the University of Minnesota overseeing large construction projects.

Andrew Brown is a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where he is chair of the Regulatory Affairs Practice Group and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Elected by the voters of District 4 on March 15, 2005, Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter is committed to efficient and effective county services, eliminating disparities in outcomes for diverse populations, and raising grassroots awareness of county decision-making processes and systems. 

Page Knudsen Cowles was an investment professional in the financial services industry during the 1980's. She has been an active volunteer in the Twin Cities for many years,

Paul Durkee, Vice President of Antea Group, also currently serves as the Inogen Environmental Alliance President and CEO. He previously served as Managing Director for Delta-Simons Environmental Consultants Limited in Lincoln, England for four years.

Thomas Fisher is a Professor in the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture, the Dayton Hudson Chair in Urban Design at the University of Minnesota, and the Director of the Minnesota Design Center at the College of Design.

Re-joining MAB, Peter Gove retired from the private sector in 2005 after 25 years in executive positions with St. Jude Medical and Control Data Corporation. In his public sector career, he served as Governor Wendell R. Anderson's environmental assistant, executive director of the MN Pollution Control Agency, founding member of the Environmental Quality Board, legislative director on Anderson's U.S. Senate staff and chief of legislation for the National Park Service.

Susan Haigh has led Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) as its President and CEO since 2005. TCHFH is one of the most successful Habitat affiliates in the United States serving the entire seven county Twin Cities region. In addition to her leadership at Habitat, Haigh was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton as the Chair of the Metropolitan Council from 2011-2015.

John is a partner in the real estate and product liability and environmental groups of Faegre Baker Daniels of Minneapolis.

Lisa Hondros cofounded Friends of the Riverfront, a nonprofit whose mission is to protect and preserve the cultural and natural resources of the Central Mississippi Riverfront Regional Park. Since 2005, Friends of the Riverfront has advocated for riverfront parks, often in partnership with other nonprofits such as Friends of the Mississippi River and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Doug Kelley is a well-respected trial attorney who has been involved in several high-profile cases.

Landscape Structures Co-founder Steve King, who serves as chairman of the board, is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI), and a founding member and past president of IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association).

Greg McNeely currently serves on the following boards: Como Friends (Zoo and Conservatory), Manitou Fund (management of the Warner Nature Center in partnership with the Science Museum of Minnesota), McNeely Foundation, White Bear Lake Restoration Association (Chair), and Friends of White Bear Lake.

Steve W. Meyer is a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP (formerly Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP).

Tim is a Sr. Director of Regulatory Affairs for Ecolab, Inc. In his nearly 10 years at Ecolab Tim has held numerous leadership roles in regulatory affairs; including most recently a 3-year expat assignment in Germany leading two separate chemical compliance programs.

Dave is a retired lawyer and law professor. He taught law for 40 years and is the author of numerous books and articles. He has been Of Counsel at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis where his practice focused on environmental law and at Larson King in St. Paul where his practice focused on product safety and product liability prevention.

Amanda Rome is the Lead, Assistant General Counsel of Xcel Energy, serving as the head regulatory attorney for the Company nationwide. Prior to joining Xcel Energy, Amanda worked as a federal court litigator at large law firms in both Chicago and Minneapolis.

Andrew has significant non-profit consulting experience with clients such as The Network for Better Futures, Twin Cities RISE!, and the International School of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he spent four years living as an expatriate with his family.

Don is CEO of MicroGrants, which awards modest grants to low-income people of potential, to start a business or career.

John Shepard (MA Anthropology, Indiana University) is an associate professor and assistant director at Hamline University's Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE) and president of Cascade Communications, Inc. For more than 30 years he has worked as a media producer, writer, editor, and educator. At CGEE he directs the Center’s extensive media productions, many of which concern watershed and river education.

Julia Silvis, of McKinsey & Company, is manager of the Itasca Project. The Itasca Project is a virtual roundtable of CEOs, non-profit, and civic leaders, which aims to increase the economic competitiveness of the greater Minneapolis-St Paul region.

Marnie is the CEO of Camp Fire Minnesota. Under her leadership, Camp Fire launched its first-ever capital campaign and camp property master plan. Previous to becoming CEO of Camp Fire Minnesota, in 2006 Marnie was appointed by Mayor Chris Coleman to lead and create St. Paul’s first ever system-wide initiative linking the learning that occurs during the school day to the non-school hours.

In the words of Mr. Willkie, “I grew up in a political laboratory. There never was a ‘children's table,’ every one's opinion was honored. Early on in life, I wanted to be a community organizer. My mentor Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, told me that I was a natural born organizer.

Jim is a co-founder of the firm Tonka Building Supplies. He worked in the building products industry for 30 years before his retirement in 2007.