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Where Everybody Belongs
At St. David's Center, inclusion is not a practice or an educational strategy, it is a value. Learn how preschool children, like Jonathan, benefit when they have opportunities to play and learn side-by-side with children of all abilities. Watch video.
Play for All
St. David's Center is home to the first toddler playground in Minnesota that combines inclusive and natural play elements. Learn more.
Importance of Early Intervention
Learn how preschool children with developmental challenges, like Joey and Drew, make gains faster thanks to intensive, targeted intervention early in life. Watch video.
St. David's Center proudly meets all of the Charity Review Council's Accountability Standards for non-profits. Charities that meet all standards are granted the use of the Council's "Meets Standards" seal which gives donors indication of a charity's commitment to accountable and ethical practices. Learn more.
What is St. David's Center?
With a 50-year history, St. David's Center has grown and changed based on community need. Learn more about the organization today and our goals for the future in this video overview.
Finding a Toy for Your Child with Special Needs
St. David's Center partnered with Creative Kidstuff to train their staff and develop a website to help you find the right toy for your child with special needs, develop their skills and show you the best way to play. Check it out.
Celebrating our staff's service
Executive Director Julie Sjordal (top) & ECE Special Needs Manager Jana Rasmussen (bottom) celebrate 25 & 30 years, respectively, with St. David's Center.
Proud to be named a Top 100 Workplace!
St. David’s Center is proud to be named a 2014 "Top 100 Workplace” by the Star Tribune. The honor was awarded as result of positive survey feedback from hundreds of our valued employees. Learn more about our employment opportunities.
2013-2014 Annual Report now published!
The document tells three inspiring stories of families and staff meeting milestones in St. David's Center programs, and details successes we've experienced throughout the past year. View the report and see how we're living out our mission with your support!
St. David's Center Leadership
Executive Leadership Team
Julie brings nearly 25 years of experience to her role as executive director. Most recently managing director of programs, she oversaw the approximately 30 programs at St. David's Center and has been instrumental in co-developing some of the most innovative programs and collaborative partnerships.
Julie earned her elementary education degree and special education certification from the University of Minnesota. She resides in Golden Valley with her husband, Dan, and their two children.
Director of Finance
As director of Finance, Bill is responsible for the Finance department along with contract and enterprise risk management. Bill brings more than 25 years of finance experience to this position, including extensive leadership experience in all aspects of accounting from internal audit and controls to external reporting. He has worked with companies of all types, including Polymet Mining Corporation, Wayzata Children's Clinic and Select Comfort Corporation.
Bill earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from St. John's University. He lives in Victoria with his wife, Kelly, and their two children.
Manager of Policy, Training & Talent
As Manager of Policy, Training & Talent, Laura is responsible for St. David’s Center’s Human Resources function, managing a team of four. She brings more than eight years of Human Resources experience to her job, including expertise in performance management, employee relations, and benefits. She has worked in small and large businesses including Crutchfield Dermatology, Target Corporation, and Signature Bank.
Laura earned her bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota and her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certificate in 2011. She lives in Victoria with her husband, Matt, and two children.
Managing Director of Program Operations
As managing director of Program Operations at St. David's Center, Erica is responsible for the oversight of all center- and community-based programs. Since joining the organization in 1997, she has worked in several program leadership positions providing direction to programs serving individuals with enduring special needs. Prior to St. David's Center, Erica worked with at-risk populations including adults with mental illness and children who have been victims of abuse or neglect.
Erica graduated from Providence College with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She resides in Eagan with her husband, Nate, and their three children.
Director of Community Relations & Development
As director of Community Relations & Development, Maureen leads the fundraising, communications and marketing activities of St. David's Center to advance the mission and achieve the goals of the strategic plan. With a strong program and planning background, she brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in direct service and nonprofit roles to the organization. Most recently, Maureen was a contractor for St. David's Center for nearly four years as part of the Community Relations & Development team.
Maureen has bachelor's and master's degrees in social work from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She lives in Deephaven with her husband, John, and their three children.
Director of Administration & Health Information Management
As director of Administration & Health Information Management, Emily is responsible for the oversight of the Central Office of Resources and Enrollment (CORE), Medical Records, HIPAA Compliance, Electronic Medial Record (EMR) implementation, and Operations and Facilities. Emily began her career with St. David’s Center in 2007. Since her hire, she has been an asset to many teams, including Policy Training and Talent, Life-Phase Services, and CORE. Prior to St. David’s Center, Emily worked as a vocational rehabilitation specialist, providing workplace case management and support to adults with special needs.
Emily has a bachelor’s degree in vocational rehabilitation with a dual minor in vocational counseling and psychiatric rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She and her husband, Aaron, currently reside in South Minneapolis with their daughter.
Board of Directors
Richard Justman, M.D.
National Medical Director, United HealthCare
Richard Justman, M.D., is the national medical director of UnitedHealthcare, a division of UnitedHealth Group. Before joining the organization, he practiced pediatrics for 15 years in Minneapolis. Justman earned his bachelor's degree from Cornell University and his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He resides in Minneapolis with his wife and has five children and two grandchildren.
Board Chair Elect
stant General Counsel, General Mills, Inc.
Jill Bollettieri is the assistant general counsel for Supply Chain, Ethics & Compliance, and the Bakeries & Foodservice division in the General Mills, Inc. Law Department. With the company since 2001, her practice focuses on marketing/advertising law, antitrust, commercial contracts and corporate ethics. Prior to that, she was an attorney at Leonard, Street and Deinard, P.A. and a judicial clerk to Chief Justice A. M. Keith at the Minnesota Supreme Court. Bollettieri attended Harvard University and the University of Wisconsin Law School. She and her husband reside in St. Louis Park with their two sons.
Past Board Chair
Lars Erdahl is an independent consultant, providing services related to education and nonprofit leadership. Prior to consulting, Lars spent 20 years with the Minnesota Zoo, filling a variety of leadership roles. Erdahl earned his bachelor's degree in biology from St. Olaf College, his master's degree in secondary education from the University of St. Thomas and his M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management. He and his wife reside in Minnetrista with their four children, all of whom attended St. David's Center.
Treasurer & Chair, Finance and Risk Management Committee
President/Owner, Master Craft Labels, Inc.
Jeff Erickson is the president and owner of Master Craft Labels, Inc., an Eden Prairie manufacturer of labels for a wide range of industries. Prior to that, he held positions in operations, sales and marketing for Ecolab in St. Paul. He graduated from St. Olaf College with his bachelor's degree in chemistry and received his M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. Erickson and his wife have three children, all of whom attended the Early Childhood Education program at St. David's Center.
North America General Counsel, Cargill, Inc.
Karin Nelsen is a Vice President and North America General Counsel for Cargill, Inc., an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. She currently manages a legal team of approximately 150 people, and has supported a broad range of Cargill businesses all around the world since joining the company in 1998. Nelsen earned her J.D. from the University of Iowa and her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mankato State University. She was connected to St. David's Center through Cargill's Corporate Affairs team and has a passion for supporting and investing in society's next generation.
Hugh W. Kirsch
Chair, Program Oversight Committee
Director of Organization Excellence, Minneapolis Jewish Federation
Hugh Kirsch is a professional in the field of organizational development and training in the Twin Cities. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Minnesota. He was previously a professional actor and remains active in community theater; both as an actor and as a member of the Board of Directors at Theatre in the Round Players, Inc. Kirsch and his family have been involved with St. David's Center since 1998, shortly after his son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He and his wife have two children.
Chair, Organizational Advancement Committee
President, Satisfaction Management Systems
Jeri Meola is a founding partner and president of Satisfaction Management Systems, a custom market research firm. She provides broad experience in the design, implementation and management of the market research process. Some of the organizations she is currently affiliated with include: the Minnesota Legislative Committee on Early Childhood Education; Sales and Marketing Executive International Board; United Way Women’s Leadership Council; Women Presidents' Organization; and WomenVenture Advisory Board. Meola obtained her master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Western Michigan University and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Edinboro University. She and her partner reside in St. Louis Park.
Members at Large:
Managing Director, Fixed Income Institutional Sales, Piper Jaffray
Craig Budolfson is managing director of Fixed Income Institutional Sales at Piper Jaffray. He and his wife, a biology teacher in the St. Louis Park School District, have five-year-old twins, both of whom attend St. David’s Center’s Early Childhood Education program. Budolfson is a University of St. Thomas graduate, with a degree in business administration.
Vice President, Human Capital, Sleep Number
Alixandra Colehour has more than 25 years of leadership experience in organizations at various stages of business development. Currently Vice President of Human Capital with Sleep Number, she is responsible for building a culture of strategic business partnerships, organizational effectiveness and talent management. She is pursuing a business degree from Capella University and received her certification in executive coaching from the Hudson Institute of Coaching.
Anne Edwards, M.D.
Chair of Pediatrics, Park Nicollet Services
Anne Edwards, M.D., is chair of Pediatrics at Park Nicollet Services. She also co-chairs the Minnesota Child Health Improvement Partnership and serves as a liaison to the Early Brain Child Development Coordinating Task Force for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Edwards earned her medical degree from the University of Minnesota where she was chief resident and continues to hold an adjunct faculty position. She resides in Minneapolis.
Managing Principal, Marks Group Wealth Management
John Feste is the managing principal of Marks Group Wealth Management, a Minnetonka-based independent investment advisory firm. He is also actively involved with Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota, serving on their Mother Baby Task Force. Feste earned his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University. He resides in Deephaven with his wife and two children. His son is currently enrolled at St. David’s Center, where Feste also attended preschool as a child.
Jonathan Webster (Webb) Friedly
Leader of Strategy and Innovation, Target Corporation
Jonathan Webster (Webb) Friedly was born and raised in the Midwest. A graduate of Albion College, where he earned degrees in math, economics and management, Friedly’s deep appreciation for early childhood education was shaped by his mother’s active participation in starting and directing programs in rural Michigan. He is currently a Leader of Strategy and Innovation at Target Corporation. His career began at Electronic Data Systems, and he spent 10 years at Princeton Consultants, a management and IT consulting firm. Friedly and his wife, Cara, have twin daughters who attend St. David’s Center’s Early Childhood Education program.
Partner, Stinson Leonard Street
Lara Glaesman is an attorney specializing in creditors’ rights, bankruptcy litigation and commercial litigation. Currently a partner at Stinson Leonard Street LLP, her practice includes working with creditors at all stages of the debt restructuring and recovery process. She has degrees in political science and geology, and a M.A. in Public Administration in addition to her J.D. from the Hamline University School of Law. Glaesman is a published author, a pro bono attorney, a mentor and a mother to her seven-year-old son. She has been a volunteer soccer coach for Tonka United since 2012.
Program Supervisor, Regions Hospital
Amin Mohamed is a program supervisor at Regions Hospital. He has held positions with Save the Children, Storefront, WellShare International and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Mohamed holds a master’s degree in public health administration and global health from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from the Professional University of Utrecht. He is a Policy Fellow at Humphrey School for Public Affairs.
Merchant Director, Best Buy
Jeff Newhouse is a merchant director in the Home Audio and Connections business at Best Buy. With previous experience within Best Buy, Accenture Consulting, and Target, he has nearly 25 years of retail and finance expertise. Newhouse received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from St. Olaf College. He lives in Minnetonka with his wife and two children.
Candace Randle is an active community volunteer and stay-at-home mother of twins who are alumni of St. David’s Center. She previously worked as a litigation manager for the Minnesota Counties Insurance Trust in St. Paul. Randle earned her bachelor's degree in legal studies from Hamline University. Candace has volunteered at St. David's Center for more than five years, serving in a variety of classroom coordination, event chair, and committee membership roles. She and her husband, John Randle, are presenting sponsors of St. David’s Center’s Tee Up for Tomorrow Golf Tournament, benefiting the Building Our Children’s Future Capital Campaign. She and her family live in Medina.
Director, Commercial Finance, Medica
Mary Schwebach is a Director of Commercial Finance for Medica, a health services company headquartered in Minnetonka and active in the Upper Midwest. She has more than 30 years of group health underwriting and financial analysis experience, and has worked for Prudential and UnitedHealthcare. Schwebach earned bachelor degrees in math and psychology at Macalester College. A mother of three boys, her involvement with St. David’s Center began when her eldest son started receiving services for his complex developmental needs in the early 1990s. Her other two sons attended the Early Education Program at St. David’s Center. She has been active in advocating for children with developmental needs and has served on various committees at St. David’s Center since 1995. She and her family live in Minnetonka.
Julz Schwingler, C.F.A., C.F.P., C.I.M.A.
Vice President, Nationwide Financial
Julz Schwingler is a vice president at Nationwide Financial in the Annuities Division. She has been in the financial services industry representing money managers for 20 years. Schwingler earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature and speech communication from St. Olaf College. She resides in Orono with her husband and three children.
Anne Spaeth practiced law for six years, specializing in criminal and civil litigation. An active volunteer at St. David’s Center, she also serves on the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee at Westminster Presbyterian Church and co-chairs the biennial all-school fundraiser for the Blake School. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and her law degree from the University of North Dakota. Spaeth and her husband reside in Greenwood with their three sons.
Allison Suzanne Wert, M.D.
Allison Suzanne Wert, M.D., is a staff physician in the Department of Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). She is also an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Wert earned her bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine Residency at HCMC. Wert resides in Deephaven with her husband and two daughters who are alumni of St. David’s Center’s Early Childhood Education program.
St. David's Center for Child & Family Development | 3395 Plymouth Road Minnetonka, MN 55305 | (952) 939-0396
Serving Minneapolis and the Greater Twin Cities Metro