St. David's Center Leadership  

Executive Leadership Team

Julie SjordalJulie Sjordal
Executive Director

Julie brings more than 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.

Laura DornikLaura Dornik 
Director of Policy, Training & Talent

As Director 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.


Erica TennessenErica Tennessen 
Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer at St. David's Center, Erica is responsible for the oversight of all center- and community-based programs and finance. 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 four children. 


Maureen WalshMaureen Walsh
Chief Advancement Officer

As Chief Advancement Officer, Maureen leads the fundraising, community relations and advancing the field initiatives 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.


Emily WaltonEmily Walton
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 Medical 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 two daughters. 


Senior Program Leadership

Stephanie CombeyStephanie Combey, MSW, LICSW
Senior Director of Children’s Mental Health Services

Stephanie provides strategic leadership in the area of children’s mental health services. She brings more than 20 years of program leadership and development in mental health services for children and their families.  A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, she has worked in a wide range of settings, including psychiatric hospital care, outpatient and county social work. Stephanie has been with St. David’s Center since 2005.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Saint Benedict and a Master of Social Work from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She resides in Eden Prairie with her family.


Beth FaginBeth Fagin, MS, LICSW
Senior Director of Pediatric Therapies

Beth has more than twenty years of experience managing and developing services in the nonprofit sector. As the Senior Director of Pediatric Therapies, she is responsible for Rehabilitative Services and Autism Programs. Beth was recognized for her service with the 2015 Transformational Leader Award from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. She is a licensed Social Worker and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

Beth has a Master of Arts in psychology from Mankato State. She resides in Minnetonka with her husband Tom.


Paula FriskPaula Frisk, MS
Senior Program Director of Home Visiting Programs

Paula oversees St. David’s Center’s Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and the Healthy Families Program, in addition to working with the Metro Alliance for Healthy Families. Paula joined St. David’s Center in 1999 and spent twelve years in home visiting before becoming director. 

With a master’s degree in applied psychology and a Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy, she has more than 20 years of experience working with families and children. 


Kate RickordKate Rickord, MA, LP
Senior Director of Foster Care and Adoption Services

Kate has more than 15 years of experience in the field of children’s mental health through school-based and parent-focused programs. She has a Trauma Studies certificate from the University of Minnesota and has served on the Education and Training Committee for the Minnesota Psychological Association since 2008. Her areas of expertise include trauma, self-regulation in children and parent/caregiver education that helps ensure the social-emotional needs of children are being met.

Kate earned her master’s degree in counseling and psychological services from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She and her husband have two children.


See Board of Directors

Site developed by Creed Interactive - Minneapolis Web Design | Photography by Josh Hackney Photography; James Schwartz, SchwartzPictures; and Leslie Kellum Photography.