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Discussion LeadersMeet Our Discussion Leaders (Active)

Our Discussion Leaders are highly skilled facilitators who draw out experiences of participants and lessons from real-world case studies. Some of our Discussion Leaders have also been certified by FranklinCovey® as instructors for our FranklinCovey®-based leadership development forums. Periodically, the Anderson Center hosts the Discussion Leadership Forum to develop and certify new Discussion Leaders interested in joining our team. Dr. David Garvin, a nationally-known expert in case method teaching and participant-centered learning, leads this forum for the Center. Learn more about case method and participant-centered learning.

Aaron Fisk Aaron Fisk
Aaron is a Discussion Leader for the Supervisors Forum. He is currently Vice President of Human Resources at Microbiologics. Aaron is a seasoned Human Resources executive and Strategic Business Partner with over 11 years of experience leading multi-state HR operations at the corporate level. He has developed Human Resources functions from the ground up and has created best practices to fit specific business cultures and needs. He is also a licensed attorney in the state of Minnesota with an MBA and current SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications.
Amy Fredin Amy Fredin
Amy is a Discussion Leader for the Executive Forum, the Finance Forum, the Strategy Forum and the Management Forum. She finds the case discussion format incredibly rewarding as she learns more about each individual and organization represented while helping the participants build their own skills. Amy is an Associate Professor of Accounting at St. Cloud State University. A graduate of the College of St. Benedict, she also earned an MBA from St. Cloud State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.
Barry Kirchoff Barry Kirchoff
Barry brings over thirty years of operations and management experience to the classroom as a Discussion Leader for the Management Forum, he and also teaches a class in Business Consulting for St. Cloud State University. He feels that the greatest benefit of being a Discussion Leader is the opportunity to engage with individuals from a variety of businesses. He is the Director of the Small Business Development Center. Barry earned a Master of Science Degree in Human Resources Training and Development from St. Cloud State University, he and is a Certified Economic Development Professional.
Bob Mahowald Jr Bob Mahowald
Bob is a Discussion Leader for the Executive Forum. He opens each of the three weeks of the Forum with a case study on leadership. Bob enjoys learning about the participants' organizations and talking through the tools presented during the Forum. He is currently the managing partner at Mahowald Insurance Agency in St. Cloud, a fourth-generation family business. Bob received his undergraduate degree from West Point and served as an Infantry Officer with the US Army for seven years. He also received his MBA from the University of St. Thomas before joining the Mahowald Agency.
Brad Pieper Brad Pieper
Brad serves as a Discussion Leader for the Marketing Forum and the Executive Forum. He values the learning and fun that comes from the case discussion format which draws out different perspectives from a group's diverse set of experiences. Brad has had a variety of professional experiences having been a Field Artillery officer in the US Army, a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, and now the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Microbiologics. He graduated from the United States Military Academy and holds an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Brian Myres Brian Myres
Brian is a Discussion Leader for the Governance Forum. He retired in March 2014 from a 36-year banking career, most recently as Managing Vice President of Sales for Capital One, and is currently the CEO of Myres Consulting and the COO of DAYTA Marketing. He is on the Governance Committee of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation and he serves on the SCSU – Herberger College of Business Advisory Board. Brian is a graduate of St. Cloud State University.
Brian Schoenborn Brian Schoenborn
Brian is the Forum Leader for the Leading Negotiations Forum and is also a Discussion Leader for the Executive Forum. Having served as an adjunct professor at St. Cloud State University, Brian feels the case method is a great technique to learn from the experiences of other participants. As Managing Partner at Stinson Leonard Street's St. Cloud office, he focuses on family and closely-held businesses. Brian is a graduate of St. Cloud State University and he earned a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Bruce Busta Bruce "Harv" Busta
Harv serves as the Forum Leader for the Finance Forum and as a Discussion Leader for the Strategy Forum. When asked about his area of interest, Harv said, "As strange as it sounds, I really love accounting. It is central to the success of a business. It can be surprisingly subjective and fun!" He is a professor for the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, Spain, and was formerly a Professor of Accounting at St. Cloud State University. He holds a Ph.D in Accountancy from the University of Nebraska, and has been the recipient of several awards for his teaching and as published cases in business journals.
Bryan Burns Bryan Burns
Bryan is a Discussion Leader for the Executive Forum and is a strong believer in participant-centered learning and the case method. When asked to elaborate, Bryan said, "My richest learning experiences have been via case studies. They combine the chance to tackle a real-world problem with the opportunity to see how a diverse group of professionals approaches the same challenge."' Bryan is currently the President/CEO for DeZURIK. Prior to DeZURIK, Bryan was employed by the Brunswick Corporation, where he was President of the Crestliner Division. Bryan is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and he earned his MBA from Duke University.
Cary Simon Cary Simon
Cary is a Discussion Leader for the Supervisors Forum. He thoroughly enjoys interactive discussions with participants and encouraging supervisors to stretch themselves by working outside of their comfort zone. Cary is currently the Vice President of Human Resources at DeZURIK, Inc. He is grateful to share his 25 years of Human Resources experiences in manufacturing, construction and retail businesses. Cary has been the President of the local Society for Human Resource Management and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (inactive). He holds a Bachelorís Degree from St. Cloud State University.
Dean Casad Dean Casad
Dean is a Discussion Leader for the Executive Forum and Management Forum. When asked about his interest in being a Discussion Leader, he shared, "I find meeting the participants, exploring their ideas, and learning about their organizations inspiring. I also like the challenge of guiding the participants to look at situations from fresh perspectives." Dean is currently the Director of Customer Experience at Winnebago Industries in Eden Prairie. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Product Marketing for GEOTEK in Stewartville, and has a wealth of marketing management experiences from such companies as Toro, General Mills, and General Electric. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Earl Edeburn Earl Edeburn
Earl puts his experience in marketing and training to use as a Discussion Leader for the Leading Negotiations Forum and the Marketing Forum, and as the Forum Leader for the Leading Change Forum. When speaking of his role as a Discussion Leader, Earl shared, "Many participants come into the Forums believing that their circumstances are unique. They leave with valuable connections with industry peers and others in their community." He is currently a Partner with BerganKDV Technology and Consulting and was formerly with Tarantella Software. He holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management.
Eric Nicholson Eric Nicholson
Eric is a Discussion Leader for the Executive Forum, the Management Forum, and the Leading Negotiations Forum. He will be closing all three weeks of the Executive Forum with a leadership case study. In Eric's role as an investment banker, he works closely with owners and management teams and negotiations related to ownership and management succession planning. Eric is currently the Managing Director at BMO Capital Markets and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. A graduate of Carleton College, he earned a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Gayle Noakes Gayle Noakes
Gayle serves as the Forum Leader for the Management Forum and a Discussion Leader for the Leading Change Forum, 7 Habits for Managers Forum and Supervisors Forum. She is the Owner of Gayle Noakes Consulting LLC. Gayle has worked in various industries and roles over her 35 year career, facilitating and instructing individuals and groups in leadership development, change processes, visioning and improvement efforts. She spent 14 years as the Chief Learning Officer and a Principal for CliftonLarsonAllen, a national accounting and consulting firm. Gayle worked 18 years in several manufacturing companies. Gayle holds a Master of Arts degree in HR Development and a Certificate in Organization Development from the University of St. Thomas.
Greg Flint Greg Flint
Greg is the Forum Leader for the Strategy Forum, and he enjoys helping organizations align their efforts to a common objective with a clear strategy and then identify the activities necessary to execute on that strategy. He is currently the Vice President of Operations and Strategy at Coldspring. As a CPA, Greg's background also includes finance, and he serves as a board member for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations. He holds an AMP degree from Harvard.
Greg Schumacher Greg Schumacher
Greg enjoys being a Discussion Leader for the Executive Forum because he feels "the participants are experienced and motivated to learn, making it a rich experience for all involved." Greg is a Partner with Granite Equity Partners, and was formerly the Principal and founder of Schumacher Executive Search in Minneapolis. He received an MBA from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science degree from St. John's University.
Jeff Murphy Jeff Murphy
Jeff is the Forum Leader for the Marketing Forum. He enjoys helping others realize their full potential. During his career he has successfully championed and led dozens of initiatives to deliver improved organizational performance. Jeff's background includes twelve years of sales and marketing experience. He is currently the General Manager at Wendell's, Inc. out of Ramsey, Minn. Jeff has also been a board member for WACOSA since 2014 and was appointed Board President in 2016. He is a graduate of St. John's University, and he earned his MBA at the Carlson School of Management.
Joanne Kudrna Joanna Kudrna
Joanne is a Discussion Leader for the Strategy Forum and the Executive Forum. As the Director of Strategy Services for Granite Equity Partners, Joanne has been exposed to organizations undergoing significant change. She enjoys working with groups who are refining their strategies, and she is particularly interested in giving people the tools to implement change well. Prior to her Granite and consulting work, Joanne spent eight years working in the manufacturing industry, six of them with Honeywell, a large global technology and manufacturing leader. Joanne has an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Jolene Nelson-Helm Jolene Nelson-Helm
Jolene puts her experience in "consultative facilitation" to use as a Discussion Leader for the Marketing Forum. Alternating between consulting and client side assignments, Jolene has worked with a variety of businesses across a number of industries. She is currently a principal with Astrion Partners, a business and brand strategy consulting group. Previously she was CMO for Bellisio Foods and has held a variety of assignments during her tenures with The Pillsbury Company and Best Buy. She holds an MBA from the Carlson school of Management.
Josh Reitmeier Josh Reitmeier
Josh is a Discussion Leader for the Operations Forum and facilitates a case on Lean Initiatives. He is currently the Director of Sales for the Diamond Products Division of Coldspring. Josh began his career at Coldspring as an intern and has held positions in Production Management, Continuous Improvement, and Corporate Purchasing. He holds a Bachelor's degree from St. Cloud State University in Operations Management.
June Roos June Roos
June is FranklinCovey®-certified and a facilitator for the Leadership Forum and the 7 Habits for Managers Forum as well as the Supervisors Forum. She is currently a consultant with Granite Equity Partners. Prior to joining Granite Equity, she served as Leadership Development Manager for a large corporation serving a family of companies. She holds many certifications focused on leadership and coaching, including The Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, and she is an Achieve Global master trainer. June graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth with a degree in English and she earned a Master's degree in Education from St. Cloud State University.
Kathy Spanier Kathy Spanier
Kathy serves as the Forum Leader for the Marketing Forum. Kathy enjoys meeting and interacting with the participants and discussing marketing concepts. She is currently the Marketing Director at Coldspring, a company highly supportive of case study methodology. Prior to joining Coldspring, Kathy was employed by Wolters Kluwer (aka Bankers Systems) and Webber Advertising. She holds a Bachelor's degree from St. Cloud State University in Marketing.
Mary Jo Wimmer Mary Jo Wimmer
Mary Jo is FranklinCovey®-certified and a facilitator for the Leadership Forum and the 7 Habits for Managers Forum. She has a passion for rural communities, organizations, and the way of life they offer. She has lived this passion for the past 25 years through the design and delivery of educational and organizational development programs in rural Minnesota. As principal of her own consulting firm, Trillium Leadership Development, she has worked as a Senior Trainer and design team member for the Blandin Foundation's Community Leadership program for 23 years. Mary Jo has a Master's degree from Michigan State University in Adult and Extension Education.
Matt Kilian

Matt Kilian
Matt Kilian is FranklinCovey®-certified and a facilitator for the Leadership Forum. He is currently the President of the Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, one of the largest chambers in Minnesota at more than 900 business members. Prior to that, Matt served as Vice President for External Relations at the Initiative Foundation for 15 years. He began his career at an advertising agency and has also taught college courses in both advertising and public relations. Matt gets his energy from brainstorming big new ideas, facilitating meaningful discussions, and building bridges between business and community leaders. He graduated from St. Cloud State University with Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Mass Communications.

Melissa Kron Melissa Kron
Melissa serves as a Discussion Leader for the Leading Change Forum. She enjoys being a Discussion Leader because it gives her an opportunity to impact not only the participants' professional growth and development, but her own as well. Melissa has over 10 years of experience in Human Resources, most recently as the Director of Human Resources at NativeX where she partnered with business leaders to align human resources with the strategic goals of the organization. Melissa has a Master's degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota.
Pam Bishop Pam Bishop
Pam serves as a Discussion Leader for the Leading Change Forum. She is currently the Vice President of Economic Development at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation in Owatonna. Pam has worked in community and economic development for 20 years, convening conversations that further business efforts and community collaborations to foster economic prosperity in southern Minnesota. Pam's passion to guide conversations often result in creative processes, collaborative partnerships, and pioneering results. This same passion is a key reason she chose to serve as a Discussion Leader for this Forum.
Pat Edeburn Pat Edeburn
Pat is a Discussion Leader for the Governance Forum. Pat believes that the case method is one of the most powerful learning tools he's ever experienced, sharing, "It allows us to engage with real-world, practical solutions analogous to those that we face in business every day." His work as a Partner at Granite Equity Partners has given him insight into strategic planning and management succession. Prior to Granite, Pat worked for nine years in several positions with Medtronic. Pat currently serves on the Boards of Microbiologics and the United Way of Central Minnesota. Pat earned his MBA at Harvard Business School and his BA at Carleton College.
Rick Bauerly Rick Bauerly
Rick serves as the Forum Leader for the Governance Forum. His direct experience with governance includes planning for and developing advisory boards and full boards of directors – either from scratch or as a reorganization. He brings valuable board experience to the Forum, having served on multiple for-profit and non-profit boards over the past ten years. Rick is a graduate of Saint John's University, and he went on to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Master's in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Shelly Bauerly Kopel Shelly Bauerly Kopel
Shelly serves as a Discussion Leader for the Governance Forum and as Forum Leader for the Supervisors Forum. When asked about the role of the Anderson Center, Shelly said, "I believe in human capital and that people can make all the difference. I am particularly interested in the role of leadership development and management education in shaping and growing organizations." Shelly is a Partner with Granite Equity, leading its governing activities, and she brings a variety of board governance experience to this Forum. She serves on the boards of Vector Windows and the College of Saint Benedict and has served on several other boards in the past. Shelly holds a Master's in Education degree from Harvard, an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, and a PhD in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota.
Steve Konop Steve Konop
Steve is the Forum Leader for the Operations Forum, where he facilitates a case on Operations Culture and a Supply Chain Simulation. He is currently the Quarry Materials Director at Coldspring, responsible for the advancement and expansion of the Quarry Products Division. Steve has held prior positions with the organization in the areas of Continuous Improvement and Purchasing and Logistics. Prior to joining Coldspring, he was a Consultant for Brian P. Little and Associates. Steve holds degrees in Business Management from Mankato State University and Industrial Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Tim Nebosis Tim Nebosis
Tim is a Discussion Leader for the Operations Forum, where he facilitates a case on Quality Control and Process Flow. Tim is currently the Vice President of Operations for DeZURIK and is responsible for manufacturing, supply chain, quality, and engineering. Prior to joining DeZURIK, Tim was the President of a small contract manufacturing firm in Central Minnesota and spent 10 years in the appliance industry with Electrolux. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from North Dakota State University and an MBA from St. Cloud State University.
Tracy Schulte Tracy Schulte
Tracy is a Discussion Leader for the Management Forum, where she enjoys working with the participants and sharing her experiences with systems improvements. Tracy is currently the Technology Director for Granite Equity Partners, working with clients on business system improvement with a focus on sales force automation, marketing, and channel management. She holds an MBA from St. Cloud State University.

We host the Discussion Leadership Forum annually to train and certify Discussion Leaders who serve as facilitators of our forums. Learn more about the Discussion Leadership Forum.


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