Board of Directors
Chairman and CEO
Keith Kostuch is an independent consultant. Previously he was Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at Alltel Corporation and a partner in the Chicago and Amsterdam offices of The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Mr. Kostuch is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Harvard Business School.
Mitchell B. Pearlstein, Ph.D.
Mitchell B. Pearlstein, Ph.D. is president of Center of the American Experiment, which he founded in 1990. Before his 1990 return to the Twin Cities, Dr. Pearlstein served for two years in the U.S. Department of Education, during the Reagan and (first) Bush administrations, where he held three positions, including Director of Outreach for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Just prior to his federal service in Washington, Dr. Pearlstein spent four years as an editorial writer and columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, where he focused on foreign and national affairs. He also has been special assistant for policy and communications to Gov. Albert H. Quie of Minnesota; a research fellow at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota; assistant to University of Minnesota President C. Peter Magrath (pronounced Ma-grah); director of public information at Binghamton University; a reporter for The Sun-Bulletin, again in Binghamton; and a columnist for CityBusiness and Twin Cities Business Monthly.
Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Kim Crockett, J.D.
Kim Crockett is Center of American Experiment’s Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. She is the Executive Director of Minnesota Free Market Institute at Center of the American Experiment. Prior to joining the Minnesota Free Market Institute and the Center, Kim served as corporate counsel to a national bank and had a long legal career in commercial real estate law.
Kim, who is an enthusiastic student of the American Revolution and the written U.S. Constitution, has been a member of the Federalist Society since 1984 when she founded the student chapter at Penn Law in Philadelphia. She is currently Chairman of the Minneapolis Lawyers Chapter. She has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a J.D. from Penn Law (1987). Kim also started a small business in 2004 where she serves on the board. Kim is a retired member of the Deephaven City Council and chairman of the five-city Excelsior Fire District. She has served Governor Tim Pawlenty as an appointee to Minnesota Compensation Council and the Minnesota Supreme Court as member of the Committee on Minnesota’s Code of Judicial Conduct.
Thomas O. Kelly, III
Dorsey & Whitney
Mr. Kelly is a partner in Dorsey’s Finance & Restructuring Department, focusing on representing creditors in bankruptcy and out-of-court restructurings. Prior to his return to law practice in 2008, Mr. Kelly was the Senior Credit Officer for Default Management for GMAC-RFC’s warehouse lending and correspondent loan purchase businesses. Mr. Kelly also has extensive experience in commercial finance and mortgage finance, including leveraged acquisitions, mortgage warehouse lending, other forms of asset-based financings, structuring and negotiating the terms of multi-layer business financings, and other credit-related transactions.
Mark S. Larson
Messerli & Kramer
Mark S. Larson is a shareholder with Messerli & Kramer P.A., where he chairs the firm's general business and banking department. He is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the Hennepin County Bar Association, and the Business Law, Tax, and Health Law Sections of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Mark has a bachelor's degree and a law degree from the University of Minnesota.
Bernstein Global Wealth Management
Scott C. Rile is a principal at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. Previously, Scott worked in account management at Comdisco, Inc., and in marketing at Eastman Kodak. He has a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Wisconsin and a master's in finance from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.
Edward C. Anderson
National Arbitration Forum
Edward C. Anderson is widely published in the areas of litigation, litigation reform, and alternative dispute resolution. He is the managing director and chief executive officer of the National Arbitration Forum, a nationally acclaimed alternative dispute resolution organization. Before joining the Forum, Edward taught and practiced law in Minneapolis and Washington DC. His community involvement has included service on the boards of the Minnesota Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the Federalist Society. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.
Tara J. Anderson
Fafinski Mark & Johnson
Tara J. Anderson practices in the corporate and commercial aviation transaction groups at FMJ, focusing primarily on the representation of privately held companies, airlines and aviation leasing companies and non-profits.
Tara attended law school at the University of St. Thomas, where she was a President’s Scholarship recipient. During law school, she worked in the legal department of a large Minnesota company, and as the Executive Director of a non-profit, which gave her insight into both sides of the attorney-client relationship. This blend of corporate, non-profit and educational experiences provides Tara with a balanced and broad perspective she brings to her legal work.
Molly C. Cronin
Fmr. Corporate Analyst
Molly C. Cronin is a wife and mother of three children. She is an active volunteer at her children’s school and has recently served on the momthink.org advisory board. A passionate patriot, Molly is focused on encouraging people to become thoughtfully and accurately informed on the social, economic and political issues of today. Prior to starting a family, Molly worked as an associate director in account development at Digital River and was an analyst in corporate finance at Piper Jaffray. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Mitch Davis grew up working in the family cheese making and spray drying business. Mitch graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition. Since then, he has worked in all areas of the company with emphasis in the whey and whey fractions processing including membrane processing and evaporation as well as crystallization and ion exchange. Mr. Davis also manages our dairy cow system where we manage 12,000 animals and milk 6,300 cows.
Ronald E. Eibensteiner
Wyncrest Capital, Inc.
Carolyn Erickson is a partner with CSM Investments. Previously, Carolyn worked as Legal Counsel for Holiday Companies, which owns and operates convenience stores in the Upper Midwest. She continues to serve as an Advisory Director on Holiday’s board. Carolyn’s community involvement includes working with a number of local organizations, most recently serving on the board of the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and fundraising for the Jungle Theater. Carolyn is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the University of Minnesota Law School.
John F. Gibbs
Vice President, Government Affairs
John F. Gibbs has more than 20 years of legal and telecommunications experience. He is currently vice president of state government and regulatory affairs for Comcast Corporation, in which role he oversees state-level government affairs activities across Comcast's 39 state service area . Over the past several years, he provided counsel to the franchise transfer activities associated with Comcast’s acquisition of AT&T Broadband and other major industry transactions, including the mergers of AT&T and MediaOne, AT&T and TCI, and AOL and Time Warner. John is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and of William Mitchell College of Law.
Senior Vice President
Bill Guidera is a Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for News Corporation, where he leads the corporation’s state public policy initiatives. He joined News Corporation in April 2007 and focuses on public policy issues related to the company’s film, education, Internet, print and television businesses. He works closely with executive leaders, industry peers, policymakers, non-profit organizations and communications professionals to develop corporate strategies and pro-growth policies. He is also recognized as a national leader in Internet and media public policy.
Actively involved in the community through his church, political organizations and the public schools, he served on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Zoo for several years. Today he serves on the Board of Directors of the Center of the American Experiment and the Team Gilboa Alpine Ski Team. Bill is also an avid gardener, golfer, reader and downhill ski racer. Born and raised in Minnesota, Bill was educated at Wayzata High School, Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and George Mason University Law School in Arlington, Virginia. He resides with his wife and daughters in Orono, Minnesota.
Staging Concepts, Inc.
Michael Hayden has been self-employed since age 26. He founded Hayden and Associates, an executive recruiting firm in 1970. He sold Hayden and Associates in 1990 and started Staging Concepts, Inc. In 2010 he sold a majority interest Staging Concepts, Inc.
Scott M. Honour
Scott M. Honour is chairman of FirstCNG, a comprehensive natural gas vehicle solutions provider. Prior he was a member of The Gores Group's investment committee and is responsible for originating and structuring transactions, and overseeing portfolio company exits. Prior to joining Gores, Mr. Honour led a career as an investment banker with a focus on private equity related transactions. From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Honour served as a Managing Director at UBS Warburg, where he was a financial sponsor coverage banker and oversaw the Transaction Development Group at UBS Warburg. Prior to joining UBS Warburg, Mr. Honour was an investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette ('DLJ'), where he executed a variety of mergers and acquisitions, high-yield financings, equity offerings and restructurings. Mr. Honour also served as a Vice President at DLJ Merchant Banking from 1995 to 1997. Prior to joining DLJ, Mr. Honour served as an analyst at Trammell Crow. Mr. Honour earned a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Economics, cum laude, from Pepperdine University and an M.B.A. in Finance and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Sheila C. Kihne
Business Owner & Author
Sheila C. Kihne is a former corporate sales executive. She volunteers her time in support of conservative candidates for office and served as a Vice Chair in charge of GOTV operations for the 3rd Congressional district Republicans. As an author and entrepreneur, she's been featured on The Today Show, Fox News Channel, and over 50 radio programs across the country. She's a graduate of the University of Minnesota and a Phi Beta Kappa member.
Lowell W. Hellervik
Personnel Decisions International
Lowell W. Hellervik is chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer of Personnel Decisions International. He is an expert in helping executives clarify and achieve objectives for organizational change. Under his direction, Personnel Decisions International has grown from a small, local consulting firm to a premier, international consulting firm with 27 operating offices around the world. Lowell completed his doctorate at the University of Minnesota, where he is currently on the adjunct staff as a clinical associate professor.
Robin Norgaard Kelleher
Seaton, Beck & Revnew, P.A.
Robin N. Kelleher is an attorney with the firm of Seaton, Beck & Revnew and practices exclusively in the areas of labor and employment law. She first joined the firm in 1996, and after serving for a time as the deputy commissioner and acting commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, she recently returned to the firm. Previously, Robin taught music at the elementary school level, and she worked as a realtor and residential real estate developer. She is active in fundraising for the American Cancer Society and for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. She is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law.
CEO & Business Leader
Jack Lanners is president and chief executive officer of F.T.L. Corporation, which owns MGM Liquor Warehouse stores; president of R.P. Royalties, Inc.; and officer/partner with LannCo LLC, which specializes in commercial real estate development. He served as chairman of the Metropolitan Airports Commission for eight years (March 2003 – February 2011). Jack is a member of the boards of directors of the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association. He attended Marquette University.
Founder & CEO
Arbor Capital Management
Rick D. Leggott is Chief Executive Officer and Portfolio Manager at Arbor Capital Management which he founded in January 1997 after 10 years at Investment Advisers, Inc. (“IAI”). Arbor was founded on the tenants of: portfolio managers that own and control the firm and limited asset capacity. Leggott launched the IAI small cap growth product in 1990 and grew it to $2.0 billion by the end of 1996. During this time he developed a top-quartile long-term performance record and engineered the “rebate” of approximately $400 million of client assets in an attempt to control asset growth. Leggott is a summa cum laude graduate with an M.B.A./B.S. from the University of Nebraska. He received his Chartered Financial Analysts designation in 1989.
Mason Public Affairs
Tom Mason combines 35 years’ professional experience at the intersection of media, public policy and marketing.
He worked 13 years in and around the United States Senate, beginning as communications director for Senator Rudy Boschwitz, and subsequently serving as chief of staff in the Washington, D.C. offices of Senators Jim Abdnor (R-SD) and Norm Coleman (R-MN). He also worked as director of communications at research at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the political arm of the U.S. Senate GOP leadership.
For five years Tom was president of Gannon McCarthy Mason, a public affairs consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City. He has managed or consulted to 17 statewide political campaigns in 9 states.
As a journalist, he reported for two Minnesota-based daily newspapers, spent three years as editor of a weekly financial journal, and for five years edited and published Twin Cities Business Monthly, a magazine that during his tenure was five times named America’s best regional business magazine.
He is president of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota, an organization devoted to worksite wellness.
Tom is currently a member of the adjunct faculty in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership program in the graduate school of The University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Tom has served on the following boards: The Memorial Blood Centers of Minnesota, the Minnesota Council on Quality, the Capital City Partnership, the Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, the Turnaround Management Association and the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitor’s Association.
Richard G. Morgan
Bowman & Brooke
Rick Morgan’s practice encompasses product liability, commercial and intellectual property litigation involving chemical and electronic products, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, construction materials and food products for clients including Ecolab, H.B. Fuller, Honeywell, Toro, Cargill, Davisco Foods, and Starkey Laboratories. Acknowledged by his opponents as “one of the best cross-examiners” in practice, Rick honed his reputation for efficiency as a federal prosecutor, and his ability to enthrall juries as a political pundit. As a business leader, Rick is a member of the executive and management committees of Bowman and Brooke and he serves on the Minnesota Law School board.
Kenneth W. Morris
VP, Author & Speaker
The Apercu Group
Ken Morris is an author and speaker on topics related to leadership development, human resources, business development, diversity, and emerging market opportunities. He is currently the vice president of diversity and inclusion at Boston Scientific. Ken is a graduate of the Hamline University School of Law.
President & CEO
Rick Penn is President and CEO of Hutchinson Technology. Penn began his career with Hutchinson Technology in 1981 and has held management positions in marketing, sales, product development and operations. In 2005, Penn was named Senior Vice President and President of the company's Disk Drive Components Division. Prior to 2005, Penn also served as this division's Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Vice President of Operations. He also served as Senior Vice President and President of the company's BioMeasurement Division from April 2007 to March 2011. Penn holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the University of Minnesota.
Scott F. Peterson
Executive Vice President
Schwan Food Company
Scott F. Peterson is executive vice president and chief human resources officer for the Schwan Food Company. He is responsible for the company's human resources and public relations functions. Mr. Peterson has over 25 years of experience in human resources. Prior to joining the company, he served as the senior vice president and head of human resources for Select Comfort, Inc., a specialty mattress retailer with Sleep Number stores across the U.S. He has also held HR leadership roles with Lifetime Fitness, Inc., Simon Delivers.Com, Diageo/Pillsbury and the Quaker Oats Company. Mr. Peterson is originally from Duluth, Minnesota and earned his bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Marquette University of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a master's degree in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota.
Asst. General Counsel
Brent Robbins is Assistant General Counsel at General Mills, where he is the lead lawyer for General Mills’ Big G (cereal) and Mill City (baking products) Divisions. His practice focuses on business law issues, including advertising claim and antitrust counseling, managing class action disputes, and negotiating transactions. Brent is Treasurer for the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Food, Drug & Device Law Section. He and his wife Kristin live in Maple Grove and are active in politics and New Hope Church. They have three busy daughters who are thriving at Heritage Christian Academy. Brent regularly volunteers at HopeBridge Food Shelf and with the Volunteer Lawyers Network.
Thomas J. Rosen
CEO & Business Leader
Rosen's Diversified Inc.
Thomas J. Rosen is the president and CEO of Rosen’s Diversified, Inc., which operates principally in food and agricultural industries. Tom is on the executive committees of the Minnesota Business Partnership, the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council, and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. He is also on the leadership circle for the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and is a member of the Fairmont Rotary. He was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame July 2006. Tom holds a degree in business administration from Morningside College.
Kurt P. Schellhas
Center for Diagnostic Imaging
Kurt P. Schellhas, M.D. is National Medical Director of MSC, P.A., is the director of spine intervention and director of the Ambulatory Surgical Center at Center for Diagnostic Imaging (CDI). Dr. Schellhas completed a neuroradiology fellowship at University of Minnesota Hospitals. Prior to that, he held a pathology internship at St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center and a residency in diagnostic radiology at the Minneapolis Veterans Hospital and University of Minnesota Hospitals. Dr. Schellhas received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota.
Ronald J. Schutz
Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi
Ronald J. Schutz is chairman of the Intellectual Property Litigation Group at the national law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P and a member of the firm's Executive Board. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has received many other rewards and recognitions for his legal skills including being named as one of 15 Attorneys of the Year in 2004 by Minnesota Lawyer and being included in the Best Lawyers in America (Eleventh Edition to the present). Mr. Schutz is very active in civic affairs. He served as President of the University of Minnesota Law Alumni Association and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis and the Alumni Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota Law Review. Mr. Schutz also serves as an at-large member of the Governor's Judicial Selection Commission. Mr. Schutz received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University, which he attended on a fully paid ROTC Scholarship, and his law degree from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Schutz served four years on active duty in the United States Army JAG Corps.
Charles E. Spevacek
Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P.
Charles E. Spevacek has over 25 years of experience litigating complex commercial disputes, much of it in the trial and appeal of insurance coverage disputes. A partner at Meagher & Geer, he currently serves on the firm's management committee. Chuck has been involved with several noteworthy cases that have produced landmark verdicts. Chuck is widely recognized, having been named a "Top 100 Super Lawyer" and a "Top 10 Appellate Law Super Lawyer." He was named by Minnesota Lawyer as one of its 15 "Attorneys of the Year" for 2006. Chuck has served on the board of directors of the Purdue Alumni Association.
President & CEO
Born in Iran, Bruce Taher immigrated to the U.S. alone at the age of 19. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Oklahoma, and an MBA from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. To support his studies, he took a dishwashing position at school, which ultimately led to his successful career in the hospitality industry. In 1981, Bruce founded Taher, Inc. Bruce enjoys maintaining a hands-on approach to improving the service Taher provides. Every six months, he travels with Taher's Chef Council to a foreign country to research new foods and recipes, allowing him to get directly involved in creating fresh menu selections for his customers. More than 29 years later, Bruce still ensures Taher and its 1,500-plus employees adhere to the company's founding philosophy: every day, Taher strives to make its food unforgettable. He currently serves on the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and has been involved with a variety of the chamber’s initiatives, including its Business-Education Partnership Task Force, Leadership TwinWest program, and Emerging Leaders program.
Tim J. Walsh
President & CEO
Ready Credit Corporation
Tim J. Walsh is the founder of Ready Credit Corporation and has served as a director of the Company and its Chief Executive Officer and President since its formation in May 2005. From November 2001 to January 2005, Mr. Walsh served as the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Sagebrush Corporation, whose primary business activity is providing information access systems to educational institutions. From 1999 to November 2001, Mr. Walsh served as founder and President of Shopforschool, a start-up internet venture whose primary focus was providing parents with a vehicle to raise funds for schools through online shopping. Prior to his association with Shopforschool, Mr. Walsh was the Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development for the OnHealth Network Company. During his career, Mr. Walsh has also extensive international experience managing businesses in Europe and Asia Pacific.