Board & Staff

Jodi Ritacca

Board Chair

Jodi Ritacca is an accomplished public relations specialist, an award-winning TV host and broadcast journalist, who has enjoyed serving on the Woodbury Community Foundation Board since 2013. She’s currently President of the National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences – Upper Midwest Chapter, and an independent documentary digital video writer/producer. Since 2005, she has hosted and produced the Emmy award-winning TV show, "Inside Health Care."

She’s former Senior PR Specialist/Media Producer with HealthEast Care System, 2004-2015. She also worked in TV news for more than 25 years as an anchor, reporter, producer and News Director at TV stations in Denver, Twin Cities and North Platte, Nebraska. She has received 17 Emmy-nominations and four Emmy Awards!

Jodi has called Woodbury home since moving to Minnesota for her job at KSTP-TV in 1992 with her husband, Greg Carlini and their two children, Joe, who’s now an award-winning Los Angeles filmmaker, and Christina, who now lives in Chicago with her husband Tyler and their two young children. 3-year-old Aiden and one-year-old Amira, who are Jodi & Greg’s first grandchildren!

Matt Johnson

Board Vice Chair

Matthew graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Horticulture and became a member of the Woodbury community in 2002. Shortly thereafter he became a licensed real estate agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty. Matt takes great pride in giving back to the community where he lives, works, and plays. Matthew was introduced to the Foundation in the 2012 Citizens Academy and immediatley became an avid supporter of the organization. Matthew jumped at the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors in 2016. He also serves on the Woodbury Lions Club Board of Directors, Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and helps organize an annual event with the Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf called the "Chili Hubbub". When Matthew is not out serving the community you’ll likely find him golfing, cycling, or on the Saint Croix river boating with his children Avery and Baker.

Jack Clinton


Jack has served on the board for a total of 13 years, and has served as a treasure for the last 3 years. He joined the board at the request of Dick Stafford, and assisted with the original organizational documents of the foundation. He is an attorney and has practiced in Washington County for over 43 years. He has been a board member of the Woodbury branch of the YMCA and the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce. “I have found working with the foundation to be extremely satisfying to serve and give back to the community. It has been a privilege to serve with many members of the community who also want to improve the quality of the community.” In his spare time, Jack enjoys downhill skiing, especially in Colorado, and golfs. Jack is married to his wife Judy. He has 2 children and 2 stepchildren.

Karl Batalden


Karl Batalden, Community Development Coordinator for the City of Woodbury, facilitates affordable housing and economic development activities and operations for the City and serves as its community affairs liaison. Prior to the City of Woodbury, Batalden served as Government and Community Relations Officer for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. He also serves on the boards of HousingLink and the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce and is a previous vice president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). Batalden holds the MURP degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a BA from St. Olaf College. He is certified as both a Housing Finance Development Professional and Economic Development Finance Professional by the National Development Council. Karl lives with his family in St. Paul.

Anne Burt, Mayor


Anne Burt is the Mayor of Woodbury as of January 2019. She has been very active in the Woodbury community during her 15-year residency and has served in several roles including board member of the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce, Commissioner for the City’s Planning Commission and Parks & Recreation Commission, graduate of the Woodbury Citizens’ Academy, board member of the HOA for Bailey’s Arbor, board member of East Ridge Soccer Club, Site Team member for East Ridge High School, PTA roles in various District 833 schools, and coach for lacrosse, soccer, and volleyball. Anne is also active in her church community and in her spare time loves to play tennis, bike, boat on the St. Croix River, and spend time with her family. Anne and her husband Jeff have three adult children; Kaeleigh, Kilian and Monika. Anne holds a degree in Chemistry from the University of Dayton and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

Christie Denson

Christie Denson joined the Board in 2017, after learning about the Foundation’s work as a past participant in the Citizens Academy. Christie has a Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications and has worked in communications and marketing for over 15 years. She is a frequent contributor to local magazines including, Woodbury Magazine.

Christie has a passion for community building and promoting a culture of giving back. She is an active volunteer: she has served on the leadership team for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) - a mother and child ministry out of Woodbury Lutheran; has served on the Board for the Mom's Club of Woodbury; and supports the PTA. She also serves as a volunteer at her local church, River Valley - Woodbury. She lives with her husband and two sons who attend Bailey Elementary School.

Roger Green

Past Board Chair

Roger has served on the Woodbury Community Foundation Board of Directors since 2011. A retired health care executive since 2012, Roger brings his business skills in strategic planning, public policy, marketing/communications and governance to bear in multiple volunteer endeavors. In addition to the Foundation, Roger serves on the Boards of Great River Greening, Legacy Senior Services and the Maplewood North Lions Club. He also regularly participates with the League of Women Voters Woodbury Cottage Grove, the Northern Star Council of Boy Scouts of America, the Miller Barn Committee of the Woodbury Heritage Society, the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce and his church. He is the former chair of Woodbury THRIVES. He served on the Woodbury Comprehensive Plan Task Force and is a past member and chair of the Woodbury Economic Development Commission. Roger has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. He is married to Nancy for nearly 30 years with one daughter, and he enjoys golf, walking, running, working out and socializing with friends in his spare time.

Jeff Hrastich


Jeff is an IT Program Manager supporting the Airline Industry and has been an IT Professional for over 25 years with both Manufacturing and Retail experience. A product of Woodbury’s public education system since 5th grade, he has lived in Woodbury for 40 years. He has chaired many committees for the Methodist Church. He and his wife, Diane (Financial Manager at Ecolab), have a daughter, Emily, and two sons, Adam and Ryan.

Claudia Millington


Claudia is Vice-President/Commercial Lender for CorTrust Bank in Woodbury. She has been involved in the financial services industry since 1985. A graduate of the Woodbury Community Foundation Citizens’ Academy, Claudia is now chair of the Academy planning committee and is organizing the 2015 offering of this popular program. She also is a member of the Foundation’s Executive Committee and is Chair of the Development Committee. She and her husband, Thomas (retired from Schwan Food Company), have two sons, Ian and Blake, and have lived in Woodbury since 1994.

Paul Parnell


Paul Parnell is one of the founding partners of Ballast Advisors, LLC, a financial planning company located in Woodbury, Arden Hills, MN and Punta Gorda, FL. At Ballast Advisors, he specializes in financial planning, including wealth management solutions and risk reduction strategies for families, professionals, business owners, and retirees. He has been a member of the Woodbury Community for over 20 years. He supports the WCF because their passions align – helping to enrich the communities in which you live and/or work. When he’s not partnering with the WCF, he enjoys running and raising money for Children’s Hospital Minnesota, he proudly supports the First Tee of St. Paul and when in Florida, works with the Charlotte Community Foundation. Paul lives in Woodbury with his wife, Gloria and children.

Jacques Peulen


Coming SoonJacques Peulen joined the Woodbury Community Foundation in 2020. As a 45-year Andersen Corporation employee he has had the opportunity to work in almost every department in the company and has gained vast knowledge of many different areas of the business. Jacques also has been with the St Paul Winter Carnival for 35 years as a Vulcan Krewe member, also serving as Vulcan Fire King. That opportunity has led to multiple other Board and Director duties with multiple organizations such as St Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation, Gillette Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Association, Imperial Order of Fire & Brimstone, along with community service and volunteer work with many other fundraisers and festivals around the area. Over the years Jacques has also been appointed by the Mayor to the St Paul Community Outreach Committee, by the Governor to the Minnesota State School Bus Safety Commission and most recently to the Spire Credit Union President’s Advisory Council. Jacques is married to Wendy and has lived in Woodbury now for 15 years. He has decided it is time and long overdue to bring his time and community service efforts to help in his own community of Woodbury.

Eric Rislove


Eric Rislove is a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Woodbury Minnesota. Rislove serves on the board of directors for the Woodbury Community Foundation and the Woodbury Area Chamber of Commerce. He is active in the community working with high school students on financial literacy and career development. Eric serves as emcee and entertainer for numerous local events and programs. He has a B.A. in Mass Communications and a love of performing. Eric grew up in Woodbury and graduated from Woodbury High School. In his spare time, Eric enjoys golf, basketball and tennis. He is married to wife, Ann, and has 3 children.

Donna Stafford


Born and raised in St. Paul. Attended St. Columba and St. Marks Elementary Schools, Our Lady of Peace High School and attended the University of Minnesota (humanities and psychology) and Globe Business College (accounting/business). I collect carousel horses, enjoy hockey, football and St. Paul Saints Baseball. I enjoy my gardens, theater, comedy and musical productions, completing a NY Times crossword. I was married to Bruce for 14 years (widowed 11/20/2014). And am now primary caregiver to my 91 and 88 year old parents.

I aspire to walk and hike Woodbury’s parks and trails, become more involved in my church, continue the legacies of Dick and Bruce Stafford and Dick and Gerry Smith, and search for and create my own legacy.

Margaret Wachholz


Margaret Wachholz hailed from the southeast corner of Ireland. She emigrated in 1989 to MN & has been a Woodbury resident since 1991. She is married to Rick (a native) who has served 21 years in the US military. Despite being stationed in different parts of the world, the Wachholz clan has always kept a foot rooted in Woodbury. They have three children -all at Woodbury High. Margaret sits on the Board of Directors for the Woodbury Heritage Society & is on the Miller Barn Committee. She chairs Woodbury Thrives mental health well-being initiative in Woodbury. At Woodbury Senior Living where she spends most of the waking day, she has learned that from being with the terminally ill & dying that this is a ministry of presence. Margaret loves being involved in the WCF Citizen’s Academy because it fosters a culture of ownership & education in our City. She is passionate about every child, student, adult having a sense of belonging & being with people to swap tales, capture the sounds, smells & the feel the past so that can look forward to a great future. In her spare time, Margaret loves gardening, takes interesting classes at the U of MN (her former employer) for fun, travel, cook, clean house, bake & be with her family.

Tomas Valdes

Junior Director - East Ridge High School

Tomas Valdes resides in Woodbury and is a senior at East Ridge High School. He has a passion for technology and dedicates his time competing in hackathons and teaching programming to younger students. Tomas also serves as president of the ERHS code club and as a student lead in the ERHS robotics team. In his spare time, Tomas enjoys visiting family in South America, philosophy, and playing tennis and soccer.

Paula Akakpo

Junior Director - Math and Science Academy

Paula Akakpo has been a resident of Woodbury for 12 years, and she is currently a junior at Math and Science Academy. Paula is incredibly passionate about history and has always enjoyed working on historical research and keeping up with the news. She has taken this passion to all of the activities that she participates in, whether that be as Student Representative on her school’s board of directors or as Minnesota Youth Council Representative. During her time as Junior Director, she hopes to address issues affecting Woodbury’s youth and all equity problems. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading books and hanging out with her friends and family.

Hana Mahli

Junior Director - Woodbury High School

Hana is a junior at Woodbury High School. She is devoted to giving back to the community by volunteering at Union Gospel Mission shelter and preparing food at Mobile Loaves and Fishes for our homeless community throughout the Twin Cities. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, where she takes on leadership roles, and spends hours volunteering to better her school. Her in school activities include Varsity Tennis, Jazz Band, Orchestra, and Royal Connections. Outside of school, she enjoys playing bass in her punk band, working at Coldstone, biking, traveling with her family, and walking her dog Chris.

Norma Lanners

Administrative Assistant

Bai Xiong

Administrative Intern

Simi Patniak

Woodbury Thrives Coordinator

Simi Patnaik has lived in Woodbury with her family since 2002. She has a background in strategic marketing brand management and leads the Foundation's Woodbury Thrives program. In addition to these roles, she is an active community volunteer and serves as a director on the South Washington County School Board.