Board & Staff

Lori Nelson


Lori Nelson joined the Woodbury Community Foundation as its Executive Director in July, 2017. Lori is an attorney and was previously the President of the Richfield Chamber of Commerce and CEO of the Richfield Tourism Promotion Board. Previously, she spent over 20 years working in the conservation nonprofit field, as Executive Director of Friends of the Minnesota Valley and as the first Heartland Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association. Lori also has extensive political and legislative experience, including a campaign for the Minnesota State Senate. Lori has a bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and is a graduate summa cum laude from St. Cloud State University. She received her Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law. In her spare time, Lori likes to read, walk, watch movies and visit with friends. She is also a musician, playing piano, alto saxophone, guitar and the organ. She can be reached at: lori.nelson@woodburyfoundation.org

Anna Sawyer


Coming soon...

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.

Claudia Millington, Past Chair


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.

Dixie Ewing, Chair


Dixie Ewing, and her husband, Tom and 3 of their 6 children have been residents of Woodbury for over 40 years. Three of their children and their families still make their homes in Woodbury. She is proud and grateful to call this fine city HOME! "The city is amazing in how the government, business, education, and faith communities work together for the good of the people. A wonderfully unique city."

In 2003 Dick Stafford asked Dixie to join six other Woodbury citizens to join a group that became known as the 'Friends of Woodbury" -- citizens that cared about keeping the city great by "connecting people with causes that matter". Eventually, "The Friends" became The Woodbury Community Foundation.

"I am proud of the works, financial support and the fine people that work together to make The Foundation function for the good of our awesome city!"

Donna Stafford, Secretary


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.

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.

Hans Swanson


I joined The Woodbury Community Foundation in the summer of 2017 when a mentor on my robotics team told me about the opportunity. I currently attend The Math and Science Academy and will graduate in early June 2018. The role I play on the Woodbury Community Foundation is the student board representative from MSA. While at MSA I have participated in many student organizations such as Trap, Debate, Basketball, and Robotics and in most of these activities I am a captain. I also participate in activities outside of school like boy scouts. I am a member of Troop 196. This, on top of all my school work, keeps me busy but when I do get free time I like to spend it building things. Some of the things I have built throughout high school include a motorized couch, an electric skateboard, and potato cannon. I would like to build something that flies or goes on water for my next project.

As of right now, I can say that there are three main things I want to do with my life. Firstly I want to continue to build things with my free time. Seeing something that you have thought of for months finally functional is one of the greatest feelings I have experienced. My second life goal is to travel across the United States and the world. There are so many wonderful things to see and people to meet it would be hard for me to live my life not experiencing those things. The third thing that I would like to do is to keep the wonderful friendships I have formed so far in my life and continue to make new ones.

Jack Clinton, Treasurer


Coming soon...

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.

Jessica Dowdell


Jessica is a Woodbury High School senior. She is the Tutoring Chair for her school's chapter of National Honor Society and enjoys volunteering at R.H. Stafford Library. She is also the President of her school's Robotics Team and plans to pursue Electrical Engineering in the future, while growing her passion for community.

Jodi Ritacca


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!

Lee Vague


Margaret Wachholz


Mark Cavaleri


Mark is President of Cavaleri Consulting, LLC, since retiring from 3M where he was Lead Research Specialist. He was also a professor at Macalester College and served in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service. He has a Ph.D. in Mineraology/Petrology. He has served on the Woodbury YMCA Board of Directors, the YMCA International Committee, the Woodbury Lions Club and the American Society for Testing and Materials International. A Woodbury resident, Mark has a passion for youth services and has played a lead role with the Woodbury Youth Resource Connection.

Mary Giuliani Stephens


Mary Giuliani Stephens is the Mayor of Woodbury. In November 2010, she was elected Woodbury’s fifth mayor, and first female mayor. She has served on the City Council since 2007. Stephens is President of the Woodbury Economic Development Authority and is Chair of the Woodbury Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Stephens co-chairs the Regional Council of Mayors and serves on the Greater MSP Regional Competitiveness Working Group. She also serves on the Munincipal Legislative Commission (MLC) and MLC Legislative Subcommittee. Stephens is a member of the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB). She is on the Gateway Corridor Commission, chairs the Policy Advisory Board for Gateway, and is a member of the Citizen’s League Transit Study Commission.

Stephens received her BA with distinction in Political Science and Speech Communications from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 1981, she received her Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from William Mitchell College of Law. Stephens was a Partner in the St. Paul law firm of Moore, Costello, & Hart, practicing primarily in the area of commercial construction. She resigned her partnership in 1993 to spend more time with her family but continued to do part-time arbitration and mediation work, until 2007.

Stephens has served in several volunteer positions in the local and metropolitan communities. Stephens currently serves on the boards of the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce and Woodbury Community Foundation and is on the leadership team for Woodbury THRIVES. She is a member of the Woodbury Lion’s Club, and the Women Owners of Woodbury (WOW). Stephens and her family worship at Eagle Brook Church-Woodbury Campus.

Mary Hanson


Mary Hanson has called Woodbury her home most of her life. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Foundation for the good of her hometown. She is the proud Mother of 2 U.S. Marines (1 on Active duty) and a Middle School Student. Mary has a passion for teaching others. She teaches Chemistry and Forensics at Humboldt High School and is a dedicated volunteer for the St Paul Police Department Reserves as a Training Instructor. In her "spare time" she participates in programs at Eagle Brook Church.

Matt Johnson


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.

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.

Roger Green, Vice Chair


Roger has served on the Woodbury Community Foundation Board of Directors since 20xx. He believes there is an essential role for a community foundation, identifying community needs and partnering with civic, government, non-profit organizations and businesses to address those needs. While Woodbury is recognized for its high quality of life, many of our citizens face challenges in their day-to-day lives. The Community Foundation’s vision “to ensure our community is a premier and caring place to live, work and play for all” summarizes well what motivates Roger in seeking volunteer and financial support for the work of the Foundation.

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 has chaired the Leadership Team of Woodbury THRIVES since the inception of this grassroots initiative in 2014. He serves 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, Nancy, and he enjoys golf, walking, running, working out and socializing with friends in his spare time.