2018-19 Board of Directors Bios

Steve Astrup, West Central Regional Representative (2-year term)

Steve is an associate attorney at Vogel Law Firm in Moorhead, Minnesota, where he concentrates his practice on estate planning, trust formation & Conservatorship. Before joining Vogel, Steve practiced at a boutique law firm in Fargo and prior to that, within the Clay County Attorney’s Office in Moorhead and the Washington County Public Defender’s Office in Stillwater. He received his undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Business from Concordia College and his J.D. from the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

Steve is an active member of his community and has served on the Board of Directors for The Arc West Central and on the Interim Board for The Arc Minnesota. He also serves on the Board for the Hospice of the Red River Valley, is a firefighter for the Dilworth Fire Department and a member of the Planning Commission for the City of Dilworth. He grew up on a farm, and still farms both his and his family’s farmland in and around Dilworth, Minnesota.

Rachel Freeman (2-year term)

A Senior Research Associate with the U of M Institute on Community Integration (ICI), Rachel has had an extensive career in the field of disability, particularly in the area of Positive Behavior Support. She earned a B.S. in Psychology, a Ph.D. in Special Education and Rehabilitation from the University of Oregon, Eugene, Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program, and Postdoctoral Work: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Department of Communication Disorders. She has served in leadership capacities in state, national and international Boards and Committees for Positive Behavior Supports and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Certification and Training.

Rachel has experience working across the state of Minnesota working with service providers, counties and public health organizations who are interested in implementing person-centered practices and positive behavior support. Rachel hopes to bring her knowledge of practices that help improve the quality of life outcomes for people and research on sustainable implementation of these practices. She believes people with disabilities are important advocates for these practices and have an essential role in teaching and prompting the people who support them to use more person-centered and positive strategies. Rachel resides in Minneapolis with her spouse, Larry.

Lynn Klaber, Southwest Regional Representative (2-year term)

Lynn Klaber grew up with the Arc having a sibling with disabilities in the 1970s and her parents were actively involved with their local Arc chapter. Lynn received her Masters degree in Special Education and taught for 40 years in the Mankato area.

Lynn is now a retired Special Education Teacher, living in North Mankato and is active in her community, both within her church, the DFL and as a member of the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, teaching prejudice reduction workshops in public schools. Lynn has been deeply involved with the Arc Minnesota through the restructuring process, serving on the Cross Board Task Force and then on the Interim Board of Directors.

Brett Nelson, Midstate Regional Representative (2-year term)

Brett became active with The Arc Minnesota through Board membership with The Arc Midstate beginning in 2007, where he served as Chair. His initial involvement was as a new parent of a child with Down syndrome in 2004. Brett has a B.S. from the University of South Dakota and works for Cisco Systems. His technology expertise is valuable as we work to integrate our systems and use technology in new ways to transform how we can expand our reach and impact.

Brett was engaged in the Cross-Board Task Force to explore restructuring of The Arc and is currently serving on The Arc Minnesota Interim Board and the Board Development Commitee. He is interested in the foundational nature of the integration. Focusing on the work of providing appropriate services and address the unique needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families is his priority. Brett lives with his spouse and three teens in Clear Lake.

Nathan Scott (2-year term)

Nathan is a self-advocate in southwestern Minnesota. He resides in Sherburne and has been active in the Arc Southwest for several years. Nathan is a proud graduate of the Olmstead Academy and uses skills learned there in everyday life. Nathan is employed and takes great pride in his employment. He is in his second year of serving as an ACT (Advocating Change Together) representative for self – advocates. He is the president of the Aktion Club (a theater group presenting plays celebrating the lives of persons with disabilities) in Fairmont. Nathan is a member of the CTIC (Community Transition Integration Committee) in Fairmont and gives presentations to various groups, including testimony to state lawmakers.

He is a “go to” volunteer for events in his area. Nathan has also participated in Disability Awareness Day at the state capitol. Nathan was elected as a delegate to his County and Senate District and had the opportunity to be elected as a Congressional District and State Convention delegate. He would have gladly embraced this opportunity if finances had not been an issue. Nathan is a strong voice for self-advocates and will serve them well as their representative in the state board.

Tim Allen (3-year term)

As Partner, CFO and Senior V.P. of Corporate Services at Dominium, Tim is responsible for the leadership and oversight of accounting, finance, tax functions, HR management, information technology and other administrative functions. He is a graduate of the U of M where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Strategic Management from the U of M Carlson School of Management.

As a parent of three, his 17- year-old middle daughter has intellectual and developmental disabilities, and he found The Arc soon after Maggie was born. By 2000, he joined The Arc Minnesota Board and brought his skills to the organization in his roles as Treasurer and Board President. In joining our newly merged organization, Tim hopes to leverage his executive and leadership skills and his passion for enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, particularly with inclusion and advocacy in education, housing, and employment opportunities. Tim resides in Plymouth.

Stan Alleyne (3-year term)

Stan Alleyne is the Chief of Communications and Partnerships for Vitals™ Aware Services, a Minnesota- based company dedicated to social good. Stan leads the communications, public relations, and partnership development components of the company. He establishes and oversees strategic partnerships between Vitals™ Aware Services and its civic, governmental and corporate partners, including The Arc Minnesota, where the focus is to improve interactions between law enforcement and people living with various intellectual, behavioral and emotional disabilities.

Stan has extensive experience in the communications field, most recently, leading the social responsibility, nonprofit, education and diversity/inclusion practice for Tunheim, a Twin Cities-based Communications Consulting agency. Stan brings a deep desire and knowledge in diversity and inclusion work. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and Illusion Theater. Stan’s outside interests include his children’s’ sports and other activities, wearing his chauffer hat with his 11 and 14-year-old kids. In Stan’s words, “With all that I have learned and experienced, I want to help individuals and families going through what we went through. I want to use my talents and skills to affect positive change.” Stan resides in Minneapolis.

Heidi Larson (3-year term)

Heidi has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from Hamline University. She works at Optum as the Senior Director, Office of the CIO. Heidi has spent over 24 years in various leadership roles with West LegalEdcenter, West Education Group, Thomson Reuters and BARBRI. Heidi has significant skills in the areas of operational effectiveness, business process reengineering, project management and technology development, including online education. She is a licensed Minnesota attorney with experience in contracts and negotiations. Heidi proposed and launched the Thomson Reuters Pro Bono Connection Program in 2009, created to encourage pro bono legal services by employees and is passionate about advocating for people who may not be able to advocate for themselves independently.

Heidi was a Director of The Greater Twin Cities Board and active in a number of program and organizational committees and task forces. Heidi chaired the 2018 Arc Gala Sponsorship Committee, increasing gifts by over 35% from the year prior. She is passionate about human rights and equal justice for all. The Arc mission is compelling to Heidi and she hopes to raise the visibility of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, ensure the organization is operating efficiently, using technology effectively, and engage in our public policy, trainings and fundraising efforts. Heidi and her family reside in Apple Valley.

Kim Norton (3-year term)

Kim has a B.S. in Special Education/Human Development from the University of Nebraska, credits in Deaf Education, an MPA from the University Of Minnesota Humphrey School Of Public Affairs. Kim also attended the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Power Executive Education Program; Rockwood’s Leadership Training and is a trained facilitator of the NICD’s Civil Discourse Training. She has a passion for public service, education, public health and service to those who need a voice. Kim served on the Rochester School Board for eight years and as a state Representative in the Minnesota House for ten years. She is  Mayor of Rochester.

She has known about and worked with The Arc both in Nebraska as a college student, as a professional Interagency Family Connection in Rochester, as a School Board member on the Special Education Task Force and cooperatively as a state legislator with The Arc Minnesota. Kim’s broad background as a parent and community advocate, as a professional serving people with disabilities and as a legislator, working on policy would bring unique and helpful skills to The Arc Minnesota Board. Kim lives in Rochester with her spouse and they have four adult children, a stepson, and two grandchildren.

Randy Pattee (3-year term)

Randy earned a B.A. in History from the College of Wooster in Ohio and his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, PA. He is a partner at Fox Rothschild, LLP. As a parent of a son with autism, Randy has devoted significant volunteer time in various community, public sector and non-profit organizations: Chair of the Board for Fraser Services, Hopkins School District Special Education Advisory Board, Hennepin County Mental Health Advisory Council and Legal Access Point Walk-in Free Clinic.

Randy has a keen interest in working to advance public and government policy that will have a positive impact for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The skills he is eager to bring to our work with The Board includes advocacy, writing skills, knowledge of the system, clarity in defining organizational goals and outcomes to achieve. Randy and his spouse reside in Minnetonka and have three adult sons.

Felicity Riley (3-year term)

Felicity received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at Mankato State University. She has 20 years of experience, formerly at large public accounting firms, with the last 13 years at United Health Group. In addition to her finance acumen, Felicity has proven skills in strategic planning, process optimization and acquisition integration, all helpful as we navigate the integration of systems and our overall operations statewide. She first volunteered with The Arc in 2010 for the Arc Gala Sponsorship Committee and has been a loyal, creative, and tenacious leader with our Gala Steering Committee and
Sub-Committees ever since. We have seen the revenues from the gala grow annually and Felicity is one of the core members of this important fundraiser for The Arc. She recently joined the Finance Committee, and has a strong interest in enhancing Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores. Another interest of Felicity’s is to extend The Arc’s mission and brand in the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

She is eager and willing to volunteer her time with the Board, Human Resources Committee, Business Development, The Arc Gala and Annual Fund and the Statewide Integration efforts. Committed, focused and passionate about The Arc mission, Felicity brings fresh perspectives and energy to our talented cadre of volunteers. She resides in St. Paul with her spouse and two young, busy children.

Brian Schreifels (3-year term)

Brian got involved with The Arc through the Self-Advocacy Advisory Committee. Brian attended the Dakota County Technical College and was in the Student Worker Program, Educator and Tutor. He is a lifelong learner and attends various trainings to expand his knowledge and skills, including Sexuality and Developmental Disabilities Training Workshops (he is now a guest panelist for these trainings), Engaging Elected Officials—How to Become a Community Activist and Disability Equality Training Series. Brian is employed by Lakeville Hyvee and is a Sexuality Educator and Trainer for Adults with Intellectual and Development Disabilities.

Brian is interested in service on the Board as a way” to add value for his own growth and the mission that The Arc Minnesota strives to accomplish. He believes he offers the Board a perspective that they may it not get and be a voice for those who don’t have their voice but need and want to be heard”.
Brian intends to bring drive, passion, proactive planning and inclusive communication to the Board’s work. Ultimately, he would like to see more inclusive communication in the general public. Given his passion for public speaking engagements and his wise and compelling messages, he may prove to advance his agenda and The Arc mission forward in a big way. Brian lives in Rosemount.

Maurice Blanks (4-year term)

Maurice has been a part of The Arc family most of his life, first in Texas where he grew up with his brother Billy, who was born with Down syndrome. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Williams College and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1991, Maurice had a successful career in Chicago. He found his way to Minneapolis in 2002, and as he says, “I walked in the door of The Arc Greater Twin Cities in 2003 to volunteer,” and are we delighted he did!

Maurice is the Co-Founder and COO of Blu Dot Design & Manufacturing, Inc. He has been engaged in The Arc’s Marketing Committee, the Honorary Board, and has attended and supported The Arc Gala annually with his spouse, Sally, and you will often see him and at least one of his two teen daughters volunteering at the annual Arc in the Park picnic. He is a Trustee and immediate past chair of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, a former Director of Milkweed Editions and a Director on the Dean’s Advisory Board at the College of Design at the U of M. He hopes to bring his skills in non-profit governance, operations management, retail development and management, as well as advising on marketing and messaging. Maurice states, “I strongly believe in and care about the mission of The Arc. In the 15 years that I have been involved with The Arc, I have seen what an important, essential role it plays in the lives of people with disabilities and their families”. Maurice and his family reside in Minneapolis.

Nancy Fitzsimons (4-year term)

Nancy is a Professor of Social Work at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has a B.S. in Social Work from Mankato State University, and a Master and Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Since moving back to Minnesota in 2001, Nancy has attended The Arc conferences, collaborated with The Arc Greater Twin Cities on the Abuse and Neglect Prevention Initiatives, and co- chaired the Olmstead Specialty Committee to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. Nancy is a recognized leader in the work around interpersonal violence (abuse and neglect) of people with disabilities, including curriculum development, author of books and publications and presenting at state, national and international conferences.

Nancy has been involved in her region of The Arc Southwest for eight years. She was a recipient of The Arc Change Maker Award. Nancy wants to offer her time, talents and passion for creating a better Minnesota for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities from a human rights and justice perspective. She is a Racial Justice Facilitator with the YWCA of Mankato and a participant in a two- year community dialogue: Write on Race to be Write on Race through the Greater Mankato Diversity Council. Nancy hopes to ensure that the needs, issues and opportunities throughout the state are understood, represented and incorporated into The Arc Minnesota’s advocacy and other initiatives.
Nancy lives with her spouse in North Mankato.

Debbi Harris, Greater Twin Cities Regional Representative (4-year term)

Debbi has a B.A. is from Hamline University, and a M.S. in Health Science Administration from Cardinal Stritch University, and has completed advanced certification in creative writing. Debbi came to The Arc through our Sibshops program, “that was the beginning of a very positive journey with The Arc, over 20 years ago—a lifelong path that has helped anchor our family and get us through the confusion.” Debbi’s son Josh has complex health care needs. She has been an extraordinary volunteer and leader with The Arc, engaging in a breadth of work that includes Public Policy, Strategic Planning, Governance, Arc Cross-Board Restructure Task Force, The Arc MN Board Liaison, and The Arc U.S. Diversity Committee. She was a Board Chair for The Arc Greater Twin Cities. Debbi also serves on the Board of Family Voices, was active with the Ethics Committee at both Children’s Minnesota Hospital, Gillette Specialty Healthcare and Children’s Health Care Home Committee.

Debbi’s son Josh and she has provided important testimony at the legislature, shared their family story and her deep expertise to varied audiences from elected officials to national conferences and expert panels. Debbi’s passion to “be a part of the transition of ushering The Arc Minnesota into the future— into the hands of the next generation of activists and advocates who will carry on the promise and essence of the work that started over 70 years ago, but with social tools needed to keep the organization sustainable in vastly changing times.”

Tom Judd (4-year term)

Tom’s expertise has served The Arc well, particularly in the areas of governance, finance, business and organizational issues. He earned a B.S. in Finance/Economics from Purdue University and his J.D. from IIT Chicago Kent College of Law. Tom previously practiced with the law firms of Moss & Barnett and Fredrickson & Byron in Minneapolis and now practices with the law firm of Morrison Sund, PLLP in Minnetonka.

Tom has devoted decades to service with The Arc at the local, state and national level. He has been a strong leader and guiding force with multiple mergers of The Arc, most recently the coming together of seven independent chapters of The Arc in Minnesota into one organization. With relatives with disabilities, Tom’s passion for The Arc mission to protect and promote human rights, is demonstrated through his engagement as a former Board Chair for The Arc Greater Twin Cities and has served on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer for The Arc U.S. Committee work has included Position Statements Task Force, Governance, The Arc Restructure Force, Interim Board of Directors and the Finance Committee for The Arc Minnesota. At the national level, Tom serves on the committees of Legal Advocacy, Arc Ambassadors and Budget, Audit and Finance Sub-Committee. Tom resides with his family in Excelsior.

Mary Liddicoat (4-year term)

Prior to moving to Minneapolis, Mary served as in-house employment counsel at Boston Scientific outside of Boston. Before that, she practiced at Bingham McCutchen in Boston focusing on employment law. She has directed her time and talent to a number of volunteer efforts including College Possible, Citizen School tutor, and mentor, Women’s Bar Association Project for Battered Women, Boston Lawyers Group: Minority Law Student Mentor, and is a graduate of the Anti-Defamation League Steinberg Leadership Institute. Mary earned a B.A. from Colgate University and J.D. from Northeastern School of Law.

With three children ages 9, 10 and 12, Mary is an active volunteer in school life as well. Mary and her spouse John served as The Arc Gala Co-Chairs for 2018, exceeding the fundraising goal by over
$200,000. The 2018 Arc Gala was a family affair and all the Liddicoats proved to be incredible ambassadors for The Arc and our mission. Their middle child, Jake, has Williams Syndrome. Mary is a staunch advocate of disability rights. She would like to leverage her passion and advocacy experience to support those with intellectual and developmental disabilities by promoting favorable public policies, and help The Arc Minnesota leverage its available resources to serve multiple constituents in the most effective way possible.

Peggy O’Toole-Martin, Southeast Regional Representative (4-year term)

Peggy received her MS in Family Studies from Purdue University and spent her career in Early Childhood Services, most recently as Program Manager for Early Childhood Family Services for the Public
Schools. She grew up with a sibling with a disability and became involved in The Arc when her daughter with a disability was born 34 years ago.

The full inclusion and respect of persons with disabilities is an issue that has been important to her for most of her life. This passion led her to public speaking on topics related to working with, and supporting families with children with special needs Peggy’s Board service includes Chair for The Arc Southeast Board, S.E. Regional Advisory Council, Director on The Arc Minnesota Interim Board, the Board of PossAbilites and Minnesota’s Association for Family and Early Educators. She provided critical leadership throughout the work of the Cross-Board Task Force that explored the restructure and eventual merger of The Arc Minnesota with six other regions.

She is eager to help support the transition and establishment of a new statewide organization of The Arc so that those with disabilities have access, supports, resources and opportunities to be fully participating members of our communities. Honoring the grassroots engagement efforts across the state to develop public policy, strengthen connections for people to programs and services, and help to grow support to meet local needs and interests. Peggy has three grown children and resides in Rochester with her husband.

Darla Nemec (4-year term)

A member of our Finance Committee for 10+ years, a Director and the Treasurer for The Arc Greater Twin Cities board, Darla brings a deep understanding of non-profits and financial management to our organization. She is currently the Director of Finance and Operations for Children’s Cancer Research Fund, and previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for CaringBridge. Prior career experience in business and finance has included MN Multi Housing Association, Weisman Enterprises, a management company that designed and managed income opportunities for retail, hotel and health care customers, PlanAnalytics/Search 401(k), Border Foods, and LearnNowOnline, an Application Developers Training Company.

As a parent of a son with a disability, Darla believes it is important to keep legislators informed on the needs and issues of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and is eager to bring her non-profit and finance expertise to The Arc Minnesota Board. Darla resides with her family in Eden Prairie.

Mike Wall (4-year term)

Mike earned his B.A. at Dartmouth College and his MBA at UCLA. He is part of the Health and Wellness Services, Sales and Account Management organization at Optum. Mike grew up with a sibling who had intellectual disabilities. Now a parent of a teen with Down syndrome, Mike shares, “I have gained insight and experience that has enabled me to help advance the mission and optimize the effectiveness of Arc’s programs throughout the Twin Cities. I am also committed to pursuing opportunities to use corporate, entrepreneurial and personal experience in a meaningful way and contribute to the development and growth of a now statewide vital nonprofit.” Mike served on The Arc Greater Twin Cities Board since 2013 and he, along with his spouse Suzanne, served as Co-Chairs for The Arc Gala in 2016.

Mike (and his family) is the “go to” volunteer who embraces every opportunity to help, wears The Arc Ambassador hat with enthusiasm and conviction, sets the bar high for our goals and brings his creative, strategic business acumen, leadership and collaborative approach to our work. A particular area of interest for Mike is how to achieve scale with our advocacy services statewide, leveraging technology and corporate partnerships. Mike resides in Maple Plain with his spouse, teen daughter and three young adult children who appear when school and work allows.