Carlson School of Management

Advisory Council Biographies

kMark Ahmann
Scot Beckenbaugh

Scot Beckenbaugh serves as Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for Mediation Services and Field Programs. Beckenbaugh has been with the FMCS since 1988.

During his tenure with FMCS, he was named as Western Regional Director in January, 2004, having served as Regional Director for the Upper Midwest Region since 1997. He was the Director of Mediation Services for the Upper Midwest for two years and, before that, he was a field mediator stationed in Des Moines, Iowa.

Beckenbaugh has mediated national master agreements in the cereal, heavy equipment manufacturing, aluminum and meatpacking industries. He has extensive experience in public sector dispute mediation, as well as regulatory negotiations, public policy, land use and civil rights disputes.

From 1986 to 1988, Beckenbaugh was a Member of the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). He has served on the Twin Cities Labor Management Committee and has taught at the high school, junior college and university level. He was a bill drafter and research analyst for the Iowa Legislature.

Beckenbaugh holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.A. in Public Administration with an emphasis in Industrial Relations from the University of Iowa.

Lori Abrams

Gail Blackstone 

Lyndon Carlson

Lyndon Carlson, Representative of District 45B, is a retired social studies teacher and on his 20th term of office. He earned his B.S., social studies and graduate work from Minnesota State University, Mankato and University of St. Thomas. He is married with three children and six grandchildren. Carlson is the author and supporter of education funding, tax reform, protecting privacy, affordable health care, environmental protection, labor relations, and consumer protection. He has received many awards including the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Distinguished Service Award from the U of M Extension Service and the Legislator of the Year Award through the MN State University Student Association. Carlson is a member of the Northwest YMCS Board of Directors and volunteers through the Robbinsdale School District.

Mike DavisMike Davis is the Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources at General Mills. Previously, he was Vice President, Human Resources, U.S. Retail and Corporate, and prior to that he served as Vice President, Compensation & Benefits.

Before joining General Mills, Davis worked as a compensation consultant with Towers Perrin. When Davis left Towers Perrin, he was the firm’s worldwide practice leader for executive compensation.

Davis is a frequent speaker and author on executive and director compensation and benefits issues. He has served on four National Association of Corporate Director Blue Ribbon Commissions on the Compensation Committee, Director and CEO Performance Evaluation, Director Compensation, and Director Professionalism. He has been interviewed or quoted in Fortune, Business Week, Newsweek, Time, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times on various human resources matters.

He has spoken on compensation, benefits and general HR issues at institutions of higher education and is currently an adjunct professor in the Masters of Human Resources and Industrial Relations program at the Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota.

Davis is on the Board of the Employee Benefits Research Institute, and Executive Committee member of the Human Resource Policy Association. In Minneapolis, Mike serves on the Board of The Minneapolis Club and was previously on the Board of The Minnesota Historical Society.

Davis has two B.S. degrees from Purdue University in Industrial Management and Computer Science, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Tricia DirksTricia Dirks joined Select Comfort in April 2014 as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Capital Officer. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness for Target, a $65.4 billion retailer, headquartered in Minneapolis, with 351,000 team members at more than 1,800 locations worldwide.

Dirks joined Target Corporation in 1986 as a Manager in the Department Store Division, where she held various positions in sales and human resources.

From 1994 to 2004, Dirks was Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Marshall Field’s. In 2004, she became Vice President of Headquarters Human Resources at Target. Dirks was named Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness in 2008 and Senior Vice President in 2012. In this role she leads a team dedicated to building Target’s capabilities in leadership, innovation, critical thinking and talent management. Dirks participates in a variety of steering committees for Target including Sustainability, Reputation Management, Social Media and Well-Being.

Dirks serves on the advisory council for the Industrial Relations Center at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the Minnesota Zoo Foundation Board and the Minneapolis Human Resources Executive Council.

Dirks graduated from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. She lives in Apple Valley with her husband Doug and is the mother of three sons.

Thomas DooherThomas A. Dooher served as president of Education Minnesota from 2007 to 2013. Education Minnesota represents 70,000 teacher, education support professionals and higher education faculty members, and it is the first merged state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association.

Prior to his election as state president, Dooher served as president of the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers for 10 years.

In July 2008, Dooher was elected as a vice president and member of the AFT Executive Council. He also serves as a member of the NEA’s Member Benefits Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Center.

Dooher has a deep-seated belief in the power of labor unions to improve people’s lives and a long family history of union leadership.

He has received numerous community awards including the Leading with Faith Award presented to outstanding Catholic business leaders in September 2006 by the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul and recognition as a Foundation Hero by the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation. He believes the educator’s union is here to advocate for and meet the needs of our students.

Dohher received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Thomas (now University of St. Thomas) with K-12 physical education and 7-12 coaching licensures (1985) and a Public human resources certificate from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management (1999). He went on to receive his Master’s degree in education from Hamline University (2000).

James DworkinJames B. Dworkin began his education with a bachelor's in economics (high honors) in 1970, followed by a master's in industrial relations the next year, both from the University of Cincinnati. He earned a PhD in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota in 1977.

Dworkin spent 23 years at Purdue Univeristy working his way through the ranks to eventually become a professor.
His administrative experience at Purdue was as director of Krannert's master's in human resource management program, associate dean of the Graduate School, and both associate dean of the Krannert Graduate School of Management and School of Management.

He has been chancellor and professor of management at Purdue North Central since 2000.

Dworkin has taught negotiations and dispute resolution and collective bargaining and labor relations courses at the undergraduate, master's, executive master's, and PhD levels.

He has published over 50 articles and two books in the field of industrial and labor relations He also serves on the editorial board of three professional journals in the field of industrial relations. He continues to be active as an arbitrator, mediator and fact-finder for a variety of disputes in the public and private sectors of the economy.

Dworkin serves as a board member for many organizations including Horizon Bank, Barker Civic Center Commission and United Way of LaPorte County. In November 2000 he was inducted into the National Academy of Arbitrators. He is active in the American Association of State Colleges and Schools and serves as a member of their Commission on the Rural/Regional Agenda and Committee on the Undergraduate Experience.

Jim and his wife, Nancy, reside in Chesterton. They have two children: a son, David, and a daughter, Sarah. Jim is also the proud grandfather of two granddaughters, Allison and Abigail.

Chuck EdwardChuck Edward is the General Manager of Global University Recruiting at Microsoft. He has been with the company since 2004 working in various leadership roles in HR. Chuck started as an HR Director in the Microsoft Business Division (MBD), then spent four years leading HR for Microsoft's Customer Service and Support (CSS) Organization.


lDavid Foster is the Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.

Foster served as Director of United Steelworkers District 11, and on USW's International Executive Board governing union affairs in the U.S. and Canada.

He was chair of the USW's International Executive Board task force on environmental policy and vigorously worked to bridge the divide between workers and environmentalists in the Northwest and throughout the United States.

Foster has spoken on trade, global warming, and environmental issues to labor, management, environmental and governmental audiences in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan.

Foster sits on the Advisory Committee of the Alliance for Climate Protection, chaired by former Vice President Al Gore. He is also co-chair, with Mayors R.T. Rybak of Minneapolis and Christopher B. Coleman of Saint Paul, of the Mayors' Green Manufacturing Initiative.

He serves as adjunct faculty at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, teaching on the challenges to industrial unions in the global economy. He has also taught in the Masters in Advocacy and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Foster sits on the board of directors of Kaiser Aluminum Corporation.

In 2008, Foster was one of two inaugural winners of the Peter A. A. Berle Environmental Integrity Award, alongside James E. Hansen, Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The award recognizes demonstrated courage and integrity in defense of the environment by public officials and private citizens in the United States. In 2004, Foster was awarded the Jane Lehman Bagley Award from the Tides Foundation for his work building labor-environmental coalitions in the United States.

Jerry FriedmannJerry Friedmann

Laura GillundLaura Gillund joined Cardiovascular Systems Inc. in 2013; prior to that she was Vice President of Human Resources at C.H. Robinson where she was responsible for leading and managing HR functions and delivering HR services to C.H. Robinson and its employees. Before coming to C.H. Robinson, she was a senior vice president of human resources at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Master of Arts in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. She says, "It's important to enjoy your work. Choose a company that shows its value for people and a place where the team has a passion for what they do together."

Nancy GoldmanNancy Goldman


Tom HallTom Hall

Michael Howe

Michael Howe

Lori AbramsRyan Knapp is the Divisional Vice President in Business Human Resources at Abbott. He has had a long career with Abbott. In 1999 he returned to the U.S. from Japan where he was serving as HR Director for Abbott Laboratories' Asia/Pacific operations, and has held several positions in Abbott Park, IL since then.


Deb KnutsonDeb Knutson joined Medica in August 2003. She is responsible for human resources, learning and facilities management, including building security, hospitality and office services. She reports to the CEO and is the executive representative to the Personnel & Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. She came to Medica after 22 years at Minneapolis-based Pentair. From 1994 to 2003 she was Pentair's Vice President of Corporate Human Resources.

A Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration graduate of the University of Minnesota, Knutson is an active member of the Human Resources Executive Council (HREC) and currently serves as the Membership Chair. She also serves on the Human Capital Committee for Greater Twin Cities United Way.

Shar KnutsonShar Knutson is President of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. First elected in 2009, Knutson is the first woman to lead Minnesota's largest labor federation. Before leading the Minnesota AFL-CIO Knutson served as President of the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation for ten years, and previously served as the Regional Federation's political director.


Chris LarsenChris Larsen


lJing Liao was appointed Vice President, Global Human Resources in December, 2009. Prior to this position, she led the Global Total Rewards function at Atmel. Prior to joining Atmel, Liao served as Vice President of Global Human Resources for Avanex Corporation, where she was responsible for architecting and establishing an HR department tasked to support the restructuring and growth plan of the company. Previously Liao held HR leadership positions at Hyperion, JDS Uniphase and Adaptec. Liao received an M.A. degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business and a B.S. Degree in Chemistry from Peking University, China.

Betty McCollum

Betty McCollum is a Democrat serving her sixth term in the United States Congress, representing the families of Minnesota's Fourth District. In 2000, Congresswoman McCollum made history as only the second Minnesota woman elected to serve in Congress since statehood in 1858. In the U.S. House of Representatives, she serves the residents of Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, as well as Ramsey County, northern Dakota County and western Washington County.

Throughout her career in public service, McCollum has been a champion for excellence in education, protecting the environment, expanding health care access and fiscal responsibility.

She is a Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other relevant agencies.

McCollum holds the position of Senior Democratic Whip within the Democratic Caucus. She is also one of three House members appointed to serve on the National Council on the Arts. During the 112th Congress, she participates in several Congressional caucuses.

In addition to elected office, Congresswoman McCollum's career has included teaching high school social science, as well as, 25 years in retail sales and management. She is a graduate of St. Catherine University (formerly the College of St. Catherine), and the mother of two adult children and now lives in St. Paul.

Kathy Megarry

Kathy Megarry is the Vice President of Regional Labor Relations at Macy's Inc. Megarry has over twenty years of labor relations experience, beginning with the internship she held the first semester she was in the MA-IR program at the Carlson School.

Charlie Montreuil

Donald Moersch

Charlie Montreuil

Charlie Montreuil joined Best Buy in 2008 as vice president, human resources - enterprise rewards. In his current role, he oversees the monetary and non-monetary components of the company's Total Rewards program, which includes a portfolio of benefit and work-life plans and programs designed to help attract, retain, and reward high-performing employees.

Prior to joining Best Buy, Montreuil was the vice president of corporate human resources and total rewards for Carlson Companies. While there, he earned a Chairman's Special Achievement award - Carlson's highest career-recognition honor.

In addition to serving as chair of Buyers HealthCare Action Group, he is president of the Bridges to Excellence program, a board member of LifeSciences Alley, and a past board member of the Council of Employee Benefits.

Montreuil earned his master's of human resources and industrial relations from the Carlson School of Management (2003). Montreuil also holds an undergraduate degree in criminal justice studies, Summa Cum Laude, from St. Cloud State University and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law.

Lori Abrams

Shawn Moren

Joe Mucha

Joseph Mucha

Erin Murphy

Erin Murphy

Peter Obermeyer

Peter Obermeyer is the general partner of Arbeider, Inc., acting as an arbitrator and mediator of labor-management grievance and interest disputes in the public, private and non-profit sectors, and is listed on several state and federal arbitrator rosters. He has been active in the labor-management dispute resolution field for over 45 years. During that time he has served multiple times as an administrator of a state labor relations and mediation agency, chairman and member of a labor relations appellate board, a mediator of interest and grievance disputes, a hearing officer, and an arbitrator and fact finder of interest and grievance issues. He currently serves as the neutral trustee on the GCIU, Local 1-M Taft-Hartley Health and Welfare Trust Fund and is a member of Minnesota Health Exchange, Work Group on Small Employers and Employees. Obermeyer received his undergraduate degree in economics from St. Olaf College and graduate degrees in labor relations and educational administration from the University of Minnesota.


lkhJennifer O'Keelan is Vice President of Human Resources for Thermo King, a business of Ingersoll Rand. Thermo King is a two billion dollar manufacturer of temperature control transportation solutions, headquartered in Minneapolis, with more than 3,000 employees in several locations around the world.

O'Keelan joined Ingersoll Rand in 2011 as HR director for the Ingersoll Rand corporate global functions, human resources, integrated supply chain and engineering technology. She was the lead HR business partner responsible for creating an effective talent strategy and building organizational capability for Integrated Supply Chain functions. 

O'Keelan has a wealth of experience in providing HR strategy and strategic guidance for engineering and manufacturing focused organizations. Prior to joining Ingersoll Rand, O'Keelan worked at Johnson Controls, Honeywell, Rockwell Automation and Eaton. Throughout her career she has been an active leader in driving talent management, organizational design and effective employee relations across multi-billion dollar corporations.

O'Keelan graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in employment relations with an emphasis on industrial psychology and economics. She also earned a Master of Labor and Industrial Relations degree from Michigan State with an emphasis on employee law and negotiations.

oLaura Owen is an executive with over 30 years of Human Resources experience. Most recently, she was with ADC Telecommunications from 1997 through 2010, where she served first as the Vice President of Human Resources and then as the Chief Administrative Officer.
Scott Peterson

Scott Peterson

Sandy Tokach

Sandy Tokach
is the is Vice President of Talent Solutions at 3M. She has worked for 3M since the early 1980's when she started as a Chemist Specialist. In 2006 she was appointed to her current position, Vice President, Talent Solutions, in 3M Human Resources.

Patricia Whyffels

Patricia Wyffels

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