Meet the Foundation’s Volunteer Leaders
A volunteer board of directors with wide-ranging backgrounds — including representatives from the city, schools, chamber of commerce, clergy, and civic organizations — oversees the Eden Prairie Community Foundation.
Board members typically serve two, three-year terms and have a number of specific governing responsibilities, including duties to exercise reasonable care when making decisions, comply with governing documents, and assure the financial accountability of the organization.
Here is your Board of Directors for 2018-19:
PG Narayanan, Chair
PG Narayanan is the founder and CEO of SmiForce, Inc., and has more than 25 years of senior-level management experience in research and development, product marketing, marketing communications, channel development, operations, manufacturing, and customer service. He has managed budgets ranging from $1 million to $300 million.
He was a board member and president (2010) of the India Association of Minnesota, and is current chair of the City of Eden Prairie Human Rights and Diversity Commission. PG has also served as a board member of TPT Television and the Minnesota High Tech Association.
He resides in Eden Prairie.
Ron Case, Vice Chair
Ron Case has lived and worked in Eden Prairie for more than 35 years. After 33 years teaching elementary school in the Eden Prairie School District, he transitioned into the corporate world as a facilitator of leadership management training at UnitedHealth Group on their Enterprise Talent Development team. Currently he is working as an associate director of Network Programs, helping to manage UnitedHealthcare’s dental provider network.
Ron and his wife Kathie have raised four children in their 1880s farmhouse while both becoming deeply involved in Eden Prairie’s heritage and culture. Ron is currently serving in his 20th year on the Eden Prairie City Council and is the council representative on the Eden Prairie Community Foundation Board.
Kathy Swart, Treasurer
Kathy Swart has raised a family and lived in Eden Prairie for 23 years. She is an attorney and former partner with the law firm of Gray Plant Mooty, based in Minneapolis.
Since 2010, Kathy has served on the roster of neutrals for FINRA, the national regulator of broker-dealer firms. In 2011, she passed the CFP examination and has volunteered as a financial advocate with Prepare+Prosper, a nonprofit organization serving low- and moderate-income individuals and families in the Twin Cities.
She also serves on the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of The Stevens Square Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to programs that provide services to seniors in the Twin Cities area.
Nancy Holden, Secretary
Nancy Holden is the associate director of Revenue and Resource Advancement at Plymouth-based Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners, where she has worked since 2007. She has oversight of fund development, community engagement, and marketing/communications at Interfaith. Nancy has experienced the joy of living in Eden Prairie since moving to Minnesota in 1985.
She has worked in the nonprofit sector since earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from the University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, and more recently a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University in St. Paul. Nonprofit work has included positions at Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Washington County in Wisconsin, Good Samaritan Hospital in the Chicago area, contract work for Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, and the Annex Teen Clinic in Robbinsdale. She helped develop the FamiLink Resource Center and PROP Shop in Eden Prairie and also served as the executive director of PROP.
Over her career in Eden Prairie, she has served on a variety of local boards and advisory councils. Her three children — Charley, Chris and Kali — all attended Eden Prairie schools. Her favorite Eden Prairie activities? Jogging around Round Lake on weekends with Honey (the dog), attending the 4th of July celebration, and of course attending the Prairie Brewfest!
Joan Grootwassink, Past Chair
Joan Grootwassink is a commercial real estate broker. She and her husband Bob own and operate a commercial real estate office in Eden Prairie.
Joan is on the board of directors for the Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund, is a member of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and serves as the Events Coordinator on the Region 6 Board of Sweet Adelines International.
Joan and Bob have lived in Eden Prairie for more than 35 years. They have two grown children and five grandchildren, who also live in Eden Prairie. Free time is spent with grandchildren, cooking, reading, and singing with the City of Lakes Chorus.
Mary Abeln, Director
Mary Abeln is the owner of the local business TRUST Security, Minnesota’s ADT Security dealership for residential and small commercial security. She founded TRUST Security with her sister, Peggy Woodring, 16 years ago. She is also co-founder of Eden Prairie Lifestyle Magazine with her husband, Andy Stavast. Previously, Mary was in the financial service business.
Mary moved to Eden Prairie more than 20 years ago with her husband and daughter, Jackee. She has spent the last 8½ years working on her business, caring for her beautiful mother and enjoying her large family of nine brothers and sisters, 39 nieces and nephews, and currently 15 greats.
With new free time now that Mom has passed, Mary and Andy are getting involved in the Eden Prairie community and loving it.
Beverly Aho, Director
Beverly Aho, a business, real estate and civil litigation attorney at the James H. Gilbert Law Group, is the chair of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation’s board of directors.
She and her husband, Eden Prairie Councilmember Brad Aho, have been residents of Eden Prairie for 25 years and have three grown children and two grandchildren. They have been active in the community, serving in various capacities for nonprofits, charities, church, and school. Bev is also a member of Rotary, the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, and Eden Prairie Lioness Club.
Pastor Rod Anderson, Director
In 1977, Pastor Rod Anderson and his wife, Julane, and their three children – Nathan Ben and Chelsea – moved to Eden Prairie, where he was the first called pastor to a new congregation named St. Andrew Lutheran Church. Back then the community was more akin to the rural and small-town Cannon Falls community where Rod and Julane grew up, but it was poised to grow up to become the top place to live and work, learn and play, and worship that it is today.
Serving the community as pastor for 34 years, Pastor Rod played key roles in establishing and growing “philanthropic” programs and services, including PROP, St. Andrew Job Transition Networking Group, and the Eden Prairie Community Foundation.
Currently he has part-time “encore” employments as ambassador coordinator for Gustavus Adolphus College and as chaplain for The Colony Senior Living in EP. Rod and family spend time at the lake for fun and for maintaining his collection of one 1948 John Deere tractor.
Carlos Berger, Director
Carlos Berger is a global sales executive and business development strategist with more than 20 years of experience in complex business-to-business sales of technology-driven products and solutions.
Currently, he is the director for Business Development at Logic PD, Inc. He was formerly associated with Cummins, Inc. as Global Director of Sales-Telecom BU and Eaton Corp. as Global Manager of Business Development. He has also served as the head of business development for Shelter for Life International, a disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization.
Carlos moved to Eden Prairie more than 10 years ago, and lives here with his wife and two teenaged sons. He has been actively involved in Rotary International, STRIVE high school mentoring program, Prairie Lutheran Church, and Toastmasters. Carlos and his wife love gardening, travel, and family time.
Hanadi Chehabeddine, Director
Named “World Class peacekeeper” by the Star Tribune newspaper, Eden Prairie resident Hanadi Chehabeddine is a public speaker on diversity and inclusion and a media professional on Islam.
She is a Human Rights Award recipient from the City of Eden Prairie (individual award, 2015), a TEDx speaker, and a U.S. State Department international speaker.
She is active on the Foundation’s Grant Committee.
Alfonso Chicre, Director
Alfonso Chicre is originally from Colombia and has been in the United States for 19 years.
He earned a master’s degree in business management from Hamline University and has 14-plus years of experience in merchandising, inventory, diversity and sales. Alfonso is currently working at BSH (Bosch Siemens Home Appliances group) as a senior national sales account manager.
Alfonso and his family have lived in Eden Prairie for 15 years and enjoy spending time with family and friends. He is also a member of the Eden Prairie Toastmasters Association.
Ranee Jacobus, Director
Ranee Jacobus is in her second term as an elected director on the Eden Prairie School Board, serving the past four years as Chair. Jacobus enjoyed a 20-year corporate career in finance and investment management with Cargill, Inc. and Wells Fargo Corporate Bank. As a VP in the Master Trust and Custody Services Group, she focused on the financial asset management of large Fortune 500 corporate retirement plans and large foundations.
Along with the Eden Prairie Community Foundation board, she has served on several boards and committees over the past 10 years, including Hazeltine National Golf Club, the Jacobus Family Foundation and the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce Government/Public Policy Committee.
Ranee and her husband Randy have been residents of Eden Prairie since 1983. Their four children are graduates of Eden Prairie High School. Hobbies include golf, biking, running, hiking and their three grandchildren.
Jeff Jiang, Director
Jeff is the founder of TransWealth Advisors LLC as well as a founder of the Eden Prairie Chinese Association, which he serves as vice chair. He’s been active on the Eden Prairie Community Education Advisory Council and on the Foundation’s Development Committee.
Jeff holds a bachelor of arts degree from the Foreign Affairs College in Beijing, a master’s degree in political science, and a second master’s in human resource and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
He and his wife and their two sons reside in Eden Prairie.
Elaine Larabee, Director
Elaine Larabee is the Eden Prairie School Board’s representative to the EPCF Board of Directors, elected to the board in January 2018. She has been a member of the School Board since January 2014 and was re-elected to a second term in November 2017.
She has been a tax accountant for 21 years and is currently a principal in a local CPA firm, Jeffery Sauer, CPA.
Elaine and her husband Kevin have lived in Eden Prairie for 20 years and her current volunteer activities in addition to the Eden Prairie Community Foundation include Eden Prairie A.M. Rotary Club as treasurer and Haven House Board of Directors.
Jay Lotthammer, Director
For the past nine years, Jay Lotthammer has been the Parks and Recreation director for the City of Eden Prairie. Previously, he spent nearly 19 years working for the City of Brooklyn Park. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Concordia University.
Jay is currently the past president of the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association and has also served as the MRPA’s president, board member and chair of the Continuing Education Committee. He also currently serves as the treasurer for the Star of the North State Games.
Jay and his wife Shannon have lived in Eden Prairie for more than eight years.
Pastor Paul Nelson, Director
Paul Nelson is senior pastor for Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, a calling he has gratefully served for the past 22 years.
Having grown up next door in Bloomington, Paul’s connections to Eden Prairie go farther back as he worked at Olympic Hills Golf Course in high school, served as youth worker previously at Immanuel, and intern-pastored at Prairie Lutheran Church. Paul also serves as vice chair for the board of Vibrant Faith Ministries, is past president of the Eden Prairie Ministerial Association, and is a member of the Eden Prairie Noon Rotary.
He and his wife Karen, a native of Eden Prairie and teacher at the middle school, are proud parents of two daughters, and are thrilled to regularly spend time taking care of two granddaughters.
Tina Palmer, Director
Tina Palmer, MA, CFRE has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years with significant leadership experience in fundraising, marketing, communications, management, and board governance.
Currently, she is the Senior Philanthropy Officer for Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. Previously, she has worked in leadership positions at Avivo, Catholic Charities, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Volunteers of America, and Scholarship America.
Tina and her family have enjoyed living in Eden Prairie since 1998. She is actively involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and provides regular speaking engagements and consulting on behalf of nonprofit organizations throughout the metro area.
Bhutan, Honduras, Argentina, and South Korea.