Board of Directors

active board of directors:


Jeannine Peterson, board chair

Jeannine Peterson is currently serving as Board Chair on the Board of Directors at Spark-Y. She leads the Executive Committee to support and help drive the growth of the organization and the keen proliferation of the Spark-Y vision and mission. From the moment she walked into the Spark-Y offices and met the staff, leaders and visionaries, she was excited and committed to the vision of Fresh, Local, Sustainable and Youth-Grown. She has a passion for local, organic foods and cooking, as well as, encouraging youth in alternative learning methods and entrepreneurship.  Jeannine is currently Senior Vice President of Client Experience & Business Development at AmTrust Financial Services. She has over twenty-five years of experience in leadership and senior management roles and has developed customer experience strategies for numerous Fortune 500 brands. She has also headed up business development and sales organizations at Thomson Reuters, AmTrust Financial Services and Results Companies, as well as, during her tenure as President of Skybridge Americas.  Jeannine believes deeply in the vision of Spark-Y, the passionate and dedicated team, the exuberant leaders and the success trajectory of the organization which sets up a fantastic scenario for Spark-Y to drive explosive growth and realize an even greater impact across the Twin Cities and beyond. Jeannine is honored to be supporting Spark-Y and is excited about the future for our youth, environment and community.

Jeannine Peterson is currently serving as Board Chair on the Board of Directors at Spark-Y. She leads the Executive Committee to support and help drive the growth of the organization and the keen proliferation of the Spark-Y vision and mission. From the moment she walked into the Spark-Y offices and met the staff, leaders and visionaries, she was excited and committed to the vision of Fresh, Local, Sustainable and Youth-Grown. She has a passion for local, organic foods and cooking, as well as, encouraging youth in alternative learning methods and entrepreneurship.

Jeannine is currently Senior Vice President of Client Experience & Business Development at AmTrust Financial Services. She has over twenty-five years of experience in leadership and senior management roles and has developed customer experience strategies for numerous Fortune 500 brands. She has also headed up business development and sales organizations at Thomson Reuters, AmTrust Financial Services and Results Companies, as well as, during her tenure as President of Skybridge Americas.

Jeannine believes deeply in the vision of Spark-Y, the passionate and dedicated team, the exuberant leaders and the success trajectory of the organization which sets up a fantastic scenario for Spark-Y to drive explosive growth and realize an even greater impact across the Twin Cities and beyond. Jeannine is honored to be supporting Spark-Y and is excited about the future for our youth, environment and community.

steve Schumacher, vice chair

Steve Schumacher wanted to become a Spark-Y board member because of our mission of sustainability and empowering youth. Steve has volunteered with youth for most of his adult life and Spark-Y was an excellent opportunity to contribute. As a board member, Steve hopes to help Spark-Y grow and serve more youth with our great programs. Steve has also been a gardener for most of his life and, as of last year, he is a University of Minnesota Master Gardener and is on the path to becoming a Master Naturalist. The focus on "sustainability", which can be applied to all Spark-Y programs, is of significant importance and interest to him. Steve has many years of business and government experience in the areas of technology, designing and implementing education programs, and consulting. He is looking forward to the many Spark-Y opportunities to share this knowledge and experience to further grow our programs.

Steve Schumacher wanted to become a Spark-Y board member because of our mission of sustainability and empowering youth. Steve has volunteered with youth for most of his adult life and Spark-Y was an excellent opportunity to contribute. As a board member, Steve hopes to help Spark-Y grow and serve more youth with our great programs. Steve has also been a gardener for most of his life and, as of last year, he is a University of Minnesota Master Gardener and is on the path to becoming a Master Naturalist. The focus on "sustainability", which can be applied to all Spark-Y programs, is of significant importance and interest to him. Steve has many years of business and government experience in the areas of technology, designing and implementing education programs, and consulting. He is looking forward to the many Spark-Y opportunities to share this knowledge and experience to further grow our programs.


Mark philion, treasurer

Deep down inside me there is still a guy that wants to go out and plant trees to save the world. That’s why I joined Spark-Y; Spark-Y is committed to saving the world, one hydroponic microgreen and one young adult at a time. When you meet us, you will understand.  I was forged as a Combat Infantry Marine. I believe in adapting quickly to a situation and adopting best of breed practices in order to serve my stakeholders. My civilian career path has lead me though industries as both practitioner and leader in sales, operations, and marketing. In the business world, I am a leader of Strategic Business Development, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Portfolio Strategy.  I am involved with the Spark-Y Innovation committee where we are driving the path forward on how to increase the deliverables of Spark-Y in both saleable product and public outreach.  I met Zach through being students of Aikido, a modern martial art that synthesizes many others. “Ai”-“Ki”-“Do” translates as the “way of combining forces”. This philosophy is helping me to become a better business leader, professional downhill ski instructor, father, husband, human, and Spark-Y supporter.   LinkedIN

Deep down inside me there is still a guy that wants to go out and plant trees to save the world. That’s why I joined Spark-Y; Spark-Y is committed to saving the world, one hydroponic microgreen and one young adult at a time. When you meet us, you will understand.

I was forged as a Combat Infantry Marine. I believe in adapting quickly to a situation and adopting best of breed practices in order to serve my stakeholders. My civilian career path has lead me though industries as both practitioner and leader in sales, operations, and marketing. In the business world, I am a leader of Strategic Business Development, Corporate Strategy and Corporate Portfolio Strategy.

I am involved with the Spark-Y Innovation committee where we are driving the path forward on how to increase the deliverables of Spark-Y in both saleable product and public outreach.

I met Zach through being students of Aikido, a modern martial art that synthesizes many others. “Ai”-“Ki”-“Do” translates as the “way of combining forces”. This philosophy is helping me to become a better business leader, professional downhill ski instructor, father, husband, human, and Spark-Y supporter.

LinkedIN

tamara will, secretary

In 2016 I was searching for an outlet for my co-passions of sustainability and serving youth. I hit the jackpot when I found Spark-Y. The organization is truly changing the world. The enthusiasm, knowledge, and compassion each staff member brings every day to every young person with whom they work is inspiring. They are transforming the education paradigm and it’s working.

I help by sharing my knowledge, my experience, and my energy. At 15 I began my volunteer work with the Youth ARC, an organization serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Since then, I have helped organizations serving the disabled, as well as those serving the broader birth through 12th-grade population, to develop solid guiding principles and form pragmatic action plans to reach their goals.

My background is in strategic and tactical planning, marketing/communications, project leadership, and program management. I am a lifelong learner, most recently earning my certificate as a sustainability strategist. Spark-Y is the perfect place for me to contribute my skills and feed my soul.

LinkedIN


erania brackett

Erania joined Medtronic in December 2017. Before joining Medtronic, Erania held positions of increasing responsibility leading sales, services P&L’s and manufacturing sites in the diagnostic imaging healthcare services and consumer product businesses. An established commercial, services and operations professional, Erania excels at customer-oriented delivery and operational transformations. Erania’s demonstrated results in customer delivery excellence, continuous improvement, and operational excellence positioned her well as the C&I Operations Leader.  In her first year as the C&I Operations Leader, Erania has built service delivery and solutions management operational systems that ensure customer service and experience commitments are met. This infrastructure will ensure a smooth transition of Connectivity & Insights to a software as a service and solution ecosystem.  Before joining Medtronic, Erania worked at GE Healthcare for 15 years and held commercial and operational leadership roles in Sacramento, CA, Atlanta, GA, Southern California, and Denver. Before joining GE Healthcare, Erania worked for Procter and Gamble, in Kansas City, KS and held several engineering, operations management, and continuous improvement positions.  Erania holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Tuskegee University and is pursuing an MBA.

Erania joined Medtronic in December 2017. Before joining Medtronic, Erania held positions of increasing responsibility leading sales, services P&L’s and manufacturing sites in the diagnostic imaging healthcare services and consumer product businesses. An established commercial, services and operations professional, Erania excels at customer-oriented delivery and operational transformations. Erania’s demonstrated results in customer delivery excellence, continuous improvement, and operational excellence positioned her well as the C&I Operations Leader.

In her first year as the C&I Operations Leader, Erania has built service delivery and solutions management operational systems that ensure customer service and experience commitments are met. This infrastructure will ensure a smooth transition of Connectivity & Insights to a software as a service and solution ecosystem.

Before joining Medtronic, Erania worked at GE Healthcare for 15 years and held commercial and operational leadership roles in Sacramento, CA, Atlanta, GA, Southern California, and Denver. Before joining GE Healthcare, Erania worked for Procter and Gamble, in Kansas City, KS and held several engineering, operations management, and continuous improvement positions.

Erania holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Tuskegee University and is pursuing an MBA.

dr. alan chEng

Dr. Alan Cheng graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. He later matriculated to Yale Medical School where he earned his MD degree. He served as an intern and a resident in internal medicine on the Osler Medical Service at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He remained at Hopkins for his general cardiology and advanced cardiac electrophysiology training. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University and served as the Director of the Arrhythmia Device Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2016, he transitioned to become the Vice President of Cardiac Rhythm Management Clinical Research and Therapy Development for Medtronic and currently serves as part time on faculty as an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and is the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health R01 research grant focused on atrial fibrillation and strokes.  As a physician, Dr. Cheng knows firsthand the how practical application of the sciences can result in a lot of good to society and was inspired by Spark-Y’s use of STEM and entrepreneurship to prepare and motivate youth to change the world. He is also mindful of how fast our understanding of the sciences is moving. In his role at Spark-Y, Dr. Cheng hopes to work with the staff to help shape the STEM curriculum so that we are appropriately preparing our youth for the future.  Dr. Cheng is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Cardiac Electrophysiology. He is recognized as a fellow of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society, and the European Society of Cardiology.   LinkedIn

Dr. Alan Cheng graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. He later matriculated to Yale Medical School where he earned his MD degree. He served as an intern and a resident in internal medicine on the Osler Medical Service at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He remained at Hopkins for his general cardiology and advanced cardiac electrophysiology training. He joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University and served as the Director of the Arrhythmia Device Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2016, he transitioned to become the Vice President of Cardiac Rhythm Management Clinical Research and Therapy Development for Medtronic and currently serves as part time on faculty as an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and is the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health R01 research grant focused on atrial fibrillation and strokes.

As a physician, Dr. Cheng knows firsthand the how practical application of the sciences can result in a lot of good to society and was inspired by Spark-Y’s use of STEM and entrepreneurship to prepare and motivate youth to change the world. He is also mindful of how fast our understanding of the sciences is moving. In his role at Spark-Y, Dr. Cheng hopes to work with the staff to help shape the STEM curriculum so that we are appropriately preparing our youth for the future.

Dr. Cheng is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and has been board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases and Cardiac Electrophysiology. He is recognized as a fellow of the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society, and the European Society of Cardiology.

LinkedIn


DR. Rhiannon Dalrymple

Dr. Rhiannon Dalrymple is a naturalist at heart. She is scientist specializing in Ecology, Botany and Biogeography currently working for world-leading Professors at UNSW Sydney, using her communication and problem solving skills and a critical eye to complete their most difficult research projects and publish them in international, peer-reviewed journals. Her passion for sustainability and the natural world, and an innate love of learning and sharing knowledge, brought her to Spark-Y for the internship of 2015. She’s been with Spark-Y ever since as she understands that we must empower youth to prepare for the difficult future they will face.  She was so proud to join the board after three years serving as the Program Director for the organization. The time she spent on staff has given her a firm grasp of the shining accomplishments and the coming challenges of the organization, and she brings a valuable perspective on our mode of engagement, leadership culture and how to enable success by empowering the team. She is pleased to be able to bring her broad experience in education, from play-based learning for kindergarten to active-classroom delivery of specialized university courses, to help the board to fulfill our mission while staying grounded in our educational foundation.   LinkedIn

Dr. Rhiannon Dalrymple is a naturalist at heart. She is scientist specializing in Ecology, Botany and Biogeography currently working for world-leading Professors at UNSW Sydney, using her communication and problem solving skills and a critical eye to complete their most difficult research projects and publish them in international, peer-reviewed journals. Her passion for sustainability and the natural world, and an innate love of learning and sharing knowledge, brought her to Spark-Y for the internship of 2015. She’s been with Spark-Y ever since as she understands that we must empower youth to prepare for the difficult future they will face.

She was so proud to join the board after three years serving as the Program Director for the organization. The time she spent on staff has given her a firm grasp of the shining accomplishments and the coming challenges of the organization, and she brings a valuable perspective on our mode of engagement, leadership culture and how to enable success by empowering the team. She is pleased to be able to bring her broad experience in education, from play-based learning for kindergarten to active-classroom delivery of specialized university courses, to help the board to fulfill our mission while staying grounded in our educational foundation.

LinkedIn

 

founder:

Mary Helen McHugh Franze

Original board members:

Contributors to the original Board of Directors:
Tammie Follett
Mary Helen McHugh Franze
Emma Robinson
Zach Robinson
Kris Sibik

board chair:

Terri Joski-Lang (2017-2018)

notable contributors:

Ayan Hargrove
Tanya Kellar, former Vice Chair
Kirk K. Marschel
Ben Russell, former Board Member
Will Scully, Videography
Curtis Wilson