Board of Trustees Roster

Board of Trustees members serve on a volunteer basis and are appointed by the Governor. The board includes a trustee from each of the state’s eight congressional districts, four trustees from the state at-large, and a student member from state university, community college, and technical college. Trustee appointments are for a six-year term, except for student trustees, whose terms are for two years. Membership of the board is defined in Minn. Stat. §136F.02, subdivision 1.

For a printable trustee rosters, click here.

Comments can be submitted through the Office of the Board of Trustees or to trustees individually. If contacting individual trustees, please include the Office of the Board of Trustees.

Minnesota State, Office of the Board of Trustees 
Kari Campbell, Executive Director
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Kari.Campbell@minnstate.edu 

 

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Victor Ayemobuwa
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Victor.Ayemobuwa@MinnState.edu

State University Student
Term Dates: September 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023

 

 

Victor Ayemobuwa, Marshall, is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in business administration at Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) after earning his undergraduate in computer science in 2021. He previously served in student government at SMSU and also served on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer at Students United, the statewide student association representing students at Minnesota State universities. He also served as a project manager for Compassion International, a non-profit organization whose goal is to release children from poverty across the globe.

Governor Tim Walz appointed Ayemobuwa to the Board of Trustees on September 1, 2021. His term ends on June 30, 2023.

Photo of Alex Cirillo

 

Alex Cirillo
10107 Brookhaven Drive
Woodbury, MN 55129-4800
Phone: 651-208-7342
CirilloAC@gmail.com

At-large
Term Dates: July 15, 2018 - June 30, 2024

Alex Cirillo, Woodbury, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2012. He was the vice president of community affairs for 3M prior to his retirement in 2010. He had worked in different roles at 3M since he joined the company in 1979 as a senior physicist. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Wilder Foundation and MinnCAN and has been a member of the Itasca Project's working team since 2007. Previously, he served on the Board of Directors for the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota. Cirillo earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Catholic University of America and a master's degree and doctorate in chemistry, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Governor Mark Dayton reappointed Cirillo to the Board of Trustees in 2018. His term ends June 30, 2024

Jay Cowles

Jay Cowles
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Jay.Cowles@MinnState.edu

Congressional District 4
Term Dates: August 26, 2014-June 30, 2026

 

Jay Cowles, St. Paul, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2014. He is managing director of Lawrence Creek LLC, a private family investment company. Previously, he held several positions with Cowles Media Company, former owners of the Star Tribune newspaper, concluding as chairman of the Board of Directors. Cowles also served as chairman and president of the Women’s Pro Softball League, a startup sports enterprise that continues today as National Pro Fastpitch.

He is a founding and active member of the Itasca Project since 2004, and currently serves as a board member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, Green Minneapolis, and the Mississippi Park Connection.  He also holds advisory roles at the University of Minnesota with the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Center for Transportation Studies. He has served a number of civic and arts organizations including the Saint Paul Foundation, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Guthrie Theater, The Friends of the Saint Paul Library, and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Governor Tim Walz reappointed Cowles to the Board of Trustees in 2020. His terms ends June 30, 2026. 

Dawn Erlandson

Dawn Erlandson
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Dawn.Erlandson@MinnState.edu

At-large
Term Dates: July 15, 2018 - June 30, 2024

 

Dawn Erlandson, Minneapolis, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2012. Erlandson is the president of Aurora Strategic Advisors, Inc., where she leads public affairs and marketing communications efforts for local, state, and national clients.

She served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Association of Community College Trustees from 2019-2020. Erlandson is also the board chair of UPSTREAM, a national environmental organization. She previously served as board president of the Minneapolis Community and Technical College Foundation.

Governor Mark Dayton reappointed Erlandson to the Board of Trustees in 2018. Her term ends June 30, 2024

Photo of Jim Grabowska

Jim Grabowska 
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Jim.Grabowska@minnstate.edu

At-large
Term Dates: October 24, 2022 - June 30, 2028

 

Jim Grabowska, St. Clair, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2022. He has been active in different fields of education during most of his professional career. He taught a variety of subjects in high schools here and abroad before moving into higher education, teaching at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, the state university of Cuenca, Ecuador and 23 years teaching at Minnesota State University, Mankato. While at MSU, Mankato, he taught Spanish and world language education courses. He retired from teaching in 2021. Jim served in a variety of roles within the faculty union while at MSU: as local association president for 3 years and then as president of the Inter Faculty Organization from 2014-2018.

Jim has represented education interests on a variety of boards including the ISD 75 School Board, Minnesota Board of Teaching (now PELSB), Region 9 Development Commission, South Central Service Cooperative and the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration.

He received his B.S. from Northern State University, M.A. from the University of Oklahoma and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Governor Tim Walz appointed Grabowska to the Board of Trustees in 2022. His terms ends on June 30, 2028.

Photo of Tim Huebsch

Tim Huebsch
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Timothy.Huebsch@minnstate.edu

Congressional District 3
Term Dates: October 24, 2022 - June 30, 2028

 

Tim Huebsch, Maple Grove, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2022. He leads Tech Innovation for General Mills and has been with the company for over 20 years.  During that time, he had held leadership roles in Information Technology, Supply Chain Logistics and Digital Marketing.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science –Management Information Systems from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Huebsch is actively involved in the community through board service and with the startup community where he is an angel investor and mentor. He currently serves on the Guthrie Theater Board, Mankato Area Foundation, and Minneapolis Club Board of Governors.  He is a past chair of both the Foundation Board and Alumni Association at Minnesota State University, Mankato and the Carlson School of Management Alumni Board.

Governor Tim Walz appointed Huebsch to the Board of Trustees in 2022.  His term ends on June 30, 2028.

Photo of Jerry Janezich

Jerry Janezich
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Jerry.Janezich@MinnState.edu

Congressional District 8
Term Dates: August 24, 2016 - June 30, 2022

 

Jerry Janezich, Side Lake, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2016. He is a partner of a small business, Jerry & Tom’s Inc., a bar and restaurant in Chisholm. He attended Hibbing Community College and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a bachelor of science degree in speech. Janezich served on the Minnesota State government relations team for thirteen years. Prior to that, he served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1989-1992 representing District 5B and the Minnesota Senate from 1993-2000 representing District 5. He was Saint Louis county commissioner for 5 years.

Governor Mark Dayton reappointed Janezich to the Board of Trustees in 2022. His term ends on June 30, 2028.

Photo of Roger Moe

Roger Moe
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Roger.Moe@MinnState.edu

Congressional District 7
Term Dates: December 20, 2016 - June 30, 2026

 

Roger Moe, Erskine, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2014. He is the current president of National Strategies, Inc. He served 32 years in the Minnesota Legislature, including 22 years as Senate Majority Leader. His legislative accomplishments include the creation of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, the Midwest Higher Education Commission, and the Environmental Trust Fund. He has also served as the Vice President of Coleman/Christison, Inc., and as a mathematics teacher and coach at Ada High School.

Moe is a former member of the Policy Consensus Initiative Board of Directors, Debate Minnesota, the Minnesota Twins Community Fund Governance Committee, and the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board. Senator Moe earned his B.S. from Mayville State University and an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from the University of Minnesota for his years of public service.

Governor Tim Walz reappointed Moe to the Board of Trustees in 2020. His term ends on June 30, 2026. 

Javier Morillo

 

Javier Morillo
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
MorilloJavi@gmail.com

Congressional District 4
Term Dates: September 22, 2020 - June 30, 2026

 

 

Javier Morillo, St. Paul, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2020. He is a research fellow with the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization at Rutgers University. He is also an adjunct faculty member at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where he co-teaches a course on crisis communications with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. He previously served for 14 years as president of SEIU Local 26 and taught history and anthropology as a predoctoral fellow at Carleton College.

Morillo was an adjunct faculty at Macalester College. He is the creator and co-host of "Wrong About Everything," the only Minnesota bipartisan political commentary podcast.

Governor Tim Walz appointed Javier Morillo to the Board of Trustees in 2020. His term ends on June 30, 2026.

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April Nishimura
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
April.Nishimura@MinnState.edu

Congressional District 2
Term Dates: July 15, 2018 - June 30, 2024

 

April Nishimura, Apple Valley, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2018. She is the head of Customer Experience at Onsemi Semiconductor with oversight of their global digital transformation. Previously, she served in multiple executive leadership roles at Ecolab in Finance, Sales, Marketing, and Product Development. Prior to that, she led sales transformation at GTE and Verizon Communications in its Hawaii, West Coast, Southwest, and New England markets.

Nishimura served as an Ecolab Executive Mentor and previously served on the Dallas Asian Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt in Process Improvement and a Certified Scrum Product Owner. She earned a bachelor of arts from the University of Hawaii and her MBA from Pepperdine University’s George L. Graziadio school of Business.

Governor Mark Dayton appointed Nishimura to the Board of Trustees in 2018. Her term ends on June 30, 2024.

Oballa Oballa

Oballa Oballa
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Oballa.Oballa@MinnState.edu

Community College Student
Term Dates: September 22, 2020 - June 30, 2022

 

 

Oballa Oballa, Austin, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2020. He attends Riverland Community College in Austin, MN. He is also pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work through Riverland Community College and the College of St. Scholastica. Currently, he works at Mayo Clinic Health System. He also serves as a member of the Austin City Council. Oballa is the former Student Senate Public Relations Coordinator and Student Senate President at Riverland Community College. Oballa also previously served as the Vice President and President of LeadMN, as well as the LeadMN Southeast Platform Representative.

Governor Tim Walz appointed Oballa to the Board of Trustees in 2020. His term ends on June 30, 2022.

Kathy Sheran

Kathy Sheran
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Kathleen.Sheran@MinnState.edu

Congressional District 1
Term Dates: September 22, 2020 - June 30, 2026

 

 

Kathleen Sheran, Mankato, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2020. She served three terms in the Minnesota Senate representing District 23 and 19.  While in the Senate she served as a Majority Whip, Vice Chair for Higher Education, and Chair of Health, Human Services and Housing. Prior to serving in the Senate, Senator Sheran was on the faculty at Minnesota State Mankato teaching in the School of Nursing. Additionally, she was an equity partner in SMR, a real estate development and management company.  Senator Sheran has a long history of service, including 16 years as President of Mankato's City Council, and most recently as Chair of Minnesota's Insurance Exchange.

Governor Tim Walz appointed Sheran to the Board of Trustees in 2020. Her terms ends on June 30, 2026.

Photo of George Soule

George Soule
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
651-201-1705
George.Soule@MinnState.edu

At-large
Term Dates: July 15, 2018 - June 30, 2024

 

George Soule, Minneapolis, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2018. He is a judge of the White Earth Tribal Court of Appeals and a founding partner of Soule & Stull LLC, where he is a civil trial attorney handling cases involving product liability, commercial, and negligence claims. He earned his B.A. from Minnesota State University Moorhead (formerly Moorhead State University), and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. Previously, Judge Soule was a founding and managing partner at Bowman and Brooke LLP.

Soule is a member of the board of the Division of Indian Work and he has served on the board of the Minnesota State University Moorhead Alumni Foundation. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He serves as a mentor at the University of Saint Thomas Law School and is a past chair of the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection.

Governor Mark Dayton appointed Soule to the Board of Trustees in 2018. His term ends on June 30, 2024.

Photo of Cheryl Tefer

Cheryl Tefer
30 7th Street East, Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: 651-201-1705
Cheryl.Tefer@MinnState.edu

Congressional District 6
Term Dates: August 24, 2016 - June 30, 2022

 

Cheryl Tefer, Andover, has served on the Board of Trustees since 2016. She faculty was a faculty member at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, where she taught nursing for 26 years. She earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Iowa, a master of science degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota, and did post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota. Tefer served on a strategic planning committee for Anoka-Ramsey Community College and Anoka Technical College, as well as the academic affairs and standards council at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She was named Minnesota State Board of Trustees Educator of the Year in 2014.

Governor Mark Dayton reappointed Tefer to the Board of Trustees in 2022. Her term ends June 30, 2028.

Kari Campbell
Executive Director
Phone: 651-201-1705
Kari.Campbell@MinnState.edu

Amanda Muenzner
Board Office Coordinator
Phone: 651-201-1706
Amanda.Muenzner@minnstate.edu