2021 Board Candidates

If you have any special requests for this information, please contact mgcc@macgrove.org or by phone at 651-695-4000 and we will do our best to accommodate.

Vote for candidates between April 8 – 15 online or by mail. If voting by mail, please request a ballot by email at mgcc@macgrove.org or leave a voicemail at (651) 695-4000, by April 9th, 2021.

MGCC does not recommend or endorse candidates; mailers and flyers regarding particular candidates may be sent out by individual candidates or neighbors.

MGCC Grid Map

Mac-Groveland District Borders

Votes may only be cast for the candidates that are listed below for a specific representative seat on the Board of Directors. Incumbents are listed with ** next to their name.


At-Large Business Candidates


Colin Voerding **
Coldwell Banker Burnet

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in St. Paul in the Macalester Groveland neighborhood. I went to Highland Park Jr. & Sr. High. I left for Winona State University where I earned my Undergraduate B.S. Degree in Marketing. I moved back to St. Paul after school and embarked on a 30-year sales career. I am currently a Licensed MN Realtor with Coldwell Banker Realty. I am passionate about the Realtor Code of Ethics and will pursue justice and fairness will everyone equally. I participate in giving back to the community in a couple of ways. first as a GED/ESL volunteer Tutor at the Rondo Community Center and delivering Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels for the past 30 years. I am excited to be on the board so I could become more involved in our community and contribute to the well-being of our neighborhood. The security and safety of all is my primary objective.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

To become involved in community and business matters to ensure that we continue to have a thriving community that welcomes everyone and listens to the issues that concern the neighbors.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

I am an entrepreneur and have conducted business in MN for the past 30 years. I am sincere, happy, fun, engaging and want to see the best come out from everyone.


Brian Wagner **
Coldwell Banker Realty

Tell us about yourself.

I am a real estate agent working within the neighborhood and beyond. I have been a resident of Mac/Grove since 2000. Originally on the staff at Macalester College as the Director of Campus Programs/Center. I have worked as a Realtor since 2007 and served on the Grand Avenue Business Association. I have always been passionate about building community and giving back. When not working you can find me working on my home and hanging out with my dog Flash.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

Working daily to serve our neighborhood and local business has been instrumental within my profession and a way to give back to a neighborhood which has given so much to me and my family. I am finishing my first three year term in this position and hope to build on the relationships I have established to further collaborations between Mac/Grove residents and the business owners which are an integral part of our neighborhood.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

I have a background of working and organizing events within college and universities along with events within the community. I am a current active member of the Community Building Committee, past co-chair of this committee and the Inclusivity Task Force. My ability to bring people together to discuss issues which impact the community have included my work as co-chair of the Future is Grand Task Force bringing about consensus and illuminating issues and areas of disagreement. I act as an advocate for my fellow business owners while being able to listen to the implications their aims may present for the community around them.


At-Large Residential Renter Candidates


Nora Ptacek

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Nora Ptacek and I am a renter in Macalester Groveland. I moved to the Twin-Cities five years ago to study at the University of Minnesota and quickly fell in love with it. After graduating, my partner and I moved to Macalester Groveland, and it was everything we were looking for. I work in Minnesota politics (fundraising), and really enjoy making a difference in my community. I initially got involved with MGCC because I care about affordable housing and now serve as a member of the Housing and Land Use committee. In my free time I enjoy walking and biking around the neighborhood with my partner.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

I decided to seek a seat on Macalester-Groveland Community Council’s Board of Directors because I think it is important for all members of our community to have access to affordable and quality housing and transportation. I’d love to continue the great work of the board to make Macalester Groveland as inclusive and welcoming as possible. It would be great to have more young professionals on the board who can add different experiences and perspectives. As a renter, and a manager of an apartment complex, I feel like I would bring valuable experiences to the board.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

As a resident manager of a mid-size apartment complex and as a renter myself, I understand what renters in the community need and value. I am frequently meeting prospective renters and enjoy learning about what they are looking for in a rental property and in a community. I also have extensive fundraising experience from my professional work and would be excited to support the council operationally. I believe these experiences make me well equipped to serve as a representative for renters on the Macalester Groveland Community Council.


Kia Silverman

Tell us about yourself.

I am an Army veteran, mother of 3 adult children who is passionate about representing the community she lives in. I believe that diversity and inclusion which should also include socio-economic diversity and accessible transportation should have better representation and education in our neighborhood. I am a person who believes that the grass is greener where you water it and wants to help build a better present and future for my neighbors and children.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

As a person who has lived and rented in MacGrove and Highland for nearly 17 years and as someone who has had some down time to really think and observe our neighborhood during the struggle and glimmers of hope during this pandemic. I have been encouraged and inspired to take action and be more involved in the community building aspect of MacGrove. I think it is important to increase our communication between home owners, residents, and businesses so that we can make this beautiful neighborhood work for everyone.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

The skills I think I would most prominently bring to the table if elected are the following: 1) Administrative organizations skills (strategy, execution, and tactile) 2) Communication skills and insight/perspective for multiple demographics (POC, Parents, Business Owners, other Renters, students) 3) Patience and acceptance -I know this sounds like a “fluffy” skill, but the ability to accept differing opinions and meet around common ground and create solutions that are both inclusive and beneficial to most is in truth a very hard and critical skill.


At-Large Residential Landlord Candidates


Susan Duffy, Duff Rentals

Tell us about yourself.

I have grown up in the area and raised my 3 children here. While I have moved and traveled throughout the world, Saint Paul always calls me home. I am very close with my multicultural extended family. Having the challenges of a disability has molded me to focus on my abilities. This has governed me to promote abilities in all of us. For instance, I am a dedicated Alpine Instructor. I just love to bring the joy and passion I have for the sport to others. Part of the spillover of my job is to educate persons from preconceived notions, moving past a bad or scary experience, to listen and reflect, and set up a student for success. As we instructors say “Collaborate on long-term goals and short-term objectives”.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

It is important for me as a mother to set an example of volunteering within our community for my children. I have had a vested interest in Mac Grove since I first moved into my home in 1997. Hopefully, I will choose to continue to have a stake in the community for decades to come.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

I have provided stable, safe and affordable housing to many tenants over the past 30 years. My dedication, experience, and hard work of creating homes for diverse groups of persons comes with my experience of lifetime success. This knowledge of sustainability with a history of success is the skill and experience that I can bring. Guiding our elected official will be centered around priorities of innovation, accountability, preservation of green space, and equitable practices for long- term success.


At-Large Student Candidates


Zak Yudhishthu
Macalester College

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Zak Yudhishthu (he/him), and I’m a first year student at Macalester College. I’m from Portland, Oregon, and I’m likely going to be an Economics Major and Music Minor, with a possible Political Science Minor. I care about people, I care about the places that they live in, and I care about participating in civic life in order to contribute to those people and places. When I’m not doing schoolwork, I do volunteer tutoring, write for the Macalester newspaper’s opinion section, and sing Beatles songs along with my guitar.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

I’m passionate about making our communities and city environments more accessible, safe, and enjoyable. This interest connected me with Sustain St. Paul, a local organization aiming to make the city of St. Paul even better – focused on goals such as solving the affordable housing crisis, increasing city livability, and facing the challenges of climate change. From there, I ended up at MGCC’s HLU meeting. As I listened and learned, I became increasingly excited about the processes going on, and came to see that the community council is an essential platform to engage with my neighbors and work towards making our environment the best it can be.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

I’m experienced with community engagement and leadership, and eager to continue that trend. In high school, I took part in a couple non-profit groups, regularly working with local middle school students to facilitate assemblies and classroom lessons on topics including social isolation and toxic masculinity. In high school, I facilitated classroom discussions during school-wide events on racial inclusion, and I’m ready to bring a racial equity-focused mindset to the board. I’m also quite interested in processes of urban and community governance and motivated to continue learning how I can best contribute to building a stronger and more just Macalester-Groveland neighborhood.


At-Large Educational Institution Candidates


Therese Junker
Nativity School

Tell us about yourself.

A native of Chicago, I moved to the Mac Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul in 2010 with my husband and children. We immediately fell in love with this vibrant community. From my first experience at ECFE that connected and introduced me to local families of young children, to volunteering at the children’s school and our local church, to being active in activities through parks and rec, I strongly value all that this wonderful community offers.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

I want to be more involved in the community where my family lives, works, plays, worships and goes to school. I care deeply about the education of all students from early childhood through college. It would be an honor to represent education on the MGCC Board.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

Professionally I have worked in fundraising in healthcare and higher education for two decades. I am also a seasoned volunteer with exceptional organizational skills and event planning experience.


Tim Schmidt **, Nativity School

Tell us about yourself.

I am the current board representative for the Education At Large seat. I’ve represented my community on the board for the last 3 years and have lived in Saint Paul for over 15 years. I’ve prior experience with the city’s district council program as I previous sat on the Summit Hill Association board before moving into the MacGrove area. I look forward to contributing to my city and the local neighborhood thru participation on the board and committees such as Housing and Land Use. I feel that it is important to share our own skills and personal time investments for the benefit of the community we live in.

What encouraged you to seek a board seat on the MGCC Board of Directors?

Current board member. Love the opportunity to continue contributing to my neighborhood.

What skills/experience can you contribute to MGCC?

Practical skills in finance and organizational behavior. I’m also a package deal – in that my 4 kids are always willing to provide some manual labor (flyering, setup/teardown, etc).


At-Large Faith Institution Candidates


There are no candidates for the At-Large Faith representative position in the 2021 elections. This position can be filled in a special election at a meeting of the MGCC Board of Directors mid-term.