For information about joining the Macalester-Groveland Community Council Board of Directors, contact 651-695-4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the basic expectations of serving as a board member can be found here.
Each year at the Annual Meeting, a third of the board is elected to 3-year terms (learn more about the changes we made to our Annual meeting and Board Elections due to COVID-19 here)
In May 2021, the Board of Directors approved the MGCC Internal E-Meeting Policies and Procedures.
Click on the grid number next to the director’s name to view a detailed map of that grid. Learn more about your board of directors below!
Meet our newest 2021 Board members here!
Tom Dietsche, Treasurer, Grid 1 Representative
I grew up on a dairy farm in the 1950’s. To escape that physically punishing and 24/7 occupation, I started a software company during my senior year at UW-Madison. Relocated from Wisconsin to St. Paul in 1975 and to Mac-Groveland in 1994. Besides my primary occupation in the software industry, I’ve also been a consultant, co-owned a restaurant (bad idea!), and managed several family businesses including an RV dealership, a small trucking firm, a mobile home park, and a family farm.
Being bored in semi-retirement from my latest software firm, I joined the board in 2015. By engaging with city planning, zoning and transportation activities, along with all our other community topics, I’ve tried to improve our quality of life in Mac-Groveland. Besides being a Grid 1 rep, I’ve served MGCC as VP, President (not intentionally and not for long!), and currently as Treasurer.
In my spare time, I work out, play pool, read SF and mysteries, watch sports, revise bylaws, and volunteer with other agencies. I also collect zany t-shirts, tell puns to annoy my wife, and act as her “under-gardener”.
I believe that MGCC (like all of St. Paul’s 17 district councils) is a valuable intermediary that improves communications between our residents and our city government. So, I really value my involvement with MGCC and hope it has been helpful. One huge payback is getting to know so many wonderful people!
Hugo Bruggeman, Grid 2 Representative
I am serving as a Grid 2 representative since 2020, and have been a member of the MGCC Transportation committee since 2018 (Chair of the committee since 2020). As a board member I will be inclusive and transparent in my role to facilitate the communication between you, the residents of MGCC, and the elected City officials. Inclusive actions and consensus building have been my primary professional activities during the past three years, and I am looking forward to leverage these in serving you and all our neighbors.
As a Grid-2 representative, I plan to engage with a great number of you to better understand the diverse interests of the people in our community. I will also seek your support to act on the pressing topics of our time, such as racism, global warming and equity. So please join me to think globally and act locally.
Saura Jost, Grid 2 Representative
I grew up in St. Paul in the Macalester Groveland neighborhood. I went to Central High School, University of Minnesota for my undergraduate degree, and the University of Washington for graduate school. I moved back St. Paul after school and currently work as a structural engineer in Minneapolis, MN. I decided to join the board so that I could become more involved in our community. Since I have lived here most of my life and am now raising a family here, I care a lot about the neighborhood, our neighbors, and that Mac Grove continues to be a great place to live for everyone. I hope to make the neighbors feel more connected to what is happening in our community and the decisions being made. In my spare time, I enjoy taking my son on adventures with my partner, watching sports or going to games (go Vikings!), and getting outdoors when it isn’t too cold.
Athena Adkins, Grid 3 Representative
My family has lived in the neighborhood since 2012. My boys play lacrosse and attend Circus Juventas—if you haven’t seen a Spring or Summer show, you should! They are amazing! We like to ski and snowboard in the winter and in the Spring and Summer, I plant a vegetable garden in my front yard and encourage my neighbors to help themselves. In my family, we believe that food is love and we have plenty to share. I am involved with MGCC because I like to know what is going on in the neighborhood and I am a big believer that democracy is hard work and relationships matter. I hope to see you around the neighborhood!
Joyce Krech, President, Grid 3 Representative
I’ve been a resident of Macalester Groveland for over 30 years and have served as a member of MGCC for close to half that time. I represent Grid 3 and am currently serving as the Board President. I enjoy being able to contribute to our neighborhood and community as a whole. I first became involved in MGCC because of a very specific issue but quickly determined MGCC gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and get involved with so much more. I encourage you to reach out to me or MGCC to see how you can participate or share your ideas.
For the past 24 years, I have called Macalester-Groveland home. My home life is centered around my husband Tom, our large families, and our two dogs. We love the access to St. Paul’s running and biking trails, local baseball, and our great local arts scene. We love Macalester-Groveland because of the diversity and vibrancy of our local streets, businesses, and colleges.
An engineer by profession, I bring an engaged and collaborative approach to resolving issues within our neighborhood. I am excited to be part of MGCCs efforts to reach out to under-represented groups within our community. I have supported projects and initiatives that align with St. Paul’s comprehensive plan, improve safety, and those that include affordable housing. I care about our beautiful city, our collective future, and I am honored to serve on the MGCC board of directors.
Drew Nelson, Grid 4 Residential Representative
Hi neighbors! My wonderful wife Nichole and I are happy to call Mac-Grove home, and I’m honored and excited to serve the grid! I got involved with MGCC because I’m a firm believer that large scale problems require dedicated, local action and that all communities have a responsibility to work towards these solutions. I believe my background as a Navy vet, civil servant, and incrementalist has helped me build a skill set to support that action here in Mac-Grove. I hope to see you around the neighborhood!
I grew up in what was a small rural town in Scott County, but St. Paul has been home for most of my life. As an undergraduate, I attended Hamline University and then William Mitchell law school. I was attracted to Mac-Grove partly because it was known as one of the safest neighborhoods in the 7 county metropolitan area. After living here for more than 35 years, I can say I find many neighbors to be warm, generous people. I think that we all lead by example and that human behavior is contagious. A good example of that is presented by our Mac-Grove alley gardens where you can often find many beautiful gardens in the same alley. Our alley garden awards also show how a simple community event can yield multiple benefits — enhancing neighborhood safety as well as aesthetics. For many years I had a high energy Jack Russell terrier. Lady’s need for exercise got me out walking and meeting neighbors more than I do now. If anyone has any issues, questions or ideas to share, please feel free to reach out to me. I think the vibrancy of our community is a function of its ability to foster communication and collaboration among our residents.
Gene Johnson, Secretary, Grid 5 Residential Representative
Gene Johnson and his wife, Linda Paul, have lived in a Wilder Park townhome overlooking Ayd Mill Road since 2015. Before that, they lived in a nearby city across the Mississippi River. Since moving here, they have learned that St Paul is not the scary place people on the other side of the river make it out to be. Gene worked in all aspects of real estate before retiring, spending most years in property management focusing on low and moderate-income housing and vacant, foreclosed homes. Before joining the MGCC Board, Gene served three years on the Wilder Park HOA Board and can testify that MGCC Board meetings are a much more pleasant and collegial experience! Gene is currently Secretary of the MGCC Board and is a member of the Transportation and Housing and Land Use Committees. During the summer, Gene & Linda enjoy gardening and, in the winter, do our best to stay warm.
At-Large Residential Representatives
Colin Fesser, At-Large Residential Representative
I first became involved with St. Paul’s district councils when my first child was on the way and I decided that it was a good way to help create the city that I want my children to grow up in. I love walking our tree-lined residential streets, getting coffee in our commercial nodes, and hopping on our bike lanes to get to other neighborhoods’ libraries. And I love teaching my two kids how to do the same even more. As a disabled person, though, I struggle with those spots in our neighborhood where not everything is as accessible for everyone as it could be. My goal as an Residential Representative is to fill those gaps and make this community one that works for ALL of our residents.
Kate Baxter-Kauf, Vice President, At-Large Residential Representative
I’ve loved the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood since I started as a first year at Macalester in 1998. After spending a few years away for grad school and debate coaching, my husband and I have lived here since 2007, and our daughter joined us in 2008. We’ve been renters and homeowners, and strong supporters of our public schools – Kiernan went to Randolph Heights, and is now at Ramsey. I love learning about the history of the neighborhood and its institutions and serve on the MGCC in order to make those institutions and this neighborhood more inclusive and supportive of all community members going forward. I’d love to talk more with you about it!
Kathy McGuire, At-Large Residential Representative
Thank you to the residents of Macalester Groveland who elected me to serve as their MGCC representative. I am committed to our community, and I look forward to engaging with all residents and board members in working toward common goals, strengthening our community, and resolving issues through careful fact-finding and open, respectful discussion. My life’s work has been teaching, and I am passionate about health and education. I want to be sure that our community provides safe, healthy living environments for all residents, and that we provide strong, rich educational environments for the children of our community. Please contact me at any time to discuss your thoughts and concerns for our neighborhood.
Dave Pasiuk, At-Large Residential Representative
I am proud to help celebrate and advance the MacGrove neighborhood in the city of St Paul. I lived elsewhere in the Midwest and returned to my native St Paul, buying a home in MG with my wife several decades ago. You might see us walking and bicycling around the neighborhood, or waiting to hop on a Metro Transit bus. We greatly appreciate the ability to leave the car home when we get around and I work to make this a viable choice for all of us. I have a long history of involvement in MGCC — committee and leadership roles in transportation, land use, and housing. Together we can make this a stronger neighborhood that supports the quality of life throughout St Paul. Happy to be your neighbor.
At-Large Business Representatives
Brian Wagner, At-Large Business Representative
Brian Wagner, M.Ed. in Education Administration and Counseling, BA in Creative and Performing Arts. Realtor with Coldwell Banker Burnet, Prior career in higher education working at Walden University and Macalester College. Serves as the At-Large Business Representative for MGCC since 2018. Chair of the MGCC Community Building Committee, Member of the MGCC Inclusivity Task Force. MGCC liaison to the Grand Avenue Business Association(GABA) and Secretary of GABA. Co-chair of the Future is Grand Task Force – a collaboration between the Summit Hill Association, GABA and MGCC. A lover of dogs, quilting, gardening, and road biking.
Colin Voerding, At-Large Business Representative
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.
At-Large Faith Institution Representative: OPEN SEAT.
Information on expectations of board members available above.
Email email@example.com if you are interested.
I tried to be clever in my MGCC Board Profile and I received a brutally frank lesson. I started with a little spiel: I represent landlords, the people who provide homes to one-third of Macalester Groveland’s residents. My husband and I married as college students in 1972. Our first home was the basement apartment of 1716 Grand Avenue. Cora S. Clark was our landlord. Forty-nine years later, we, like Cora, provide homes to college students and others in Macalester Groveland and Union Park. We live down the avenue in a house … Blah, blah, blah.
I thought it would be clever to use a picture to show the meaning of St. Paul’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan’s first Core Value, Equity and Opportunity. I went to 1716 Grand Avenue for a picture with whomever I encountered. I told three women from Rosemount having tea at Sencha that, every person who enters Macalester Groveland is entitled to “fairness and justice” equity and opportunity without regard to what is owned or time spent, five minutes or fifty years. They embraced that concept and seemed happy to join my MGCC profile picture. I felt clever, until I looked at the picture.
A picture is worth one thousand words. I did not anticipate how it would feel to come face-to-face with my twenty-year-old self and acknowledge what “equity” and “opportunity” meant in 1972. OUCH! How do I reconcile the truth that the opportunities given to me because of the color of my skin, are opportunity costs for others with equal or greater mastery because their skin is darker? The picture showed that I don’t need an actuary to tell me any Earthling with a life expectancy greater than a sixty-nine-year-old has more of what some call “skin in the game.” The young women standing with me clarify who has most at stake in the decisions we make today.
“This mosaic of human experience exposes us to narratives that are not always comfortable and that sometimes challenge our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world, but we believe that understanding such history opens a pathway to a more inclusive, empathetic and informed future.”* I find hope in these words from Kent Whitworth, Director and CEO of the Minnesota Historical Society. My faith in people to act for the common good is the reason I serve on the MGCC Board.
*Counterpoint: Historical Society seeks to tell Minnesota’s entire story. http://strib.mn/3Am59Je
Tim Schmidt, At Large Education Representative
I’ve lived in Saint Paul with periodic departures and eventual returns for nearly 15 years. First as a young adult renter, then as a landlord. And currently with my family of 6, plus our bulldog. I believe the community of people, our proximity to parks, the river and the vitality that comes from living near multiple colleges and universities has kept drawing me back. I joined the board because I believe that individual participation is important to the continued progress and healthy growth of our neighborhood and city. Effort, no matter how much or little recognition comes with it make a difference. And, I hope by participating on the MGCC Board to continue making a positive difference in the community my family calls home.
Nora Ptacek, At-Large Renter Representative
Hi Mac Grove Neighbors! I am excited to be serving as your At-Large Residential Renter Representative. I moved from Wisconsin 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 enjoy staying involved in the community and being engaged on issues like housing, transportation, and diversity and inclusion. Please feel free to reach out, especially if you are a Mac Grove renter!
Zak Yudhishthu, At-Large Student Representative
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.