Civic Caucus Interview Group
John S. Adams
John Adams is an emeritus faculty member at the Humphrey School and in the University of Minnesota geography department. He researches issues relating to North American cities, urban housing markets and housing policy, and regional economic development in the United States and the former Soviet Union. He has been a National Science Foundation Research Fellow at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, University of California at Berkeley, and economic geographer in residence at the Bank of America world headquarters in San Francisco.
Adams was senior Fulbright Lecturer at the Institute for Raumordnung at the Economic University in Vienna and was on the geography faculty of Moscow State University. He has taught at Pennsylvania State University, the University of Washington, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His most recent book, Minneapolis-St. Paul: People, Place, and Public Life, looks at the region's growth and at what factors may affect the metropolitan area's future.
Adams holds a doctorate in urban geography from the University of Minnesota and two degrees in economics.
Steve Anderson is a member of the interview group and treasurer of the Civic Caucus. He also is the webmaster for the Civic Caucus website. Anderson is retired, after a 29-year career as a consulting actuary and a 13-year career as a high school math teacher. As a consulting actuary, he worked on pension plans for major employers in the Twin Cities, such as Cargill and Honeywell. He taught math at the Lakeville Area Learning Center, working with at-risk students. In his retirement, he is focusing on ways to create a better society. Anderson has a B.A. degree in mathematics from Luther College.
David Broden is a consultant to the defense industry. He is chair of the armament division of the National Defense Industrial Association. Before founding Broden Resource Solutions in 2004, he had served for 14 years with Alliant Techsystems and before that, 24 years with Honeywell, Inc. David has a bachelor's degree in physics and math from St. Olaf College and a master's in physics and math from the University of Minnesota. He has done extensive work in strategic planning and business management.
In 2007 David organized the first Minnesota Heartland Defense and High Tech Conference, linking the National Defense Industrial Association with the Minnesota Defense Alliance. David is active in the Republican Party.
John Cairns is vice chair of the Civic Caucus and an attorney with John Cairns Law, P.A., in Minneapolis. He founded the firm, which focuses on charter schools, in 2008. Prior to 2008, he was a shareholder at Briggs and Morgan, P.A. During his 19 years with the firm, Cairns was a member of the Business Law Section and the Education/Tax-Exempt Organization Practice Group.
In 1969, at age 27, Cairns was elected to the Minneapolis City Council and in 1971, at age 30, he became the youngest-ever president of the city council. He was executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership from 1979 to 1984. He was a founding member of Public School Incentives, a nonprofit organization that helped raise over $25 million for school reform and restructuring in Minnesota. He served as a consultant for The Business Roundtable in its work to achieve public school reform on a national scale.
After Minnesota passed the nation's first charter school law in 1991, Cairns helped establish the nation's first charter schools and secured 501(c)(3) status for the schools. Today, he is widely recognized as the most experienced charter school attorney in the country. He has been published in Harvard Business Review and Education Week and has spoken at various conferences on the topics of education and school reform.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Cairns received his B.A. degree from Carleton College and his law degree from the Duke University School of Law.
Audrey Clay served on the Civic Caucus Board of Directors from 2012 to 2018. Married to Charles Clay, one of the original Civic Caucus founders, she was part of the Civic Caucus long before it launched as a formal organization. She had close friendships with all the Civic Caucus founders dating back to the 1950s, when she served as Secretary and Program Chair of the Young Republican League.
Deeply committed to her community, Clay has put in countless volunteer hours for organizations including many PTAs, the League of Women Voters, Meals on Wheels, and Normandale Lutheran Church, where she served as Secretary to the Executive Council, sat on the Church Council and worked on many committees. In addition to her role as a community volunteer, Clay is an original investor in the Minneapolis restaurant Butcher & the Boar. She lives in Edina.
Janis Clay was named executive director of the Civic Caucus effective January 1, 2017. Clay has a keen interest in public policy and Businesss and nonprofit corporate governance. She has served on numerous business and nonprofit boards, including the Red River Valley & Western Railroad, the Twin Cities & Western Railroad, the Minnesota Prairie Line, the Western Railroad Equipment Company, the Minnesota Zoo Foundation, the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, the North Shore Scenic Railroad, the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association, and the Civic Caucus. She graduated from St. Olaf College with a BA in economics and from the University of Minnesota Law School, where she was a staff member and a managing editor of the Minnesota Law Review. In private law practice, she has received the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating of AV Preeminent since 2001, the highest level of professional excellence. Clay served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Civic Caucus from 2009 to 2018.
Long active in civic affairs, Pat Davies served on the Citizens League board as well as on many CL committees. She has also been a member of the Guthrie Board, president of state senate spouses club, state League of Women Voters board, chaired the Minnesota Zoo Board, supreme court appointee to Lawyers Trust Account board, attorney general's representative to the Gambling Control Board, gubernatorial appointee to the Environmental Quality Board and the Mississippi River and Recreational Commission. Political activities include Congressional District Vice-Chair, delegate to two national Democratic conventions and member of state DFL executive committee. Currently a member of state LWV Action Committee, Loring Greenway Board, and Civic Caucus.
Paul Gilje served as executive director of the Civic Caucus from 2005 to December 31, 2016. He served as executive director of the Presbyterian Homes Foundation from 2000 to 2005. From 1993 to 2000 he was a church fund-raiser. From 1988 to 1993 he was director of stewardship and administrator for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN. Paul served as research director and later associate director of the Citizens League from 1964 to 1988. He was a staff writer for the Minneapolis Star from 1960 to 1964. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
Randy Johnson has worked in a variety of educational settings in elementary, secondary, and higher education organizations as a teacher, administrator, and consultant. He assisted in the planning, development and application of various information technologies at Hamline University, St. Paul, MN, the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Sapporo, Japan (2000-2004) and at Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya (2005 and 2014). He was a faculty member from 2002-2007 at Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, a leader in distance learning since 1970, in both the Schools of Education and Management.
While teaching at the University of Minnesota and in the Minneapolis Public Schools Johnson was involved in the very earliest application of "computers in the classroom" for teaching mathematics. As an assistant superintendent for instruction and as a technology consultant for two of the largest school districts in Minnesota he planned and designed many facilities and implemented several programs for the use of computers and multi-media technologies in all subject areas.
Currently, Johnson is a co-coordinator of the Minnesota Educational Fellowship Program with Dan Loritz, chair of the Civic Caucus. Johnson has a Ph.D. in mathematics education, curriculum, administration from the University. of Minnesota; a M.S. in mathematics and statistics from Purdue University, and a B.S. in physics and mathematics from Northern Illinois University.
Ted has worked on system questions and with legislative policy in different areas of public life: with urban and metropolitan affairs and public finance through the 1960s and '70s and since the early 1980s mainly with K-12 education policy; system and school innovation. He is the author of "Creating the Capacity for Change: How and Why Governors and Legislatures are Opening a New-Schools Sector in Public Education" (Education Week Press, 2005). In 2011 he received the Conant award from the Education Commission of the States for "outstanding contributions to American education".
He graduated from Carleton College (BA, English) and has a master's degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University. He began as a reporter and editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, then was executive director of the (Twin Cities) Citizens League and a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He is now a senior associate with the Center for Policy Studies and its Education|Evolving project.
Dan Loritz served as chair of the Civic Caucus from Verne Johnson's death in 2012 to December 31, 2016. Dan Loritz's interest in public policy spans four decades. He served fifteen years in Minnesota state government in a variety of positions. He was a senior policy analyst, director of government relations and an assistant commissioner of education in the Department of Education and an assistant commissioner for state policy coordination in the State Planning Agency. He also served Governor Rudy Perpich, Minnesota's longest service Governor, as his director of governmental relations and as his deputy chief of staff. Following his government service he served 18 years as the vice president of university relations and 17 years as an associate professor of education at Hamline University.
He is currently a senior fellow at, and President of, the Center for Policy Design. He received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Hamline University and his master's degree in teaching from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. In addition, he was selected for three fellowships an educational policy fellowship at George Washington University, a leadership fellowship at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a public school executive fellowship from the Bush Foundation in Minnesota.
Jim Olson was an original member of the Civic Caucus during the 1950s in Minneapolis, while he served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota. He then moved to Illinois and served on the faculty of the University of Illinois (1958-1965) and of Millikin University in Decatur (1965-1987). He taught courses in economics and statistics, prior to his retirement as an Emeritus Professor of Economics and Business Administration in 1987. Olson is also a retired major in the Air Force Reserve.
Olson has retained an interest in election statistics and redistricting matters in Minnesota (and elsewhere) and is sometimes referred to as "the election expert," a title that is warranted because he is "over 50 miles from Minnesota." He received his BBA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota.
Paul Ostrow was named chair of the Civic Caucus effective January 1, 2017. Ostrow served on the Minneapolis City Council from 1998-2009. He was president of the City Council from 2002-2005 and the chair of the Ways and Means/Budget Committee from 2006-2009. During his service on the Council his efforts included the implementation of long term budgeting, service redesign, commercial corridor revitalization and partnerships with the business community including the development of Target Field.
Ostrow is currently an assistant Anoka County attorney. He serves on several other boards including Grace Center for Community Life and the Northeast Minneapolis Artists Association. He received his bachelor's degree from St. Olaf College with a major in political science and his J.D. from the University of Minnesota.
A lawyer in private practice, Wayne received his BSL degree in 1951 from the University of Minnesota and LLB degree in 1953 from the University of Minnesota Law School. He was a a founding partner of Popham, Haik, Schnobrich & Kaufman, Ltd., an international law firm. He has served as member and chair of commissions to nominate persons for appointment as United States District Judge for Minnesota.
Wayne served 12 years in the Minnesota Senate. He was selected as one of two outstanding Minnesota legislators by Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University. He is a former chair of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, a former member of the State Advisory Council on Metropolitan Governance and the Commission on Minnesota's Future.
He is a former President and former member of the Board of Directors of the Citizens League. He also has served as a board member of the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, the board of regents at Augsburg College, and a trustee of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Dana Schroeder writes the summary notes of the weekly Civic Caucus interviews, which are then sent out by e-mail to the 5,500 people on the Caucus's reader list. She is a self-employed consultant who does writing, editing and research work. Her clients have included a broad variety of organizations and individuals, mostly active in the field of public affairs. Most recently, she assisted former State Senator Ember Reichgott Junge by doing research and interviews for Reichgott Junge's book, Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story. She served as editor of the Citizens League's Minnesota Journal from 1991 to 2001. From 1977 to 1984, she and her husband, Jon, were owners and publishers of the Grant County Herald, a weekly newspaper in Elbow Lake, Minn.
She has been an active member of a number of volunteer and civic organizations in both the Twin Cities area and in Elbow Lake. Among others, she has served on the Citizens League Board of Directors and co-chaired a League study committee on property taxes, was chair of the school board of Christ the King School (now Carondelet Catholic School) in Minneapolis, was an active volunteer at Minneapolis Southwest High School and was president of the Elbow Lake Civic and Commerce Association.
Schroeder has a B.A. degree in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. in Public Affairs from the University's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
An original member of the Civic Caucus, Clarence Shallbetter, in his retirement, is a deacon in the Catholic church, where he was ordained in 2001. This followed many years of working in public policy for a number of organizations, including the Citizens League. As a deacon, he visits youth at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center and men in three state prisons at Lino Lakes, Stillwater and Rush City.
His public-policy activity significantly focused on transportation, as a promoter of ride-sharing, the largest form of "transit" in the Twin Cities. He also worked in Transportation Demand Management with the Metropolitan Council, on the CORE Commission, as a fiscal analyst of transportation budgets with the Minnesota House of Representatives and in promotion of ridesharing with Ridesharing,Inc., during the energy crisis of the 1980s. Before that, he was a 10-year staff person with the Citizens League—a citizen-based, public-policy research group—in the 1960s and 1970s. He joined the Navy to see the world as a supply corps officer on the USS LIttle Rock.
Growing up in North Minneapolis, he worked with his father, who owned a popular meat market, "Shallbetter's Better Meats." Married in 1969, his wife, Barbara, died in 1978 leaving him and two daughters, Sarah and Ann. In 1996, they urged him to take the TEC-Together Encounter Christ retreat that led to his becoming a deacon. He is the grandfather of Ben, born in 2016, the son of his daughter Ann and Enrique Rivera.
Shallbetter is a political science graduate of the University of Minnesota and a graduate of De La Salle High School in Minneapolis.
Theartrice ("T") Williams, MSW, is an independent consultant; former executive director of Phyllis Wheatley Community Center and, more recently, its interim executive director; former Minneapolis School Board member; former senior research associate at Rainbow Research, Inc.; and former Minnesota Ombudsman for Corrections. Williams has taught courses at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and at Augsburg College.
Williams specializes in questions of social and distributive justice, with particular emphasis on community economic development and education issues affecting minority populations. He has been the principal investigator on Rainbow Research evaluations of several local community-based organizations and has conducted program and organizational assessments at the national level. For six years, Williams was evaluation consultant and technical assistance provider to 10 local community-based organizations funded by the Minnesota Health Department's Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative.
Williams' recognitions and awards include The Bush Foundation Leadership Fellows award; Outstanding Achievement Award, Minnesota Chapter National Association of Social Workers; Outstanding Service in Criminal Justice Award, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice Award; Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Service Award; Outstanding Alumni Award, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work.
Williams holds a B.A. degree from the University of Illinois and an M.S.W. degree from the University of Pennsylvania and has done graduate work at the University of Illinois, University of Chicago, DePaul University Law School and Northwestern University.
is a retired professor of manufacturing systems engineering and international management at the University of St. Thomas. He has taught at the University of Minnesota, University of Pittsburgh, St. Cloud State University, Universidad Catolica in Montevideo, Uruguay and at the Czech Management Center in Celovice, Czech Republic.
Prior to returning to academia in 1985, Zimmerman had spent over 25 years in industry as an engineer, manager, vice president and president primarily with IBM, National Computer Systems and an NCS affiliate company - CAMAX. He has served on the board of directors or the board of advisors of sixteen companies.
Dr. Zimmerman is the author of numerous professional and technical articles and is a frequent contributor to the Business Forum section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His book, The Turnaround Experience: Real World Lessons in Revitalizing Corporations, was published by McGraw-Hill in 1991. The book, Manufacturing Works: The Vital Link Between Production and Prosperity, co -authored with Dave Beal, discusses the relationship between manufacturing and community prosperity. Zimmerman has a Ph.D. in strategic management and organizational studies from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management (l987)