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Civic Caucus Interview Group

- Biographical Statements -


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.

David Broden -- 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. 

Audrey Clay --

Janis Clay  (Executive Director) - Janis Clay was named executive director of the Civic Caucus effective January 1, 2017. Clay has a keen interest in public policy and business 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 has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Civic Caucus since 2009.

Pat Davies -- 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 -- 
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.  

Dwight Johnson --  Dwight Johnson is a native of Edina, MN.  In 1981, after obtaining an MBA, Johnson began working for the Ford Motor Company as a financial Analyst in Dearborn, Michigan. In 1984, Johnson changed employment to the Chrysler Corporation where he started as a product planner. He was at Chrysler for 15 years with his last 10 years in the Marketing Department serving in various roles as a market planner, advertising manager and marketing manager. He oversaw $1 billion marketing/advertising budgets and was at the helm of the Dodge Stealth roll out across the nation. In 1999, his family moved to Fountain Hills, AZ where he has focused his efforts in the public school system (PTO President and Board of Directors), Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and many philanthropic boards.  Johnson has championed Junior Achievement in Fountain Hills Middle School. He enjoys mentoring not only youth, but also business owners and budding entrepreneurs. Johnson, a member of the Civic Caucus Board of Directors, is a son of the late Verne Johnson, founder of the Civic Caucus.

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.

Sallie Kemper -- Sallie Kemper is an administrative, technical and writing consultant to Civic Caucus. Prior to retirement she worked in the banking industry with the predecessor organizations of Wells Fargo, Citibank NY, and US Bank in the areas of systems analysis, financial analysis, software development and corporate lending. She has a B.A. in Mathematics from Rice University. Her civic interests have included supporting the public schools and girlsí athletics and showing up to vote on a regular basis.

Ted Kolderie -- 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 Minnesotaís 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  -- 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 masterís degree in teaching from the University of Wisconsin Ė 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.

Tim McDonald -- Tim McDonald is currently an Associate with Education|Evolving, a joint venture of the Center for Policy Studies and Hamline University and a Fellow at the Center Policy Studies. Timís work at the Center includes government relations and providing staff support to its project in health care redesign.

In 2007 he was named a junior fellow at the American Academy of Political and Social Science, where he won their research award for his work on Muslim immigration in England. He is also a member of the International Youth Leadership Conference in Prague, and has since served on its alumni advisory board.

In 2009 he joined the founding board of the Academy of North Minneapolis, an elementary public charter school and served as an officer for its first two years.

Tim received his BA degree with honors in political science from Hamline University and currently attends the Harvard Kennedy School in their Masters in Public Policy program. He was selected as a Fellow in Minnesota's 2011 Education Policy Fellowship Program and is currently a Fellow in the Institute for Educational Leadership's Global Educational Policy Fellowship Program.

He is the author of two significant policy books, Unsustainable: A Strategy for Making Public Schooling More Productive, Effective, and Affordable (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011) and Londonís Calling: Reasserting the Primacy of Liberal Values (Lambert Academic Publishing, 2010).

Bruce W. Mooty -- Bruce received an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts in 1977 and a law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1980. He is managing officer at the Minneapolis law firm of Gray, Plant, Mooty and has devoted much time and talent to the Alumni Association and the University of Minnesota. He has been an active volunteer for the Alumni Association for eight years, starting as an at-large representative on the Alumni Association National Board of Directors and finally as national president in 2008-2009.

He is listed among "The Best Lawyers in America" by Woodward/White, 2013-2014.

Mooty is active in Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Civic Caucus, Colonial Church of Edina, United Way, Fund for the Legal Aid Society, Urban Leadership Academy, Urban Ventures, Volunteer Lawyers Network Benefactors Board, the Greater Twin Cities YMCA and the Southdale YMCA.

Jim Olson -- Jim 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 course in Economics and Statistics   prior to his retirement as an Emeritus Professor of Economics and Business Administration in 1987. Jim also is a retired Major in the Air Force Reserve.
Jim 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" Jim receive his BBA, MA, and PhD degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Paul Ostrow (Chair) -- 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.  

Wayne Popham --  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 -- 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 Caucusís 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 Jungeís book, Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story. She served as editor of the Citizens Leagueís 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 Universityís Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Clarence Shallbetter--

Fred Zimmerman--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)

Verne C. Johnson-- (deceased) Chair, 2005 to November, 2012 - Verne served as chair of the Civic Caucus since its beginning in 2005 to his death in November 2012. Verne was president of the VCJ Foundation, whose primary focus is education for those being left behind. From 1983 until 1997 he was President and CEO of Altcare, a social responsibility venture established by General Mills and the Wilder Foundation. Verne served General Mills as Vice President of Corporate Planning for 14 years and as vice president of Public Responsibility Planning and Venture Development for a year before his early retirement in 1983.
Verne served from 1957 to 1967 as Executive Director of the Citizens League, and later as its Chair and as a member of its Board of Directors. He was for 30 years a member of the Fairview Board of Directors. He was a member of the Minnesota House of Representative in his 20s and served for three years as Administrative Assistant to Congressman Walter Judd of Minnesota. Verne graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1950.

Charles Clay (deceased)--  Charles Clay was an original member of the Civic Caucus.  An attorney, Clay received a bachelorís degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota and a law degree from the University of  Minnesota Law School.  After serving as a law clerk for Justice Knutson of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Clay began his legal career at the Soo Line Railroad, becoming Executive Vice PresidentóAssistant to the President before leaving in 1984 to practice with the Minneapolis law firm of Head, Seifert & Vander Weide.

In 1987, Clay, with two partners, founded a short line railroad, the Red River Valley & Western, serving Minnesota and North Dakota.  This was followed by three more short lines and a railroad equipment company.  Clay continues to serve on the Boards of Directors of the companies he co-founded.

Clay served many years on the Board of Directors of the Citizens League, and was its President in 1965-66.  Clay chaired the Leagueís Metropolitan Affairs Committee, which lead to the establishment of the Metropolitan Council, and its Metropolitan Sewage Committee, which lead to the establishment of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Sewer District.  He also served on many other Citizens League committees.  Clay served on the Board of Directors of Deaconess Hospital, and on the Edina School Board, where his three children attended school.  He was involved in many other local civic activities.  Clay lived in Edina with his wife, Audrey.

John Mooty (deceased) -- John Mooty was an original member of the Civic Caucus. He began his practice of law with Gray Plant Mooty in 1944. He became a partner in 1954 and served as a managing officer of the firm for more than 20 years. He died in 2015. He is best known for rebuilding franchise corporations such as International Dairy Queen and National Car Rental. He served on the boards of several corporations. In addition, he was the general partner in the development of Rio Verde, Tonto Verde and Vista Verde, golfing retirement communities near Scottsdale, AZ.

John had substantial community involvement in political and community organizations, including serving as past president of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, Minneapolis Rotary Club, Citizens League, and St. Johnís Lutheran Church. He was Chairman of the Governor's Task Force on Education and a representative on the Uniform Laws Commission.

He was repeatedly named as a "Minnesota Super Lawyer" and once was noted as the oldest "Super Lawyer." In 2003, he was named to the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. John earned his law degree (LL.B.) from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1944 and his bachelorís degree (BSL) from the University of Minnesota in 1943.


The Civic Caucus   is a nonpartisan, tax-exempt educational organization.   The Interview Group  includes persons of varying political persuasions,
reflecting years of leadership in politics, public policy,
business, nonprofits and government.   Click here  to see a short personal background of each.

  John S. Adams, David Broden, Audrey Clay, Janis Clay (executive director), Pat Davies, Paul Gilje, Rob Jacobs, Dwight Johnson, Randy Johnson, Sallie Kemper, Ted Kolderie,
 Dan Loritz, Marina Lyon, Tim McDonald, Bruce Mooty, Jim Olson, Paul Ostrow (chair), Wayne Popham, Dana Schroeder, Clarence Shallbetter, and Fred Zimmerman

© The Civic Caucus,  01-01-2008
2104 Girard Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405.
Verne C. Johnson, chair, 612-791-1919   ~  Paul A. Gilje, coordinator, 952-890-5220.

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