CaringBridge Advisory Council
CaringBridge Advisory Council members provide leadership that supports the organization's mission, vision and values, as well as our Strategic Plan and business priorities. They have a multitude of skills and knowledge in digital business, interactive marketing, brand positioning and industry trends. They also possess a passion for helping more families benefit from CaringBridge.
Barb Farrell began her relationship with CaringBridge in 2002, calling to offer any help she could. Her first gesture was a generous donation. She quickly landed a spot on our Board of Directors and has worked tirelessly since then on numerous CaringBridge committees, primarily heading the Development Committee that enhanced donations, our most important source of revenue, from $200,000 to more than $4 million over several years.
In 2004 Barb created a relationship with a data hosting company when that function was a critical need at CaringBridge. She has also chaired the Board Development committee since its inception and has served as its Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.
Barb has continued to connect people to CaringBridge, and with her husband Frank has been one of our staunchest supporters and most dedicated volunteers over the years.
Patty Pannkuk, vice president for Wells Fargo's corporate Community Support Programs group, manages a variety of community support and employee engagement programs for the bank’s volunteerism program. She has managed the corporate-wide infrastructure that supports team member volunteerism, including communications, the events management and volunteer hours tracking platform, team member training and recognition.
Patty is an active participant on our Amplifier Hub, volunteering at the Minnesota State Fair and promoting the CaringBridge mission to amplify love, hope and compassion.
Scott Schwefel is managing partner at Insights, a firm whose proprietary Insights Discovery System provides the basis for self discovery and communications improvement. This Jungian-based psychometric tool details an individual’s psychological type and their preferred communications style. Scott has worked with many companies worldwide to improve their communication systems and leadership styles.
Scott has an in-depth understanding of the workings of CaringBridge and contributes exceptional expertise in leadership and communications. Scott has also served as a CaringBridge Board member.
Berit Francis, a registered nurse, has long been a philanthropic leader in Minneapolis. She first learned about CaringBridge in 2008 after her sister-in-law started a site for Berit’s youngest daughter Marit, who'd been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor.
Berit is a dedicated volunteer and active member of the CaringBridge family. She is amplifying love, hope and compassion with her three part Amplifer Hub blog series about the journey through Marit’s cancer, and plans to write a book about their experience. She is an active volunteer for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and is an advocate against rape and sexual violence.
Berit and her husband Michael live in Orono Minnesota with their four children.