Advisory Council

Our diverse advisory council includes professionals in technology, fund development, finance and administration, healthcare, customer care, marketing and outreach, all providing guidance to further our impact and mission.

Barb Farrell Executive Team: Chair

Barb 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 the 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 support.

Berit Francis Executive Team

Berit, a registered nurse, has long been a philanthropic leader in Minneapolis, Minn. She first learned about CaringBridge in 2008 after her sister-in-law started a site for her youngest daughter Marit, who'd been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Berit is a dedicated volunteer and active member of the CaringBridge family including writing for the blog about the journey through Marit's cancer.

Bill Lindberg Executive Team

Bill is the president of Ash Grove Group, Inc. and has been with the company since 1998. Recognized as a Master Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, Bill serves his clients and his profession with equal vigor by staying abreast of the latest advances in the field and applying his knowledge and insight to his work as an executive coach. He is known for a keen sense of humor, an energetic presentation style, and a willingness to do what it takes to assist clients in reaching their goals.

Patty Pannkuk Executive Team

Patty is vice president for Wells Fargo's corporate community support programs group, managing a variety of community support and employee engagement programs for the bank's volunteerism program. Patty is an active participant the blog, volunteering at the Minnesota State Fair to promote the CaringBridge mission to amplify love, hope and compassion in the world.

Scott Schwefel Executive Team

Scott is managing partner at Insights, a firm whose proprietary Insights Discovery System provides the basis for self-discovery and communications improvement. 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.

Arleen Sullivan Executive Team

For more than 20 years, Arleen has sharpened her financial services skills and now serves as president of the business banking east market at Anchor Bank. Arleen’s ability to meet common goals translates into success in her community outreach activities too. As a prior spokesperson for the Southwest YMCA Y-Partners Program, she inspired cooperation and involvement for the benefit of children and families in many communities.

Nikki Abramson At-Large Committee

Nikki is the author of the book I Choose Hope: Overcoming Challenges with Faith and Positivity. Nikki is an international adoptee who battles several rare medical challenges in her life. She is the board chair for the resource committee of Adopted Adults. Her company Renew Hope LLC speaks to a wide range of audiences sharing her message of hope to the world.

Karl Baltes At-Large Committee

Karl has worked for Target for the past 14 years and is currently director of Canadian systems overseeing the technology program for Target’s international entry into Canada. Karl spent 10 years at US Bank where he worked in property development focusing on acquisitions and the integration of post-merger financial, tax, and real estate operations. He has a passion for development coaching and organizational change management.

Julie Burrows At-Large Committee

Julie has been the president of Burrows Product Results, Inc. for more than 10 years. A consulting firm dedicated to driving growth through marketing, digital and strategic planning, Burrow Product Results, Inc. combines best practices of consumer marketing strategy for big growth initiatives for various companies. Julie creates the vision, business plan and execution that drive real value for Fortune 500 and start-ups companies alike.

Andrew McGarvey At-Large Committee

Andy has spent more than 20 years in the health care industry working in various capacities in the Health IT, Medical Device, Managed Care, and Population Health arenas. He has broad executive experience with roles in sales and marketing, strategy, business development and operations. In his current role he is charged with managing strategy and partnerships for Optum Labs, a broad “Big Data” health care collaborative focused on innovation and research.

Jennifer Moccia At-Large Committee

Jennifer has spent more than 17 years within the Condé Nast organization and has more than 25 years' experience in publishing and advertising. As executive fashion director, corporate partnerships in the Condé Nast Media Group, she works directly with a short list of European and American fashion companies to develop and manage their partnership across all Condé Nast brands and platforms, including print, digital, video and marketing services.

Rik Lalim At-Large Committee

Rik, owner and founder of Rikochet, a housing industry marketing firm in Minneapolis, Minn. has been involved with CaringBridge as a donor and volunteer since its inception in 1997. Rik is deeply engaged with several nonprofits in the Twin Cities and just completed his third trip to Peru with Smile Network where he assisted children and their parents as they receive life-changing reparative oral surgery.

Carmela Coyle California Committee

Carmela is the president & CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association. In her role, Carmela is sharpening the association’s focus on advocacy and public policy. Previously, she spent 20 years with the American Hospital Association (AHA). As a member of AHA’s executive management team, Carmela was responsible for developing AHA’s policy positions on behalf of the hospital and health system field.

Kathy Saracino

Kathy is a registered nurse and professor. Five years ago, Kathy’s sister Lisa was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As Lisa lived in Europe, Kathy first found CaringBridge as a way to connect Lisa with family and friends across multiple time zones and continents. CaringBridge truly made a difference in Lisa’s life and in the lives of all who knew her. As a professor, Kathy is looking to spread the word about CaringBridge to her students.

Lindy Stankey

Lindy became a volunteer for CaringBridge in 2010 following her husband’s cancer diagnosis. CaringBridge was an integral part of their cancer journey and she touts CaringBridge as the best non-prescribed medication for any medical journey. Lindy’s career background reaches from retail merchandising with Target, to procurement at the University of St. Thomas and is starting to breach the IT realm as the vice president of client engagement for Technology Solutions Group.

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