ClearWay Minnesota Board of Directors welcomes new members

New members bring expertise in American Indian issues, health policy and health care

Sep 17, 2014, 14:51 ET from ClearWay Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- At ClearWay Minnesota's Annual Meeting today, the Board of Directors welcomed three new members and recognized a longtime member whose term was expiring. The Board oversees operations of ClearWay MinnesotaSM, a nonprofit organization funded with 3 percent of Minnesota's tobacco settlement. ClearWay Minnesota's work encompasses free tobacco cessation services, research activities, public policy initiatives and other efforts to reduce tobacco's harm in the state.

The new Board Members bring expertise in several areas. The new members are:

  • Kelly Drummer, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tiwahe Foundation, an independent community foundation working to renew American Indian communities and make them self-sustaining. Drummer has a long history of leadership with philanthropic organizations. She was elected to the ClearWay Minnesota Board in May, when she replaced a retiring member.
  • Janet Keysser, former manager of the state's asthma program at the Minnesota Department of Health. During her 14 years in that position, she oversaw the development of Minnesota's first state asthma plan. Minnesota Speaker of the House Paul Thissen appointed Keysser to the Board in June.
  • Anne Vars, a senior project manager in health care at Target. Previously, Vars was a consultant who advised health systems such as hospitals on strategic planning, program development and other activities. She was elected to the ClearWay Minnesota Board in May.

The Board also acknowledged the longtime service of Medtronic executive Lyn Stepaniak, whose term has ended. During her time on the Board, Stepaniak chaired the Strategic Development and Planning Committee, where she led efforts around both short- and long-term planning for the organization. Anne Vars will fill Stepaniak's seat on the Board.

The Board also installed new officers at today's meeting. The full roster of officers is as follows:

  • Thomas Weaver, Board Chair – Weaver is Chief Executive Officer of Achieve Services, Inc., and former Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Council.
  • Joy Rikala, Vice Chair – Rikala is an independent consultant, former Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension special agent and former police chief for the City of Minnetonka and the University of Minnesota Police Department.
  • Bob Boerschel, Treasurer – Boerschel is eFinancial Senior Counsel at Wells Fargo and previously served as corporate counsel for Best Buy.
  • Vivian Jenkins Nelsen, Secretary – Nelsen is co-founder of the INTER-RACE Institute, a diversity think-tank at Augsburg College.

Weaver is halfway through a two-year term as Board Chair; all other officers were elected to one-year terms, which will take effect on September 29.

About ClearWay MinnesotaSM

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement.

For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit


SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota