Advisory Council


The CHRLS Advisory Council is comprised of leaders in business, labor, government, and education. The Council provides an important channel through which faculty, staff, and students can communicate with corporate, labor, and governmental leaders and help the Center incorporate important issues into its teaching, research, and community services.



Mark Ahmann

Scot Beckenbaugh, Deputy Director, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service

Beckenbaugh serves as Deputy Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service for Mediation Services and Field Programs. Beckenbaugh has been with the FMCS since 1988.

Gail Blackstone, Director of Human Resources, Ramsey County Human Resources Dept

Lyndon Carlson, Minnesota House of Representatives

Representative Carlson of District 45B is a retired social studies teacher and on his 20th term of office. He earned his B.S., social studies and graduate work from Minnesota State University, Mankato and University of St. Thomas.

Mike Davis, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, General Mills

Before joining GMI, Davis worked as a compensation consultant with Towers Perrin. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Tricia Dirks - Senior Vice President and Chief Human Capital Officer, Select Comfort

Dirks joined Select Comfort in 2014. Prior to that, she joined Target Corporation in 1986 as a Manager in the Department Store Division, where she held various positions in sales and human resources before moving into her role as SVP of Organizational Effectiveness.

Thomas Dooher, President and CEO, Dooher Enterprises

James Dworkin,Chancellor, Purdue University North Central

Previously, Dworkin served as associate dean of the School of Management and the Krannert Graduate School of Management on the West Lafayette Campus. Dworkin earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota.

Chuck Edward, General Manager of Global University Recruiting, Microsoft

Edward has been with the company since 2004 working in various leadership roles in HR. Chuck started as an HR Director in the Microsoft Business Division (MBD), then spent four years leading HR for Microsoft’s Customer Service and Support (CSS) Organization.

David Foster, Executive Director, Blue Green Alliance

Foster is the Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations dedicated to expanding the number and quality of jobs in the green economy.

Jerry Friedmann, Retired President, the Friedmann Group

Laura Gillund, Vice President of Human Resources and Professional Development, Cardiovascular Systems, Inc.

Gillund has had a 25-year career in many areas including transportation, financial services and human resources. She joined Cardiovascular Systems Inc. in 2013, and prior to that was VP of HR for C.H. Robinson.

Nancy Goldman, President, UNITE Here Local 17

Tom Hall, Vice President Talent Acquisition, Allstate Insurance

Michael Howe, Principal, MW Howe Consulting

Ryan Knapp, Divisional Vice President, Business Human Resources, Abbott

Knapp has had a long career with Abbott. In 1999 he returned to the U.S. from Japan where he was serving as HR Director for Abbott Laboratories' Asia/Pacific operations, and has held several positions in Abbott Park, IL since then.

Deb Knutson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Medica

Knutson joined Medica in August 2003. She is responsible for human resources, learning and facilities management, including building security, hospitality and office services. She reports to the CEO and is the executive representative to the Personnel & Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors.

Shar Knutson, President of the Minnesota AFL-CIO

First elected in 2009, Knutson is the first woman to lead Minnesota's largest labor federation. Before leading the Minnesota AFL-CIO Knutson served as President of the Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation for ten years, and previously served as the Regional Federation's political director.

Chris Larsen, Vice President of Compensation & Benefits, Ecolab, Inc.

Jing Liao, Vice President, Global Human Resources, Atmel Corporation.

Liao was appointed Vice President, Global Human Resources in December, 2009. Prior to this position, she led the Global Total Rewards function at Atmel.

Betty McCollum, U.S. House of Representatives

McCollum is a Democrat serving her sixth term in the United States Congress, representing the families of Minnesota’s Fourth District. In 2000, Congresswoman McCollum made history as only the second Minnesota woman elected to serve in Congress since statehood in 1858.

Kathy Megarry, Vice President of Regional Labor Relations, Macy's Inc.

Megarry has over twenty years of labor relations experience, beginning with the internship she held the first semester she was in the MA-IR program at the Carlson School.

Donald Moersch, Retired, Vice President - ADC

Charles Montreuil, Vice President, Enterprise Rewards, Best Buy Inc.

Montreuil joined Best Buy in 2008 as vice president, human resources - enterprise rewards. In his current role he oversees the monetary and non-monetary components of the company’s Total Rewards program, which includes a portfolio of benefit and work-life plans and programs designed to help attract, retain, and reward high-performing employees.

Shawn Moren, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Bluestem Brands

Joseph Mucha, Retired, Vice President of HR - General Mills Bakeries

Erin Murphy, Minnesota House of Representatives

Jennifer O'Keelan, Vice President of Human Resources, Ingersoll Rand

Jennifer O'Keelan is Vice President of Human Resources for Thermo King, a business of Ingersoll Rand. Thermo King is a two billion dollar manufacturer of temperature control transportation solutions.

Peter Obermeyer, Retired Director, Bureau of Mediation Services

Obermeyer currently serves as general partner of Arbeider, Inc., acting as an arbitrator and mediator of labor-management grievance and interest disputes in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Laura Owen is an executive with over 30 years of Human Resources experience. Most recently, she was with ADC Telecommunications from 1997 through 2010, where she served first as the Vice President of Human Resources and then as the Chief Administrative Officer.

Scott Peterson, Chief Human Resources Officer, The Schwan Food Company

Sandy Tokach, Vice President, Talent Solutions, 3M

Tokach has worked for 3M since the early 1980's when she started as a Chemist Specialist. In 2006 she was appointed to her current position, Vice President, Talent Solutions, in 3M Human Resources.

Patricia Wyffels

Wyffels has worked with diverse industries including technology, biopharmaceutical, agricultural products and non-profit organizations. She previously served as Global Manager, Human Resources for Chevron Oronite Company LLC.