Convene Conference Speakers

Announcing the 2024 Keynote Speaker!

Dawn Owens, CEO, TT Capital Partners

Dawn Owens is CEO and Partner of TT Capital Partners, with broad responsibility across the organization. Dawn brings more than 30 years of healthcare experience to the firm, including a national reputation as a dynamic leader who has led companies through various stages of growth, from turnaround to high-growth. In her role, Dawn engages industry stakeholders, from innovative and earlier-stage companies to Fortune 200 leaders, to understand the market forces driving disruption and the potential for continued innovation in healthcare. 

Prior to joining the firm, Dawn served as CEO of OptumHealth, a multi-line UnitedHealth Group company. Under her leadership, OptumHealth became one of the nation’s largest and most respected health and well-being companies. Dawn’s prior roles include Chief Marketing Officer of Ingenix (now OptumInsight) and President of Uniprise (now a part of UnitedHealthcare). She started her healthcare career at Aetna Health Plans.

Dawn earned a Bachelor of Arts from Grove City College.


Meet Our Convene Speakers

Ryan Armbruster

Sr. Fellow, MHA Executive Program Director, School of Public Health - University of Minnesota

Ryan Armbruster currently leads executive health care education programs at the University of Minnesota. He is an expert in health care innovation and service design, with over two decades of experience teaching and working in these fields. He also developed and teaches a course on climate change and health care organizations.

Ryan has a long and successful career as a health care innovator. He led various roles at UnitedHealth Group, where he designed and delivered cutting-edge solutions and capabilities, such as Optum’s Service Design Studio, Harken Health, and other large-scale programs. Before that, he founded and managed the SPARC Design Lab at Mayo Clinic, a first-of-its-kind innovation center for creating new health care services and experiences for patients and providers.

Ryan is a recognized pioneer and leader of human-centered service design and innovation and his award-winning designs have made a significant impact in the health care industry. He received the inaugural Alumni Innovator Award from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and provides invited talks at forums around the world on the topic of making health care work better for people. 

Brooke Cunningham, MD, PhD

Commissioner - MN Department of Health

Dr. Brooke Cunningham was appointed in January 2023 as commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health. Dr. Cunningham is responsible for directing the work of the Minnesota Department of Health. MDH is the state's lead public health agency, responsible for protecting, maintaining and improving the health of all Minnesotans. The department has approximately 1,400 employees in the Twin Cities area and seven offices in Greater Minnesota.

Prior to being appointed commissioner, Dr. Cunningham was appointed assistant commissioner for the Health Equity Bureau in 2022 by Commissioner Jan Malcolm. As assistant commissioner, Cunningham was responsible for overseeing the Center for Health Equity, the Office of American Indian Health, the COVID-19 Health Equity Team, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She also worked closely with leaders and staff in MDH’s other bureaus to advance health equity in their work.

Dr. Cunningham is a general internist, sociologist, and assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining MDH, her research focused on developing strategies to reduce racial disparities in health, including addressing the adverse impacts of exposure to racism. She also co-directed the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Thread in medical education. In 2021, she was selected as one of four inaugural recipients of the University of Minnesota’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Award. Cunningham is a primary care provider at
the Community-University Health Care Clinic (CUHCC), a federally qualified health clinic in Minneapolis that serves a diverse patient population.

Cunningham received her doctorates in medicine and sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. After completing residency in internal medicine at Duke University, she completed fellowships in health services research, health policy, and bioethics at Johns Hopkins University and an AcademyHealth Delivery System Science Fellowship at the Medica Research
Institute. She received her bachelor’s degree in history and African American studies from the University of Virginia.

Roberta "Bobbie" Dressen, MBA

CEO - Medical Alley

Roberta “Bobbie” Dressen is a strategic and visionary healthcare and life sciences leader focused on activating and amplifying healthcare transformation to advance
public health. 

Dressen is the president and CEO of Medical Alley, a global organization based in Minnesota representing one of the most diverse and influential healthcare ecosystems in the world.

Medical Alley's vision is to be the epicenter of health innovation and care. Under Dressen’s leadership, the organization’s network has grown to more than 800 partner companies, ranging from pre-revenue startups to Fortune 100 companies. Medical Alley is deeply committed to healthcare transformation — advancing initiatives related to health equity, mental health, and DE&I.

Prior to joining Medical Alley, Dressen served in executive leadership roles at some of
the world’s largest healthcare companies — including Boston Scientific, Medtronic,
UnitedHealth, and Allina Health. At the age of 25, Dressen was named CEO of Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Twin Cities, where she successfully led a multimillion-dollar facility replacement project.

Dressen currently serves as an operating partner at LFE Capital, a private equity firm with a mission to build great wellness companies and connect extraordinary women leaders to the capital they need. In 2014, she was named one of Minnesota’s Top 10 Women Corporate Executives by Twin Cities Business magazine based on career achievements and leadership.

Rick Huebsch

Associate VP for Research - University of Minnesota

Rick Huebsch serves as the senior leader responsible for the overall strategic direction, management, and administration of the technology commercialization and venture operations for the five University of Minnesota campuses and the University’s collaborative research centers throughout the state. Rick also oversees personnel and financial operations of the Tech Comm organization, including a new gap funding initiative that he has helped to formulate and the University’s Discovery Capital investment program.

Rick also provides leadership in partnering with the University of Minnesota Foundation on the Corporate Engagement Center. He serves on the Launch MN Advisory Board for the State of Minnesota and maintains robust partnerships with many Minnesota-focused organizations, including the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Medical Alley, Greater MSP, MNSBIR, and the Mayo Clinic Office of Entrepreneurship.

Before joining Technology Commercialization in 2008, Rick worked for 20 years in the software industry, including executive management with Control Data, OpenVision Technologies, Veritas Software, and Symantec. Rick received a BS in computer science and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

Phil Lindemann

VP, Data and Research Informatics - Epic

Phil is the VP of Data and Analytics Informatics at Epic. He works with all of Epic’s product teams to help them understand how the data their users create can be used to save lives and optimize care. Phil has experience creating executive analytics, embedding machine learning in clinical care, building data quality systems, and helping users answer their own questions with data. His current focus is Cosmos, a software application for health systems that allows them to ask questions as a community and return insights directly into their workflows to inform best practices and create new medical knowledge. Phil graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2004 and lives in Madison, WI.

Jigar Patel, MD

Senior Director - Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Oracle / Cerner

Jigar Patel joined Cerner/Oracle in 2007 and has since established himself as a seasoned professional with a diverse background in healthcare information technology. Transitioning from a Physician Executive to various executive roles, including Chief Medical Officer (CMO) across different sectors, Patel has played a pivotal role in driving significant bookings and revenue for Cerner. Notably, his leadership in securing contracts with the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration underscores his strategic acumen and ability to deliver results on a large scale.

In his current role, Patel leads the Value Care Team (VCT), focusing on client relationship management and showcasing the value of Oracle Cerner’s solutions and engagements by cultivating client relationships, understanding the client’s priorities, having deep solution knowledge, solving problems creatively, and using analytics to quantify the value.

With a passion for leveraging electronic health records (EHR) to enhance clinical outcomes, Patel remains dedicated to integrating intelligence into workflows and supporting clinical reasoning through data analytics. His active involvement in representing client physicians and clinicians on various committees reflects his commitment to ensuring that technology solutions meet the evolving needs of healthcare providers, while his initiatives in physician education underscore his dedication to advancing healthcare informatics.

Jeremy Pierotti, MHA, MBA

General Manager - Lucem Health

As General Manager, Solutions, Jeremy develops and commercializes AI solutions that deliver tangible clinical and financial benefits to patients, providers, and the supporting health care ecosystem. He brings 30 years of experience leading teams, growing companies, and implementing sustainable health IT solutions for organizations including Stanford Health, Allina Health, Leidos, and Tampa General Hospital. Before joining Lucem Health, Jeremy served as EVP, Cloud Solutions at Lyniate, which purchased the data integration business of Datica (formerly Sansoro Health), where Jeremy was founding CEO and President.

He earned his MBA and MHA from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota, and his BA from Brown University.

Julie Pritchard-Hedtke

President - Avio Medtech Consulting

Julie Pritchard-Hedtke is an experienced executive leader in both medtech and professional services.  As VP of Global Medical Affairs for the Endovascular Robotics Business Line of Siemens Healthineers, Julie was a critical member of the leadership team defining and implementing strategies to standardize clinician training,  optimize robotic utilization and drive commercial growth. As Chief Practice Officer at Robins Kaplan law firm, she led initiatives focused on improving the client experience resulting in increased client satisfaction and retention, professional growth for the firm’s employees, and overall firm growth.  Leveraging her medtech and professional services experience, Julie now leads Avio Medtech Consulting as President, dedicated to solving the unique needs of medtech entrepreneurs by delivering exceptional, value-creating consulting services.

Amaza Reitmeier, MBA

VP & General Manager, Brain Modulation - Medtronic

Amaza Reitmeier is the Vice President and General Manager for the Brain Modulation business at Medtronic. She and her team are driven to ensure that people with movement disorders or epilepsy receive the best possible therapy. By delivering patient-centered innovation, her team is transforming Brain Modulation through sensing enabled Deep Brain Stimulation and minimally invasive Cranial Laser Ablation.

In her 20+ years with Medtronic, Amaza has led initiatives and teams responsible for new business growth, global market development, product launch and commercial and operational strategy. She brings experience in finance, sales operations, marketing, business development and strategy with a consistent focus on the customers and patients we serve.

Amaza is a passionate advocate for career development and serves as an active mentor for emerging leaders at Medtronic. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hamline University and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, Medical Industry Leadership Institute. Amaza and her husband Wade live in Minneapolis with their sons, Mason & Grady.

James D. Southwick, J.D.

Executive Fellow - GreaterMSP

Jim Southwick is an Executive Fellow at Greater MSP, a Twin Cities public-private partnership driving strategic economic development initiatives.

Jim retired from Medtronic in 2023, where he served the last seven of his 21 years as head of worldwide Government Affairs.  In this role, he developed and coordinated corporate government affairs strategies and built and coached U.S. and global teams.  Before this role, Jim led Medtronic’s international legal function, shaping a team of professionals on all continents and earning Medtronic’s Wallin Award for leadership.  His preceding role was Vice President of International Regulatory Strategy, which engaged him with medical device regulatory authorities on policy issues globally, especially in East Asia and Latin America.  He began his Medtronic career as legal counsel to the Neurological business unit.

Before Medtronic, Jim worked at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), part of the Executive Office of the President in Washington, DC.  His roles there included leading U.S.-Japan trade negotiations as Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Japan, and before that as legal counsel for U.S.-Japan trade negotiations and lead NAFTA lawyer for the U.S.

Jim’s work on Japan trade issues brought him a connection with former Vice President and Ambassador to Japan Walter F. Mondale, and after leaving USTR Jim worked several years with Mr. Mondale at his Minneapolis law firm, on East Asia trade and business matters, before joining Medtronic.

Jim has a law degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s in Latin American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a BA in International Relations from Carleton College.

He has been married to Joan Sundquist since 1987 and they have two sons.