John Bredemus, Chair first became aware of Camp Friendship when his daughter, Lara, participated in the residential camping program starting in 1999. John’s other daughter, Monica, participated in the Courage Horseback Riders program.
John is VP of Asset Liability Management/Strategic Asset Allocation at Allianz Investment Management where his duties include developing investment strategy of the general account investment for Allianz’s North America life insurance and property/casualty companies. John’s volunteer activities include U of M’s Carlson School of Management where he has served as a student mentor for the Fixed Income Investment Program the past two years. He also served on the MELD (Minnesota Early Learning Design) board of directors.
John said, “I have experience working with people with disabilities because of my two daughters. I excel at disability community awareness, business, finance, investments and accounting, and am willing to help in any way that I can including fundraising.” John and his wife, Beth, and their four children reside in North Oaks. He enjoys spending time gardening and skiing.
Floyd Adelman – A lifelong entrepreneur dedicated to serving on the boards of growth-oriented companies. In addition to a strong network of resources and advisors, Floyd brings more than 40 years of expertise in running privately-held companies and family-owned businesses. His board leadership experience spans 17 public, private and nonprofit organizations.
Floyd joined the True Friends Board in 2012, and also serves on the True Friends Foundation Board. He is the chairman of the Paul Adelman Children with Disabilities Endowment Fund. The endowment fund was established in 1996 in honor of his son, Paul Adelman, who died of cancer at age 12. The fund supports projects that positively impact children with disabilities. Floyd and his wife, Andi, live in Minnetonka.
Jeff Bangsberg joined the True Friends Board in 2012 and he has been involved with nonprofit boards for more than 10 years. Jeff also serves on the Governance and Program Committees for True Friends. As a person with a spinal cord injury for more than 30 years, Jeff is an expert in public policy related to people with disabilities, and recently retired as Government Relations Director at the Minnesota HomeCare Association. Jeff and his wife, Anita, vacation regularly at Camp Courage and Camp Courage North – where their wedding was held in 1996.
Jerry Caruso has been an active board member for several years and also serves on the True Friends Foundation Board. He is the chairperson of the True Friends Fundraising Committee, and serves on the Facilities, Therapeutic Horseback Riding and the Foundation Investment Committees. Jerry became more aware of the organization when his son first attended Camp Friendship in 2002. Jerry has served on boards and committees for Arc Greater Twin Cities, Pacer Center and St. David’s Child Development. Jerry’s business management, fund raising, investment and financial planning experience furthers the True Friends’ mission. He also has a strong desire to help expand respite care alternatives for families.
Todd Dyste has a long history with Camp Courage, starting as a kitchen staff member and quickly converted to counselor in 1967. He worked at the camp for several summers, including one as the horse and farm director; he also met his wife, Mary Korzeniowski, while working at the camp (where have we heard that before). Todd is an owner of R&M Manufacturing in Buffalo. He currently serves on the TF Facilities Committee and brings a skill set that includes: business, finance, fund raising and construction trades. Todd said, “I’m honored and thrilled to be elected to the True Friends board and look forward to being a part of the future vision of this wonderful organization.”
Gaylen Ghylin has served the organization as a board member and joined the True Friends board in 2013. He is the executive vice president of Tiller Corporation, a road construction materials supplier based in Maple Grove. Gaylen became familiar with the organization in 2002 when a friend introduced him to Friendship Ventures. He joined the Friendship Ventures board in 2003. Gaylen brings a career of business management and accounting experience to the board. He and his wife, Penny, live in Edina.
Jonathon (Jon) Gordon, Treasurer became a member of the True Friends Governance Committee in 2013. His involvement in this committee led to his interest in becoming more actively engaged in the mission of True Friends and the board of directors.
Jon’s volunteer activities include close to thirty years involvement with the Sholom Community Alliance, over twenty years with the Sholom Foundation and four years with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Jon holds a CPA, CGMA and MBA, with past work experience including controller, tax accountant and current President of JR Gordon LTD. Originally from Florida, Jon received his undergraduate degree from Babson College, Wellesley, MA, and his MBA from Suffolk University.
Jon and his wife, Jane, reside in Minnetonka and have three adult children. He enjoys sports cars, computers and watching football. Marilyn Hallstrom is not new to board service, having served as a Friendship Ventures board member from 2005-2012. She has known about TF services her entire life and spent many hours volunteering in our organization. Marilyn is the owner of Hallstrom Consulting, a management consulting company for the government sector. She currently serves on the TF Governance Committee and brings a skill set that includes: business, finance, IT, government/legislative involvement and advertising/marketing. Marilyn said, “As someone who grew up in the local area, I have known about the great work of Camp Friendship and Camp Courage. I’m looking forward to sharing my skills and resources in support of TF’s new and exciting mission.”
Robert “Bob” Harnett has been involved with the organization over 20 years; he was elected to the foundation board in 1993 and currently serves as the Board’s secretary/treasurer. Bob also serves on the True Friends Finance, Fundraising and PR & Marketing Committees. His niece and two nephews have benefited from True Friends programs since 1987. He has a strong sense of compassion for our participants and their families. Bob has been very active in fund raising activities during his board service, raising over $3M through his connections; he started the “Circle of Friends” which matches donor gifts with campers who need camp scholarships.
Tina Hebert is new to the TF Board but not new to TF, having served as the Co-chair of the Friendship Ventures Capital Campaign in 2009-2010 and she is currently the Chair of the True Stride Advisory Board. She first became aware of TF when he son, Nick, attended CEW in 2008. Tina works as a Channel Executive for Intacct, a cloud-based software company that helps finance professionals increase efficiency and drive growth for their organizations. She brings a skill set that includes: business, sales, fund raising, IT and disability awareness. Tina said, “I have a special passion and interest in serving the disability community and offering support to other families. I’m excited to continue my involvement as a True Friends board member.” David Jones – was elected to the board in 2006 and the Foundation board in 2009. In addition to previously serving as the Board chair, he is on the True Friends Finance Committee and the Foundation Investment Committee. David’s son attended Camp Courage in the 1980s and respite care services at Camp Eden Wood until his son’s death in 1999. David retired from Allina Health Systems where he served as the Executive Officer and the Chief Financial Officer. His career as a health care executive is extremely beneficial in the areas of business management, finance and accounting. Jones has a strong passion to expand True Friends respite programs. David and his wife, Julie, reside in Arden Hills.
Carole Mills, Secretary – was elected to the board in May of 2011. She serves as co-chair of the True Friends Program Committee. She was first made aware of True Friends through her daughter’s friend who asked her to attend camp in 2004. Carole’s daughter now attends camp multiple times throughout the year. Carole recently retired from Carlson Companies as the executive assistant to Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Her volunteer activities include; PACER, (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights), the COUNT ME IN project that provided an opportunity for young school age children to explore disabilities. She and her husband, Bob, participated in the disability ministries of their church for 10 years. Carole and her family reside in Plymouth.
Bob Polland was elected to the board in 2015. Bob retired from Courage Center in 2005 after 38 years of service to the camping program, with most of those years as the director of camping. He brings a skill set that includes long range planning, program development, construction, outdoor programs, environmental education and building strong partnerships. Bob was an active member of the American Camping Association for many years and he volunteered for Children First. Most recently, Bob served as the volunteer chair for Camp Courage 60th anniversary event, which was a huge success. In addition to his in-depth knowledge of the Camp Courage program, his longtime personal relationships with families, campers and donors will be a great asset. Bob met his wife, Barb, while working at Camp Courage as seasonal staff members. They have two adult children and reside in Bloomington.
Greg Wallace – joined the True Friends board in 2012 and also serves on the foundation board. Greg is also chairperson of the Finance Committee and serves on the Foundation Investment Committee. He works as a Wealth Management Advisor at Northwestern Mutual and is very active in community service with an emphasis on diversity. Greg is a member of the Monitors Club and a former member of the Courage Center Executive Board. After the merger, Greg joined the True Friends Board as Treasurer and serves as chair of the Finance Committee and on the Fundraising and Foundation Investment Committee. He also previously served on the boards of the Walker West Music Academy and the Columns Resource Group Foundation. Greg is a lifetime resident of Bloomington MN, where he resides with his wife, Jennifer, and their three sons.
Mary Ellen Wells lives on Cedar Lake near Camp Courage. She has attended some of the Camp Friendship fundraisers in the past. Mary Ellen said, she is “always looking for ways to contribute to worthwhile causes and appreciates the special mission of this organization.” Mary Ellen’s volunteer activities include the Clearwater River Watershed District and the Rotary Club.
She currently is the Administrator at CentraCare Health-Monticello, where she is a senior leader for one of CentraCare’s community organizations. Mary Ellen is originally from Detroit, MI and received her undergraduate degree from Oakland University. She received her MA degree from the University of Michigan and MHA from the University of Minnesota.
Mary Ellen and her husband, William, (Bill) reside in Annandale. She enjoys sports, reading, nature/gardening and arts.