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.
Lon Bencini …more information about Lon coming soon.
Jonathan “Jon” Gordon, Treasurer/Secretary – 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 30 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.
Chris Judson …more information about Chris coming soon.
Steven Lacke was elected to the Foundation board in 2015. Steven is the Chief Operating Officer at Constellation Mutual, a partnership of mutual liability insurers and health services companies determined to be a leading source of physician support. Steven has experience as a CFO and Senior Vice President with MMIC Group working in finance, investments and accounting. Steven lives with his wife, Olivia, in Hudson, WI. In his spare time, Steven enjoys woodworking, boating and landscaping.
John LeBlanc, President & CEO of True Friends, – was named President and CEO of True Friends January 1, 2018. John was first introduced to True Friends when one of his children attended Camp Courage and Camp Friendship in the summer of 2014. John was inspired by the organization and soon expanded his career with the organization.
“I am thrilled to be leading such an inspiring organization that has a strong foundation created by Ed Stracke,” said John. “I look forward to continuing to offer the same life-changing experiences for individuals of all abilities.
Tom Mahowald, CFA was elected to the Foundation board in 2015. Tom is the Managing Director of Evercore Wealth Management. Tom has over 20 years of investment research and portfolio management experience. Tom is also a finance committee member for Saint John Neumann Catholic Church and is on the Father’s Club Advisory Board for Saint Thomas Academy. He lives in Eagan, MN with his wife, Tracy, and two sons, Joseph and John. In his spare time, Tom enjoys golf, hiking, photography and travel.
Mary Kemp Murray joined the foundation board in 2015. Mary is a design agency co-founder, president and brand strategy lead with more than two decades of experience helping clients of all sizes- from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies- define their products and brands by design. Ideas that Kick, the agency Mary leads with her creative director business partner, has been widely recognized within the design industry for delivering smart, strategic creative concepts that woo and wow consumers in order to transform words and images into action. Mary is as committed to community and the design community as she is to client success. She served as a MN 4-H Foundation Board Member and Officer from 2006-2012-and as the MN 4-H Foundation’s Marketing Committee Chair 2005-2006. Mary has been honored with awards from the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, the MN 4-H Foundation and Rotary International. She and her husband call Minneapolis home and have two sons and a daughter.
John Silbaugh – more information about John coming soon.
John Tollefsrud joined the True Friends foundation board in 2007 and serves on the Investment Committee as well. He is retired from a career with Western National Mutual Insurance Company. He resides in Bloomington, MN.
Greg Wallace – joined the True Friends board in 2012. Greg is 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 long-time 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.