Monica Engel, President
Monica Engel currently serves as Senior Vice President and President of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Monica is responsible for the organization’s government health program business which includes Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Employee and Individual market segments. During Monica’s tenure at Blue Cross, she has held leadership positions across several market segments, including Medicare, public sector, organized labor and consumer markets.
Engel has more than 25 years of experience within the health care industry. During her tenure at Blue Cross, she has held various leadership positions in operations, channel distribution, new sales and account management. Engel was instrumental in leading the way by bringing the state’s first health insurance retail center to Minnesota to help consumers navigate a complex topic in a more effective way. In her most recent position as Vice President of Consumer Markets, Engel led the organization through many industry challenges while identifying new and emerging opportunities arising from health care reform.
Engel holds a degree in business management from Mayville State University and has completed the Minnesota Management Institute program from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She is an active member of Women Business Leaders, and a board member for Mii Life Inc./Select Account. In 2017, the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Engel with a “Women of Excellence” award.
Leslie Bodell, President Elect
Leslie Bodell serves as SVP of Enabling Services for Optum, an $84 billion health services and innovations company. She is responsible for enabling operational effectiveness and business growth through a set of Optum enterprise-wide capabilities and operations, encompassing: Business Architecture & Transformation, Program Office, Client Implementation, Healthcare Financial Services, Fulfillment, Workforce Management, Vendor Management, Training, Data and Risk Operations, and Reporting & Analytics. Prior roles included responsibility for enterprise Quality and Operational Excellence/Six Sigma, and Global Sourcing.
Prior to joining Optum, Leslie spent 25 years in financial services at Ameriprise Financial and American Express, holding senior leadership roles in business operations, strategy, and Information Technology. During that time, she led large-scale business and technology transformations including acquisition integrations, new business and product/service launches, margin improvement, and operating model transformations. She held several divisional CIO roles, as well as establishing and leading the IT COO function as part of a public company spinoff.
Leslie holds an undergraduate degree in Finance from Drake University, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minnesota, and is married with two children.
Amy Ronneberg, Treasurer
Amy Ronneberg joined Be The Match in July 2013 as Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for the organization’s finances, facilities and real estate management, reporting and tax management. Along with her finance duties, Ronneberg provides guidance and leadership to the Enterprise Program Management Office (EPMO), which provides comprehensive oversight to portfolio, project and program lifecycles to ensure successful delivery.
Ronneberg was named President, Be The Match BioTherapies® in 2017, which includes new business development. Ronneberg is responsible for developing and delivering a strategic plan to grow and expand our portfolio of product offerings.
Ronneberg has 20 years of experience in financial and operational leadership. She has been recognized for her work in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal awards: CFO of the Year (2017) and Top Women in Business (2016) and 40 Under Forty (2006) and Top Women in Finance by Finance and Commerce (2017).
Ronneberg has served on several boards and currently is on the board for Tmunity Therapeutics, World Marrow Donor Association and the Women's Health Leadership TRUST.
Ronneberg earned a Master's in Business Administration from Capella University, Minneapolis, Minn. and a B.B.A. in Accounting from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She is also a certified public accountant.
Christine (Chris) Bent, Secretary
Christine Bent leads the Allina Health Group, responsible for integrating primary care, specialty care and clinical service line capabilities to better serve our patients.
Earlier in her career, Bent was the chief operating officer of the Minneapolis Heart Institute® where, in conjunction with the physician president, she provided professional management to the 128-bed Heart Hospital within Abbott Northwestern Hospital and MHI®’s extensive outreach program. Her background is in physician practice management in both independent practices and integrated health care delivery systems.
Bent graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and obtained her Master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Minnesota.
Connie White Delaney, Immediate Past President
Connie White Delaney is Professor & Dean, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota. She also serves as the knowledge generation lead for the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. She served as Associate Director of the Clinical Translational Science Institute – Biomedical Informatics, and Acting Director of the Institute for Health Informatics (IHI) in the Academic Health Center, 2010-2015.
She serves as an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Nursing at the University of Iceland, where she received the Doctor Scientiae Curationis Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing) in 2011. Delaney is the first Fellow in the College of Medical Informatics to serve as a Dean of Nursing. Delaney was an inaugural appointee to the USA Health Information Technology Policy Committee, Office of the National Coordinator, Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She is an active researcher in the areas of data and information technology standards for nursing and health care, outcomes/safety, and big data and translational science. She serves on numerous health, business/industry and policy boards/advisory committees.
Delaney currently serves as Immediate Past President of the TRUST, president-elect of FNINR, and Vice-Chair of CGFNS, Inc. She holds a BSN with majors in nursing and mathematics, MA in Nursing, PhD Educational Administration and Computer Applications, and completed postdoctoral study in nursing & medical informatics. The essence of Delaney’s work is successful engagement and expanded networks which advance co-discovery of solutions; solutions that transform health and education systems by expanding connections, collaborations, and integrative Informatics within and beyond social structures.
Deb Bauman joined the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation in 2015 as Vice President of Technology Services/CIO. Deb brings with her over 30 years of experience in the Technology Services industry. Prior to joining the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, she served as Group President for Bremer Bank in charge of Bank Operations and Technology; Vice President for Target Technology Services, where she was in charge of Financial Services Technology and Target.com; Chief Information Officer for Deluxe Financial Services and Chief Information Officer for Sun Country Airlines. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.
Deb has been a member of the Strategic Advisory board for FIS Global Solutions, a board member for several startups, and a member of the Advisory Board for Sophia Fund, an angel investment firm. She has also served as a board member of the non-profit Bridge for Youth for the past seven years, with the last three years serving as the Chair.
With more than 25 years of experience, Rhoda provides accounting and consulting services to entrepreneurial clients within multiple professional service industries, with a special focus in medical and dental practices. She listens carefully and learns the ins and outs of her clients’ businesses to help solve unique problems. She has extensive experience with compensation formula preparation and design, deferred compensation, income tax planning, tax return preparation, internal control structures, budgeting and analysis, accounting assistance, and payroll reporting and related issues.
Rhoda holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of South Dakota, and a Certificate in Advanced Health Care Management from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. In addition to her involvement on the TRUST, she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Minnesota Medical Group Managers Association; she chairs the Lurie Community Presence Committee.
Whether she is reading a book, going for a run or enjoying her flower garden, Rhoda prefers to be outside in her free time. She also loves spending time with her two daughters.
Julie Dekker is Director of Faculty Practice and Partnerships at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. An accomplished and versatile health care leader with over 22 years of experience, Dekker has a proven track record of performance and profitability in rapidly changing and dynamic environments.
Julie previously served as the Vice President, Operations for Fulcrum Health (formerly known as Chiropractic Care of Minnesota, Inc.), having joined the Fulcrum team in November 2014. Prior to joining CCMI, she spent 11 years at Medica Health Plans as Director of Network Management, and most recently Director of Quality and Health Management Compliance. She is recognized as a focused, decisive and motivational leader with extensive knowledge and management experience in building, leading and growing teams, and creating strong and effective partnerships.
Dekker belongs to health care industry and philanthropic organizations such as Women’s Health Leadership TRUST (which she joined in 2009) and Women Business Leaders of the US. She also has a broad range of volunteer experience with organizations such as Wooddale Church’s Women’s Ministry Leadership Team, First Step Initiative, the Omicron Omicron Alumni Chapter Board of Alpha Chi Omega, where she served three years as Treasurer. She was also a member of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit organization MORE based in St. Paul and served as Vice Chair.
Dekker received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Tampa and her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of South Florida.
Amy Dewane is the Vice President of Growth and Partnerships at HealthPartners. She has a broad range of strategic growth responsibilities spanning the care group including care delivery growth and market development, growth planning and analysis, and product and service development. Her team provides overall strategic direction, growth strategy formation and guidance to make sound, qualitative and data-driven business decisions while ensuring consistency with the organization’s objectives and mission. Amy balances her time between externally working with customers, partners, and the community and internally focusing on growth for patients, members and attracting new consumers.
She has been with HealthPartners since August 2015. Prior to that, she led health care delivery Growth, Business Development and Strategy functions for CHI (a large national Catholic health care system) and Aurora Health Care (a large regional health care delivery system) in Wisconsin. Amy graduated from Marquette University with a Master's of Business Administration and holds undergraduate degrees in Business and Marketing from the same university.
Although new to Minnesota, Amy has a passion for community service. She has previously served as board chair on several community boards including the Manitowoc Two Rivers YMCA and for Women in Management, a Wisconsin statewide non-profit professional development association for women.
Sharon Gabrielson is a health care executive with over 20 years of broad-based leadership experience in strategic and operational planning, practice, quality improvement, outcomes, safety and service. These experiences have included executive level leadership of both small and large health care systems, management of integrated health care organizations, and integration of clinical practices, multidisciplinary organizations, and stakeholders. She currently serves as Chair - Global Business Solutions at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Ms. Gabrielson is a member of many local and national committees for various organizations, is a published author, has made many presentations before various groups and is a member of the American Medical Group Association Board of Directors and the AMGA CAO Leadership Council.
Ms. Gabrielson received her Master of Arts in health administration and in management from St. Mary’s University; her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Winona State University; and her Associate of Arts in nursing from the St. Mary’s Junior College.
Beth Honkomp is currently the Vice President for Performance Excellence for CentraCare Health System (CCH). Beth’s responsibilities include overseeing quality, patient safety, patient experience, performance improvement, infection prevention and control, value analysis and clinical analytics, public reporting, patient experience, and regulatory compliance for the entire system in conjunction with her physician co-Vice President.
Beth has worked for the St. Cloud Hospital for over 30 years and recently became a CentraCare Health System employee. Beth has been in various leadership roles throughout her tenure at St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare Health. Beth is a member of the Minnesota Hospital Association’s Patient Safety Committee and the association’s Registry Advisory Committee for Adverse Health Events. Beth graduated from the University of Minnesota for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing. She also received an executive MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
Jana Johnson is the Staff Vice President of Dental Operations at Anthem. In this capacity, she is accountable to ensure dental operations and service results are aligned with member and customer needs. These functions include dental’s contact centers, client and benefit set up, managed partner enrollment and eligibility, claims processes, grievance and appeals, special operational services, operational reporting and audit and system and process improvement.
Before coming to Anthem and DeCare Dental, Jana was at Medica Health Plan, Minneapolis, Minn., serving in a variety of executive roles. She most recently served as Senior Vice President of Health and Provider Services. Prior to that, she served as Senior Vice President of Operations.
Jana’s experience spans both health plans and care delivery systems, providing leadership in operations and service, clinical program administration, provider contracting, business intelligence; strategic planning, marketing and program development.
Jana has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn., and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She is a Board member of the American Heart Association, Minnesota Chapter as well as the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST.
Stefanie Ann Lenway is Dean of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis St. Paul. As Dean, she has strategic and operational responsibilities for all undergraduate, graduate and executive development programs, and outreach. She has also served as Dean of Business in Chicago at the University of Illinois at Chicago and in Michigan at Michigan State University. Before embarking upon a career in academic leadership, Stefanie was a Professor of Strategic Management and Organization at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.
Since arriving at the University of St. Thomas in 2014, Stefanie has focused on building a strategic presence in the business of health care at the Opus College. In 2015, she launched the Health Care Roundtable, which convenes representatives of different segments of the health care value chain to explore how creating platforms that link pieces of the value chain can create efficiencies that result in more affordable health care for all. She has also worked to grow the St. Thomas Health Care MBA by bringing Twin Cities developed business innovations relevant to health care into the classroom and focus degree and non-degree programs in health care analytics. Physician's Leadership Development has become a prominent offering in Executive Development.
Stefanie received her PhD in Business and Public Policy from the University of California. Her academic career focused on global technology innovation and strategy. At the University of Minnesota, she was awarded a 3-year mid-career McKnight Land Grant Professorship. She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business in 2001. In 2017, she received the Women in Business award from the Twin Cities Business Journal.
Diane Nanstad joined Cerner’s Population Health Strategy Executive team in January 2019. Diane Nanstad focuses on clients' population health and value-based care strategies to help them create value, maximize growth and improve their business performance.
She is in an advisory relationship role that can leverage the strength of the broader Population Health team and client experience in clinical integration, care model transformation, consumer strategy, physician alignment, payer contracting strategy, regulatory programs, organizational readiness and business model shift.
Prior to joining Cerner, she has held roles with companies such as: Program Director, Premier Applied Sciences, Premier, Inc., where she worked with academic hospitals and life science companies on their health care data and research needs. Product Manager, Corporate Healthcare Solutions, Boston Scientific. She worked with multiple divisions to identify population health and value-based care product strategies for current and future products.
Diane has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from Salem State University; and a Bachelor of Science in Merchandising and Business from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.
Diane has been an active member and Membership Committee member of the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST since 2012. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for the ACHE-MN (American College of Healthcare Executives, Minnesota Chapter) since 2016. She has chaired the Events Committee and currently leads networking and special projects. Diane is also a member of Minnesota HIMSS, where she has served on the Programming Committee.
Lori Nelson is a seasoned health care executive with over 30 years in the industry. She has held key leadership roles at a variety of organizations including Preferred One, Fairview, BCBSMN, Buckeye Helath plan, and currently at Medica. She is currently serving as the SVP, Provider Strategy and Network Management. In this role, Lori oversees all Provider relationships, contracting and provider operations.
Prior to her time at Medica, she spent time with Buckeye Health Plan, a Centene plan, as the Chief Operating Officer. In this role she managed operations, quality, health services, provider relations, pharmacy and health economics. In addition, she was in charge of ensuring the strategic plan was being executed upon.
In addition to her time at work, Lori also has a passion for developing leaders through her multi-year mentorship relationships and her board position with the Northstar Boy Scout Council. Lori also enjoys spending time with her family, has a passion for baking and spending time outdoors taking long walks.
Lori earned a BA in psychology from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.
Rachel Nelson is Vice President and General Manager, Federal Programs at Prime Therapeutics. She has more than 25 years of experience within the prescription benefit management (PBM) area of the health care industry. Prior to her current role, she has also served as VP and GM for Medicare Programs, VP for Government Programs, Senior Director for Client Engagement Experiences and in other roles at Prime Therapeutics.
Rachel's strong experience includes innovative business development and strategic planning; dynamic in creating and implementing profitable programs for growth and enhancement of products/services; expert at setting and achieving high standards of quality and building cohesive, productive teams; regarded for effective cross functional leadership to achieve outcomes while maximizing human and financial resources; dedicated to achieve objectives without compromising quality through effective utilization of compliance standards, vendor management, and proven delivery systems in highly regulated markets.
She earned a BS in Sociology from Iowa State University.
Allison O’Connor is currently part of the leadership team at Fathom Consulting, located in Minneapolis. Allison has focused her consulting career in the health care industry, first with Deloitte Consulting and most recently at Fathom Consulting. Her experiences include leading operational improvement projects, strategic planning development and facilitation; M&A project management and due diligence, and operational and process redesign and implementation. Allison’s clients have included large national provider and payor systems, regional health systems and payors and critical access hospitals and clinics. Allison has over 16 years of professional experience in financial and operational planning.
Allison has held President/Chair roles for the Board of the American College of Healthcare Executives Minnesota Chapter, the Minnesota Rural Health Association and was Vice-Chair of the Board of Cedar Riverside People’s Center, a local FQHC. Allison is an active member on the Membership and Programming Committee of the Women’s Health Leadership Trust and Board Member of the American Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region. Allison was invited and currently stands as a WBL member. Allison served on the inaugural year of the charitable Arts & Healing Board supporting Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. Allison was awarded the Top Women in Finance award in 2012 by Finance & Commerce magazine.
Allison earned her Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from the Johnson School at Cornell University in New York. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Administration (BSBA) from the Daniels College of Business at Denver University as part of the Honors Program.
Kim Perry is a director in the Healthcare Practice of West Monroe Partners, a full-service business and technology consultancy. At West Monroe, her primary responsibilities include helping clients develop successful strategies to achieve their goals across business process and technology. Kim works closely with her clients to understand their business objectives and coordinate project teams that bring the appropriate resources and methodologies to achieve successful outcomes. Kim’s health care industry expertise and business process experience broadens the strategic partnership West Monroe Partners can extend to its clients.
Prior to joining West Monroe Partners, Kim spent 14 years at Xerox Corporation, where she managed some of the largest client relationships. She spent 6 years focusing on the Healthcare Payer practice, helping her clients outsource back office processes to improve performance and reduce costs. These functions include claims, enrollment, contact center, outbound communications and recovery services. Kim has worked with many of the large national health insurance companies and the Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans.
Outside of her work at West Monroe, Kim serves as the Board Chair of Neighborhood HealthSource, a non-profit, multi-location, full service primary care clinic organized as a Federally Qualified Health Center. Additionally, she has been formally advising a woman led health care start-up, ClinicianNexus, for the last two years.
Theresa Pesch is VP of Philanthropy and President at Hennepin Healthcare Foundation. She previously served as president of Children’s Health Care Foundation and vice president of development for Children’s Minnesota. Under Pesch's leadership, the fundraising for Children’s increased by 300 percent, enabling it to provide substantial improvements in its facilities and medical technology that serve the region's pediatric population.
Prior to joining Children's in 2007, Pesch was vice president of marketing and development and executive director of Ridgeview Medical Center’s Foundation in Waconia, Minn. In this role, she led the most successful capital campaign in the Ridgeview Foundation’s history.
Pesch joined the TRUST board in 2013. She has also served in leadership roles for numerous boards over the years, currently serving on the board of directors for Cornerstone, First Step Initiative, and Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association (MVNA). Pesch is also a member of Women Business Leaders of the US Health Care Industry Foundation and a faculty member of Kaiser’s Philanthropy Innovation Institute and the AHP Madison Institute.
Originally trained in nursing, Pesch has 25 years of health care administration experience and is a sought-after presenter for national philanthropy conferences. She was recognized as a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Women in Business honoree in 2012.
Laura Reed, RN, DNP, is Chief Nursing Executive and Chief Operating Officer at Fairview.
Throughout her career, Laura Reed has held a wide range of nursing roles in academic and community settings, beginning as a front-line nurse and advancing to nurse manager and then into senior leadership positions. Most recently, she served as chief operating officer and chief nurse executive for ThedaCare in Wisconsin. From 2013 to 2015, Laura served as a nursing leader at University of Minnesota Health. Prior to that, Laura was the senior vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Before Mercy Medical Center, Laura spent 28 years at the University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in a variety of roles.
She holds both a Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa and a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing.
Mary Welsh is Vice President, Chief Security Officer, for UnitedHealth Group, the most diversified health care company in the United States. UnitedHealth Group, based in Minnetonka, Minn., is 5th on the Fortune 500 and has more than 300,000 employees.
She previously served as director of the Global Security function at St. Jude Medical. Prior to joining St. Jude Medical, Ms. Welsh served in the Federal U.S. Government, which included several international assignments in Europe and Southeast Asia. While working on national security issues, Ms. Welsh acquired a deep understanding of foreign government and business cultures, developed expertise in security and crisis management, and established a global network of government and private sector contacts in the security industry.
Ms. Welsh joined the Board of Directors for the Women's Health Leadership TRUST in 2014. She is also on the executive board of the Twin Cities Security Partnership, a private-public partnership between law enforcement, government agencies, and private industry which promotes a stronger, safer Twin Cities community. In addition, Ms. Welsh serves as a community advisor to the internationally recognized Pediatric Pain, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
Ms. Welsh holds a B.A. degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., and completed the Senior Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.