By: Matt Schadow, 2015-16 TwinWest Chamber Chair of the Board
Future strength of TwinWest Chamber? Look no further than the new board of directors! The TwinWest Chamber is pleased to welcome these four individuals representing great companies in the TwinWest Membership to the 2015-16 Board of Directors starting at the October 2015 Board meeting.
Bryan Frandrup, Vice President and Commercial Loan Officer with Venture Bank has over 16 years of banking experience. Through that time, he indicates his objective has remained the same, “I want to help my clients meet their financial needs by proactively bringing value to every client relationship.” In his current role with Venture Bank, Bryan works closely with small businesses throughout the Twin Cities for their deposit and loan needs delivering creative, flexible, tailored banking solutions. “Working for a successful, fast growing business bank such as Venture Bank, has facilitated my continued leadership development, which in turn enables me to help my clients succeed at the same time.” Bryan and his wife Amber live in Rosemount and they enjoy spending time with family and friends, golfing, biking, snowboarding, or any other outdoor activity they can find.
Maerenn Jepsen, Manager of Employee Engagement, General Mills is a strategic communications professional with more than 10 years of experience creating and executing corporate communications plans and strategies in the following areas:
In her current role as manager of employee engagement for General Mills, she is responsible for building and stewarding employee engagement through communications.
She has worked in numerous communications positions in General Mills’ Global Communications department during her more than 8 years at the company.
In previous roles, she worked to advance General Mills' corporate reputation through proactive and reactive media relations with a focus on business and financial external communications.
Maerenn’s contributions to the corporate blog, A Taste of General Mills, are available online.
Before joining the company, she worked for Marvin Windows and Doors, where she held media relations and internal communications responsibilities.
She currently serves as a board member of the Greg Marzolf Jr. Foundation, a St. Paul-based non-profit that raises money for Muscular Dystrophy research occurring at the University of Minnesota’s MD Center.
She graduated from St. Olaf College in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Maerenn and her husband Steve live in Golden Valley with their Scottie named Buster.
Shawn Taher has had a unique career, starting in the vending industry filling vending machines at Taher, Inc. to becoming a respected Senior Leader within the Food Service Industry. His simple leadership style is based on honesty, straight-forward communication, coaching leaders to achieve their maximum potential, and giving back to the communities his Family serves. Shawn led his team to earn Taher, Inc.’s largest single vending client, successfully streamlining and increasing profitability for multiple struggling divisions, and most recently, with the help of his team, developed & manufactured a line of fresh, gourmet Grab & Go food for a 500+ store chain Convenience Store company.
Though great accomplishments, you will quickly learn that one of his proudest wins is his work with Senior Dining Programs. He utilized Taher, Inc.’s Corporate Chefs to build on-site gardens, engaged the senior residents to grow produce, and had them provide their favorite recipes. Shawn has assisted in keeping the residents happy, healthy, and active.
Philanthropically, Shawn has been very active as well, starting in 2005 as the founding Treasurer and eventual Chairman of the Board for the Jack Brewer Foundation; currently, he is an active member of Hospitality Minnesota’s Foundation Board. In 2012, working with brother, together, Shawn and Trent Taher created a Thanksgiving initiative that has delivered over 5,000 meals to families in need by empowering the organization’s team leaders & associates by providing them the resources to give. Most recently, again in partnership with his brother, he has launched the Real Food Initiative® & Real Food Lab® where they plan to continue the journey of educating and engaging kids on where food comes from and how to cook using real foods, in an effort to combat childhood hunger.
Academically, he is a graduate of the Herberger Business School at St. Cloud State University, a Mini-Masters in Finance from St. Thomas University, and he earned his Executive MBA from Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University.
When you get Shawn talking about his passion, which is pretty easy to do, you instantly feel his desire to improve the lives of the individuals and families that his Family’s business serves.
Wendy Weigel, is a 28-year veteran of AAA Minneapolis, and was recently named the club’s president and chief executive officer. She becomes the club’s first female CEO in its 112-year history.
AAA Minneapolis serves more than 200,000 members throughout Hennepin County and parts of Anoka County. AAA Minneapolis provides a variety of auto club and related services, from roadside assistance to travel planning and insurance designed to enhance, simplify and support its members’ lives.
Prior to her CEO appointment, Weigel was the vice president of travel services for AAA Minneapolis. She joined AAA Minneapolis in 1986 as an international travel agent, a post she held for three years. In 1989 she was named travel agency manager, and in 1992, she was promoted to travel agency director. She assumed the role of vice president of travel services in 1995.
Weigel has worked for AAA in a number of capacities including vice president of AAA Greentree Travel Executives as well as serving on the AAA National Travel Services Committee. She is a past board member of Minnesota Executive Women in Travel.
Additionally, the Board of Directors approved the appointment of Rob Lundquist, CenturyLink to fill the remaining term for Tyler Middleton.
Rob Lundquist is the Director of Sales for Minnesota Enterprise Business customers for CenturyLink. Mr. Lundquist is responsible for CenturyLink’s Sales operations for all Minnesota businesses with an employee size of 100-1000.
During his 18 years of professional experience with CenturyLink Lundquist has held various direct sales and leadership positions. He started at US West and grew within the company during the Qwest and CenturyLink acquisitions in 2000 and 2010.
Lundquist has been very active coaching and supporting his 2 children in youth baseball, volleyball, lacrosse and hockey. He has been married over 20 years and is a current resident of Plymouth.
Lundquist is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in Business Economics and Criminal Justice.