About the Board

The Governor's Workforce Development Board works to strengthen the skills of Minnesota's greatest asset — its workforce.


Made up of leaders from business, education, labor, community organizations, and state and local governments, the GWDB forges practical solutions to Minnesota’s workforce challenges and provides leadership on initiatives that are of strategic importance to the state.


The Board ensures employers play an active role in improving education and training programs, and provides a venue for the workforce stakeholders to build a shared vision and strategic alliances.


The GWDB is Minnesota’s state Workforce Investment Board, mandated by Section 111 of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and further defined by Minnesota Statutes §166L.665. The GWDB By-Laws provide additional guidance to the Board's activities.


Our Vision

Minnesota’s public, private and community resources are strategically aligned to competitively position our citizens and businesses for increased and sustained economic prosperity.


Our Mission

The GWDB’s mission is to analyze and recommend workforce development policies to the governor and legislature toward talent development, resource alignment and system effectiveness to ensure a globally competitive workforce for Minnesota.


GWDB Membership

Board membership is dictated by state statute to include the following sectors: business and industry, community-based organizations, education, local government, organized labor, state agencies, and the state legislature.


Forty-one GWDB members are appointed by the Governor and serve terms three years in length starting on the first of July or January following the appointment. Two State Representatives and two State Senators are appointed to the GWDB by their majority and minority leaders. Download the GWDB roster.


Board Members

Laura Beeth

System Director, Talent Acquisition

Fairview Health Services

Dennis Siemer

President and CEO

V-Tek Incorporated

Rita Albrecht


City of Bemidji

Lemuel Amen President and CEO Viking Engineering & Development
Shirley Barnes CEO Crest View Senior Communities
Luann Bartley Director of Workforce Development Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Assoc.
Vance Boelter Executive Northern Tier Energy
Brenda Cassellius Commissioner Minnesota Department of Education
Mariaha Dean Owner Eden Resources, LLC
David Debevec Vice President of Human Resources Ulland Brothers, Inc.
Steven Ditschler President and CEO ProAct, Inc.
Robert Evans Vice President of Human Resources Marvin Windows and Doors
Mary Ferguson Director of Recruitment and Staffing Essentia Health
Twyla Flaws Manager, Human Resources Clow Stamping Company
Jamil Ford President Mobilize Design & Architecture, LLC
Bob Gunther Representative (Majority Representative) Minnesota House of Representatives
Pakou Hang Founding Director Hmong American Farmers Association

Shawntera Hardy


Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Samuel Heimlich

Business Representative

North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters

Russell Hess

Political Coordinator

Laborers District Council

John Hoffman

Senator (Majority Representative)

Minnesota Senate

Merrill Irving, Jr.


Hennepin Technical College

Lorrie Janatopoulos

Planning Director

Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency

Eric Kaler


University of Minnesota

Elizabeth Kautz


City of Burnsville

Anne Kilzer Director Minnesota Workforce Council Association

Sanjay Kuba

Executive Consultant

SK & Associates & Par Systems

Jennifer Lang President and Owner Minneapolis Glass Company

Ruby Lee


Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES)

William (Bill) McCarthy President Minnesota AFL/CIO

Carla Nelson

Senator (Minority Representative)

Minnesota Senate

Loren Nelson President Aurelius Manufacturing Co., Inc.
William (Bill) Nelson CEO Mille Lacs Health System
Eric Nesheim Executive Director Minnesota Literacy Council

Tuleah Palmer

Executive Director

Northwest Indian Community Development Center

Scott Parker

Business Representative

International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

Emily Piper


Department of Human Services

Edward Reynoso

Political Director

Teamsters Joint Council 32

Todd Riemann CEO MTU Onsite Energy

Steven Rosenstone


Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Mary Russell

Director, Organization Effectiveness and Leadership Support


Roy Smith

Director, Workforce Development

Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board

Traci Tapani


Wyoming Machine, Inc.

Rich Wagner


Dunwoody College of Technology

Andy Wells President and CEO Wells Technology
Jennifer Winkelaar Director of Marketing & Public Relations Minneapolis Building Trades