Serving the East Side of Saint Paul since 1908

Board of Directors 2017 – 2018 

John Bredesen, Jr. Chair – Minco Products, Inc.

“I joined the Merrick board of directors as a way to pay it forward. The combination of ‘help the now’ (food shelf, senior services, meals on wheels, etc.) with the ‘help the future; (employment services, youth and family) resonates with me. I have a sign on my door at work that says: ‘What have you done today to make tomorrow better?’ Merrick does that every day and I am proud to be a part of that.”

Rod Mendenhall, Vice Chair – 3M

“My interest in and commitment to Merrick surrounds the desire to help improve the lives of the people and families living on St. Paul’s east side. However it wasn’t until becoming a MCS board member that I realized how much need there was on the east side and how many programs MCS has in support of those people in need. My goal as a MCS board member is to help support MCS staff in successfully delivering the services necessary to provide St. Paul’s east side residents a better way of life.”

Kathryn Sibbel, Secretary – Ecolab

“I am a Merrick Community Services board member because I have never gone to bed hungry, been homebound and alone, attended class without ample school supplies, hung out on the streets because I didn’t have a place to go with youth activities, experienced a gift-less Christmas or been in need of a good job with a livable wage. Being a Merrick board member is my way of showing gratitude and contributing to my community.”

John Atkins Treasurer – Metropolitan Council

“Originally asked to participate on Merrick’s finance committee, I was subsequently offered the opportunity to fill a vacancy that arose from a board member departure. I accepted that offer to participate on the board because of a sense of obligation to give time, energy and resources—limited as they may be—in support of assisting others in need. As someone who was born in St. Paul and who has spent most of my working life in St. Paul, I am quite aware of the tremendous need throughout this great city and particularly its East Side. I consider myself quite privileged to be able to assist Merrick in some small way as it helps others to achieve self-sufficiency.”

Ruth Anderson – AgriBank

“I work with Merrick because of the passion and commitment they have for the work they do and the people they help. It is energizing and rewarding to support an organization that does such great work for the East side.”

Divine Arpellet – United Health Group

“It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to serve and help others when I have been served and helped before. Excellence is rarely inherited, instead, it is a fabric of training and continuous effort to do better. This is exactly what Merrick Community Service does by investing in the training of others and by inspiring us all to do better. Glad to be part of the journey towards a better tomorrow in our community!”

Michelle Bartley – AgriBank

“When I was invited to join the board in June 2017, I felt honored and privileged to be able to help Merrick serve the deserving community of St. Paul’s East side. I have been involved with Merrick over the last several years as a volunteer at the food shelf and also with my employer’s fundraising efforts on behalf of Merrick.  I have found that Merrick’s service oriented values align with mine, especially in the way they honor the dignity of their clients.”

Susan Bergmann – AmeriCorps

“I truly believe in the ‘it takes a village’ philosophy to make communities healthy.  Merrick Community Services is part of this ‘village.’  I am impressed with all that MCS is doing to serve the community.  MCS empowers individuals and families, recognizes that everyone has something to offer, and treats individuals with dignity.  I can support that!  As a resident East Sider, I am excited and honored to serve on the board to help MCS succeed with its mission.”

Wolfie Browender – PCs for People

“Saint Paul is a wonderful place and it will be even better when all of its residents have necessities like a safe home, enough food, good education and employment. I have been very fortunate in my life, so when searching for an organization to commit to, I was hooked by Merrick’s long involvement on Saint Paul’s East Side. It is my privilege to help Merrick’s dedicated staff improve the lives of so many people.”

Max Brummel – Ecolab

“Merrick’s history, mission and operations all closely align with my own personal interests, which made it a fairly easy decision to get involved. I also want my young children to see me volunteering regularly to improve the lives of others outside our immediate circle, and want them to know we are all connected!”

Nancy Diekmann – Xcel Energy

“I am proud to serve as a Merrick Board Member because everyone deserves a chance to unleash their own potential. Some are born onto that path and others must find it as they journey through life’s challenges. I am grateful to be part of this community and strongly believe that ‘we all do better, when we all do better.’”

Brian Findlay – 3M

“I joined the board of Merrick Community Services six years ago in order to partner my network, skills and passions to actively build stronger communities with the incredible mission and programs Merrick provides the East Side of St. Paul. We support, develop and empower individuals and families through high-impact programs like the food shelf, senior, family/youth and employment services. All these programs benefit from the civic, corporate and personal resources a strong board member can bring.”

James Lockwood – BWBR

“We all do better when we all do better. As easy as it is to lean on those words from Paul Wellstone as a reason to be involved with Merrick, it hits home for those of us who live on the East Side. Merrick’s clients are our community neighbors. Their children are our futures. Their grandparents represent the values with which our community is built. As someone living on the East Side whose life is good, I feel a responsibility to our community to assist those who may have not had as easy a path in life as I have. I can’t do it alone, though. Merrick inspires me. Merrick gives me hope. Merrick allows me to collaborate with other mission-driven, community-oriented individuals who believe that, together, we all succeed when individuals succeed.”

Michael Luseni – Minneapolis Public Schools

“Merrick is one of those organizations that provides more than just services and support…it is part of the family of those that are served. While I enjoy serving on the board, I also believe in my heart that if I was to experience what some of our families are experiencing, I would want to be supported by an organization like Merrick. Merrick and its leadership not only provide services and support to families, but also ‘see’ them as people…”

William Smith – Great River Greening

“I serve on the Merrick Board because of the direct services it provides for people in need and the difference Merrick makes in their lives. More specifically, the elderly shut-in who gets a smile, conversation and meals from our Meals on Wheels program. Also, the single mom who can feed her kids because of our food shelves.”

Brian Swedeen – Donaldson Company, Inc.

“Over the 25 years I have lived in St. Paul I have become increasingly aware of how important it is for organizations like Merrick to be there for this community.  So many hard-working people just need a little help while the safety net provided by our government continues to have bigger and bigger holes in it.  While being a long time financial supporter of local organizations (including Merrick) has always been important to me, I decided I needed to take a more active role in what is happening by joining Merrick’s Board of Directors.”

Michael Yanisch – Bremer Bank

“Merrick works hard every day to provide assistance and opportunities to individuals and families on St. Paul’s east side.  Their dedication to serving the needs through their food shelf, meals on wheels and employment services is making a positive impact in these people’s lives.  Working in the banking industry I have seen firsthand how just a little bit of help can make a great difference and how quickly lives can change.  I am proud to have joined Merrick to help in this great work and make a difference in the community.”

Brady Walz – Ecolab

“I am honored to serve on the Merrick board because the organization’s mission— serving St. Paul’s East Side community and working together to improve the lives of the residents by empowering individuals, strengthening families and promoting their independence—is something I observe the MCS staff carry out on a daily basis with very limited resources. Serving on the board allows me to stretch myself personally and professionally to assist in a small way to help Merrick continue to carry out this important mission.”