Serving the East Side of Saint Paul since 1908

Board of Directors 2018 – 2019 

Rod Mendenhall, 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.

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.

Ruth Anderson – Vice Chair, Sunrise Business Solutions
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.

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.

John Atkins - Treasurer, Retired
John Bredesen, Jr. – 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.

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.

Michelle Bartley – Channel Partners Capital LLC
Susan Bergmann – Graduate Student

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.

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.

Wolfie Browender – PCs for People
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!

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!

Max Brummel – Ecolab
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.

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.

Nancy Diekmann – Xcel Energy
James Lockwood – BWBR

For a community to succeed, the community has to be involved. As an East Side resident, the circumstances in which I live may differ from those of others in our part of the city, but our hopes, dreams, and visions for a better life where we live don’t. Standing with my neighbors helps me see the potential our community has to be better and, hopefully, gives my neighbors the ability to find better. Merrick is that conduit that connects us to be a better community.

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…

Michael Luseni – Minneapolis Public Schools
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.

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.

Brian Swedeen – Donaldson Company, Inc.
Laarni Shank - McGough Construction

Merrick came to me in my time of need when I was stuck in a job, but not a career. I’m sure there are so many out there like me who are searching to give their children the quality of life they deserve. With dedication, hard work, and a little guidance from Merrick, anybody can accomplish that. That’s why I’m on the Board of Directors. IT’S TIME TO PAY IT FORWARD.

I became involved in Merrick because I was struck by the vast array of services this organization has contributed to the community over its 110 year history. I believe no one should have to worry about if their family will have food or if their children will have the necessary school supplies to be able to grow, learn, and excel. Contributing to someone else’s independence and strength is one of the most important things we can give to each other. I also serve Merrick for my own children, so that they learn community service, not because someone told them to, but because someone showed them how.

Jessica Bierwerth - Dakota County