Skip to main content
612-455-3329
 
HomeVillage Staff & Leadership

Village Staff


 
Mill City Commons' leaders are dedicated to connecting you with resources to enjoy a strong community of members and programs.
You can also Contact Us, or read more About Us and Our History.
 
 Joan Wright
 Mary Texidor
 Betsy Wray

Joan Wright

Mary Texidor

Betsy Wray

Executive Director
 
Business and Member
Services Administrator
Program Coordinator
 
Joan Wright is a former English and Literature teacher with a broad communications background in advertising, development, HR and nonprofit board work. She is a seasoned voice and acting talent. Her volunteer history includes over 40 years of working with and creating programs for older adults. She has a strong affinity for building community and enjoys meeting and bringing people together. Joan and her husband, Jeff, moved into Lourdes Square in 2012. As empty nesters, they enjoy the vibrancy of the neighborhood and its proximity to the many activities and venues it offers. Mary Texidor joined Mill City Commons with a background in public health education and social work. Mary has worked in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors before moving to the Minneapolis area and joining MCC. Mary is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, former AmeriCorps Member, and has been actively involved as a volunteer for many organizations. Mary has her Master's degrees in Public Health and Social Work from Tulane University. She lives in South Minneapolis with her husband and their two children.
Betsy Wray is a former magazine editor and communications professional with more than 30 years’ experience, all in the food industry or media. She’s also been on several professional organization and volunteer boards, where she’s done everything from developing programming to serving as president. A lifelong Minneapolitan, Betsy and her husband live in an “heirloom” home built by her great-grandfather. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Communication from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Iowa State University.
 

Village Board of Directors


 
Mill City Commons board members provide strategic leadership to help us stay a thriving Village.
 
Bob Whitlock

Bob Whitlock

Chair
Bob Whitlock is Senior Counsel at Fredrikson & Byron law firm with extensive financial and banking experience. His nonprofit experience includes pro bono work with Phyllis Wheatley, Dignity Center and Veterans Standdown. Bob is enthusiastic about his membership in Mill City Commons and is especially interested in MCC’s role as a resource and expert on quality aging to better serve members as we build community and member connections. He is Chair of Lake Bank Shares and a member of the board of its subsidiary, Security Bank Minnesota and is a former Chairman of the Minneapolis Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Bob is in his ninth year as a consultant to the Northeast Bank board. Bob served in the active duty and reserve Navy, retiring with the rank of Captain.
Bill Davnie and his wife Charlotte have lived in The Carlyle since 2007, when Bill retired from twenty-seven years with the U.S. Foreign Service. During his career, Bill served principally in Southeast Asia and the former Soviet Union, as well as in Washington, and spent some time in Baghdad. They both have roots in Minnesota and Wisconsin, leading to the decision to move to Minneapolis. Since 2007, Bill has spoken frequently to community groups on foreign affairs topics through the Great Decisions program, managed the 2010 census office for the city of Minneapolis, and been involved in Presbyterian Church affairs. He currently works part-time for the Presbyterian church body in southeastern Minnesota. Charlotte and Bill have two daughters, one a nurse-educator in Florida and one with USAID in Cambodia. Twin granddaughters in Cambodia lead to frequent travel in that direction. Bill and Charlotte have found MCC to be a welcoming and stimulating community as they have built their new life in the Twin Cities.
 Bill Davnie      

Bill Davnie

Vice Chair


Ron Vantine

Ron Vantine

Secretary
Ron Vantine retired as a business lawyer with the Minneapolis law firm of Lindquist & Vennum. As an attorney, he served primarily as outside general counsel to entrepreneurs and mid-cap companies. Ron served for 12 years on the Board of Trustees of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, including five years as Board Chair, and continues to be an active member of several seminary committees. He is a director of Northern Great Plains, Inc and its Meadowlark Institute. Ron volunteers as an assistant to the ESL teacher at Marcy Open School and also reads to kindergarten children at Marcy.

Ron is an avid cyclist who organizes European bicycling trips. He is also a casual birder and photographer and enjoys traveling, spending time at the family’s cabin in Wisconsin, and reading history, historical biographies, and mysteries. Ron and his wife Carol live in Cobalt Condominiums. They have two children, Peter and Jessica, and three grandchildren: Hugo, Leola, and Maya.
Dick Kavaney used his civil engineering and law degrees to create an interesting and rewarding career. His background includes revamping an atomic power plant; constructing Minute Man Missile structures; constructing structures on the Mississippi River and a tunnel under Lake Street from the river to Hiawatha. In law, Dick has represented matters involving the IDS Center in Minneapolis, a joint venture contract in the Sharjah on the Arabian Gulf and with the architect for the Mall of America. From 1997-2004, Dick was an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota teaching Legal Issues for Construction Professionals.
Dick Kavaney 

Dick Kavaney

Treasurer



Ellen Breyer
Ellen Breyer

Past Chair



Ellen Breyer has served as CEO of an internationally renowned healthcare organization, as president of an accredited graduate school, and has held executive leadership positions in consumer products and professional services industries. She has been recognized nationally and locally for her achievements. Ellen earned her MBA from New York University Stern School of Business including international coursework at London Business School. Throughout her career, Ellen has served on numerous national and community boards. She and her husband, Jan, have lived on the Riverfront since 2008 and are very active members of Mill City Commons.
Lou Burdick is an entrepreneur who founded a major Twin Cities public relations firm. She has extensive leadership and board experience in business, government and nonprofit organizations. Lou and husband Allan moved to the Cobalt Condos in 2006 where their lives are enriched by the ability to easily access -- often on foot -- arts, sports and restaurants in the city; both are enjoying working for the community at this stage in their lives. Building friendships while helping to grow and shape the future of her neighborhood keeps Lou fully “employed” and engaged in leadership and building community through neighborhood organizations, her condo connections committee and Mill City Commons. A self-described “new territory” person, Lou can’t envision life without the vitality of their Downtown/Northeast neighborhood.
Lou Burdick

Lou Burdick


Bob Callahan 

Bob Callahan



Bob Callahan is a former HR professional with more than 30 years’ experience in a number of Honeywell divisions before retiring in 2000. And for the better part of the past 30 years, his avocation has been helping people navigate career transitions as a volunteer in a church job support group and after retiring, as a part-time career coach with Lee Hecht Harrison. In 2007 he and his wife, Carol Jordan, moved downtown from the suburbs and then joined MCC in 2010. Since moving downtown Bob spends time volunteering as a Board member of the Friends of Minneapolis Central Library, and as a job change coach for HIRED and East Side Neighborhood Services. In addition to enjoying time with 4 grandchildren, membership in MCC has been an enriching part of his life.
Patty Connelly has lived along the Mississippi River all of her life – starting along Lake Pepin and now in the downtown and North Loop neighborhoods since 1980. Patty spent her career as a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner. She is committed to the livability of the Riverfront neighborhood and delighted to be among so many like-minded people since joining Mill City Commons. You’ll often see her biking around our beautiful city or walking her puppy, Juno. Patty says, “Mill City Commons has brought friendships and enrichment into my life.”
Patty Connelly

Patty Connelly


Peter Gillette

Peter Gillette

Peter Gillette is a former bank president, CEO and, later, corporate vice chairman of Norwest Bancorporation, now Wells Fargo. His board experience is extensive and includes service with corporate, nonprofit and civic organizations. Peter has extensive fundraising experience and is currently volunteering to welcome patients and their family at Allina giving him hands-on perspective on healthcare. He is exceptionally enthusiastic about Mill City Commons and its importance to healthy aging.  

Pat Hoven is a recent new neighbor in the Mill City district after being a resident of East Isles neighborhood for many years. Pat initiated Corporate Community Partnerships, a consulting business after she had served in community and foundation positions at Honeywell. Her responsibilities at Honeywell for over twenty years included the Honeywell Foundation, Community Relations, Local Government Affairs, and Social Responsibility.

Pat has served on the Board of many local and national nonprofits and remains active with several organizations. Community involvement is one of her passions as well as friends and family. Her volunteer work also includes volunteering in classrooms where her grandchildren attend school.

Mill City Commons has enriched her life educationally and socially and she thoroughly enjoys her involvement.
Pat Hoven

Pat Hoven

Suzanne Joyce

Suzanne Joyce


Suzanne Joyce, a mother of four and a retired Vice President of Morgan Stanley, is thrilled to be a Board member of Mill City Commons. She is enjoying her retirement and eight fantastic grandchildren. Suzanne and her late husband, Bill, moved to Loring Green from Winslow House in 2012 where she appreciates even more the community created by Mill City Commons. Prior to building a community in downtown Minneapolis, Suzanne and Bill lived in Kenwood and in a restored Victorian home in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Barbara McBurney has extensive experience in marketing including 16 years at Pillsbury as Manager of Sales Promotion followed by three years as marketing consultant. Barbara brings with her extensive nonprofit board experience including four terms as president of the Minnetonka Center for the Arts where she co-chaired a major capital campaign. At the Library Foundation of Hennepin County, she served on the board, as president, chair and originator of PenPals. Barbara moved to the Riverfront in 2012 shortly after joining Mill City Commons.
Barbara McBurney

Barbara McBurney

Nancy Reed

Nancy Reed


Nancy Reed has lived in the North Loop area since 1998 when she and her late husband bought a townhome at the Landings. Nancy has decided to continue living in the riverfront area because of the many opportunities - such as friends, walking paths, restaurants, and most of all, the sense of community. She spends her time with family, friends, and enjoying her relationships with three little grandsons.

Nancy practiced as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner before working in management positions in public health, home health care, and other health care companies for the past 15 years.  She has served on several boards of non-profit health care organizations.  Mill City Commons has added many dimensions to her life.  She looks forward to becoming more active in MCC and participating in initiatives so that all members can age well in grace and in optimal health.
Business leader Ken Searl has made a career of anticipating trends and reinventing his companies in advance of evolving marketplace requirements. A creative, visionary CEO who focuses on profitability, he adapts quickly to industry changes, growing his first business (Kennsco) from one office and $500K in sales to 16 locations nationwide with 200 employees and revenues in excess of $35M. Ken is accomplished at merging company cultures through collaboration between the core business and the newly acquired operations. Ken’s strength is his combination of entrepreneurial skills coupled with operational skills. “I’m an entrepreneurial person,” he says, “but I also enjoy running companies.” Ken and his wife Katie are both active in the community as leaders and volunteers. They have lived in the Mill District since 2009.

Ken Searl

Ken Searl