Global Volunteers Board of Directors

Bud Philbrook, JD, St. Paul, MN

Co-founder, Trustee, and Chairman Bud Philbrook Bud directs the organization's internal and external business and is Chairman of the Board. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, a Master's Degree in Public Affairs, and a Juris Doctor (Law). He has served as Deputy Undersecretary for USDA, as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, Assistant Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, a government affairs consultant for Rural Ventures Corporation, and was in private law practice for 12 years. Bud has led dozens of Global Volunteers teams over 30 years.

Michele Gran, St. Paul, MN

Co-founder, Trustee Michele Gran Michele manages the organization's marketing strategy and external messages. She earned a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies/International Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. Before joining the staff in 1990, she worked as a public relations consultant, and held communications manager positions at various departments in Minnesota State Government, and in non-profit organizations. Michele also has led over 40 Global Volunteers teams.

Sam Hanson, JD, Minneapolis, MN

Trustee Sam Hanson Sam is a shareholder in the firm of Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, and a member of the firm's board of directors. After serving on the Minnesota Court of Appeals for two years and the Minnesota Supreme Court for five years, he rejoined Briggs™ Business Litigation Section and Energy Law Group, and is a member of the firm's Appellate Practice Group. He is a former litigation section head and firm president. Sam practices principally in the areas of arbitration and mediation, complex civil litigation, appellate law and public utility regulation.

Sue Laxdal, Hilton Head Island, SC

Trustee Sue Laxdal Sue consults with corporations, governments and non-profits in participatory approaches to organization development, operational planning, transition management, management development and organization analysis. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and an Masters in Organization Development at Pepperdine University. Sue is a founding member of Minnesota Worldwide Women, Minnesota Facilitator's Network (MFN), International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and MSOD Alumni Network. Sue has been a volunteer or team leader on more than a dozen Global Volunteers programs.

Todd Lefko, Elk River, MN and Moscow, Russia 

Trustee Todd Lefko Todd is President of International Business Development Company, an import-export firm, and writes for Rossiske Vesti, a Russian political newspaper and offers commentary for Rusya-Al Youm, the Russian Arabic Television channel for the Middle East. He has taught urban affairs, political science, international relations, political philosophy, political campaign management, leadership, organizational development and public administration and sociology at the university level, and has lectured at universities in Russia, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Todd has led and participated on Global Volunteers Service Programs in Jamaica and the USA.

Katie E. Ohotto, Edina, MN

Director Katie E. Ohoto Katie earned a Bachelor's of Chemical Engineering Degree from the University of Minnesota and has spent the last fifteen years working at General Mills in multiple assignments both domestically and internationally with field assignments in Brazil, Switzerland, and Canada. Katie has been a passionate supporter of Global Volunteers for many years: a seven time program participant (including India, Ghana, Peru and Poland and the USA), an advisory board member for the St. Lucia Project, a co-chair of the 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration, a FOX News Global Volunteer of the Month, and the President of the first Minnesota Encore Team. Additionally, Katie has volunteer experiences in Morocco and Russia. To maintain her well-being, Katie regularly practices yoga and teaches courses as a certified instructor at Bikram Yoga College of India in Minneapolis.

Keith Kresge, Los Angeles, CA

DirectorKeith Kresge Keith is an attorney currently working as a part-time Administrative Hearing Officer for the City of Santa Monica, California.  He retired in 2010 from full-time work with the City after 25 years with it’s Rent Control Board.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in political science at SUNY College at Buffalo and completed law school in Fullerton, California.  Keith began his association with Global Volunteers in 1998 as a volunteer on a team in Puglia, Italy.  Since then he has participated in 15 other Global Volunteer programs all over the world, most of them with his partner of 25 years, Timothy Cunniff. 

Dean LaFrenz, Brooklyn Park, MN

Director Dean LaFrenz Dean is a retired secondary school administrator of 35 years who received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from the University of Minneosta, and his Education Special Degree from the University of St. Thomas.  He is an avid community volunteer through his church, a local low income housing organization and in the community mediation program.  Dean has traveled to over 50 countries, served in the Peace Corps (65-67), and served on four Global Volunteer Programs with his wife, Carol, of 49 years. 

Bill Westbrook, Mahtomedi, MN

DirectorBill Westbrook Bill is a former CEO of Fallon Worldwide, one of the world's most respected advertising agencies, and is currently CEO of No Fences Brand Consulting where he works with agencies and clients on brand-building projects. After investigating Global Volunteers' worldwide work, Bill offered to help expand our global reach. He presented the concept of The St. Lucia Project to the Board in 2010, and has managed online marketing strategies introducing this ambitous program broadly to the global public. He participated on the initial St. Lucia Project exploration trip in 2011, and continues advising staff on volunteer outreach and engagement for St. Lucia.

Carol Conzelman, Boulder, CO

DirectorCarol Conzelman Carol is a cultural anthropologist at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she is the Associate Director for the Global Studies Academic Program and Faculty-in-Residence for the Sustainability and Social Innovation Academic Program. She conducts ethnographic research and directs a summer Study Abroad program in the Yungas of Bolivia, and teaches courses on Latin America, globalization, democracy, development, drug policy, immigration, and community engagement. Carol first volunteered with Global Volunteers in Costa Rica in 1994, and she completed her first Volunteer Team Leader Training the next year in McAllen, TX. She has been a Volunteer Team Leader since 1995 in Jamaica, Ecuador, Italy, Tanzania, Ireland, and Cuba. Carol first served on the National Board of Directors in 2000-03.

Ron Reimann, Cottage Grove, MN

DirectorRon Reimann Ron served on the Global Volunteers board first in the 1990s, completed Global Volunteers Team Leader Training, and has led teams to Russia, Ukraine and St Lucia. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy, with a Masters Degree in public administration from Harvard University. He served in the submarine force, in several national security positions, as a Congressional staff officer, a transportation policy officer in the Carter and Reagan administrations, and vice president at Burlington Northern Inc.

Denise Miller, Silver Spring, MD

DirectorDenise Miller Denise is a Marketing Director at CEB, a best practice insight and technology company. Denise’s professional background includes over 20 years of high-tech marketing experience, including positions at Red Hat, Adobe and AOL. Her roles have been focused around lead generation and new product launches for software, hardware, and mobile games. In addition, she worked as a Quality Assurance Engineer at AOL, before returning to marketing. Denise has been a supporter of Global Volunteers for many years, joining the Cook Islands Program in 2005, and St. Lucia in 2015. Denise served on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra 2011-2014, and volunteers regularly with Habitat for Humanity.

Joseph Dunn, Palm Springs, CA

DirectorJoseph Dunn Joe has over 30 years of senior healthcare experience as a Psychologist and in executive administration. He most recently has worked for Tenet Healthcare in both Corporate Compliance and Education. He holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a Masters and PH.D in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in pediatric psychology, from the University of Kansas. Joe’s international volunteer work with Global Volunteers and Habitat for Humanity has taken him to Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Ghana, Malawi, Mongolia, Romania, Senegal and Tanzania.

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