Global Wellness Connections is a group local civic leaders, innovators — from the academic, public and the private sectors — who are examining what alternatives there may be to improve the supply chain and transportation strategy system in the Wellness Corridor of the Upper Midwest.

Advisory Council

Tom Fisher

Thomas Fisher is a professor at the University of Minnesota and director of its Design Center, which focuses on transportation, urban design, and community development. A former dean of the College of Design, he has done research on community health from a variety of perspectives. He makes numerous presentations around the country and is the author of several books about issues that concern most people.

Tom Horner


Tom Horner is co-founder of Himle-Horner, one of the best known public affairs / public relation firms, he sold the firm in order to run for governor in 2010. He was chief of staff for a U.S. senator, David Durenberger. Since he has been a consultant in public affairs, as well as an adjunct professor in the St. Thomas University business school. Horner is active throughout the community, serving on numerous boards.

Kim Norton


Kim Norton is Mayor of Rochester, Minnesota, since 2018. Recently elected to a second four-year term. Formerly 8 years on the Rochester School Board. And 10 years in the Minnesota Legislature, representing a portion of Rochester. She sponsored the bill that created the Destination Medical Center in Rochester.

Teri Wallace

Teri Wallace is the Interim Associate Vice President for Research and the Dean of the Extended Campus, having been at Mankato State University for nearly 20 years. Educated in psychology with a Masters Degree in the education side of the field, she divides her time between her office in the Hubbard Building on campus and the extension center in Edina, Minnesota. She earned a PhD from the University of Minnesota in the late 90s and served on the faculty of the Educational Psychology Department for about a decade. She is active on a variety of fronts for the university, including its global connections and relationships.

Bret Weiss


Bret Weiss is President and CEO of WSB, a design and consulting firm specializing in engineering, community planning, environmental and construction services. WSB operates 36 offices in seven states of the U.S. Weiss is active as a business leader, most recently as past president of the board of the Minnesota Chamber, a statewide organization. He has also given time to the arts, serving on the board of the Hennepin Theater Trust. He has been names numerous times as one of the business leaders to watch.

Leadership Team

Lisa Clarke

Lisa Clarke retired in 2021, as the Executive Director for the Destination Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota, having led the $5.6 billion partnership for economic development that proved to be the largest effort of its kind in Minnesota history. She led the DMC Economic Development Agency which included managing economic development projects, marketing issues, finance, investor and developer relations, community relations and stakeholder engagement.

Lisa has been served in a variety of roles with Mayo Clinic in Rochester and most recently in the Department of Public Affairs. The recipient of many awards for her work, Lisa holds a MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas and a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse.

As a GWC representative, she serves on the Advisory Council.

Bill Goins

Bill Goins brings his vast experience with logistics and freight, with 37 years with FedEx to the role he plays on the Leadership Team. He heads the International Commerce and Mobility part of our work as a vice president of GWC.

Bill spent the first part of his career in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Navy Commander. He then went to FedEx at their home office in Memphis in positions with Marketing and Sales, then in the Minneapolis area, working with major corporations on global supply chain and transportation issues.

He has been a member of the Minnesota Freight Advisory Committee for over 20 years and was chair of the group for 4 of those years. He is the lead for GWC on global freight challenges. Bill is Leadership Team Lead for the Commerce Mobility Sector.

Christine Hanson

A graduate of St. Catherine’s University in Saint Paul, Christine Hanson has an extensive career in the healthcare field. She is currently, since early 2023, the vice president for business development for Unitech, Inc.

Christine was formerly with Medical Alley and King Solutions, using the time in between jobs to be a healthcare consultant to a variety of organizations. She also has certification in physician training.

For GWC, Christine was a member of the steering committee that guided the events and development of the Future of Well Being report done for GWC in 2021. And she is the GWC lead person following up that report with healthcare executives. Christine Hanson is Leadership Team Leader for the Health and Wellness Sector. She is working at the intersection of food and medicine, still an unusual combination, for GWC.

Jim Hovland

Jim Hovland is an attorney, working with the firm of Hovland, Rasmus and Brendtro of Edina.

With almost 30 years experience on the city council of Edina, Hovland has also been mayor since 2005.

Jim is very active in regional and national affairs. To name just a few, he was the founding co-chair of the Regional Council of Mayors and he’s the chair of the Transportation Advisory Board, a key part of the Metro Council organization. Nationally, he’s the chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors standing committee on transportation.

Active also in local nonprofit organizations, Hovland is among the founders of GWC and currently serves as the lead executive for GWC. He is also a representative to the Advisory Council and the “chair of the board” of GWC.

Curt Johnson

Curt Johnson brings a lot of executive experience to the tasks he takes on for GWC. He has been a college president, chief of staff to a governor, head of the Metro Council, and the executive for several nonprofit organizations, as well as one small business.

Curt is the author or co-author of five books and more than a 100 newspaper articles in 25 American regions. He has a BA from Baylor University  and  a Ph.D from the University of Texas.

Curt Johnson is the lead for GWC for drinking water. Curt Johnson is the Leadership Team Leader for the Water Sector.

Donna Koren

Donna Koren’s career has been mostly in the public or nonprofit sectors, with the most recent being her responsibilities at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, primarily connecting with Minnesota-based manufacturing firms and freight forwarders.

Donna also worked as a senior management consultant for the Minnesota state government, carrying out policy studies, doing survey research, as well as other organizational development tasks.

Early in her career, Donna was in Washington, D.C. working for the League of Conservation Voters, focusing on voter education and electing members of Congress who were concerned about the environment. She has a masters degree  in policy analysis and public management from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Donna Koren is the Leadership Team Lead for the Transportation Sector and is the lead on a faster connection to Rochester, Minnesota, one of the initiatives of GWC.

Barb Marshall

With over 25 years of experience in healthcare, retail, financial services, sporting goods, and non-profit organizations, Barb Marshall brings a unique perspective gained from roles in finance, business development, strategic planning, data analytics, portfolio management, and management consulting.

Barb has led global teams for Target and Eli Lilly, served as Chief Financial Officer for a Minnesota canoe and kayak manufacturer, and implemented shared services for a consortium of nonprofits serving families and children.

She holds a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and an AB in Economics from Princeton University.

Mark Ritchie

With a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and a masters from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Mark Ritchie is probably best known for two terms as a Secretary of State in Minnesota (elected in 2006, re-elected in 2010).

After that experience, Ritchie became the president of Global Minnesota and was a leading figure in the international quest to make Minnesota the focus of a World Exposition, with the distinction of winning the race to host the World Horticultural Exposition in 2031. He has also been a Civilian Aide the the U.S. Secretary of the Army for many years.

While working toward that Expo, Mark Ritchie is also a founding member of the leadership team at GWC.

Kristine Sanschagrin

Kristine Sanschagrin brings over 25 years of experience working with legacy brands and startups by leading, selling, and marketing to the retail, foodservice, and manufacturing channels within the food industry. She has spent time at Cargill and Kraft to name a few.  At Cargill she led a team that built relationships and trained McDonald’s franchisees in the US and Canada on Cargill products. At Kraft, she marketed brands such as Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Oreo cookies to restaurant chains.

Kristine is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BS in Food Science and holds a MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

At GWC, Kristine is leading the branding development for regional wellness  and analyzing the data that supports the mission.

Jeff Wosje

Educated at the University of Minnesota, Jeffry Wosje is both the mayor of Plymouth, Minnesota, and is currently a vice-president and manager of CorTrust Bank in Blaine. Jeff has been in banking for 30 years.

Jeff is very active in nonprofits as well as government, having served on the Transportation Advisory Board of the Metro Council, and a former board chair of the Suburban Transit Association.

Jeff Wosje is an original member of GWC’s founding team and has served as its principal liaison to the banking community.

Michael Wright

Michael Wright is a leader who has a track record. His mission in life involves intercepting horizons, looking around corners for what is coming. Either as an executive coach, or an author, or a teacher, or as a CEO of a technology firm, he gets people to do what they would otherwise not do.

For more than 30 years Michael has been a fixture in business and technology. He’s led firms from start up to multi-billion dollar market caps. He’s the author of two books and more than 50 articles about change. His expertise lies in many areas: filtration methods, software, the internet of things (IoT), semiconductors for every imaginable use. Most importantly, he coaches companies toward embracing transformational change and preparing for coming revolution in artificial intelligence (AI).

Michael Wright is a key leader for the GWC Advisory Council.