Board of Trustees
H. Yvonne Cheek Vice President management consultant and master trainer, helps people in organizations reduce gaps from where they are to where they want to be. Her organizational development practice, Millennium Consulting Group, involves building high performance cultures, creating inclusive environments, team building, board governance, strategic planning and managing polarities. Her public speaking, bicycling, going to the theater and spending time with family and friends add jolts to her joy.
Nancy Jacobs CEO, Cofounder and Board President Nancy holds an M.Ed. in Parent and Family Education from the U. of MN. and a B.S. from Boston University. Nancy focused her early career in teaching early childhood development/parent education and teen parenting. Outside of directing the work of the foundation Nancy is a business entrepreneur with a keen interest in expanding her and her husband Mark’s social enterprises, which include affordable housing. Jacobs’ free time is divided among their MN. and CO. children and their grandchildren, and adventures that have or will soon include: truffle hunting, scuba diving with octopuses, and global volunteering.
Theon Masters Secretary is committed to growing innovation and building an inclusive community for entrepreneurs. A Jamaican native, Theon brings a strategic vision that he infuses into every project he touches. He currently works for Glen Nelson center at American Public Media as a community manager for the shared workspace and strategist for the programs and businesses in the Glen Nelson center portfolio.
Prior to joining the Glen Nelson Center, Theon worked as an associate at gener8tor, a nationally ranked startup accelerator. He has experience in business development and sales for startup companies. He served on the board of the Entrepreneurship Club at Macalester for 3 years, using his networking and communication skills to help engage students with successful members of the entrepreneurial community in the Twin Cities. In his free time, Theon enjoys playing soccer and engaging in any fun outdoor group activity that he can get his hands on.
Jason Pass Treasurer is the COO of Metta Financial, LLC, and a partner/owner of Abby Investments, LLC. Jason obtained his B.A. with honors from Hamline University in Management and Finance where he also won several accolades playing football. Jason has served as an Accounting Specialist with US Bank Processing Center and also as an Account Executive receiving the “5 Star” Business Banker award. He later led a successful team of employees as VP of Business Lending and Branch Manager at Community National Bank. After that he was a VP of Commercial Lending with Alliance Bank, successfully managing a multimillion dollar loan portfolio. Jason has served on several community boards including the VHEDC, WBL Chamber and VH Rotary to name a few. He is married to his beautiful bride Cindy and has 3 children-Brody, 16, Abby 13, and a spoiled Golden Doodle named Geno. When not working Jason enjoys spending time on the water with his family at their lake place, golfing, and skating on the backyard rink.
Mark Sandercott At Large is a cofounder and member of Sundance Family Foundation. Mark is also the founder and CEO of Superior Land Preservation, L.L.C. His development company specializes in environmentally conscious, open-space conservation. In his spare time, Mark enjoys family, tennis and travel.
Board of Advisors
Yvonne Barrett At Large is the Indian Child Welfare ICWA Manager at Minnesota Department of Human Services. She served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Indian Policy. Previously she spent over 20 years working in the Indian Child Welfare field with positions at Hennepin County and Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center. She also has a philanthropic background as a Program Officer at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners and as a Board Member with Tiwahe Foundation, the first local American Indian Community Foundation. Yvonne is a 2006 Bush Leadership Fellow, spending a year learning her indigenous Anishinaabe language. Yvonne completed her Masters in Social Work at Augsburg College, with an emphasis on program development, policy and administration. Yvonne enjoys participating in community events, cultural activities, quilting, photography and digital scrapbooking. She is a mother and a very proud grandmother.
John Savereide Housing Homeless Youth is an MSW social worker specializing in supportive housing at Canvas Health in Washington County Minnesota. John obtained his master’s degree in social work with an emphasis on housing from the University of Minnesota and with graduate study at Yale University. He is certified as a Housing Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council. John has developed several successful supportive housing projects for individuals experiencing mental illness.
Rob Scarlett Impact Investments grew up “on the road” as part of a 3M-International family. After college, full of 1960s-engendered enthusiasm for “changing the system”, he began his career as a supervisor for ACCION en Venezuela, an NGO that specialized in self-help, economic empowerment programs in that country’s poorest urban “barrios”. After staying on to establish similar NGOs in Brazil and Peru, he returned to Minnesota, raised a family, and channeled his energies into several internationally focused start-up businesses and other projects involving new technologies.
Starting in the 1980s, Rob served as Chairman, CEO and or director, of a series of small international manufacturing and technology companies – each time with the goal of helping them penetrate overseas markets. Throughout all this time, he has remained actively involved as a volunteer and advisor in the micro-finance movement and, through his business travels to Europe and Latin America, has retained his fluency in German, Spanish and Portuguese.
Segundo M. Velasquez Microfinance Born in Bolivia, Segundo spent his childhood a small rural community in Cochabamba. He worked with his father, making colonial roof tiles by hand and selling them locally. As a young adult, he met Joan Swanson, a Peace Corps volunteer who was working in Cochabamba, and immigrated to the United States where they were married. Segundo began his career in Minnesota in aviation with a small aircraft repair shop until he gained the experience required for employment with a major airline. He worked then for Northwest Airlines until he retired in 2005; managing up to 200 employees; developing and overseeing technical work processes; evaluating equipment for purchase; managing the department’s budget; and training employees.
Segundo and his wife Joan, author of Gaining Ground, A Blueprint for Community-based International Development, co-founded Mano a Mano, a Minnesota-based non-profit organization whose mission is to create partnerships with Bolivian communities to improve health, education and economic well-being. Segundo served for twenty years as President, and directed the organization as an unpaid volunteer until 2006. He is now a super volunteer to Mano a Mano bringing equipment, supplies, construction and event emergency air evacuation to Bolivia.
Peg Thomas Executive Director manages the Sundance Family Foundation’s operations and initiatives, provides strategic program guidance to the board, mentors Sundance college interns, and provides both grants management and technical support to grantees. Peg holds an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, an MS in Therapeutic Recreation and Administration from the University of Minnesota, an MPP in Business from the Carlson School of Business, and a BS in Music Therapy also from University of Minnesota (with coursework from UConn, Napa Jr. College and University of California San Diego). Peg enjoys biking and traveling with her family.
Earn & Learn Program Manager
Murray Death Earn & Learn Program Manager coordinates Earn and Learn partnerships. Murray has had a career primarily in manufacturing market, first with Honeywell and then three local manufacturers: Turck USA (VP of Marketing), InterlinkBT (President), JV between Turck and Banner Engineering, and Fastest Inc. (CEO/President). Murray recently sold his local computer and cell phone repair business which he operated in Plymouth for four years. He is active in the Twinwest and Midway Chambers and volunteers at Interfaith Outreach to help people find employment. He has been married for 40 years to his wife Sue has 3 grown children and a grandson. Murray enjoys golf and meeting and helping people.