The Minneapolis Foundation Welcomes Six New Trustees

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Minneapolis Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of six new members to its Board of Trustees. Paurvi Bhatt, Maurice Blanks, Emily Lamberty, Marcia Page, Stephanie Pierce and Meg Rodriguez attended their first board meeting today. 

“These new Trustees bring diverse perspectives, deep experience in their fields and a shared commitment to strengthening this community, and I look forward to their contributions on our board,” said R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation.  

The Board of Trustees is composed of three dozen residents of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area who are leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Five of the new members have been appointed to four-year terms on the board. The sixth, Emily Lamberty, will serve a two-year term as a representative of the Foundation’s Fourth Generation program.

At today’s Board meeting, a slate of newly elected officers also began terms in these leadership roles: Margie Soran became Chair, John Taft will serve as Vice Chair, Bo Thao Urabe became Secretary, and Michael Stork will continue as Treasurer.

The new Trustees are as follows: 

Paurvi Bhatt is the Vice President of Medtronic Philanthropy and President of Medtronic Foundation, leading the philanthropic and social impact strategies of Medtronic, PLC. Paurvi’s unique career spans the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. In her past leadership roles, she led outcomes-based initiatives at Levi Strauss and Co., Abbott, USAID, US GAO, and CARE. Her technical training is in health systems and economics, with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS, women’s health and impact measurement. Her formal Board roles include service with The Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregivers, CaringBridge, and The Nurse Family Partnership. She advises the Council on Foundations, The Conference Board, GlobeMed, and Women in Global Health. Paurvi holds a Master of Public Health in health systems and economics from Yale University, a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Northwestern University, and a PhD (ABD) from Johns Hopkins University. 

Maurice Blanks is Co-founder and Chief Operating Office of Blu Dot, a Minneapolis-based modern home furnishings company. Maurice earned a bachelor’s degree from Williams College in 1987 and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991. He then joined the Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism as a research fellow, wrote articles for Inland Architect Magazine and worked in the Architecture Department at the Art Institute of Chicago as a writer and researcher. Later, he went into practice and worked in several architectural firms in Chicago, including Tigerman-McCurry and Hartshorne+Plunkard, before starting his own firm, Maurice Blanks Architects, in Chicago in 1996. A year later, he co-founded Blu Dot with two college classmates. In 2002, he closed his architecture practice, moved to Minneapolis and joined Blu Dot full-time. Maurice is a trustee and past board chair of the Minneapolis Institute of Art; he serves on the Advisory Board of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota; and he serves on the Board of Arc Minnesota.

Emily Lamberty has been a member of the Minneapolis Foundation’s Fourth Generation program since 2016 and has served on its the Advisory Board since 2019. An experienced institutional fundraising professional, she currently works as the Grants Manager for Jeremiah Program in Minneapolis. Emily also plays viola and is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra. She has a bachelor's degree from Carleton College and lives in South Minneapolis.

Marcia Page co-founded $14 billion global alternative investment management firm Värde Partners in 1993, serving as Co-CEO and Co-CIO until 2016. Marcia led the firm’s investment strategy and business growth, including fundraising, talent and culture building, and global development. Marcia currently serves as Executive Chair of Värde’s Partner Committee and is a member of the firm's Investment Committee. She is also the founder of MPowered Capital, a firm focused on accelerating equity by committing capital and resources to women and other diverse investors. Marcia holds a B.A. in Economics from Gustavus Adolphus College and an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota. She serves in board positions for Gustavus Adolphus College, the University of Minnesota Foundation and Carlson School of Management, and the Constellation Fund.

Stephanie Pierce is a passionate mom, wife, connector, and coach. After a 24-year career in engineering and human resources, Stephanie re-invented her work life to combine her passion for building communities with her strong HR expertise. This led to the creation of two businesses: is all about convening amazing diverse women in a community focused on growing, learning, inspiring, laughing, and doing. KJP Consulting leverages Stephanie’s HR expertise by supporting businesses in maximizing the power of their talent. Stephanie holds a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Northwestern University-Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She lives in Edina with her husband, James, and their three daughters.

Meg Rodriguez’s passion for education and community development has led her to hold several positions at school and community organizations. In 2013, she co-founded Edina Give and Go, a nonprofit enterprise that brings life and learning opportunities to economically disadvantaged students by removing financial barriers to participation in arts, athletics and academic activities. Meg has also served on the board of College Possible Twin Cities and as Co-Chair of the board of the Edina Education Fund. Prior to her work as a community volunteer, Meg worked at IBM Corporation as a Marketing Representative and a Coordinator of Regional Multi-Media Sales. Originally from Westfield, New Jersey, Meg earned a B.A. in economics and business from Lafayette College, where she continues to serve as both an Alumni Admissions Representative and Co-Chair of the Mid-West Regional Council. Meg and her husband, Tony, have four children and live in Edina.


About the Minneapolis Foundation: The Minneapolis Foundation drives collective action to realize strong, vibrant communities. The Foundation cultivates generosity by taking action on the greatest civic, social, and economic needs—partnering with nonprofits, facilitating grantmaking, driving research and advocacy, and providing services to donors seeking to make a difference in their communities.   

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