Governor Pawlenty appoints six to MnSCU Board of Trustees

Posted: June 16, 2010

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

GOVERNOR PAWLENTY APPOINTS SIX TO MnSCU BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Saint Paul – Governor Tim Pawlenty today announced the appointment of Philip B. Krinkie, Alfredo Oliveira, and Michael M. Vekich; and the reappointment of Duane Benson, Jacob Englund, and Thomas S. Renier to the Minnesota State College and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees.

“The MnSCU Board of Trustees have some sizeable issues before them, which include the hiring of a new chancellor, managing a budget with shrinking resources, and moving our higher education system to reflect a rapidly-changing workforce,” Governor Pawlenty said. “These individuals have the business background, public policy experience, and leadership skills to lead our state’s largest higher education system into the future.”

Benson, of Lanesboro, is the CEO and executive director of the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation, a position he has held since 2005. Previously, he was the executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership from 1994 to 2003. He served in the Minnesota Senate from 1981 to 1994, and was the Senate Minority Leader for six years during that time. Benson earned his bachelor of arts degree with honors from Hamline University. He was drafted into the NFL and played 11 seasons as a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, and Houston Oilers. He continues to own and operate a cattle farm outside of Lanesboro and is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations. Benson, who has been a member of the MnSCU Board of Trustees since 2004, is reappointed to a position for a resident of the First Congressional District to another six-year term that expires June 30, 2016.

Englund, of Edina, is a student at The University of Minnesota’s - Carlson School of Management.. He earned an associate of arts degree with an emphasis in accounting from Normandale Community College in Bloomington, where he served as vice president of the Normandale Community College Student Senate, and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and Kappa Beta Delta. In addition to his schooling, Englund is a financial management accounting intern with Cargill, Inc. in Wayzata. Englund, who has been a member of the MnSCU Board of Trustees since 2008, is reappointed as a community college student member to another two-year term that expires on June 30, 2012.

Krinkie, of Shoreview, owns the Snelling Company, a heating, cooling and electrical business in St. Paul. He has owned the Snelling Company for 30 years. Krinkie served eight terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1991 through 2006, and chaired the House Taxes Committee from 2005 to 2006, chaired the House Capital Investment Committee from 2003 to 2004, and chaired the House State Government Finance Committee from 1999 to 2002. Krinkie earned his bachelor of arts degree from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He has served on a number of boards and civic organizations, and is currently president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota. Krinkie replaces Ruth Grendahl on the MnSCU Board of Trustees as an at-large member, and is appointed to a six-year term that expires on June 30, 2016.

Oliveira, of Clearwater, is a student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where he is pursuing his associate in applied science degree in business management. He was president of the St. Cloud Technical and Community College Student Senate from 2009 to 2010, and served as student senate vice president from 2008 to 2009. He is a member of the Quality Crew Committee, Phi Theta Kappa, and Delta Epsilon Chi, where he received recognition for serving as Chapter Vice President. Oliveira replaces Terri Thomas on the MnSCU Board of Trustees as a technical college student member, and is appointed to a two-year term that expires on June 30, 2012.

Renier, of Duluth, is the president of the Northland Foundation in Duluth, a position he has held since 1986. From 1974 to 1986, he held a variety of positions with ARDC/Northspan Group, eventually becoming executive director. Renier earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota – Duluth (UMD). He is a member of the UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics Board of Advisors, serving as chair from 1996 to 1998; a board member of the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX), and previously served on the Opportunity Finance Network Board of Directors. Renier, who has been a member of the MnSCU Board of Trustees since 2004, is reappointed to a position for a resident of the Eighth Congressional District to another six-year term that expires on June 30, 2016.

Vekich, of St. Louis Park, is CEO of Vekich Associates in Minneapolis; as well as chairman, president, and chief operating officer of Skyline Exhibits in Eagan. Previously, he was the CEO of Vekich Arkema and Company, managing partner of Grazzini Paquay and Company, and a consultant with Haskins and Sells. Vekich earned his bachelor of arts degree in accounting and business administration from the University of Minnesota. He is vice chair of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority Commission, vice chair of the Minnesota Board of Accountancy, and serves on a number of corporate and civic boards. He was a member of the MnSCU Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2002, and served as chair during that time; was a member of the Rochester Higher Education Development Committee; and a founding board member and vice chair of the Minnesota Higher Education Services Council. Vekich replaces David Olson on the MnSCU Board of Trustees as an at-large member, and is appointed to a six-year term that expires on June 30, 2016.

The system is governed by a 15-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor. The board has policy responsibility for system planning, academic programs, fiscal management, personnel, admissions requirements, tuition and fees, and rules and regulations. The board appoints the system's chancellor and presidents of the state colleges and universities.


Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.