News Release | Sara Barrow, Joseph Gibbons, Pahoua Yang Hoffman, and Pete Thrane join Parks Foundation Board of Directors

January 19, 2018 by Janette Law

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minneapolis Parks Foundation Board of Directors named four new members at its December meeting: Sara Barrow, Xcel Energy; Joseph Gibbons, Boyd, Gibbons & Associates; Pahoua Yang Hoffman, Citizens League; Pete Thrane, Stinson Leonard Street. The Parks Foundation’s new directors will begin three-year terms in January 2018.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation transforms human lives through parks and public spaces by aligning philanthropic investment and community vision. The Parks Foundation co-leads the RiverFirst Initiative with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and is responsible for private fundraising and implementation of the Water Works and Great Northern Greenway River Link projects. The Parks Foundation also supports innovative Minneapolis parks projects through equity funding and champions world-class design through its Next Generation of Parks™ Event Series. In 2017, the Parks Foundation contributed $500,000 to support the park system, for projects and programs as diverse as RiverFirst, Little Free Libraries, Cedar Lake South Beach, and swim lessons.

“We are honored that Sara Barrow, Joe Gibons, Pahoua Yang Hoffman, and Pete Thrane are bringing their considerable experience in community leadership, advocacy, and coalition-building to the Minneapolis Parks Foundation,” says Tom Evers, Executive Director of the Parks Foundation. “Coupled with each directors’ personal commitment to parks and trails, their contributions will enhance our efforts to create parks and public space that transforms the lives of all Minneapolis residents and visitors.”

2018 Parks Foundation Board of Directors
Sara Barrow is Manager of External Affairs for Xcel Energy, where she serves as the community relations and government affairs contact in Minneapolis. Joseph Gibbons is Senior Vice President-Wealth Management of Boyd, Gibbons & Associates, a Wayzata-based global wealth management team with Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. Pahoua Yang Hoffman is Executive Director of the Citizens League, a member-supported nonpartisan nonprofit organization that champions the role of all Minnesotans to govern for the common good and promote democracy. Pete Thrane is a Partner with Stinson Leonard Street, a legal firm where he assists insurance businesses manage the legal, regulatory, and corporate law challenges of their business.

Tom Paul, President-Medicare of Bright Health, will chair the Parks Foundation’s 23-member 2018 Board of Directors, which includes the following members continuing current terms: Stuart Ackerberg, CEO, Ackerberg Group; Daniel Avchen, Executive Director of Strategic Growth, HGA Architects & Engineers; Paul Bauknight, Director of Urban Placemaking, Urban Homeworks; Barbara Bencini, Sr. Vice President (retired), Boyd, Bencini, Gibbons & Associates; Dorothy Bridges, Sr. Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; John Crosby, Community Leader; Sarah Duniway, Managing Partner, Gray Plant Mooty; Dayna Frank, EVP/Co-owner, First Avenue; Jacob Frey, Mayor, City of Minneapolis; Jocelyn Hale, Partner, MillerHale Associates; Mark Heithoff, Mark Heithoff Photography; Steve King, Chairman, Landscape Structures; Mary McCarthy, Community Leader; Paul Reyelts, CFO (retired), Valspar Corp.; Rich Varda, Sr. Advisor of Store Design, Target; Frank Wilkinson, Community Leader; Riff Yeager, Partner, ERM The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Interim Superintendent Mary Merrill and Commissioner Brad Bourn also serve as ex officio members on the Parks Foundation’s Board of Directors.

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