Melissa Martyr Wagner
Director of Operations, NewStudio Architecture


Melissa Martyr-Wagner’s education includes a BA in Journalism, Advertising and an MS in Higher Education. In 2011, after having worked for Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota, she and her husband, Sean Wagner, left their jobs to launch together NewStudio Architecture, where she is the Director of Operations. Free time?  Not only does she work with her husband, she sails with him on White Bear Lake. She also enjoy waves and water most anywhere from the Midwest to the Caribbean, as well as yoga and barre classes…and, she’s trying to get better at tennis and cross-country skiing. Melissa is one of the founders of Lakes International Language Academy (LILA), K-12 in Forest Lake. She went on to serve, as well as lead, this highly successful charter school’s board of directors, and later its foundation.  Founded in 2014 and starting with 174 students, the school’s enrollment is now over 1,300 in updated facilities on two campuses in Forest Lake.

She loves supporting her community – and organizations like the White Bear Center for the Arts, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Solid Ground,  White Bear Lake Area Historical Society, and, of course, Century College.

“Century College truly is one of the most remarkable assets of our community and I’m very proud to serve on its Foundation. I am always happy to proselytize with friends, or when I’m networking, of the many successes, stories, and results of Century,” explains Melissa, “My son is just finishing in the paramedic program-so I learn a lot about his experience. And, when I’m on campus I always run into high school and college students I know from the White Bear Lake and Forest Lake schools. I love, as a Foundation member, knowing about the data-informed results and the community impact of Century– but, it is the students who move me. Knowing about their academic stories and journeys always moves me to want to do more.”


Russ Fleming
Partner, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP


Bio coming soon.


Vice President

Barbara Sheldon
Relationship Manager, Alerus Financial


Bio coming soon.


John Channon
FocalPoint Business Coaching & Training


John Channon owns and operates a FocalPoint Business Coaching and Training franchise. He has 25 years of experience in business leadership, business development, sales, marketing, people development and profitability management. He currently serves as a Rotarian and a St. Paul SCORE mentor. Otherwise, you can find him reading, skiing, golfing and gardening depending on the season. John holds a BA in Chemistry and an MBA in General Management. During school, Century College becomes one of the most diverse locations in the Twin Cities, he finds that inspiring.


Portrait of Julie Barton.

Julie Barton
Project Manager, Medtronic


Julie Barton works at Medtronic and is a Community Impact Champion. In that role she supports employee-led volunteer and fundraising activities through Medtronic Foundation’s matched giving program. She is a current Ph.D. candidate in management and public service at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota . She holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a Master of Liberal Studies degree from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul with a concentration in gender studies, sociology, and cultural anthropology. Her Bachelor of Science degree also came from Metropolitan State, in Business Administration. She is most proud of graduating with an AA degree from Century College which laid the foundation for her future educational goals. Julie is most proud of graduating with an AA degree from Century College which laid the foundation for her future educational goals.

Julie is passionate about education, corporate social responsibility, and conservation issues. She also serves on the board of directors for Renewing the Countryside, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit dedicated to conservation and farming issues. In her free time, you can find her happily digging in one of her gardens or planning the next one. Her motto is “Be kind, fight injustice, and use education to build your world.”

Kate Christopher


Bio coming soon.

Jewelie Grape
Attorney, J. Grape Law, PLLC


Jewelie Grape provides legal advice to companies and non-profit organizations on matters related to employee benefits, human resources and other important business issues.

Jewelie has several decades of experience in legal, corporate and non-profit matters. She has worked in large law firms, advising corporate and non-profit clients on ERISA, employee benefits, board governance, and general corporate issues, and also has experience as in-house counsel for a non-profit benefits board in which she provided day-to-day legal counsel on a variety of issues. Additionally, Jewelie spent nine years in human resources at several Fortune 100 companies, counseling management on all aspects of day-to-day human resource activities.

When not advising clients, Jewelie spends time reading, traveling, baking, and spending time with family and friends.

Jewelie believes education is the key to unlocking a person’s future, and is excited to be a part of the Century College Foundation Board.

Laura Keithahn
Vice President Hospital Operations, St. John’s Hospital


Laura Keithahn serves as the Vice President Hospital Operations for St. John’s Hospital, M Health Fairview located in Maplewood, MN. 

In her role, Laura has responsibility for the operations and management of the hospital campus, engaging daily and ensuring optimal quality and experience for patients and their family members.

A highly skilled operations leader with more than 30 years of experience, she is committed to improving how health care is delivered and consistently driving for results.  Laura’s expertise is in hospital strategy, operational innovation and efficiency, financial management and leadership development.  She is a passionate mentor and widely respected for her ability to coach and motivate people.

Laura currently serves as a board member to the Century College Foundation. She also enjoys partnering with other local organizations and government agencies to support the health and well-being of our communities.

A graduate of Radiologic Technology in Dubuque, Iowa, Laura went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Science from Cardinal Stritch University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is also certified in Lean.

Laura believes education is instrumental to grow and develop personally and professionally as individuals.  It opens us to a world of knowledge and equips us with the expertise that is needed to realize our career goals and cultivates us into mature individual capable of planning for the future and making the right decisions in life.

Liz Moscatelli
Executive Director of Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation and Program Consultant for Lead4Change


Liz Moscatelli is currently the Executive Director of Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation and Program Consultant for Lead4Change, a privately-funded student leadership program. Previously, spent over 30 years in publishing with USA TODAY/Gannett as General Manager and Regional Director. I was the board chair of the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center facilitating the merger into the National Child Protection Training Center.

When Liz is not working, she loves being on the lake. When she is home, she is on a boat or pontoon, paddleboard, kayak or canoe. When at the cabin, she’s fishing or waterskiing. In the winter, she enjoys snowshoeing, x-c or downhill skiing and she also  enjoys golf and tennis.  Liz holds a BA in Communications and Business. She believes education gives us opportunity to grow and develop beyond what we think we can. She values Century because “Century College's reputation is stellar, and gives options to students whether in high school or beyond.”

Elizabeth Murry
Academic Coordinator for the Student Support Services TRIO Program


Elizabeth Murry is the Academic Coordinator for the Student Support Services TRIO Program where she works to support college students who are first-generation, low income and/or have disabilities. She holds an MBA from Augsburg University. When she is not working, Elizabeth loves spending time being creative, enjoying nature and learning a range of topics. A first-generation college student herself, Elizabeth finds immense joy in helping other first generationstudents navigate their college journeys, knowing the empowerment, pride and rich value education brings.

Steve Schad
Founder, Optima Advisory


Steve Schad is the founder of Optima Advisory, a firm that places part-time contract HR executives and administrative support in small and mid-sized companies. He has more than two decades of HR executive and organizational development experience working across sectors and industries to help organizations get better results through people. Steve has dealt directly with many workforce issues that are or can be solved through the community and technical college system and joined the board to help advance the mission of Century College and the Foundation in serving our communities and businesses. He received a Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in political science and Russian area studies, from the University of Minnesota. As a small business owner, he doesn’t have a lot of spare time, but when he does, he loves travelling and spending time with his wife of 24 years and two teenage daughters.

Shari Wilson
Executive Director, White Bear Area Chamber of Commerce


Bio coming soon.

Kim Bowman
Director of Major and Planned Giving, Way to Grow


Kim Bowman serves as Director of Major and Planned Giving for Way to Grow, an early childhood education organization in Minneapolis. She has 25 years of experience in major gift development, planned giving, endowment building and capital campaigns. Outside of work, Kim loves spending time at the cabin and singing with Magnum Chorum, a Twin Cities choral ensemble. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MBA with a finance concentration. Kim believes education is the key that unlocks each person’s potential to learn, grow, thrive and contribute to the community.

Portrait of Kevin Donovan.

Kevin Donovan
Mahtomedi and Northeast Metro 916 School Board Director


Kevin Donovan is a longtime community member, business leader, civic leader and education advocate. A graduate of Macalester College, he directed Festival Foods from 1990 to 2015. He has served on the Mahtomedi School Board since 2005 and also is a member of the 916 School Board, the former director of development for the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation, and chair of the Minnesota School Boards Association Insurance Trust. Kevin previously has served with the National School Boards Association, the Minnesota School Boards Association, the Century College Foundation, East Metro Integration District ISD 6067, and as board chair for the White Bear Area Food shelf.

A member of the White Bear Rotary Club (team co-chair for equity and inclusion, and public image), and the Lake Links Trail Board of Directors, Kevin lives in Grant with his wife, Molly. When he’s not working tirelessly to make the Northeast Metro and the world a more visionary, well-educated, resourceful, and resilient place. 

Portrait of Sarah Johnson.

Sarah Johnson
COO & Investment Advisor, YES Wealth Management


Sarah Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer, and an Investment Advisor with YES Wealth Management in downtown Mahtomedi. Sarah is also a Registered Dietitian, which she uses to bring a unique perspective to the world of advising by changing and expanding what it means to help a client plan for their future by advising not only on wealth, but health as well. She believes that in order to truly help someone, you must treat the whole person.

Sarah holds a B.A. from the College of St. Benedict, an M.S from The University of Wisconsin Stout, and is a Certified Financial Planner™.

Sarah lives in Mahtomedi with her husband and 3 children. She is a current board member for the Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation where she leads Student Scholarships and Investments and serves on the Finance Committee for the Century College Foundation. Sarah grew up in this community and feels joy in being able to give back to a community that always put education as a top priority, and provided her with such wonderful educational opportunities.

Greg Mueller
H.B. Fuller, Director Global SAP


Greg Mueller serves as the Director, Global SAP at H.B. Fuller. In his role, he is responsible for leading the global SAP rollout program for the Company.  When Greg is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family.  He is also enjoys hunting and fishing.  Greg holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a MBA from the University of Portland (OR).  Greg strongly believes that an education is the bridge to a successful future.

Steve Ritt
Vice President, North Star Banks


Steve Ritt is the Chief Financial Officer and Co Chief Executive Officer of North Star Bank, which is a fourth generation family owned and operated community bank located in White Bear Lake and Roseville, MN.

Ritt, 46, as Co-CEO is responsible for providing an acceptable return for its shareholders while also protecting its depositor’s interests, along with overseeing a management team and developing departmental objectives and corporate goals. As CFO he is part of the asset liability management team and is responsible for the financial, capital, and strategic planning of the Bank, along with investing the excess liquidity of the institution.

Ritt has extensive operational and financial experience within North Star Bank and has served on its Board of directors since 2004, and currently serves on all 12 Board appointed committees. He is active in the commercial lending space, a position he has held since 2002, and enjoys helping businesses start, grow, and prosper.

He is an active supporter in the community and serves as Board Member for the Ritt Family Foundation, the Century College Foundation, Mahtomedi Area Educational Foundation, Lakeshore Players, and serves on the finance committee of the Greater White Bear Lake Area Community Foundation.

Portrait of Josie Trobec.

Josie Trobec
PIT Program Manager, Retired


Josie is a retired IT Program Manager with over 25 years of experience in technology, strategy and large-scale enterprise software implementation project management and training. Throughout her career, she also worked as a business analyst, IT auditor, technical support trainer and customer service representative.

In retirement, Josie has found enjoyment serving as a volunteer lay minister, spending time with people looking for companionship. She is also a yoga instructor, actively learning from leading yogis weekly, and enjoys golfing, quilting, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and pickleball.

Josie holds a BA in Communications in Business from the University of Minnesota – Duluth.

Portrait of Jessica Walton.

Jessica Walton
Global Business Director, Display Materials and System Division, 3M Company


Jessica is the Global Director of the Privacy Solutions Business at 3M. She has more than two decades of sales and marketing experience in the consumer electronics industry working across the business to business and retail sectors. Throughout her career she has revitalized product categories, built growth plans for new businesses, and re-skilled teams to drive creativity and inclusivity.

She holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Jessica is passionate about mentoring others and is especially inspired by what can happen when individuals are given the opportunity to learn. She joined the Century College Foundation board to help more students accomplish a great education and careers that lead to self-sufficiency.

She also volunteers for Dress for Success Twin Cities and is a former Board Chair for the organization.

Jessica lives in White Bear Lake with her husband (a Century graduate!) and two teenage children. She enjoys spending time with her family in nature, traveling and boating White Bear Lake.

2021-22 Board of Directors Meeting Schedule

Meeting times (unless otherwise noted): 8:30 - 10:30 am

  • Thursday, September 16, Room E1371
  • Thursday, November 18, Room TBD
  • Thursday, January 20, Room TBD
  • Thursday, March 17, Planning Retreat: 8:30 - 11:30 am, Location TBD
  • Thursday, June 16, Annual Meeting: 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Location TBD

2021-22 Finance & Executive Committee Meeting Schedule

Executive Committee: Melissa Martyr Wagner, Chair; Barb Sheldon, Vice Chair; Russ Flemming, Treasurer; John Channon, Secretary
Finance Committee: Russ Flemming, Chair; Greg Mueller, Ken Baltzer, Sarah Johnson

Meeting time: 8:30 - 9:30 am

  • Thursday, August 19, Room E1371
  • Thursday, October 21, Room TBD
  • Thursday, December 16, Room TBD
  • Thursday, February 17, Room TBD
  • Thursday, April 28, Room TBD

2021-22 Development & Outreach Committee Meeting Schedule

Development & Outreach Committee: Steve Schad, Chair; Julie Barton, Kim Bowman, Dick Brainerd, Kate Christopher, Jewelie Grape, Mitchell LeGrand, Melissa Martyr Wagner, Liz Moscatelli, Shari Wilson

Meeting time: 8:30 - 9:30 am

  • Thursday, August 26, Room E1371
  • Thursday, October 14, Room TBD
  • Thursday, December 9, Room TBD
  • Thursday, February 24, Room TBD
  • Thursday, April 14, Room TBD

2021-22 Scholarship Committee Meeting Schedule

Scholarship Committee: Kate Christopher, Chair; Elizabeth Murray, Laura Keithahn, Rebecca Shavlik, Kevin Donovan, Tou Her, Michele Jersak

Meeting times: 4:00 - 5:00 pm

  • Thursday, November 4, Room TBD
  • Thursday, January 13, Room TBD
  • Thursday, May 12, Room TBD