Grace Tangjerd Schmitt, President
“The opportunities are endless – the celebrations many. “I’m humbled by the individuals and families who face the challenge of living with mental illnesses and allow us to partner with them on their recovery journey. I’m energized by the tremendous support we receive from the community.”
Grace Tangjerd Schmitt’s history with our organization goes back to 1986 when services were provided under the auspices of The Guild of Catholic Women. She was appointed President in 1990 as part of the founding of Guild Incorporated. Grace holds a B.A. degree in Psychology and Social Work and spent early years working in the psychiatric unit at Brainerd State Hospital and for County Social Services. Those experiences helped form her values about what’s needed to successfully treat schizophrenia and other illnesses – community support and the ability to work with people “in vivo” or in life. Under her leadership, we have grown from serving an estimated 125 individuals in 1990 to 1,953 across all service lines in 2012. Growth has come not only in numbers, but also in innovation: implementing the “housing first” concept in the early 90s, achieving CARF accreditation, modeling supported employment, and engaging in the current Hospital to Home project. With Grace at the helm, our history illustrates continual progress in providing needed treatment and services.
Grace is active in the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Minnesota, the Mental Health Legislative Network (MHLN), and the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs (MACMHP). She has also served on a number of advisory task forces to the Department of Human Services. Time off for Grace is often about music – the Jazz Festival in Mears Park or an evening at the Minnesota Opera or the Ordway. At home, she’s reading or cooking…and still listening to music.
George Broostin, Development Director
“Every dollar we raise and every volunteer we recruit makes a difference for the most stigmatized and forgotten group of individuals in our society.”
George Broostin joined us in 1991 when we were operating Guild Hall, a residential facility for people with mental illness. Armed with a B.A. in Social Work, George put his skills to work as Program Assistant and in two years was promoted to Team Leader. As Team Leader, he was instrumental in helping the residents of Guild Hall transition to apartments during our progression from facility to community-based service delivery. He continued his work as Assistant Director of Services, getting to know lots of people and deepening his knowledge of community resources. He became a sort of “go to” guy for staff with questions about everything from court proceedings to the best place to find a good, used couch for a client. In 2005, George was recruited for a small, volunteer fundraising team we were forming. And, in 2007, he accepted our Development Director position. Today, George oversees all of our fundraising and volunteer activities, spending his days “making friends,” as he likes to say, and educating people about our mission. Catch him in his office and you’re likely to hear a story or two about his adventures.
Ken Carr, Chief Financial Officer
“We have the opportunity to demonstrate the value of our services by improving the quality of mental and physical health for individuals we serve within the developing context of healthcare reform.”
Ken Carr joined us in 1989 as our Director of Finance and Personnel. With a B.S. in Business Administration and a Master of Divinity, he wanted to work for an organization that had direct impact on helping individuals address health-related and social needs. After eleven years as Director, Ken went on to work for both The American Red Cross and Goodwill Industries. He returned to us in 2006 as our Chief Financial Officer. Ken enjoys assessing and changing business processes to improve and impact services for the individuals we serve. And, in 2009, he had the opportunity to do just that. Ken began leading a staff team to what was eventually a successful implementation of Credible Behavioral Healthcare software, integrating scheduling, service documentation, and billing. When Ken isn’t overseeing finance and technology staff, forecasting, budgeting, or looking for better ways to get our work done, you might just find him in the staff kitchen trading dessert recipes with other culinary-types around our office.
John Murphy, FACHE, Senior Director, Services
“Enhancing, expanding and developing new ways to provide services is essential for the future. And, that’s an exciting part of the job!”
John Murphy joined us as Senior Director of Services in 2009 after spending over twenty-five years in health care administration for large, multi-hospital organizations. He has a Master’s in Health Care Administration and significant experience in operations and clinical service line management including development of a Top 100 Heart Hospital cardiovascular program. Prior to joining us, John served as an Operating Vice President within Allina Hospital and Clinics. Our mission resonated with him and he was intrigued by our focus on clients and the team-based approach to supporting them, so John decided to put his health care expertise to work for us. He enjoys working with staff to initiate new services and make existing services even better. John is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (FACHE) and has served on the Board of Directors of several not-for-profit and for-profit organizations in Minnesota. When not immersed in work, you’re likely to encounter John hiking one of our local trails or checking out the latest art gallery or museum exhibit.
Karen Kaplan, SPHR, Director, Human Resources
“When we work with staff members from day one, when they start with us as interns and we can help them carve out a path to case management or to a team leader or clinical position, it’s very rewarding.”
Karen Kaplan joined us as Director of Human Resources in 2006. She completed a B.S. degree in Business Administration while working full-time in the transportation industry, eventually working as Vice President of Administration, overseeing all human resources activity. But, after 15 years, Karen wanted to give back to the community. For Karen, “giving back” meant sharing her skills and experience in the non-profit sector. She started by working as Human Resources Director for Union Gospel Mission. By the time she got to us, she had passion for staff development – a passion that led her to pursue and help implement Essential Learning, our web-based behavioral health training tool. Karen’s passion for employee growth includes tending to her own. In 2010, she achieved designation as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) from the Society of Human Resource Management. In her “off” time, you can spot Karen taking in a good book or volunteering to help other organizations with focus on social service. Currently, she serves as an officer for the Mt. Zion Sisterhood Board.