Guild Incorporated Announces Next Executive Director

Guild Incorporated's Next Executive Director, Julie Bluhm
Photo: V. Jay Ojeda

Guild Incorporated has announced that their Board of Directors has selected Julie Bluhm, LICSW, as the organization’s next Executive Director. Bluhm will begin on July 24, succeeding Grace Tangjerd Schmitt, who will retire after leading the organization for over 25 years.

“We looked at a number of very compelling candidates during the search process, and after interviewing and getting to know several of them, we concluded without hesitation that Julie’s background in social work, her experience in and knowledge of the industry, and her obvious passion for the value of community mental health services, make her not only a perfect fit for the Guild of today but also an ideal partner to help build the Guild of tomorrow,” said Mike Sampson, Chairman of Guild Incorporated’s Board of Directors and a Partner at Maslon LLP. Sampson chaired the Board’s search committee, which worked with W.J. Flynn & Associates of Eagan to select a successor. “Julie’s energy and enthusiasm for the work that we do at Guild,” Sampson remarked, “are both inspiring and infectious.”

Bluhm holds a bachelor’s degree in family social science and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota. She is currently the Director of Clinical Innovation for Hennepin Health, leading the implementation and refinement of the Hennepin Health care model and integration of social service delivery to improve care and reduce costs for members served by their integrated care network. Prior to Hennepin Health, Bluhm spent several years working in the mental health field, providing direct care and serving in managerial roles.

“At Hennepin Health, I was working a lot with hospitals and clinics, trying to figure out how to meet individuals’ needs outside of a clinic or hospital setting, looking at the social determinants of health,” said Bluhm. “I want to go back to serving people – helping people lead the lives that they want to live, and I don’t think that there’s any question that’s what Guild does.”

Commenting on her successor, Grace Tangjerd Schmitt expressed confidence in the board’s selection: “Julie’s person-centered approach to services and her experience in health reform through Hennepin Health’s accountable care model are tremendous assets for Guild’s future.”

“Through Grace’s leadership, the spirit of constant innovation has become an indelible part of the culture of Guild Incorporated, and it will continue to serve us well as the health care landscape continues to change,” Sampson said of Grace’s upcoming retirement.

“I have admired Guild for years,” said Bluhm, “I am humbled to have the opportunity to continue to build on Grace’s legacy.”

For media or other inquiries, contact Hayla Drake, Marketing Communications Specialist, at or at 651.925.8479.


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