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 1980 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 more than 3,400 across all service lines in 2016. Growth has come not only in numbers, but also in innovation: such as implementing the “housing first” concept in the early 90s, pioneering and growing supported employment, customizing Assertive Community Treatment for transition-age youth; and facilitating “whole health care” through new Behavioral Health Home services. 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. She is a founding member and Chair of the Board of Minnesota Community Healthcare Network (MCHN), a specialty provider network of collaborating community mental health providers. 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.
Marian Bayer, Chief Financial Officer
“It’s very meaningful and energizing to me that I have the opportunity to support those who more directly work with clients while navigating through healthcare reform.”
Marian has held senior management positions in finance and operations for not-for-profit, for-profit and government organizations: leading finance; accounting; IT; process design; customer service and administration functions. Her recent nonprofit experience includes work with the Red Cross, Parents in Community Action, Social Venture Partners; and, in leading Mille Lacs County, she gained experience in public health, social services, and law enforcement. She describes her natural management style as one of servant leadership and collaboration. Marian holds a B.S. degree in Accounting / Business Administration from Augsburg College, a MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a MPA from Harvard University. In addition to her work, Marian also volunteers her time in areas such as orphanage reform in Romania, doula services for women in prison, and social entrepreneurship in developing countries. Marian grew up in rural Minnesota and in her free time enjoys traveling, cooking, playing tennis and kayaking.
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.
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.