Staff Directory


 Mark Dienhart, Ph.D. - President & CEO

As president and chief executive officer, Mark is responsible for the overall management of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. Also a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees, Mark joined the Foundation in July 2013. Mark  researches possible areas of investment within Foundation focus areas, makes grant recommendations to the Foundation’s board of trustees, oversees monitoring and measurement of grantee performance to ensure meaningful results, and oversees the Foundation’s staff and infrastructure.

Previously, Mark was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was responsible for managing nonacademic administrative operations and for directing a $515 million capital campaign, the largest in St. Thomas history. Before returning to work at St. Thomas, Mark was a senior vice president with U.S. Bancorp and spent 10 years with University of Minnesota men’s athletics, including five years heading the department as director.

A Minneapolis native, Mark graduated summa cum laude from St. Thomas in 1975 was an All-American and Academic All-American in both football and track and field and played briefly for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. He contends that he and O.J. Simpson were never BFFs. He earned a master’s and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Minnesota, was awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship, and has completed postdoctoral studies at Stanford and Harvard Universities. He is a member of the St. Mary’s University of Minnesota faculty in the Twin Cities. Mark and his wife, Kate, are the proud parents of three daughters and grandparents of yet two more girls, Anna and Grace. Mark remains gender outnumbered in their St. Paul home, where he and Kate live together with Mabel, their well-loved and well fed Olde English Bulldogg.

Mark can be reached at 952/324-8910 or mcdienhart@schulzefamilyfoundation.org


Barb Dunker - Office & Grant Administrator

Barb is the right-hand person to our President and foundation staff and the first point of contact with the foundation for our grantees. Her responsibilities include managing office operations and the foundation's grant administration from initial Letter of Intent through grant payment. She also maintains program officer responsibilities for a small group of grantee organizations. 

Barb previously was executive assistant to the chief operating officer at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she served for 12 years. Before St. Thomas, Barb worked in similar roles at U.S. Bancorp and the University of Minnesota.

A native of Iowa, Barb crossed the border some 30 years ago.  She especially enjoys all the world class art museums and other cultural activities available in the Twin Cities. She’s a life-long Gopher fan, is a few credits shy of completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, and enjoys spending time with her family and her friends. 

Barb can be reached at 952/324-8910 or bjdunker@schulzefamilyfoundation.org.


Steve Hoeppner - Vice President

As vice president, Steve is responsible for assisting the president and CEO in the overall management and strategic direction of the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. His primary focus is education, which involves researching grant opportunities, visiting with potential grantees, making grant recommendations to the Foundation’s board of trustees, and ensuring that grants to educational institutions produce meaningful results.

Previously, Steve was executive director of development at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was responsible for managing the university’s development operation and staff.  Before joining St. Thomas, Steve served as director of development at Fraser, a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of educational, health care, and residential services to children and adults with special needs.

A Twin Cities native, Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of St. Thomas.  He and his wife, Beth, are the parents of two daughters and live in Eagan, Minnesota.

Steve can be reached at 952/324-8923 or sahoeppner@schulzefamilyfoundation.org.


Mike Zumwinkle - Senior Program Officer

Mike is a senior program officer with the foundation, where he is responsible for helping assure that foundation grant making produces positive, sustainable and measureable results.

Before his work with the Schulze Family Foundation, Zumwinkle had the good luck and fortune to work on many public affairs issues with a number of great people and organizations. He formerly worked with Cargill’s Corporate Affairs Department as director of Government Affairs, St. John’s University as a major gift officer, and the United States Department of State as a policy officer on refugee and migration issues.

He earned an M.A. in Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and a  B.A. in Government from St. John’s University. Zumwinkle also studied at the University of Leipzig, received a Robert Bosch Fellowship, and spent time at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Zumwinkle lives in the Twin Cities with his wife Lori and three daughters. In his free time, Zumwinkle can be found at a local hockey rink, tennis court, or golf course supporting his girls' athletic pursuits. Zumwinkle is also active as a director with Minnesota Selects Hockey and enjoys reading, travel and spending time with friends.

Mike can be reached at 952-324-8945 or mpzumwinkle@schulzefamilyfoundation.org.


Marla Friederichs - Senior Program Officer and Scholarship Program Manager

Marla is a senior program officer and also manages the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Scholars program.

Marla comes to us after a long career in higher education where she lived out her passion for making college a reality for thousands of students. She recently retired from the University of St. Thomas where she served as the assistant director of Financial Aid, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, and, for the last 17 years, associate vice president for admissions and financial aid. She “grew up” in financial aid and admissions and started developing and implementing scholarship programs when she actually had to add and subtract without a calculator (no, she did not use an abacus). 

Marla grew up a Moorhead Spud (where it is really cold), earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Dakota (where it is even colder) and has settled in the tropics of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, where she and her husband, Joe, raised two sons and five yorkies (not all at the same time). Living in a house full of men, she spends much of her time figuring out which hunting or fishing season it is and who will or will not be home for dinner (thank goodness for her sixth yorkie, Chewbacca).

Marla can be reached at 952/324-8933 or mjfriederichs@schulzefamilyfoundation.org.


Linda Carey Halverson, Ed.D. - Senior Program Officer, Grants Management and Technology

Linda builds important relationships with grantees as a program officer and is is also responsible for assuring that foundation grant making produces positive, sustainable and measurable results through best-practice grant management and the technology that drives the foundation's business processes.

Linda brings over 30 years of experience in higher education technology operations and business process development. Previously associate vice president for administration at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, she was responsible for managing nonacademic administrative operations and organization development. Before St. Thomas, Linda spent countless employment hours at Michigan State University, in Michigan patent and probate law firms and in a Michigan health care setting.

A Detroit native, Linda moved to Minnesota with her husband too many years ago to count. She graduated summa cum laude from the College of St. Catherine in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and received the Abigail Quigley McCarthy leadership award. She earned master's and doctorate degrees in organization development from the University of St. Thomas and completed pre- and postdoctoral studies at Bryn Mawr and the University of Michigan. She lives in Stillwater, Minnesota, with her golden-pyrenese, Parker and some sort of a heeler mix, named Finnegan. She has two grown children and three grandchildren, for whom she creates and directs their annual Gramma Cammp© (no that is not a typo).

Linda can be reached at 952/324-8937 or lchalverson@schulzefamilyfoundation.org


Donna Mankowski - Program Officer

Donna is executive assistant to Richard M. Schulze, and Executive V.P. of Olympus Ventures. She is responsible for administration and ensures that the office has the resources required to successfully carry out the mission of each department. She assists with the Schulze Family Foundation as a program officer and provides administrative services.
 
In her 35  plus years of experience, 33 of those years working with Dick Schulze at Sound of Music which became Best Buy,  she saw Sound of Music grow from seven local stores only into the world’s largest consumer electronics enterprise. She has been instrumental in assisting Dick Schulze in both business and personal areas. She worked with the Best Buy Schulze Family Fund which makes grants to Best Buy employees in crises.
 
Donna is a life-long Minnesota resident. She has been married for almost 35 years, has 2 adult daughters and 4 gorgeous, energy-inducing grandchildren. She resides with her husband in Rosemount, Minnesota.

Donna can be reached at 952/324-8900 or dmankowski@olympusventures.com


Mary Beth Geier - Florida Region Coordinator

Mary Beth serves as the Florida Region Coordinator for the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and works out of the Naples, Florida, office. She is responsible for the Collier & Lee county areas of interest for the foundation and performs site visits, prepares evaluations and offers recommendations while serving as our liaison to the numerous charitable organizations in Lee & Collier counties. Mary Beth also coordinates the Schulze Scholar Program in Collier County.

Before working for the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, Mary Beth was the assistant principal of a parochial school in north central Florida. She also worked for many years as the director of a faith-based education program for a parish serving more than 400 students. Mary Beth’s responsibilities in those roles included overseeing teachers, selecting curriculum, and working with parents to best advance the educational needs of their children.

Originally from New Jersey, Mary Beth moved to Florida 18 years ago where she graduated, with honors, from Saint Leo University. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Gulf Coast University. Living with two of her children in Bonita Springs, Florida, Mary Beth appreciates the opportunity to travel to north and west to visit her sons and soak up the changes of seasons, cold weather and snow (for very short periods of time)!

Mary Beth can be reached at 239/263-9400 or mbgeier@schulzefamilyfoundation.org


Brian Kraft - Program Officer

Brian is a program officer with the foundation, working with a variety of program initiatives along with maintaining relationships with assigned grantees. He is ultimately responsible for ensuring that our grant making supports meaningful and measurable outcomes.

Previously, Brian was an associate development officer at the University of Minnesota Foundation with a focus in Neurosciences. Prior to that, he spent 11 years with Best Buy, the majority of that time as a Pricing Analyst.

Brian received his undergraduate degree from Winona State University and earned a master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

An active volunteer, Brian is a member of the board of directors for the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center where he works with other inspired individuals to raise awareness and find a treatment for ataxia, a rare neurological condition that affects balance and coordination.

Brian and his wife, Annemarie, live in Eden Prairie with their three beautiful daughters.

Brian can be reached at 952/324-8913 or btkraft@schulzefamilyfoundation.org


Charles Keffer, Ph.D., Senior Consultant

Charlie is an experienced foundation consultant and nonprofit volunteer, on whom we rely for advice about grantees and recommendations about foundation strategy and business process. Charlie also has responsibility at the foundation for a portfolio of human and social services grantees and helps with cycle site visits and funding recommendations to our board.

Charlie comes to us with close to 45 years of higher education experience, most recently as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of St. Thomas. He also brings experience in corporate and foundation relations, and long range and strategic planning. Charlie is an active member of his church community at the Church of St. Cecilia in St. Paul and has served there as trustee, lector, parish council member, and chaired their faith formation and building committees. Charlie has also served with his wife, Barbara, as lay missionaries to the diocese of Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Charlie was a volunteer on the implementation committee at St. Paul’s Monastery and with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. He is currently the board chair at Academia Cesar Chavez Charter School in St. Paul.

Charlie earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Scranton, and holds a master’s and doctorate from Harvard. Charlie has four grown children and five grandchildren, forming a convenient and formidable team for their annual International Coconut Classic soccer match. He lives with his wife, Barb, in Roseville, Minnesota.


Kelly Webster, Esq., Senior Consultant

Kelly comes to us with executive leadership experience in development, donor engagement, gift planning and legal affairs. Most recently, Kelly was vice president of development and donor engagement at the Catholic Community Foundation in St. Paul and before that, spent time as a Planned Giving Officer at the Minnesota Medical Foundation. She worked at the Caux Round Table as a Program Associate and interned at the U.S. Department of Justice. Kelly has responsibility at the foundation for a portfolio of human and social services grantees and provides legal consultation.

Kelly is a member of the board of directors for the Northfield Youth Choirs and the Board of Advisors for the Liturgical Press at St. John's Abbey.  Kelly also serves as a mentor for the University of St. Thomas School of Law's mentor externship program.

Kelly earned her undergraduate degree in Theology and English at the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University (I know, another Bennie/Johnny; but, Mike was outnumbered and needed a buddy). Kelly also holds a juris doctor from the University of St. Thomas School of Law (so has already redeemed herself), and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar.

When she isn’t chasing her 20-month old baby boy, Finn, or her 10 pound Havanese pup, Stella, Kelly can be found practicing or teaching yoga (she's also a 200 hour registered yoga instructor) traveling, reading or playing golf. Kelly and her husband, Ben, live together in Rosemount and are expecting their second child just in time for spring in Minnesota. Kelly says that rare spare moments these days are best used by taking a nap.


Berit Allar, Program Associate

Berit joined the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, in a part-time capacity, in June 2015.  Her primary responsibility is to assist Steve Hoeppner in his work with the grant RMSFF made to the Catholic Schools Center of Excellence (CSCOE).  The foundation’s grant provides support to CSCOE’s efforts to help the Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis achieve and maintain excellence while increasing student enrollment.  Beginning with the fall 2016 grant cycle, Berit also has program officer responsibilities for a small group of grantee organizations.

Prior to joining RMSFF, Berit taught preschool and 4th grade in the eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities and also lived in New York City and Chicago when her husband was relocated to those cities for jobs in corporate finance.

Berit lives in Edina with her husband, Aaron, 4-year-old son Boden, and 2-year-old daughter Siri.  Her very active kids keep her days filled but when there is any down time, her interests include cooking, traveling, reading, trying new restaurants, and spending time at the cabin with her family.  Berit holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from Gustavus Adolphus College.


Meredith McLean – Program Officer

Meredith serves as a program officer with the foundation and works out of the Naples, Florida office. Meredith’s variety of work experience, especially with non-profits, assists in her administrative duties at the Florida office, as well as in her role of performing site visits, evaluating outcomes and community outreach.

After spending a year of studying at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, Meredith earned her B.A. in Business Administration from Millersville University in PA. Most recently, Meredith served as the Events Director at the Greater Naples YMCA where she worked to develop the YMCA into a facility capable of handling events large and small. Being new to the area, this experience gave her an opportunity to become connected with various non-profit agencies working throughout the community. Meredith’s passion for helping others has also been showcased through her previous work in the non-profit arena, which included: working as a Visitor & Special Events Manager for Farm Sanctuary in the Finger Lakes region of New York; serving as a Project Manager for KaBOOM!, and working for the Greater Susquehanna Valley chapter of Girls on the Run.

Having grown up in Pennsylvania, Meredith loves the year-round warm weather of Florida and is an avid outdoors person. On weekends, you can find her paddle boarding with her dog, Kesha. She also loves to cook and teaches plant-based cooking classes. 

Meredith can be reach at 239/263-9400 or mlmclean@schulzefamilyfoundation.org


Sheila M. Otto, Graduate Intern

Sheila currently works as a graduate intern for the foundation. She brings experience from several non-profits, including The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and Catholic Charities' Opportunity Center. She is passionate about collaborating with community-based organizations to be more effective in their work in the areas of human services, education and health -- aligned nicely with the foundation's focus areas. Sheila has developed new partnerships, provided technical assistance to grantees, reviewed applications and awarded funding, managed projects and conducted research.

Sheila completed her BA in International Affairs at Marquette University and recently completed her MBA there as well. Sheila returned to her Twin Cities home this past summer and joined the RMSFF team.

Sheila enjoys gardening, is an avid basketball fan and participates in a women's recreational basketball league, is a self-proclaimed foodie and always on the lookout for new restaurants in neighborhood hot spots.