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 three more girls, Anna, Grace and Molly Mae, and a BOY, Ben. 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

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 friends.

Barb can be reached at 952/324-8910 or

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

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

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, and her first grandchild, Sophie G., who bring a different perspective to those seasons.

Marla can be reached at 952/324-8933 or

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

Donna Mankowski – Consultant

Donna is retired executive assistant and HR Manager for Olympus Ventures. She also assisted with the Schulze Family Foundation as a program officer. In retirement, Donna serves as a consultant and a member of the Foundation’s Best Buy Employee Disaster Relief Grant Committee.

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 two adult daughters and four gorgeous, energy-inducing grandchildren. Donna now enjoys her retirement with her husband in Palm Springs, California.

Mary Beth Geier – Florida Director

Mary Beth serves as the Florida Director 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. She recently completed 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

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

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 Program Officer and Legal Counsel

Kelly comes to us with executive leadership experience in development, donor engagement, gift planning, nonprofit strategy development and nonprofit legal and regulatory issues. Kelly previously served as 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 serves as the attorney for the foundation.

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 (we 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 two and four year old boys, Noah and 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) cooking, spending time with friends and family, traveling, reading or playing golf. Kelly and her husband, Ben, live together in Rosemount.

Kelly can be reached at 952/324-8936 or

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.

Berit can be reached at 952/324-8935 or

Sheila Otto Phillips, Program Officer

Sheila currently works as a program officer for the Foundation.  She brings both programmatic and administrative experience from several nonprofits, including The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, and Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  She is passionate about the essential role nonprofit organizations, of all sizes, play in our communities and how this work can continue to be more effective.  She joined the team at RMSFF in June 2017 and is involved in a wide variety of work within the foundation.

Sheila holds both an undergraduate degree in International Affairs and an MBA, with a focus in nonprofit administration, from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  Although she loves Milwaukee, the Twin Cities will always be her home!

Sheila lives with her husband, Eric, in St. Paul and enjoys gardening, practicing yoga, is an avid basketball fan and participates in a women’s recreational basketball league, and is always on the lookout for new restaurants and neighborhood hot spots!

Sheila can be reached at 952-324-8928 or

Ana DiMercurio, Program Officer

Ana is the foundation’s newest program officer and works closely with our Florida director on a variety of program initiatives. She helps coordinate the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Scholars Program in Collier County and maintains relationships with assigned grantees in Southwest Florida to ensure that our grant making supports meaningful and measurable outcomes.

Before joining the Schulze Family Foundation, Ana collaborated with multiple organizations and community stakeholders as Assistant Director of Drug Free Collier (an anti-drug coalition).  Prior to this, Ana worked as a Deputy Sheriff with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office where she enjoyed more than 12 years working in the Youth Relations Bureau and held other interesting assignments.

A native of El Paso, Texas, Ana holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She moved to Naples to work as a reporter with The Naples Daily News after graduation. Her bilingual skills would prove useful when covering stories within the migrant community of Immokalee.

Over the years, Ana has been an active member of the Naples community and currently volunteers as a catechist in her church. As a long-time resident of Collier County, Ana has a vested interest in the community where she and her husband William are raising five children.

Ana can be reached at 239/263-9400 or